Episode Reviews (29)
- SORT BY:
Season 2, Episode 11
This is a difficult episode to review because it is literally a perfect episode (and would have scored a 100) until Ted reactivated and came back to attack Buffy. It's such a shame that the ending completely negates all the powerful stuff that was being covered before it. It turns it into an almost meaningless and mediocre stand-alone episode. If Buffy had really killed a human and the rest of the episode continued to deal with the fallout of that, I would have been one happy camper. What we got instead is a grave disappointment, but one that still has some value.
It all begins with Buffy coming home and finding this 'guy' making out with her mother. She has an amusing reaction to this sight. I really like seeing more of Joyce's social life. She keeps her affairs to herself most of the time, but I like them trying to give her character some more depth. Anyway, Buffy doesn't like seeing her mom dating someone at all and decides to take out her anger and fear on an unsuspecting vampire, who she beats to a bloody pulp. This behavior is reminiscent of Faith when she arrives in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" (3x03). She beats a vampire to a bloody pulp as well and Buffy knows, from her experience here, that there's something bothering Faith. I really like this kind of character development.
A little later we see Buffy and Angel getting on with the smoochies. Angel also asks her an important question. He asks, "Do you have somebody else in mind? There's a guy out there that would satisfy you?" referring to her mother's men. She answers, "My dad?" I really feel sorry for Buffy because she really misses her dad, regardless of the reason why her parents divorced. Sniff, sniff.
I really enjoyed the minature golf scene. It's really nice to see the group and Joyce all together, and in daylight for once. I also love how creepy the atmosphere turns when Ted catches Buffy cheating and threatens to slap her face. This leads to the rough dinner scene where Buffy finds out that Ted might ask her mom to marry him soon. She is disgusted and says that if it happened she'd feel like killing herself. Wow. I feel Buffy acted very appropiate under the circumstances though.
All of that is setup for the big bedroom diary scene where Ted threatens to show Buffy's mom her diary. He hits her which enables her to lay the ass kicking on him. She takes it to far considering she thinks he's human, though, and appears to have killed him. 'Killing' Ted shocks the shit out of Buffy, and appropiately so. In the following police 'interrogation' scene we discover what's underneath Buffy's Slayer exterior: a very scared girl. I love how this shows that when it comes to emotional and personal issues Buffy is just as heartbroken and weak as any teen would be if placed in that situation. This whole sequence of events leads to the wonderful bout of acting by SMG when she tells her mom, "I didn't mean to do it," and starts to break down in tears. This little scene is powerful. SMG's acting is really great all episode long as well. In fact, all the acting in this episode is spot on and believable, including the guest star John Ritter.
Now, if the episode had stayed on this course it would have been a home run, but instead things go back to being predictable when Ted is discovered to be a robot who marries women then locks them in a closet in his house until they die. This plot development ruined what could have been a powerful milestone for the series. Buffy gets off the hook for killing a human which completely undermines the episode's potency. It's a real shame they didn't take advantage of this opportunity.
So now we're back into plot mediocrity territory and there's still some problems. Buffy once again gets knocked out incredibly easily by someone. Sigh. Also, there is no way anyone in the 50's could construct a robot with that kind of sophistication. It'd be stretching it to have a plot where there's a robot like that made today. The episode ends with Buffy saving the day and actually killing robot Ted. Yawn. This is a solid episode, but my disappointment over the squashed potential kind of looms heavily above the rest of the stuff in here. To be fair, though, it's still very entertaining and very well acted.moreless
(Hi, have you met...?) Ted
A prize for whoever can get that joke
Really the more Joyce in an episode the better it is. She was originally due to be a very minor character as in the movie but the cast and crew all fell in love with Joyce/Kristine Sutherland and the writers kept giving her more and more to do. She's excellent here, the pained scenes between Buffy and Joyce are wonderful in their awkwardness (note Joyce just tells the police that Ted fell, still trying to protect her daughter, it's Buffy who admits she fought with him). Full marks also to John Ritter playing essentially an evil version of his character from 8 Simple Rules. Great scene where Buffy plays nurse to Angel (which she also enjoys doing later with Riley and season 7 Spike and later fantasises about doing so in uniform in the comics). Buffy taking out some frustrations on a very unfortunate vamp (Giles still accompanies her sometimes) plus Giles and Jenny beginning to get back together. Cordy's miniskirt and knee boots are smashing. Lovely scene between Buffy and Joyce at the end although not the best they'll ever have.
Labours a bit in the middle and the robot makeup is a bit dodgy (although if it's 50s technology maybe it should be crude?)
Giles; "I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming a text" (one of my great favourites which I use often) plus "DO let's bring that up as often as possible" when Cordy remarks on the Eyghon affair. Also great;
Cordy; "Buffy's a superhero, shouldn't there be different rules for her?"
Willow; "Sure in a facist society"
Cordy; "Yeah, why can't we have one of those?" (Wait until 'Shiny happy people')
Questions and observations;
Willow and Xander discuss The Captain and Tennile. Quite weird as their last big hit was in 1980 and that would have been before they were born. More the sort of talk a bunch of 30 year old scriptwriters would have. Xander suggests Buffy play 'the naughty stewardess' which is probably the one outfit SMG hasn't worn for a men's magazine. Giles becomes the 3rd Scooby to be shot, Buffy and Joyce knocked out. How exactly does Willow analyse Ted's cookies using a microscope?
Ted's creator, like Willow, Daryll Epps and ultimately Warren seems to be a recipient of the Hellmouth energy genius. No Oz. Buffy's antipathy to Ted actually seems pretty unreasonable although did any child of a divorce ever not want their parents to get back together? (I always think of the hair dye ad where the two little girls tell their dad that he'd be a great catch for someone, in real life you just know that if their mother was still alive they'd want him to get back with her and if she was dead they'd want to keep him for themselves).
Big question, what did Dawn make of Ted? Did she like him as Joyce did or did she share Buffy's hatred? Due to her comments in 'I was made to love you' I think probably the latter. Surely being only 16 Buffy should have a solicitor or at very least an adult with her when the police talk to her? Shouldn't Joyce contact Hank and tell him what's going on? Ted threatens to put Buffy in a mental institution which she was in before (and if 'Normal Again' is to be believed remains in until she regains her sanity again at the end of 'Chosen'). Slayer healing is referenced for the first time, Buffy telling the detective that she doesn't bruise easily. Just as Buffy is repeatedly saved by her fashion sense Cordy discovers Ted's secret lair due to her sense of interior decoration (which we see again later in 'Rm w/a vu')
All told 6/10, a standalone ep that's ok in itself, it's strengths largely lying in the dialogue. The series increasingly relying on the relationships between the characters rather than the demon of the week, no bad thing.
Mom's got a boyfriend and there's gonna be trouble! *possible spoilers*
First off, I thought this episode was really good. It's like STEPFORD HUSBANDS. The initial tension with Buffy and Ted as her mother's new boyfriend was predictable, but not unbelievable. The viewers and Buffy can tell right from the beginning that there's something just not right with Ted. He's a little . . . too perfect. And everyone seems to like him a little too much.
I really felt for Buffy. I thought they played out the emotions really well. I could relate, believe, and feel for her dilemma; when her mom won't believe her but she knows Ted's a creep, and when she thinks she killed a human man. Ted really plays an evil creep well. And honestly, I was not expecting the ending at all. I liked it, though I could see how some people might not.
All in all, though not contributing to the vampire storyline whatsoever, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable filler.moreless
Ted was another great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode was more of a character building episode. It had a little action, definitely some drama, and a few good laughs as usual. I enjoyed watching how this story played out, as it was hard to figure Ted out at first. There were subtle clues along the way of unraveling the mystery, which turned out to be quite disturbing! This episode also saw the reconnection between Ms. Calendar and Giles. This is also the first episode where Cordelia seems to really hang out with "The Scooby Gang". It was also interesting to see Buffy dealing with this issue, as many kids and viewers have been in the same place. This episode shows just how relatable this show is to its viewers.moreless
Season 2, Episode 11.
Joyce meets a man named Ted, whom everybody but Buffy likes. After he goes through the things in her bedroom, including her diary, Buffy becomes infuriated. She tries to take her things back and Ted smacks her, causing Buffy to kick him down the hallway and down the stairs. Joyce checks and he has no pulse, making Buffy a murderer. However, Ted isn't really dead.
This is one of my favorite episodes so far. I liked seeing John Ritter in a non-comedic role. I liked that Buffy was also a murderer and the tole it took on her. Plus, Jenny shooting Giles with the crossbow was awesome. Excellent episode. :)moreless
"That's right little lady, you killed me." - Ted
Gee, John Ritter is scary! I loved this episode, my favourite episode of season 2. Joyce has got a boyfriend, something has got to be wrong there. Joyce gets a new boyfriend, Ted, who seems really nice and even I liked him even though I knew something was wrong with him. Then he threatened Buffy at the Miniature Golf Course and I thought he was going to be a demon or a vampire (mostly a demon.)
Then he hit Buffy and, good for her, she fought back and supposedly killed him. I felt so sorry for Buffy knowing that she didn't do anything wrong and everyone thinks she has. I loved the scene were Ms. Calender accidentaly shoots Giles with the crossbow, even though I shouldn't have, I laughed. Then Ted came back, dunno how, and had another fight with Buffy. Buffy was getting beaten and even stabbing him in the arm didn't work, it just showed a bunch of wires and other gizmos. I feared for Joyce when he went atfer her and then knocking her out. But I don't think a dainty push like that would have knocked someone out unless Joyce had a very high pain threshold.
I thought that Ted keeping his girlfriends in his basement until they die is really sick. And the wierd thing is, that's what sick people do in the world. All in all I loved this episode and will probably be watching it over and over again!moreless
Buffy gets angry and homicidal.
This is a really good episode of Buffy and it is really accessible to non Buffy fans at the same time. It's one of the episodes that doesn't contribute to the plot as a whole but presents an important theme, just because Buffy has power to enforce her will through violence doesn't mean that she can or that it is right when she does. Her harming a human being is not alright and the effect that it had on her was traumatic (making me think that she should have been more sympathetic to Faith later, but whatever) and Xander's questioning of what he was afterward really show her dilemma when dealing with problems not related to the demon world with her powers. John Ritter was also really good in this episode and his combination of humor and serious shows off his Ted Bundy side. His interactions with the gang were really funny, especially with Willow and the computers. Then when he comes back to life and is going haywire with Joyce it really shows how great of an actor he was.moreless
Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy turns out to be a serial killer robot from the 1950s. Go figure, eh?
I do not like this episode. I saw it the first time I popped in the Season 2 dvds and I've skipped it every time I came to disc 2 since.
And I remembered why I started skipping it in the first place. It. Sucked.
No offense to the late John Ritter, but this episode was crap. All drama, no story, non-involvement of the Slayer in the investigation and plot-holes galore.
Buffy, Willow, & Xander are walking, talking about trivial outdated television shows nobody from their generation should rightfully know about when they arraive at Buffys house and notice the door ajar and Buffy's mom crying out inside. She rushes in expecting danger, only to find something worse. Her mother making out with a huge stranger.
Ted is a salesman, cooks, loves Buffys mom, & is loved by everyone around her for no apparent reason. Suddenly everywhere Buffy goes, there's Ted invading her life and planning it for her. At his job he's got 5x more sales than everyone else, is a complete neat freak, has already set a wedding date for Joyce & him. Everywhere she turns in her house is Teds cooking and avoids it with an anyrexic recoil.
Finally she'd had enough and decided to confront him at dinner. She demanded to know his plans & was completely honest about how she'd feel if he were in her life permanently. Joyce sends Buffy to her room. She does but leaves to rage on some vampires, though none are to be found.
When she gets home she finds Ted in her room, reading her diary, and having already gone through her slaying supplies. They argue, he bashes in the side of her face and she beats him out of her room. Joyce tries to seperate them but Buffy isn't about to be stopped. She kicks him down the stairs and seems to break his neck.
Enter the guilt. She's questioned by police, points to the wrong side of her face, sulks in school, her mom's ignoring her & things just plain suck. Xander and Willow are determined to find out what was with Ted & boy do they find things out. The food was drugged, he's been married at least 4 times, & he keeps what's left of them in the closet of a hidden cellar/living room at his only known address. All the investigating is over and Buffy STILL hasn't seen the last of him.
BAM! There he is, in her room again attacking her! She cuts him and woudlnt' you know it? HE'S A ROBOT!! Gee, who saw that coming? Who cares?
He's a walking glitch, he freaks Joyce, he knocks her out, Buffy slays, the end.
5.5 is being nice.moreless
Big Bad John
Ted-Buffy has parental issues when Joyce comes home with a boyfriend, the computer expert and master chef Ted, whose charming personality impresses everyone. Everyone except Buffy that is, who is not at all willing to give her mother up to someone new. Even Willow and Xander seem to love him, and Buffy must find a way to prove that her fears about Ted are something more than simple jealousy.
An episode that features one of the biggest star to ever grace Buffy, the one and only John Ritter(R.I.P.). The idea of watching Buffy being so jealous of her mother when she has a new boyfriend seems like some boring melodrama but it actually starts off interesting. John Ritter gives one of the best performances of his career as Ted, the too perfect, over-achiever who slowly turns into a homicidal manic. I love how Willow and Xander are so perky around him and think his the greatest while Buffy doesn't trust him for a second. It effects her slaying, pretty much biting a vampire to dust without using a stake and makes talk about how stupid Ted is. The story actually builds quite well as John's performance gets creepier and more disturbing. The best part is when Buffy and Ted trade punchs to whihc Buffy goes to far and kills him. This is a shocking developement and one of the first to indicate that being slayer does not mean Buffy gets an automatic license to kill. It's a really sad and moving development as Joyce and Buffy struggle with the situation. Sarah conveys Buffy's pain and guilt very well. That's why I have a problem with the rest of the episode, we have these great performances, a great guest star and deep morals going on for only to Ted to return as psychotic robot! This twist/revelation is suppose to be shocking and dramatic when it actually cheapens the whole episode. It just too obvious for Ted to turn out to be infact a monster like Buffy thought before. If ted turned out to be just a human with severe mental issues would have been a much better approach to the plot development. Monsters, robots, and demons are innately evil, but humans are much more complex in nature and since we haven't had a human foe on the series yet, Ted would have been perfect. It's just a very disappointing conclusion to what could have been a great episode.
Although, the subplots with Giles and Jenny are always entertaining and watching this two make up is touching. I especially liked the vampire scene where Jenny hits Giles in the back with an arrow by mistake and Giles takes it out of his back by staking the vampire. But all and all, a so-so episode that even with an great casting fare and top notch performance by John Ritter, it doesn't come together at the end as well as it could have been.moreless
Despite some good performances, particularly by guest star John Ritter, the twist at the end negates most of the drama.
Unlike many modern serialized shows like “Lost” or even “Heroes” that are so dedicated to its arc, “Buffy” tends to follow the mold “The X-Files” used to great success: a few stand alone episodes in between episodes dedicated to the overall story. The “What’s My Line” two-parter was a big turning point in the season, with some twists that will define the series and its direction. Within a few episodes, that bar would be raised higher. The episodes in between, where Spike and Drusilla keep a low profile and are presumed by the gag as deceased, are transitional and lighter in subject matter while the writers prepare to turn everything upside down.
Buffy’s home life has been mentioned in passing before, but this episode gives us a better idea of what it is really like. The recent divorce of her parents hasn’t sunk in yet, and she finds it hard that her mother’s dating other men. This is another connection to her desire for normalcy. Buffy would rather have her parents reconcile and return to the way they were. Of course Buffy’s going to see the worst in the new guy because Ted isn’t her real father and Ted is moving awfully quick in starting a father/daughter relationship with her. It doesn’t make it easier when her friends eat his cookies (the episode’s version of drinking the Kool-Aid) and become devoted to him.
While there are hints of his identity through the episode (“…wired that way”, his nickname at work, Stepford, etc.), Ted’s attitude is more troubling. He is a psychotic control freak who ultimately wants Buffy out of the picture, as seen literally in his office, and Joyce to himself in his 50s style bomb shelter. He also has a deep rooted misogyny, put in by the original Ted to capture and to hold hostage any woman resembling his ex-wife until she’s dead. The late John Ritter, best known for his comedic roles, plays that demeanor for creeps, and it works well.
This episode explores a compelling and deeply disturbing idea: Buffy killing a human. Even though Ted wasn’t likeable, Buffy still believed he was human. Her job is to fight the evil creatures of the night and leave the human baddies to the law. While she may have been able to claim self defense at first, when Joyce saw them fighting Buffy was on the offense. Only in the past episode did she say her anger was a major asset in a fight. Now we see it’s also a liability.
Then there are the legal problems that come with this event. In the interrogation room, some of her answers could’ve been construed as long term abuse without the context of her being the slayer. Regardless, the police let her go unusually quick. They are investigating a death, after all and she’s released within an hour.
However, the reveal that Ted is a robot negates the drama, along with some fine acting between Gellar and Sutherland, which followed his “death” scene. All’s well since he was evil in the end. It could’ve been interesting to see the guilt following Buffy with the growing unease between her and her mother, but they had other plans for where to take the season (and killing a human being wouldn’t be forgotten for other characters). Since that appears to be the case, they should’ve focused more on the second half’s story. With so much emphasis going on Buffy believing she killed someone, the explanation for Ted is rushed. The actual story could’ve been great had Xander’s quickie account been developed into the A-plot.
Three weeks (and episodes) since “The Dark Age”, and things are still uncomfortable between Giles and Jenny. While it hasn’t been mentioned much in the following episodes (much due to Spike and Drusilla’s hijinks along with Kendra’s arrival), it was clearly on Giles’ mind, as seen in previous episodes with him burying himself in his work. So the subplot in this episode seeks to wrap up the uneasiness and get them back together before the next phase of the season. In contrast to their estrangement in “The Dark Age”, their reconciliation is the comic relief of the episode.
The technology mentioned in this episode is funny in its datedness. With the ubiquity of digital music, photos and movies, could anyone operate a computer with only nine gigabytes of hard drive space? Another instance occurs when Ted hands Willow the upgrades he promised: a few floppy disks! This is trivial as I’m sure someone in 2017 will laugh at how big we thought a 320 gig hard drive was, but enough technobabble.
This episode is transitional, giving some time to develop Joyce’s character while delving into Buffy’s home life. Ted’s robotic identity is the piece that hurts this episode, as it is an easy out for what could’ve been a compelling storyline. However, they would have their chance with similar issues later.moreless