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Recap / Miraculous Ladybug S01 E18 "The Puppeteer"

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While babysitting Manon, Marinette shows off she's made plushies of three villains, Ladybug and Cat Noir. Manon pleads with Marinette to have the Ladybug doll but settles for Lady WiFi when the Ladybug doll is damaged. When her mother confiscates the doll, however, Hawk Moth creates a new villain: The Puppeteer. The Puppeteer knows what Hawk Moth wants, and how to obtain it.


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Manon's mother becomes frantic when Ladybug reveals that Manon has been akumatized and wants to stay to save her daughter. Ladybug convinces her to evacuate, albeit reluctantly.
  • And I Must Scream: Ladybug when Lady WiFi manages to paralyze her with a pause rune.
  • Audience? What Audience?: Alya wants to know who Marinette is talking to when she claims not to be obsessed with Adrien.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All the villains and Cat Noir that the Puppeteer uses.
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  • The Bus Came Back: The Puppeteer's abilities allow her to bring back and control previous villains whose dolls she possesses, namely Lady WiFi, the Evillustrator, and Rogercop.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the beginning of the episode, Marinette and Manon are playing with dolls of Rogercop, Lady Wifi, and the Evillustrator who return for a Villain Team-Up under the Puppeteer's beck and call via those same dolls.
    • Ladybug advises Cat Noir to cut off Lady Wifi's signal, like he did in their last encounter.
  • Catchphrase: Puppeter always enchants her doll with "X, come to life!" command, X being the name of the doll.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: The Puppeteer remembers what Marinette told her of what the bad guys want, especially Hawk Moth's desire for the Miraculous. Thus, she's fairly efficient in only targeting Ladybug and Cat Noir, compared to other villains who may easily get distracted by their own personal goals.
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  • Combat Pragmatist: The Puppeteer tries to steal all the dolls before ever confronting Ladybug and Cat Noir. When Ladybug manages to steal her own doll back, she has Lady WiFi bring the rest to her so she has all three villains and Cat Noir on her side. Lampshaded by Ladybug when she complains about the unfairness of a five-on-one battle.
  • Continuity Snarl: Cat Noir has to ask Marinette where she lives so that he can get to her dolls before the Puppeteer does. However, this episode aired after "The Evillustrator", "The Gamer", "Kung Food" and "Animan" in most countries, all of which either had Adrien or Cat Noir visiting her house for various reasons, which makes it seem weird that he doesn't know her address.
    • Even if you put the episodes chronologically this applies, as it definitely happens after "Evillustrator" as he's in the episode. Of course, it could just be Cat Noir taking a second to keep up the masquerade that he doesn't know her. He is shown to actually be better than Ladybug at keeping his identity secret, even in emergencies. Unlike Ladybug, he never addresses his classmates by name aside from his slip-up in "Dark Cupid" that he quickly corrects, and he's less playful with them than with the akuma victims and Ladybug. As far as he knows, Marinette only knows he's been to her house once.
    • Also, it is very out of character for Plagg to speak positively about any food but Camembert. Here, he does about popcorn.
  • Creepy Child: The Puppeteer, complete with white makeup.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Adrien changing back into Cat Noir after recharging Plagg, so as to steal his doll back. It may not have meant much, given the Puppeeter changed the villains while they were in civilian form, but at least Ladybug or Plagg should have brought up the option of attempting to not transform or keep Plagg away from him.
  • Dual Wielding: Ladybug does it in climax with her yo-yo and power cord. Yes, power cord.
  • Foreshadowing: Manon's first line in the episode, where she insists that Cat Noir shouldn't say a certain line. While most six-year-olds have their own ways of playing, it's a subtle hint at her being akumatized into a puppet-themed villain who ends up controlling the real Cat Noir.
  • Evil Puppeteer: Goes without saying.
  • Goo Goo Godlike: Manon is the youngest and arguably the most powerful akumatized villain so far.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ladybug tricks Lady WiFi into hitting the Puppeteer with a pause rune, thereby freezing all those under her control and making stealing the akuma a breeze.
  • Invincible Hero: Lampshaded when Manon complains that she can never win when playing as villains against Marinette playing as Ladybug since Ladybug always wins.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Marinette does this when explaining to the audience that she is not obsessed with Adrien. She doesn't even believe herself. Alya then asks her who she's talking to.
  • MacGuffin: For the Puppeteer, it's the Ladybug doll. As Manon she merely wants to play with it, but as the Puppeteer she wants to use it to control her hero.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Puppeteer comes within a second of controlling Ladybug, and already had control of Cat Noir.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Lady Wifi shows new powers to fly on a fast-forward icon. She never needed it before since she always relied on teleporting for transport, a power which she oddly enough doesn't use in this episode (probably because the Puppeteer has no way of simulating teleportation with the puppet).
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Alya when she starts to turn into Lady WiFi again. Nathanael and Officer Roger have the same reaction.
    • Cat Noir when the Puppeteer has his plushie and manages to brainwash him.
    • Ladybug when she tries to find the Puppeeteer, only to see that she's gone from where she originally was.
  • Pet the Dog: Hawk Moth is notably nicer and almost fatherly to Puppeteer than he is to his previous akumatized villains.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Much like in "Stormy Weather", Manon tends to get her way with her "baby doll eyes". Marinette learns to resist them by the end of episode.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Marinette recognizes that Manon is controlling Lady WiFi when she complains about the dolls that were promised to her and says she will be "super duper sorry".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Upon learning Adrien's on the same subway train as her and Alya, Marinette worries he might take her for one. While Leaning on the Fourth Wall, she tries to deny that her willingness to follow Adrien is stalking, nor that she does it because she's obsessed with him. Eventually, she admits she doesn't even believe her own justifications.
  • Stock Footage: The scene of Ladybug running across rooftops while heading back to her house is reused from Dark Cupid.
  • Straight for the Commander: When outnumbered, Ladybug briefly immobilises or distracts her opponents and goes straight for Puppeteer... who expected that and changed her location, getting the Ladybug doll in the process.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Ladybug whistles her theme while strolling past the paused villains.
  • This Cannot Be!: Hawk Moth says this when Ladybug defeats four villains and a brainwashed Cat Noir at once.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Marinette telling Manon about Hawk Moth's motivations helps make the Puppeteer a rather formidable opponent. She also made the plushies that the Puppeteer uses to control Cat and the villains. More directly, her insistence on always winning when playing dolls with Manon does nothing to help Manon's attitude on the situation and gives her a bit of a grudge against the heroes even before becoming the Puppeteer.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Manon wants to borrow the Ladybug doll, but her mother refuses on the grounds that she has a pile of toys at home. Her mother then tugs the doll away from Manon, tearing it, so that when Manon wants to sneak it into her bag Marinette gives her Lady WiFi instead, since she has to mend Ladybug.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Rather, Hawk Moth would corrupt a child.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Puppeteer is good at this. She first gets Lady WiFi to Marinette's house, to steal all the dolls, but when Ladybug shows up the Puppeteer takes advantage of the situation to try and steal the Miraculous. After Cat foils that attempt, the Puppeteer goes with her original plan.
  • You Are Too Late: Heroes show up just a little too late to stop Puppeteer from enchanting the Cat Noir doll.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Ladybug destroys Lady WiFi's phone but no akuma comes out. This clues her in that the Puppeteer has the actual akuma.

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