Sunday, November 15, 2015

Zorro 2.1 - Welcome to Monterey

Plot: Diego and Bernardo have traveled to Monterey, to see a Senor Verdugo. Or so the owner of the inn they're staying at believes. And he's not the only one, because within five minutes of getting inside their room, two robbers covering their faces with bandanas barge in and demand 17,000 pesos they're certain Diego has with him. He says he doesn't have it, and one of the robbers (played by Lee van Cleef) beats Diego with Diego's own sack of cash for personal expenses, before departing (with Diego's personalized pocketwatch). Which puts Diego in a sour mood when he goes to visit Senor Verdugo.

As it turns out, Verdugo has made promises to get supplies from Spain for towns, provided they bring the cash, which is why Diego's here. Diego now has some understandable concerns, and says he won't order the money sent until he's certain Verdugo can deliver. At which point in walks a Senor Serrano from Santa Cruz, who brought his cash 2 weeks ago, and Verdugo's daughter, Anna Maria. Her father immediately says that Diego is accusing her of being a thief, and she nearly throws wine in Diego's face. Not a productive meeting.

Some time later back in town, Anna Maria and Serrano observe Bernardo being extremely careful with a saddlebag. As we learn once he gets to the hotel room, it's Diego's Zorro outfit, which Diego did not want brought along. He really wishes Bernardo hadn't brought it when Anna Maria and Serrano barge in and pull a gun on them, demanding to see the money they assume is inside. Bernardo pulls a fast one, stumbling into a curtain and pulling it over him so he can hide the costume beneath it, and the two are left to depart hastily with egg on their face.

Still later, Bernardo's waiting in the inn for Diego to arrive, and notices two men enter, one of whom has Diego's watch. Bernardo tries to sidle up to them at the bar and toast with them, then swipe it from Lee van Cleef's pocket, to no avail. When they leave, he follows, and still hasn't returned when Diego arrives. When Diego inquires if anyone has seen Bernardo, van Cleef's partner comes and claims he was told to deliver a message, namely to get 17,000 pesos if he ever wants to see his servant again. Diego demands proof, and the man says he'll get some, but Diego better stay in his room, because the kidnappers will know if he leaves. Well sure, if he goes through the door, but Zorro prefers rooftops, and easily follows the dope to a secluded cabin. He waits until the man takes Bernardo's hat and leaves, then tries to get the drop on Lee van Cleef. There's a decent struggle, but Zorro triumphs, and Bernardo takes back the watch! Then he notices the villain getting up and hits him over the head. With the watch. At least Zorro didn't see it happen.

Quote of the Episode: Diego - 'What was I saying about peace and quiet?'

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

Other: For the record, Lee van Cleef's character is named Castillo, but whatever. I'm pretty much always excited to see Lee van Cleef. At one point, he describes Bernardo as a "little moon face", which is kind of bizarre phrasing, but I guess I can see it.

I guess I should also mention that during the fight, the other guy came back and tried to backshoot Zorro, but failed. And Zorro grabbed Castillo's rifle and was able to wound the man. That will probably be relevant next week.

There's a nice moment when the kidnapper is trying to make his pitch to Diego when Diego bodily slams the guy against a wall and threatens to take him apart if Bernardo is harmed. It makes sense. This is Monterey, not Los Angeles. These people don't know anything about Diego de la Vega supposedly being a fainthearted bookworm, so there's not as much reason to keep up the facade. Bernardo being in danger surely helps, and the fact people keep pointing guns in his face and threatening him would undoubtedly wear on his temper, but he's handled these things before without losing his cool. Which makes me think it was at least partially a deliberate choice on his part. Just to see if he could rattle the guy a little, maybe get a clue out of him. It didn't really work, but it might have made the guy more amenable to bringing back proof. Maybe.

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