Not going to lie, there are totally parts of this episode that give me “the wiggins” as Buffy says. I am totally not cool with dummies. They are creepy and, while I think it’s fascinating that humans are capable of things like throwing their voices or speaking with their mouths closed, that does not make it any less creepy. So I sympathize entirely with Buffy and when Willow says nonsense like that she thinks dummies are cute, I assume she must be lying.
We open on Cordelia. Oh Cordelia. Singing with every fiber of her being. Although it’s possible that singing should be in quotation marks. The sound she’s making could not exactly be considered musical but kudos to her for giving it her all. The kids come in to mock Giles, which I love. It’s a sweet dynamic, very parent/child, which is of course so important throughout the show.
Enter Principal Snyder. This guy is fantastic. He’s just so delightfully evil. He takes such obvious pleasure in being evil that he’s tortuously awesome to watch. There is an excellent moment where Buffy yet again ALMOST MENTIONS HOW SHE’S KILLING DEMONS. I really feel like she should be better at covering this stuff by now.
Query from the homeschool girl: Can you be forced to be in the school talent show?
When we move into the locker room where the dancer is obviously about to be killed, I find myself wondering several things. First and foremost, why doesn’t anyone ever turn on a light in the locker rooms at Sunnydale? Is there a power shortage in this town? Second off, since we know who the killer actually is, the filming angle really doesn’t make any sense. If it was a puppet coming to kill her, it would make sense that he was that low to the ground and jerky. But since it’s not, the conclusion I’m forced to come to is that he’s wriggling along on his stomach for no apparent reason. And that’s weird. Also, he left behind a giant butcher’s knife, just cause. Do demons not have fingerprints? Oh, you know who has fingerprints? Students at the school. LIKE THE ONE WHO IS ACTUALLY A DEMON. Oh well. I guess it’s probably safe to assume that the cops in Sunnydale aren’t the brightest crayons in the box.
The body is found and, for no good reason I can think of, Giles is behind the police tape. I like picturing the auditions for the screamer who finds the body. I bet it’s hard to scream like that, especially the multiple times she probably had to. I do think it’s a bit odd that they just assume if a knife was used, then it couldn’t have been something supernatural. I mean, I get that most demons have claws and teeth and whatever but I feel like even in the few episodes we’ve had so far, we’ve probably learned enough to indicate that there’s no inherent reason that a demon couldn’t use a knife if it felt like it. I have this problem all through the episode, really. Why do they have so much trouble believing that a dummy could be possessed or alive in some way? Is that really so much further out there than basically anything else they’ve run into so far? Also, let’s stop for a brief moment to take note of Giles line, “A demon is a creature of evil, pure and very simple.” NO, Giles. We are going to be arguing about this for a while, obviously but it’s very clear that THAT IS TOTALLY UNTRUE.
So, off they all go to interview all the students from the talent show. Does no one find this odd? I mean, I’ll let it slide that everyone is more or less totally unphased by the fact that this girl just died brutally in the locker room. To some extent, I get that that’s part of the joke of Sunnydale. All these people are constantly dying and people are pretty untouched in general. Part of the denial or whatever. So let’s ignore that part and focus on what I assume would be weird – random students and a teacher going around conducting essentially police interviews about the recent murder of a student. But since no one seems to notice it’s odd, whatever. Also, is there really a dancer/band rivalry? Is that a thing?
When Joyce comes into Buffy’s room that night and asks if she’s okay, I find this odd. I mean, okay, again not everyone in Sunnydale seems to get all upset about the murders and things but a student was found horribly murdered in the locker room. Wouldn’t Joyce know this? Wouldn’t everyone know this? Wouldn’t that be a fairly reasonable explanation as to what might be bothering her? I mean, honestly, it’s not rocket science. Whatever. I do really like the touch of Buffy having her mom check the bed for her after she wakes up. It’s sweet to see these touches of her as really being still a kid. I think they definitely disappear as the show goes on but I’ll cling to her moments while they’re there. 😛
For some reason that really makes no sense to me, everyone doubts Buffy’s sanity about the thing with Sid. I will admit that she doesn’t seem that certain herself so maybe that contributes but honestly, the possibility of a living dummy doesn’t seem at all far fetched in this universe and if the Slayer says she saw it, I’d say you should listen to her and not assume she’s “some crazy person.” (Would they allow Morgan to just hang out with his puppet in class? I would have been distracted as hell.) Whatever, puppet is stolen so Buffy can talk to Morgan alone, we find out that it’s probably looking for a human heart and human brain (for what, I wonder? Does it eat them or…?), Sid is a demon hunter or maybe he’s a demon or no, he’s probably a demon hunter. Morgan is killed. Buffy finds his body and just leaves it hanging out in what I’m pretty sure was just the show’s costume room for the next poor screamer to find. Then we find out that Morgan had brain cancer. Another question from the homeschooler. Wouldn’t his teachers know? I mean, he has all these sick days and even if he didn’t, surely this would be… known? I don’t know.
I love that as they’re researching, Willow is sent to the “toys and magic” section of the library. I would love to see a listing of the books available in this library.
I would also like to observe that the plan of this demon, the major thing he was counting on, was cutting through this rope with the dullest hatchet ever on stage, when anyone could walk in, approximately 3 minutes before curtain time. As far as plans go, this is definitely one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sid dies, sad, sad, let’s move onto the next episode now, k? 😛