The Best Episodes Directed by Charles Lamont
#1 - The Practical Joker
Zorro (1957) Season 2 - Episode 10
Anna Maria Verdugo returns to Monterey from San Francisco and becomes the object of Ricardo del Amo's affection. This friend of Diego's is an incurable practical joker. Ricardo realizes that Diego is also attracted to Anna Maria and hopes to lessen the competition by having some fun at his friend's expense. Diego is shocked when a sorrowful Sergeant Garcia places him under arrest for being a horse thief, but when he asks the name of his accuser, he's even more surprised. Garcia's answer is "Julius Caesar", and Diego realizes Ricardo is behind the incident. He tells the sergeant and Garcia confronts Ricardo, who claims it was only a harmless prank. This and several other pranks make Garcia think Ricardo is pulling another joke when he claims to have overheard two men plotting to steal an army payroll. Bernardo has also overheard the men and tells Diego, who realizes Zorro must ride again. When he sees Garcia and Reyes tied up and the money gone, Zorro sets out after the robbers. He finds them and receives some unexpected help from Ricardo, who is riding nearby with Anna Maria. The two men defeat the robbers, but Ricardo discovers he has another rival when Anna Maria asks Zorro to escort her back to town.
#2 - The Flaming Arrow
Zorro (1957) Season 2 - Episode 11
Ricardo asks for Diego's help in winning Anna Maria's heart, for he feels Zorro is too much competition for the two men to overcome. If they can make it seem that Zorro is seeing another woman, Anna Maria will scorn him, thus dropping the field of suitors to a more manageable size. Ricardo plans to accomplish this by dressing as Zorro and serenading Anna Maria's cousin, Milana del Carmen. Diego sees this as a chance to cure Ricardo of his fondness for practical jokes. He arranges for Garcia to arrest his friend, and charge him with all of Zorro's crimes. The sergeant realizes Ricardo cannot really be Zorro, for he saw the outlaw and Ricardo side-by-side when the payroll was robbed. Unfortunately for Ricardo, the commandante chooses not to believe this, for Ricardo has angered him with his jokes. Also, killing the notorious Zorro would be a help to his career, so he orders Ricardo hanged. Aghast at this turn of events, Diego realizes he must save his friend from death. He does this in dramatic fashion by shooting a flaming arrow through the noose, which drops Ricardo to the ground. Before he leaves, Zorro forces Ricardo into a watering trough and warns the shaken man that he will punish anyone who impersonates him. In return for his humiliation, Ricardo swears vengeance on Zorro.
#3 - Zorro Fights a Duel
Zorro (1957) Season 2 - Episode 12
Diego doesn't know that Ricardo has developed a hatred for Zorro. He makes matters worse when he substitutes a block of wood for a box of chocolates intended for Anna Maria. When she opens her present and Ricardo sees the wood, complete with a carved "Z", he decides to kill his unmask his foe. Ricardo plans to draw Zorro out of hiding by placing notices throughout town that accuse the outlaw of being a coward and challenging him to a duel. Diego tries to ignore Ricardo but eventually is forced to defend his honor. When he rides to where his friend is practicing, Diego is surprised to see that Ricardo is an expert with several weapons, which will make the upcoming contest a difficult one. Unbeknown to Diego or Ricardo, Sergeant Garcia and several others plan to let the duel take place, then capture Zorro and claim the reward. The men hide themselves near the site of the duel and wait for Zorro to arrive. Not long after, the masked man appears and the duel begins. Just as Diego feared, Ricardo is very good with the sword and has no qualms about injuring his opponent. Diego, on the other hand, doesn't want to hurt his friend, so he fights with reduced strength. Even with this handicap, he defeats Ricardo, only to then discover himself surrounded by the reward seekers. Ricardo surprises him by fighting at his side, for the cowardly attack has offended his sense of adventure. Together they fight their way free, and a grateful Zorro makes his escape.
#4 - Senor China Boy
Zorro (1957) Season 2 - Episode 38
A Chinese boy escapes from a ship in San Pedro's harbor and tries to hide in Los Angeles. He is unable to seek help, for he speaks only his native language. Discovered hiding in Tomas Gregorio's warehouse, he is arrested as a thief. The boy's only hope is a scribbled message he gives to Diego. Not knowing Chinese, Diego sends it to the mission, knowing Father Ignacio can translate it. The reply has not yet arrived when a sailor claims that the boy is an escaped murderer being transported back to stand trial. Vinson, the sailor, convinces Garcia to hand over custody of the prisoner, and he begins the trip back to San Pedro. Father Ignacio then tells Diego that the message says the boy is actually a member of Chinese royalty and is being held for ransom by Vinson. Zorro rides after the seaman and the unfortunate boy, surprising them on a narrow cliffside trail. Vinson and Zorro fight hand-to-hand, and Zorro has to throw the kidnapper off the cliff to save his own life. The boy is taken to a ship that will carry him safely home to China.