Monday, April 9, 2007

Zorro: Capítulos 36-40 (Apr 2 - Apr 6)

The plot took some big steps during this week of episodes in three areas. The marriages of Alejandro and Almudena, and of Diego and his Jezebel, Mariángel, took place. María Pia left her religious order, the Hermanas de los Pobres. And several different groups of would-be rescuers and would-be murderers are moving in on Sara Kalí.

Meanwhile, Alejandro (Osvaldo Ríos) is fighting temptation with Yumalay (Adriana Campos):

While Yumalay keeps trying to find new ways to make the temptation more effective. She knows he's now married to Almudena. But she's not really down with all these Spanish customs. And since he saved her life, she considers herself to be his woman according to her tribal customs. Which is clearly not a prospect to which she objects. Plus, since she and Diego are supposedly the only two survivors of her tribe, she is pretty much the ultimate authority on what her tribal customs are.






But Almundena (Luly Bosa) is definitely keeping an eye on the Alejandro/Yumalay situation, as well she should:

So far, she's been very discreet and restrained about the competition from Yumalay. That fits with her character, which is mature and sensible. However, love and jealousy have on occasion been known to overrule maturity and good sense.
Things have been going pretty well for Almudena, except for the Yumalay thing. Getting her into the De la Vega family separates her from Fernando and frees her up a bit to help Esmeralda. But there are likely to be big conflicts for her as more of Fernando's past and very recent misdeeds come to light.



Mariángel (Andrea López) has been doing some spying of her own:

Here, she's evesdropping on Esmeralda and Almudena at the De la Vega hacienda. That white thing is the veil on the back of Almudena's head, not a ghost. Now that Mariángel's married Diego, he's going to have to deal with having a snake like her on the premises. He might want to add a new safety protocal on his secret passageway to the Zorro cave. She definitely overheard Esmeralda mention that she was expecting Diego's baby. I look for Mariángel to spring Esmeralda's pregnancy on Diego and tell him it's Montero's baby. Zorro can deal with all sorts of scoundrels. But these Moncada sisters are tying poor Diego in knots!

The Web site's text teaser for tonight's episode says of her, "Y su maldad no tendrá límites. Diego no sabe con quién se casó." [And her malice will have no limits. Diego doesn't know who he married."] Actually, we should give Diego a bit more credit than that. He did figure out that she had drugged him. At least he'll be more cautious whenever she hands him a drink.

The wedding was a very happy one for Alejandro and Almudena, a win for Mariángel and a major bummer for Diego. There was an implausible but still pleasant touch, when Padre Tomás completed the ceremony for Alejandro and Almudena, then publicly lectured Diego and Mariángel about how marriage should be for love, then postponed finishing their part of the service until after he did more of the Mass. At the end of capítulo 40, Diego had snuck off to do his Zorro thing just as his own wedding party was starting.

Diego and Montero had a fist fight, and Montero (Harry Geithner) wound up unconscious with his face in a basket of tomatoes.

The fight scene was a bit incongrous, because Diego openly challenged Montero to a fist-duel in the desert. They wound up slugging it out in the middle of town when Montero caught Diego chatting up Esmeralda. Actually, Diego was begging her to elope with him. But she's still determined to spring Sara Kalí before she does anything like that.

Speaking of which, people and events are closing in on the imprisoned Sara Kalí. The Virrey (Viceroy) Enrique de Castilla y León has showed up in town and is searching for her in the prison in order to murder her to protect the Spanish King. El Comandante Montero's men have stashed her along with her male cell-mate in what looks like a rat-infested little cave at the end of a big pipe in the wall of the prison.

The tormented hunchback Olmos is also moving along with his escape plan, though we don't yet know what it is or with whom he's working. We do know he wants to protect Sara Kalí from being murdered by the Virrey. And since he emphasized to Esmeralda that she shouldn't let anyone know that Sara Kalí has a daughter, he presumably knows about her claim to be the real queen of Spain.

The whole tribe of gitanos were marching on the city to storm the prison and free Sara Kalí. But Esmeralda snuck away from Montero's guards and persuaded them to wait because the Virrey's crack troops were there. A new subplot is that the gitana Laisha now has it in for Esmeralda. She's always been suspicious of her. Now she blames her for not doing enough to get her husband Miguel freed before Capitán Pizarro murdered him. Plus she's jealous because her friend Renzo has a major-league crush on Esmeralda. We should be seeing some betrayals and suspicious coming out of that situation.

And Zorro has his own plan to save Sara Kalí. Diego got Sargento García drunk and weaseled the secret out of him that there is a hidden entrance to the prison, and then he managed to get an impression of the key. So that promises some excitement in the next few installments.

This is a screen capture from several episodes ago, of the moment Sor Suplicios decided that it was her mission in life to torment María Pia:

The actress Natacha Klauss does a great job at playing a stark raving loonie. Fortunately for her character's sake, Sor Suplicios also has a more positive side which comes out when she's helping the fugitive slave, last seen crouching under her bed in the convent. That was just after she walked in on him taking a bath. After giving María Pia so much grief over her non-affair with el Gobernador Fernando, Suplicios may wind up generating a bit of gossip herself.

Getting María Pia out of the convent required a couple of storyline tricks. One is that Fernando insists that he never killed Regina/Toypurnia, though from the often-repeated flashback, we know he did. His argument is that, sure, María Pia found his knife sticking in Regina's dead body with his initials on it. A knife which was one of his treasured possessions. But he claims it was stolen in a burglary all those years ago. Padre Tomás, who's normally pretty sharp, didn't seem to wonder when Fernando showed him the two-knife set with the one knife missing why it was that the burglars stole one of knives but left the other there, especially since Fernando said he kept them there and never used them himself.

The other trick is that María Pia is ready to forgive Fernando and let him court her now that she thinks he didn't really kill Regina. This requires us to assume that her Christian conscience wasn't especially shocked at his having massacred Indian men, women and children to steal their land for the Spanish Crown, as long as she wasn't personally acquainted with any of the victims. It doesn't quite fit with her principled persona.

But, hey, it's a telenovela! If it stuck to stark realism, what fun would that be?


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