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Discussion of 1.09 "The Puppet Show" - Aired 5/5/1997 (WB-US)

Willow Rosenberg

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Season 1, Episode 9 "“ Aired: 5/5/1997
The Puppet Show
The new principal forces Giles to run Sunnydale High's annual talent show, and Buffy, Willow and Xander have to perform against their will. As if this isn't bad enough, things go further awry when one of the talent show participants is found with her heart removed. Buffy and the gang race against the clock to find the killer, and all the clues point to Morgan and his ventriloquist dummy.
SOURCE: TV.COM
 

BananaBuffy

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This episode is just plain creepy. Sid the Dummy is pretty awesome though and Xander's fun with the dummy was fun too. Horny dummies, :)
 

VisionGirl

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I love this episode- I don't care what anybody else says LOL!

This part is so funny between Giles & Cordy:
Giles: Oh! I'm sorry. Um, your hair, uh...

Cordelia: There's something wrong with my hair? (pulls it behind her

ears)

Giles remains silent, but continues to stare.

Cordelia: Ohmigod! (quickly leaves)

Giles: (to himself) Xander was right. It worked like a charm.
 
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That is so awesome! haha
UnderYourSpell
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PrincessBuffy16

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Like Buffy, I'm also afraid of those dolls.. glassy eyes, and when people are good, it seems that dolls can talk - creepy.

But overall, funny episode!
 

Chosen Enemy

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I think they did this episode to scare all those people (and mostly children) who have dummy fear. And I know a few people who have it. Horny dummy is even scarier!
 

brinkster130

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Yes, I agree with PB...this episode was defiantly made for those with a fear of dummies. Sid running around Buffy's room at night is Creepy, but in all honesty I didn't see Sid being a demon hunter coming.
 
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SupportOGal

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Buffy, Willow, and Xander's performance in the talent show at the very end (is it after the credits?) is one of the funniest scenes of the whole series. Sid being a demon hunter was also a very cool twist.
 
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JCoatsworth
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That is the best scene EVER!!! :-D
UnderYourSpell
UnderYourSpell
That end scene is hilarious, I was giggling so much!
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WWGD
It's so funny!

WWGD

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This is the classic Buffy version of the creepy killer dummy. However, it has a nice twist, as the Dummy turns out to be a good guy. This was also one of the more funny episodes of the whole series. That end scene is hilarious! :lmao:
 

woogirl

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In 90s people were scared of puppets and all of these stuff, in general. :D
I like this episode. I even remember the last scene (I've watched it a few months ago) which made me laugh.
 

EvilWillow

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Dummies creep me out too, ever since I saw Dead Silence(terrified me).

But I really like this episode haha. The dummy's dialogue was hilarious.
 

Jules

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I instantly disliked Snyder when I first watched it, he's such a creepy man! I did enjoy the twist, I never thought that Sid would be a demon hunter. I loved that Xander got to interview Cordy, there was such great chemestry there.

I dont get Buffy's reaction to Sid being in her room. When she screams and her mum comes in, Buffy acts like a scared child and her mum's the one who has to check her bed. She's meant to be the Slayer.
 

thetopher

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Ah, The Puppet Show, despite its faults I remember liking this one quite a lot, and looking at the shooting scripts it was heavily rewritten (like 'The Pack' and 'NKABOAFD') to give a stronger mystery elelment. (In the original Buffy has no fear of dummies, Xander is the one who thinks that something is up while everybody else is sceptical of him. And we get a lot more background on Sid pre-dummy.) Anyway:

Good Bits: The Scoobies mocking Giles at the start is great, Snyder being introduced afterwards is even better. Buffy being wigged by Sid ('There really wasn't a story there.')
Xander making fun of Buffy's mild phobia ('I'm completley inanimate!' 'Redrum! Redrum!') is priceless. :) Then his double take when Sid disappears.
Sid in general (personality-wise at least) is great, hard-bitten gum shoe/monster hunter. :) And he gets some good lines.
Cordelia being a diva.
Dummies are generally really creepy, scuttley bad guys. Anybody who's seen 'Magic' or 'Child's Play' knows this.
Buffy's fight versus the demon is surprisingly good, some of it looks like SMG doing some pretty nifty kicks. Sid's death is a little sad, must be tough being a little wooden dude.
The end 'dramatic scene' during the credits. Greek tragedy indeed. :)

Not So Good Bits: The investigation/mystery does drag on a little after the first watching, although is/isn't Sid a baddie is well-executed. Physically Sid (the special effect) isn't so practical an idea. Too stiff and awkward in most of the scenes where he has to move about/interact.

Probably the most underrated ep of the season, its very funny and has a strong horror element. Part of me wishes that they brought Sid back though, for some kind of one-shot.
 

Mr Trick

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I instantly disliked Snyder when I first watched it, he's such a creepy man! I did enjoy the twist, I never thought that Sid would be a demon hunter. I loved that Xander got to interview Cordy, there was such great chemestry there.

I dont get Buffy's reaction to Sid being in her room. When she screams and her mum comes in, Buffy acts like a scared child and her mum's the one who has to check her bed. She's meant to be the Slayer.[/QUOTE]

Good point. I did wonder about that too and it might be the only weakness of the episode. Maybe they were just trying to show us that Buffy is still a young person who does get scared sometimes.

The Good Stuff:

- Cordy's hammy singing. Now thats how you open an episode!:cool:
- Syder's line about "Thats the sort of Wooly head libral thinking which gets a guy eaten" is awesome! This is another great way to debut a character and I liked that they signposted what a different sort of prinicpal he was going to be than Fluttie.
- The change of pace to the darker elements when the girl is found dead is very well handled.
- Cordy trying to convince Giles why she should stay go on last in the talent show is fun, as is Gile's way of getting rid of her:)
- Like the scenes when the Scoobies interview different people around the school, them acting as detectives is always a nice throw back element to the show.
- It might be a little old hat, but the processed Doll angle actually works really well here, and it was quite novel that Sid didn't turn out to be the killer.
- This show combines old school horror, silly knockabout slap-stick, and a little bit of sentiment perfectly.
- Love the ending:p

The Bad Stuff:

Well none really. Not saying its the most perfect episode, but I can't really think of a flaw which stands out. I stand by what I said that this is my favourite S1 episode.

8/10
 

Mr Trick

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A big favourite of mine which I could rewatch over and over again. It maybe partly a cheesy guilty pleasure but I do believe that there is really a lot to enjoy about the episode, including Snyder's introduction, the murder mystery/case of the week aspect, some great suspense over who did it, some fine character moments and comedy and the fact that they didn't go the predictable route with Sid.

Props to first time Buffy director Ellen Pressman too as she really did a good job directing it, with some interesting visual choices. I don't remember her directing any other episodes but could be wrong.
 

Jules

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On my rewatch of this I find the fact that Sid's happy ending is him dying and not turning human a real indicator of things to come. The show doesn't mind not giving the characters that happily ever after i.e Jenny and Giles, Tara and Willow, Buffy and Angel etc. In a way it makes it more realistic or as realistic as a show about vampires can be :)
 
FaithLehane16
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Why must people romanticize Tillow?

Mr Trick

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On my rewatch of this I find the fact that Sid's happy ending is him dying and not turning human a real indicator of things to come. The show doesn't mind not giving the characters that happily ever after i.e Jenny and Giles, Tara and Willow, Buffy and Angel etc. In a way it makes it more realistic or as realistic as a show about vampires can be :)
Difference of course being that Sid lives a full life whereas Jenny and Tara were taken from Giles and Willow before their prime and neither had control of their fates. Do like twist to this episode too.
 

Jules

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True. The happy ending is more about Buffy at this point. She's still young and fairly naive. She seems more bothered about Sid not becoming human than he does. He's the one that tells her he's lived a full life and he's ready to go. It's her happy ending that gets ruined, she doesn't get to save everyone the way she wants. If that makes sense.
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
It does.

VisionBoy

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Watched this a bit a go. I rather liked it actually. Decent creepiness and suspense.

There was just one thing that bugged me and that was how Buffy was mocked by her friends when she suspected Sid was alive. The episode before this was "I Robot, You Jane", in which they all saw Moloch in all his robotic non-glory and exorcised a demon from the internet... how are they seriously laughing at Buffy for thinking a dummy might be possessed one episode later? I mean, skepticism is fine, but let's not be so quick to make out like she's crazy, right after you've just saved the world from horny tin man!
 

Mr Trick

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Watched this a bit a go. I rather liked it actually. Decent creepiness and suspense.

There was just one thing that bugged me and that was how Buffy was mocked by her friends when she suspected Sid was alive. The episode before this was "I Robot, You Jane", in which they all saw Moloch in all his robotic non-glory and exorcised a demon from the internet... how are they seriously laughing at Buffy for thinking a dummy might be possessed one episode later? I mean, skepticism is fine, but let's not be so quick to make out like she's crazy, right after you've just saved the world from horny tin man!
Very good point, and one I'd not thought of. Guess the only thing I can think of is that this early on Xander and Willow maybe still are more inclined to go for the non-demon option than maybe outside of Vampies. Its possibly too than it was done for supense or so that you had an alternative to Buffy's view point.
 
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