Plot: Briones is whipping a peon, because he's convinced all the peons are helping Joaquin. Zorro rides up, disarms Briones and his soldiers, and helps the peon escape. This is not a development that pleases Rico, and he gets more bad news from a returning soldier: Alejandro's plan has succeeded, and the governor is on his way back. Unfortunately, the Governor is kind of a dupe, and Rico is able to spin things to make himself sound reasonable, even going so far as to suggest the plan to remove the stands was originally the Governor's.
In the meantime, Joaquin's upping the stakes. That night he tries to sneak a keg of gunpowder next to Rico's bedroom window, only to be spotted by Briones, and to have Zorro ride up and pull the fuse. Even Joaquin's followers think he's going too far, but before that conversation can go farther, Garcia and Reyes happen by, and try to chase Joaquin, only to be intercepted by Zorro, who fends them off easily, then needlessly humiliates Garcia. Oh, and last week I wondered where Diego was hiding Phantom. It turns out he has a little building he's using as a stable somewhere in the town, as he rides back there and learns from Bernardo his father has returned. The next morning, the de la Vegas visit the Governor, with Rico and Briones both doing their best to play nice, as the Governor unveils his plan, suggested by Rico. He says if Joaquin will ride in under a flag of truce to discuss things, his safety is guaranteed.
Everyone seems to think this is a good plan, but Briones can't behave himself. Later that day, Diego observes Briones and his men grabbing Theresa off the street and dragging her in the cuartel. Diego gets forceful and marches straight in and demands her release. But it requires him to give his word that he'll convince Joaquin to come in within 24 hours. It takes some work to convince Theresa to show him the current camp, but once there, it seems Joaquin is legitimately interested in the possible of talking things out. All of his followers, including Theresa, are convinced it is a trap, but Joaquin decides to try it, and says he'll ride in at 6 the next morning. He should have listened to his friends, because Rico, Briones, and a couple of soldiers are lying in wait, and it's only through Zorro's intervention that Joaquin isn't killed. He's able to spirit Joaquin to safety, but this leaves Rico free to run to the Governor and twist things around, claiming Joaquin and his men tried to ambush poor Adjutant Rico and Captain Briones. The Governor, being a dope, believes this, and declares that he's sending the army out in force to capture Joaquin, dead or alive.
Quote of the Episode: Rico - 'Can't you do anything right?'
Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 1 (3 overall). In the seat of Garcia's pants. Not cool, Zorro.
Other: I like to think, even if I were playing at being a dashing rogue of a outlaw hero, that I wouldn't humiliate a loyal friend who had just helped me out the week before. You know they make Garcia pay for his pants.
Zorro took Joaquin a pretty fair distance out of Monterrey before dropping him off. Did they talk about anything? Did Joaquin demand to know why Zorro stopped him from killing Rico a couple of nights previously? Did Zorro explain that it was Rico, not the Governor, that tried for the trap? It just seems odd they'd ride in silence.
Diego and Alejandro were basically the only ones who believed in the flag of truce. Rico and Briones were never on the up-and-up. None of Joaquin's men believed it, neither did Theresa, and neither did Bernardo. Bernardo even openly expressed the doubt to Diego, that he was certain Briones would try to kill Joaquin when he rode in. Granted, none of those people talked to the Governor about it, but it's surprising to me Diego wasn't more suspicious, especially since the Governor said outright the whole thing was Rico's suggestion. He was still planning to be there as Zorro anyway, having given his word to Joaquin, but his faith in authority is unusual. Much more his father's style.
Got to wonder at Briones grabbing Theresa off the street after they announced their plan. He's supposed to be trying to play nice, to keep the Governor off their butts, and then he goes and nearly louses things up. On the plus side, it's nice to see Diego when he lets a little more of his assertive nature out. When he tries to get past the guards, Rico walks up and asks if he can help. Diego replies with, 'I want to speak to the Governor,' which really felt like a diss the way he said it. Reminding Rico he's not the boss here anymore, he was just the substitute teacher, and the real one is back.
But the peace initiative has fallen through, and now Joaquin is going to be angry and distrusting of everyone, including Diego. So good luck with that.