Wonder Woman – Season One, Episode 13: “Bushwackers”

Ahhh, that title does NOT mean what you think it does. No mafiosos are attempting to kill any former presidents. A bushwacker is in fact, an outlaw who swore allegiance to neither side during the Civil War and united in bands to prey on both sides.

So, who are the bushwackers in this episodes? The answer will NOT surprise you!

Yeah … it’s this kid.

This episode is the feel-good episode of all feel-good episodes. I think part of the problem with the first season of Wonder Woman was, they didn’t know what it should be. It was campy like Batman and it wasn’t a kid’s show like Shazam and Isis.

So, in this episode, guest-starring iconic cowboy, Roy Rogers, it becomes more like a Saturday morning live-action show than ever. It sort of works, because Lynda Carter and kids are a winning combination, even though it is saccharin as all get out. So let’s saddle up and head out west!

It’s a hell of a caption.

We caption over to Texas and to the Diamond H Ranch. Roy Rogers is teaching some kids of diverse backgrounds some knots. Roy’s son, who is Lance Kerwin and played James in the short-lived TV show, James at 15, rides up to tell Roy the rustlers have struck again.  

Roy is more than a restaurant, he’s an American icon.

Roy calls the sheriff, an old friend, and his rather unsavory deputy. Roy complains that 100 head were lost and since the local law enforcement has been useless, he is calling an old friend in Washington, D.C. … namely, General Blankenship.

The girl is blurry, but she does nothing this episode anyway.

The Unsavory Deputy reiterates it is THEIR job to catch rustlers, and encourages the sheriff to head over to Roy’s place and stop this telephoning D.C. nonsense.

Too late! Roy is on the phone with his college football buddy, Blankenship. Roy tells about the five war orphans he has adopted from various countries/cities and Blankenship calls them a junior League of Nations, which was the UN before the UN was cool.

“Beef … it’s what’s for dinner!”

Roy’s argument is that beef is scarce and if these rustlers aren’t stopped, the armed forces will go hungry. Blankenship agrees this makes it a War Department matter. They discuss how the beef rations have made beef a big thing on the black market. I wonder if this was a true thing in wartime, and if we are headed there now.

Steve tries his best Groucho.

The General is sending his best man … guess who? Upon hearing he assignment, Etta jokes that her father said one steak was better than two Betty Grable movies for morale. Only if you are not a gay vegetarian, Etta! Steve tells Diana to take a three-day pass while he is gone, so of course, she Transformation Twirls® into Wonder Woman and heads to Texas.

Did she even wait for everyone to leave the office?

Unsavory Deputy and the Sheriff are bummed that Roy has already called D.C. and he brags about the war hero that’s coming to catch the rustlers. Meanwhile, that war hero has to fly himself to Texas. I think that’s odd, but it is cool to see Wonder Woman in the invisible jet tailing him.

Is it a little Wonder Woman doll in there? I think so.

Roy is making a campfire with the war orphans and asks why they need a 10-foot wide circle  around it. In case you, like me, don’t camp, it’s to keep sparks from the fire setting things aflame. I immediately thought it was something about snakes, but that’s where my mind goes with nature. Lance is clearly NOT happy about all these war orphans learning camping tricks from his dad.

It IS a long flight.

We caption over to Daybreak, a ghost town. Interesting name for a ghost town. This is actually the Warner Brothers western lot, which I have visited and makes you want to play cowboy when you walk around it.

Everybody’s rustling …

The sheriff’s car drives up and the Unsavory Deputy gets out. He tries to fake the audience out by pulling his gun, but he is CLEARLY in cahoots with the main rustler. They discuss that the mob (really? The Mafia is running beef now?) needs one last big delivery, then the rustlers can retire. I don’t think that is how the mob works, fellas.

Roy and the kids have breakfast after a squabble over cleaniness and saying grace. The Kid from Harlem ends up saying a sweet prayer. The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk, has left on horse ride.

Why does HE get a horse?

No wonder Lance is iffy on the junior League of Nations. His dad is not enforcing consistent discipline.

However, it’s lucky the The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk has ridden out. He sees Steve Trevor get ambushed (or perhaps the writers thought THIS was what “bushwacked” means.

BUSHWACKED!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (which is usually something I only get to say for my Dallas recaps) Wonder Woman shows up. The maid is like WTF and says Steve never arrived. The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk grabs Wonder Woman by the hand and takes her right to where they trapped Steve.

“You’re here to see who? You realize this is a ranch full of war orphans, right?”

Of course, Steve is grateful she is there, and Wonder Woman talks about how glad she is to be there and does he mind if she stays around to help. UGH, this is not Amazonian AT ALL.

Interesting camera angles they chose.

They head back to the ranch. Roy Rogers explains The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk’s father died at Pearl Harbor and hasn’t spoken sense then. Any odds that he will start talking before the end of the episode? The maid gets Wonder Woman some clothes, because you can’t run around in a star-spangled bathing suit in a ranch house filled with pre-teens.

“Yep. Then I had Trigger stuffed.”

In her red shirt and white jodphurs (!), the next morning, she tells the kids the secrets to her lasso and bracelets and magic belt. If I was a super hero, I would never tell ANYONE anything. She gives them a little pep talk that they can be anything they want, which sounds hollow in the dregs of 2020, where really, are any of us where we want to be?

Fashion choices, Diana.

Steve, now in some Unfortunate Neckwear, Wonder Woman and Roy Rogers try to figure out who is behind the rustling. Roy suspects and orphaned boy from town, who went bad because he had no one  to raise him properly. That’s why, backdoor compliment, he raises these war orphans. Roy reminisces about his dead wife and says “Life’s nothing if not fileld with ‘ifs,’” which is totally true.

Fashion choices, Steve!

Wonder Woman shows the kids how her magic lasso works and forces the Brainy Kid From Britain to tell the truth about his age. Lance, meanwhile, goes to tell the Unsavory Deputy that Roy Rogers is moving part of the herd to the North 40 and Wonder Woman is here. Unsavory thinks he can take care of Wonder Woman. He is emotionally manipulating poor Lance and claims his dad ignoring his own flesh and blood is worse than informing.

He just looks unsavory!

Unsavory Deputy says Lance has to find out where Wonder Woman’s strength comes from. We never SEE this occur, but good lord, the Nazi’s have known all season. Unsavory goes to see his rustling pals and says Wonder Woman is here. This is an extremely slow episode with a lot of filler.

That kid just blends into that wallpaper.

Steve and Roy again try to figure out who the informant is. Roy says the sheriff is honest and all he knows about Unsavory is he wasn’t a soldier because he had a pierced eardrum and he’s a bachelor. !ESCANDALO! However, he came from Montana and was highly recommended.

Steve heads to base to run a secure FBI check on their scrambled phone systems and Wonder Woman is going to make friends with The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk or else.

“Now … where are my invisible jet keys, kid?

Lance calls the Unsavory One and says Trevor is heading to the base. Wonder Woman helps The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk with the dishes. He still relays nothing about her powers, but then how could he know?

Roy, Lance and Wonder Woman are riding when a snake (see what I mean?) spooks the horse Lance is on. It takes off and he is hanging off the saddle. Wonder Woman rides after him and saves him. His leg is hurt, so Roy takes him home.

How fast over the limit can she be going?

As Wonder Woman rides on, clearly galloping at an acceptable speed limit, the Unsavory Deputy drives up and pulls her over. W. T. F.  In the ensuing fight, he grabs her belt off, and she is suddenly depowered.  I feel like this belt shouldn’t be just velcroed on. Then the Deputy THROWS THE BELT AWAY. I can’t, people.

Magic belt and lasso? Who needs it?

Luckily, The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk saw it all! He picks up the belt and heads home.

“Look what I found!”

Steve gets ambushed again, as their cars careen through what I recognize as part of Griffith Park. Steve knows this Deputy is NOT the one who was recommended from Montana … he’s an imposter! The real one died a hero in the war. They take Steve to the ghost town.

Jeremy spoke in class today.

The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk rides back to the ranch, walks in and speaks. The four boys lose their minds, but the girl is nowhere to be seen, so she doesn’t get to go on the adventure. They ride off to find Wonder Woman, who looks like she is in the same ghost town they are taking Steve to, but perhaps there are multiple ghost towns around.

“Get us out from under/Wonder Woman!”

The kids bust the door down and The Navajo Kid Who Doesn’t Talk gives Wonder Woman her belt and lasso, so she can break free. Yay!

They all head home. Lance is recuperating on the couch and confesses he was the informer all along. Roy Rogers is hurt , but he and Wonder Woman both forgive Lance. Lance tells them they were after Steve, so it’s back to ghost town #2!

“You effed up, son!”

Steve is locked in an old-timey walk-in cooler. Wonder Woman brings the four boys along to tie up the rustlers she knocks out, which feels a little child endangery to me.

REALLY not cool, Wonder Woman.

Steve manages to free himself and between him, Roy Rogers and Wonder Woman, they take out the rustler trash.

“Take that, Oscar!”

It’s later and Wonder Woman says goodbye to the kids, one by one, even the French Girl who didn’t get to be on the adventure.

But is it functional?

Of course, the main goodbye is for The Navajo Kid Who Didn’t, But Now Can Talk. He made her a belt, which, may stay on more securely than hers, since it has straps.  She wants to give him a gift and all he wants is for her to teach him  some lasso skills … he is embarrassed that as a Navajo, he doesn’t know how to lasso. This is all kinds of awful stereotyping and ruins an otherwise … okay, it ain’t that a great an episode.

Awwwww!!

Whew!  But we are through it! Nice to see Roy Rogers in one of his last on-screen appearances, and I actually thought the kids were somewhat fun, but then I like Shazam, too. 2.75 magic lassos out of five.

Next week … Wonder Girl returns as she and her sister head to Hollywood! Join us, won’t you?

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