Today’s episode of Wonder Woman is a Part II. In the 70’s, TV episodes that were “the exciting conclusion” often began with a recap of the previous week’s episode. You can read last week’s post, so I’m not going to do that, other than to say that Diana’s sister Drusilla (Debra Winger), aka Wonder Girl, has been captured by some Nazis and Diana doesn’t know where on earth she is. Let’s find out what happens in The Feminum Mystique Part 2.
Now the Nazis, led by Captain Radl (John Saxon) think that Dru is actually Wonder Woman. They are set on figuring out the secrets behind the magic bracelets she wears and putting them to use for the Third Reich. In an attempt to get info, Peter Knight (who is working on the experimental XPJ-1 plane but is really a Nazi spy) poses as a fellow prisoner. Dru somewhat clumsily ends up revealing to him the existence and location of Paradise Island. She also reveals that the bracelets are made of a substance called Feminum, found only on Paradise Island. I guess it’s something like Unobtanium.
Word soon reaches Steve Trevor’s office that the Nazis are putting together a land attack squad to attack a location where there is no land. Of course, Diana knows this is where Paradise Island is, so she takes some leave to return home. Shortly after she arrives, Nazi forces arrive and manage to capture the Amazons after subduing them with gas bombs. Even Wonder Woman herself ends up captured. Meanwhile, back in the good ole USA, Dru manages to escape her captors and alert Steve that Peter Knight is a spy. This leads to his capture, but unknown to Steve there is another spy at work on the plane.
Back on Paradise Island, the Nazis have the Amazons working to mine the Feminum. The Nazis even suggest taking the Amazons back to Germany for potential breeding. When Dru shows up, she and Diana launch a plan to overcome the Nazis. They manage to steal back all the women’s magic bracelets, which helps them easily defeat the Nazis. It seems like all has ended well, but then Diana learns of the other spy working on the XPJ-1 when she uses her magic lasso on Radl. So, she and Dru have to hurry off to save both the plane and Steve. Hey, you can’t have an episode where Steve Trevor doesn’t need saving!
Just like with our last episode, the highlight of this installment is Debra Winger. She brings a wonderful playfulness to her role that is just irresistible. The opening moments of this episode are especially fun. The baddies think she’s Wonder Woman, so she smirkingly presents herself and speaks the way her older sister does when in her superhero form. She looks so proud of herself when she does it, too. But, she slips up, which is also very charming. When she is asked where Feminum comes from she says she can’t say because one of the first commandments is “never tell anyone about Paradise Island.” Winger’s delivery is just so darn cute.
As the action shifts over to Paradise Island, the narrative gets a little choppy. There are also some strange moments, like when Wonder Woman is telling the other Amazons about the Nazis and they essentially ask how cute they are. I also didn’t quite buy how easily the Nazis were able to take control over the Amazons. When the ladies fight back, though, they are able to toss the Germans around like they’re throwing lawn darts. I’m still not entirely clear on why the girls had to have their bracelets back in order to send the bad guys sailing…but whatever.
The takedown of the Nazi goons is a nice climax of the episode. I figured it was going to end there and was just thinking how it was refreshing that we didn’t have a situation where Steve Trevor had to be saved. But no…Steve gets clunked on the head just before the test flight and the other Nazi spy takes his place. Wonder Woman to the rescue, of course! I do dig how she stops the plane though; zooming down the runway and grabbing the plane by the wing, keeping it from taking off
Though this episode has a few problems with its general structure, it’s still a fine conclusion to the story. A big part of its success though all comes down to Wonder Girl. Lucky for us, Debra Winger will be back later this season. Next time, though, we don’t get Wonder Girl…but we do get a gorilla in Wonder Woman vs. Gargantua.