Schmigadoon! episode 2×04 is titled “Something Real,” and you know what’s real? The feeling of wanting more when we got to the end of the episode. The fourth episode of the Apple TV+ musical comedy series was dubbed the rom com episode by creator Cinco Paul, and that couldn’t be truer. If you love love, this is the episode for you.
Tituss Burgess’s narrator helps Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) realize that Josh being cleared of murder is not the happy ending that will free them from Schmicago, because it’s not all about them. It’s helpful to remember season one: though the key to crossing the bridge in Schmigadoon was true love, even their journey there helped others along the way. Mayor Aloysius Menlove, Father Layton, and Emma Tate all got to be their true selves after Josh and Melissa helped the town become more accepting.
So it comes to no surprise that similarly in Schmicago, Josh and Melissa aren’t the only ones whose lives need to change to cross the bridge. That especially rings true in season two where all of the characters have a more developed story and don’t simply serve as pawns in the chess game of Josh and Melissa’s lives. The problem is one we’ve all pondered: what is the key to happiness? How do we make everyone happy? It’s certainly not a problem anyone can solve or find the answers to in a 30-minute episode, but Josh and Melissa sure do try — and the 30 minutes fly by!
Honestly, not much happens in this episode, and we wish more did. Looking back, there are only three key musical numbers, which can feel like too few considering Schmigadoon! is a musical comedy. Perhaps it’s a matter of quality over quantity, but none of the numbers — or much of the episode overall really — do much to move the story along. Like Josh and Melissa, we know we’re looking for happiness and don’t know how to get there. But there are only two episodes left after “Something Real.” It feels like there’s a lot left to figure out in not a lot of time.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy what “Something Real” did give us, though. We were definitely entertained by the musical numbers and scenes we were given, highlighting two dynamic duos. After doing lots of press together off-screen, we loved seeing the long-awaited pairing of Jenny (Dove Cameron) and Topher (Aaron Tveit) onscreen! Josh and Melissa didn’t, but we easily saw where the pair was headed the second they met. Their sweet ballad for which the episode is named was beautiful and deep, really personifying their shared feelings. Then they kissed, and we all wished we could be one — or both — of them.
The other pair we spent time with in Schmigadoon! 2×04 was an intentional set-up: Miss Codwell (Kristin Chenoweth) and Mr. Blight (Alan Cumming). Easily recognizable as Schmicago’s versions of Miss Hannigan from Annie and the titular Sweeney Todd, respectively, Miss Codwell and Mr. Blight quickly warm up to each other after a push from Josh and Melissa. The highlight of the couple’s screentime in “Something Real” comes in the form of the biggest musical number of the episode. While we love a good song and dance, their crossover number ultimately feels too long. Once the song (and episode) are over, we’re left thinking, “That’s it?”
We’re left with many questions and wanting more. The previous episodes, particularly “Bells and Whistles,” gave us insight on Kratt (Patrick Page) and his role in Schmicago, hinting that he’s the big antagonist of the season. After 2×04, we’ve got essentially an hour left in Schmicago but don’t feel much closer to the other side of the bridge.
New episodes of Schmigadoon! season 2 are available on Apple TV+ every Wednesday.