Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 2, Episode 11

Ted (8 Dec. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,148 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Buffy's mother brings home Ted, her new boyfriend, who is not what he seems.

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Title: Ted (08 Dec 1997)

Ted (08 Dec 1997) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Ken Thorley ...
Neal
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Detective Stein (as James G. MacDonald)
Jeff Langton ...
Vampire
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Storyline

Buffy has parental issues when Joyce comes home with a boyfriend, the computer expert and master chef Ted, whose charming personality impresses everyone except Buffy. Buffy insists there's not something right with Ted, but everyone keeps telling her she's just being paranoid... Written by Alex

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Action | Drama | Fantasy

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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8 December 1997 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In the final fight between Buffy and Ted, both actors were ill. Sarah Michelle Gellar had flu and John Ritter was suffering from food poisoning. See more »

Goofs

There's no way Willow could have done a chemical analysis on the cookie Xander was eating just by looking at a few crumbs under a microscope. See more »

Quotes

Cordelia Chase: I guess you should know since you helped raise that demon that killed that guy that time.
Giles: Yes, do let's bring that up as often as possible.
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Connections

References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

 
John Ritter starts dating Buffy's mom
27 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This isn't my favorite episode, but it does do an excellent job of treating a real life situation with BTVS's monster-of-the-week format. In this case, the topic of step-fathers is addressed. Ted, Joyce's new boyfriend, arrives and Buffy reacts like many young people would. She sees Ted as trying to take her dad's place and is automatically hostile towards him. Ted, meanwhile, starts trying to intimidate Buffy whenever they're alone together. When she tells her mother that Ted threatened her, Joyce dismisses Buffy's complaints as exaggerated. Just as many mother's, blinded by a new love, would. The episode shows what BTVS can do when it tackles actual issues, with a few vampires and a robot tossed into the mix.

This episode revolves around the arrival of Joyce's new boyfriend Ted. Ted's perfect. He's a gourmet chef, he's a successful salesman, he's sensitive, he's charming, and he's interested in everything Buffy and Joyce do. He's a single mom's dream man... And Buffy hates him. As Ted slips further and further into her life, Buffy becomes convinced that there's something wrong with him. He has flashes of meanness that only she seems to notice. Xander, Willow and Joyce all love Ted. Even Angel tells Buffy to give the guy a chance. Buffy still can't trust him, though, and Ted's starting to see her as a problem. He eventually steals her diary, goes through her things and even hits her. When Buffy fights back, Ted falls down the stairs and dies. Horrified that she's killed a human, Buffy now has to worry about the police, her mother's feelings, and her own guilt. Only, Ted's not exactly human. He's a robot, who's been drugging them all with his home cooked meals and plotting to drag Joyce underground to his "buncker o' love." And he's also not exactly dead...

There are some nice parts to the episode. John Ritter is perfect as Ted. So happily, creepily evil. He's genuinely scary and sort of likable all at the same time. And I enjoy Xander and Willow excitement over Ted taking an interest in them. Granted, they're under the influence of drugged cookies and mini-pizzas, but I think it's even deeper than that. Willow and Xander don't have very supportive home lives. (For examples of this, see season three's "Gingerbread" and season six's "Hell's Bells.") Ted giving Willow computer discs, showing an interest in Xander, and taking them all mini-golfing is a wonderful new treat for them. They like Ted, because he's different from their own parents. This is probably why they spend so much time with Giles, too. He's become the father figure for Willow, Xander and Buffy. Actually, I think that it's a shame that Giles didn't have bigger role in this episode, because he's also slowly coming to see himself in a parental role. It would have been interesting to see his take on Ted trying to usurp his position.

On the downside, I almost think it would be better if Ted had just been a regular human scumbag. Having him be a robot almost seemed like a cop-out. If he was just an ordinary human, I think the episode would have been more dramatic and emotionally charged. (I have the same complaint about "Lineage" over on season five of "Angel." All in all, I actually think that "Angel" does nicer job of showing the evilness of humans. BTVS usually portrays them as "better" than other types of creatures just by virtue of them being human. Lila's right; It's speciesest.) Also, I hope that the drugs were still effecting Joyce the period following Ted's "death." Otherwise, I think her attitude towards Buffy was way out of line. She doesn't know Buffy's the Slayer. As far as she knows Buffy's just a regular 17 year old who occasionally gets into fights at school. Ted was a lot bigger than Buffy. Doesn't Joyce wonder why Ted was in Buffy's bedroom in the first place? Or what started the fight? Buffy says that Ted hit and threatened her. Frankly, if I was Joyce, I'd assume Ted was a perverted nut who tried to attack my teenage daughter. Even the cops seemed to believe that. Hopefully, Joyce was still on happy pills because and not just a lousy mother.

My favorite part of the episode: Willow, Xander and Buffy go mini-golfing with Joyce and Ted. I wonder if that's the same course Faith and the Mayor go to in season three.


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