5X14 Smile Time



Written By: Ben Edlund

 
PROLOGUE:

INT. WOMAN'S APARTMENT - DAY
The television set is on, and a children's TV show called "Smile Time"
starts playing. The set has a blue doghouse and a treehouse with a ladder
leading to it. A very simplistic song starts playing, and the puppets appear.
There's a brown dog puppet in the doghouse and two children puppets in the
treehouse. The boy puppet has red hair and wears overalls and a baseball
cap backwards on his head. The girl puppet has brown hair in pigtails on
her head, fastened with daisy barrettes.
PUPPETS
(singing on TV)
In our secret backyard 
we can make your day more fun and less hard 
(the children and dog stand together)
no more frowning, let's get learning 
ABC's and 123's 
everything from words to weather
Pan over to show there's a young boy sitting in his pajamas on the
couch watching the television. The boy has a thermometer in his mouth.
PUPPET DOG
(singing in a gravelly voice on TV)
we'll discover them together 
Woof!
PUPPETS
(singing on TV)
Time to strap your thinking cap on thinking things are going to happen...

WOMAN
(on the phone, pacing nearby)
Because he's still sick, Ma. He can't keep anything down. 
(takes thermometer from the boy's mouth, stands between him and the
TV)
Yeah, and he's running a temperature. 
(the boy tries to look around his mom so he can see the TV)
Well, what am I supposed to do? My shift starts in half an hour. Yes.

PUPPETS
(singing together, in a hug with a large formless purple puppet with
a musical horn where his nose and mouth should be)
Every day's a new beginning all your friends are here and grinning
'cause it's smile time
WOMAN
No, Ma, I can't. 
(pacing, wanders away from the TV and Tommy)
PUPPETS
That's right! You're on smile time.
(they repeat the song from the beginning)
PUPPET BOY
(separates from the singing group; comes up to the TV screen, pressing
both hands to it and watching the mother leave)
Oh, good. She's gone. OK, Tommy, you know what to do. 
(shakes his head)
Tommy, you should never break a promise. You don't wanna be a bad
apple, do you? Come on. You know smile time isn't free. 
(angrily now)
Now get over here and touch it. 
(Tommy stands and walks toward the TV)
That's it, Tommy. Come on. Touch it! 
(when Tommy puts both his hands on the TV screen, the puppet starts
moaning with pleasure)
Ohh! Ohh... that's it. 
(pan up to show Tommy's face is paler, and he has dark circles under
his eyes)
Oh, yeah. Good boy, Tommy. 
(Tommy's eyes roll back in his head)
Oh...ohhh...
Tommy collapses and falls to the ground. When the mother starts walking
back toward the TV room, the puppet boy sees her and gasps. He heads back
to join the singing group again.
WOMAN
(getting ready to go)
OK, Tommy, grandma's gonna be here in a few hours. Listen, I don't
want you watching that crap all day long... 
(looks up at the boy and stops in her tracks)
Tommy is lying on the floor where he collapsed, only his face is frozen
in a creepy smile. Meanwhile, the puppets are still singing in the background
on television.
PUPPETS
(singing)
'cause it's Smile Time.
That's right!
You're on Smile Time!

Fade to black.
Opening credits.

ACT I:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - DAY
Fred is looking into a microscope in the lab when Knox walks out of her
office carrying papers.
KNOX
(hands the files to Fred)
Courier brought this in. Looks medical.
FRED
Oh, right. Good. 
(flips through the papers)
KNOX
So, what do you got?
FRED
(reading the reports)
Mini epidemic here in L.A. 11 children between the ages of 5 and 8
hospitalized due to collapse over the last 3 weeks. None of them have
woken up. I'm working under the assumption that this thing is mystical
in nature.
KNOX
Oh, why's that?
Fred takes a picture from the report and shows it to Knox. The picture
shows a child in the same position as Tommy—his hands are up beside
his face, which is frozen in an eerie smile.
KNOX
Right. Could be the Joker. 
(Fred glares at him disapprovingly)
From the comic books? Just trying to think outside the box.
Fred looks back at the papers to see a greeting card has been slipped
into the stack. She takes it out to read it. The front, edged with pink
and red hearts, depicts a monkey holding a heart and reads "I don't
wanna monkey with your heart." She opens it. The inside reads "Happy
Valentine's Day" in red letters.
KNOX
I know Valentine's was last week, but, um... 
(Fred looks at him hesitantly)
I didn't take the discount on the card.
FRED
(smiles politely)
Thanks. Um... 
(uncomfortably)
We talked about this.
KNOX
(sheepishly)
I was thinking maybe we could talk about it again.
FRED
(sighs, shakes her head, hands him the card and vials of blood)
I'm sorry, Knox, but you have work to do.
KNOX
(looks at her, backs away slowly, nods)
I do.

Cut to: INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT
The elevator doors open, and Nina (the werewolf from episode 5x03 "Unleashed")
steps out. She's wearing a fashionable low-cut ensemble with a pretty necklace
and a black blazer. She looks around the lobby expectantly. A demon wearing
a suit walks by her talking on a cell phone. Angel walks down the stairs
toward the lobby while reading a file, when Nina spots him.
NINA
Um... hey!
ANGEL
Hey. Back for the Wolfram & Hart Bed-and-Breakfast?
NINA
(smiles)
Full moon cycle starts tonight, in... 
(checks her watch)
38 minutes, actually. Had a little snag getting out of the house.

ANGEL
(signing a document a legal aide handed him)
Haven't told your sister yet, huh?
NINA
It's not the sort of thing that's easy to jump to in conversation.
"Oh, by the way, Jill, I've been a werewolf for 4 months."
 
(Angel hands off the documents he was signing and walks toward his
office; Nina follows)
I told her I was going camping in the desert again. She's starting
to worry I've turned into some new agey, moon-worshipping Wicca person.

ANGEL
Might be relieved to find out that you're just a werewolf. 
(Nina chuckles)
HARMONY
(as Angel and Nina pass the receptionist's desk)
Hey, there, Nina. We've got your suite ready.
ANGEL
(puts his arm around Nina, touching her shoulder)
It's OK, Harmony. I'll take her.
NINA
(turns to Harmony smiling, waves and whispers)
Bye!
GUNN
Harmony, did you get a receipt from the county clerk on that filing
I did for the Wayburn case?
HARMONY
(smiles, points, nods)
Oh! Yeah. Clerk's office called, said you filed the wrong papers.

GUNN
What?
HARMONY
Yeah. 
(looks at her notepad)
Um, you sent them a motion for change of venue instead of a motion
to dismiss. Unless you meant to do that. Some kind of tricky lawyer
maneuvering you're trying to pull. That it?
GUNN
Yeah. Keep 'em on their toes. 
(walks away looking worried)

Cut to: INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT
Angel opens the door to the basement room. Inside, there's a cage with metal
bars.
ANGEL
Seems like you're getting used to the routine, though.
NINA
Yeah. 
(walks into the cage)
In a weird way, I'm starting to like it. These stay-overs, I mean.
Not the going all hairy part, but... I don't know, coming here. There's
always something interesting going on. 
(looks away coyly)
And getting to see you, 
(looks into Angel's eyes)
I look forward to that—you... all month, actually.
ANGEL
(stuttering uncomfortably)
Uh-huh. Um... I should probably close the cage. 
(closes the cage door)
NINA
(laughs nervously)
What?
ANGEL
Insurance thing.
NINA
Oh, right.
ANGEL
OK, um... Bye. 
(hurries toward the door)
NINA
(quickly tries to get this sentence out before Angel walks out the
door)
Anyway, I was thinking... I mean... What are you doing for breakfast
tomorrow?
ANGEL
(stares, frozen in place for a moment)
Oh, you know— 
(chuckles)
Drinking blood.
NINA
(nods, embarrassed)
Right, yeah.
ANGEL
Uh, see ya.
(shuts the door)
Nina sighs.

Cut to: INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Angel is talking to Wesley in Wes's office while Wes looks over some papers
on his desk.
ANGEL
(not facing Wesley, uptight, concerned)
She asked me to breakfast.
WESLEY
Breakfast. 
(nods, looks up from his papers)
Right. How did you respond? 
(looks back over his papers)
ANGEL
Well... of course, I—ahem— ignored it completely, changed
the subject, and locked her in a cage. 
(paces, turns toward Wes)
WESLEY
(looks up from his papers)
Sorry. What?
ANGEL
Wes, it wasn't just breakfast. You know, it was, uh... breakfast.
 
(rambling)
I mean, here we had this very good, very platonic thing going on,
and then all of a sudden, out of the blue—
WESLEY
Are you blind? 
(Angel stares back blankly)
Angel, there are things called signals. 
(Angel shifts uncomfortably in his shoes)
Odorless, yes. Invisible, certainly, but unmistakable, like the ones
she's been casting your way for months.
ANGEL
(shakes his head)
No. I would have noticed—
WESLEY
This isn't just from me. 
(Angel rolls his eyes)
This comes from people who know. This comes from the ladies.
ANGEL
(raises his eyebrows in disbelief)
The ladies?
WESLEY
Fred, Harmony... the girls in transcription. 
(Angel frowns)
As Harmony put it, "Why else would a chick who's coming to spend
3 nights in a jail cell dress like it's her first date?"
ANGEL
(stares at Wes in panic)
Oh, God. 
(Wes stares back with a knowing smile)
The ladies are right. 
(sits in a chair)
Nina's down there right now, turning into a werewolf and liking me.
I don't—can't— I have no time for that kind of— I have
no right. I mean, look, we all know what happens if—
WESLEY
(shakes his head)
If what? If you achieve a moment of perfect happiness?
ANGEL
I turn back into Angelus, and we don't want that. 
(Wesley scoffs)
What?
WESLEY
99.999-ad infinitum percent of the best relationships in the recorded
history of the world have had to make do with acceptable happiness.

ANGEL
Look, Wes—
WESLEY
(stands, throws his hands up, paces)
Hiding behind your gypsy curse when there's a beautiful, engaging—all
right, occasionally hirsute—young woman who actually wants you?

ANGEL
Wes, it's not gonna happen.
WESLEY
Why?
ANGEL
(stands, emphatic)
Because I'm not that guy. That guy is charming and funny and... emotionally
useful. I'm the guy in a dark corner with the blood habit and the
200 years of psychic baggage.
WESLEY
Get over it!
ANGEL
Why are you yelling at me?
WESLEY
Because! 
(softer)
Angel... if there's a woman out there... who you find truly attractive,
who you think about, let's say, most of the time, who represents even
part of what you think makes the world worth fighting for and who
doesn't view you as an entirely sexless shoulder to lean on...you
have to do something about it.
ANGEL
Who are we talking about here?
WESLEY
(looks down, the looks over Angel's shoulder toward the door)
Fred.
FRED
(walks into the office holding a stack of files)
Hey, guys. I—I think I have a case.
ANGEL & WESLEY
(simultaneously with relief)
Thank God!
FRED
(hands the files to Angel)
Children's epidemic. 7 kids, comatose, each with a semi-rictus of
the facial muscles. I haven't been able to isolate a causative agent.

WESLEY
You think it's mystical.
FRED
Well, I've been down the strictly physiological route, number-crunched
all the victims' charts, even had our hospital contacts send over
blood samples. I've pulled all their plasma apart. No indicators on
the cellular or subcellular levels.
ANGEL
(flipping through the files)
TV.
FRED
(turns to Angel)
What?
ANGEL
Parents said all the kids collapsed between 7:00 and... looks like
7:30 A.M. And all of them in front of the TV.
FRED
Huh. That could be something, but I'd still like to get a handle on
the pathology.
ANGEL
Good. I'll—I'll follow up on this lead. 
(over-enthusiastically)
I'll need to clear my schedule. These kids need help. 
(walks out)
FRED
Wow. 
(turns to face Wesley)
He really jumped on that one.
WESLEY
(nods)
Yes, he is a bit jumpy. 
(walks back to stand behind his desk)
He's realized Nina has feelings for him.
FRED
(grins)
Well, took long enough.
WESLEY
He can be rather dense.
FRED
Um... 
(smiles, walks up to Wes)
by the way, my car is in the shop again, and I was thinking...
WESLEY
Of course. 
(picks up the phone)
FRED
(smiling flirtily, trying to finish her thought)
Maybe you and I, we could...
WESLEY
(holds up his hand to stop Fred)
(to the phone) Yes, Ms. Burkle needs a driver to take her home tonight.
 
(Fred looks deflated)
(to the phone) That's right. 511 Windward Circle.
Fred shrugs and bites her lip.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Lorne's sitting on the edge of Angel's desk while Angel reviews papers.
LORNE
Oh, the signals are there, jefe, loud and clear. Nina definitely wants
a piece of Angel cake.
ANGEL
(rubs his forehead)
Lorne? Can we get back to the job?
LORNE
(leafing through papers)
Your wish, dreamboat, my command. I know most of the show runners
in town, and none of them are really up to this sort of big-league,
sinister... 
(stops abruptly)
Hey... 
(chuckles)
7:00 to 7:30?
ANGEL
(looks up)
Yeah.
LORNE
Well, that'd be funny... you know, if it wasn't.
ANGEL
What?
LORNE
Real popular kids' show in the So-Cal regional market. It's in the
right time slot. It's in the right demographic.
ANGEL
What's it called?
LORNE
(holds up the picture of the kid frozen in an eerie smile for Angel
to see)
"Smile Time".

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO HALLWAY - NIGHT
On the set of KTCE, in a section marked "Closed Set. Absolutely NO
VISITORS", Angel walks down the empty office hallway at night. He hears
a squeaking noise, and a janitor pushes a wheeled trashcan around the corner.
Angel doesn't move, and the janitor walks toward him without noticing him.
Angel waves his hand in front of the man's face, but still no reaction.
The janitor walks on past Angel.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO OFFICES - NIGHT
Angel walks into the "Smile Time" offices. The room is decorated
with the show's logo of a smiling sunshine, plus cardboard cutouts of the
puppets are placed around the room. Angel investigates a throbbing rumble
coming from somewhere nearby. He looks around the room, following the noise
until he sees a rattling file cabinet on one wall. He moves the cabinet
out a bit, revealing a hole has been cut in the wall behind it. The rumbling
noise is louder now, and Angel walks through the hole into the secret hall
beyond it.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO HIDDEN ROOM - NIGHT
Angel flips on a buzzing light overhead, revealing a set of doors at the
end of the hall labeled simply "Don't". The rumbling grows louder
as Angel approaches the padlocked doors. He pulls the padlock off with ease,
opens the doors, and walks into the hidden room. At the far end of the room,
a man is sitting, hunched over resting his elbows on his knees wearing a
towel over his head. The man is sitting underneath a large, metallic, egg-shaped,
glowing thing. Angel walks up to the man, but the man doesn't get up or
remove the towel from his head. Suddenly, the man's hands start twitching,
and the man struggles to speak
MAN
(weakly)
You shouldn't... be here.
The rumbling sound gets louder and louder. Pan up to the large metal
oval above the man. The oval slits open along its bottom curve, forming
a bright, glowing smile-shaped opening. When the "smile" is
fully formed, a jolt of power thrusts Angel across the room. He lands
in some boxes that were stacked against the wall, and he gets covered
by them. The metal oval object stops smiling, and the rumbling noise goes
back to a dull roar. The boxes that covered Angel move a bit, and a puppet's
hand reaches out from them. The puppet pulls itself up to reveal that
it looks a lot like Angel (black hair that sticks straight up, wearing
a black leather duster and the same outfit Angel was wearing before).
The puppet Angel looks at his hands, confused.

 
PUPPET ANGEL
Huh?

Fade to black.

ACT II:

INT. SCIENCE LAB - DAY
Fred is working at her desk in front of the computer when her phone rings.
She answers it on speakerphone.
FRED
Practical science.
ANGEL (O.S.)
Uh, Fred...
FRED
Oh, hi, Angel. Listen, about the epidemic, it might not be mystical
after all.
ANGEL (O.S.)
Do you think you could—
FRED
(interrupting)
Knox found a systematic endocrine dysfunction common with all the
children similar to the effects of an obscure rain-forest pathogen—
ANGEL (O.S.)
Fred...
FRED
(continues to talk over Angel)
...So I put a call in to the C.D.C., And—
ANGEL (O.S.)
(shouting)
Fred! 
(Fred stops talking, and Angel speaks in a softer voice, but still
irritated)
Believe me, it's mystical.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY
Fred pokes her head into Angel's office. Angel is sitting in his chair,
facing his back wall where he can't be seen from the doorway.
FRED
Angel? You all right? 
(walks into the office, followed by Gunn and Wesley)
GUNN
You sounded weird on the phone.
WESLEY
Yes. Is there a problem?
PUPPET ANGEL
Oh, there's a problem. 
(turns around in his office chair so that the gang can see him in
puppet form)
GUNN
(steps back)
Whoa.
WESLEY
(looking carefully)
Angel? Is that...you?
FRED
Oh, my God! 
(rushes to Angel's side)
Angel, you're... 
(shrugs and smiles)
cute!
PUPPET ANGEL
(turns away, holds his hand up)
Fred, don't.
FRED
(bends over to inspect Angel's new form excitedly)
Oh, but the little hands! And the hair... 
(scratches his head)
PUPPET ANGEL
(snaps)
Hey! You're fired. 
(Fred frowns)
LORNE
(walks into the office)
Sorry I am late, gang. 
(looks at Angel, chuckles)
What's with the big... puppet? 
(Angel looks at his hands)
WESLEY
Angel, what happened?
PUPPET ANGEL
I'm not sure. I went over to Smile Time last night, and I think their
office is under some kind of spell. I could feel it trying to get
at me. I—I shook it off, but then I met this guy with a towel
over his head, and something exploded! I woke up like this. Ugh.
WESLEY
(everyone shifts uncomfortably)
Clearly some sort of hex... or a—a powerful warding magic.
LORNE
(shrugs)
Maybe it's some type of puppet cancer.
PUPPET ANGEL
(through gritted teeth)
I do not have puppet cancer! Come on, guys. This is a serious situation.
I'm a puppet, and there are children's lives at... 
(gasps as he glances at the clock)
Hey, it's Smile Time! 
(hurries out of his chair toward the television set; tries to turn
on the TV via remote control)
Hmm... 
(grumbles as he fumbles with the buttons; beats the remote on the
table petulantly)
Stupid plastic piece of crap! 
(panting, notices everyone's staring at him)
What?
LORNE
Well, Angel, it's OK. 
(takes the remote from Angel, turns on the TV program)
WESLEY
This transformation may have altered your stress-response mechanism.

PUPPET ANGEL
What?
GUNN
He's saying that you have the proportionate excitability of a puppet
your size.
PUPPET DOG (on TV)
Oh, hey there.
PUPPET BOY (on TV)
Hi.
PUPPET DOG
Aw. Looks like Polo has a case of the grumpies.
PUPPET GIRL (on TV)
Yeah, he sure does, Groofus. That mean old Mr. Fish-and-Chips said
that Polo won't win the race tomorrow, no matter how hard he tries.

PUPPET BOY / POLO
Uh-huh, and I feel just awful. Well, what if Mr. Fish-and-Chips is
right?
PURPLE PUPPET (on TV)
(makes a "toot toot" sound like a squeaky toy)
FRED
(picks up the phone)
Tracy, record the program that's running on channel 12 right now.
Use everything. I'm gonna need a full-spectrum analysis.
As Angel watches the puppets on TV, he grows increasingly angrier,
grunting and making fists.
PUPPETS
(singing on TV)
Self-esteem is for everybody 
Self-esteem is for everyone 
You can dream and be anybody 
But self-esteem is how you get it done. 
Self-esteem is how you get it...
PUPPET ANGEL
(angrily)
Wes, put the special ops team on red alert.
WESLEY
(calmly questioning)
Red alert?
PUPPET ANGEL
I want helicopters and tear gas.
GUNN
Angel—
PUPPET ANGEL
This is war!
LORNE
Angel, baby... Muppet, pumpkin, uh, this show is number one in its
time slot. Tykes love it all across the Southland. We can't just toss
a Jihad at their studio.
PUPPET ANGEL
(calmer now)
Oh. Right. Lorne, who runs "Smile Time"?
LORNE
Oh, that's Gregor Framkin. Yeah, real rags to riches. Started out
in a garage with a couple of used couches and a glue gun. He turned
it into a puppet gold mine.
PUPPET ANGEL
Yeah, great. You and Gunn go over there and meet with Framkin. Put
some pressure on him, see if he cracks. Let him know we're onto him.
Fred, Wes, I need you to figure out what Framkin did to those kids...
 
(frowns as he looks at his body)
and what he's done to me.
WESLEY
Absolutely.
Everyone turns to leave Angel's office.
PUPPET ANGEL
(sighs, calls after the others)
Oh. Uh, guys? This, uh, condition of mine? It's classified until further
notice, OK? 
(rubs his forehead; looks at the TV program again)
PUPPETS
(singing on TV)
We have ev-ery, everything we need 
Self-esteem is for everybody 
Self-esteem is for everyone 
You can dream and be anybody 
But self-esteem is how you get it done...
Angel walks back toward his desk, sighing heavily, when someone starts
to open his door.
NINA
Angel?
Angel gasps in fright, turns off the TV, throws the remote into the
air as he takes a flying leap toward his desk, landing under his chair,
and scrambling to hide under his desk.
NINA
(opens the door fully and walks in, looking for Angel)
Angel?
PUPPET ANGEL
(as he tries to hide under his desk, he makes a noise)
Damn it!
NINA
(hearing the noise, approaches the desk hesitantly)
You— Are you under your desk?
PUPPET ANGEL
No. I— 
(hangs his head)
Yes. So was there something...
NINA
Well, I can see you're... busy. Listen, what I put out there last
night... I don't know, if it was a problem, please—
PUPPET ANGEL
Nope. No problem.
NINA
Um... is there a reason why you won't look at me?
PUPPET ANGEL
'Cause I'm under my desk.
NINA
Angel—
PUPPET ANGEL
Nina, would you mind getting out of here?
NINA
All right. Sorry... I guess. 
(turns, walks out of the office)
PUPPET ANGEL
(groans, climbs out from under his desk to sit in his chair)
What a nightmare...
SPIKE
(barges into the office)
Hello, big guy! Need another car. Afraid this last one ended up in
the drink... 
(stops in mid-thought when he sees puppet Angel sitting at the desk)
PUPPET ANGEL
(anxiously)
Spike...
SPIKE
(staring)
Look at you.
PUPPET ANGEL
(gesturing with his hands)
Just turn around and walk away.
SPIKE
(still staring)
You're a—
PUPPET ANGEL
Spike!
SPIKE
(starts laughing uncontrollably)
You're a bloody puppet!
Angel launches from his chair at Spike, knocking them through the
office windows and into the lobby.

Cut to: INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - DAY
Angel attacks Spike, wringing his neck. They fight, rolling around on the
floor, while Spike can't stop laughing at him.
SPIKE
(laughs)
You're a wee, little puppet man! 
(Angel punches Spike in the face)
Ow! 
(laughs; Angel punches Spike in the face harder)
Ow! Hey! That's enough. 
(pushes puppet Angel off of him, throwing him high into the air)
(Angel lands on his feet, glaring at Spike)
Angel, what the hell happened to you? 
(gets to his feet)
You look ridiculous.
PUPPET ANGEL
Get out of here, Spike.
HARMONY
Oh, my God. Angel, you're a—
PUPPET ANGEL
(points at Harmony)
Shut up! 
(looks around the lobby, realizes everyone's staring at him)
What are you people looking at? Well? 
(the employees back off, frightened)
SPIKE
(turns, smirks)
They're looking at the wee, little puppet man.
Angel growls and leaps toward Spike again, biting his forearm this
time. Spike groans in pain, trying to wriggle his arm free of Angel's
grip. Spike bashes Angel into the wall near the elevator, but Angel holds
on tightly to Spike's forearm. Spike steps back as he tries in vain to
writhe free of Angel's grip, and they stumble into the elevator. They're
still wrestling as the elevator doors close on them. 
PUPPET ANGEL
(heard from inside the elevator)
Stupid limey piece of crap!
(a thud is heard, then the elevator doors open revealing Spike collapsed
on the floor)
(walks off the elevator and addresses the crowd of employees that
gathered around the elevator)
Yes, I'm a puppet. Doesn't mean you don't have work to do. 
(the crowd disperses; Spike stands and watches Angel walk back to
his office)
Harmony, get my call list.
HARMONY
(watches Angel, confused)
Um...
Spike walks toward Harmony's desk.
PUPPET ANGEL
And Spike needs a car.
SPIKE
(to Harmony) You heard the puppet.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO OFFICES - DAY
A woman escorts Gunn and Lorne into Framkin's office at the television studios.
Framkin is wearing magnifying goggles and is bent over his workbench with
a glue-gun creating puppets.
GUNN
Mr. Framkin?
FRAMKIN
(looks up, smiles)
Hi there. 
(takes his goggles off)
Ah... excuse me for not getting up. Bit glued in at the moment. 
(chuckles)
GUNN
Mr. Framkin, we've been tracking an epidemic that's affecting a great
many—
FRAMKIN
Cocoa?
GUNN
What?
FRAMKIN
I could have some cocoa brought in. Extra yummy. Got those itty-bitty
marshmallows?
LORNE
Ooh, those are good. 
(sees Gunn's not laughing, changes his tone to threatening)
Listen, Santa, you can keep your tempting beverages to yourself. We're
here from—
FRAMKIN
Wolfram & Hart. Yes. I've heard of it. And of you. 
(Lorne smiles)
Made quite an impression in our little industry. So much accomplishment
despite your unfortunate deformities.
LORNE
(frowns, offended)
Deformi-whats?
FRAMKIN
We have a song here at smile time that reminds me of your courage
and pluck. It's called, uh, "Courage and Pluck." Goes a
little like this: 
(singing)
Oh, courage and pluck courage and pluck—
GUNN 
OK, Framkin, enough. We're onto you, understand? We're gonna shut
you down.
FRAMKIN
Oh, my. On what grounds?
GUNN
Well, for starters, violations of the provisions of section 5—
 
(stutters)
5... 6-8-C... set forth in chapter 15 of the children's... 
(frustrated)
TV thing! You turned my boss into a frickin' puppet!
FRAMKIN
(calmly)
I disagree.
GUNN
Yeah, but— you—you what?
FRAMKIN
And if your intent is to pressure me, extort money, do any of the
things your firm is famous for, well, I'm afraid you're in for a fight.

LORNE
Yeah? Well, a fight suits us just fine, Papa Smurf. We're gonna let
the entire world know what you're up to.
FRAMKIN
Up to? Gentlemen, I bring joy and laughter to children. You bring
tax exemptions to nasty corporations, acquittals to the clearly guilty.
Frankly, I doubt the world wants to hear from you.
GUNN
Come on, Lorne. We're through talking to this hump of garbage. 
(walks toward the door)
FRAMKIN
(wags his finger disapprovingly)
Uhp, no name-calling at smile time.
LORNE
(looks at Framkin on his way out the door)
Bad person! 
(Lorne and Gunn exit)
FRAMKIN
(waves)
Bye-bye now. 
(singing the "Smile Time" melody) 
Bum bum bum bum bum buh bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum buh
bum bum bum...
Pan over to show Framkin's lower back has a hole in it. The puppet
"Polo" has his hand in Framkin's back. When Polo pulls his hand
out of Framkin's back with a slurping sound, Framkin collapses on the
desk. Polo picks up the phone and dials it.
POLO PUPPET
(to the phone) Get everybody in here. We got a problem.

Fade to black.

ACT III:

INT. TELEVISION STUDIO OFFICES - DAY
Polo, who's got a cigarette tucked behind his left ear, pours whiskey from
a Jack Daniels flask into his "Smile Time" logo coffee mug.
POLO PUPPET
OK. Which one of you short-bus bastards turned the C.E.O. of Wolfram
& Hart into a puppet?
GROOFUS PUPPET
Uh...
PUPPET GIRL
Well...
PURPLE PUPPET
(throws up his hands)
(toot)
POLO PUPPET
What do you mean, "it wasn't us"?
PURPLE PUPPET
(throws up his hands)
(toot toot toot)
GROOFUS PUPPET
Ratio's right, man. This Angel cat must've been the dude that broke
into the "Don't" room last night.
PURPLE PUPPET / RATIO
(throws up his hands)
(toot)
GROOFUS PUPPET
That's what I'm sayin'. He messed with the nest egg.
POLO PUPPET
Stupid jackass! Might as well walk into a nuclear reactor and lick
the core! I mean, anything could've happened to him! To us, to...
 
(pounds his fist on the desk)
You just don't mess around with the nest egg!
PUPPET GIRL
Well, maybe we should take the spell off a couple of our workers you
know, so they could actually see an intruder?
GROOFUS PUPPET
Yeah. Damn zombies can't even work a camera!
POLO PUPPET
Doesn't matter. The nest egg's already got enough power in it to keep
our cloaking spells up and running, make our connections with the
kiddies, even turn this Angel guy into a puppet.
PUPPET GIRL
Which is definitely gonna bite us in the ass.
POLO PUPPET
Then we make sure our ass ain't there to bite.
PUPPET GIRL
Wha?
POLO PUPPET
Ratio has perfected our little system.
RATIO PUPPET
(waves)
(toot)
POLO PUPPET
Tomorrow we go on the air, and instead of draining one brat's life
force at a time, we can take our whole demographic in one fell swoop.

PUPPET GIRL
(gasps)
RATIO PUPPET
(throws up his hands)
(toot)
GROOFUS PUPPET
Yeah! So tomorrow's gonna be a pretty big show, huh?
POLO PUPPET
The biggest.
GROOFUS PUPPET
Cool. 'Cause I've been workin' on this great new song about the difference
between analogy and metaphor? 
(Polo throws his coffee mug at Groofus, hitting him in the head)
Man!
POLO PUPPET
Are you out of your mind?!
GROOFUS PUPPET
Well, we want it to be good, don't we?
POLO PUPPET
We eat babies' lives!
GROOFUS PUPPET
And uphold a certain standard of quality edu-tainment.
POLO PUPPET
(pounds his fist on the desk)
Screw edu-tainment! The life force we're pulling out of these snotnose
kids is 100% pure innocence, dickwad! You have any idea of the street
value that carries down in hell?
RATIO PUPPET
(throws up his hands)
(toot)
POLO PUPPET
Damn right we're gonna be rich. Enough to build our very own Hades.

GROOFUS PUPPET
Well, I gotta admit I like the sound of that.
PUPPET GIRL
(nods)
Mm-hmm.
POLO PUPPET
After tomorrow's harvest, we're gonna torch this craphole and blow
town before the rafters fall.
FRAMKIN
(weakly)
Please, let me...
POLO PUPPET
(thwacks Framkin on the arm)
Someone say you could join in?
FRAMKIN
Let me die...
PUPPET GIRL
Oh! 
(laughs)
POLO PUPPET
Are you sayin' you wanna talk to the hand? Oh, I think he does. Come
on, fat boy. Why don't you talk to the hand! 
(shoves his hand into the puppet hole in Framkin's lower back)
FRAMKIN
(sits upright, gasps in agony)
Aah!
All laugh.
GROOFUS PUPPET
Make him swallow his tongue again!
PUPPET GIRL
That was a good one!
GROOFUS PUPPET
Yeah!
The puppets all laugh while Polo tortures Framkin.

Cut to: INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT
Nina is standing alone in her cage, holding onto the bars as night falls.
She sighs and turns around to take off her shirt, when she hears Angel's
voice.
ANGEL (O.S.)
Uh, Nina...
NINA
(stops taking off her shirt, turns to look for Angel)
Angel?
PUPPET ANGEL
(hiding behind the door)
Yeah, sort of. Uh, listen, I wanna apologize about the way I treated
you this morning.
NINA
Look, Angel, I understand.
PUPPET ANGEL
Pretty sure you don't.
NINA
You've got this whole, complicated, important life going on, and...
the last thing you need to deal with is a crush from monster girl,
some charity case you were nice enough to—
PUPPET ANGEL
Nina... 
(breathes deeply and exhales; walks out from behind the door so Nina
can see him)
NINA
(realizes Angel's a puppet)
Oh.
PUPPET ANGEL
I was turned into a puppet last night.
NINA
I, uh... Wow. Are you—are you OK?
PUPPET ANGEL
I'm made of felt... 
(pulls off his nose; speaks nasally)
And my nose comes off. 
(puts his nose back on his face)
NINA
I don't know what to say.
PUPPET ANGEL
(walks up to the cage, holds onto the bars)
My people are workin' on the problem. I'm sure they'll fix it. Eventually.
 
(sighs)
I didn't meant to upset you this morning. I just didn't want anyone—
Well, I didn't want you to see me this way. It's a little, uh, embarrassing,
I guess.
NINA
I'd call it a little insane. 
(Angel hangs his head in shame)
But... what do you care what people think, anyway? 
(Angel looks up at Nina, surprised)
Angel... you're you, you know? 
(kneels to talk to Angel on eye-level)
You're this— I mean, God, you're an actual hero, and, I don't
know, this may sound cliché coming from an art-school chick,
but... the vampire thing's kind of sexy.
PUPPET ANGEL
It all sounds good, but that's not how I feel.
NINA
I know. That's what I like about you.
PUPPET ANGEL
(Nina stands)
I'm not very good at any of this. 
(sighs, looks away)
I've spent so much time worrying about the past and the future and
my very complicated life... it's been a while since I looked up and
really saw what was going on around me. It's not my strong suit, you
know? But I'm working on it. I'm paying better attention to—
 
(a growling noise comes from the cage and a dog's paw grabs Angel,
pulling him into the cage)
Aah! Ohh! 
(tries to get away)
No, Nina! Bad Nina! Yaah! 
(fabric rips; Angel groans)

Cut to: INT. HALLWAY AT WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT
Lorne's walking toward his office when he hears a battered and torn Angel
making his way toward him.
PUPPET ANGEL
(trying to hold his stuffing in)
Lorne...
LORNE
My little prince! 
(Angel groans and collapses; Lorne goes to his side)
Ohh... what did they do to you? 
(picks up Angel in his arms)
PUPPET ANGEL
Nina... tried to... eat me.
LORNE
(yells out)
Medic! 
(to Angel) You're gonna make it, Angel. Just don't stop fighting.
 
(yells out)
Doctor! Is there a Geppetto in the house?!

Cut to: INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT
In the same eerie doctor's office where Gunn first got his brain enhancement
procedure performed, a doctor works on a patient. Electricity buzzes as
he adds the finishing touches to the man's the man's eyes. The man puts
on dark glasses as the doctor takes off his own protective goggles. There's
a knock at the door, and Gunn walks into the room.
DOCTOR
(checking the patient's eyes)
Good, good. 
(to Gunn) With you in a minute. 
(to the patient) So I want you to keep those glasses on for a full
week, give those fancy new retinas time to adjust. 
(the patient stands and walks to the exit; the doctor calls out after
him)
Then I get to see you in 14 days. 
(to Gunn) X-ray vision. 
(makes air quotes)
Very now.
GUNN
Something's wrong with the implant you gave me.
DOCTOR
Well, I doubt that— Gunn, isn't it? But let's take a look. 
(humming, grabs an instrument and looks through it into Gunn's eyes)
Ah. The imprint is fading. Don't blink. Your neural path modification
has almost completely reverted.
GUNN
I'm losing it. The law, the languages, the strategy.
DOCTOR
Oh, acute "Flowers for Algernon" syndrome. 
(chuckles)
It must be sheer torture.
GUNN
Well, fix it! Put it back. 
(sits in the doctor's chair)
DOCTOR
Well, no offense, counselor, but your insurance plan wouldn't cover
what I charge to wash my hands. 
(Gunn rolls his eyes)
You were given that upgrade 'cause the senior partners wanted you
to have it, and if you're, uh, losing it, well, they wanted that,
too.
GUNN
Why would they do that?
DOCTOR
(laughs)
You never know with them.
GUNN
I can't lose this. This power, these skills, they've—they've
changed me, given me...
DOCTOR
Meaning? And to have it taken away, it's... heartbreaking. 
(shakes his head sympathetically)
Though I do think Cliff Robertson captured the poignance of it more
elegantly.
GUNN
(stands, angry)
I'm not going back to who I was.
DOCTOR
Well, maybe, maybe not. 
(walks away to a computer)
See, I, uh... always have a few things going on the side. Currently,
I have a lot of capital sunk into a shipment that's being held up
at customs.
GUNN
Drugs?
DOCTOR
(chuckles)
Goodness, no. I make my own drugs. No, just an ancient curio, a collectible
I hope to turn a profit on. 
(turns back to face Gunn)
If I was to give you the permanent upgrade, I'd say that, uh, you'd
be more than able to cut through all of my red-tape problems.
GUNN
I don't make deals with people like you.
DOCTOR
And believe me, Charles, I don't make deals with people like you.
Not the person you really are, the ignorant street muscle...the high-school
dropout... I would, however, love to make a deal with Charles Gunn,
Attorney at Law.

Cut to: INT. SCIENCE LAB - NIGHT
The "Smile Time" program is playing on a TV screen.
POLO PUPPET (on TV)
And now it's time for action math news with your action math experts,
Ratio Hornblower aaaaand Groofus!
RATIO HORNBLOWER PUPPET (on TV)
(toot toot tooot)
GROOFUS PUPPET (on TV)
Thank you, Polo. Our top story this morning... 2 plus 2 is 4! And
in related news, 4 plus 4...is 8!
Pan back to show Fred and Wesley are watching the show in the lab.
WESLEY
It could be the lack of sleep talking, but... I'm really starting
to like this show.
FRED
(giggles)
I know what you mean. What time is it?
KNOX
(walks in with two coffees; hands one to Fred and keeps the other
for himself)
4 A.M. And counting. 
(Wesley looks at Knox's coffee)
Oh! I'm sorry. Did you want— 
(holds out the coffee to Wes)
WESLEY
That's all right.
KNOX
'Cause I could—
WESLEY
No. Really. 
(turns back to the TV)
All right... what are we missing?
FRED
(turns back to the computer hooked up to the TV)
I guess we should go back and comb through the signal spread, check
all the tracks again.
KNOX
Ecch. Again. What's up with you two? The tracks are clear. We ran
it through every filter we've got.
WESLEY
That's not how magic works, Knox.
KNOX
Really...Merlin? Then how does magic work?
FRED
(turns to Knox, smiling)
You know what? I think we can handle it from here. You should go home,
Knox. Get some rest.
KNOX
Oh, no. I don't want to abandon ship.
FRED
That's OK. Somebody's got to be awake enough to run the lab tomorrow.
Seriously, go home.
KNOX
(nods)
OK.
GROOFUS PUPPET (on TV)
(singing)
Just a little bit of math in everything...
FRED
(giggles)
I love this one. 
(offers her coffee to Wesley; he takes it)
Knox watches Wesley with Fred, then walks out hanging his head.
GROOFUS PUPPET (on TV)
(singing)
...From the number of your toes 
to the arc of a swing 
and even in the length of a yo-yo string 
there's a little bit of math in everything 
one plus one is two 
and two plus two is four...
WESLEY
(looks over his shoulder to see that Knox has left)
So... how's it going with you and Knox? I know you were starting to—

FRED
Started and stopped, actually.
WESLEY
Really? 
(hands the coffee back to Fred)
FRED
(blushing)
Yeah. We went out a few times, but... I don't know.
WESLEY
(turns down volume on the TV)
So...you stopped it.
FRED
Yeah. He—he's nice enough, but... I think he's been working here
too long. Plus, he doesn't make me laugh at all. I mean, he tries,
but...
WESLEY
I see. 
(turns back to face the TV)
You're looking for someone funny. 
(typing)
FRED
(reading Wes's body language, realizes he took her meaning wrong)
A...certain kind of funny. Yeah. But...I'm not really looking for
so much as looking at—
WESLEY
(notices something on the TV program)
Hang on. Go back a second. There's something different. Maybe if we
bring up... the volume.
Fred rewinds the tape. When Wesley turns the volume back on, the image
on the show changes. On mute, Polo has his hands pressed against the screen,
but with volume, Polo is singing with the other puppets. Wes and Fred
are seeing the same effect the boy Tommy saw at the beginning of the episode.
GROOFUS PUPPET (on TV)
(singing)
To the arc of a swing and even in the length...
FRED
(Wes mutes volume, and Polo's hands are on the screen again)
Polo isn't singing with the rest of them. It looks like he's talking
to the audience.
WESLEY
(turns the volume on and then mutes it again)
Yes. When the song is playing, it acts as a sort of cloaking spell
allowing Framkin to address his target without being seen by the rest
of his viewers.
FRED
So that's how he's been hiding it.
WESLEY
No. That's how he was hiding it.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY
Angel is sitting at his desk using a needle and thread to sew up his torn
jacket.
ANGEL PUPPET
(pulls the thread through the fabric, grunts)
Stupid fingers. 
(pulls the thread, breaking it)
Stupid string! 
(puts down the needle, groans)
Wesley and Fred walk into Angel's office. Angel looks up at them.
WESLEY
It's all in the broadcast— Some very nuanced magic, but we found
it, finally.
FRED
(notices claw marks across Angel's face)
Angel...what happened?
ANGEL PUPPET
Uh...nothing. It's not important. D-doesn't matter. Go on.
FRED
It's a hidden carrier wave masked by a spell that turns the TV into
a 2-way conduit with direct access to the viewer.
WESLEY
That's how he's been draining energy from the children, and judging
from the strength of yesterday's signal...
FRED
Framkin's ready to take out the whole audience.
WESLEY
The object you described in that secret room is most likely a repository
for the children's life force. We'll have to break the binding magic
on it.
FRED
Which should free those children and... reverse your puppet problem.

ANGEL PUPPET
(upon hearing these words, Angel gasps and rushes to hug Fred with
overenthusiastic gratitude)
I love you guys. 
(Fred smiles, not really knowing how to take it; Angel gathers himself
together and steps back)
Oh... we'd better get moving. Framkin knows we're onto him. If he's
ready to zap his whole audience, he'll pull the trigger today for
sure.
GUNN
(walks into the office confidently)
Not him. Them.
ANGEL PUPPET
Gunn.
GUNN
Framkin's not doing this. It's the puppets. They're demons. The show
is possessed. "Smile Time"'s ratings hit an all-time low
last year. Framkin made a deal with some devils to bring it back to
number one.
WESLEY
You sure of that?
GUNN
Dead sure. Every contract signed with the lower planes is filed in
the Library of Demonic Congress. You just gotta know where to look.
Pretty tricky legalese, too. Framkin must have missed some of the
fine print.
ANGEL PUPPET
(pacing)
Which allowed them to take over everything.
GUNN
Including Framkin. These particular devils have a fairly distinctive
M.O.
FRED
They've done this before?
GUNN
You see the last few seasons of "Happy Days"? Point is—you
wanna take out "Smile Time", take out the puppets.
ANGEL PUPPET
(walks back to his desk)
Well, then... 
(takes a sword off the wall, removes it from its scabbard)
Let's take out some puppets.

Cut to: INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - DAY
Fred opens the double-doors leading from Angel's office to the lobby. Gunn
and Wesley flank her as they walk out toward their mission. Pan down to
show puppet Angel is leading the way, carrying his sword behind his head,
parallel to his shoulders.
Fade to black.

ACT IV:

INT. LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM - DAY
A little girl is sitting on her bean-bag chair beside her doll house watching
TV in her room.
PUPPETS
(singing on TV)
In our secret backyard 
we can make your day more fun and less hard 
no more frowning, let's get learning 
ABC's and 123's
everything from words to weather
POLO PUPPET
(talking to the audience while the other puppets continue to sing
in the background)
Hi there!
LITTLE GIRL
Hi!
POLO PUPPET
Listen, kids. Today is gonna be an extra-special best show ever! But
only if everyone at home can give us a hand. Now get up... and come
over here. 
(the little girl stands and approaches the TV)
That's it, everyone. Just keep your hands right there. 
(the girl puts her hands on the TV)
Oh! Ohh... let it go! Let it all go! 
(the girl is starting to look ill and pale as Tommy did when he touched
the TV)
After all, it's Smile Time!
ANGEL PUPPET (O.S.)
No, it' not...

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SET - DAY
The puppet Polo turns away from the camera to see Angel standing on the
set behind him carrying a sword.
ANGEL PUPPET
...it's time to kick your ass all the way back to hell!
POLO PUPPET
You!
Angel swings his sword and lets out a primal yell as he leaps toward
Polo. Angel swings the sword at Polo, but misses. Polo punches Angel.
The TV show staff act as if they can't see what's going on around them.
They are clearly still under some sort of spell.
GROOFUS PUPPET
(to Angel) Hey, man! You're ruinin' the show!
Someone else swings a sword, cutting off Groofus's head.
RATIO HORNBLOWER PUPPET
(pops out of his box to see what happened)
(toot)
(goes back into the box to hide)
GUNN
(holding a sword, looks at Groofus's dismembered puppet body)
We're workin' on it.
Polo is beating up on Angel and knocks the sword from Angel's grip.
Polo punches Angel into the dog house.
GUNN
Angel!
POLO PUPPET
(sees Gunn on the set)
Aah! 
(to the other puppets) It's a full-scale attack! 
(sees Ratio standing out by the cameras holding a clipboard)
Ratio—the nest egg! 
(Angel grabs Polo and pulls him into the dog house)
Gah!
RATIO HORNBLOWER PUPPET
(sees Angel grab Polo, throws up his hands in fright)
(toot)
(runs away from the set)
(toot toot toot)

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SECRET ROOM - DAY
Fred and Wesley enter the "Don't" room. Wes is carrying a satchel
over his shoulder.
WESLEY
(hands the bag to Fred)
Fred. 
(begins reading from a scroll)
"Aperi, rumpe, solve, reveni. Aperi, rumpe, solve, reveni—"
 
(the nest egg starts rumbling and begins opening its glowy smile)
Don't look at it, Fred. 
(Fred looks at her feet)
"Refer quod furatum—"
The large purple puppet Ratio Hornblower grabs Wesley around the neck,
choking him and pulling him away from the nest egg. Wes drops the scroll.
FRED
Wes!
WESLEY
(straining)
No, Fred. Keep reading!
Fred turns to grab the scroll off the ground.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SET - DAY
The puppets Angel and Polo are still fighting inside the dog house. Angel
throws Polo out, and Gunn is standing by with a battle-axe.
GUNN
Got him! 
(starts to swing the battle-axe at Polo, but the puppet girl jumps
him)
PUPPET GIRL
(grabbing Gunn around the neck)
Aah!
The puppet girl turns out to be a formidable foe; she tries to break
Gunn's neck, but ends up spinning them off of the stage. They fall to
the ground, and the puppet girl lets go of Gunn. When he tries to sit
up, she jumps him from out of the blue, landing on top of Gunn's chest.

PUPPET GIRL
(reaching for Gunn's eyes)
Gimme those pretty eyes! 
(Gunn struggles to get her off of him)

Cut to: INT. LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM - DAY
The little girl is still standing in front of the TV screen, touching it
and growing weaker and more ill. Her TV is showing Gunn battle with the
puppet girl. Gunn struggles to get the puppet away from his neck, and he
smashes her into the TV camera. She falls to the ground with a groan.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SECRET ROOM - DAY
As the nest egg's smile widens, Fred continues reading from the scroll.
Wes is still struggling with the purple puppet Ratio in the background.
FRED
"...Solve, reveni, aperi, rumpe... solve, reveni..." 
(sees the puppet throw Wes into the wall, but continues reading)
"fractae, omnia vin—"
Extremely concerned about Wesley, Fred looks over her shoulder again
to see the puppet coming at Wesley with a fire extinguisher. Fred puts
down the scroll. Before the puppet can hit Wes over the head with the
fire extinguisher, a gunshot goes off. The puppet drops the fire extinguisher
to the ground and stumbles back. It's shot again, in the eye this time,
and makes a squeaking noise as it stumbles backwards. Pan over to show
Fred has shot the puppet. Wes looks at her in grateful admiration. Fred
smiles and blushes and puts the gun away as she heads back to finish reading
the scroll.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SET - DAY
Angel and Polo puppets are still fighting.
POLO PUPPET
I'm gonna tear you a new puppet hole, bitch! 
(punches Angel; Angel overpowers him, pushes him to the ground and
starts choking him)
(gasps)
So... you got a little demon in you.
ANGEL PUPPET
I got a lot of demon in me. 
(his forehead goes all bumpy and his fangs descend)
(Polo gasps in fright)
Now, come on!
Angel grabs Polo and throws him into the treehouse, breaking the wood
railing. Polo falls on the wooden splinters and falls limp.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SECRET ROOM - DAY
Wesley fights with the purple puppet while Fred finishes reading from the
scroll.
FRED
"Omnia incantamenta fracta. Omnia incantamenta fracta."

Wesley pushes the puppet against the wall and breaks off his horn.
The puppet lets out a terrible deflating squeaking sound from where his
horn used to be attached. The puppet's stuffing is coming out of him,
showering Wesley with its guts. The puppet collapses.

Cut to: INT. LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM - DAY
The little girl is still touching her TV screen losing her life force.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SET - DAY
Angel returns to normal face and glares at the puppet Polo as it hangs in
the treehouse railing. Angel straightens his collar and jacket, and turns
to face the cameras.
ANGEL PUPPET
Gunn?
GUNN
(holding the puppet girl's dismembered arms)
Think I'm good.

Cut to: INT. TELEVISION STUDIO SECRET ROOM - DAY
Fred completes the scroll reading as Wes goes to her side.
FRED
"...Fracta. Aperi, rumpe, solve, reveni."
The smiling nest egg glows brightly and begins to crack. As the glowing
gets brighter, the egg explodes, showering the room with bright light.
Wes and Fred turn away from the force of the explosion.

Cut to: INT. LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM - DAY
The little girl is thrust back from the television into her bean-bag chair.
She catches her breath and looks normal and healthy again.
GIRL'S MOM (O.S.)
Anna, what's going on in there?
LITTLE GIRL
Nothing. Just watching TV.

Cut to: INT. BASEMENT - DAY
Nina is in human form again, lying naked in her cage amidst pieces of torn
fabric. She wakes, disoriented, and looks around her. She pulls lint off
of her lips.
NINA
Oh, my God. I ate him.
There is a knocking at the door. She reaches for a nearby silk robe.
PUPPET ANGEL (O.S.)
(from outside the door)
Hey, uh, you decent?
NINA
(finishes putting on the robe)
Angel. Oh, thank God. Hold on one second. 
(ties the robe)
OK. 
(Angel walks into the room)
Wow. Sorry. Takes getting used to.
PUPPET ANGEL
Ha. Tell me about it. Wes and Fred say my condition's improving, though.

NINA
So you're gonna change back?
PUPPET ANGEL
Yeah. 2, 3 days tops. Ahem...uh... anyway... 
(opens the cage door)
What are you doing for breakfast?
NINA
(laughs)
What do puppets eat?
PUPPET ANGEL
Let's find out.
Angel offers Nina his hand, and she takes it. They walk out of the
room together, hand in hand.

Cut to: INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY
Wesley is standing at his desk, organizing books and papers when Fred walks
into his office.
FRED
I just got off the phone. Looks like the kids are coming out of their
stasis.
WESLEY
Oh...good. I think we did some excellent work back there.
FRED
(smiling broadly)
I think you're right.
WESLEY
And now... 
(grabs his coat)
FRED
And now...
WESLEY
We'd better get some rest. No telling when the next crisis will strike.
 
(starts to walk toward the door)
FRED
(steps in front of him, cutting him off; looks at him nervously)
You're just gonna go, aren't you?
WESLEY
Fred—
FRED
(searching his expression)
Haven't you been... sensing anything lately... about me... coming
from me? Uh... didn't occur to you that... something might have changed?
That—I'm looking at you in a different— Oh, screw it. 
(puts her hands on either side of his face and kisses him on the lips)
(steps back, looks in his eyes)
WESLEY
Um...
FRED
That was a signal. OK? Is that... clear enough for you?
WESLEY
(drops his blazer, looks into her eyes and smiles)
Not even close. 
(kisses Fred more passionately; they put their arms around each other)
PUPPETS (V.O.)
(singing)
Self-esteem is for everybody 
self-esteem is for everyone 
you can dream and be anybody, 
but self-esteem is how you get it done

Fade to black.