Sunday, August 21, 2016

Zorro 3.2 - Adios, El Cuchillo

Plot: Picking up where the previous episode left off, El Cuchillo and his gang return to town, still short of funds. While the rest of the gang go on a spree of breaking into various businesses to rob them, Cuchillo and Chato break into the tailor's shop - so Chato can repair Cuchillo's vest again. But Zorro is hot on their heels, and he and Bernardo repeatedly stymie the bandits' attempts at robbery. Just as Cuchillo and Chato leave the shop, there is Zorro, who ruins Chato's hard work again. But Sergeant Garcia and the lancers come marching along, and Zorro bails, giving Cuchillo and Chato the chance to flee.

The next morning, Diego and Bernardo ride into town and find Cuchillo and his men, hungry and grumpy in the tavern. Cuchillo is calmly sketching Chulita on the back of a wanted poster for Zorro, but once Diego arrives, he starts questioning Diego about Zorro while sketching Diego. As he does so, he convinces Chulita to bring food and drinks for his men (despite his lack of funds), and Bernardo bumps into a bandit and spills food over the sketch as Cuchillo was starting to add a mask and hat to it. This nearly gets Bernardo in hot water, but Diego is able to fend off the bandit while fighting semi-clumsily. Enough to confuse the bandits, if not Cuchillo.

In Sergeant Garcia's office, Diego plainly states his belief Cuchillo is the man who tried to steal the silver service, but Garcia believes there is some personal feud between Diego and Cuchillo. Meanwhile, Bernardo notices Chato visit Vibora in the jail, and then news comes that Cuchillo robbed the tavern in broad daylight. So Garcia and the bulk of his lancers ride after them. Cuchillo sends a few of his men on down the road, and doubles back with four of them to the cuartel. Chato and another bandit try to use a ladder to go over the wall, but find Zorro at the top to push it over. Two more make it inside and overpower the guard, but Zorro pulls off a very nice rope swing, which he parlays into running momentum to slam the bandit's head into the gate. The other bandit tries to fight Zorro with a dagger. You can guess how well that goes. Cuchillo is waiting outside, and Zorro kindly lets him in, so they can resume their fights from earlier. About then, Garcia and his men return, and their shouts bring out the sleeping lancers, so Zorro and Cuchillo flee again, hiding in a tent in the square together until the soldiers pass. Then they resume their fight until the lancers double back, and which point they scatter. Cuchillo flees into the tavern, and Chulita helps him avoid capture. Tsk, tsk, young lady.

The next morning, Diego and his father discuss the situation at home, but Cuchillo and his entire gang show up. They've decided to spend their time waiting for the ship from Boston to arrive here. Diego and Alejandro are free to leave, one at a time, the other remaining there as a hostage. Bernardo is hiding in the secret passage for the moment, biding his time. Then Sergeant Garcia arrives with word that the ship arrived early, and he's going to get the money now. Which means there's no need for Cuchillo to hang around, but also no reason to keep the de la Vegas alive. He lets Chato do the killing, but only after Cuchillo is sufficiently far away. Fortunately, leaving one guy to handle it gives Bernardo the chance to intervene and save the day. Alejandro is sent to gather the dons, while Zorro rushes to save the sergeant. Sure enough, the sergeant and the lancers are on their way back when the bandits begin giving chase. Garcia leads his men across a small bridge, and declares they'll make a stand there. They do their best, but Cuchillo is able to clear a path through for Vibora, who steals the wagon. Garcia gives chase, as does Zorro, as does Cuchillo. Zorro's able to overcome Vibora and rides the wagon all the way to the cuartel, where he overturns it and awaits Cuchillo so they can resume their fight for like the 6th time at this point. Sergeant Garcia tries to keep the revived Vibora from stealing the money, a somewhat difficult task as he's stuck between the gate and the wagon. The battle is pitched, and Zorro is driven off the railing at one point, narrowly avoiding falling by grabbing a ladder. When Cuchillo tries to rush down to help Vibora, Zorro rides the ladder down on top of him.

The next day, the sergeant and two lancers prepare to deliver Cuchillo to the authorities in Mexico. Cuchillo is pretty calm, considering he expects to be shot. But the quartet is hardly out of sight before the soldiers come riding back in backwards, hands tied behind their back. Then Cuchillo rides in, sweeps up Chulita, and rides off again. But his escape is cut short by Zorro, who ropes the lovebirds and leads them to a shrine where a padre waits to marry them. Apparently Zorro figures married men can't spare the time to be bandits. Sure, Zorro, that'll work.

Quote of the Episode: Garcia - 'Well if you had kept out of his way any harder, you might have killed him!'

Times Zorro Marks A "Z": 0 (3 overall).

Other: Last week I mentioned I thought the front garden area of the de la Vega hacienda looked different, but this week, it seemed the same as always. So I'm prepared to write it off as me being unused to seeing it from that particular angle (and during the daytime). I still think I saw a wall across the road, though. . .

I was prepared to congratulate Sergeant Garcia on a solid episode this week. He and his men stood firm at the bridge against something like 3-to-1 odds. Even after Zorro (on the wagon), and Cuchillo pulled away from him on the mad dash back to the cuartel, he kept in hot pursuit, and was able to keep Vibora from absconding with any money. Then he managed to let Cuchillo escape within roughly two minutes, despite having two armed soldiers with him. It's especially galling because just before they rode out of town, Alejandro had to once again show absolutely no confidence in the sergeant, to his face.

Amazing that of all the foes who have been stymied by Diego and Bernardo using the secret passages without ever figuring out what was going on, Chato is one of the few who figured it out. Not that it did him any good. That poor guy. Maybe he can repair some of the soldiers' uniforms in Mexico and earn a pardon, then open a tailor's shop of his own. He's not much of a bandit.

Nice of Zorro to let Chato get a firm grip on the ladder before knocking it over, I guess. Might have been better to push himself away from it and be able to tuck and roll.

At a certain point, the way Zorro and Cuchillo kept trying to resume their fight around the interruptions got ridiculous. They fight in the cuartel, the soldiers are alerted and two hide in a tent together. Then they start fighting inside the tent, until the soldiers return and they split up. And once they've briefly eluded the lancers again, the two men start trying to call each other out. It's nuts. I know they're supposed to be enjoying the challenge the other poses, but the unwillingness to call it a night started to be a bit much. You guys are supposed to be clever outlaws. The sword-fighting scenes were very good, though. And I liked that at the beginning of the episode, as Zorro's followed them back into town, he had already ditched his cape. He's all business right from the start.

The bit with Zorro swinging on the rope, hitting the ground running, and driving that bandit's head into the gate was an especially smooth piece of work.


Anonymous said...

El Cuchillo adding a hat and mask over Diego's picture reminds me of "Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut" (2006, alternate version of 1980's "Superman II"). In that case Lois Lane drew Clark Kent's glasses and outfit over a photo of Superman. Of course Cuchillo didn't just draw a Diego/Zorro picture, but he is implied pretty clearly to have figured out they are the same person by the end of the episode.

Diego says he has been in Spain for 6 years, but in 1x01 it was 3 years.

You are right in saying the patio is obviously the same as ever, and once again we
see the new wall you noticed last week.

"Amazing that of all the foes who have been stymied by Diego and Bernardo using the secret passages without ever figuring out what was going on, Chato is one of the few who figured it out": a little less amazing if we consider how noisy were Bernardo's attempts to forcibly open the door entrance (he had no other choice, of courrse); in the end it was Bernardo who opened the door to make him fall, even though Chato was going to find the entrance anyway. How many people we can say found it out in the past? In 2x36 one of the bad guys definitely saw the entrance in the library, since he was dragged there without being blindfolded with Zorro's cape over his face (like the Eagle's man was in a similar situation in 1x37). And of course Basilio found the entrance in Diego's bedroom.

"The bit with Zorro swinging on the rope, hitting the ground running, and driving that bandit's head into the gate was an especially smooth piece of work": true, especially as it was filmed without camera cuts. Other stunts are also impressing, especially the ladder move.

CalvinPitt said...

It was nice of Cuchillo not to blow the lid on Diego being Zorro, especially when Zorro sort of interfered in his escape at the end.

That ladder move was pretty nice. I imagine the stunt guy the ladder landed on needed some ice afterward. I'm not sure whether it was done so that the steps leading to the upper level of the barracks would catch the ladder before it actually hit him.