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