Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zorro Generation Z - A New Generation, Part Deux

When last we left our so-called "hero," Zorro managed to deal with the crooked mayor’s thugs but still found himself trapped in City Hall before a sassy redhead with laser whips of her own showed up. With me? Good.

Like the priority-deficient teenagers they are, Zorro and the whip-toting lady immediately start bickering about how they don’t need each other’s help, completely forgetting that Martinez has Zorro’s dad in a headlock. Alejandro says he wishes he was still in jail and Martinez ponders joining him. Dang, even the people in the show are starting to think like me.

The show isn’t done making Martinez look like a chowderhead, though. When he calls for more guards our fiery-haired heroine, who to save some bother is called the Scarlet Whip (like Zorro’s Black Whip but changed at the last minute), points out that when he put zappy bars on the doors to keep Zorro from getting away he also made it so the rest of his guys couldn’t get in. She knows the mayor has a secret exit, which she cuts open with her laser whips.

Zorro ushers Scarlet Whip into the secret passage after Alejandro, meaning he’s putting this unknown quantity between himself and not only the man he came here to rescue but his father, before carving another Z into the floor and zipping down the stairs with a promise to be watching Martinez. And the zappy bars? Turns out Garcia had a remote to turn them off the whole time. These are our villains, you say?

At the Fox Den, Bernardo is surprised when the de la Vega’s TV-Irish maid, Mrs. McAllister, comes in and asks if those young “hooligans” who she’s “raised since you were knee-high to a grasshopper” thought she wouldn’t find her way in. Since the first button on that keypad opens the door, no, it’s not much of a surprise. With one last Irishism she tells Bernardo to get over his surprise and man the computer like a good sidekick.

While they descend the staircase Zorro tries to find out how Scarlet Whip knows so much about the mayor but Alejandro angrily tells them to “save it for later. Get better acquainted, date, get married! Do whatever you costumed freaks do, but first get me out of here!” Are we supposed to like the cynical but good-hearted parent more than the characters who get the most screentime? Hmmm, a show where Alejandro’s the main character. That’d be a new spin on the superhero parody.

They get to the bottom only to find the exit surrounded by police.

There’s some more fighting, some more bickering, some more Z-into-butt slashing. They escape when Bernardo remote controls the super-bike into jumping the roadblock (in dramatic slo-mo, of course, even Garcia saying “Holy frijoles!”) and shooting a bunch of flares. Although you wouldn’t think that’s all they were from how Zorro graciously warns his enemies to take cover right before they go off. Rather than follow, Scarlet Whip disappears back up the secret passage. Alejandro’s image takes a hit when he gets home and berates Diego for not trying to find him. What??

For Pete's sake, according to the writer’s bible the reason Diego was away racing motorcycles at the beginning of the show was Alejandro hoped getting him out of the city for a while would protect him from Martinez. Now it’s all you’re a failure as my son for not taking on someone who not only has the police at his beck and call but organized crime, too.

While we’re on the subject, wouldn’t the go-between for the mayor’s office and the police department be someone higher up than a sergeant?

Just so you know I’m still paying attention, the little matters of the city confiscating the de la Vega’s house and the rumors Martinez was spreading about Alejandro being a crook are never brought up again. This show has a shorter attention span than I do.

Cut to the bedroom of the mayor’s daughter, Maria, where he almost finds out her shocking secret–that she’s the fiery-maned heroine who helped save Alejandro. Look, Maria? If you come home from superheroing and just throw your suit and weapons on the bed, you’ve got a lot to learn about keeping a secret identity. Especially if you freaking live with your archenemy. “I’m definitely gonna have to be more careful,” indeed.

Speaking of learning we find out tomorrow’s the first day of college for our three young leads. And while Diego proves a hot commodity on the airhead market, he finds a confident, independent girl like Maria doesn’t buy his whole smooth operator routine like anyone with two brain cells to rub together and thinks he’s nothing but a slacker who just wants to get girls and have fun. It’s funny because they have the same relationship whether they’re masked or not and don’t even realize it! HA!

A week later, Martinez is cheesed that Itchy hasn’t turned up anything about where Zorro’s hiding. Maybe you’d get better results if you stopped leaving the brainwork to this guy! Changing directions, Martinez calls in Don Skull, a former pro wrestler with a metal-plated head. For no real reason he’s mad at Itchy and throws him across the room. Then again, he’s Itchy.

They plan to set a trap by attacking a homeless shelter, and Don Skull breaks a chair. Wouldn’t you?

Don Skull accosts the guy who runs the shelter (which has had its public funding slashed by the eeeeevil mayor. Thank you, we get it), which indeed prompts Zorro to appear. “Who ya callin’ a freak, ya freak?” he asks before kicking Skull aside. So people with prosthetic parts are freaks?

I ain't good enough for yer little soup kitchen cuz I got a deformity, is that it??
Some of the incompetent goons from before show up to reinforce Skull, and Scarlet Whip shows up as well, but while she and Zorro are having another bicker fest about who’s the better hero one of the bad guys shoots her off the roof she was on. That was pretty funny, even if it was at the expense of these two super-cool masked avengers of the night.

The bad humor persists as the crooks pounce the two and start pummeling them, only for the writers to pull that reprehensible gag where the guys keep up the pounding but the guy they’re supposed to be hitting appears in the background without them noticing.

Hey guys, can we hang out and beat up superheroes too and stuff?
Skull does eventually notice and charges up his head in preparation to crush Zorro like a bug, but is thrown into the air and lands on his metal head. Meanwhile, the bad guys are still beating on nobody. Scarlet Whip finally gives her name on camera. Finally the other bad guys stop beating on nobody and take a shot at our heroes.

Seriously, he's charging up his head.
If only I'd known doing a handplant off a girl's head was the key to dating success...
With Don Skull's last attempt foiled the crooks run away, meaning that after all this the masked avengers only caught one bad guy. For some reason Scarlet Whip seems impressed by Zorro. Hell, they didn't even catch Don Skull, because they tell him to crawl back to the mayor and warn him they'll be keeping an eye on him. Good job, idiots. All you accomplished was inconveniencing Don Skull for the couple minutes it'll take him to get out of the handcuffs. There's no reason he can't come back with more guys and attack the shelter again.

They imply they'll REALLY come down on Don Skull if he comes back to this one particular place, but he fights them again in a couple of other episodes. Are they doing that every time they beat him? Can they really spare the attention to protect one shelter? And as I said, it's not like this scares Don Skull into steering clear of these two. Next time he sees Zorro, rather than going "oh crap I better get out of here," Skull tries to shoot him with a missile launcher.

Anyway, Scarlet Whip's car drives itself too. Does she have some kind of super-genius supplying her like Bernardo? Or are laser whips and cars with autopilot normal in 2015?

Just to rub salt in the wound Zorro leaves a big skid mark Z on the street outside city hall. And we go out on one last incomprehensible “Andale, Tornado! We ride!”

I just saved a homeless shelter, I've earned a little vandalism.

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