Queen of Swords

Episode Transcripts


Episode 1: Destiny

Written by James Thorpe
Directed by John Cassar
Aired: 10-7-00
Transcript revised: 7-7-06


Zzickle's Notes:

I don't own Queen of Swords - if I did, *all* the episodes would have had Dr. Helm in them! The contents of this transcript are taken directly from the episode (with help of closed captions), to the best of my ability.

If you want to post this transcript on your site, please let me know where it is going so I can visit it. Also, please post it with my name (Zzickle) and website (http://www.zzickle.com/) on it.

You are more than welcome to use these transcripts in your fanfiction stories, no notification required.

Cast List:

Tessa Alvarado - Tessie Santiago
              our heroine

Marta - Paulina Gálvez
              Tessa's gypsy servant

Col. Luis Montoya - Valentine Pelka
              the bad guy

Cpt. Grisham - Anthony Lemke
              Montoya's lackey

Don Alvarado - José Sancho
              Tessa's father

Queen of Swords - Tessa's alter ego

Don Gaspar Hidalgo - Tacho González
              a wealthy man

Vera Hidalgo - Elsa Pataky
              the don's young wife

Senor Torres - Anthony de Longis
              Tessa's fencing instructor in Madrid

Carlos - Antonio Mayans
              Alvarado's manservant

Rubia - Teresa del Olmo
              Carlos' wife

Fernando - Enrique Rodriguez
              Carlos' teen son


California: 1817

[men on horses yelling, chasing another man (Don Alvarado) on horseback]

Grisham - Alvarado!

[gunshot, Alvarado clutches at chest]

[Grisham aims, fires, Alvarado falls from horse]



[Tessa & Snr. Torres fighting with swords]

Torres - With a flick of my wrist, I could kill you.

Tessa - And lose your best pupil? My father's ship docks tonight and I've so much to do. Why not surrender now, Senor Torres?

[more fighting]

Torres - Careful, Senorita Alvarado! Arrogance is your enemy.

Tessa - Spoken like a man who knows he's losing. [more fighting] Well done, senor.

[Tessa's blade lands on Torres's neck]

Torres - But obviously not well enough.

Marta - [walks up] Tessa.

Tessa - He's here? [To Torres] Until I kill you again . . .

[Tessa puts down sword, goes to bowl of water and towel on table]

Tessa - Aaargh. Look at me! I must dress. Really, Marta . . . you might have given me some warning. Five years since Don Alvarado's seen his daughter, and I look terrible! [dries hands with towel] Remember, not a word about the fencing lessons. I'm still not sure he'd approve. [notices Marta's silence] Marta . . . ? What is it?

[Marta hands Tessa a letter, Tessa opens & reads it]

Tessa - No.

Marta - They say he died in a fall from a horse.

Tessa - It's time to go home.


California: boat landing

Marta - [offscreen] This one is next.

Man - Si, senora.

Tessa - Home

Marta - [offscreen] Go easy with those trunks.

Man - [offscreen] Si, senora.

Marta - So, this is the new world. Savage country.


Buggy going to hacienda

Tessa - These hills . . . in late afternoon, they turn a hundred different shades of gold. When I was a little girl, papa would take me riding here. We used to race toward the sun, trying to catch it before it set.

Marta - And did you?

Tessa - Next time, my pepita, he would say. Next time. [Sees man in road fixing broken cart] Driver, wait. [to man] Can we help you?

Carlos - [turns, has gun & face covered] Hands in the air. You can open your purse. Quickly!

Tessa - [looks closely at bandit] Carlos?

Carlos - Tessa? Is it really you?

Marta - You know this villain?!

Tessa - He's my father's manservant. And trusted friend, no?

Carlos - My family starves.

Tessa - How can that be?

Carlos - Much has happened since your father died.

Tessa - Here. [Gives Carlos a coin]

Carlos - I cannot take it, not from you, senorita.

Tessa - From my father.

[gunshot, Carlos falls]

Grisham - [urges horse & men forward] Senorita Alvarado . . . Captain Grisham at your service.

Tessa - You shot him!

[Carlos groans]

Grisham - No thanks are necessary, ma'am. It's lucky for you we came along when we did. [hands Tessa the coin]

Tessa - I gave this to him.

Grisham - He was pointing a gun at your head, ma'am. [drags Carlos to his feet] March him back to town!

Tessa - You didn't have to shoot him.

Grisham - Now, ladies, if you follow me, I'll make sure you get home safely.


Alvarado's hacienda

Tessa - I don't understand. The field, the house . . . Where are all the workers?

Grisham - No money to pay them.

Tessa - That's impossible. My father was a wealthy man.

Grisham - After Don Alvarado's death, there wasn't even enough money to pay the taxes. But Colonel Montoya is a gracious man. He'll loan you the house for a few days.

Tessa - Loan me *my* house? Please tell him I'm honored.

Grisham - You can tell him yourself. There's a celebration this afternoon in the square. He'll be expecting you.

Tessa - You can tell him that I will . . .

Marta - [interrupting] That we'd love to attend.

Grisham - [to men] Vamos!

Marta - [to driver] Here. Wait for us.


Tessa - [pulling up withered plants in garden] This was my mother's garden. Now look at it! Everything's been left to rot. These rose bushes she planted the year I was born . . . dead. Everything's dead.

Marta - For fifteen years, I've watched over you. Your tears will give the soil new life. I swear, it will be beautiful again.

Tessa - Promise?

[Marta nods]


Santa Helena: street

Rubia - [to Soldier] Please! Just let me give him water.

Carlos - Rubia . . . don't!

Soldier - You want to join him?

Tessa - That man is thirsty.

Soldier - I have my orders, senorita.

Tessa - [takes cup from Carlos' wife] Then obey them. Shoot me.

Carlos - Tessa . . . you shouldn't . . .

Tessa - Shh. Drink. [gives cup back to Rubia] I'll talk to Montoya.

Rubia - Thank you, senorita. Bless you.


Party at the square

[Montoya playing violin]

Vera - [Eyeing young man near tables] I'm just going to grab a quick bite to eat, Gaspar.

Don Hidalgo - I'll try not to miss you too much, my little petal. [Montoya finishes the song, Don Hidalgo turns & sees Tessa] Senorita Alvarado? Could it be? [indicates himself] Don Gaspar Hidalgo.

Tessa - Ah. Yes. My father spoke of you often.

Don Hidalgo - It is a pity that you return to find your home in such a state.

Tessa - More a shock than a pity, senor. How did this happen?

Montoya - [interrupting] Dios mio. Now I must destroy my gardens. Even my prize roses would pale and shrivel in comparison to the beautiful flower which I see before me. Shall we? [indicates dance area]

Tessa - Colonel Montoya, I presume?

Montoya - Colonel Luis Rimera Montoya, at your service, Senorita Alvarado. My heartfelt condolences on your recent loss.

Tessa - Thank you. And may I ask your heart to also feel for the prisoner outside?

Montoya - The thief? Ha, do not trouble yourself with him anymore.

Tessa - It's not just him. He has a family.

Montoya - Si. And tomorrow, they will have one less mouth to feed.

Tessa - Surely Colonel Montoya is as humane and noble as he is handsome.

Montoya - It is possible that I might review the situation. As a personal favor. Might I suggest, senorita, that you have more pressing matters to think of now. For example, how you plan to pay your taxes. I would hate to see you forfeit your family home. Beauty like yours belongs here.

[Tessa hears Grisham out in the street]

Grisham - Guards! [Tessa runs out] Ready! Aim!

Tessa - No! Stop!

Grisham - Fire!

[Guards fire]

Rubia - Noooo!

Montoya - How unfortunate. It appears I am a little late to help your friend.

Tessa - That was murder.

Montoya - There is a difference, senorita, between execution and murder. It is called the law. And here, I *am* the law.


Alvarado's hacienda

[Tessa practicing with sword]

Marta - It's not your fault.

Tessa - You saw the look on Montoya's face when Carlos died!

Marta - The man wears death like a flower. It gives him pleasure.

Tessa - We'll see what the Spanish court has to say about that.

Marta - What are you talking about?

Tessa - I'm sending a message back to Spain. Once they learn what's happening here in California . . .

Marta - You think they don't already know? Spain is still recovering from the wounds left by Napoleon. She doesn't care about some primitive outpost.

Tessa - And the ones that could help, the dons, they do nothing! Growing fat while their people starve.

Marta - You expect them to be different?

Tessa - My father was.

Marta - And he died.

Tessa - What are you saying?

Marta - Don Alvarado, the finest horseman in California falls from his horse and dies? People talk. Especially around servants with no ears.

Tessa - People lie.

Marta - But the cards do not. They tell me that he died at the hands of another.


Grisham's bedroom

Montoya - Capitan. We need to talk. Good evening, Senora Hidalgo.

Vera - [in bed with Grisham] Colonel.

Montoya - Ahhh. There is nothing like an execution to fire the blood, eh?

Grisham - [to Vera] Get dressed. [to Montoya] This can't take all night, because . . . [nods in Vera's direction]

Montoya - You told me your men searched Don Alvarado's hacienda.

Grisham - Top to bottom. There's nothing. There's no way his daughter can pay the taxes.

Montoya - I wish I had your confidence.

Vera - It's always lovely to see you, colonel.

Montoya - Please, give my regards to your most esteemed husband.

Vera - Of course. [Vera leaves]

Montoya - You seem to have a way with the fairer sex.

Grisham - Yeah.

Montoya - It is a quality that may come in useful.

Grisham - For me or for you?

Montoya - Well, you see, if Tessa Alvarado could pay her taxes, there are other ways to control her land. Marriage, for example.

Grisham - Marriage?

Montoya - You yourself, capitan. You're a stranger in a strange land, much like the poor senorita. You have no money of your own, other than what I pay you. You have no friends, no social standing.

Grisham - And I can take care of myself, alright?

Montoya - And if anyone were to learn why you left the army in such a terrible hurry . . . fraud, murder . . . My, oh, my, need I say more?

Grisham - You son of a bitch.


Carlos's Farm

Rubia - Senorita Alvarado . . .

Tessa - Tessa, please. How are you, Rubia?

Fernando - You dare show your face here?

Rubia - Fernando!

Fernando - She's the reason my father's dead!

Rubia - Stop it! I'm sorry, senorita.

Fernando - How can you speak to her so calmly? Did you care nothing for my father?

Rubia - [slaps Fernando] Go! Now! [Fernando leaves] Forgive him, he's young.

Tessa - His father was murdered. He has a right to be angry. And so do I.

Rubia - I don't understand.

Tessa - Rubia, was my father murdered?

Rubia - Senorita Alvarado, two men are dead. Your father, my husband. Nothing we do can change that.

Tessa - What do you know?

Rubia - Nothing! I know nothing. Please, senorita, ask me no more.

Tessa - [gives Rubia a coin] For the children.

Rubia - Talk to the men . . . the dons . . . they know.


Hidalgo's hacienda

Don Hidalgo - Murder!? Who would say such a thing?

Tessa - So you will tell me nothing?

Don Hidalgo - Nothing to tell. Nothing at all.

Tessa - Even here, Don Hidalgo, in your own garden? Who could possibly overhear us? You need not be afraid.

Don Hidalgo - I am Gaspar Hidalgo, one of the richest dons in all California. I fear no one.

Tessa - I know. I didn't mean . . . If only you could remember.

Don Hidalgo - You are a woman. Beautiful, yes, but only a woman, and without means. So, I tell you this for your own good. Questions make enemies.

Tessa - I just want the truth.

Don Hidalgo - The truth is, Maria Teresa, that you should go home. Find a husband. Have babies. Take my word for it . . . there is nothing like married life.

Soldier - Pardon, senor.

Don Hidalgo - What is it?

Soldier - A message from Capitan Grisham. He wants to see Senorita Alvarado.

Tessa - Me?

Don Hidalgo - I hope you'll remember our conversation.

Tessa - I guarantee you I will.


Cliffside overlooking ocean

Tessa - Lunch is wonderful, captain, but you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble.

Grisham - To a beautiful day and an even more beautiful woman.

Tessa - Champagne? On a soldier's wages? Who have you been stealing from?

Grisham - It's good you haven't lost your sense of humor. Tessa, I've been concerned for you.

Tessa - You're too kind.

Grisham - A woman all alone, no home, no money. You need protecting.

Tessa - I agree. I'll get a dog.

Grisham - [motions servant to bring a tray of strawberries for desert] Tell me . . . have you ever thought about marriage?

Tessa - Oh, many times. I'd wear a long, red dress, like my mother wore. There'd be music and dancing . . . and on my wedding night, my husband wouold be the happiest man in all of California. But my heart is too heavy these days to give it to someone else.

Grisham - Ah, the taxes.

Tessa - No. The murder.

Grisham - The murder? What murder?

Tessa - My father's. Haven't you heard?

Grisham - Oh, no, no. That was an accident. Who said anything different?

Tessa - People.

Grisham - People? What people? Let them come forward.

Tessa - They won't. They're too afraid.

Grisham - Of what?

Tessa - That they too might suffer a similar "accident." Now, if you'd please take me back to town.


Santa Helena: street

[Fernando runs through the street]

Woman - Stop! Thief!

Man - Stop that boy!

Soldier - Hey! Stop!

[Soldiers catch Fernando]

Grisham - Hey! Bring that boy here.

Soldier - He tried to buy flour with gold!

Fernando - It wasn't stolen!

Tessa - He's right. I gave it to him.

Fernando - See! I told the truth.

Grisham - Well, I think you're a liar. Just like your father. [Fernando spits on Grisham]

Tessa - No harm done, really. It was just a misunderstanding.

Grisham - Excuse us. [moves Tessa to one side] Bring him here. You assaulted the colonel's army and defaced its uniform in public. Do you know what that means? Hmm?

Tessa - Captain?

Grisham - Yes?

Tessa - A gentleman who would serve such lovely champagne would also be a gentle man who would show mercy.

Grisham - Alright. For you, I will not execute him. Hmm? [to Soldiers] Fifty lashes at dawn.


Alvarado's hacienda

Marta - [reading her tarot cards] Ah, the six of cups . . . the past lives on.

Tessa - [standing by Don Alvarado's grave on a cliff near the ocean] Everything's all confused, papa. Every time I try and help someone . . . I miss you so much. I've never felt so alone . . .

Alvarado - You are never alone.

Marta - [reading her tarot cards] King of cups. So . . . the protector has come . . .

Alvarado - Look how you've grown, el carita. In life, we never shared my wine together. Perhaps now . . .

Tessa - Stop it!

Alvarado - An 1805 Rioja . . . Santa Rita. From my own cellar. [takes a sip] Ah, yes . . . liquid gold. [holds out the glass, Tessa knocks it from his hand, and it shatters on the ground]

Tessa - Why are you doing this to me? My father's dead!

Alvarado - Unfortunately true. But he still watches over his daughter.

Tessa - Papa . . . you were murdered. Who?

Alvarado - One man held the gun, but there were many fingers on the trigger.

Tessa - Tell me, what should I do?

Alvarado - Maria Teresa Alvarado should do nothing.

Tessa - Nothing? You expect me to stand by while your murderers go free?

Alvarado - They will not go unpunished. Look . . . [Tessa sees a figure on a horse riding along the beach] That's my avenging angel. She will see justice is done.

Tessa - Papa. No! Wait!

Alvarado - Never alone . . . My little angel . . .

Tessa - [wakes up in bed] Papa! [gets out of bed] Marta, I just had --

Marta - --the strangest dream. Yes, I know. It's all here. [places card on table] Your destiny.

Tessa - [picks card up] The Queen of Swords.


[Marta & Tessa enter cellar]

Tessa - Do you think my father was trying to tell me something?

Marta - The dead don't visit your dreams for nothing.

Tessa - He said something about a wine called . . . "Santa Rita."

Marta - Really? Well, at least we'll have something nice to drink tonight.

Tessa - Marta, I found it!

Marta - What's the matter?

Tessa - It's stuck. [pulls harder, shelf swings open to reveal hidden room]

Marta - What is this place?

Tessa - Marta, look!

Marta - Your father must have known he had enemies. He hid everything of value.

Tessa - Including the gold?

Marta - [opens trunk] Eh, only clothes.

Tessa - Mama's favorite shawl.

Marta - Tessa! Gold! The hacienda's safe.

Tessa - Thank you, papa. [looks around] This sword. It's been in my family for generations. My father was saving it for the son he never had.

Marta - [finds old painting] Look at this.

Tessa - I remember that . . .

Marta - It's you?

Tessa - Papa had it painted for me when I was seven. Just before I left for Madrid. I had almost forgotten about it.

Marta - [reading inscription] "Parea Tessa . . . Mi angele."

Tessa - My angel.

Alvarado - Look . . . That's my avenging angel . . .

Tessa - The Queen of Swords . . . me?

Marta - How should I know?

Tessa - But you said . . .

Marta - I say a lot of things. What do you say?

[Tessa looks into mirror, sees herself as the Queen of Swords]

Alvarado - Never alone . . . my little angel. Don't be afraid. That's my avenging angel. She will see justice is done.

Marta - What is it? What do you see?

Tessa - My destiny. [Brings shawl up in front of her eyes]


Santa Helena: jailhouse

[QoS knocks out two guards, frees Fernando]

Fernando - Who are you?

QoS - No time now. Meet me at the stables. [Fernando runs out]

Grisham - Someone's going to be punished. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I've never killed a woman before.

[Grisham & QoS exchange parries]

QoS - Your record's safe.

Grisham - Alright witch. Gloves are off.

[Grisham & QoS begin fighting]

Grisham - [pins QoS to wall] Guess I'm a little more than you expected.

QoS - [flicks her sword between Grisham's legs] You could be a little less. [holds Grisham at swordpoint]

Grisham - Be good to me.

[QoS coldcocks Grisham with flat of sword.]

[Fernando & QoS ride off on horses]

Soldiers - Hey! Shoot!


Grisham - My horse?!

Montoya - Who . . . or what, is that?!

Grisham - I don't know, but she freed the prisoner.

Montoya - And disarmed my capitan. [looks down, finds tarot card] The Queen of Swords.

Grisham - She'll be dead by morning.


Santa Helena: street, next morning

Tessa - Good day, gentlemen. I hope I'm not interrupting.

Montoya - Don Hidalgo and I were just discussing the exciting events of last night.

Tessa - So it is true?

Don Hidalgo - Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Tessa - Surely, you must be joking. How could one woman possibly outwit our esteemed military commander? Poor colonel, you must be furious.

Don Hidalgo - On the contrary, he couldn't be happier.

Montoya - The boy went home to say goodbye to his mother. A terrible mistake.

Don Hidalgo - Our colonel had men waiting.

Montoya - And now, senorita, I believe you wanted to talk to me?


Montoya's Office

Montoya - [looking at gold coins in his palm] What is this?

Tessa - The taxes I owe on my father's land.

Montoya - I must confess surprise, senorita. Such a large sum of money . . .

Tessa - I've been saving for a rainy day.

Montoya - How fortunate. There are stormy days ahead, I fear. Your deed, senorita. [hands the deed over. Tessa notices guards in the street below] Perhaps I could interest you in a front row seat. Fifteen minutes to curtain.

[Montoya & Tessa leave the office, Tessa feigns a dizzy spell]

Tessa - Oh dear . . .

Marta - [playing along] Tessa!

Montoya - What is the matter?

Marta - My mistress is beautiful like a rose, but also just as delicate. The execution upsets her.

Montoya - I am sorry to hear that.

Tessa - I'm so dizzy . . .

Marta - If she could lie down somewhere . . .

Montoya - Very well. Take her.


Santa Helena: street

[Rubia wailing]

[Soldiers lead Fernando to hangman's platform, put him in position]

Montoya - [standing on balcony] Ladies and gentlemen. I am not a cruel man. I am a just man. I am an honorable man. And when I see our community threatened by crime and by violence, then I must take action. What kind of shepherd does not protect his flock?

QoS - [from a rooftop] Is that before or after you lead them to slaughter?

Montoya - Kill her!

Grisham - Shoot her!

Montoya - Go! Get her!

[Crowd yelling, QoS fighting soldiers]

Montoya - Go get her!

[QoS releases pen of horses, soldiers run for cover]

Montoya - [sees QoS on horse] Executioner, now!

[QoS rides to the platform, cuts the rope]

Grisham - Get after her! Get after her! Go! Go! Go!

QoS - Come on! [Fernando jumps on back of her horse, they ride off]

Grisham - Damn.


Away from town

QoS - Stay here. Don't go home. Your mother will come for you.


Outside Montoya's Office

Grisham - My men will ride day and night, go house to house, scour the countryside --

Montoya - Either I have the Queen of Swords' head . . . or I will have yours.

Grisham - Sir.

[Montoya opens doors to office]

Tessa - [Lying on couch, covered by sheet] Colonel. Captain.

Grisham - Excuse me. [Grisham leaves]

Montoya - You seem flushed, my dear.

Tessa - A slight fever . . . the excitement.

Marta - Yes . . . What was all that noise?

Montoya - The execution has . . . has been postponed.

Tessa - Oh, and you were so looking forward to it.

Montoya - Oh, there will be an execution, senorita. Not even a queen can escape the guillotine. Now, if you could get dressed and return my office to me . . .

Tessa - My apologies, Colonel Montoya. I didn't mean to inconvenience you.

[Montoya leaves, closing doors behind him]

[Tessa gets up off the couch, throwing the sheet aside to reveal QoS outfit]


Don Alvarado's grave

Tessa - Papa . . . What do I do now? There's so much wrong here. So much injustice. I'm only one person and Montoya's not a stupid man. How long will this mask fool him? I tried to sleep so that I could dream, but you didn't come to me. You said I'd never be alone.

Marta - Tessa . . .

Tessa - Papa?

Marta - Grisham is tearing the village apart looking for you. The people are praying for the Queen to return.

Tessa - Thank you, Papa.

Marta - Do you realize where this path could lead?

Tessa - [nods] To my destiny.

Alvarado - Never alone . . . My little angel. She will see justice is done.


End of "Destiny"

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