After the build-up of last week’s introduction to Drusilla/Wonder Girl, this week, we dive right into the action as we wrap up “The Feminum Mystique, Part II!”
Younger readers may not be aware of The Feminine Mystique, the 1963 book by Betty Friedan, which is recognized as helping kick off the second wave of feminism in America. So, there’s some learning for you in your weekly recap of 70s superheroics.
Diana is worried about her missing sister, but not so much she isn’t back at work at the War Department. Steve is less than helpful and wonders if Diana shouldn’t just phone home to her mother. So, we get the obligatory sly jokes about there’s no phone where Queen Carolyn lives. Au contraire, says the comic books!
At the warehouse where Dru is held, Peter changes clothes and he is skinny! He is “thrown” into the cell as a “prisoner.” Evil John Saxon shoots a gun at Peter and Wonder Girl (who we never actually call “Wonder Girl”) deflects with some Bullets & Bracelets®. Now Evil Saxon is convinced she is the Wonder Woman and they choloform her again.
Evil Saxon takes her bracelets off and Peter Knight “tests” them. With a microscope. And a Bunsen burner. What the eff kind of scientist is he? I realize it’s an abandoned warehouse, but get a metallurgical spectrometer in there, man!
Wonder Girl reminds Peter of someone … a girl who had a crush on him. Evil Saxon, who has masculine charm to the 28th power, rightfully scoffs that Peter can charm Wonder Woman.
Sadly, Evil John Saxon is wrong. In short order, Wonder Girl spills the beans on the special metal of her bracelets (feminum, which of course is what you’d name it) that it only comes from one place and oh, yes, let’s discuss astronomy so Peter can deduce where your island hidden by light refraction, would be.
What does Evil Saxon do? Radio Berlin, of course. This is all he ever says he has to do, and by now, it’s blatant enough to make a drinking game out of it.
At the War Department, they intercept a Nazi signal calling for a land attack on an island near the Bermuda Triangle … only there is no island there! Suddenly, Diana decides that with an imminent Nazi attack, this is the perfect time to take leave. Diana invisible planes it home in her Wonder Woman outfit, but by the time she lands to see her mom, is in Amazon Chiffon®.
She tells Queen Morticia that Dru has disappeared and the queen’s reaction is bizarre … “She’s so young, how did she manage that?”
Ummm, can Amazons learn to disappear at a certain age? Is this a Wonder Power we never saw? They DO have invisible planes …
Diana, using Wonder Intelligence, has figured out it’s the feminum the Nazi’s are after. This is QUITE the logical leap, but okay. The queen puts Diana in charge of defending the mines, but Diana only wants to take a few Amazons, so everyone doesn’t freak out. Queen Morticia asks why they don’t just reason with the Nazis?
In a totally missed opportunity. Evil John Saxon parachutes into the Carribbean to meet a Nazi ship, complains about parachuting into the Carribean and then takes his shirt off. Evil Wet Hot John Saxon is only shown from mid-pec up, but I am swooning. His Nazi ship captain is whining that they are going to an island that isn’t on any of his charts. Shut up and let Evil Shirtless Saxon radio Berlin!
The chiffon-clad Amazons are giggly and thing the whole adventure will be enormous fun. They are giggly about meeting men, and later say they are intrigued by Diana’s stories of them being blonde and blue-eyed. This of course was the whol ubermensch trope, but I’m not sure when Diana had time to explain this.
Queen Morticia decides to go along and wonders if Steve isn’t devious like the Nazis and Diana says he doesn’t have a devious bone in his body. In a weird aside, the Queen says “You would know, daughter.”
Does she think Diana and Steve have already boned! Ewww. However, now I want to see a sitcom of the Queen in Man’s World, being as catty as Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.
At the airfield Steve is about to fly to Paradise Island in the Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator Jet, and Peter introduces him to his new mechanic – the Unfortunate Neckwear-sporting Nazi spy who helped kidnap Dru! SUSPENSE!
We caption over to near the Feminum Mine (say that three times fast) and Diana is now in her Wonder Woman outfit and her lookouts are … playing jacks. They tell Diana they think maybe they can welcome the Nazis.
Some Nazis show up and the Amazon easily toss them in the water. They treat it like a game, until the Nazis lob gas bombs at them – taking them all out, even Wonder Woman. None of them thought to hold their breaths? Evil Saxon is positively giddy. He can’t wait to contact Berlin and say they’ve conquered a whole island of Wonder Women!
When the last spy goes to Dru’s cell to give her lunch, she easily breaks free. These were not very bright spies. She calls the War Department and gets nowhere, so she becomes Bobby Soxer-Action Drusilla® and sneaks onto the airfield. She tells Steve everything and he doesn’t believe her … until she drops Evil John Saxon’s name.
Steve goes out and asks Peter Knight who Radel is. Like a good spy, no, I’m kidding, Peter freaks, punches Steve and gets caught.
Next, Wonder Girl is in an invisible plane (how many are there?) and heads to Paradise Island, as Steve and the War Department are all too slow. All the Amazons are enslaved because … they are threating to shoot Queen Morticia, even though she is lounging around having breakfast with Evil Saxon and never looks to be in danger. But since they are all missing their feminum bracelets, they all submit. This is SO dumb, I can’t do anything but skip ahead.
Evil Saxon is going to take the Amazons to (you can guess where) for study and possible breeding. Not sure how that will work out for you. The Amazons mine, and apparently it’s like gold mining, since they are all in the lagoon.
As Diana walks to the cart to dump all her collected rocks of feminium, Dru shows up. They knock out the one guard and devise a plan, which is basically, find the bracelets, sneak them to the Amazons in the baskets of rocks they are mining, then overpower the Nazis. Diana takes one of Dru’s bracelets.
Since the Nazis can’t tell Diana’s costume from Dru’s, this plan gets off to a great start. As Evil Saxon and Queen Morticia discuss political history and the Treaty of Versaille, Diana rises from the bushes and shows her mom her bracelet. Evil Saxon tells the queen the Nazis aren’t bad, the Third Reich just needs living space … the whole planet.
The Amazons in the pond start a fight and that distracts the Nazis and Evil Saxon. The rest fo the bracelets were in a sack by the Queen the whole time! OMG. Diana escapes with them and distributes them to all her sisters. She finally shoots a gun and that’s the signal – the Amazons overpower their guards.
Evil Saxon threatens to shoot the Queen. He calls her an old woman and it looks like the Amazons are going to stand down … but Diana tosses a bracelet to the Queen, who holds it up in front of Evil Saxon’s gun. He knows when he’s defeated and she rubs it in that he’s been beaten by an “old woman.” You go, Queen Morticia! He gives up, without even radioing Berlin.
WOW. The whole episode is predicated on the mineral that deflects bullets … and we saw one bullet deflected in Wonder Girl’s cell … and that’s it! A big miss for this episode, I think.
The Amazons plan to wipe all the Nazis memories for a week with a special herb. Diana questions Evil Saxon and finds that while Peter’s cover has been blown, his unfortunate neckwear-clad assistant is still around.
The Queen has to give permission for Dru to go with Wonder Woman to America, but will allow it … but the minute she’s finished beating Nazis, she has to come hom. Dru wants to fly the jet, but Diana, like any big sister, isn’t having that.
The Wonder Women fly to America as Steve preps to fly the experimental jet. He goes to change into his flight suit and gets knocked out by the spy, who promptly covers his own unfortunate neckwear choice with Steve’s scarf.
Outside the airfield, Wonder Woman makes Wonder Girl stay hidden, since everyone only thinks there is one Wonder Woman and they should keep it that way.
The spy takes off in the plane, and Wonder Woman chases it down and spins it around until is stops. Pretty cool, even if she has to stop for a second and push her hair out of the way at one point. Steve wakes up and comes out and flies the plane. No worries about a concussion?
At the milkshake shop, Dru finally dances with the boy she met earlier and says she still has three more flavors of ice cream to try. Steve jokes that he’s glad Diana isn’t going home – it would take weeks to replace her. She gives him a look and he laughs, saying she’s irreplaceable on all levels.
So much fun revisiting this episode and I forgot what a joy Carolyn Jones is as the Queen. I wish this show had brought Wonder Girl back in the later seasons. Hell, I so wanted a Teen Titans show with her and Burt Ward!
A groovy 4.5 our of 5 magic lassos for this one. Next week … it’s Wonder Woman versus her hairiest opponent yet … Gargantua! Break out your feminum and join us, won’t you?