|'The Puppet Show'
Story Code '4V09'
by Dean Batali
and Rob Des Hotel
The new principal of Sunnydale High, Principal Snyder, orders Giles to produce the school’s annual Talent Show. He also makes Buffy, Willow and Xanders' participation in the show mandatory, as he has noticed their regular absences and views them as troublemakers. The three friends meet Morgan, who is doing an extremely convincing ventriloquist act with his puppet, Sid. However, one of the dancers is killed backstage, and when her body is found with her heart removed, Giles theorizes that it could be the work of a demon harvesting organs. Buffy suspects Morgan, as he has been behaving oddly and suffers from extreme headaches; she breaks into Morgan's locker to look for clues, and finds it strange that his puppet is not stored there during lessons. Xander takes the puppet to look after, but feels that it is watching him. Willow uses her computer skills to hack into the school records and discovers that Morgan is suffering from an incurable brain tumour, which would account for his odd behaviour. Buffy investigates backstage and discovers Morgan's body; it seems that someone had attempted to take out his brain, but was not able to complete the process. Buffy and her friends begin to suspect that it is the work of Sid the dummy. Later that evening, Sid attacks Buffy in her room, and tries to stab her; but during their fight, they both realise that each believed the other to be a demon. A truce is struck, and Sid explains to Buffy that he is a demon hunter who has been cursed to live inside the body of a ventriloquist's dummy. Meanwhile, Giles is backstage making sure all of the preparations for the Talent Show are completed, when Marc, one of the show's participants, attacks him. Giles is about to be beheaded when Buffy and Sid arrive, saving him and stopping Marc. Sid kills the demon, which causes him to be freed from his wooden prison.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder), Richard Werner (Morgan), Burke Roberts (Marc), Lenora May (Mrs. Jackson), Chasen Hampton (Elliot), Natasha Pearce (Lisa), Tom Wyner (Sid's Voice), Krissy Carlson (Emily), Michelle Miracle (Locker Girl)
Directed by Ellen S. Pressman
TX (US): 5th May 1997
TX (UK - Sky One): 28th February 1998
TX (UK - BBC 2): 3rd March 1999
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles and Cordelia
*This episode features the first appearance of Principal Snyder