Episode Title: Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman
Original Airdate: April 28, 1976
As we all know from watching tons of movies and TV shows, Nazis always have some sort of sinister plan their working on. I mean, one day they’re trying to steal the ark of the covenant so they can march it at the front of their army with all its face melting power…but when that doesn’t work out, they turn their sights on Wonder Woman. What nefarious plans could they have for her in today’s episode…Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman.
Our adventure begins behind enemy lines where former olympic athlete turned Nazi agent Fausta Grables (Lynda Day George) announces to her commanders her intention to go to the US and capture Wonder Woman. She poses as a cleaning lady at military headquarters and manages to gas Major Steve Trevor, knowing Wonder Woman will come to his rescue. When Wonder Woman does show up, Fausta sees first hand the power of Wonder Woman’s magic lasso. She allows Steve to be rescued and determines that the lasso is the key to capturing our hero. Fausta then lays a new trap.
This time, Fausta herself poses as Wonder Woman at a rally to promote the purchase of war bonds. The real Wonder Woman then shows up to challenge the fake. However, a trap door in the stage causes Wonder Woman to drop into the hands of one of Fausta’s agents. He grabs the lasso and uses it to force Wonder Woman to tell the truth about how to weaken her. She answers that removing her magic belt will cause her powers to drain. This is all the info the Nazi agents need to subdue her and drag her off to the fatherland.
Despite General Blankenship’s disapproval, Major Trevor pursues. Unfortunately, once behind enemy lines, Trevor falls for the tricks of a Nazi double agent, and his efforts to save Wonder Woman just lead to him being captured. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman manages to escape when the stupid Col. Kesselman (Bo Brundin) tosses the magic belt in a fit or rage…landing in Wonder Woman’s hand. It’s not until Wonder Woman returns to the US as Diana that she learns of Steve’s fate. She returns to Germany and goes to rescue Steve…but it’s a trap. First the Nazi’s try to crush her and Steve with a moving wall (which she easily destroys) and then they use another trap door to drop both of them into an electric water trap. Ultimately, though, it is Fausta Grables who turns the tables and enables our heroes to escape.
We’re only in the second regular episode, but already we’re seeing a nice trend that helps add a certain level of suspense to these episodes. That being, the fact that Wonder Woman is not indestructible. I often hear people complain about Superman being too perfect. Things are almost too easy for him. Though Wonder Woman is very powerful, we have seen some weaknesses and she does end up needing to get herself out of a few messes from time to time. It’s great to have a powerful hero, but there needs to be vulnerability, too. So far this series is striking a nice balance in that area.
At the same time, though, Major Steve Trevor continues to be a bit of a head scratcher for me. The guy just doesn’t seem to do a whole lot right…or if he does, he kind of stumbles into it. He’s supposedly one of the army’s most decorated soldiers, and yet he manages to get himself captured TWICE just in the course of this episode. Plus, there’s a really strange moment for him in this episode when he tells the cleaning lady (Fausta in disguise) not to empty the trash because some of the papers in there are Top Secret so he always takes his own trash to the incinerator. Ever hear the phrase “Loose lips sink ships” Steve-o? The guy is lucky he’s got Wonder Woman around to save him all the time. I just can’t figure out why she still thinks he’s so wonderful and makes goo-goo eyes at him.
My favorite part of this episode, though, is Bo Brundin’s performance as Nazi colonel Kesselman. Brundin plays the part as typical, sputtering, easy-to-anger Nazi commander…and it’s hilarious. His reactions as Wonder Woman describes the man-less place that is Paradise Island are absolutely priceless. Just the way he spits out the words “Vonder Vuman” is fantastic! His best line comes when Fausta is trying to tell him about the powers of the lasso and he sneers, “You were sent to capture Vonder Vuman, not Dale Evans.”
So far the series is off to a solid start. Next time we see what happens when Diana enters a beauty pageant to track down so saboteurs in Beauty on Parade.