After a few too many snarky comments, Principal Snyder decides that Buffy, Willow, and Xander should be in the school talent show. Honestly this episode sort of writes itself.
Unfortunately, even a talent show at Sunnydale can't happen without a string of murders to go along with it. The Scoobies figure out that there's a demon who needs to eat people's organs to survive -- but who is it? Morgan, the shy, awkward ventriloquist? Random Magician Guy? Sid the Horny Dummy?
After some detectiving, we learn what's what. Morgan apparently just has a brain tumor. Sid the Horny Dummy is a demon slayer from the 20s who was cursed and turned into a dummy. You read that correctly. And Random Magician Guy? Well, he's the one with a tail and a secret hankering for smart people brains.
Things I Like:
The secondary characters, specifically Snyder and Cordelia. At this point Cordelia's at her obnoxious best, I love how she's incredibly distraught at Emily/Emma's death and that she can headed off by implying that there's something wrong with her hair.
And honestly, I don't know how Armin Shimerman (Snyder) manages to say things like, "Principal Flutie may have gone in for that touchy-feely nonsense. But he was eaten," with a straight face.
I love Giles being forced into the theater world, leading a group of dancers and singers and magicians in a power circle. The ex-theater nerd in me finds this incredibly amusing. I'm happy that Giles and the Scoobies are starting to develop that relationship where they can tease each other, and that we're getting more and more of Giles' sense of humor, which is hilariously dry.
I like the concept of the horny dummy schtick that's actually just because it's a legit horny dummy. And I love how in a lot of ways this episode is a classic whodunit, complete with interrogations and red herrings.
Most importantly...I do not have enough space in my heart for the love I feel for their stirring rendition of Oedipus Rex during the closing credits. This is clearly the work of a genius.
Things I Don't Like:
I guess the only major thing is that Sarah Michelle Gellar doesn't do the best job acting against the puppet. It might be the writing, but the scenes where she says things like, "So that whole horny dummy thing isn't an act," just make me cringe because it doesn't come off very well at all.
Verdict: 7 Stakes out of 10