Mark The Puppet Show

Season 1, Episode 9

This episode marks the first appearance of Principal Snyder. Also marks the first time that the gang has to do some research without Giles. This ep. remains one of my all-time favorites -- there's good quotage and a good storyline. Yay, thanks to someone very cool, I now own a complete copy of this ep!


Show opens in the auditorium..Giles has been put in charge of the Annual Talent(-less) Show by the new principal. Buffy, Xander, and Willow show up to mock him, and are caught by Principal Snyder. He tells them he thinks they're up to something since he found out that all 3 of them cut classes the other day. Sure, he didn't know it was to fight the scourges of the underworld, but it's probably safe to say that if he had known, he'd still be relentless. Anyhoo, he forces them to take part in the talent show, and they're all bummed out, except for Giles, who finds their predicament amusing.

Meanwhile, Emily the dancer's in the locker room and we hear someone say he'll be made flesh -- assume something horrible happens.

Buffy and Co. are still in the auditorium wondering what they should perform for the show. Morgan and his dummy Sid are onstage, and bombing. That is, until Morgan "changes his voice" for Sid. The dummy makes a lot of innuendoes and everyone's amused. When Willow asks how he came up with the voice, Morgan tells her it's an imitation of his dad's.

Soon the gang learns of Emily's death. Her heart's been removed and Buffy says, "..does that mean anything to anyone besides...nnaauuuh?" Also, Xander remarks, "Did I mention that I hate this school?" When the gang hears that the murder weapon is a knife, most of them think that the suspect's a human. As Xander puts it, a demon's "got no use for a big old knife." But Buffy insists that since they're on the Hellmouth, it could very well be a demon.

The creep factor is heightened when Morgan is heard talking to his dummy. He explains he's learning how to throw his voice, but he's not very convincing.

I'm still watchin' you

Later that night, Buffy's paid a visit by Sid. She claims that he pounced on her face, like a cat, but Xander, Willow, and Giles chalk it up to her nerves and her fear of dummies. When Buffy is talking with Morgan, he seems nervous and tries telling her that something's weird about Sid. So Buffy decides she'd like to talk to Morgan without having Sid around.

In history class, Sid turns around to give Buffy the fisheye and when the teacher asks Morgan a question, Sid says, "Morgan's got other things on his mind right now." The teacher confiscates Sid and sticks him in a cupboard, but we hear him say to Buffy, "I'm still watching you!" We keep getting clued in to Morgan's apparent creeposity -- when he goes to retrieve Sid, he's impatient with the teacher and he looks like he's in great pain. Both are surprised to note that Sid is missing from the cupboard.

Turns out that Xander stole the puppet in order to give Buffy a chance to chat with Morgan alone. What follows is an amusing scene in which Xander tries to convince Buffy that the puppet's not real...Buffy's annoyed and goes off to find Morgan. Meanwhile, Giles and Willow do some research about reanimation theory and demons who harvest organs. Buffy finds Morgan's dead body and realizes the brain is missing. Back in the library, Xander notices that Sid is missing...

Meanwhile, Buffy gets trapped beneath a cast-iron light fixture just as Sid attacks her with a knife. She breaks free and they simultaneously (and mistakenly) accuse each other of being the demon. Sid tells the gang that basically there was a "really mean demon" and he also mentions that a curse (curses seem to be popular ways of explaining things in this show, eh?) was put on him -- he's trapped inside a dummy until he can kill 7 demons of a certain brotherhood. The good news: he's killed 6. The bad news: they have no idea who #7 is. The gang concludes that the suspect has to be someone in the talent show. But they figure since the demon already got a brain, he's probably gone, since there's nothing else he needs. Giles has everyone in the show assemble onstage so Buffy and Sid can see who's missing. No one seems to be missing, so Buffy wanders further behind stage and a brain falls into her hands.

The gang discovers that Morgan had a brain tumor, which means the demon's still on the lookout for a healthy brain. They think Willow could be the next victim since she's smart, but at the same time they realize that Giles has no idea that the demon's still hanging around, and he could also be the demon's intended. They get to Giles just as Mark is about to chop the top of Giles's head off, -- see Mark's character page for pic of him as the demon -- and Buffy fights him. She hits him so that he lands on the chopping table, and Xander lets the blade go, and....See Mark's character page for more info. Sid informs the gang that even though the demon's head is chopped off, he'll come back unless the heart's removed. He takes the knife and at the moment he plunges it into the demon's heart, Sid's soul is released, and he dies.

As the credits roll, Buffy, Xander, and Willow and performing a scene from Oedipus Rex -- until Willow runs off due to stagefright. Buffy and Xander move closer together and assume the pose from Grant Wood's American Gothic. gosh, i can really run off at the mouth...gotta curb that tendency.

What Got the Job Done:

1. Buffy beat the demon until it fell backwards onto the magician's table set-up.
2. Xander let go of the rope, causing the blade to fall and slice off the demon's head.
3. Sid took a knife to the demon's heart.

What We Learn in This Episode:

1. Willow's afraid of performing in public.
2. Xander's afraid of mimes.
3. Buffy's wigged out by dummies.
4. Cordelia can't sing for beans.
5. Principal Snyder's evil.

An Amusing Quote:

"..I have my pride. Okay, I don't have a lot of my pride, but I have enough so that I can't do this." -- Xander to Buffy and Willow on why he can't enter the talent show.

An Amusing Exchange:

Willow: "I think dummies are cute. You don't?"
Buffy: "They give me the wig. Ever since I was little."
Willow: "What happened?"
Buffy: "I saw a dummy, it gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story there."

I'm Indulging in Yet Another Quote:

Xander: "So the dummy tells us he's a demon hunter and we're like, fine, la la la la la. He takes off, and now there's a brain. Does anybody else feel like they've been Keyser Soze'd?" -- Xander to Willow and Buffy, raising the possibility that Sid the dummy lied to them.

Settings Seen:

1. Sunnydale High School
2. Buffy's house

Characters Seen:

1. Buffy
2. Willow
3. Xander
4. Giles
5. Cordelia
6. Joyce Summers
7. Principal Snyder
8. Emily
9. Morgan
10. Sid
11. Mark
12. Mrs. Jackson

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Special thanks to Anime Nut at Domain of the Slain 'cause I was too lazy to check the wording of some quotes used here.

This page last updated on July 20, 1998.

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