Wonder Woman – Season One, Episode 3: “Fausta, The Wonder Woman”

Oh my! With her magic lasso and belt captured by Fausta, a Nazi who is NOT AT ALL a Wodner Woman as the title implies, it looks like Diana has no way out … and it’s Steve Trevor to the rescue!

You can tell she’s evil because of the black cape.

Fausta Grables, who she is happy to let you know is a 1936 Olympics winner, heads to a secret Nazi headquarters. I’m not really sure who they were being secretive from in Berlin … didn’t everyone sort of know where the Nazis were?

Colonel Kesselman is dismissive of her, even though she is in his secret HQ as a representative of the Fuhrer. She wants to show Kesselman a film. He blusters that he is too busy to watch women’s films, so he must think this is Eat Pray Love. 

In the old days, it took a while to get another country’s TV shows.

Fausta snaps that the Fuhrer watched it for six hours, so now he has to watch it. Turns out it’s better than Eat Pray Love, it’s the Wonder Woman pilot episode, though sadly, no scenes of Chloris Leachman hamming it up.

Kesselman claims it is Hollywood magic for American propaganda, but Fausta reveals Operation: Fraulein, which roughly translates into Operation: Ms. It’s an odd title for a secret operation, but then, I’ve never been in the military.

Fausta plans to kidnap Wonder Woman, study her and find out how to make a bunch of Nazi Wonder Women (and presumably Wonder Men). She identifies Steve Trevor, who will be the bait for the trap.

“Just don’t take out my Top Secret Trash.”

She easily gets into the War Department, disguised as a cleaning lady. She tries to take out Steve’s trash, but he explains to her there are Top Secret documents in there and he personally takes his Top Secret Trash to the incinerator each night. This is why he’s America’s War Hero, people.

Fausta gasses him, and doesn’t even take his Top Secret Trash with her. She is not a good spy.

Is that an N-95 mask?

Etta comes in to offer Diana some of her pastry and wonder where Steve is. They get a phone call from Fausta, who claims to have found a note, which she reads. This think is like eight pages long and it’s a detailed account from Steve Trevor of how he was kidnapped, where he is and some good Netflix recommendations.

“Page two – Go down main street and pass the deli I like, then head down Seventh …”

It’s a long note for a captive to have written, and I attribute Diana’s naiveté to the fact she hasn’t been in Man’s World that long. STILL.

Diana tells Etta she has an appointment to give blood. Etta leaves and Diana pulls a Transformation Twirl® to become Wonder Woman. She heads out to the abandoned warehouse where Steve had time to write his incredibly detailed letter of how he was kidnapped.

Make sure that thing is attached.

Steve is tied up in a box, and Fausta and her cronies are watching. Wonder Woman fights some thugs, though she doesn’t even do Bullets and Bracelets, which was one of the big things Fausta wanted some proof on. She didn’t tell any of her thugs to shoot at Wonder Woman? Or did the production budget only allow for one round of B&B per episode?

It’s a Steve-In-The-Box!

WW does use her magic lasso, and that gives Fausta her next idea on capturing the lasso and using it to force Wonder Woman to give up all her secrets. She plans on appearing in public as Wonder Woman to draw her out.

If you want to kidnap someone, you should totally dress up as them in public, hope they show up and everyone sees two of you, and then one vanishes.  This seems perfectly logical.

Like looking in a mirror.

At a bond rally to showcase Wonder Woman’s strength, a golden-masked, Not-Wonder Woman hits a high striker (which is what Google tells me is the carnival strength game with the hammer and bell) and it rings the bell. A second golden-masked, ACTUAL Wonder Woman comes off and knocks the bell into the sky.

Now THAT’S strong.

The next test is a bench press. Not-Wonder Woman easily lifts this and as the Actual Wonder Woman begins to lift it with one hand, a trap door opens, making it appear she fell through the floor.

“No, I insist you go through the trap door first.”

In actuality, she is chloroformed and tied up with her lasso! The rally is over and Steve, sensing something ain’t right, tries to talk to Not-Wonder Woman. She blows him off and so he and Etta use his military ID to commandeer a cab. The cabbie protests, saying he has to go pick up Senator Truman (what are the odds?) but it’s for government business. The cabbie tells them to get in, but Steve feels the situation calls for  “experienced combat driver.”

He was a good henchman … he even asked if chloroform would knock her out.

Etta and Steve head off into the backroads of Burbank, which does not look like D.C. at all. They are losing the pursuit, so Steve goes off road and plows into a tree. So much for the experienced combat driving.

“Watch out for that … tree.”

The Nazis load Wonder Woman into a plane and get away. Back at the War Department, Not-General Blankenship won’t let Steve go all the way to Germany to save some star-spangled super-hero! Not even the British commandos have been able to penetrate the Nazi’s coastal defenses, which would have been a great time for an Aquaman team-up!

“I don’t feel any stronger.”

Not-General Blankenship thinks Wonder Woman can take care of herself.  He insists Steve take a few days off. Steve promptly flies to England to see a buddy of his from his football days when he played in the Rose Bowl. This is a lot of backstory for Major Trevor! His buddy turns out to be Dr. Elbe, who will be Sue Ellen Ewing’s psychiatrist in Season Three and Four of Dallas! He looks good in Dallas for being 40 years older than Sue Ellen.

“Stay away from this woman named Sue Ellen in 40 years …”

Dr. Elbe hooks Steve up with someone from the German underground, who we find out is ACTUALLY a gestapo agent. Plans within plans, Dune fans.

Golden AND regular lassos – collect them all!

Fausta brings the lasso and magic belt, source of Wonder Woman’s strength (we will give them this bit of odd continuity, since it’s implied it’s only boosting her natural strength when she’s away from Paradise Island) to Kesselman. He’s a dick and doesn’t believe any of this can work. When Fausta questions Wonder Woman, she talks about Paradise Island and getting mentally and physically strong due to being “unhampered by masculine destructiveness.”

This sets Kesselman off and has her brought to the interrogation chamber, which is just a  big board with a giant strap.

I feel like anyone could escape this.

Back at work, Not-General Blankenship hopes Steve is relaxing and that Diana is too. Etta, who knows where Steve is, is worried, but SAYS NOTHING TO HER COMMANDING OFFICER.

If he only knew …

In the interrogation chamber, Kesselman can’t take any more of this nonsense about women on an island and throws the belt and lasso AT Wonder Woman. Who catches it, busts free and busts some heads.

It doesn’t even look locked.

Now. Fausta had the belt in her hand earlier. She didn’t feel stronger?

You’re a spy? I can’t believe it!

As Steve is led in circles by the gestapo agent, a peasant girl (OMG, right? That’s her name in the credits!) – steps in and cracks the Nazi over the head with a shovel. She’s been sent to help Steve. They get to the castle, but then he gets caught, even as Wonder Woman has made it out of the castle and out of the “fatherland” as Kesselman claimed she couldn’t.

Fly the friendly skies.

Back home, Diana and Etta talk. She’s curious where Steve is and Etta asks her to be a friend and not ask. NGB comes out and can’t believe his report about Operation Ms. … Wonder Woman is free, but Steve has been captured behind enemy lines! Diana wants to go get him, but NGB tells her to take a few more days off. Is that his answer to every military problem?

Maybe take some family leave …

He also mentions the fact that the German Underground is riddled … riddled, I tell you, with double agents! Steve doesn’t stand a chance. Oh, well.

Diana won’t take a do-nothing approach. She twirls back into Wonder Woman and uses her Wonder Ventriloquism to imitate NGB and figure out where Steve is.

Is this Crank Yankers?

Fausta knows Wonder Woman will come back for Steve. Kessselman doesn’t think so and while she suggests another trap door (well, it did work the first time), he has a better idea.

This is better than a montage!

Wonder Woman breaks in and finds Steve’s cell, where he’s manacled to the wall. As she frees him, the walls start closing in like the trash compactor in Star Wars. WW pretty easily stops that and she and Steve head out, only to fall into a pit of water through a trap door. AND there’s a 50,000 volt power line ready to go in the water!

“C3PO! Turn off the garbage compactor on the detention level!”

Kesselman wants Wonder Woman to give up her secrets, but she vows to only speak to “the woman” who captured her. Quickly, Wonder Woman convinces Fausta that these men don’t respect her. Fausta throws off her political and idealistic beliefs and helps Wonder Woman and Steve escape.

“Sure you kidnapped me and stole my lasso … but you’re okay!

Outside, Wonder Woman calls her an example to women all over the world. WTF? Fausta goes off with the peasant girl to be a double agent for the U.S. Wonder Woman worries that Steve will be in trouble with NGB. He reveals he got in Kesselman’s safe and got list of all the double agents. Wonder Woman nearly swoons (ugh this is painful) and says Steve brought them six months closer to the end of the world and calls him wonderful. Gag.

This end is sexist no matter what you say. Ew.

Back home, Diana and Steve tell Etta their time at a “resort” wasn’t fit for ladies’ ears. Again, WTF. Steve talks to Diana about their great new agent … Fausta Grabels. Diana says all the women in the world can do wonders if put to the test. Oh, my.

Better than last episode, but not by much. Two out of five magic lassos. Next week … Dick van Patton and a Wonder beauty contest! See you then!

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