Sunday, March 13, 2016

Zorro 2.18 - Zorro Versus Cupid

Plot: Whatever Estevan was up to last week by encouraging Diego to marry Margarita, he's abandoned the plan in favor of marrying her himself. He's even borrowed Diego's guitar and Bernardo to serenade her, and when Diego shows up, he winds up playing so Estevan can dance with her. Of course, Diego and Alejandro both suspect ulterior motives on Estevan's part, and when Don Marcos brings out the very impressive Coatazar necklace, which is a wedding present for the marriage of their first born, and explains to Estevan that he will receive all of Don Marcos' lands that Margarita can ride across in a single day, they're certain of it. Soon enough, once they are away from Don Marcos and Margarita, Alejandro confronts his brother-in-law, who shamelessly tries to get some money from Alejandro to buy something nice for his new fiance. Alejandro instead opts to warn Estevan that if he doesn't abandon this plan, he'll answer to Zorro, who won't tolerate any sort of thief. Estevan seems momentarily angry at being called a thief, but then brushes it off.

But now Diego's committed thanks to his father, and so it is that Zorro pays Estevan a visit in his room that evening. Again, Estevan plays it light, asking if he's here to congratulate the soon-to-be-married man. No, Zorro is here to tell him to get out of California, without the Senorita Coatazar or her fortune. Estevan's response is to draw his sword and try his luck. Can't fault him for effort, but he ends up easily bested and trapped under a table, while a servant knocks on the door, inquiring if he's all right. Still, Estevan is not deterred, and sets out to visit Margarita the next morning. Only to find his path barred by Zorro. Unarmed, he instead tries to feint like he's returning home, the spur his horse by the outlaw. He winds up tossed into a nearby river (lake?) for his trouble, and warned the road to the Coatazar home will be very wet for him. At this point, Estevan does was is essentially a smart thing, when an outlaw is harassing you: He enlists the aid of law enforcement. Sergeant Garcia offers to provide a military escort, but Estevan feels that would spoil the mood, and he would rather not endanger Margarita.

Which is how Estevan and a disguised Corporal Reyes wind up in a carriage on a moonlit ride that night, while Garcia lurks nearby. Zorro, having heard about it (because Garcia's been telling everyone all day), promptly arrives. The outlaw is enough of a gentleman to help the lady down before dealing with Estevan, and Reyes boldly tackles Zorro, while Estevan shouts for Garcia. Unfortunately, the sergeant is first reluctant, and then when he does begin to approach, finds himself surrounded by skunks. So he ends up calling for help, Reyes runs to him, they both get skunked, and meanwhile, Estevan is fighting another losing battle against Zorro alone. Suffice it to say, all three end up in the drink, and Zorro rides off as Estevan fumes.

Quote of the Episode: Alejandro - 'To Zorro, a thief is a thief, whether he's stealing funds from the church poor box or trying to marry some unsuspecting girl for her money.'

Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 1 (8 overall). On Estevan's jacket, during their second actual fight.

Other: Poor Corporal Reyes. I don't think Garcia acts towards him with the same deliberate malice that the sergeant received from Monastario or the Magistrado, but he definitely makes life hard on his corporal. At least Reyes was able to keep his mustache.

I do find his and Garcia's reluctance these last couple of weeks to engage Zorro a little strange. I'm sure they realize their chances of victory are slim, and Garcia is not doubt concerned about more humiliating alterations to his uniform courtesy of Zorro's sword. But they honestly seem afraid to face Zorro, and I can't believe they think he'd really harm them. He could have killed or maimed them a dozen times over by now if he chose (not even counting all the times he's saved them from someone else), but he never does. I'm not saying they should be cocky and full of beans to fight a battle they'll surely lose, but knowing your opponent will certainly not harm you ought to be a little encouraging. Though last week I could seem them being worried, since they were involved in keeping Zorro's horse hostage, essentially. Messing with a man's horse is serious business.

And again, credit to Estevan. He also has to know he can't match Zorro with the sword, but he keeps trying. Estevan is one of those classic types who seems like he could be immensely successful as a legitimate businessman, given his determination and wits, but he's too fixed on trying to find the easy money. That said, if this really is a scam, it's anything but easy. Cesar Romero also sings pretty well, even when it's Corporal Reyes he's singing to, and while he's scanning his surroundings for Zorro. He's got a good voice.

I noticed Margarita doesn't seem that enthused about the whole thing. When Diego arrived and took the guitar so she and Estevan could dance, she didn't seem comfortable. Which could be Patricia Medina, the actress playing Margarita, not feeling comfortable for one reason or another, or it could be something deliberate. She definitely seemed bothered when Diego mentioned that she was going to be his aunt once this marriage went through. I know Don Marcos had expressed a desire that she get married, and I feel as though we're meant to read her as being older than Anna-Maria Verdugo was, whether that's true or not. It could be she was really hoping for Diego to take the initiative, but Estevan has put on such a good full-court press she doesn't feel she can decline, because it'll hurt her father. Or she flat out doesn't want to get married at all. I thought it was notable that she's the one who rides across their land to determine how much of it her husband will receive. It's her family's land, she's doing the riding, but Estevan gets it. I know, conventions of the era, but that doesn't mean she would have to be happy about it.


Anonymous said...

"Cesar Romero also sings pretty well, even when it's Corporal Reyes he's singing to, and while he's scanning his surroundings for Zorro. He's got a good voice."

I'm not sure it is Cesar Romero singing. He could have been dubbed: after all, Guy Williams himself is dubbed (by Bill Lee) whenever he has to sing.

CalvinPitt said...

Huh, it hadn't occurred to me they might be dubbing that in, but that's a good point. In that case, Cesar Romero at least does a very good job of appearing to sing.