Sunday, January 10, 2016

Zorro 2.9 - Ambush

Plot: It's not long after Rico's attempt to kill Joaquin, and Diego and Bernardo have ridden out to check on their friend. Joaquin is understandably not happy to see the guy who gave his word that the governor would honor his word, and then Diego exacerbates things by getting mad at Joaquin for not being more gracious. Which is how Diego and Bernardo wind up shackled while Joaquin plots the murder of the governor and Rico, as the governor travels to the altar of his saint. Diego tries to escape by asking for a guitar, then calling it a poor guitar, to try and goad Joaquin into proving him wrong, so Diego and Bernardo can break their chains with rocks. Which fails, and what's more, Joaquin knew that's what they were doing, and let them waste their time to teach them a lesson, before giving them the key and going on his way. That's a dick move, but I like it.

That night, Sergeant Garcia is harassed by a small dog as he patrols the town. But the dog drives him to the well, and there's Joaquin, hiding inside. So Garcia and Reyes capture him, and Rico has a plan. He's going to beg off accompanying the governor, and instead give Joaquin the chance to kill the governor. Of course, Joaquin could refuse, but they've also arrested Theresa, and she'll be killed if he doesn't. Well then, guess Joaquin's a government hitman now. Zorro eventually comes along and questions Briones about how exactly Joaquin got released from jail, then has to hustle to stop Joaquin. Then he shackles Joaquin and the governor (who has stolen the old Magistrado's outfit), and gives them each the key to the other's shackles. So it's a trust exercise. I hate that crap.

Zorro's not interested in sticking around to watch, so he heads back to the cuartel to rescue Theresa. Rico's got a suspicion things have gone south, and is preparing to run for the border. Or a port, whichever. Zorro easily handles the idiot guard (who already had his hands full with Theresa), but Briones has the key. Fortunately, the Captain is no match for Zorro, even with an assist from Rico. It's about then Joaquin and the governor ride up together, and Rico decides it's time to start that trip. So the Governor shoots him in the back as he flees. Joaquin insists Briones release Theresa, so the captain throws the key in the well. Because when you just saw your boss get shot, that's the right time to get mouthy and defiant with the shooter's new best buddy. At any rate, Briones ends up in the well, and isn't allowed out until he recovers the key. Governor's orders. And after that, it's just a matter of time until the stands are back up in the plaza. Thus the historic downtown section of Monterrey is restored!

Quote of the Episode: Joaquin - 'So you can see what it is like to try and try and get nowhere.'

Times Zorro marks a "Z": 0 (3 overall).

Other: During the sequence where Joaquin plays the guitar (while Theresa dances), I was shaking my head, because I couldn't believe no one would notice Diego and Bernardo, 10 feet away, hammering at the shackles with rocks. Then it turned out Joaquin knew all along, so that perked me up. It was nice to see Joaquin didn't get hit with the idiot stick. And I did like the overall slant of that whole scene. Diego means well, but when first Theresa, and later Joaquin, point out he doesn't understand what it's like for them, they aren't wrong. Briones felt entirely comfortable hassling Joaquin when they collided in the street, or just grabbing Theresa in broad daylight and throwing her in jail. Because they're just peons. It's a safe bet Briones wouldn't have been so rude with Diego. Even when he's rejecting Diego's demands to see a prisoner, he does it in a more restrained way. He feigns politeness and deference. So does Rico. Diego has the money, and the name, so they treat him with kids' gloves.

I am curious what Joaquin and the Governor said to each other to gain an understanding. Did they commiserate over Zorro being a jerk? Seriously, though, given that the Governor was willing to kill his adjutant, and gave the OK to the stands in the plaza, they must have had a fairly thorough conversation about everything that's been going on.

I'm surprised the series didn't more strongly rebuke Joaquin's approach. Not disappointed, just surprised. I don't think it's in favor of assassination, but I don't think we're meant to take away from all this that Joaquin was wrong to fight back against a corrupt administration (which is good, considering the series is all about one guy doing so, just he wears a mask while he does it). And Joaquin is shown as willing to give talking a chance, it's just that the people he has to deal either have a vested interest in killing him, or are content to keep a distance from the whole thing, which means they can be fooled. The takeaway from all this is, getting involved in your community pays dividends!

Oh, and shouldn't Garcia and Reyes have gotten the 2000 peso reward for capturing Joaquin? Did Briones screw them out of it, since it was him and his men who hustled Joaquin into the cuartel? Or was the reward revoked, since everyone is friends now?


Anonymous said...

"Oh, and shouldn't Garcia and Reyes have gotten the 2000 peso reward for capturing Joaquin?": interesting enough, the novelization of the Joaquin Castenada arc ends with Joaquin convincing the governor that the amnesty for him and his men doesn't change the fact that Garcia and Reyes should get the reward. The two soldier then faint.

I am talking about this book:

Of course these books are not canon to the series, as they sometimes contradict it, and this is one of those contradictions, as later episodes clearly show that Garcia and Reyes haven't become rich.

CalvinPitt said...

That's really nice of Joaquin, even if, as you mentioned it didn't end up happening on the show. Although I could see Garcia getting duped out of his money, or spending it on way too much food and wine (then borrowing from Reyes).

I didn't know there were novelizations of the episodes. Thank for that information!