Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 11


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 08, 1997 on The WB

Episode Recap

Buffy, Xander and Willow are walking home at night. Willow and Xander are discussing the finer points of the relationship between "The Captain and Tenille" whilst Buffy follows behind, in quiet reflection. Xander turns to Buffy to get her opinion, and she reveals that she has no idea who they're talking about. She comments on how quiet Sunnydale has been of late, since Spike and Drusilla are apparently gone and Xander totally jinxes it by harping on about how mellow things have been. Willow asks about the "Tarakan" front, and Buffy informs them that Angel's sources say that the contract is off. Xander asks how Angel is, adding that they should just pretend that he cares, and Buffy says he's getting better � with her as his nursemaid, as Willow points out. Xander cracks a dirty joke about naughty stewardesses vs. nursemaids as they approach Buffy's front door, which is ajar. Buffy cautions them to stay outside as she investigates. She enters the living room and hears the tinkle of a glass breaking and her mum's voice saying "No!" She rushes out to the kitchen to find her mum smooching a strange man, up against the kitchen table. Buffy looks flabbergasted and Joyce explains that she broke a wine glass, which was the noise Buffy heard. The man smiles and says hi, and Buffy gives him a critical look saying hi back as Joyce introduces him as Ted.

We return to the kitchen a short while later to see Ted busily taking something out of the oven as Willow and Xander look on. Joyce is taking the trash out, accompanied by Buffy who is anything but cheery, as she notes that her mother's many late nights at the gallery have apparently been spent cataloging other things than art. Buffy, still not quite able to look enthusiastic asks how they met, and Joyce explains that he's redid her entire computer system, freeing up a lot of her time. Time for smooching � as Buffy remarks sourly. Willow is speaking to Ted about her new 9GB hard drive, and Ted explains that she needs an upgrade to make it excellent, speaking like a true salesman. He offers to give her a free demo version, because as he says: "any friend of Buffy's�" to which Willow's only response is an incomprehensible squeal. Xander explains that this means that "she's speechless with Geeker joy." and goes on to praise the mini-pizzas Ted has just made. Buffy comes back inside and Ted goes over to apologize for the less-than-perfect introduction earlier. Joyce looks imploringly at her daughter and says that she really wants Buffy to be ok with her and Ted. "Beg to differ, WE really want you to be ok this" Ted says, as he puts his arm around Joyce. Buffy really isn't feeling the love, but forces a smile as she assures her mum that she's ok.

We cut straight to violence: A vampire getting pummeled by Buffy as Giles stands by, watching her. She's obviously taking out her aggressions on vamp-guy despite Giles' prompts that "it's staking time." Buffy finally stakes him and eagerly asks if there are any more. Giles, almost sympathizing with the vampire that was beaten to a bloody pulp, asks Buffy if she's alright. She denies that anything is wrong and goes on to ponder the subject of vampires, concluding that they are creeps. Giles points out that that is the main reason that one slays them, but Buffy doesn't seem to be listening. She starts ranting about vampires that run around killing people, and take over your whole house and make stupid mini-pizzas and� Giles interrupts, pointing out that what was originally a subtext now seems to have become a "text," and again asks if she wishes to share. She answers "no" again, then a pause, and then eagerly asks if he thinks there'll be any more vampires.

Next day at school Buffy is warning an, apparently obsessed, Xander that another word about Ted will invoke dire consequences. Xander continues to sing his praises, calling him the master chef, but Willow makes the observation that Buffy doesn't like him. Buffy explains that so far all she knows about Ted is that he apparently has a good job, seems nice and polite and her mother likes him, to which Xander replies "What kind of monster is he?!?" Xander feels Buffy is overreacting and brings up "Freud territory" and Willow chimes in, talking about separation anxiety and mother figures. Xander makes fun of her for having parental issues, adding little dance to emphahis point. Buffy admits that seeing her mother kissing a man, whilst certainly traumatizing, still doesn't account for the strange feeling she has, that something else is wrong about Ted. Just then the man himself turns up out of nowhere earning himself a friendly "what are you doing here?!" welcome from Buffy. He explains that he's there to update the school's computer system and produces the upgrades he promised Willow, who is overjoyed. He asks Buffy if she likes miniature golfing, but before she can answer, Xander blurts out "Who doesn't?!" with far too much enthusiasm for a healthy teenage boy. Ted asks if they'd like to go mini-golfing with him and Joyce that Saturday and Buffy tries to think up an excuse to get out of it. But when Ted mentions a picnic basket with mini-pizzas and cookies, Xander overrules her, parental issues be damned, and accepts on behalf of all three of them.

We cut to Ms. Calendar's oom where we see Giles sidling in to speak to her, not sure if he's welcome or not. Giles mentions something her textbooks in the library and she gives him a curt response, without looking up. He's about to leave when she points out what a flimsy excuse that was, just to come and see her. He turns, smiling awkwardly, admitting that he discarded some much worse ones. He asks how's she's doing, and she replies that she's fine, has stayed out of mortal danger for 3 weeks, but still has trouble sleeping. She continues to explain that Giles' incessant inquiries as to her health and well-being are making her feel guilty that she doesn't feel better, and she tells him in no uncertain terms that he needs to back off. He's clearly hurt by this response and apologizes as he leaves, Ms. Calendar sighs to herself, perhaps regretting her harsh reply.

We cut to Angel's apartment, where Buffy is re-bandaging his hand (the one hurt during Dru's ritual) all the while yapping on about Ted this and Ted that. Angel looks bored out of his head, and takes advantage of a pause in her word-flow to ask if she intends to talk about anything other than Ted at some point. She apologizes and he tries to reason with her, explaining how scary it is to be alone, and that she should accept that her mother might need someone other than Buffy in her life. Buffy reluctantly agrees with his observation, but just wishes that her mum could have picked someone other than Ted. Angel asks if she has someone else in mind that would do for her mum and Buffy replies: her dad� She scoffs at her own suggestion, fully aware that it's just wishful thinking and resigns herself to being civil towards Ted, and giving him a chance. Angel smiles at her and just says "Kiss me." She glides down into his lap saying "Finally, something I want to do"

We cut to the mini-golf course, Saturday, where we hear Xander providing commentary for his own performance with more than a little gusto, clearly enjoying himself. As Xander putts, Ted jovially asks Buffy if the boys aren't just lined up to go out with a girl like her. She smiles and humbly says no, but Willow corrects her, saying there are lots of boys, but that Buffy's only interested in� Buffy nudges her in the ribs and Willow changes what would have been "Angel" to "her studies" adding that Buffy's nick-name is "Book-cracker Buffy" and yet again, proving herself to be the world's worst liar. Ted comments that hopefully that will bring her grades up soon, and Buffy goes over to ask her mother why on earth Ted knows about her grades. Joyce brushes it off, saying she told him because he wants to know everything about Buffy, which she believes shows concern, when she is distracted by Ted's golf-shot, and leaves Buffy to mope.
It's Buffy's turn, and she takes out a little too much aggression on the ball, sending it into the rough. Joyce is about to say that they won't count the shot (as is a mother's duty) but Ted gives them all a lecture about life-lessons and "right being right". Xander and Willow look to be in agreement with Ted, and Buffy awaits her mother's decision with patience. Joyce looks sheepish as she agrees with Ted, and Buffy gives a shrug of acquiescence and goes to find her ball behind the main obstacle. Out of sight of the others she decides that it isn't worth the effort and drops the ball in the hole, instead of shooting it, calling out that she made a hole-in-two. Out of nowhere, Ted turns up "begging to differ" and Buffy says "so, fine my score or whatever" not too bothered that she was caught cheating, because lets face it � it's mini-golf. Ted's voice turns menacing, and he continues to make his point about right being right and wrong being wrong, whilst, apparently unaware of it himself, he's hitting the end of his club against his leg, rather violently. He raises his voice and steps closer as he stresses that he doesn't stand for "that kind of malarkey" in his house and Buffy points out that she isn't in his house. He threatens to "smack that smart-ass mouth" of hers and then relaxes suddenly and turns to greet the others who are approaching them with serene smiles. Ted yells that he's made cookies for dessert, and whilst the others delight over the chocolaty goodness, Buffy remains stunned by what just happened.

It's morning at the Summer's residence and Joyce is in a good mood, humming a tune as Buffy sullenly comes down for breakfast. Joyce offers her juice and sticky buns, but when it comes to light that Ted made them, Buffy reconsiders, saying that she'd like to eat something that Ted didn't make (adding not-so-discreet overtones to the name Ted). Joyce scolds Buffy for being rude and not speaking to Ted on Saturday, she adds that she doesn't expect her to love him right away, like she does, but that she should at least treat him decently. Buffy looks at her mother in astonishment and asks her if she meant what she said about loving him, and Joyce admits that she hasn't thought about it, but that she believes she does. She stresses that Ted really cares about Buffy, or she wouldn't even be interested and Buffy blurts out that he threatened her. Joyce looks shocked but when Buffy starts to elaborate, Joyce laughs it off, saying that Ted told her about the cheating and that she though it was decent of him not to mention anything in front of the others. Buffy tries to make her understand but realizes that Joyce is not listening to her. Joyce mentions that Ted is making dinner for them that evening and that Buffy should be home at 6 o'clock promptly, upon which Buffy marches off in a huff.

At school Buffy is apparently asking Willow to investigate Ted, but neither Willow, nor Xander seem to think that there is any reason to, as they nibble their chocolate cookies. Cordelia passes them and Xander, without thinking, compliments her outfit. She stops up to retort, thinking that he meant it as an insult, but he looks confused, saying that he was being sincere. She storms off and Xander excuses himself, to follow her as Willow and Buffy look perplexed at this exchange. Xander catches up with Cordy and she tells him off for being so incautious. He assures her that none of their friends will ever find out about their kissing and promptly suggests the go they utility closet to make out. Cordy, initially disgusted by this blunt proposal, eventually agrees.
Buffy tries to convince Willow that there is something off about Ted and begs her to help her. Willow agrees without hesitation � due to friend loyalty and starts by finding out where he works.

We see Buffy sneaking into a crowded office full of cubicles with telephone salesmen busy at work. She spots Ted making a sale and ducks behind a table as he gets up to mark a tick on a white board. He announces to the room in general that he's leaving for lunch and Buffy ducks back out to take a look around whilst he's gone. Another salesman greets Buffy, assuming that she works there, and she introduces herself as a temp named Bu�linda. She remarks on the many ticks by Ted's name and the man calls him "the machine", stating that he is a genius that knows everything about computers and that no other salesman can beat him. Buffy tries to discover if he has any "baggage," like ex-wives or children, but the man confirms that he just has a girlfriend, indicating the picture on Ted's desk, and mentions that Ted is leaving for the wedding in 2 months. Buffy looks surprised to hear about a wedding and goes to check out the photo, to discover that it is in fact a photo of her with her mother, only the part with Buffy on it, has been folded to the back.

We cut to dinner that evening and see Buffy slouched in her chair with a dark look on her face as Ted says Grace, sending a not-so-subtle hint to her about honesty. Ted asks Buffy in his usual cheery voice, how her day at school was and she answers pointedly that she learned quite a bit. He turns to "Joycey" asking what she thinks of the meal, and she praises it to the skies, asking Buffy for her opinion. Buffy, who hasn't touched her dinner, shrugs saying that it looks good and Ted, speaking as though to a child, points out that the food isn't just for looking at, but also for building strong bodies. Buffy continues to stare, and then bluntly asks if they are engaged. Joyce refutes the suggestion with a laugh, but Ted interrupts asking "Joycey" to let him handle this. Ted explains that, if things go the way he hopes, he may just ask Joyce to "tie the knot" and then asks Buffy how she would feel about that. Buffy considers for a moment and then replies in an even voice "I'd feel like killing myself." Buffy asks to be excused and an outraged Joyce, sends her to her room, apologizing to Ted for her rude behavior.

Buffy sits on a swing in the park, with a stake in her hand saying "Vampires? Here vampires�" she sighs, as there is obviously no action to be had tonight and trudges home. She climbs in through her window and finds Ted sitting in the dark, waiting for her. She's angry to find him in her room, but grows angrier still when she finds him with her diary in his hands and her Slayage gear laid out on the nightstand. He points out that his going through her personal things is no different than her snooping around his office and then asks what a "Vampire Slayer" is. She tells him it's none of his business, but he "begs to differ" and states that everything she does is his business from now on. She orders him to leave the room and he gets up taunting her, saying "or what?" and points out that he's real and can't be "Slayed", as opposed to the goblins that he believes she's made up. He calls her delusional, and threatens to show the diary to her mother, if she doesn't do as she's told from now on. He opens the door to leave, but Buffy holds him back, demanding he return her diary. He orders her to let go of him, she refuses and he smacks her in the face sending her headlong into the closet. She gets up, shaking of the blow and smilingly says "I was SO hoping you' do that" and lays a punch directly in his face. They fight, kicking and punching, and Joyce comes to the door, yelling to Buffy to stop, as it now seems to be a one-way fight. Buffy continues to kick Ted down the hall, until finally he takes a tumble down the stairs. Joyce hurries down to check on him, but he is unconscious. Buffy slowly walks down the stairs, with a look of dread on her face, realizing what she has done as Joyce looks up and says: "You killed him"

The paramedics and police arrive to take the body away and as Buffy sits on the porch in a stupor, Detective Stein asks Joyce some questions about what happened. Joyce merely tells him that he fell down the stairs, but Buffy interrupts to says that she hit him and we hear her repeat the statement as though it's only now dawning on her, that she killed Ted.
At the police station, a stunned and anxious Joyce waits at a desk whilst Buffy is questioned. Buffy explains that Ted had taken her diary and hit her when she tried to get it back and that he had previously threatened to slap her. The detective points out that she doesn't seem to have any bruises and points out a few inconsistencies in Buffy's story that are partly due to the fact that she is still so distraught that she isn't being very cohesive. Back in the main room, he informs Joyce that they won't be pressing any charges against Buffy for now, but that they need to investigate further, it does seem that he believes Buffy's story. The two Summers girls drive home in silence.

Next day at school everyone seems to know what has happened and people are whispering and pointing as she passes them. Xander and Willow catch up with her in the sofa area and ask her why she came in today. She argues that it was better than staying at home, where her mum won't even look at her. They ask her what happened and we learn that they had automatically concluded that Ted was a demon of some sort when they heard the news. Buffy's look tells them otherwise, and she says the words out loud: "He was a person, and I killed him." Xander tries to comfort her by declaring that he knows that she would never intentionally hurt someone, unless� "unless, they were dating my mother?" says Buffy, finishing the sentence for him, before she grabs her things and leaves. Buffy runs into Giles, who is of course concerned for her, and she spots a policeman behind him and asks Giles what's going on. Giles tries not to make a big deal of it as he explains that they there are asking questions about her behavior at school.

In the library Xander, Willow and Cordelia are intent on digging up anything on Ted that can exonerate Buffy. Xander is ranting about how much he'd like to get his hands on Ted � earlier this week that is, and Cordelia points out that he was fond of Ted. Xander replies "I sometimes like things that are not good for me" pointedly looking at Cordelia as he says it. Xander finds some left over cookies and absently starts eating them as Cordelia suggests that Buffy should have some sort of "license to kill" due to her Slayer status. Willow sarcastically agrees, saying that would be ideal in a fascist society and Cordelia enthusiastically asks why they don't get one of those. Giles underlines the amount of guilt that Buffy is feeling after having taken a human life, and Cordelia, perceptive as always, points out that he should know, given that he "Raised that demon that killed that guy that time". Giles is packing a bag with weapons of all sorts and we learn that he intends to do Buffy's rounds tonight, as she is in no shape to, and he leaves them to continue investigating Ted. Willow cries out in annoyance that Ted has no criminal record and Xander, suddenly mellow, tells her not to sweat it and that they'll work it out. Willow and Cordelia are equally bemused by this sudden lack of conviction until Willow catches on to the fact that the cookie he's eating is made by Ted.

Back at Revello Drive we see Joyce, in the kitchen, packing away her baking equipment, as Buffy enters and tentatively asks if she needs help. She starts to apologize, on the verge of tears, but Joyce says she doesn't want to talk about it yet, and quietly sends her to her room.

Back at school Willow and Xander are diagnosing the secret ingredient in Ted's cookies in the science lab. Willow believes it's a tranquilizer of sorts and Xander praises her investigative prowess, declaring her "the best human ever", and then realizing that perhaps he's still influenced by the cookies. Cordy walks in announcing that she's found his home address and they take off to investigate.

In the park Giles is patrolling when Jenny creeps up on him scaring the s*@t out of him. Jenny apparently wanted to apologize for the way she snubbed him the other day, but before they can kiss and make up, a vampire turns up.

Buffy is in her room when she hears a creak on the landing, she calls out "mom?" but gets no reply. She sighs and says "to hell with this" as she resolutely goes to the window apparently to go patrolling, only to find out that the window is nailed shut. She sighs again, saying to herself that this day can't get any worse, when she sees a reflection in the window and turns to find Ted who says "beg to differ."
Buffy is in shock, and points out that he died. Speaking to her as though she were a child that had broken a mug, he says "That's right little lady, you killed me. Now do we have something to say about that? Are we sorry?" She looks disgusted at him and asks "What are you?" and he replies: a salesman, giving her his sales pitch as he grabs her and flings her across the room.
Back in the park, Giles is fighting the vampire as Jenny searches for the crossbow and tries to aim it correctly.
Buffy is pounding Ted, but he's still standing and grabs her throat choking her as he explains that he had "shut down" for a while to make her think he died.
Jenny fires the crossbow, just as Giles and the vampire switch places and accidentally hits Giles in the flank. As Jenny fumbles for another weapon, Giles pulls out the arrow and sticks it into the vamp, killing him.
Ted is still choking Buffy but she manages to reach a nail file on the night stand and digs it into his arm, ripping of the outer flesh to reveal mechanical parts underneath. He tells her off for being disobedient, but intersperses this with incoherent talk, making noises as of those a malfunctioning computer would make. He kicks Buffy in the face, knocking her out and goes down to Joyce.

Xander, Willow and Cordelia have arrived at Ted's address. Willow is looking through the papers Cordy dug up and has found 4 marriage certificates but no divorce papers. It looks as though no one has lived there for a long time, and Xander points out that something is missing. Cordelia's acute sense of forces her to comment on an out of place rug, and the others exchange meaningful glances as they pull it aside to uncover a trapdoor.

Joyce is packing away some more things when she hears the creaking of the stairs, expecting it to be Buffy. She turns, and nearly has a heart attack when she sees Ted instead. He gives her a cockamamie story about being unconscious for a day and she hugs him, insisting that Buffy really didn't mean to hurt him.

Xander, Willow and Cordy go through the trapdoor and enter what seems to be a window on the past, everything is in "70's brown" and a LP starts to play as they turn on the lights. Willow pulls the curtains aside to see bars in front of the window, and Xander opens the closet to see what's inside. His eyes widen in fright and he slams the door shut as he tells the others that it's time to leave. They argue that they still need evidence, but he tells them that they have it, as he ushers them toward the stairs. They ask what was in the closet, and he answers "his first four wives."

Ted is telling Joyce all about how he couldn't die, because he had to come back to her. She seems pleased to see him, but is still a little "wigged" that he's returned. She proposes that she be the one to tell Buffy the news, but Ted turns angry suddenly, saying that she should worry less about Buffy, and more about "Teddy" as he's the one who died. Joyce apologizes, saying she doesn't know what to do, and he points out that he always tells her what to do. He has a "tick" and asks if she wants gravy with that, and then returns to normal, assuring her that he will take good care of her. Joyce, looking uneasy, suggests he get some rest, but he raises his voice, telling her he doesn't take orders from women, that he isn't wired that way and we hear the sound of sizzling wiring again, as he twitches.

Jenny is apologizing to Giles about shooting him, and he puts on a game face saying that it's not as bad as it looks, and that layers of tweed are better than Kevlar. She helps him to his feet and back to his car, to drive him to the hospital.

Buffy wakes up, whilst downstairs Joyce is tiptoeing around Ted, trying not to get him agitated as he insists they leave. He tells her about the house, and that he decorated it just the way she likes. She tries to stall by saying she needs to pack, but he holds her back saying he has all her things, and goes on to say that she left him once, but he keeps bringing her back. "Husband and wife is forever� forever�" and he continues like a scratched record. Buffy bursts out of her room, as Joyce tries to pull her arm free of Ted. He pushes her backwards and she's knocked out, as he bends to pick her up he hears the stairs creaking and goes to investigate. He calls out to Buffy, saying "I don't stand for this kind of malarkey in my house!" and from behind the door Buffy smacks him upside the head with a frying pan, saying "This house is mine." As Ted gets up we see that part of the skin on his face has been removed and underneath he's all machine. He maniacally proposes a "nice game of Parcheesi" (officially making this the creepiest game ever) and she hits him with the frying pan again. This time he falls down shuddering, as though short circuited, emitting smoke and sparks until finally falling silent.

We cut to another day, with the Summers women sitting on their porch eating gherkins, as Joyce suggests they rent a film that evening � "Just nothing with horror in it� or romance� or men" and Buffy concludes that they are "Thelma and Louiseing it again" Joyce mentions that the police searched Ted's house and that she still feels that he's going to jump out at her. Buffy assures her he won't, saying he's on the scrap heap� "of life" she adds, realizing that her mum can't know that he was part machine.

At school, Xander is recapitulating the story that was Ted, explaining that the original Ted was dying when he was abandoned by his wife. He then built a better Ted and brought her back to his "bunker o' love" and held her hostage until she died, at which point he went out and "brought her back" again and again. Willow interjects that the real Ted must have been a genius based on the advanced technology used in the robot Ted. Buffy interrupts her, to make her promise that she didn't keep any parts, and Willow answers that she didn't keep any big ones, pointing out, as they object, that she just wants to learn. Cordelia says "like how to build your own serial killer?" (a portent of events yet to come), because, as Xander points out, they are so hard to rent these days. They enter the library, but have only made it to the door, when they do a 180 as Buffy declares that she gives up! and marches off followed by a shocked Willow and a giggling Xander and Cordelia. The camera moves in to show us what horrible scene has provoked this response in the teenagers, only to see Giles and Jenny against the counter, kissing.