Plot: The story opens at the inn, with Sergeant Garcia singing about how indispensable sergeants are to the army, while Corporal Reyes looks on sourly. Just then, a messenger comes in looking for Diego and his father. He's exhausted from riding all night, and is barely able to tell them their hacienda was burned down by Indians who stampeded their cattle. Which means the Monterey adventure is over, because they have to go home and pick up the pieces. First, Diego must visit Anna-Maria to let her know, but as he prepares to leave he sees the messenger again. Receiving money from Ricardo, and Anna tells him that man came from San Francisco yesterday to tell Ricardo it's time for him to come home. Diego is furious, and Ricardo even seems a little ashamed, but only because he'd forgotten Alejandro was also around to hear the news. Diego leaves, and Ricardo makes yet another play for Anna's affections, only to be reminded her heart is set on Zorro, a man she barely knows. Yet she is sure she does know him, and the fact he's an outlaw and can't ever unmask bothers her not at all.
Then Ricardo gets an idea. A terrible, awful idea. He pitches the governor the idea of granting Zorro amnesty, if he will ride into town at the hour of Angelus and unmask, he will be pardoned and the reward on his head dropped. Soon Garcia and Reyes are posting notices all over town, but Ricardo is certain Zorro won't do it. The bartender (a different one from that untrustworthy old man who was around at the start of the season) is sure he will. Diego thinks Zorro might take the opportunity to be able to pursue his own happiness, while Alejandro is sure Zorro would not put his own desires ahead of the people's welfare. Sergeant Garcia and the corporal are certain he will, and are despondent, since they will never be able to collect the reward now. Their fears start to gnaw at Ricardo, so he approaches his messenger friend, and concocts a scheme within a scheme. The messenger's sister will come to town, and if Zorro arrives and unmasks, throw her arms around him and proclaim him to be her husband. If Zorro doesn't arrive, Ricardo expects Diego to escort Anna, while carrying some chocolates he bought for her, and the woman should proclaim him her husband instead.
Truly he has a dizzying intellect.
Diego goes to visit Anna, and finds her singing wistfully of Zorro riding up to sweep her into his arms. She is also certain Zorro will unmask, and is equally certain that Diego is a friend to her, but that's as far as it goes. And so, Diego is also certain Zorro will accept the offer of amnesty. So it's off to that hidden stable, but here's Bernardo, tied up, and a hooded figure hits Diego from behind. When he awakens he finds his wrists bound, but is able to seize an opportunity to fight by asking for some water. He's able to first break his captor's sword, then use it to free himself, and easily overpowers his foe, ripping off the mask and finding - Alejandro. Turns out dad has known Diego was Zorro for some time, and doesn't want him to do something now he'll regret later. And the bell starts tolling, so there's no time. Ricardo is left holding the box of chocolates, and here comes his messenger's sister, claiming he's her husband, to Anna's considerable amusement. It's about then Zorro rides up, sweeps Anna up onto the horse with him, and rides off, a gleeful Garcia in hot pursuit. Well, as hot a pursuit as he can manage, considering Zorro had time to set Anna down, and ask her if she can understand why he didn't arrive sooner. She takes it pretty well, and he rides off, lancers still in futile pursuit.
Quote of the Episode: Ricardo - 'I'll bet my life on that.' Diego - 'Would you care to wager something of value?'
Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (5 overall).
Other: We did get one "baboso" early on, when Garcia told Reyes to get some wine for the messenger.
So when do we think Alejandro knew? He says he's known for a long time, which is pretty vague. Does that mean all those times he made disparaging comments about Diego, it was part of an act? Because those really didn't help much, and were pretty hurtful things to say. There was that one about how, for a moment that night, he'd thought his son had become a man he could be proud of, or something like that. That was completely unnecessary.
I'm not sure I agree with Alejandro's decision to intervene to keep Diego from making the choice to unmask if he truly wanted to. I know that if he did, that'd be the end of the show, but Diego had always entered into this life willingly. It was his decision to play the wimpy scholar by day, and be the masked defender of the helpless by night. Doesn't that mean it's his decision when it's time to stop? But I get it. Alejandro knows, as Diego knows, that there's still corruption out there, and if Zorro unmasks now, it's going to be pretty hard for him to come back later if there's a need for him. Although I feel as though everyone knowing Diego de la Vega was the notorious outlaw could lend him a certain cachet in handling things publicly. A little credibility with the working class, maybe some intimidation factor with the politicians and officers.
Mostly I don't like Alejandro butting in and making decisions about other people's lives. I might have been more kindly disposed to him if he'd taken Ricardo over his knee as he contemplated. I will not be sorry to see the end of Ricardo. One week after he gets outraged over Zorro swiping some flipping chocolates, he pays a guy to tell Diego his house burned down, so that Diego will travel hundreds of miles to find out nothing's wrong. What a sack of crap.
It's funny, we got seemingly everyone's opinion on whether Zorro would unmask but Bernardo's. I thought we'd at least see Diego ask him at some point in the proceedings what he thought. I think Bernardo would have supported Diego's urge to hang it up. He knows how smitten the guy is with Anna-Maria, and for all that he enjoys Diego's adventures, I doubt he enjoys worrying his best friend might die some night.