Friday, January 25, 2008

Wonder Woman Reviews Episode 2: Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther

Episode two opens with Steve out on war games...do they conduct war games during a time of active war? I guess they have to train the soldiers somehow... Steve's team aims to take out what they think is an empty army truck but things go awry. First they lose control of the vehicle and it nearly takes a plunge down a steep hillside taking Steve along with it. Thank god Wonder Woman has been spying on them this whole time...with the Steve's inadequate soldiering skills who can blame her... she is able to rescue Steve but not the truck and it falls exploding into a giant fireball. As it would happen the truck was loaded with weapons that had gone missing and they come to the conclusion that someone is trying to ruin Steve's good reputation. I don't know why they bother, it's only the second episode and he's well on his way to doing that himself.


Meanwhile back at the headquarters an important file goes missing and it becomes even more clear someone is out to get Steve. Diana expresses some concern for Steve's well-being and he tells her "War is dangerous Diana"...wow thanks I didn't realize that sir, after all I'm only a woman.

By the way what branch of the military is this supposed to be exactly? Steve is a major who walks around in army brown, serves in ground missions yet serves as a pilot whenever it's convenient for the plot. Diana is a yeoman in navy blue but serves as Steve's secretary. Curiouser and curiouser.

An anonymous call comes in claiming to have vital information for clearing Steve's "good" name. He takes the bait and agrees to meet the caller in an out of the way place. Thank god Wonder Woman follows because Steve gets himself into trouble once again and once again she has to save him. Seriously what does she see in this guy?

After more jawing at headquarters they come to the conclusion this conspiracy to destroy Steve has something to do with an accent-free German Baroness being held by the Americans in a women's prison, so Steve and Diana pay the Baroness Paula Von Gunther (Christine Belford) a visit.

Baroness Von Gunther is actually one of only two villains from the comic book they used in the entirety of the show. Von Gunther was Wonder Woman's first arch-nemesis battling the Amazons as an agent of the Gestapo. She murdered many individuals, kept a small group of women as personal slaves, tortured them routinely and once tried to monopolize America's milk supply so that its people would have weak bones and fall before the stronger-boned Nazis. Wow. The baroness in this episode was no where near this interesting. Lets put it this way if Ben and Jerry named an ice cream flavor after her it would be very vanilla.

But before visiting with the Baroness Vanilla Steve and Diana meet with the warden to see if anything out of the ordinary had been occurring. He calls her a model prisoner before they are interrupted by his son dressed as and playing Sherlock Holmes right outside the warden's office. "I wish he had more friends so he wouldn't spend so much time reading." Says the warden of his son. Ouch!!!! What a pro-education stance! Of course the guy lets his kid play inside of a women's prison so he's not gonna win father of the year anyways.

When Steve and Diana finally make it to the cell of the baroness which is really more of a quaintly furnished room, they find her reading a copy of The Principles of Democracy insisting that she has changed her ways. While treated to this dull conversation Diana notices the Warden's son Tommy has gotten himself into a spot of trouble, excuses herself leaves the room and the Baroness proceeds to question Steve's choice for a secretary, that Diana looks like wet biscuits. Sweet woman. A quick spin change later Wonder Woman who runs like a little girl in those heels, saves Tommy from falling off a ladder.

That evening the Baroness breaks out of prison using...get this...a door built by Austrian immigrants years ago. Thank god these immigrants had the foresight to build an exit out of a prison they had no idea a German national would ever be imprisoned in. She meets with a Nazi friend played by Bradford Dillman then breaks back into prison. Anticlimactic I know.


But it gets a little better after the Nazis kidnap Steve and the Baroness breaks out again this time for good...we assume. Wonder Woman tracks Steve down in the swanky Nazi hideout but gets captured herself giving us the first Wonder Woman in bondage of the series! Sweet! And somehow the warden's kid Tommy ends up tied up next to Steve and Wonder Woman as well.

When the Warden realizes his son has gone missing...I repeat you let your son play in a women's prison and you are surprised when one of the prisoners uses his safety against you...they go looking for him. Luckily they find Tommy's detective notebook and that leads them to the Baroness, but by the time they find the Nazi hideout Wonder Woman has freed herself and is lecturing the Baroness for committing unwomanly acts. Hilarious! And in the end Steve is cleared of all suspicion, thank god.

This episode was really not a good follow-up to the pilot, in fact if I had to describe it in one word it would be "dull". There's not nearly enough Wonder Woman and the actress playing the Baroness is just so boring. The episode does however have the first appearance of Wonder Woman's gal pal Etta Candy Beatrice Colen. In the comic books Etta was the spirited, rotund young woman who led the Beeta Lambda sorority at Holliday College and aids Wonder Woman in her adventures. On the TV show she's still rotund and in her first scene is even stuffing her face but instead of a college gal she's an army secretary and a grown woman.

Even for fans this is a skip it episode.
1 out of 5 stars

TV Totals:
3 times Wonder Woman saves Steve
3 on screen Nazis
1 ugly smoking jacket
1 Nunnally Johnson reference
1 cat fight
1 fight

4 comments:

pidomon said...

thanks for saving me the time! Hopefully the next episode will be better

Randal Graves said...

Oh, Lynda Carter in short shorts has to be worth at least two stars, no?

Man, I really need to get these on DVD.

Swinebread said...

Heh heh, I keep thinking about WW done in the style of Black Adder III where Diana is the smart one and Steve is the boob who screws things up all the time and hilarity ensues.

WW: “Wait! MAJ Trevor, you know women have the babies right?”

Steve: “You mean Dumbo is isn’t true”

(Wonder Woman shakes her head and sighs)

Becca said...

Pidomon-
I've already watch it and yes thankfully it's better.

Randal-
You'd think so but then you'd be underestimating just how dull the episode was. Maybe if WW was in it a bit more often it would have bumped up the score a bit.

Swinebread-
That's an incredibly funny thought. I can't get the image of Steve as Baldrick out of my head.