For most of its brief run,Zorro's episodes were part of continuingstory arcs, each about thirteen episodes long, which made it almost like aserial. The first of these chronicles the arrival of Zorro / Diego toCaliforniain 1820 and his battle with the greedy and cruel local Commandante, Captain Enrique Sánchez Monasterio. After Monasterio’s final defeat, in the second storyline, Zorro must uncover and counter the machinations of the evil Magistrado Carlos Galindo, who is part of a plot to rule California. The third story arc concerns the leader of that conspiracy, the shadowy figure of "The Eagle," revealed as vain and insecure José Sebastián de Vargas. It's revealed that the plot to gain control of California is so that he can turn it over to another country, implied to be Russia, for a huge profit. Season one concludes with Vargas’ death.
Season two opens with Diego inMonterey, the colonial capital, where privately collected money to bring a supply ship to California is consistently diverted to a gang of bandits. Diego stays to investigate, both as himself and as Zorro, and becomes interested in Ana Maria Verdugo, the daughter of the man organizing the effort. Once Zorro defeats the thieves, he enters into a rivalry with his old friend Ricardo del Amo, a practical joker who is also interested in Ana Maria. Ana Maria, in turn, is in love with Zorro. While in Monterey, Zorro and Sergeant Demetrio López García also get involved in a dispute between the people and a repressive Lieutenant Governor. Diego is on the verge of giving up his mask to marry Ana Maria, but Don Alejandro talks him out of it. Zorro (and Diego) says goodbye to Ana Maria and returns to Los Angeles, where he gets involved in a series of shorter adventures.
In one three-episode story arc, guest-starring Annette Funicello, Zorro must solve the mystery of Anita Cabrillo's father, a man who does not seem to exist. Other storylines late in the series involve Diego's never-do-well uncle (Cesar Romero), a plot against the governor of California, an encounter with an American "mountain man" (Jeff York, reprising a role fromThe Saga of Andy Burnett), and outwitting a greedyemissaryfrom Spain.