Sunday, July 24, 2016

Zorro 2.37 - The Fortune Teller

Plot: We open in the tavern, as Don Diego and a Don Sebastian sit and watch a dancer perform. As it turns out, the dancer, Lupita, is also a fortune teller, though Don Sebastian is no more interested in that than he was the dancing. Just then Alejandro arrives with the news that the stage to Santa Barbara will delayed two or three hours because of a busted wheel. Sebastian has barely finished bemoaning this when Sergeant Garcia arrives, having been asked to tell Alejandro the damage is worse than initially suspected, and it'll be more like 6 hours. The two dons have a business deal to complete, and they need the 1500 pesos to be sent on its way to Santa Barbara, but no way is Sebastian willing to sit around and wait, and so he suggests having Garcia hold onto it. Alejandro is visibly against this, but is overruled, as Garcia vows to protect the money with his life. Alejandro is mollified with Diego offers to stay in town as well. Off the pair go to put the money in the strongbox in the cuartel.

Unfortunately, Lupita's two-man band saw the sergeant with the money pouch, and inform her of it, and she confidently assures them she can get it from him. At the office, Garcia locks the money away, then decides to return to the tavern, because Corporal Reyes is there to stand guard. Even when Diego opts to remain in the office, Garcia leaves. Sitting in the tavern flat broke, the sergeant is quickly accepting of Lupita's offer to purchase wine, and provide a free reading of the cards for him. She tells him she sees he's accepted a large sum of money, and with a little prodding, gets him to reveal how much. Then she tells him his fate hangs in the balance, and he will be betrayed by the person he least suspects.

Troubled, the sergeant returns to the cuartel, where Diego and Bernardo are playing darts while Reyes watches. Garcia keeps asking Diego if he thinks Reyes or the lancers can be trusted, and Diego, not realizing it, keeps saying the worst possible thing, by assuring the sergeant he should trust them entirely. So Garcia sends all the lancers to the mission to guard it until morning. Then he steps outside the cuartel and actually manages to evade Bernardo. Then, after a near-miss with a dart, his suspicions cause him to confront Diego. Things get heated, and Diego steps outside to find Bernardo, only to be locked out of the cuartel. This doesn't protect Garcia from Lupita or her goons, who have been using a ladder to watch all this play out over the wall. Fortunately, Bernardo spotted the ladder and alerts Diego. Lupita and her boys have found the money and locked Garcia in a cell, but it doesn't mean a thing once Zorro shows up. The goons are easily defeated, and Lupita's brief attempt to backstab Zorro is quickly stopped by the sergeant's big hands. The would-be thieves are locked up, the money is safe, and all is well. Though Garcia asks Diego not to tell Alejandro, since the sergeant can't and won't claim credit.

Quote of the Episode: Lupita - 'That is my specialty, handling stupid men.'

Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (14 overall).

Other: We did have one "baboso", the first since "Affair of Honor", which I forgot to mention then. There's been a marked decline in those this season, since Garcia isn't taking quite as much abuse from crooked commanders, and he's not being quite as rough on Reyes. The two things are probably related, him taking his frustrations over how he's treated out on Reyes.

A little disappointed in Alejandro not having more faith in Sergeant Garcia. Yes, I know, he was apparently justified in this, given the sergeant very nearly blew it. But it wasn't for lack of trying on Garcia's part. He could have simply fled the cuartel after Lupita's fortune, tried to hide himself somewhere far away from the money, where no one he trusted would ever find him. Instead he chose to isolate himself in the money inside theoretically the safest place in town.

Mostly I feel bad for Garcia because he knows Alejandro doesn't trust him to do the job. He phrases it to Diego as him just thinking, sometimes, that maybe Alejandro doesn't trust him, but it's not Garcia's way to be forceful in his opinions, so I suspect he's fully aware of how Alejandro feels about him.

The major issue I have with this episode is, what was Lupita going to do if Sergeant Garcia didn't return to the tavern? Her plan rests on making him doubt everyone he would normally trust, to suspect they will steal the money and kill him. What would she do if he didn't return? I guess she could rush to the cuartel gates, desperate to warn the sergeant of a message sent to her through the cards for him. Although then, Diego, Bernardo, and Corporal Reyes are all present. I guess he still would have tried to get rid of all of them, they just would have understood what he was doing right off. I'm not sure how that would have changed things. Diego might simply have taken the money back.


Anonymous said...

In your review of episode 2x25, you wrote "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." A similar reasoning could be made for the attempted robbery in this episode.

Action moves are rarely discussed here, but the two rope stunts in this episode are pretty impressive, like most rope stunts in the quartel in this series. They are perfectly choreographed, and Buddy Van Horn surely deserved all of his wage as a stuntman.

Even the near-miss with a dart looks a bit dangerous, as it was filmed in one shot and could have easily gone wrong.

CalvinPitt said...

I'm starting to wonder if Diego brings his gear in his saddlebags when he comes to town, or Bernardo's, just in case. Not sure what he'd do with his sword, though. If they're using their carriage, he could probably hide the stuff under the seat. That would at least explain some of the times he's able to go change and return in time to save the day.

I should discuss the fight scenes more. I meant to give credit to the henchman thinking he could defeat Zorro while armed with only a dagger, for confidence if nothing else. He's fighting Zorro, he ought to try using at least two daggers.

Also, Zorro tripped over that wagon, which marks the second or third time in the last few weeks he's tripped over something in a fight. His situational awareness is not up to par, but maybe he's just bored and not focusing properly.