Story Code '4V04'
by David Greenwalt
Buffy receives a warning from the mysterious man known as Angel, informing her of a dangerous new vampire in Sunnydale whose hand has been replaced by razor-sharp blades. Later, Buffy's biology teacher, Doctor Gregory, goes missing; when the sexy and alluring substitute teacher called Ms French takes over the class, Xander (all boy hormones!) immediately falls in lust. Doctor Gregory's body is then discovered - minus his head - in the school cafeteria. After having been attacked by the clawed vampire, Angel visits Buffy; they both assume that the clawed vampire is also responsible for Doctor Gregory's death. That night, Buffy begins tracking the clawed vampire; she sees the creature prepare to attack Ms French, but curiously the vampire then flees in terror from the teacher. Buffy comes to the conclusion that Ms French is in fact a disguised She-Mantis, a giant deadly insect that devours its partner shortly after mating with them. Seeking information on how to destroy the creature, Giles contacts an old friend who went mad hunting such a monster. Meanwhile, Xander arrives at Ms French's home for 'extra-curricular' work. She drugs him with a poisoned Martini and then locks him in a cage in her basement, next to another school named Blayne. When Xander comes to, he sees Ms French in her true, hideous insectoid form; she tells him and Blayne that, true to her species, she intends to mate with them and then bite their heads off. In the meantime, Buffy traps the clawed vampire and uses him as a 'sniffer hound' to detect Ms French; when the creature becomes scared of a particular house, Buffy knows that that will be where Ms French and Xander are. With Giles and Willow's help, she breaks into the house just in time to save Xander and Blayne, first distracting the Mantis with a sonic cry, and then be-heading it.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), David Boreanaz (Angel), Ken Lerner (Principal Flutie), Musetta Vander (Miss Natalie French), Jackson Price (Blayne), Jean Speegle Howard (Elderly Miss French), William Monaghan (Dr. Gregory), Jack Knight (Homeless Guy), Michael Ross Verona (Teacher), Karim Oliver (Bud #1)
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
TX (US): 25th March 1997
TX (UK - Sky One): 24th January 1998
TX (UK - BBC 2): 13th January 1999
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Cordelia and Angel