Monday, June 4, 2007

Zorro: Capítulos 74-78 (May 28-June 1)

This week, we didn't see enough of Selenia, though Fernando did have a long consultation with her about María Pía. I think Selenia should have a couple of scenes in every episode from here on out. Speaking of Selenia, the Zorro series Web site just added several of the newer characters to their Personajes page - but Selenia isn't included! What were they thinking?

Not only that: they left off my man Aaron the Exorcist, too! People, who do you have putting those Web pages together?

I know that the general idea of the telenovela is that the story ends and you go on to another one. And I'm down with that, for the most part. Stories need to have an end. Otherwise, they can stay around until they die a slow and sad death. Think X-Files.

Aaron the Exorcist is currently off searching for God - but I'm sure he'll be back

Still, it would be great if they would do a novela where Selenia the Megawitch and Aaron the Exorcist were the main protagonists. I think that would be awesome. Of course, I think Twin Peaks is still the high point in the history of television, so maybe I'm not quite mainstream on this.

Anyway, this week, Zorro got to again humiliate el Comandante Montero by breaking into the prison yet again and escaping even after Montero locked him in a cell in the hidden dungeon where he'd been holding Esmeralda. One of the attractive features about this Zorro is that for his ability and cunning, he screws up a lot. In the very first episode, in the concluding scene where he first got tangled up (literally) with Esmeralda, he was there to help Miguel the Gitano escape from El Callao prison. But he only made it there after el Comandante's Montero's men shot the poor guy once.

How could Zorro just walk into a cell and not notice that Montero and his boys were hidden all around him? Anyway, he pulled off an escape in a cloud of smoke. Still, the escape was pretty impressive and gave Montero yet another thing to steam about.

The pressure is starting to get to el Comandante. This week he was showing some real signs of paranoia, taking Capitán Pizarro to his private bedroom and telling him to whisper because Zorro might be anywhere. Of course, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you. And it didn't calm el Comandante when he discovered that Zorro had carved a Z onto his sheets. Although, the way he acts with his men, it could have just as well have been one of them. Or maybe Capitán Pizarro.

Mariángel/"Mangle" had quite a week. Olmos the hunchback has to get some of Mangle's tears for the potion or spell that Selenia promised to do for him to make Mangle attracted to him. Olmos managed to move into the De la Vega mansion and Mangle insisted he have the room next to hers. It turns out that Mangle has a little wooden box that she pulls out in her room and cries over.

What's in the box is a letter from a guy named Santiago Michelena, a former boyfriend of Mangle's back in the Old Country. Mangle shows signs of having the remnants of a heart over Santiago. But she later confronts Esmeralda in the basement of the house out in the woods where Montero is now holding her, and she rants at Esmeralda about how she stole the one guy she ever loved and so on. Esmeralda tries to tell Mangle that what she had seen was actually Santiago trying to force himself on her. But Mangle didn't want to listen.

I'm thinking this scene was a notice that Mangle is now officially crazy. Almudena mentioned at one point that Mangle's mother had been insane and she was worried Mangle might be following her down that path. Seeing how angry she was over Santiago and Esmeralda, especially since she's generally about as cold-hearted as it gets when it comes to men, and seeing that she was willing to leave her pregnant half-sister (she still thinks Esmeralda is Fernando's biological daughter) to rot in a basement in the woods, well, I think she's now officially a loon.

Which reminds me, we still have to get an accounting of who Esmeralda's father really is. And is Mangle's mother really dead? They could both show up still.

Tobías saw Catalina doing the Wild Thang with Capitán Pizarro. So now he's out for revenge. His "shadow Zorro" gig is still mostly comic relief. But he showed some spine for about the first time this week. He even snuck up on Pizarro and threatened him to stay away from Catalina. Which could be a heavy clue that it was really Tobías behind the mask that time, though Pizarro didn't seem to pick up on that. The fact that Agapito is convinced that Tobías is Zorro after treating his wound in the butt is pretty entertaining, too.

Almudena is moving closer to the grave. Yumalai was sure that Almudena's dream we the previous week where Regina/Toypurnia appears to her is a sure sign that Almudena is on the Grim Reaper's short list. She goes off to consult with Búfala Blanca and asks her to put her in touch with Toypurnia's spirit. Búfala Blanca gives her a peace pipe packed with some killer weed so powerful that one puff and Yumalai is communicating with the spirit. Or, in this case, with Toypurnia's spirit, who for some reason appears to her in Regina mode, i.e., with Spanish clothing. We don't get to hear the conversation. But afterward, Yumalai tells Búfala Blanca that Toypurnia told her Almudena had to go. Búfala Blanca warns Yumalai from trying to interfere with destiny. But I'm guessing she plans to, anyway.

In the last scene of the week, Almudena and Mangle are kneeling at Esmeralda's grave, and Almudena passes out at the end. Mangle was dressed all in black with a black headpiece, looking as creepy as I've seen her so far. It's particularly morbid since we know that Mangle is aware that Esmeralda is really alive. Her main purpose for being there seems to be to convince Diego that she has a human soul. But without major drugs to help her, that's going to be a tough sell. In fact, her love potion from the native witch-woman made Diego black out. But even that couldn't get him to fall for her seductions. Mangle and Olmos deserve each other. The only thing new she has going for her is that Diego is almost convinced that Esmeralda is really dead, although he knows the body in the grave isn't hers.

Renzo the Useless, Ana Camila (Sor Suplicios) and Kamba (with his demon in tow) are hiding out with the Gitano tribe. Renzo fortunately shares the same remarkable recuperative powers of most everyone else on the show, and his near-fatal gunshot wound in the chest was pretty much healed by the end of the week. Now he can go get himself in trouble somewhere else. Right now, he's sitting around mooning over Camila, while Laisha stands around and steams, probably plotting the best way to land Camila in el Comandante's torture chamber.

Anabolena Meza as Sara Kalí/Mercedes Mayorga de Aragón (Photo: Telemundo)

And, in political developments this week, Padre Tomás Villarte makes plans with his secret pro-democracy league, the Cofradía (Brotherhood), for the arrival of the Queen and the evil Duque Jacobo. They apparently trust the current Queen to do the right thing about Sara Kalí. So they plan to get her to talk to them aware from el Duque to tell her about Sara Kalí and el Duque's plot against the crown.

María Pía tried to escape to distant parts to get away from el Gobernador Fernando. But he caught up to her and kidnapped her. She finally persuaded him to take her back to town. Then Alejandro catches them and has a sword-fight with Fernando and gets him on the ground and is ready to put him out of his misery. Then María Pía intercedes, declaring her love for Fernando. Too bad. Because Fernando is too much of a villain to get rehabilitated in the end, it seems to me.

To conclude, here's Zorro in one of his earlier incarnations:

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