Recap: This episode is prefaced with an announcement that the opening scenes were filmed in black and white...and then we get the same "dedicated to the young at heart" preamble as is in The Wizard of Oz, which is the first clue that we're in for a superfluous, episode-long dream sequence (fuuuuuuuuuuck). Doris arrives at school carrying a wiggly bundle and enters the dance gym, where a student we've never seen before, Darlene, is rehearsing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Doris interrupts and snarks that she's supposed to be the one singing this song in the upcoming show - but Miss Sherwood sternly tells her she's out 'cause she failed to turn in her midterm essay. Doris cries, "That's not fair!" and insists she did turn in the essay. She looks pleadingly at Ms. Grant, who just shakes her head and says she has zero desire to lift a finger to help her...and when she turns to Mr. Shorofsky for help, he shrugs disinterestedly and says, "Sorry, Cookie." Doris glares at Miss Sherwood and snaps, "Don't be such a witch!" [yep - foreshadowing alert], and everyone gasps and flees the room. Doris sarcastically thanks Bruno, Leroy, and Danny for their help, and they're just like, "Sucks to be you" and say there's not much they can do if she fails to turn in her work and/or show up to rehearsal on time. Doris opens up the bundle she's been carrying around...and when a cute little terrier pops out, she explains that it's her aunt's dog, Toto, who she's dog-sitting for a week. As Toto scampers about, Doris gets worried he'll be seen by one of the teachers, so she chases after him...and in the process trips over her bag, hits her head, and passes out.
When she regains consciousness, the dance gym is empty - except for Toto. She looks around perplexedly and tells Toto, "I don't think we're in the School of the Arts anymore", then opens the doors and enters a colorized world constructed of paper flowers, silver streamer thingys hanging from the ceiling, and AstroTurf on the floor. She and Toto venture into the hall to explore and are startled by the sound of incessant giggling. A white light suddenly appears in the hall, and Ms. Grant appears, decked out in a white halter dress and a fugly white wig with a tiara on top. She introduces herself to Doris as the Good Witch, then urges the gigglers to show themselves. A dozen or so Fame extras emerge from she shadows, crawling around on their knees, and Good Witch explains to Doris that these faux little people are called punchkins. One of the punchkins shrieks and points to the horrifying sight of stuffed socks with orange sneakers sticking out of the bottom of one of the lockers. Good Witch opens the locker, gasps at what she sees inside, and announces that the Wicked Witch is dead...which then segue ways into a performance of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Have I mentioned how much I hate it when TV shows do dream sequence-type episodes??
A puff of smoke suddenly filters in, and a green, witchy version of Miss Sherwood appears. She demands to know what happened to her witch sister, then asks Doris if she did this, and Doris is like, "I don't think so. I just want to be in the show." Witchy Sherwood pronounces that she's never going to be in any show ever (woo hoo!), then eyes the orange sneakers. Good Witch waves her wand, which magically transfers the shoes from the stuffed socks to Doris' feet - and Witchy Sherwood once again vows to prevent Doris from being cast in any of the school's upcoming shows. Good Witch is like, "Oh no you diiin't!" and threatens to splash her with water, and Witchy Sherwood backs away fearfully, then disappears in a green puff of smoke. Poor Toto gets so freaked out by all the weirdness surrounding him that he topples over in a faint. Good Witch advises Doris to consult with the Wizard of Shorofsky in the Auditorium...er Kingdom, 'cause he may be able to pull some strings and get her cast in the next show. Doris likes the sound of that, and she and Toto stumble upon a yellow brick road to guide her "journey" ... and - ugh - she breaks into song while skipping on her way.
Doris runs into the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion [aka Bruno, Leroy, and Danny], who are cuddled on a bench together, napping. Doris scrunches her face in confusion and remarks that they're supposed to be introduced to her separately, and Tin Man just kind of shrugs and explains that they wanted to meet the wizard asap, so they decided to "cut out the middle man". Doris is good with that, declares that they're off to see the wizard, and the three skip along the yellow brick road, singing in their wretchedly off-tune voices.
A ratty-haired Julie, who's apparently been the witch's prisoner for the last eight hundred years, is playing an imaginary cello, while monkey-boy Dwight rubs an old TV set for Witchy Sherwood. He squeals, "It's starting to come in!" so Witchy Sherwood rushes over and watches footage of Doris and her three new friends ambling down the hall. She cackles maniacally and says that what these four need is a "field of poison" [I couldn't agree more], then starts shriek-laughing.
Doris and her friends come upon a dark hall...and Lion says he's too scared to continue and turns to flee. Doris urges them to keep moving forward and reminds them that they have no choice but to see this stupid dream sequence episode through. Suddenly, a light in one of the classrooms comes on, and Lion finds a sudden burst of courage and rushes over to explore, then gushes about what a beautiful sight it is. The rest of the group follows, and they all stand in the doorway and look awestruck. Eventually they step inside, intrigued by the simulated poppy field: flowy red and pink sheets being flapped about. The witch watches them on the TV and cackles to her minions about how these fools just fell prey to her poison poppies.
Everyone but Tin Man passes out, and he stares around in bewilderment and moans, "Where's a good witch when you need one?" Good Witch magically appears and conjures up snow flurries to reverse the effects of the poison...and the gang wakes up refreshed and scampers back to the makeshift yellow brick road. When Witchy Sherwood suddenly appears on a bicycle, shrieking at them maniacally, they flee to a room called the Fast Food Jungle - which is filled with chocolate and junk food as far as the eye can see. The managed to resist gobbling down the treats, then encounter monsters cloaked in brown...and after wrestling with them for several minutes, they escape back to the yellow brick road and finally reach the auditorium. Phew!
Mr. Reardon opens the top half of a half door to see who's knocking, and Doris announces that she and her friends need to see the wizard. After some tedious back and forth, he lets the group inside. Witchy Sherwood is enraged at this latest development and vows to keep Doris out of any upcoming shows (hurray!), then laughs maniacally again.
The Wizard of Shorofsky is pretending to play a large piano that automatically plays songs via a coin dispenser. When Doris asks whassup with him fake playing the instrument, he says it's easier than actually knowing how to play, but assures her that he is, in fact, capable of performing miracles. He asks what he can do for them, so Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion dance around, singing about the stuff they each want: heart, brain, courage, decent singing voices.
The wizard consults with Mr. Reardon and says he's not sure he really wants to help this band of idiots. Doris says she doesn't need a brain, heart, or courage - only to be in the upcoming show. The wizard asks her why she wants that so badly...and Doris stares at him blankly, then shrugs and says, "Everybody likes to be in the show" and the wizard and Mr. Reardon retort, "We don't."
Witchy Sherwood is beating Dwight for asking too many pesky questions, which is awesome.
Doris takes the stage in the auditorium and explains in painful detail why she loooooves being cast in shows, blahdy blah..
Witchy Sherwood arrives in the lobby with Julie and Dwight in tow to launch her nefarious revenge plot against Doris.
Doris is bowing and blowing kisses to an imaginary audience, explaining to the wizard how great it feels to be adored by people - but the wizard looks unimpressed and tells her to go pee up a rope. Haha! Suck on it, Doris.
Julie starts playing an imaginary cello - the purpose being to cast a nasty spell on Doris. I guess I can buy that.
Toto hears the fake cello music and scampers into the hall to investigate...and Doris gets alarmed and chases after him. She finds him, picks him up and cuddles him...then stares up fearfully as Witchy Sherwood looms over her and growls, "Hello, dearie." Eeeek!
Toto has been placed in a tiny cage, while Doris sits next to Darlene, who's dressed like she's one of the witch's guards. The witch orders Doris to take off the orange sneakers, and when Doris refuses, the witch summons her guards...and their arrival degenerates into a dance number, in which Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion secretly perform. The witch tells Doris that her guards are cruel and sadistic, and that she has exactly ten seconds to hand over the shoes. Scarecrow, meanwhile, urges Julie to make a run for it while the witch isn't looking...and she wisely takes his advice and flees. Lion warns the witch not to hurt Doris...and his outburst prompts her to set fire to Scarecrow. Tin Man grabs the nearest fire extinguisher and sprays him down and accidentally gets some of it on the witch...and as she starts shrieking, everyone watches in fascinated horror as she melts into a smoldering pile of ashes. Darlene cheers, "We're free at last!" and everyone else woots happily.
The Wizard of Shorofsky tells Doris she did good, then awards medallions to Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion as the punchkins cheer. Good Witch appears out of nowhere and tells Doris she never actually needed anyone's help trying to figure out why she liked being cast in shows so much...and Doris says it eventually dawned on her that she should probably want to perform in shows for the audience's enjoyment, not just her own. After that, the two start singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The wizard asks Doris if she's ready to go back to black and white world...and when Doris says she is, he instructs her to close her eyes and click her heels together three times.
In the next scene, Doris is getting her temperature taken by Mrs. Berg, and Mr. Reardon is assuring her that she'll be OK. Doris looks around in bewilderment, then says hey to the students and faculty who are all standing around gaping at her. Miss Sherwood apologizes for being such a witch to her earlier - and Doris assures her that all is forgiven, and that she had to sort out some personal truths. She leaps up, hugs Bruno, Leroy, and Danny, then scampers out the hall, gushing to everyone about how happy she is to be back. She screeches, "I loooove this place!" then picks up Toto and cuddles him while everyone around her beams.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!