Plot: We return to Los Angeles, and inside the church we find two youngsters, Buena and Romaldo, standing before the padre, ready to be wed. But wait, while Buena has brought a letter from Diego, stating his assent to this event, Romaldo has forgotten his letter from Senor Yorba. So no marriage for them, as they're both indentured servants, and their masters have to give written authorization for them to marry.
This is going to be one of those episodes with some antiquated bullshit that's going to be hard to slog through.
As it turns out, Romaldo doesn't have the letter, because Yorba refused to give permission, and now Romaldo's a runaway. On cue, Yorba and his head vaquero, Lazaro, ride into town, and tell Sergeant Garcia to be on the lookout for Romaldo. Almost immediately Garcia finds them, but while he catches Buena, he then loses her when he goes to pursue Romaldo, and they both escape. Diego and Bernardo soon arrive in town, only to have Garcia break the bad news. Buena is doing her best to try and reach the inn unnoticed, but runs smack into Lazaro, who fancies her himself. He's getting pretty grabby when thankfully, Diego comes along, and then Yorba comes in, and he says he refused Romaldo's request because he believes once the two kids are married, they'll break their contracts and flee into the hills to rejoin their people. Wonder who gave Yorba that idea *looks at Lazaro*? The party splits up, and Diego almost immediately encounters Romaldo, and easily disarms him. He tries talking to him, but Romaldo flees, minus his knife, though Diego still covers for him when Garcia comes by.
This does not stop Romaldo from trying to take Diego hostage in his own home later that night. But Bernardo is able to distract the boy, and Diego relieves him of the knife again. Diego again tries reasoning with the young man, but it's Buena stating outright that, surprise!, she doesn't want them to spend their lives on the run that convinces Romaldo to return to Yorba and finish the two remaining years of his contract. Of course, once he gets there, Yorba has to be a high-handed dick, adding a year of service on the spot, barring Romaldo from going to town, and taking his knife and giving it to that shithead Lazaro, who he puts in charge of Romaldo. 5 seconds later, Lazaro's tried to push Romaldo around, only to get his ass beat, and the boy takes to the hills again. So Lazaro rides to the de la Vega home, and concocts some story for Buena about Romaldo being hurt, so she'll return there with him. Deigo learns this from Bernardo, and that means Zorro's on his way.
Back at Yorba's place, it seems Lazaro's finally overstepped his bounds, as even Yorba agrees he's gone too far trying to use Buena as bait to lure Romaldo back. But at this stage, Lazaro's through taking orders. too bad Zorro's behind him with a sword. Or maybe not, because Lazaro's able to kick the door shut in Zorro's face, giving him long enough to make a stab for Yorba. But Buena takes the hit instead, letting Zorro get in and toss his sword to Yorba (Z's also carrying a dagger). So Lazaro tries to cut and run, but Zorro chases after him and drags him off his horse with a whip. They fight a bit, Zorro wins, and brings him back to Yorba. By that time, Romaldo's heard Buena's there and has arrived, but is talked down from attacking Yorba, who has decided to consent to the kids getting married, and reduced the term of service back to two years. Aw, what a sweetheart.
Quote of the Episode: Yorba - 'I do not debate with servants.'
Times Zorro marks a "Z": 0 (5 overall).
Other: Shocking lack of awareness by Diego, to be taken unaware in his own home by this awkward teen. It was funny, though, how easily he disarmed Romaldo both times.
It wasn't exactly Zorro's finest showing, either. He kind of looked like a dope, letting Lazaro kick that door in his face. And during their struggle at the end, he does this headfirst slide down the hill, and probably should have been knifed in the back by the waiting Lazaro, if the vaquero hadn't botched the timing. It was just a really poor plan of attack.
There's a lot in here that doesn't age well. Romaldo and Buena having met in the mission school, which I'm sure they attended entirely voluntarily and with eager, informed consent of their parents, and surely it did not involve them being taken away by force or under duress. And that having been "sponsored" by Yorba and Alejandro, they are now required to work for those guys as indentured servants for three years (they've already finished one year when the episode takes place). And they can't even get married without approval from those guys. It's not an age thing, it's a, "you're still my property" thing. And sure, it's nice Diego has no objections, and was even going to be there as a witness, but Diego believes in love. But the system is still a load of crap, and he doesn't seem to have any particular objection to it.