Sunday, July 10, 2016

Zorro 2.35 - Masquerade for Murder

Plot: A man comes to visit Captain Arrellano at the hacienda, an assassin as it turns out. As Diego and Bernardo observe from the secret passage, Arrellano continues to be a surprisingly high-handed dick for a man plotting to kill and supplant his boss. He flat out refuses to pay the assassin, sticking the Rebatos with the bill, and sends the man away without even letting him have any wine. Diego, Alejandro, and Bernardo debate their next move, but opt to continue observing until they can figure some way to expose the Captain and the Rebatos. The governor, unfortunately, isn't putting anyone in much of a mind to protect, forcing the lancers to lug him around the front porch until he finds a spot to sit he finds acceptable. To improve his mood, Diego suggests they have a party, so the governor can meet the citizens and have a little fun.

Party prep commences, and the assassin pays Arrellano another visit. This time, Diego is unable to get to the passage to eavesdrop, and Bernardo, who was stationed there specifically for this purpose, is asleep. So they have no idea what the conspirators have planned, but soon enough, here come Leonar and Arrellano, announcing they're going to make it a masquerade party. Alejandro is not ecstatic, as his usual choice, a Greek senator's toga, results in people making fun of his knees. Diego attempts to short-circuit the plan to give the killer an easy excuse for a disguise by sending all those invited relatively tiny domino masks to wear, but Alejandro is wearing an executioner's outfit with a full hood he think Diego left for him. Except Diego didn't leave it for him, Alejandro is soon alone out in back of the hacienda, where he finds himself under attack from someone dressed just like him, but with a real scimitar. But Diego had recognized something was wrong, and with some unwitting help by Sergeant Garcia, is able to make sure Zorro arrives in time. The killer escapes, but Alejandro is alive, and so is the governor.

Quote of the Episode: Diego - 'We'll just have to go on protecting the governor until we can force Captain Arrellano and the Rebatos into the open.'

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

Other: The captions are spelling it "Arrellano" this week, but I was sure it was with one "r" a couple of weeks ago.

Leonar was surprisingly friendly towards the captain this week. I guess because he restrained himself from any untoward advances or jealous rages, and seemed like he was trying to help raise her father's spirits. Still, that feels like the time she should be most on guard, because it seems like exactly the sort of thing he'd try to do to get on her good side before making another unwanted advance.

Diego was delayed in getting to his father by being drawn into a dance with Senorita Nunez, until he was able to drag Garcia in to take his place. She wasn't so pleased, but the sergeant always looks so happy when he gets to dance with a pretty lady. That was nice, especially after the governor was so mean to him for accidentally wearing the same outfit as the governor. That crack about how, if Garcia had dressed as a respectable soldier in the King's Army, he'd have been unrecognizable, that was over the line. The governor is distressingly good at making me wonder whether it'd be such a bad thing if the Rebatos succeeded with so many little things he does. On the larger scale, he doesn't seem like a terrible guy, but he's very much a petulant child, who lashes out uncaringly when things don't go his way.

Our knowledgeable commenter has been pointing out some of the inconsistencies in the layout of the de la Vega hacienda, especially with regard to the secret passages, and this week is a good example. Arrellano receives the assassin in the study, and Diego and Bernardo enter the secret passage through the sala, the next room over. There's a staircase going upstairs, presumably to Diego's room, but Alejandro comes up the staircase, from some lower level. Where was he? Down in the cave with Tornado? The hacienda does have a cellar (presumably it's where they store all that wine), he could have been there I suppose, though I wonder why. Maybe there's another passage access in the kitchen, but you have to go down from there to reach the stairway, then back up? And those passages are remarkably wide. How broad are the walls in this place, it can accommodate a passage that large?

I might have liked to see Zorro's battle with the assassin go on a little longer. It was an interesting contrast between the guy with the scimitar and Zorro. The assassin has the weapon built for power, and actually breaks Zorro's sword when he's able to bring full force down on it, but it's an all or nothing weapon. So Zorro is able to dodge easily and it gets stuck in a post.


Anonymous said...

"There's a staircase going upstairs, presumably to Diego's room, but Alejandro comes up the staircase, from some lower level. Where was he?": if this were season 1, I'd say he came from the cave (see 1x02, where we get a tour from Diego's bedroom down to the cave, and 1x35/1x37, which have a good view of the inside of the sala entrance). However, this is season 2, so Alejandro definitely came from the sala (see 2x33, where we see Bernardo going from Diego's room down to the sala).

Still, i just can't figure out how the filmakers did it. Every time we see the trick closet in the sala (in both season 1 and season 2), it's obvious that it's the same closet when seen from the sala and when seen from inside the passage, so it's not like they used two different sets. However, what was "inside of the sala entrance" in season 1 now is just some middle floor between Diego's bedroom and the new "inside of the sala entrance". Like I said in a previous comment (where I misspelled his name), I feel the producers pulled a Penrose stairs paradox, except that we are talking about a real place (the set used for filming) instead of mere drawings where you can easily fool the observer.

Any ideas of how they did it? It still boggles my mind.

Joseph Gilbert Thompson said...

then you wasted your time and money because the new-improved Marvel Universe is total shit

CalvinPitt said...

Anonymous: I can't speak to any actual technical thing they did, but I was trying to figure out the stairs aspect, and this is what I came up with:

The sala and the library are at roughly the same elevation, right? From the sala you have to climb a few steps to the library door, but then you walk down ~5 steps to the main part of the library, so they're basically the same. The secret passage is on the back side of the rooms, and there's another door in the sala that leads back that way (the one Bernardo fled through when Basilio came calling in 2x30), presumably to the kitchen. The passage can't very well go right through that hallway, so it has to maneuver around it somehow, and so it goes under it. So to get from the sala to the library, the passage goes down, then up, giving the appearance the room is on some mysterious level between the sala and Diego's room, when it really isn't.

I can't do any better than that, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Your explanation is clever, but it still don't clarify why Bernardo going from the sala up to Diiego's bedroom in 1x35 is so different then Bernardo going from Diego's bedroom down to the sala in 2x33. And the next episode will have some strange editing, with Zorro going two floors down to get to the sala from the library.

There was a website with some of the blueprints actually used to build the hacienda set, but it's hard to link it from a cell phone. I'm not very good at reading them, though.