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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 11: Ted, Original air date: 12/8/97

by Helen 

Buffy, Xander and Willow are walking to Buffy’s house in the dark. But for once they aren’t patrolling. Things are pretty quite around Sunnydale. Spike and Drusilla no longer seem to be a threat, the assassins from the Order of Taraka are no longer under contract to kill Buffy, and Angel is recovering nicely. Xander and Willow are enjoying the new found peace and quiet by debating pop culture, while Buffy is simply zoning out. They get to Buffy’s house only to find the door unlocked and ajar. Suspicious Buffy tells Willow and Xander to wait outside. Once she steps inside Buffy hears the sound of glass breaking followed by her mother letting out a cry. Buffy rushes into the kitchen, where the noises are coming from, only to find her mother making out with a middle-aged man. Joyce is embarrassed and surprised Buffy is home so early. She explains away the noises, saying she knocked over a wine glass. She then introduces Buffy to her date, Ted. Buffy is not pleased.

Joyce and Buffy go to the back porch to talk about what’s going on. Ted sells computer software. He redid Joyce’s computer system at the art gallery, giving her a lot more free time. Joyce had been telling Buffy that she was working late when in reality she was dating Ted. She’d just been looking for the right time to introduce them to each other.

As Joyce and Buffy talk Ted is winning over Willow and Xander in the kitchen. He offers Willow free software that she could never otherwise afford and he cooks them both miniature pizzas that Xander finds astoundingly delicious. Once Buffy and Joyce comes back in Ted comes over and apologizes to Buffy for the awkward manner in which they met. He knows that Buffy is the most important thing in Joyce’s world and he really wants Buffy to be okay with their relationship. Joyce seconds this. Buffy insists that she is fine, giving an extremely strained smile.

Buffy lets her true feelings show later that night while slaying a vampire in the park. Rather than simply staking him she beats him into a bloody pulp. Giles is with her and after she finally gets around to slaying the vamp, he asks her if anything is wrong. She insists she’s fine and asks why so many vampires have been in the park recently. Giles tells her that when vampires lose their leader they scatter and return to the easiest hunting grounds. Buffy gets abnormally angry about this but it is soon clear that Ted is actually the source of her anger. After venting about Ted for a while she expresses a desire to not go home. She’d much rather stay around the park and wait for more vampires

The next day at school Xander can’t stop talking about how amazing Ted’s mini-pizzas were. Buffy gets annoyed with Xander but he has no patience for her rejection of Ted; she didn’t even try the mini-pizzas. Buffy insists that there is something off about Ted. He is just too perfect. Xander stops at a vending machine and tells Buffy its all in her head. Willow gently concurs. Thrilled that someone besides him is having parental issues Xander begins to mock Buffy. Buffy agrees that she may be reacting somewhat to seeing her mom making out with a guy in the kitchen, but she usually has a pretty good instinct about what is going on around her and there is something wrong with Ted. Buffy’s instincts may be good, but they are not good enough to tell her that Ted is coming up right behind her, even when Xander tries to warn her. Buffy is immediately suspicious of Ted being at the high school, but he explains that he was updating the guidance office computer system. He then proffers up the promised software to Willow and invites the three teens out for mini-golfing that Saturday with him and Joyce. Buffy tries to get out of it and Willow plays along but once Ted tells them he’ll be making a picnic basket, complete with mini-pizzas and cookies, Xander gives up the game and promises that they’ll all be there.

Giles stops by Jenny’s classroom to tell her some of her textbooks are in the library. She tells him that’s a pretty flimsy excuse to come see her. He admits it is but he just wants to know how she is doing. She tells him she is doing better but she is not fully recovered. He insists she just needs time, but she rather harshly tells him that what she actually needs is space. Having Giles constantly worry about her is just making things more stressful for her. Giles is visibly upset by this and leaves.

That night at the mansion Buffy plays nursemaid to Angel while complaining incessantly about Ted. Angel points out that Buffy’s mom probably needs someone in her life right now. She’s probably lonely. Buffy is annoyed by this answer but she agrees that Angel is right. She just wishes her mom was seeking companionship with someone besides Ted. Angel asks Buffy if there is any man out there that she would be okay with her mom being with. “My dad,” Buffy answers, but she immediately admits that that will never happen. She finally agrees to be well-behaved around Ted and she and Angel turn to more agreeable matters, namely, making out.

That Saturday at mini-gold everyone seems to be enjoying themselves except Buffy. Xander is getting really into the golfing and Joyce is still raving about the picnic basket that Ted packed. At one of the holes Ted asks Buffy about her luck with boys. Willow nearly mentions Angel but covers for herself by saying that Buffy is really into studying. Ted makes a comment about Buffy improving her grades and goes off to hit. Buffy confronts her mother and Joyce admits to discussing Buffy’s grades with Ted, insisting that it’s a good thing that Ted is concerned about them. At the next hole when Buffy goes up to hit Ted corrects her form but Buffy still hits the ball into the rough. Joyce says they won’t count it but Ted insists they should. Right is right, the rules are the rules and what they teach Buffy is what she will carry out with her into the world. Joyce thinks he has a point and Buffy, though annoyed, agrees to hit her ball from where it landed. When Buffy goes to get the ball she realizes a giant castle blocks her from everyone’s site. She picks up the ball, plops it in the hole and shouts out to everyone that she got a hole in two. “Beg to differ,” she hears Ted’s voice boom out. He has come around the side of the castle and is watching her. He gets extremely mad at Buffy for cheating, but Buffy doesn’t see what the big deal is. It’s just a game. Ted says he wasn’t wired to think that way and continues lecturing her angrily. When Buffy makes a flippant comment Ted threatens to hit her. Just then the rest of the group comes around to the back of the castle and Ted immediately changes demeanor, offering everyone his home baked cookies and behaving in a perfectly friendly manner towards Buffy. Everyone loves the cookies and Ted makes them even happier by telling them there are tons extra for everyone to take home. Buffy just stands there in shock.

Monday morning Buffy comes downstairs to find her mom laying out breakfast in the kitchen. The main course: sticky buns made by Ted. Buffy refuses to eat them because they’re Ted’s cooking and Joyce gets irritated with her, claiming she was very rude to him on Saturday. During the lecture Buffy’s mom mentions loving Ted. This comment shocks Buffy, but Joyce insists that it just slipped out. She tells Buffy she doesn’t have a lot of romantic options as a single parent but she would never date a guy that didn’t care about Buffy. Buffy tells her mom that Ted threatened to slap her but Joyce refuses to believe Buffy. She has already heard Ted’s side of the story and she thinks it was pretty decent of him not to mention Buffy’s cheating in front of her friends. She then tells Buffy that Ted is cooking dinner for them tonight so she needs to be home promptly at six. Buffy storms out of the kitchen.

That day at school Buffy walks through the quad with Willow and Xander, both of whom are eating some of Ted’s cookies. She asks Willow to investigate Ted’s background using her computer skills but Willow and Xander both tell Buffy she is overreacting. Just then Cordelia walks by and Xander gives her a compliment. Cordelia gets upset and storms off. Xander runs after her, confusing both Buffy and Willow.
Xander catches up with Cordelia who berates him for complimenting her in front of his friends. She’s afraid people will figure out that they kissed. Xander insists that no one is going to find out and asks Cordy to join him in the utility closet for another make-out session. Cordy is annoyed he has such a one-track mind but she agrees to go. Meanwhile Buffy continues trying to convince Willow that there is something wrong with Ted and that he is changing her mother as well. Willow’s not buying it but agrees to help anyway, for friendship’s sake. Buffy asks her to find out where Ted works.

Buffy shows up at Ted’s workplace and watches him from a distance. After he completes a telephone sale of a very expensive piece of software he gets up and marks the sale on a whiteboard before leaving for lunch. Buffy comes goes over to look at the white board and sees that Ted has far more sales than anyone else at the company. One of Ted’s co-workers comes over and starts chatting with Buffy, who gives false name and claims to be a temp. When Buffy brings up Ted’s sales record, the coworker raves about how good Ted is with computers in general and his job specifically. He insists enviously, “Nobody beats the machine.” When Buffy inquires into Ted’s personal life the coworker tells her has no ex-wives or children, just his girlfriend. Her picture is the only thing allowed to clutter up his desk. Ted has already set a date for he wedding, two months from now. Buffy heads over to Ted’s desk and finds the picture on it is indeed a picture of her mother. Something about the picture bothers Buffy and she pulls it out of the frame. The picture was once a picture of Buffy and her mother but Ted has folded it over so Buffy’s face is no longer in it.

That night at dinner, Buffy is more than sullen. She glares at Ted the entire time he says grace, especially since the contents of his prayer seem to be directed mostly at Buffy’s faults. She is short with Ted when he asks her questions and she refuses to eat. When Joyce gets annoyed with her, Buffy demands to know if they are engaged. Joyce laughs at the idea but Ted interjects saying that if things go as he hopes they will he may be asking Joyce to marry him eventually. He asks how this would make Buffy feel and she tells him she would feel like killing herself. Joyce is extremely upset but Ted insists that he is glad for the honesty. Buffy asks to be excused and her mother sends her to her room. Joyce apologizes for Buffy’s behavior but Ted assures her its okay. He didn’t get to be Salesman of the Year by being put off by a few rejections.

Buffy goes to the park and sits on the swings with a stake, waiting for vampires who never come. Eventually giving up, Buffy returns to her room in her usual manner: climbing in through her window. Sitting in the shadows of her room is Ted, ready with a lecture about sneaking out of the house. Not only does he know that Buffy was at his work, he has also been digging through her stuff, and has found her stakes, crosses and diary. Buffy is furious that he has invaded her privacy so much but he insists that from now on everything she does is his business. He thinks her diary entries about vampires and monsters are proof that she’s insane and he tells her that he is going to blackmail her with this information. Either she gets out of the way of his relationship with Joyce or he gives Joyce this diary and gets Buffy locked up in a mental institution for years. Ted tries to leave the room with Buffy’s diary and Buffy grabs at him. He slaps her across the face, finally giving exactly what she wanted, an excuse to hit him. Buffy punches Ted and he begins fighting back. He is surprisingly strong and at first holds his own against Buffy; however, just as Joyce rushes into the room, Ted starts letting Buffy win. Buffy has lost her temper and continues beating Ted all the way down the hallway. Her final blow sends him flying down the stairs and as he falls he snaps his neck. Joyce rushes down the stairs and checks his pulse. But it’s too late. He’s dead.

Later that night the coroner carries Ted’s body away in a body bag. Buffy sits on the front porch in shock while Joyce stands in the front yard. Detective Stein of the Sunnydale police comes over to talk to Joyce and asks what happens. Joyce tells him that Ted fell down the stairs, but when the detective asks what made him fall Buffy speaks up, saying that she hit him.

At the police station, Joyce sits in the front room looking worried while Buffy gets questioned by Detective Stein in the back. Buffy tells Stein what happened but she is confused and upset making her story sound strange. But she is firm on one point, Ted hit her first. Unfortunately for her Slayer powers have prevented her from bruising at all, calling into question how hard he hit her or if he even hit her at all. When Detective Stein comes out to talk to Joyce he says that they are not currently charging Buffy with anything but they need to look into it further. If Ted really did hit her first she should be in the clear. Joyce drives Buffy home. The car ride is extremely uncomfortable.

The next day at school things aren’t much better. Students and teachers alike stare at Buffy and whisper things about her as she passes. Xander and Willow catch up with her in the student lounge and she sits down to talk to them about what happened. Buffy tells them that she only came to school because she can’t stand to be at home with her mom. Both of them automatically assume that Buffy found out that Ted was some sort of supernatural creature and that is why she killed him. They are shocked when they realize that Buffy actually killed a person. Still they try to comfort her. It was an accident. Ted started it. But none of this can assuage Buffy’s guilt. She runs off.

As she is walking down a hallway, Giles comes out of a conference room and immediately runs up to Buffy. He tries to offer her comfort but Buffy is distracted by a stream of her teachers going into the same conference room Giles just exited. Through the door window she can see that Detective Stein is also in the room. Giles tells her that Stein is just asking a few questions about her behavior. Giles off course gave her an excellent review. Buffy rushes off again, even more upset than before.

In the library that evening, Giles packs up a weapons bag while Willow sits at her laptop researching Ted. Xander is furious that this Ted guy has gotten Buffy in trouble and he insists that they dig up some dirt on him. Cordelia is confused. She remembers Xander liking this guy. Xander very pointedly tells her that sometimes he likes things that aren’t good for him. Willow asks Xander for a pen and he looks in his bag for one. Instead of finding a pen he finds a bag of Ted’s cookies and starts eating them. Giles finishes packing up his weapons bag and tells the kids that he will be taking over patrolling duties until Buffy finds her balance again. Currently she is suffering from a crippling guilt, a feeling, as Cordelia tactlessly points out, that Giles can sympathize with. A few moments after Giles leaves Willow gets frustrated. Ted has absolutely nothing wrong with him. Xander, still munching on the cookies, assures her everything will be fine. Waving his half eaten cookie around he insists worrying will solve nothing. Willow becomes suspicious and yanks the cookie out of his hand.

At home, Buffy finds her mom in the kitchen, packing up some old dishes. She offers to help but her mom tells her it’s done. Buffy starts to cry and apologize at the same time, but her Mom isn’t ready to talk about Ted. She tells Buffy to go her room. After Buffy leaves she takes a box of cookware down to the basement.
Back at the high school Willow and Xander are examining Ted’s cookies in a science lab. As far as Willow can tell they’re laced with a tranquilizer that is designed to keep people mellow and compliant. Xander is thrilled and declares Willow his favorite person ever. Willow is a little too pleased by this and Xander tells her it was the cookies talking. Cordy comes in just then. She’s been continuing Willow’s computer search and they’ve finally come up with some personal records which include marriage records and an address. The kids go to check it out.

Giles is patrolling in the park when he runs into Jenny. She saw his car and stopped to apologize for being so mean to him before. She knows he feels guilty about putting her in danger. Giles points out that he’s done it again as a large snarling vampire comes up behind them.

Buffy is sitting in her room when she hears a noise. Thinking it’s her mom, she calls out but no one answers. Buffy gets up and tries to crawl out her window, only to find it nailed shut. Thinking her day can’t get any worse, Buffy is surprised to find Ted standing right behind her. Buffy is shocked. But Ted just gives her a lecture about killing him. Then he starts to beat her up.

The vampire is doing much the same thing to Giles. He shouts to Jenny to get his bag. She opens it and pulls a crossbow out. Jenny goes to shoot the vampire but finds aiming difficult because the vamp and Giles are thrashing around together.

Ted fights Buffy for a few moments before getting grip around her neck. As he chokes her he explains that he had to shut down for a while to get Buffy off his back. But he got up again at the morgue and came back.
Jenny finally gets a clear shot and fires, but at the last second the vamp and Giles thrash in a different direction and Jenny ends up shooting Giles. The vampire takes a moment to laugh at them, giving Giles time to rip the arrow out of himself and stake the vampire.

Buffy, desperate to breath, grabs a metal nail file off her dresser and stabs Ted’s arm. Ted lets go as wires and spark come out of the gash on his arm. He starts jerking his head to the side and shouting random comments. An electric hissing sounds in the background as he does this. It appears he is a robot and Buffy has damaged him. Buffy’s mom comes out of the basement and Ted, hearing her, gives Buffy a kick in the face to knock her out, rolls down the sleeves of his shirt to hide the gash, and leaves the room.

Xander, Willow and Cordy break into Ted’s house. Willow is digging through Ted’s records and has found four marriage certificates, dating back to the 1950s (when Ted should have been in preschool) but no divorce records. Nothing in the house looks suspicious but Cordy points out that Ted has random rug that doesn’t match anything. This peaks Xander and Willows interest. They look under it and find a trap door.

Buffy’s mom is back in the kitchen straightening up some more when she hears someone walk up behind her. She assumes it’s Buffy and shocked to discover that it is actually Ted. Ted comes up with some story about being dead for a few minutes and then reviving but not regaining consciousness. Joyce is shocked but also overjoyed. She tries to apologize for Buffy, but Ted tells her not to worry about Buffy, not to worry about anything. He’ll take care of it all.

Xander, Cordy and Willow crawl down into Ted’s basement and find it decorated like a 1950s home. Xander looks into a closet and freaks out, slamming the door shut. He tells the girls to leave; they’ve got all the evidence they need. Willow asks what was in the closet and Xander answers, “He’s first four wives.”
Back at the Summers home Ted is going on and on about how happy he is going to make Joyce but Joyce is focusing on how to tell Buffy that he is alive. Ted gets angry when Joyce seems more concerned with Buffy then with him. He starts yelling at Joyce and then begins malfunctioning again, making jerking movements with electric hisses and shouting random things. Joyce is concerned, and tells Ted that he should rest. Ted gets mad at Joyce for telling him what to do, insisting that he is not wired to take orders from women.
Back at the park it’s Jenny’s turn to feel guilty. Giles insists that his layers of tweed prevented the arrow from puncturing too deep but he still has a nasty wound and is in pain, so Jenny takes him to the hospital.

As Buffy slowly regains consciousness, Joyce starts realizing that Ted is insane. She tries make excuses to get away from him, but he tells her that they need to leave. He has gotten a house all ready, furnished it just the way she likes it, and has clothing for her already there. He starts going on about how she left him before but he always brings her back. As he does this his malfunctioning becomes worse. Buffy meanwhile breaks through the lock on her door. When Joyce finally actively resists, Ted throws her into a wall and knocks her unconscious. He is about to carry her away when he hears a noise. Searching the house he calls out for Buffy only to be caught unawares when she hits him over the head with the cast iron skillet he had originally cooked his mini-pizzas in. This blow rips part of the flesh off of his head revealing a robotic face underneath. The robot is now completely malfunctioning, talking about Parcheesi. Buffy finishes him off with one last whack.
Some day soon after the incident Buffy and her mom share some time together on their porch. Her mom is still freaked out by the whole Ted thing but she clearly doesn’t know all the facts. She is aware of Ted’s creepy apartment and its contents but she doesn’t seem to realize he was a robot and thus will never be coming back. Buffy assures her that she shouldn’t worry about Ted. He is on the scrapheap…of life.

At school, Xander goes over the whole story with Buffy, Cordy and Willow to make sure he has gotten it all straight. Ted was a real man in the 1950s. He was ill and his wife left him, so he built a better, robotic version of himself to live on after him. The robot kidnapped Ted’s wife, brought her back and held her hostage in his basement until she died. And then he kept “bringing her back” again and again by luring other women into his life. Even more creepy, Willow kind of admires the original Ted’s genius. She salvaged some of robot Ted’s parts and the technology is extremely advanced. The gang decides to drop the subject and go to head into the library. But they nix that plan right after opening the door because Giles and Jenny are in there making out. Buffy doesn’t know what it is with adults these days, but they seem intent on grossing her out.


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Updated 10/16/08  

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