Plot: Once again, we open on Garcia and Reyes singing in the tavern, this time about how wine is the soldier's best friend. Then they are forced to perform their duties when the stage arrives, carrying one passenger with a lot of luggage, an Estevan de la Cruz (played by Cesar Romero). Estevan immediately makes himself a figure of interest, both by offering to by drinks for all the taverns' patrons, and by grudgingly showing Sergeant Garcia that he's carrying a small sack of jewels. Then he really gets Garcia's attention by stating he wants to stay in the de la Vega hacienda while he's in town, and he plans to simply take it over. He settles in comfortably, and while Garcia and Reyes dread the moment Alejandro returns and finds out, it turns out OK. Because Estevan is Alejandro's brother-in-law.
That night, at a party Estevan has cajoled Alejandro into throwing to welcome him, Estevan is quite busy trying to convince the wealthy landowners to purchase the jewels he brought. Or rather, he's showing them the jewels, then feigning as though he does not wish to sell them. Alejandro fears they're fakes, and that it would ruin the de la Vega name if Estevan succeeds, so he and Diego send Bernardo to swipe them. Only to find Estevan is even more nimble-fingered and stole them back. And now he's suspicious of Bernardo, though not of Diego or Alejandro. So, new plan: Have Zorro steal the jewels. Problem: there were two suspicious fellows at the party who saw the jewels as well, and they ambush Estevan and take the pouch first. Zorro finds Estevan unconscious, but that doesn't last, and soon the whole hacienda knows Zorro is on the premises. Which leads to him trying to keep the true thieves from departing, but having difficulty with both Garcia and Estevan. Eventually, though, Zorro is able to capture the thieves, swipe the jewels, and escape. Estevan takes it well, since he knows the jewels are fake, but also decides he likes it here and wants to stay a while.
Quote of the Episode: Corporal Reyes - 'Si. People can't help it if they have relatives.'
Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 1 (7 overall). On the coat of one of the thieves, with his whip, no less. Clearly he's gotten bored of leaving his mark with a sword.
Other: They dispensed with the theme song entirely this week. Just a few clips from the episode they were about to show, and then an announcer telling what show it was, and that it starred Guy Williams and Romero. I don't approve. I like that opening song.
The show only periodically uses Bernardo's skill as a pickpocket, but it does come up often enough that having him be outdone by Estevan tells us a bit about the man. That he's alert to that sort of thing, and can counter it, even while continuing his sales pitch to Don Marcos. Although the fact he's willing to let Marcos bid against himself for a fake diamond as a gift to his daughter, with no apparent compunctions, says a lot more about Estevan.
I'm a little surprised at Alejandro. I know it's necessary for him to be unwilling to confront Estevan directly, so that first Bernardo and later Zorro can take their turns. But it seems out of character for Alejandro not to speak his mind. Though again, the fact Alejandro is so afraid of Estevan's ability with words that it makes him hold back, says much about the guy's capabilities.
When they sent Bernardo off to swipe the pouch, He cracked his knuckles to show he was ready, then wagged his fingers at the pain. It made me think of that Simpsons joke about Bart's bones being brittle, despite his drinking plenty of malk.
So, just as with last season, the de la Vega's have another pushy houseguest. But Estevan might be even worse than the Eagle, both because he's not so evil they can justify running him through, and well, he's family. PLus, it might just be better to keep him close by, where they can keep an eye on him.