Sunday, April 19, 2009
'The Puppet Show'
This fabulously creepy, yet hilarious episode begins with Cordelia's amazingly dramatic rendition of "The Greatest Love of All" on stage with Giles in the audience looking as though someone is cutting off his fingers one by one. Basically, being tortured. Apparently the new principal, a slimy little man named Principal Snyder, put him in charge of the talent show.
Giles: If you had any shred of decency, you would have participated, or at least, um, helped.
Buffy: Nah! I think I'll take on your traditional role... and watch!
Xander: And mock!
Willow: And laugh!
Or so they think. Principal Snyder catches them off guard and forces them into participating in the talent show, as performers.
OH THE HORROR. You can just see it on their faces. Of course, I can empathize greatly.
They slink back to the chairs and mope about it until a kid, Morgan, with his dummy, Sid, comes on the stage. Buffy gets the wiggins and Willow thinks it's cute. At the end of rehearsal, someone gets their heart cut out by a demon moaning about becoming flesh. And we're what, surprised by this?
The next day, the Scoobies are trying to figure out their talent and Buffy is getting more dummy wiggins.
Snyder: This place has quite a reputation. Suicide, missing persons, spontaneous cheerleader combustion... You can't put up with that. You've gotta keep an eye on the bad element.
Why would anyone take a job at this school after the last principal was eaten?
The Scoobies find out about the murder and after some interviewing of people, they find out Morgan is the most suspicious. Buffy interrogates Morgan and Sid, the dummy, shoos her off after a while. That night, something scurries around in her bedroom and she's convinced it's the dummy, especially when she spots an open window that she didn't leave open. Uber creepy!
The next morning, Giles is back in his torture zone and being hounded by Cordelia.
Giles: Oh! I'm sorry. Um, your hair, uh...
Cordelia: There's something wrong with my hair? Ohmigod!
Giles: Xander was right. It worked like a charm.
Oh, Giles, you crafty watcher, you. Buffy tells her friends that Sid was in her bedroom and they all think she is crazy. Sid gets taken away in one of Buffy's classes as Morgan cannot part with him. And when Morgan returns to retrieve him, he's gone!
We find out that Xander stole him out of the cupboard. Buffy is wigging again, Xander eventually gets the wiggins since he's left alone with the dummy. Buffy searches for Morgan, finds Morgan's body with the top of his head cut out and his brain missng, and then gets trapped under a giant chandelier. Sid taunts her, assuming she is the demon killing everyone. The two make amends when they realize Sid isn't the killer. He tells the Scoobies his life story.
Before the talent show, Sid instructs Giles to form the 'power circle' to see if there are any kids missing. If someone's missing then they're the murderer. Buffy and Sid watch from above as he tells her more of his life story, while hitting on her.
No one is missing, so who is the demon? Buffy jumps down to take a look around and then finds Morgan's brain discarded...in her hands! Surprise!
Buffy: I'm never gonna stop washing my hands.
The demon didn't want Morgan's brain because he had cancer. So, now he's in search of a new one. Buffy and Xander think Willow is the target, as the magician kid coerces Giles into helping him in his trick and delighted at how smart he is. We catch a glimpse of the kid's hand and sees it's turning green and scaly. Guess we have our demon. Giles, being the nice guy he is, obliges to helping out the kid's trick.
Buffy rushes to the rescue, magician kid has completely reverted back to his demon visage. We get an 'eww' from Buffy before she starts to kick his ass. The blade is dangerously close to slicing open the top of Giles' head and he gets out in the nick of time! Phew. The demon gets put into his own trick and his head is cut off. Sid the dummy returns and has to cut out the heart so he can be free of his wooden body. It's almost like a fairytale!
Of course, the curtains open at the most inopportune time.
Principal Snyder: I don't get it. What is it? Avant-garde?
The end! Except we get a nice blurb at the end while the credits roll (first and only time ever they do this in the show) of Buffy, Xander, and Willow performing a Shakespeare play. They are all just terrible. Willow runs off the stage in fright halfway through.