This episode illustrates why I enjoyed season one so much better than season two.
First, Wilma was still a strong female character. She wasn't dependent on Buck to save her from every mishap, though he did find a way out of the death chamber that he, Wilma, and Ryma found themselves in. She was able to handle herself quite nicely in difficult situations.
Second, there were the guest stars. Brianne Leary was a regular on "ChiPs" before portraying Ryma. Roddy McDowell played the governor of Vistula, after having starred in several of the "Planet Of the Apes" movies. Then there was Buster Crabbe. You have to love this casting coup. Buster, of course, made his name in Hollywood starring in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials back in the 1930's and 1940's. The character he plays in this episode was named Brigadier Gordon.
Third, there were a lot of good exchanges between the characters. Two bits really stand out in my mind. First, there was the guest lecture that Buck gave to Major Danton's cadets. Buck uses a football analogy to illustrate combat techniques and uses terms like red dog and quarterback sacks. It was quite entertaining when Buck gave Duke a demonstration on what he meant by sacking the quarterback. The second exchange that I really liked was the banter that went on between Buck and Brigadier Gordon.
This was one of my favorite episodes of the entire series, and was much better than any second season episode.