Sunday, March 29, 2015

Zorro 1.8 - Zorro's Ride Into Terror

Plot: Monastario is combing the countryside looking for Alejandro de la Vega, but Zorro successfully gets the old man to his lair. He tells Alejandro he'll get word to Diego and have him come provide care, then slips upstairs into the hacienda. But Monastario's brought his men there to search, and Diego is overheard by Sergeant Garcia before he can sneak back into the secret passage. Diego manages to distract the Sergeant by offering the use of his bed, but then Monastario barges in and jabs Garcia in the butt with the point of his sword. Diego spares Garcia from anything worse by claiming he had laid out some wine with a sleeping potion in it last night, but forgot about it and offered the wine to the sergeant. For a moment, Monastario seems to see through Diego, but then it turns out he's just ranting about the Dons and what he feels is their duplicitous nature.

Monastario leaves to continue the search, but leaves Garcia and two other lancers to keep an eye on Diego. He also tells Garcia he will be shot if he loses Diego, having already threatened to have him executed for sleeping on duty. Diego promptly convinces them to retire downstairs, and orders Bernardo to bring out 5 more bottles of wine. Which is all the encouragement those lancers need to start drinking and for Garcia to start singing tavern songs about a soldier's life. So nobody notices when Diego slips out with those supplies for his dad. Except Alejandro has regained consciousness sufficiently that he can get up and stagger out of the cave, still determined to kill Monastario. The lancers find him soon enough, and the Capitan decides to have himself some fun with the 'wild boar', but Zorro arrives and quickly knocks Monastario off his horse, grabs his rather and rides away.

As they flee, the come across a wagon with Don Nacho Torres in it, surrounded by soldiers. These men, led by a Sergeant Espinoza, are under orders from the governor to guarantee Torres safe conduct back to Monterey, and to Monastario's dismay, he finds this will apply to anyone with Torres. Like Alejandro, who Zorro quickly hands to Torres. Zorro then rides off, and eludes Monastario again, though it looked like he'd trapped himself on a rock pedestal for a second. Furious, the Captian returns to the hacienda to find Garcia and the lancers will into their cups and, having run out of friends to toast, are toasting their enemies, starting with the Comandante. Oh, but a different Comandante, and old one, from back in Spain. Somehow, Diego sneaks back in through the front window and makes it appear he'd fallen asleep behind a couch, which at least spares Garcia one of those painful deaths.

Quote of the Episode: Monastario - 'Does His Excellency the Governor also protect the outlaw Zorro?' Sgt. Espinoza - 'From what I have heard, Senor Zorro does not need protection.'

Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (5 overall)

Other: Sergeant Garcia has some good pipes on him. Maybe he missed his calling as a tavern singer, or a minstrel. He could help young men whose voices haven't finished changing by singing from the shadows for them. The sons of wealthy aristocrats probably pay better than service in the King's Army.

I still don't understand how Diego made it back into the main room through the front window. Monastario had just marched through there with six lancers behind, who he left outside when he barged in on Garcia. When he leaves a few minutes later, all six are waiting by the gate. How did none of them notice Diego come down the stairs and then through a window?

I like that Espinoza. He wasn't cocky about standing up to Monastario, just very confident because he knows he got his orders from someone higher up the chain. So long as he's outwardly respectful, there isn't jack shit Monastario can do to him. I can't decide whether the line of his I quoted above was strictly a comment on Zorro's skill, or a dig at Monastario's.

Monastario reminds me a bit of Dr. Doom, in that he has a certain appearance of honor or fair play, but only insofar as it feeds his ego. But it helps undo him. He didn't need to take Zorro's bait and start jousting with him. He could have ordered all the lancers to keep Zorro busy while he finished off Alejandro. But he thought he'd appear sporting (while it's really just supposed to ego boost himself when he defeats Zorro, ha), and it backfires. He gets humiliated, even laughed at by his own men, Zorro not only gets himself and Alejandro away, he gets Alejandro to someone who can provide actual medical care for him. It's a good thing Monastario isn't completely ruthless.

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