Buffy suspects that a ventriloquist's dummy may be harvesting organs from classmates performing in a talent show.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Rich Werner ...
Morgan Shay (as Richard Werner)
Burke Roberts ...
Mrs. Jackson
Natasha Pearce ...
Tom Wyner ...
Sid (voice)
Krissy Carlson ...
Emily (Dancer)
Michelle Miracle ...
Locker Girl


Mr. Snyder, Sunnydale High's new principal after the devouring of fatherly Mr. Robert Flutie, believes in order and discipline to instill school spirit, so he orders Giles to produce a talent show and punishes the absentee trio by forcibly enrolling them as candidates. Then dancer Emily is found with her heart cut out, but demons don't usually use a knife, yet one was found next to her, so the human student contestants are screened. The weirdest suspect proves to be gifted ventriloquist Morgan Shay, who treats his inseparable wooden dummy Sid as real, in fact takes orders from it in private, and if it is as Giles suspects one of seven demon who take possession of human bodies, anybody may be turned bad by it... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


While discussing potential options they have for the talent show, Buffy mentions that Willow could play the piano and her and Xander "could attempt to sing". While filming "Once More With Feeling", Alyson Hannigan was more hesitant to sing than either Sarah Michelle Gellar or Nicholas Brendon. See more »


(at around 26 mins) The teacher in this episode is named Mrs. Jackson (as said by Morgan and written in the credits). However, at one point Xander clearly calls her "Mrs. Janison". See more »


[Cordelia's droning on and on. Giles starts staring at her hair]
Cordelia: What?
Giles: Oh, I-I'm sorry. Um, your hair, uh...
Cordelia: [concerned] There's something wrong with my hair?
[she touches her hair for a second]
Cordelia: Oh my God.
[she runs off]
Giles: Xander was right. It worked like a charm.
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Crazy Credits

The original US WB airing had a sequence where Buffy, Xander and Willow performed their theatrical scene in the talent show during the closing credits. See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


The Greatest Love of All
Written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed
Performed by Charisma Carpenter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Episode 9 Review
7 November 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

SPOILER WARNING This episode again as many of the previous episodes uses the specific episode story to bring in characters for the future, in this case Snyder. It's quite hilarious, because I don't think anyone would put themselves in front of an audience that big to do things that they are that bad at. I'm not sure the school would want to advertise themselves in a bad way like that to an audience. It's a well thought out episode though to leave you thinking 'Who Done it?'. This episode starts to bring out the character of Cordelia well, and builds on her nicely for the future. I love the fact that at the end before the credits, we just assume the audience accepted the strange scene they were given as the curtains opened, as if they would.

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