“The Puppet Show” follows Sid, a demon hunter cursed to be a puppet until he kills the last of the Brotherhood of Seven (demons that harvest hearts and brains, like the one wrecking havoc at Sunnydale). After many strange murders surround the events of Sunnydale’s Talent Show, the demon-killer is revealed to be Marc, the unsuccessful magician. In the final moments of the episode, Sid performs his last kill, and is finally allowed to die poetically in Buffy’s arms.
Prior to the murderous incidents, the new principal, Principal Snyder, voices suspicion to Giles of something wrong with the current state of Sunnydale. He cites the spontaneous cheerleader combustion and one too many suicides recently as his evidence for believing this. His prime suspects in the “weirdness” are Buffy, Xander, and Willow; he accuses them of being up to something, and forces them to get involved in the talent show. He then promptly states his goal to make Sunnydale safer and more disciplined, or, in his words, “orderly, clean, and quiet.” The accusation (given the little evidence of actual involvement) of Buffy and Co. is analogous to those faced by the victims of medieval European witch hunts.