Sunday, May 01, 2016

Zorro 2.25 - The Hound of the Sierras

Plot: Don Carlos owns a wolf, which he plans to use to track down Joe Crane and exact his revenge. I question how far into the wilderness dapper Don Carlos would really chase Joe, but Mr. Crane has instead come to visit Carlotta and her father. He has no intention of leaving until he retrieves his furs, but before he can do that, Carlotta makes him take a bath.

Back in Los Angeles, Diego and Bernardo are enjoying a drink as Sergeant Garcia rides up. He explains they've been out scouring the hills for the American, who Zorro helped escape. Diego teases the sergeant that perhaps he doesn't want to catch Zorro, and Garcia retorts he has narrowed down the list of suspects to men who live near Los Angeles. I'd say he could add, "has a mustache," but that wouldn't help much. Then Don Carlos arrives, berates Garcia publicly for not having found Joe, and announces Lobo will track Joe off the scent from his musket (left behind in the tavern). Bernardo stalls Carlos (and almost gets attacked by Lobo, to Carlos' amusement), while Diego sneaks in the back and handles the musket, so that Lobo attacks him instead. Carlos guesses Diego may have handled the gun, but not that he did it on purpose, and they remain in town to plan.

Out in the hills, Garcia and his lancers are still searching, and are alerted by Joe showing off his ability to communicate with wolves. They come to Carlotta's home, and her father is so bad at being subtle even Garcia catches on and finds Joe's hat. Which means Carlotta has to keep Garcia away from the rain barrel Joe is bathing in, while Joe learns how long he can hold his breath. Somehow it all works out, and now Carlotta is going to help Joe get his furs so he'll get to the relative safety of the mountains. At the tavern, Carlotta keeps bringing Garcia and the lancers free drinks, and then tells Joe it's safe to try to get into the cuartel. Fortunately, Bernardo overheard and warns Diego. That's fortunate because Don Carlos was in the tavern and suspects something, and Sergeant Garcia brought Joe's hat in, but failed to keep a close enough eye on it. So just as Joe is opening the gates, here comes the attack wolf. Joe is able to trick and trap it, but is captured by Carlos and his vaquero, who plan to lynch Joe. It's at that point Zorro intervenes, and it's Carlos who ends up with the rope around him (his torso sadly, not his neck).

Zorro easily holds off Hernando, but after disarming him, chooses to leave, giving Hernando time to free Lobo and send him after Zorro. Zorro escapes with no trouble - the wolf is no match for the Fox, apparently - but Joe is still after his furs. Except by now the lancers are returning, so he has to give up again and return to Carlotta and report defeat. He's not giving up, though.

Quote of the Episode: Joe - 'Well, they got my furs locked in a cell down in their pueblo, and I don't go nowhere without them.'

Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (9 overall).

Other: Don Carlos tells Garcia he's been talking to the other dons about how incompetent Garcia is. You think that's true, or did he just say it to try and scare Garcia a little (and because he's a dick)? If you're going to talk with the dons, Alejandro would pretty much have to be there, right? He's the big wheel among all of them. And I can't see Alejandro going along with that opinion. Not that he thinks Garcia is great, but the sergeant is a friend, and I think Alejandro is smart enough to know that Garcia's rather easygoing manner helps reduce tensions. He's not arbitrarily locking people up, or harassing the peons. He's not cranking up taxes, he's not using force just because he can. He tries to talk to people and settle thing peacefully, and there's a lot to be said for that approach.

Also, with Garcia as acting Commandante, Alejandro doesn't have to worry about his son being injured by the lancers.

Joe did the surprise kiss thing with Carlotta again at the end, although I suspect she knew what he was doing this time. So that makes it better, I guess. I'm still a little surprised she's so taken with him, but I'm also a little surprised he said he hadn't had a bath in two years. Surely he'd been caught out in the rain at least once in that time? That would sort of count. Though Joe is the sort who would claim he could always tell when it was going to rain because his nose started itchin', or something.

It's kind of crazy to me that Bernardo was able to warn Diego, Diego was able to ride home, change to Zorro, ride back to town, and Joe had still only just started going in the cuartel past a now-unconscious guard. Or that Don Carlos hadn't set Lobo loose before that. Everyone was being very deliberate that night, apparently.

I'd think Carlotta's father would have some pretty good stories about surviving the wild himself. His house looked like it was off by itself, and it was just the two of them. I'd imagine a peasant farmer encounters a lot of unpleasant surprises back in the day. Perhaps he was just humoring Joe. Or maybe Carlotta was able to purchase the place for her father from her pay at the inn? She must be doing pretty well if she can afford to cover all those free bottles of wine she kept bringing the lancers. Somebody was paying for those.

During that whole sequence where Carlos is about to string Joe up, and the subsequent fight with Zorro, that Lobo would not stop barking and snarling. It started to get on my nerves, like when a phone rings in a movie and nobody picks it up. I hate repetitive loud noises.


Anonymous said...

I didn't remember the episode starting with stock footage of the Torres hacienda from episode 1x05. Of course it's just a painting (by Albert Whitlock) since the scenes in the Torres hacienda back in season 1 were shot in what would later become the tavern set. Still, the Joe Crane arc includes many new locations.

CalvinPitt said...

That's a good catch on the Torres hacienda, I missed that.