By Kerensa Cadenas and Noel Kirkpatrick
Season 2, episode 13: “Light-Fingered Lady”
Original airdate: Jan. 6, 1978
Kerensa: With this episode, I’m officially calling the Wonder Woman of season one that we loved the majority of the time completely and utterly dead.
Although I did, for the most part enjoy this episode, but it has totally turned into lady spy show with Wonder Woman showing up to do the things that Diana can’t.
What did you think about it?
Noel: Kerensa, I’m a sucker for heist narratives, so I actually sort of liked “The Light-Fingered Lady.” There was the meeting with the brains, getting new members, the actual heist, twists and turns, and then there was Wonder Woman showing up to do things that Diana couldn’t, as you said. In fact, and I sort of hate saying it, but I think that Wonder Woman may have been the worst aspect of the episode?
Kerensa: Yeah, I agree. Wonder Woman literally just showed up to do some fighting and then we drop back into the regular narrative of the show. It didn’t really work for me either because it wasn’t even like Wonder Woman was involved in the plot at all. It was only Diana undercover.
It seems so weird that Wonder Woman is becoming a supporting character in a show that is TITLED after her. What do you think?
Noel: I’ve been sort of meh on the subject since the start of Season 2, as you might remember, so maybe I’ve just resigned myself to it? Remember I was concerned about how it might be muddling the feminist message a bit? Is Wonder Woman necessary in the 1970s, apart from needing to communicate with animals, steal files, and break open safe doors? Arguably, Wonder Woman is always relevant, but maybe Diana Prince is more relevant in that time period?
Kerensa: That makes complete sens that Diana would be more relevant.
Also, let’s talk that Wonder Woman talking to the dogs scene because GD that was ridiculous. Is it like a weird lady-with-superpower thing that you have to be able to communicate with animals? I know we know she can do this but it was SO over the top for me. I especially liked when she said something about “respecting that they were protecting people” or something. So hilarious.
Noel: It was really weird. At certain times in the comics, she’s had telepathic abilities, or the ability to speak any language, but this was just, “Oh, well, we need her to deal with the dogs without hurting them…ANIMAL TELEPATHY!” When it could’ve just been an easy matter of her normal, overwhelming compassion convincing the dogs to ignore their training. Of course, that would mean acknowledging Diana’s still a paragon of feminist compassion, and that’s just now how things go now.
What else…there were a couple of plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, including Wonder Woman walking through the door that Diana was supposed to signal her crew from AND NO ONE EVEN NOTICED…oh, and Diana knowing where the hideout was despite being blindfolded. WHOOPS. Maybe the dogs told her?
But we should probably talk a bit about Eve and the sheer number of not-white people who were in the episode (and last week’s, for that matter).
Kerensa: Yeah, the amount of plot holes was ridiculous.
Eve seems awesome! And I was so excited to see more diversity in the show especially because it has always been overwhelmingly white. While we aren’t really given much backstory about how Eve has come to work with them (although that could have been in an episode we didn’t see) her scene where she went undercover as Diana’s prison friend was by far the highlight of the episode for me. It was totally bad ass. Although I’d like to see her and Diana interact more.
What did you think?
Noel: Eve does seem pretty awesome! She’s able to deal with Steve talk to a computer (oy with the computer already), but she’s also a master of disguise! I even like to think it was her idea to set up the confrontation with Leech (poor Leech) to lock up Diana’s identity. In fact, I think Steve should promote her to a full-time field agent who helps Diana out more. No one should have to hang out with Steve and I.R.A.C. more than they have to.
We do get a very racially diverse pair of episodes, though it’s not super diverse in its representation. Last week had the excellent J.A. Preston stuck in a bit part of a shady magician that Wonder Woman chased and than random goon number 2. This week, we’ve a serious heavy in Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible as the nefarious and cunning Caribe and then Bubba Smith as Rojack, the team’s muscle who was an ex-football player (like Smith himself; this episode was his television acting debut!). So while Eve always gets to be good, the rest of the African Americans are all criminals. Add in a telepathic Japanese man and shady Middle Eastern oil tycoons, and the Other is alive and well on Wonder Woman.
Kerensa: I know, this computer needs to go away. I agree–also how awesome would it be to see Eve and Diana out on the field together! And no one should have to hang out with that computer (and Steve) more than they need to. I do hope that we get more interaction between the two of them. Are we to assume that Eve could be the Etta replacement?
Oh, it’s not diverse at all in it’s representations–and you are totally right about the representation of the Other on Wonder Woman. But I feel kinda unsurprised that this is the way race is shown on the show–are you surprised?
Noel: We’d be way too lucky if Eve turned out to be an Etta replacement. Most likely she’s a Joe replacement insofar as there’s someone other than the computer fr Steve to talk to, but gets paid less than the guy who was playing Joe was, and probably has more availability. I have to imagine that Waggoner shot all his scenes in a day or two and the rest of the time was spent with Carter and the guest stars. TV ECONOMICS.
Oh, I’m not surprised at all. Why should I be? This sort of negative representation still happens on TV (Hello, stereotypically clothed gang bangers on Arrow!). On the upside, even if he’s playing a criminal, at least Morris is playing a master criminal, and one that everyone else is pretty frightened of. Still, it’s a fair cry from his work as a secret agent on Mission: Impossible.
Anything else…? Diana’s the god of war in the comics, by the way.
Kerensa: Eve is totally getting paid less than Joe 😦 I’m gonna hold out some hope that we get Eve/Diana interactions in the future.
HAHA. YES, he totally shot everything in one day. He’s never around! But he did utter my favorite line of the episode when one of the criminals (I think?) says “See what you get when you trust a woman?” And Steve drops the mic with “You get the job done!”
We close out Season 2 with “The Girl from Ilandia.”