Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wonder Woman 1.4: The Feminum Mystique, Part 1

Airdate: 11/6/76

A experimental U.S. jet plane is hijacked by the Nazis, but Steve enacts the “Code X” to destroy the plane. Plans to build a new plane are authorized, but its designer is a Nazi spy, and, in tandem with another agent, Captain Radi (John Saxon), starts plotting to capture an even more lucrative prize: Wonder Woman.

Meanwhile, back on Paradise Island, WW’s mom, Queen Hippolyta, wants her daughter to return, so she sends her other daughter, Drusilla, to bring her back. Once in Amerca, Drusilla is a naïve, wide-eyed teenager, but she gets involved in Radi’s dastardly plan when the Nazi kidnaps Colonel Blankenship (as bait to capture WW), and she decides to rescue him after changing into her own Wonder Woman (she recalls seeing how her sister spins). Her life is imperiled when Radi isn’t sure if she’s the real deal, so he decides to use bullets on her to see if she can deflect them with her magic bracelets. Uh oh!

Wild two-parter (the series’ first) sets things up in expectedly taut yet bubble-gummy fashion, with Debra Winger making an impressive debut as the new “Wonder Girl,” replete with bullet-bra and star-spangled tights. Character actor John Saxon plays a good heavy, and makes us forget that he (and countless others) don’t look or sound the slightest bit German.

Camaraderie/chemistry between Diana Prince/WW and her Intelligence Department colleagues is much smoother now, and for once we get through an episode where Steve does not need to be rescued by Wonder Woman!

Great title is a play on the classic Betty Friedan book, which started modern feminism – an apropos choice!

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