At the end of the last episode of Schmigadoon!, Josh broke out of jail and was now on the run with a bus full of hippies. At the beginning of the episode, he finds himself safely in the hippies’ commune and/or hiding place. They encourage him to embrace their new, forward-thinking lifestyle which mostly consists of getting naked. They also tell fables but don’t seem to do much else to further their causes.
Schmigadoon! season 2 episode 3 recap: The barber… I mean butcher with a dark past
Melissa meanwhile, after finding out that Josh has run away from jail, goes looking for the address that she found in the appointment book of Elsie in the last episode. The clue leads her to Quick Street where she meets two new characters, the child-hating owner of the local orphanage, and a butcher named Dooley Blight, with a dark past.
Both characters offer a song about how much their lives suck, but the butcher’s song gives Melissa a clue as to the possible mysteries of Elsie’s death. It seems that the Butcher is the father of Jenny, but he was sent to jail years ago, and now can’t bear to try and connect with his daughter. He vows revenge upon the rich man who ruined his family and his life. And given that he vowed revenge while holding a meat cleaver, it was a very menacing vow.
Schmigadoon! season 2 episode 3 recap: A comprehensive knowledge of the law
One of the hippies is sent to give Melissa a message that Josh is safe but unintentionally provides an easy way for Melissa to find Josh by simply following the hippie back to the commune. Melissa brings Josh back to town in time to stand trial for the murder of Elsie. Bobby the lawyer pulls out all the bells and whistles for her defense and is able to get Josh a verdict of not guilty over the course of a single song.
Melissa and Josh, thrilled with the verdict, believe that the “not guilty” is the happy ending that they needed to find in order to get out of Schmicago. However, it seems that things aren’t as resolved as they appear. Octavius Kratt, the richest man in town, laments that Josh has gone free as he was supposed to be the perfect person to frame for the murder that Kratt committed. It seems that Kratt has a habit of trying to be with women who aren’t interested in him, including Elsie and the wife of Dooley. However, as he watches Melissa and Josh prepare to leave town, he turns his interest toward Melissa as the episode comes to a close.
Schmigadoon! season 2 episode 3 recap: The importance of Hair to the era
Your appreciation of this episode is going to come down to what you think is the most important driving force for a show like Schmigadoon. After all, the plot in this episode is exceptionally breezy. Josh breaks out of jail, only for him to be back, in the courtroom, and getting freed with no real consequence for that action. However, it’s not as important that the plot moves forward, as it is that we get an opportunity to step into as many musical settings as possible.
If this season is going to cover a specific era of musicals that thrive on being edgy and risque, then Hair has to be among them. In a great touch Josh, who is bald for every other moment of the show so far, is sporting a full head of hair for the sequences where the musical Hair is the main inspiration/target of the show.
Even so, the standout song of the episode has to go to Bells and Whistles, given that Jane Karakowski is given a ton of stunts only to top them all with an incredible pattern section of the song that she pulls off wonderfully.