Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 11


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

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

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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.
  • (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.
  • 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.
  • 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. :)
  • "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!
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Until today.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • oh yess.

    I won't stand for this malarchy in my house. Ted is a really great episode. So many good quotes and memorable. Ted was played by an amazing actor may he rest in peace. I originally thought that this episode would be boring reading the descrption but i was wrong. This was so exciting and Ted seemed so real and perfect. Ted was a really enjoyable episode.
  • Joyce's new boyfriend the homicidal robot

    I did like this episode but there really wasn't anything big and important going on. It was only semi interesting and a whole lot creepy but there was a total lack of vampires and that was sad.

    I liked Joyce having a boyfriend. That was interesting especially since in the end he was really a homicidal robot. I loved seeing Buffy in such a human way. It was amazing to see that Buffy really cared about her mom and that on some level Buffy was like any normal child with divorced parents.

    I found the relationship between Jenny and Giles to be highly amusing in this one. They were so funny when trying to kill the vampire. It was so funny that Jenny shot Giles with the bow and that after the vampire was dead Giles started cracking jokes about how his many layers of tweed protected him. They were kinda cute.

    It was also interesting to see Buffy, Xander, and Willow all hanging out with Buffy's mom and her boyfriend. I liked that Willow and Xander almost fell in love with Ted but Buffy was swearing that he was evil.

    Seeing Buffy after she had 'killed' Ted was great. You could see how taking a human like affected her. I loved that her friends were all trying to find a way to clear her name by digging something up on Ted. It was very freaky that he was a robot and had killed his last 4 wives.

    This was just a freaky episode but nothing really incredible happened.
  • Buffy thinks there is something strange about her mother's new boyfriend, Ted, and she's right.

    With the acception of Lindsay Crouse's appearances in season four, this is the only time a 'big star" made a guest appearance on Buffy. John Ritter is great in this episode, as the seemingly squeaky-clean Ted. Many shows have done the robot villian angle, but never quite like this. The emotion becomes palpable when Buffy tinks she has killed Ted. It just makes it that much better when she finds out he's a robot and kicks the crap out of him.
  • Ted the robot

    This was a good episode that got kind of a bad rap. I was a big John Ritter fan, so I may be a bit biased. If nothing else, the gang should realize when Buffy is suspicious of something that they should listen to her. Unfortunately, Ted is able to charm the socks off of Buffys friends with his mini pizzas, cookies and computer upgrades. Joyce is completely enamored, so there is no talking to her. Poor Buffy ends up killing him unintentionally, but old Ted comes back. He is a robot who basically built himself. Thankfully Buffy is able to take him down permanantly. Best Quote: Buffy: You died.
    Ted: That's right, little lady, you killed me. Do we have something to say about that? Are we sorry?
  • Daddy dearest...

    Buffy's mom gets a new boyfriend Ted. He seems so nice but he is so creepy. Ted was too perfect and Buffy knew it. He was even creepier when he called her little lady. It was really cool how Buffy killed him after he threatened her and he came back. He was so nice and peaceful looking it was almost scary. He tried to take Buffy's mom to his underground house but after Buffy discovered he was a robot she smashed. When he was strangling her she slit his arm and it was all machine. This guy was a robot who was recreating his wife who left him. Ted was a cool and unlikely villan.
  • Joyce's evil boyfriend; Ted!

    I really like this episode, I find myself being able to associate with it really easily. This episode is really well written as it enables you to see how everyone loves Ted but it lets you share Buffy's unease around him.

    All the small details make up the bigger picture of this episode and when Buffy thinks she has killed Ted she really does doubt herself.

    I find Ted a scary character, even though he hasn't got slime or feelers or fangs. It's the simplicity of his human like nature that scares me. I think this episode is associating with real stories which have been in the news. The twist is that Ted turns out to be a robot. But still Joyce doesn't question how her small, innocent daughter was able to kill a robot.
  • John Ritter (Ted)

    While this wasn't one of my favorite episode I did enjoy John Ritter's cameo as the "less then normal" boyfriend of Buffy's mom, Joyce. He defenitely worked the creep factor in this role, which was required. A pushed the psychotic button in some scenes, which again was required for the role.

    Every time I watch the episode I am reminded of how saw the day was when they broke the news that John had passed. My condolences still go to his family, I can only imagine how hard it must be still to this day.
  • the first of a few robots...

    I really did not like this episode. Ted, Ted, Ted. The guy got to Buffy (and me) from moment one. For like the first few minutes you think that maybe Buffy is over reacting to her mom seeing someone new but then you realize that something is wrong with Ted. Everyone seems to love him, it seems that he can do everything right. But when their backs are turned he hurts Buffy and says the worst things to her. But no one believes her because all they see is his good side. One night he and Buffy are fighting and she pushes him down the stairs. Buffy isn’t arrested because she claims it was self-defense, but the do open an investigation. The next day at school there are a ton of rumors and Buffy feels bad for killing a human. But suspicions are back on Ted when the gang finds out he was giving them tranquilizers to make them happy. They go to Ted’s apartment to snoop around and find lots of dead women. Buffy goes home to check on her mom and finds Ted instead. She stabs him but he doesn’t bleed, he sparks, turns out Ted’s a robot. Ted knocks Buffy out and tries to get Joyce to go with him but she says no so he knocks her out too. Soon Buffy comes to and breaks Ted’s circuitry getting rid of him. Turns out the real Ted made robot Ted to live forever and find the perfect wife.
  • Buffy does robots.

    I watch this show religiously, or extremely religious as it ended years ago. I am aware that my favourite show consists of vampires, demons, witches and slayers. So why does the idea of a Robot seem silly?

    To be honest, I've never liked BtVS "doing" robots. It's extra-ordinary enough that Willow can determine that Ted's cookies are drugged by just using a microscope. But for school kids being able to build absolutely, incredible, down-to-the-tee Robots (Warren in season 5 somehow manages to make two), let alone a 1950's man. It just seems *too* much.

    We can except demons and the vampires. We can except Willow being a bad-ass wiccar. We can except Vengence demons and alternate realities. But why is it hard to except Robots? My personal reason is that everything mythical-related in BtVS is well, mythical. It can be explained by the hellmouth, the magics and other dimensions. But Robots? Meh!

    So, why have I given Ted 8/10? Well, just because I don't like the idea of robots doesn't mean that this isn't a great episode. Ted is a great, memerable character thanks to the excellent writing behind him and, of course, the late John Ritter himself. It's as if he has stormed on to this show sandwiched between the monsters and horror giving the audience and Buffy a, "Huh?" reaction. The inapproriate way he instantly wants to be a part of Buffy's life and take control of it is quite disturbing for the viewer, companied by the fact that no one but Buffy and the audience is fazed by this. Willow and Xander's relationship with Ted is obviously playing a reflection of "How parents are really liked by their childrens friends....because they don't always see the *real* side to them". Okay, they are drugged by pizza's, but you still get the message. The "is this just me, or are Buffy's friends and Joyce crazy?" element nicely builds up with Ted commenting on Buffy's school grades! You've known her for two days Ted! We eventually get the confirmation that Ted is not all he seems, with the chilling "Do you want me to slap that smart-ass mouth of yours?"

    He reveals a lot of Buffy's character that we have not yet seen. How will buffy cope with someone that (she thinks) isn't a demon or a werewolf but who she suspects is just humanly-evil? She doesn't have the support of her friends and she is the only one exposed to Ted's nasty side causing friction between the Scoobies but mostly with Buffy and Joyce. I personally loved seeing Buffy not being able to approach Ted with her trade-mark fiesty nature. She is restained to a certain degree, begrudgingly having to accept him for the sake of her mother and because of the generation gap. Sarah plays this wonderfully, looking timid and frightened at times.

    The scene with Ted visiting Buffy's room is very well done. It seems more frightening that a human (we think) man is in Buffy's room threatening her, rather than the usual demonic creep. Although Ted doesn't want to kill the slayer, open a hellmouth or end the world. No, he wants to do more than that to the Buffster. He simply wants to reveal her secret identity to her mother! Psychological bully! He tells Buffy "you'll spend your best dating years behind the wall of a mental institution" Hardcore's now having seen "Normal Again" can't help but love this quote.

    So after Buffy has kicked crazy Ted's ass to the point where it is very dead, she is now suspected of murder-one. I love the way that it is made to feel so un-escapable that Buffy is going to be in real trouble. This leads to the heart-breaking scene where Buffy tries to explain what she did to her mum, "I didn't mean to hurt him". Sarah and Kristine make this very believable and painful to watch.

    This episode, after watching season three, highlights the differences between Buffy and Faith. Buffy is destroyed by her actions. She is remorseful and somewhat gracious in her declaration, "I'm the Slayer. I had no right to hit him like that".

    But alas! As we have probably suspected, Ted isn't human afterall, he's a de-, sorry, Robot! It is a little lame, but all the same a different kind of Buffy story. We get a wicked fight scene between Buffy and Robot-Ted and thank god our Slayer is no longer a murder suspect! She was right about Ted all along! Yay!

    I think "Ted" gets a lot of stick for the fact that it is science based sci-fi and not mythic based sci-fi. Which is understandable. But overall it is still a very enjoyable episode, and while it may seem to have a silly, outrageous plot, once again BtVS has created an intelligent, dark and realistic tale out of this. With some great acting thrown in.

  • Heeeere's Daddy!

    Buffy's emotional trauma reaches epic proportions in this episode, with her discovery that her mother has started a new relationship. The idea of a stepfather figure suddenly appearing on the scene is a good one and Buffy's desperation to find evidence to prove he's evil is understandable. However, this emotion-heavy scenario is ultimately spoilt when Ted, creepy salesman, turns out to in fact be Ted, crazy robot.

    Ted himself is an effective nemesis for Buffy, mainly due to the late, great John Ritter. He's the perfect actor to be cast in the role of a decent family man and to see him here as a twisted psychopath is so eerie that you have to applaud the casting team for getting him for the role. However, I think the character would have worked better if he wasn't revealed to be a homicidal robot. Ted himself would have been a much greater bad guy for Buffy to deal with if he was just an ordinary human being and, in my eyes at least, it was a big cop-out to have him revealed as something supernatural.

    Another bad decision was the way the writers ended the episode. It's always a sign of a weak script when the characters end up becoming narrators to the audience and explain what happened and the reasons behind it, and Xander's dialogue at the end, to people who already know what happened, comes off forced. Despite that, Ted is still entertaining filler material, working on an emotional level as much as it does from a horror angle, creating a dramatic, if undemanding, episode.

    Director: Bruce Seth Green
    Writers: David Greenwalt, Joss Whedon
    Rating: C
  • Poor Buffy has to put up with a boyfriend her mom now has. he is great except for one thing, he's a robot who wants to marry and kill Joyce. Buffy has to find out what he wants and how she can beat him, but everyone loves him and she does not know why.

    This has to be one of the best episodes in the entire series!!! John Ritter playes Ted so well it is a shock when everything falls into place but if you think about it it all makes sense. Xander does such a good job as well in this episode. I\'m not really sure why but he just did a very good job. they should have brought up Ted in another episode like that Willow used an arm or something but oh well. there aren\'t many episodes in the series that are as good as this, but this is one of the best sries in existance.
  • Joyce gets a new boyfriend and Buffy is really pissy about it.

    This is mostly a filler issue, but it brings up some nice dynamics between Joyce and Buffy. It also give us some insight into Buffy's feelings of 'ownership' isn't the right word, but I can't come up with anything else at the moment. Anyway...Buffy obviously still holds out some sort of delusion that Joyce will either be with her father or no one at all.

    We also touch on a Slayer's place in human society. Buffy knocks Ted down the stairs, apparently killing him. Later when the gang is trying to rally around Buffy, she says quite bluntly, "I'm the Slayer. I had no right hitting him like that."

    Of course, being the Hellmouth, it turns out she needn't have felt guilty since Ted is really a homicidal and sociopathic robot stuck in the 1950's view of women. Ahh, poor Joyce. Her and Xander should swap notes on the dangers of dating in Sunnydale.

    John Ritter does an absolutely bang up job of making Ted first a bit too good to be true and then bringing the character through turning creepy, then decidedly menacing.
  • john ritter

    this show was the only cameo role i ever saw john ritter in. it is too bad he was called home so soon. i think this episode did a good job of showing how difficult it is for a child to deal with a single parent dating someone other than the other parent. of course ted was quite an evil bastard so buffy had a right to flip out.
  • 'Buffy, how about a nice game of Parcheesi?'

    A terrific series classic and one of the strongest episodes of this perfect season,

    It deals with Buffy having a shepherd dad, but he’s not like all the other guys. He’s too perfect to be human, isn’t he?

    When Buffy comes home one day she finds her mother and some creepy guy smooching, soon her world falls apart. Everyone loves this perfect guy and his mini-pizza’s, except her. She doesn’t seem to trust him or be able to be with him in the same room.

    There is also a second storyline where Giles tries to make friends with Jenny Calender again but she tells him that she needs space and he isn’t giving it to him, until she decides to hook up with him again and follows him while he’s haunting vampires, well you can figure out how well that went. She’s in mortal danger again and accidentally shoots Giles, at least he kills the vampire with it and he wins her over. She takes him to the hospital after that though.

    Anyway, so this perfect Ted is upsetting Buffy, nobody sees what she sees in him. So she tries to be the good daughter and when they go out to miniature-golf she cheats and he reacts very strangely, he threatens to hit her while he acts all nicely to the rest.

    When Buffy goes spying on him in the office she comes to realise that he is gonna marry Joyce and she asks them on the table and Ted says that maybe in the future, Buffy prefers dying over that and gets send to her room.

    Ofcourse Buffy goes out but there aren’t any vampires, when she goes back she finds Ted in her room who just read her diary and she gets very upset. Ted hits her so she has finally an excuse to hit back and knocks him off the stairs and kills him.

    After that Joyce can’t even look at her, Buffy feels horrible and might go to jail. Xander thinks that there has to be something wrong and he takes Will and Cordy to his house where they find his ex wifes.

    Meanwhile When Buffy is back home she finds Ted in her room, he’s not dead and knocks her out. He goes to Joyce and wants to leave with her but she doesn’t want to go so he knocks her out as well, but then Buffy is back and she hits him with a pan and destroys him, turns out that he was a robot all this time and that the real Ted made him to bring back his wife for always. Psycho.

    This episode was very daring and also had depth and love, Joyce/Ted, Jenny/Giles and Cordy/Xander. At the end Buffy finds Jenny smooching with Giles and she is mad that grownups are smooching everywhere.
  • When neat parenting go really bad

    The character of Ted is perfectly played by the late John Ritter.
    Once more teenage problems are put to a real life problem. Buffy is jealous of her mother getting together with a new man. All of her friend, including her mom, tells her she is just disillusioned and just afraid of that Ted will take over as her real father, and that it is just in her head.
    But as always Buffy is right, but it goes further than any episode before, she supposedly kills Ted. This happens when everybody is all in for the Ted character, but he shows his true Norman Bates side to Buffy and she pushes him down the stairs.
    Finally Giles gets together with his big love; Ms. Calendar.
  • When Buffy's mum starts dating a bloke called "Ted" you know something is going to go wrong. A good all round episode, but I feel though this episode tried to be a comedy, which made it feel a little over-the-top. Not bad though, worth watching.

    This episode explores what happens when Buffy's mother, Joyce, starts dating a new bloke called Ted. However in Sunnydale you never really know what your dating until it is too late!

    This episode is cleverly written and deals with a great theme. It reflects very accuratly what millions of people have gone through in their lives. Mixed emotions and tragic endings make this episode really poniant both for the season and for the show as a whole.

    I do have to admit though, that this episode isn't one of my favorites - I do like it but at times I think it is a little over the top, and tries to be more of a comedy than a drama.

    On the whole, a good episode, but one that could have been done so better.
  • "You're having parental issues, you're having parental issues... what? Freud would've said the exact same thing. Except he might not have done that little dance" - Xander

    After the previous two pivotal episodes and before the excellent two-part Buffy/Angel shag-fest, we have in between this episode and Bad Eggs, like inferior sandwich paste amongst beautiful new baked bread. Surprising, because Ted is a Joss Whedon co-written episode. It’s not bad as such, it’s well-paced, has a good mixture of drama, comedy and action and doesn’t reveal Ted’s true identity until the end of the story, only hints at it, so that repeat watching is still entertaining. It also introduces some themes that will prevail later on in this and futures seasons. It’s just….not as good as other episodes in Series 2.

    So, Joyce has got some man action and he is a keeper. Great cook, good with kids - witness Willow and Xander’s delight as he offers free upgrades (for Willow’s 9 gig hard-drive ahahaha) and pizza, respectively. He woos Joyce with an old fashioned sensibility - unfortunately his traditional behaviour doesn’t stop there. He wants to be obeyed, to be the patriarch. In some ways, he is the precursor of the Mayor with his clichés and catchphrases and prayers, although Ted never believes he is evil – he is the seedy underbelly of the suburban (myth of) happy families. He wants to turn the modern single mom into an ‘honest woman’. He is the man of whom the neighbours would say: “But he seemed like such a nice fellow”, when they find the remains of his first 4 wives in the closet. It’s no accident that the original Ted died in the 50s - a time when women and children knew their place and the nuclear family was a façade for nastiness (are Ted’s tranq laced cookies a metaphor for the scripts for valium for frustrated 50s housewives?). He also shares with Richard Wilkins III a love of mini golf. As Xander says: “Who doesn’t love miniature golf?” Who indeed.

    As well as Joss’s perennial fave theme: the bad father, the episode also seems to be about the problems children face when their (albeit loving) parents think they are lying as well as what happens when the responsible adult isn’t there. As well as briefly exploring child abuse, the episode brings up the idea of the domineering male, the citizen of the year who nevertheless has a family who are terrified of him, the stalking creepy sociopath who doesn’t believe he can be wrong. Buffy is right when she rushes in thinking her mom is facing evil.

    Buffy’s father figure is also having romantic problems. It’s been 3 weeks and Ms Calendar still hasn’t forgiven Giles for getting her into mortal danger! Shame on you, Jenny. Still, she gets him into jeopardy by accidentally shooting him with an arrow; it’s only his tweed that saves the day and by the end, they’re back in snogsville. Is the subtext that Giles and Jenny know all about each other (or so we think) and can have romance whereas Joyce just fell into the Ted relationship without finding out about him first? Buffy of course can’t tell her about Ted’s Real Self nor about the tranq’d cookies. Buffy may stop Willow telling Joyce ‘n’ Ted about her boyf, but in this episode its Joyce who is seen to be having the unsuitable relationship and Buffy chewing her out about it and having to hide the unpalatable truth from her. And although Joyce lies to the police to protect Buffy, she is shown to be wrong in not listening to her daughter when Buffy accuses Ted of threatening to slap her. OK, she was on drugged pizza, but to believe your new beau over your daughter? A big no no. This of course foreshadows the end of the season when the police are once again after the Slayer and Joyce doesn’t believe her side of things. Interestingly, after reading her diary, Ted tells Buffy that she doesn’t want her mom to think she’s delusional or for her to end up in a mental asylum; this is the only hint of Buffy’s previous institutionalisation that Buffy describes in Season 6’s "Normal Again".

    Xander and Cordelia are carrying on their secret triste, in the utility closet, although Xander does admit that what he likes isn’t necessarily good for him. Cordelia as cookie anyone? Xand manages to take control in this episode, demanding that Ted be investigated, getting the evidence on his cookie-doping habits and leading the inspection of his home and finding the bodies. He even tells Willow that he adores her. The Cordy-kissing is giving him new confidence, just as it’s giving her new depths, even if she does believe fascist states are OK. Joss’s attempts at socialism – Buffy shouldn’t be treated differently because she’s a superhero(ine) – are better outlined in "Go Fish", but it’s an interesting precursor to Faith believing that she (and Buffy) are special and Faith’s lack of remorse when she (accidentally) kills a human. Buffy discovers that her super-strength is another downside to being the Slayer. Like a boxer, her hands are deadly weapons.

    The final death of the salesman (didn’t they do that in "Restless"?) where we discover Ted’s not a vamp (we see his reflection in Buffy’s window) is a bit of a letdown – he’s a robot??? How, like, so un-cool. The only clever thing about it that we get clues through the episode: his co-worker calls him “the machine”; Joyce remarks that “every home should have one”. Ted himself talks about “building strong bodies” and tells Buffy he doesn’t take orders from women: “I’m not wired that way”. Buffy thinks her mum is going all ‘Stepford’, which is a neat reference since this story is also about a man who wants to be in control through robotics.

    I suppose without this ep, we’d never have the fun ‘n’ jinks with the Buffybot, but in a world where demons and vampires seem realistic, it’s rather ironic that something that does actually exist in the real world seems out of place in this one.
  • Make Room For Daddy!!

    Vampires, witches, demons, invisible girls, and now the show has come upon robots. It was bound to happen sooner or later wasn't it?. I am not a robot type of person, but this was a pretty good and entertaining episode. Okay, so it's top classic, top notch Buffy, but it was a fun and entertaining episode with a great performance by the late great John Ritter. The show has always done metaphors brilliantly. Some work and some just don't. This is one of the ones that work like gangbusters. The metaphor was brilliant and the writers wrote it in a wonderful way. Even tho the metaphor was brilliant, at least to me, it did have some flaws that didn't quite serve the episode as well as it's actual meaning did. It all seemed kind of rushed a tiny bit towards the end, and the overall wrap up of the whole situation was a tad too tidy and hard to believe. Are we really supposed to believe that no one has found the dead bodies of Ted's former wives after all this time?. There was absolutely no trail whatsoever?. No one ever tried to really look for them?. It just seems a tad ridiculous that Ted would of gotten away with it after all this time. If relatives or whoever searched for them, they didn't try hard enough. And whichever cops or detectives that were on the case sure didn't try hard enough either. And would Ted of kept them in a closet?. But oh well, it's fiction. Who really cares?. Not me. So, what has boiling in Sunnydale this time out?...

    Buffy finds out that her mother Joyce is dating a salesman named Ted(John Ritter). At first, Ted seems almost perfect. He's polite, cooks, has a good job, loves Joyce, and helps out with Buffy's friends(who all like him too). But why does Buffy hate Ted so?. Is it just her being jealous or is there something really off about good 'ol Ted?. Buffy and the others soon find out that 'perfect' Ted just may be too perfect...

    The idea of the story is teriffic and it is turned into this fun and nicely plotted episode that really brings the message behind it home. What Buffy is feeling at first towards Ted is pretty normal. What kid whose single parent hooks up with someone after a bit of time doesn't have these feelings?. For a while now, it's just been Buffy and her mom. Just the two of them. When it's been like that for some time, you just figure that that is the way it's going to be. Your mom(or dad)is there for you and you alone. But when someone comes into the picture and between you, you freak out and feel that this new person is stealing YOUR parent away from you. It is only natural for Buffy to quickly dislike Ted and to question everything about him and everything he does. It's also natural for Buffy, or any kid, to act out towards this new person. It must be incredibly difficult for a kid to go through something like this. It must be even tougher when your parent likes them and then the new person quickly wins over your friends and they like him too. Your left out in the cold and the friends you thought you could turn too have turned on you and ask you what your problem is. Why couldn't you liked Ted?. Buffy is in a hard position and you can't really fault her for the way she acts. Plus, Joyce is the only one she has in her family. She barely even sees her own dad as it is. And it's normal for someone like Ted who comes into the fray to start taking interest in Buffy's life. He asks about school and homework and all that kind of stuff. Joyce already knows she is interested in Ted, but now she and Ted have to sell him to Buffy. Not an easy job!. But Buffy fears that this new guy will take her mother away from her and Joyce will now put all of her interest and time into Ted. Again, Buffy is shut out into the cold. Things heat up when Ted starts acting odd, and Buffy realizes that she wasn't overreacting. Ted is nuts, and when they get into a fight, she accidentally kills him. Or does she?. Buffy goes through immense guilt that she has killed a "normal" person. What does this mean?. Is she no longer a warrior?. A hero?. Will she attack and possibly kill anyone now that gets her into a mood?. Buffy goes through a few emotions here, and you know it must be tough. And where does this leave Joyce?. She finally gets a guy she is interested in and her daughter kills him. It's not easy being a single parent and raising a teenage daughter, but it's even harder when you are a single parent and are raising a teenage Buffy. Buffy, and kids like her, need to stop and think why their single parents are dating again. What must Joyce be thinking after all this?!. And when Ted comes back, the secret is out and it's a lot of fun. This was a wonderfully crafted tale with a brilliant metaphor, even if the ending was a bit clunky.

    The acting here was great as usual. Sarah Michelle Geller was wonderful as she portrayed Buffy as a kid who is going through this sort of thing. She has the right annoyance, anger, and jealousy that the situation calls for. It's kind of funny at one point, and sad the next. Kristine Sutherland is also wonderful as Joyce. A mother who has been through some tough times and now her daughter has killed her boyfriend. And then there is John Ritter. I have always liked John, and am still not over the fact that he is no longer with us. How unfair. He is wonderful here. This is easily one of the all times best Buffy guest appearances in the history of the show. No question about it. He is perfect as Ted. He has that somewhat odd but good natured vibe down in the beginning, and he does a great job when things get nasty. Some moments were downright creepy, and he pulled it off like the pro he is. I hear he and Nicholas Brendon really hit it off and would leave funny messages on each other's answering machines. Lol. He is wonderful, and it's still sad that we had to lose a genuinely great guy, and a comic master.

    In the end, "Ted" is not going to set the standard for Buffy, but it is a nicely woven tale with a great metaphor, great acting, and is just an overall enjoyable episode.
  • It's his way or the highway

    despite the hokey ending, I thought "TED" was a great episode, with a splendid turn by the late John Ritter. This is the kind of role you don't expect to see him playing. He's so identifiable with the Jack Tripper character from Three's Company, a happy go-lucky guy who just wants to have fun. The character of "TED" on the other hand is nothing short of maniacal, and of course, Buffy is the only one that can see it. I have to admit it was pretty ingenious of him to dope up the cookies to lower everyone elses resolve. ah, poor Joyce, lost another one.
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