Make sure you’re up to date with this musical journey by reading Part I, Part II and Part III before moving on. If you have, excellent! Also – wow, you’ve got some serious stamina. Back to the story…
Several days later we see Baroness Schraeder and the Von Trapp children outside on the veranda. They are playing a game that involves throwing a ball unenthusiastically to each other while shouting out numbers assigned to different people. It’s even less fun than it sounds. The only way the kids can keep themselves mildly amused is by throwing the ball either right past the Baroness (forcing her to go fetch it) or directly into her stomach. The subtle undertone of this scene is: “Baroness Schraeder sucks with children”.
After the excruciating “game” is finally over the Baroness walks over to Max and immediately complains about how difficult kids are. We find out that her big plan in case of marriage to the Captain is to send the children off to a boarding school. Considering what we have just witnessed that would actually be the most humane thing she could ever do to them. The kids come over and Max decides to cheer them up by making them sing. He grabs his guitar and strums a few notes to get things started. The children begin singing as if it’s a punishment, which, for the audience, it is. Von Trapp himself comes out and watches as the kids completely lose their will to live and stop singing one by one.
Brigitta wants to know whether Maria is indeed not coming back. The Captain reminds them all that Maria missed the Abbey so much that she had to leave, at least if her note is to be believed. The note, of course, is not to be believed, but Von Trapp has emotional intelligence of amoeba, so he’s happy to leave it at that. The kids keep asking questions about Maria and they’re clearly disappointed that she left. The subtle undertone of this scene is: “The kids are clearly disappointed that Maria left”.
Just when the kids are on the verge of mass suicide the Captain, taking cue from Maria’s notoriously awful timing, announces that they’ll have a new mother – Baroness Schraeder. Interpreting their silent and murderous stares as signs of joy Von Trapp forces them all to give their future mother a kiss. Showing superhuman restraint the kids manage to pretend-kiss the Baroness, instead of for-real-strangle her. The Captain finally catches on that the kids aren’t thrilled about the development. He awkwardly sends them off to play.
In the next scene we see the kids arrive at the Abbey to look for Maria. They have a brief conversation with Sister Margaretta who basically tells them they’ve wasted their time. She says that Maria’s is in seclusion and isn’t seeing anyone. That’s two ways of saying the same thing, Sister Redundancy. Against the children’s shouts of protest she tells them to leave and shuts the gate. Mother Abbess joins Sister Margaretta, who updates her on the kids’ visit. Mother Abbess decides that it’s time for Maria to break her seclusion at last.
Cut to Mother Abbess’ office, later that same day. Reverend Mother calls Maria into her office. Assuming the worst, as everyone always does with Maria, Mother Abbess immediately begins interrogating her as to why she’s been sent back to the Abbey. Maria shocks her by revealing that she’s left of her own accord. They slowly uncover the real reason why Maria left, namely her love for the Captain. Reverend Mother laughs and tells Maria that God believes she’s a moron. Well, not in those words. What she says is is that God would want Maria to explore this love for a man rather than shut herself inside the Abbey. Maria keeps insisting that she wants to stay in the Abbey for good. Mother Abbess has only one tool left in her arsenal to change Maria’s mind. Stop, singing time!
In the song Mother Abbess tells Maria: “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, ’till you find your dream”. Word. It’s nice you’re a whizz with metaphors and all that, but how about thinking for a second? You’re singing to a person who makes clothing out of curtains and thinks mittens are the best thing in life. What if she takes that shit literally? While climbing every mountain and fording every stream is at least theoretically achievable, attempting to chase every rainbow would make Maria finally lose what’s left of her sanity. This is criminally irresponsible advice to give to someone whose mind is one nervous breakdown away from total collapse. God gave you a second freaking chance to keep Maria safe in the Abbey and yet again you send her away. I’m starting to think you get off on this, Reverend Mother.
Later that day the Captain is on the veranda, interrogating the kids as to where they’ve been. They say they went to pick blueberries. He shrewdly points out that it’s too early for blueberries. The children make a retarded attempt to save this by saying they’ve been picking strawberries, but since it was cold they’ve turned blue. Somehow seeing through this clever web of lies the Captain presses on and wants to see the strawberries. The kids claim they ate them. Von Trapp shuts his masterful trap by stating that since the kids have eaten so many berries they’re not going to be served dinner. Check and mate, suckers. (CONTINUE TO PAGE 2)