The Captain and Baroness Schraeder are in the middle of their political discussion when Von Trapp suddenly jerks his head towards the lake. He sees Maria and the children rowing a skiff, while singing. Unbelievably, they are still singing the same freaking song about music notes that they’ve been singing for weeks. These kids are making slower progress than a lobotomised goldfish. Upon seeing the Captain the kids jump up excitedly, yelling “Papa”. The boat starts to rock dangerously. Maria is also shocked into standing up rapidly by the mere sight of Von Trapp. At that moment the boat finally capsizes, sending everyone into the water. How Maria has avoided drowning the children up until now will forever remain a mystery.
Von Trapp orders everyone out of the water and brings out his trusty whistle to help him arrange the kids into a perfectly straight line. He introduces the children and the Baroness to each other. Then he tells the children to go inside the house to immediately change into dry clothes. Maria, rightfully considering herself to be one of the children attempts to go inside as well. The Captain, however, tells her to “stay here, please”. The Baroness walks off to give Von Trapp some privacy for the verbal lashing he’s about to give Maria. The Captain is understandably shocked and disgusted to find out that his children have been running around Salzburg dressed in old drapes like a pack of hobos.
The Captain is running on his last drop of patience. Astonishingly, at this very point Maria begins to lecture Von Trapp on parenting, by insisting that he should be more engaged and love his children. The Captain repeatedly implores her to stop telling him how to raise his kids. Maria doesn’t. Demonstrating complete lack of social awareness she somehow figures that being enraged brings the Captain into just the right state of mind to absorb parenting tips from the very woman he’s mad at. I’m sure if Maria ever took the kids to a zoo she’d climb into a tiger cage during feeding hours to point out the “whiskers on kittens” item on her list of favourite things. The conversation ends with Von Trapp telling Maria to pack her bags and return to the Abbey.
Just at that moment we hear faint singing from inside the house. The Captain is bewildered. What is that melodic combination of sounds? What does it mean? He asks what it is, upon which Maria tells him it’s a little something people call “singing”. Von Trapp tries to save face by claiming that he was informed about this “singing” phenomenon all along. He says “Yes, I realize it’s singing, but who is singing?”. Come on buddy, there is a pretty limited number of people in the house, so make an effort to put two and two together! Maria tells him it’s the children singing a song they’ve put together for the Baroness. The Captain runs into the house, probably still unable to figure out what “singing” is actually about.
The children are singing the song that Maria opened the movie with. So they can in fact do more than just sing the music notes out loud. In the middle of their song something clicks in the Captian’s mind and all of a sudden he remembers – ah yes, “singing”, he knows what that is! He joins in, much to everyone’s surprise. Von Trapp and the kids finish the song together and everyone hugs. The Captain chases Maria, who is on her way up the stairs to pack her bags. He says that now he wants her to stay, since she’s brought music back into his life. In a matter of minutes the Captain reverses his decision entirely. Behold, the power of music!
Next scene, another day. We see Maria and the kids put on a puppet show for Uncle Max, the Baroness and the Captain. The show involves a lot of different characters and even more yodelling. Everyone is impressed, especially the Captain. He tells Maria exactly how much he is impressed by saying “very very much”. That’s twice as good as a single “very”! Von Trapp and Maria exchange looks and Baroness Schraeder begins to get jealous. She mockingly asks Maria whether there’s anything she cannot do, to which Maria replies that she wouldn’t make a very good nun. That’s right, it’s hard to make a good nun, or any kind of nun, when Reverend Mother herself tells you to get the hell out of the Abbey.
Uncle Max announces that he’s finally found the group he’ll take to the Salzburg Folk Festival. It’s pretty obvious he’s talking about the Von Trapp children, seeing how they’ve just finished yet another successful performance and he was right there. However, for some reason everyone begins to stupidly shout out the names of other choirs and singing bands. Uncle Max decides to give them a not-at-all subtle hint and says that it’s a singing group “all in one family”. The Captain asks whose family that might be. Come on, does any character in this movie have an IQ above a two-digit figure? Uncle Max explains that he’s talking about the Captain’s kids. The Captain rejects the idea and insists that his children will never sing in public.
Next, the children and Maria decide that Von Trapp himself should sing a song. The Captain is uncomfortable with the idea and communicates this eloquently by saying “no” seven times in a row. Maria says she knows he’s been very good a long time ago. The Captain says it was a “very, very, very” long time ago. Three times “very” – the man has a way with words. Finally, under pressure from the kids he caves in and grabs the guitar. The Baroness is becoming annoyed and whispers to Max that if only she knew that everyone in this family communicated exclusively via songs she’d have brought along her harmonica. (CONTINUE TO PAGE 2)