Plot: Most likely the morning after the end of last week's episode, we return to the Verdugo home to find a heated argument between Diego and Serrano, with Anna-Maria in the middle. The kidnappers have sent another note, telling Anna-Maria to come meet them at the old ruins if she wants to confirm her father is well. Serrano says go, Diego says no. It could go either way, but then Corporal Reyes arrives with a message. Alejandro has come to Monterrey, and is talking about sending the army out after the kidnappers. Anna-Maria implores Diego to convince his father not to do it, and Diego reluctantly leaves. As soon as he's gone, Serrano starts in again, stating that he'll go if she won't. Which spurs Anna-Maria to go, and Garcia and Reyes come along.
Diego has convinced his father to speak to Anna-Maria first, but naturally she isn't at the hacienda when they arrive. Diego asks Alejandro to wait for her, and slips away. At the meeting, Anna-Maria learns her father is OK, but Pablo has a new plan. He takes her and the soldiers hostage, and orders Verdugo to get the money if he wants his daughter back. The old man and Garcia both tried to fight, but with no weapons and outnumbered (and with Serrano making no move to help), it doesn't go well. So Serrano and Verdugo return home, to find Alejandro. He had already reacted oddly to the mention of "Don Romero", and as Verdugo rushes to get the cashbox, Alejandro advises Verdugo not to do it, stating he knows Serrano was forced to flee Spain ahead of the authorities, and has pissed away his father's inheritance. At which point Serrano cracks Alejandro over the noggin. Perhaps not the best move, as it's about then Zorro enters through the window, and easily outduels the cad. For all the good it does him, with Anna-Maria still a hostage.
As the day nears its end, Serrano and Verdugo, the latter still in those monk robes, ride up. But Pablo finds there's no money in the saddlebags, only rags. And it's Zorro under those robes. His attempt to use Serrano as a shield falters on the fact that Pablo has no problem killing Serrano, but that empties his gun, and Zorro shoots one of the other bandits, while Garcia and Reyes are able to subdue another, even while tied up. Still, when Pablo is able to draw a knife on Anna-Maria, things look grim. But Zorro's able to stall until Garcia works himself free of the ropes, sneaks up on Pablo, and headlocks the guy into unconsciousness. The day is saved, and Anna-Maria and her father can go make the trip to Spain for supplies. The incredibly dangerous trip through the blockade for supplies. But she gives Diego a note, asking him to pass it on to Zorro if he happens to see him. Oh, and not to open it himself.
Quote of the Episode: Pablo - 'I would dare anything for 45,000 pesos.'
Times Zorro marks a "Z": 0 (1 overall).
Other: I laughed at the end, when Diego takes Anna-Maria letter, and immediately returns to his room at the inn. He's all grim and serious as he hurriedly changes to Zorro, while Bernardo looks on confused. And then, he opens the letter to read it, since he promised that Diego wouldn't read it. He even keeps Bernardo at sword's length. It was an obvious bit, but I liked how thoroughly they went through with it.
Also liked that, at the moment Serrano surrendered, it wasn't entirely clear that Zorro cared. Was a decent chance he might just stab the guy anyway. I know, he's not actually going to kill an unarmed man, but, it was believable he was a little heated at the guy who had been behind all this trouble. From Diego getting beat up by Lee van Cleef, to Anna-Maria being in danger, to Corporal Reyes being shot, and now hit Diego's father, that's all on Serrano. It was his plan.
Gotta love Alejandro. Just shows up in Monterrey, hardly any idea what's going on, and he's immediately going to demand the army march into the hills to deal with these kidnappers. He's like one of those annoying ladies' league of morality you saw in old Westerns, always butting in and demanding people do something about whatever has a bug up his butt. He means well, but he needs to let other people handle their shit themselves once in a while.
And it was a pretty good episode for Sergeant Garcia. Sure, he got a pistol butt to the head, and Anna-Maria only shook his hand, as opposed to the kiss she gave Zorro. But, he got to be brave, he got to be competent, he got to finish off the bad guy himself, and not by being clumsy, but by overpowering the guy with his strength.