|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the character.|
|“||I'm okay, not a puppet yet! But I'd love to find the akuma before that changes.||”|
—Cat Noir, "The Puppeteer"
"The Puppeteer" is the twenty-fourth episode of the first season of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. It first premiered on October 8, 2016 on Nickelodeon and February 10, 2017 on Netflix.
Marinette is babysitting Manon in her bedroom, playing with plush dolls of Ladybug, Cat Noir, Lady Wifi, the Evillustrator, and Rogercop. Marinette tells Manon about how the villains came to get their powers, and what motivates them. They were ordinary people in Paris who, for one reason or another, became very upset. An even more powerful villain named Hawk Moth gave them superpowers on the condition that they give him what he wanted — the Ladybug Miraculous and Cat Miraculous, two magical pieces of jewelry belonging to the superheroes. Marinette explains that if this were to happen, the bad guys would win. However, the heroes always triumph, and when their game of imaginative play comes to the same conclusion, Manon asks to play as Ladybug and Cat Noir, but before they can, Manon's mother, Nadja Chamack, arrives to pick her daughter up.
Ms. Chamack instructs Manon to return the doll, to the little girl's dismay. When her mother tries to take it back, the doll's arm rips. Marinette assures the Chamacks that she can fix it, and says good-bye to them. Just then, Ms. Chamack's phone rings. Her co-worker, Alec Cataldi, needs her help. While her mother is distracted, Manon returns to Marinette's room and again pleads for the doll. Unable to resist Manon's cuteness, Marinette lets her borrow the plush Lady Wifi. Nadja calls for Manon, telling her that they have to stop by KIDZ+ TV station. Tikki remarks that it is a good thing none of the villains are as cute and manipulative as little Manon.
Manon waits for her mother in the reception hall of the TV station, playing hero and villain with the toy Lady Wifi and a magazine cover picture of Ladybug. When Nadja notices her daughter playing with Marinette's doll, she thought her daughter took the doll without Marinette's permission and scolds her and punishes her for disobedience by taking the doll and directing her daughter to stay in place until she comes back from her errand. This angers Manon, and catches the attention of Hawk Moth.
Elsewhere in Paris, Marinette and Alya rush to the train station, ready to spend the afternoon at the bookstore and movies. The girls spy on Adrien boarding the train as well, and as per usual, Marinette is frozen in place. Alya has to drag her friend into the train. Marinette attempts to figure out a plan to talk to him, but has little success.
Hawk Moth sends an akuma after Manon, which lands on her toy fairy wand. Hawk Moth contacts Manon, calling her Puppeteer, and explains her powers to her that she can use Marinette's dolls to control their real-life counterparts, heroes and villains alike. Recognizing him from the stories Marinette tells her, Manon sees her chance to be the winner at the game and agrees, and she is akumatized into the Puppeteer. Puppeteer begins by stealing back the Lady Wifi doll. On the train, Marinette, Adrien, and the rest of the passengers watch in horror as Alya is re-akumatized. The villainess then demands that Marinette give her the dolls. Marinette notices that Lady Wifi is speaking less like herself, but more like a very young girl. Confused, Marinette tries to reason with her friend and tells her that she does not have them. This only prompts Lady Wifi to summon a fast-forward icon and ride it out of the subway station and to Marinette's house.
Having seen the whole thing through the window, Adrien leaves the train and tells the conductor to investigate a cat that is loose on the tracks. Once he leaves, Plagg transforms the boy to Cat Noir. Elsewhere in the station, Marinette and Tikki are about to do the same thing, but Cat Noir finds her first, asking for information. Marinette explains that Lady Wifi was acting like a young girl she babysat and had left to get a set of dolls the child wanted. Marinette gives Cat Noir her address, and once he has left, Tikki transforms the girl into Ladybug.
The heroes find each other at the Dupain-Cheng house to catch Lady Wifi in the act of stealing the doll replicas of Ladybug, Cat Noir, the Evillustrator, and Rogercop. Recalling how they defeated Lady Wifi last time, Ladybug tells her partner to knock out the wifi signal while she fights Lady Wifi. Cat Noir uses his Cataclysm to destroy the antennas, but when Ladybug smashes open the signal-less phone, no akuma comes out. Lady Wifi retreats, but not without three of the dolls, with the exception of Ladybug. The heroine recounts this to her partner, and they realize that Manon must have been akumatized and is using the dolls to control Lady Wifi, and now has the means to control three more people, including Cat Noir. To make matters worse, Cat Noir's transformation is about to wear off, having already used his Cataclysm. He runs off to feed his kwami.
Ladybug arrives at KIDZ+, and asks Ms. Chamack about Manon. When she finds that her daughter is not in the waiting hall, Ladybug checks the security footage to find that the Puppeteer, Lady Wifi, and three plush dolls are on the soundstage. The heroine instructs the adults to evacuate, assuring Ms. Chamack that she will save her daughter. Cat Noir returns and the heroes run to find the child villain before she can cause any more harm. However, they arrive to find that she has already summoned Nathaniel and Roger as their villain personas, and promptly does the same to Cat Noir. Realizing that the akuma must be in the girl's toy wand, Ladybug attempts to retrieve it, but is outnumbered five to one. Forming a plan, Ladybug takes her cloth counterpart, and roll of duct tape, and flees to the roof.
Deciding to handle the puppet villains first, Ladybug shines a huge spotlight into their faces, temporarily blinding them. She uses the duct tape to tie the hands of the two villains who rely on their hands, Rogercop and Evillustrator. She then throws the Ladybug plush off the building so the Puppeteer will send Lady Wifi to fetch it from the Eiffel Tower. When she successfully does and hands it to her mistress, Ladybug counters by summoning her Lucky Charm. This time, it provides her with a power strip. While she ponders what to do with it, Rogercop and the Evillustrator escape, allowing the latter to erase her hiding spot. A fight ensues with Ladybug using the power strip as a second yo-yo to dodge Rogercop's handcuffs, Lady Wifi's pause icons, and the disks drawn by the Evillustrator. When Cat Noir advances with his staff, Ladybug ties his foot in her yo-yo and knocks him over. She proceeds to deflect the villains' attacks at the others, and pauses the Puppeteer just as she is about to activate the Ladybug doll. She breaks the wand, cleanses the akuma, and throws the power strip into the sky, repairing all of the damage caused by the fight and changing Manon, Alya, Nathaniel, and Roger back into themselves. None of them have any memory of what they did as puppets, including Cat Noir. Once again, Hawk Moth is angry that the heroes have bested him, while Ms. Chamack is relieved to see that her daughter is all right. Ladybug dashes away.
Later, at the Dupain-Cheng house, Marinette apologizes to the Chamacks for letting Manon take the doll without her mother's permission. Ms. Chamack understands and leaves her daughter under Marinette's supervision. Manon asks to play with Ladybug and Cat Noir, but Marinette instead suggests they go to the zoo instead and Manon agrees in the end.
- Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Ladybug
- Adrien Agreste/Cat Noir
- Hawk Moth
- Manon Chamack/The Puppeteer
- Alya Césaire/Lady Wifi
- Nadja Chamack
- Sabine Cheng (background)
- Jean Duparc (background)
- Adrien's bodyguard (mentioned)
- Alec Cataldi
- Nathaniel Kurtzberg/The Evillustrator
- Roger Raincomprix/Rogercop
- Internationally, this episode first premiered in France.
- This episode was the eighteenth to air in France.
- This episode reveals that Manon is Nadja Chamack's daughter and that Sabine Cheng is good friends with Nadja, something that was first mentioned in "Stormy Weather".
- The word "Butterfly" is written in the subway along with the sketch of a butterfly similar to the logo that is on the side of Adrien's shoes.
- The events in this episode must take place after "Lady Wifi", "The Evillustrator" and "Rogercop", as the villains from those episodes reappear.
- This episode features four akumatized villains, three of which not technically akumatized, which breaks the previous record of three in "The Evillustrator".
- Also, unlike in "The Evillustrator", the returning villains are not imaginary.
- This is the first time that Hawk Moth does not get angry or impatient with a villain. Instead, he speaks sweetly to the Puppeteer the entire time, and even praising her.
- Cat Noir falls under the Puppeteer's control and turns against Ladybug. This is the third time Cat Noir is controlled by a villain, having been previously controlled by Dark Cupid and Princess Fragrance.
- The fourth wall is broken twice.
- Alya points out that Marinette is talking to an unknown audience when she tries to convince herself that she is not obsessed with Adrien.
- When Ladybug walks over to take the akuma from the Puppeteer's wand, she is whistling "It's Ladybug" to herself.
- Despite missing the Ladybug doll and not being at full power, the Puppeteer can be considered the strongest akumatized villain seen so far in the series.
- In the end title card, Marinette and Manon are looking at the new panther from "Animan".
- Ladybug has her doll hung around her waist when she leaves the subway.
- When Ladybug calls Nadja with her yo-yo, another yo-yo is around Ladybug's waist holding the Ladybug doll.
- At the Louvre, Nathaniel is looking at where the Mona Lisa is supposed to be, but the Mona Lisa is not there.
- Ladybug wields her yo-yo in her right hand and the power chord in her left hand during the final confrontation. However, when using Lady Wifi's powers to stop the Puppeteer, the yo-yo is in her left hand and the power chord is in her right hand. After that scene, both are sent back in their original positions.
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