-- Quotes --
Buffy's kindly biology
teacher, Dr. Gregory, is attacked after class by a giant praying mantis,
but as far as the students know, their teacher is just missing. The mysterious
Angel appears at the Bronze that night to warn Buffy about a pending attack.
His arm looks as if it was cut by a tiger's claw. The next day, Dr. Gregory's
class is being taught by a substitute teacher -- the comely Miss Natalie
French, who drives Xander ga-ga. She tells the class about the science
fair, and asks for volunteers to help her create a model of a praying mantis
egg sacks -- after school. As expected, Xander's hand shoots up, as does
football heartthrob Blayne's and every other boy in the class. Miss
French decides that Blayne can be her assistant that afternoon, and Xander
the next. Later in the cafeteria, Cordelia opens the fridge to discover
Dr. Gregory's headless body. Buffy speculates that Angel's warning and
his unusual wound have something to do with Dr. Gregory's gruesome murder,
so she stakes out the park. She sees a vampire with one arm that has three
sharp claws where the hand should be. The creature approaches Miss French,
who is walking by with grocery bags, but instead of pouncing on her, he
sniffs her and runs away in terror.
Buffy catches the teacher
turning her head around -- all the way around. Buffy finally figures it
out: Miss French is a praying mantis! Following her lead, Giles tries to
get in touch with a friend in England who's an expert in the field -- the
only catch being that the man is institutionalized. Meanwhile, hacker par
excellence Willow has found that Blayne's mother has reported him missing.
Since it's Xander's turn to work with Miss French this afternoon, Buffy
warns him, but he thinks Buffy is just jealous. Miss French gives Xander
a drink as soon as he shows up. As he's getting woozy, he thinks he hears
someone calling, but she ignores it. She takes his hand, and her arm turns
into a praying mantisí foreleg. He promptly passes out, and he is
dragged away by Miss French. When he comes to, he finds himself in a cage
in Miss French's cellar, with Blayne in an adjoining cage. Surrounded by
headless bodies in cages, he calls to Miss French, who is now completely
converted to her giant-mantis form.
After talking to his strait-jacketed
friend, Giles confirms there is a creature called a She-Mantis, who lures
male virgins to her nest. An extremely powerful foe, it was the She-Mantis
who put Gilesí friend into his deranged condition. Buffy suggests
that Giles record some bat sonar from the video library -- playing that
for the She-Mantis will disrupt her nervous system. Exhausting other methods,
Buffy decides to enlist Claw Guy to help her sniff out the She-Mantis.
Going from door to door, he finally winces when they reach the correct
house. Turning on her, he tries to attack Buffy, who promptly kills him
with a fence slat. Buffy enters the basement and uses a few blasts of the
insecticide to send her scurrying off, then plays the bat sonar. The tape
has the desired effect on the crazed insect, enabling Buffy to hack it
to death with a machete. We think this is the end of the She-Mantis until
we catch a glimpse of the inside of Dr. Gregory's classroom closet, where
a glistening egg sack is stirring at the bottom.