Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 11


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 08, 1997 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
709 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


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.


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  • 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

    The Good;

    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.

    The Bad;

    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?)

    Best line;

    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

    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
Jeff Langton

Jeff Langton


Guest Star

Ken Thorley

Ken Thorley


Guest Star

James G. MacDonald

James G. MacDonald

Detective Stein

Guest Star

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Robia LaMorte

Robia LaMorte

Jenny Calendar

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: In "When She Was Bad" Xander suggests playing miniature golf, but Willow reminds him there is no miniature golf course in Sunnydale. But in this episode, the gang heads out for an evening of mini golf. This seems an awfully short period of time for an entire miniature golf course to be built, up to code, and ready for customers. Additionally, Xander seems very familiar with the "5-par cuckoo clock," as if he'd tried it many times before.

    • The white shirt Joyce is wearing in the picture on Ted's desk is the same white shirt that she wears at the dinner table in the next shot.

    • In the classroom where Giles talks with Ms. Calendar, there's Hebrew writing on the blackboard behind him, saying: "Everyone's smart, everyone's wise!", "Torolet", and "Michael Greg Saint Jones".

    • Goof: When Ted gets up from his work station, he marks the board for his 25th sale. But as Buffy skulks her way to investigate his cube, the mark on the board is gone and he's back at 24 sales.

    • Goof: The way Xander holds his flashlight when they are searching Ted's place changes from shot to shot. It also changes from being off before he opens the closet, to on when he opens the closet.

    • Goof: When Ted hit Buffy the first time, it looks like he hits her on the left side of her face. But when the Detective asks her where Ted hit her, she points to the right side of her face.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Angel: Loneliness is about the scariest thing there is.

    • Giles: Whatever the authorities have planned for her, it can't be much worse than what she's doing to herself. She's taken a human life. The guilt, it's... it's pretty hard to bear. It won't go away soon.
      Cordelia: I guess you should know, since you helped raise that demon that killed that guy that time.
      Giles: Yes, lets bring that up as often as possible.

    • Buffy: (about Ted) I just have so much to deal with, I don't need some new guy in my life.
      Angel: Well, maybe your mom does.
      Buffy: Well sure, if you're gonna use wisdom.

    • Joyce: (about Ted) He redid my entire system at the gallery, freed up a lot of my time.
      Buffy: To meet new people. And smooch them in my kitchen.

    • Xander: Oh my god. Come on!
      Willow: Where are you going? We need to find some evidence.
      Xander: We found it.
      Willow: Why? What was in the closet?
      Xander: His last four wives.

    • Cordelia: (about Buffy) But she's like this Superman. Shouldn't there be different rules for her?
      Willow: Sure, in a fascist society.
      Cordelia: Right! Why can't we have one of those?

    • Xander: Hey, Cordy! Nice outfit.
      Cordelia: Oh, very funny.
      Xander: Not really.
      Cordelia: What are you saying?
      Xander: Nice outfit?
      Cordelia: Well, why don't you just keep your mouth shut?

    • Xander: You wanna go to the utility closet to make out?
      Cordelia: God, is that all you ever think about? (pause) Okay.

    • Xander: Willow, are you the best human ever. I adore you. Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!

    • Ted: So, Buffy, I bet the boys are lined up around the block tryin' to get a date with you.
      Buffy: Not really.
      Willow: Oh, they are, but she's only interested in... uh, her studies! 'Book-cracker Buffy', it's kind of her nickname.

    • Buffy: You died.
      Ted: That's right, little lady, you killed me. Do we have something to
      say about that? Are we sorry?

    • Buffy: Angel's sources say the contract's off.
      Xander: How is Angel? Pretend I care.

    • Buffy: Fine, fine, I'll give Ted a chance. I'll play mini-golf, and I'll smile and curtsy and be the dutiful daughter. Do I have to like him?
      Angel: Kiss me.
      Buffy: Finally, something I want to do.

    • Buffy: Willow, tell me you didn't keep any parts.
      Willow: Not any big ones.
      Buffy: Oh, Will, you're supposed to use your powers for good.
      Willow: I just want to learn stuff.
      Cordelia: Like how to build your own serial killer?
      Xander: It's so hard to rent one nowadays.

    • Ted: Buffy, how about a nice game of Parcheesi?

    • Xander: Can you say "overreaction?"
      Buffy: Can you say "sucking chest wound?"

    • Buffy: So far, all I see is someone who apparently has a good job, seems nice and polite, and my mother really likes him.
      Xander: What kind of a monster is he?!
      Buffy: I'm just saying there's something a little too clean about this clown.
      Willow: He's a clean clown! I... have my own fun.

    • Xander: Who was the real power, The Captain or Tennille?
      Buffy: Um, who are these people?
      Xander: The Captain & Tennille? Boy, somebody was raised in a culture-free environment.
      Buffy: I was just...
      Willow: Thinking?
      Buffy: No, not thinking. Having a lot of happy non-thoughts.

    • Buffy: So mom's like, "Do you think Ted will like this?" and "This is Ted's favorite show," and "Ted's teaching me computers," and "Ted said the funniest thing," and I'm like, "That's really great, Mom," and then she said I was being sarcastic, which I was, but I'm sorry if I don't wanna talk about Ted all the time.
      Angel: So, you gonna talk about something else at some point?

    • Xander: You're having parental issues, you're having parental issues...
      Willow: Xander...
      Xander: What? Freud would've said the exact same thing. Except he might not have done that little dance.

    • Buffy: Vampires are creeps.
      Giles: Yes, that's why one slays them.
      Buffy: I mean, people are perfectly happy getting along, and then vampires come, and they run around and they kill people, and they take over your whole house, they start making these stupid little mini-pizzas, and everyone's like, "I like your mini pizzas," but I'm telling you, I am—
      Giles: Uh, Buffy! I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming, uh... text.

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Cordelia: I don't get it. Buffy's the Slayer, shouldn't she have--
      Xander: What, a license to kill?

      "A license to kill" is a popular phrase originating from the James Bond novels and films. 007, an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service, has an official sanction to use deadly force when necessary.

    • Buffy: I guess we're Thelma & Louise-ing it again.
      The 1991 movie, Thelma & Louise, is the ultimate female buddy-flick. The film focuses almost entirely on the strong relationship between the women and is a good choice considering the no men, no romance requirement (though both appear in minor roles).

    • Ted: How about a nice game of Parcheesi?

      Parcheesi is an ancient game from India. In modern America it is available as a board game from Milton Bradley.

    • Giles: The advantages of layers of tweed. It's better than Kevlar.

      Kevlar is the material which is used to make bullet proof vests. While Giles is joking with his comment, he is probably correct. Kevlar works well in protecting against bullets but not against knives or crossbow bolts.

    • Xander: So either our boy was a Mormon...
      In context, Xander is referring to the fact that Ted had (at least) four wives. The Mormons are a religious group which previously allowed members to take several wives, though they have now stopped the practice.

    • Cordelia: But she's like this Superman.

      Superman is the crime fighting super hero of comic books, movies and television.

    • Xander: I mean we are talking creature feature here, right?

      Xander inquires about the nature of Ted by comparing him to the horror movie monsters. These movie are sometimes called creature features after the monsters in them.

    • Salesman: Back to the salt mines.

      Digging in a salt mine is an image often associated with slave labor.

    • Buffy: Like Stepford.
      Buffy references the 1975 film, The Stepford Wives, in which a group of suburban housewives are nothing more than brainwashed drones.

    • Xander: I think maybe we're in Sigmund Freud territory.

      Xander posits that Buffy's problems with Ted are psychological by invoking the name of the Father of Psychotherapy, Sigmund Freud.

    • Xander: Who was the real power, the Captain or Tennille?
      The Captain and Tennille were a 1970's singing duo who also had a television show. Since the show was on in 1976-77, Xander must have seen the re-runs.