Sunday, August 28, 2016

Zorro 3.3 - The Postponed Wedding

Plot: Diego and Bernardo are in town, with Diego carrying a doll for some reason. Concurrently, two men ride into town and enter the tavern. They start to question the waitress, but she's distracted by Diego, who wants to know if the stage from Santa Clara will be on time. Fortunately, her poor customer service is not an issue, because the two strangers wanted to know the same thing. Shortly the stage arrives, and out steps Constancia, an old friend who hasn't seen Diego in 10 years, and is who the doll was meant for. She also seems to be of interest to at least one of the two strangers, and Sergeant Garcia, who she calls "Uncle Demetrio". Constancia wishes to speak to the stranger, and manages to get Diego to step away for a moment, long enough for us to learn she and this Miguel Serrano are trying to get married. Diego reenters, and the three begin to chat, with Diego quickly sensing something is up, but Constancia diverts him. Undeterred, Diego invites Miguel to the hacienda after dinner that night.

Miguel does arrive that evening, and Diego seems content to encourage the unspoken, but fairly obvious romance, by letting the two go out on the patio alone together for a bit. Alejandro is quite another matter, since Constancia's father is an old friend of his, and he feels she's been left in his care. Adding to the problem is Bernardo, who had gone to retrieve Constancia's shawl, and happened to open one of her pieces of luggage and find her dowry. He alerts Diego and Alejandro, and while the latter wants to confront her immediately, Diego points out they only know because they went rifling through her possessions. Better perhaps for Zorro to break up another romance. That evening, Constancia leaves a lamp in her window as a signal. So Zorro moves it to the balcony above her room. When Miguel and his friend Ansar arrive, they have to search for a ladder, which Zorro has helpfully left holding shut the trap door for the hay loft. Undeterred, the two set up the ladder, only to find it is too short. They go to grab a box to set it on, and release a bunch of geese, then Zorro sets a hound loose among them. All of which wakes up the person in the room with the lamp, Alejandro, and the two flee.

Constancia slept through the whole thing, and is in a sour mood the next morning. She wants a horse to ride into town, but Bernardo plays dumb. Diego was planning to go and learn more about Miguel, and tries to get her to travel with him. Then Miguel shows up, and tells a story of his being attacked and robbed by Zorro last night. When Diego hears this, he insists Miguel should go and tell Sergeant Garcia, and the three go to town together. While the sergeant listens to Miguel's story (and drinks wine on Diego's tab), Diego tries to find Ansar, and gets hit over the head for his trouble. Soon, Ansar and Miguel conspire to get Garcia alone with Ansar, and he gets walloped as well. Leaving the trio free to ride for the harbor. But Diego is able to fairly quickly cut the ropes holding him, rush home, change to Zorro, and ride after them. On the ship, Miguel says he must leave to speak to the captain in town, but Constancia overhears him talking to a couple of crew members and learns he plans to leave with Ansar. Miguel isn't leaving without the money, and the crew can't leave her alive, but Zorro's caught up, and takes care of the two sailors and Ansar without difficulty. He leaves Miguel to be sent overboard by Constancia. After that, she prepares to return home, promising to be more careful about who she falls for, though that seems a promise she's unlikely to keep.

Quote of the Episode: Diego - 'And in the second place, we have no evidence Miguel is a scoundrel.'

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

Other: When Zorro is on his way to the harbor, I think they took some old footage of him jumping a downed tree and landing at the edge of some cacti, and reversed it.

When Zorro set the lamp on that balcony, I think it's the same balcony they used for Uncle Estevan's room in Season 2. The one he lassoed Zorro from once.

Constancia was played by Annette Funicello, who also played Anita in Season 2, the young girl who came to Los Angeles seeking her father. Which was not one of my favorite story arcs of that season, but that wasn't her fault. Her she at least has a pretty decent punch. Also, the morning after Zorro thwarted her eloping, when she barged into the sala, she didn't even notice Bernardo suddenly dropping a vase next to her (as a signal to the De la Vegas to stop talking about their plans to stop her eloping). Didn't jump away, didn't make an angry comment or anything. She was deadset on getting a horse and going to Los Angeles to chew out Miguel, and that was it.

This story really ramped up Alejandro's irritability. He made a fat joke at Sergeant Garcia's expense, was greatly offended when Diego joked someone might think Alejandro and Garcia were related the way Constancia kept calling them both uncle. He was planning to steal her dowry to try and block the marriage. Did his favorite horse die off-screen or something?

Seeing Zorro fight on a ship made me sad we never got to see him fight pirates. It'd be a good match, plenty of things to swing from or climb, enemies that swordfight and try to play dirty for Zorro to overcome.


Anonymous said...

It's strange that in the opening credits of "Walt Disney Presents" they would do a big spoiler for one of the ending scenes.

Beside Annette Funicello, another actor playing a second role is Mark Damon (he was Eugenio in 2x15, and now he is Miguel Serrano). And Albert Cavens plays a sailor, after playing the ship's captain in 1x01, a bandit in 1x26 and Avila's second opponent in 2x31. His father Fred was the fencing master/choreographer of the show and he too played a couple of roles in some episodes.

"Times Zorro Marks a "Z": 0 (0 overall)": there must be a mistake, because last episode you wrote "0 (3 overall)".

Two bits of trivia from Bill Cotter's website:
•The "ship" that Zorro battles Miguel on was actually a $25,000 set built on a Disney soundstage. It was also used in the Swamp Fox episode A Woman's Courage.
•Annette sings the songs Como Esta Usted? and Amo Que Paso?, both of which were written for this episode by the Sherman brothers.

In this episode we find a new secret passage, though it seems Constancia's room is not part of the hacienda set, since I remember seeing its blueprint sometime ago on some website. Anyway, it seems careless for Diego to bring his cigar in the secret passages and into her room, and even more careless for them not to lock the trunk after they opened it. I'm not sure if it's the same set or not for the back of the hacienda, but they sure make use of the various sets to meet their needs: for example, at the beginning of the previous episode Cuchillo's army divded into two groups and Zorro kept an eye of both even though the sets were far apart (the editing made them seem to be one next to the other).

This is the last time they used footage of the cave exterior from 1x08 (the other time it was in 2x39). I'm not sure why they always pick the cave exterior from 1x02. And regardless of where they pick it, 1x34, 2x39, 3x03 and 3x03 are the only episodes where we only see the cave exterior but not the interior; 2x38 is the only one we see the interior but nor the exterior. Not sure if the "jumping a downed tree" is from 1x11, or 1x25, or a new scene.

I think Zorro fight pirates in the 1990 series, and in some books.

CalvinPitt said...

You're right about the mistake in the Times Zorro Marks. . . I was originally counting these last two as a separate season, so I was starting over. Then I saw they're considered part of the same season as the first two, so I changed the numbering.

And I think I remember seeing a Zorro cartoon from the '90s where he fought pirates, which is probably why it occurred to me as something I wish they'd done here.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of the live action tv series "Zorro" (1990-1993), in which Zorro fights pirates (episode 2x03, "Kidnapped").