Plot: Monastario has abandoned his plans to woo Elena Torres, and has gone straight to imprisoning her and her mother. Though, of course, he leaves the task of bringing them into the cuartel and locking them up to Sergeant Garcia. Even Monastario's co-conspirator, the lawyer Licenciado, is worried about this plan, given the unrest it is promoting among the locals. But a public outcry is exactly what Monastario is counting on, to draw out Zorro.
Back at the de la Vega hacienda, Diego's father is ready to round up the other rancheros and ride into the cuartel guns blazing to rescue the ladies. Diego astutely points out that is a horrible idea, because acting in open rebellion would certainly put the governor on Monastario's side, and grant him leeway to abuse his military power even further. So Diego resolves to go and try to talk to the Capitan. But first he has to try and talk down the lovestruck Benito, who is desperate to save Elena.
In town, Diego meets Padre Felipe, and the two doubletalk their way past Garcia to see the Torres' women. They find Monastario has refused to give them any food or water until he sees them, and he's in no hurry to see them, because he's busy stuffing his face in his office. He informs them that he will free the two ladies just as soon as they make a full confession of Don Nacho's traitorous actions. Before the conversation can progress any further, Benito is dragged in by the lancers, as he was caught trying to get past them, and Diego has to talk fast to save the vaquero's neck. Benito promptly throws away this reprieve by trying to sneak in again that night, disguised as Zorro. He's captured when he he can't find the right key to unlock the cells, and Monastario orders him hung. That prompts Elena to say she will sign the confession in exchange for Benito's life, and Monastario turns her down?!
Fortunately, the Padre who was hearing Benito's confession or whatever was actually Zorro, and his surprise reveal, combined with Monastario granting Benito's wish to not die with chains on, enables them to make their escape in first a wagon, then on one of the horses (when the wagon falls apart. Zorro delays pursuit of Benito by engaging pretty much all the lancers in a battle on some scaffolding, before making his own escape on Tornado.
Quote of the Episode: Diego - 'Philosophy teaches us violence is not the solution to the problems that plague mankind. However, it is a tempting idea.'
Times Zorro marks a "Z": 0 (5 overall).
Other: 2 more "babosos" this week, and Monastario called Garcia an imbecile as well.
The episode ends with all the lancers, even Monastario sitting dejected on a curb after Zorro escaped. It's a little silly, but I like it as an expression of their total failure. Didn't catch the guy they were really after, didn't even manage to kill the guy they had caught.
While we're discussing that, though, what the hell was with Monastario? He told Elena her signed confession would only free her and her mother, not Benito. Why draw a line there? Getting Don Nacho denounced as a traitor is what he's been working toward. Benito's life isn't worth that? All I can figure is Monastario figured an immediate threat of death would draw Zorro more quickly than Elena and Louisa's discomfort. Which is stupid. Zorro is an outlaw, the governor will support Monastario's attempts to capture a vigilante, at least as long as he doesn't hear from Don Nacho about all the crap Monastario's been up to. If he gets the confession that makes Torres a traitor, that removes him as a threat, and Monastario could deal with Zorro at his leisure. The Capitan had a good plan, he just didn't seize the opportunity it presented.
Right after the first time Benito got caught - when Diego managed to talk him free - Diego pretty much outright calls Monastario a tyrant to his face. He sort of says it as a sly comment to the Padre, but Monastario is standing right there, and doesn't take kindly to it. And you can see Diego forget the role he's trying to play. he straightens up a little, nostrils flare, throws his shoulders back. It's a nice touch, because it shouldn't be easy for him to play the non-confrontational scholar when he is really a man of action. The facade ought to slip occasionally.
Sergeant Garcia gets a few good moments this week, at least ones where he gets to show he's actually a kind person who really doesn't enjoy the duties he's been given. The other soldiers try to roughly drag Elena and Louisa from the wagon into the cells, and Garcia berates them, apologizes to the ladies, and politely (and sadly) asks them to please step into the cells. It makes Diego's later comment to the Padre that Garcia is a friend and a good man, ring true.