Sunday, June 26, 2016

Zorro 2.33 - Invitation to Death

Plot: A tranquil morning at the de la Vega hacienda is disturbed by the noisy arrival of one Captain Arellano, who was providing security for the governor's wagon, which has overturned nearby, gravely injuring His Excellency. The governor is soon brought to the hacienda and set up as comfortably as possible in the sala while Diego fetches the doctor. The captain explains to Diego and Alejandro that he suspects foul play at the hands of a group called the Rebatos, who resent the governor's call for all Californians to take a loyalty oath to Spain. In fact, the governor was coming to Los Angeles to make a call personally for the people to take the oath. He won't be making that appointment, but Phelipe (the captain), will as he is appointed temporary governor. While Phelipe seems uncertain of himself, he makes an impassioned plea in the tavern, and aided by Alejandro vocally and publicly standing up to be first to take the oath, seems to have carried out the governor's wishes. As other citizens line up to take the oath, a Manuel Larios approaches the captain, and asks if he has considered that, were the governor to die, the captain could continue being governor, which might be very good for the captain. Phelipe says that sounds an awful lot like treason, but the idea takes hold in his mind.

Back at the hacienda, poor Sergeant Garcia is stuck as the governor's orderly, which means trying to get him to take his foul-tasting medicine, with poor results. Meanwhile, Diego is outside talking with the governor's daughter, who is concerned for her father's safety and wonders why there is so much political violence. Diego's attempts to lift her spirits catch the eye of the captain, who fancies the young lady, despite her complete lack of interest in him. So he makes a bit of a scene, and implies she's been behaving improperly and that he will not allow her to do so going forward. Which earns him a well-deserved smack in the face from her, and later still, a dressing-down from her father, who has apparently decided Phelipe will never become the man he hoped he would. Having lost the confidence of the governor, Larios' suggestion is much more appealing to the captain, and he soon rides into town, dragging Garcia and Reyes with him.

Fortunately, Bernardo notices and warns Diego. Unfortunately, Larios' men are wasting no time going on the attack, and Diego apparently needs a year to change into Zorro, so Bernardo has to enter the sala through the secret passage and stop the first killer (though not before the governor takes a bottle to the head). Bernardo and Zorro move the governor to Alejandro's room, and Zorro places the first would-be assassin in the bed with the blanket over him. Two more rush in, and while Zorro is busy with one, the other knifes what he thinks is the governor. The two killers then flee, having failed in their mission. Afterward, Captain Arellano gets the third degree from everyone as to why he took away the guards, but the governor tells them to stop, out of pity, perhaps.

Quote of the Episode: Governor - 'This will be an opportunity to show what you are made of, to vindicate my faith in you.'

Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (13 overall).

Other: Little surprised Zorro didn't draw his sword when dealing with two assassins. Yeah, the governor is safe elsewhere, but perhaps you don't want these killers to escape without finding out who they're working for and with. It's the second week in a row he doesn't seem to be taking the actual fight entirely seriously.

I don't know what it is the doctor is making the governor take, but hopefully he won't die because he's making Garcia take it instead.

Arellano correcting Garcia and insisting on being referred to as "His Excellency", but only because of tradition was a pretty great slimeball move. You can tell Garcia doesn't buy that explanation at all, either.

Diego frames the actions of the people trying to kill the governor as those of people looking to claim the considerable natural resources and wealth of California for themselves. I guess as opposed to letting Spain have it all. He's probably right, but people might also resent being told they need to publicly affirm their loyalty to a country that really doesn't seem to give much of a damn about them. It sends them brutal Army officers and corrupt government officials almost constantly. And just because Arellano pulls a JFK a couple of years early (asking the people to ask what they can do for Spain, rather than the other way around) doesn't change that. I'm not blaming the governor for that state of affairs, but he hasn't made a visit to Los Angeles for anything else that we know of, so this is what he's apparently deemed most important, and it really isn't.


Anonymous said...

Continuity reference: Doctor Avila already appeared in episode 1x26.

As for the other names, IMDb writes Felipe instead of Phelipe and Larrios instead of Larios. I also assume "where the governor to die" and "Garcia doesn't by that explanation" are typos.

"Diego apparently needs a year to change into Zorro": did it seem that way? It actually passed just a minute from Diego sending Bernardo ahead to fully-costumed Zorro appearing in the sala. Given how many clothes Diego has to remove and how many clothes Zorro has to wear, and given he didn't have Bernardo's help, I'd say he was very fast, considering he also had to run two floors below.

I wonder if it would really be possible for Bernardo to see the man who just entered the sala, given the distance and angle from the door to the secret passage, and given how small the eyehole is. And I know we already discussed the different secret passages, but I still haven't figured out how did they do that (having the passage from the sala being two floors below the passage from Diego's room, instead of just one floor below), assuming the set used for the secret passages is the same set used for the sala and all (or almost all) the interior of the hacienda. It looks like they pulled a Penrosa staircase trick somehow...

CalvinPitt said...

I thought the first killer was taking his sweet time. Bernardo had long enough to stand there and watch the guy and fret about where Zorro was before deciding to go out and handle things himself. You're right, though, there's a lot of clothes to shift around.

I noticed IMDB spells Arellano with two "r"s, but the end of the captions on the DVD only used one.

Anonymous said...

"I noticed IMDB spells Arellano with two "r"s, but the end of the captions on the DVD only used one": ah, ok.