The Puppet Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)


So sorry to post so late, but I have a really good excuse.

Yes! Really! So a week ago I wrote this post, and then scheduled it-all it needed was some editing and it was good to go. But then my parents had to go out of town and I ended up getting their tickets to A Woman’s Friend banquet, in which Robia LaMorte Scott spoke. Yes, Robia LaMorte who played Jenny Calendar on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I know what are the odds of these happening on the same day?!

Wow

They weren’t originally going to have her either. It was going to be Ashley Bratcher, star of the movie Unplanned, but something came up and they asked fellow Unplanned actress Robia LaMorte Scott to fill in. Crazy, right!

Her flight was actually delayed so it made me get home late.

Sorry, but at the same time, I’m not sorry as I really enjoyed hearing her speak. But enough on that, let’s move on to the review. It friday so that means a TV episode…

So it is time for another Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.

So I had a hard time choosing a Buffy episode this year as I have already reviewed the creepiest episode (at least in my opinion) of BVS.

And with both Netflix and Amazon not having it anymore, I was at a loss what to pick.

But then the library saved the day. At my library we have 5 seasons which gave me a lot to choose from.  Unfortunately, the DVDs were donated and their cases don’t have any listings as to what episodes are on them.

Ugh!

So I just grabbed random discs and figured I would watch until one struck me. But then I ran into problem number three: my blue-ray doesn’t have a remote so I could only watch the very first episode of each disc.

I got lucky on Season 1, Disc 3, episodes 9-12 with The Puppet Show.

So brief recap on what’s happened so far: so Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller) moves to Sunnydale and fulfills her role as vampire slayer aided by her watcher, Giles, and two best friends-Willow and Xander.

Buffy has a mysterious friend, Angel (David Boreanaz), who is revealed to be a vampire. But unlike other vampires, he was cursed with his soul so he acts more human than bloodsucking evil. The two fall head over heels with each other.

So far they have fought vampires, witches, a giant praying mantis, an animal demon spirit, an ancient demon masquerading as teenage boy online, and the Master’s plans to destroy Buffy.

Wow

With this episode it is time for a talent show and Principal Synder wants to hurt Giles by forcing him to be in charge. When the gang are overheard making fun of the magician who sucks and Cordelia being off key-the three are cast in it, although they have no clue what to do.

One person is doing a ventriloquist act, and what I want to know does anyone know anyone who does that? They always have it in TV, films, and books but has anyone ever had a kid from their school enter a talent show doing a ventriloquist act?

In fact-we only ever see three acts: dummy, Cordelia, and the magician. Weird as there should be more.

So Morgan sucks at his ventrloquist act, until the dummy starts talking back rudely and in a deeper voice. It’s like he has been taken over by a man from the 1940s.

Morgan also looks ill, and the more time he spends with the dummy, the sicker he looks. Headaches, gray skin, etc.

The only good act, the dancer, is stretching when she is attacked by something.

They find her later with her heart carved out.

That is not good,

So they find no tell tale signs tat this is supernatural and intend on leaving it for the cops. However, Buffy feels there is more to this and convinces them to start looking into whether it was something else, some kind of demon.

Hmm…

Meanwhile, the dummy, Sid, is watching Buffy. He tells Morgan she is the one.

We also get to watch the magician be more terrible at magic. There is a girl helping him and she isn’t good at it either.

That night Buffy talks to her mom who encourages her in the talent show letting her know she will be there that night to watch her perform. Buffy begs her not to come, but no dice.

Ugh! Really, mom!

That night, when Buffy is in her bed something attacks her. She fights it off and her mom runs into the room to check on her, they find nothing-but we see Sid in the window peering in.

Yeah, I’m on the train that Sid is the creepy dummy. I mean was there any doubt, After that Twilight Zone episode? And with R.L. Stine picking up the torch?

Buffy is sure she saw Sid, but when she tells the others-they laugh it off.

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

Buffy tries to talk to Morgan, but they get interrupted by Sid and can’t continue to tal. Morgan puts him in his locker and then Buffy breaks in later, Sid is missing. Did he walk away?

Meanwhile Morgan is acting weirder and sicker, and the dummy is talking so much, it gets taken away from him by the teacher.

Xander steals it when Morgan and the teacher are preoccupied and morgan searches for it, frantic.

Not the best idea.

Meanwhile, Xander reveals to Buffy he has the doll and plays around with it. Buffy warns him not to, but Xander laughs her off. Buffy goes to speak to Morgan while Xander sits the dummy down.

Mr. Giles and Willow do some investigating, and find a book on demons possessing toys. One particular demon needs a heart and brain.

Rupert Giles: Every seven years, these demons *need* human organs, a-a brain and a heart, to maintain their humanity. Otherwise, they-they-they revert back to their original form, which is, uh, slightly less appealing.

Willow Rosenberg: [reading] “On rare occasions, inanimate objects of human quality, such as dolls and mannequins, already mystically possessed of consciousness, have acted upon their desire to become human by harvesting organs.”

Uh, oh. They go to Xander, but the dummy is gone!\

Saw that coming,

Buffy goes to find Morgan, but he’s dead, head missing.

What, but I thought he was the guy?

As she investigates further, a candelabra prop crashes down on her. All done by Sid the dummy. She uses her super strength to push it off . The two fight but it turns out that Sid isn’t a demon but a demon hunter.

Sid: This is what I do. I hunt demons. Yeah. You wouldn’t know it to look at me. Let’s just say there was me, there was a really mean demon, there was a curse, and the next thing I know, I’m not me anymore. I’m sitting on some guy’s knee with his hand up my shirt.

Sid chose Morgan to team up as he was very smart and thought someone as beautiful, strong, ad powerful as Buffy must be a demon.

They discuss who the demon could be and decide it has to be someone involved with the talent show. They go to see who is missing during rehearsal but Buffy finds Morgan’s brain!

Why would the demon not want the brain, that’s what he needs???????! They investigate a bit more and are still puzzled as how Morgan was the smartest kid in school?

Giles leaves as he has to go back to the talent show while the kids hack into the school’s computer. They do notice a lot of sick days and Willow goes into his medical records and find out that he had cancer, and it returned.

The demon needs a new brain, but which one is the demon?

Hmmm

I admit I was lost, I thought maybe they shouldn’t trust Sid after all.

They decide that Willow is the next smartest person so as long as she stays away from the talent show. But then they realize there is another really smart person there, Giles.

That is not good,

There the magician needs a new partner and is using Giles as his sister is sick. The magician straps his head in a guillotine-okay this guy is clearly the demon,

As he prepares, a bit of his arm shows which reveals he is the demon.

Giles is about to be killed, when Buffy and crew come in to save the day. She and Sid go after the demon while Willow and Xander free GIles.

When Buffy knocks the demon out. Sid carves the heart out and is released from his curse, free!

Buffy hold him up, deeply disheartened he’s gone; Xander and Willow are by the guillotine with Willow holding the mallet to break the lock on the guillotine; and Xander holding the rope trying to keep Giles from getting his head cut open; and Giles in the guillotine.

And the curtain goes up!

So a great episode. I really love the twist at the end when it turns out that the dummy is’t the bad guy.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

For more demons, go to Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

For more Sarah Michelle Geller, go to A Study in Fandoms

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