Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 11 had unfortunate timing. After coming off the heels of an amazing two-part episode, "Ted" felt out of place.
So much happened to push the story forward for the better. Unfortunately, this one-off hour stopped the momentum to discuss romance. It showed in the end product, and it's why I'm not the biggest fan of it.
Let's find out why by rewatching "Ted."
Joyce dating someone was never the problem. Everyone deserves love! Joyce needed to get out there and start dating again.
I'm glad she found some bit of happiness while she could.
Even if she did cause more parenting troubles than not, Joyce was still a great person. Seeing her happy and giddy melted my heart. It's understandable why she didn't tell Buffy that she went back into the dating world.
Buffy's reaction said it all. SHE wasn't prepared for the idea of her mother moving on after the divorce.
Though, I will agree with Buffy here: Ted is creepy.
He's too perfect, too chummy, and too friendly. He was trying a little hard to win over Buffy and her friends right away after meeting them. I mean, she just met him and already he tried to assume a parenting role. That's not only cliche but suspicious.
We should also be concerned that both Willow and Xander were easily bought off with software and cookies.
Were you sad Jenny and Giles didn't make up right away?
After the trouble on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 8, it seemed that Jenny was reeling from her possession. It's a tough thing to go through and it's understandable why she needed time. However, seeing Giles lonely was heartbreaking to watch.
Him reaching out to her was the right thing to do. He cared about her and missed her; he wanted to make sure she was alright. (If only more people actually did that nowadays...)
Eventually it got better, but the emotions were strong with the sadness.
Buffy Summers is a mature girl, but I forget that she is only 16 years old during "Ted." Her venting to Angel felt very high school. It's the closest she's ever been to acting like a real teenager.
The moments when she separates herself from the demon world and acts her age make her feel the most human. Her being a regular teenager and not the Slayer was a side we didn't see often enough.
Ted: So Buffy, I bet the boys are lined up around the block trying to get a date with you?
Buffy: Not really.
Willow: Oh, they are. But she's only interested in...
[Buffy elbows her]
Willow: Uh, her studies! Book cracker Buffy. It's kind of her nickname.
During the mini golf game, I'm surprised Buffy didn't slap Ted. She is not the type of person to let a threat be ignored. When he acted weird and threatened her, it should've been a big warning sign to tell everyone.
That would be an instant deal-breaker from the pleasantries.
My big concern, on the other hand, was the relationship between Buffy and Joyce. Why didn't Buffy feel open to share everything with her mom right away? And even then, why didn't Joyce take Buffy's word?
If my child warned me about the man I was dating, I would listen. You don't risk your family's life by bringing someone dangerous into it.
While I support Joyce going back into the dating world, she needed to be less self-involved. And not jump back into things so quickly. Let's be real: She didn't love Ted.
Buffy: Will, I'm not wrong here. Ted has a problem with me. He acts like I'm in the way or something. And Mom's been totally different since he's around.
Willow: Different...like happy?
Buffy: Like Stepford.
Doing some investigative work, while not completely necessary, had the best of intentions. After seeing Ted acting weird, who wouldn't do some digging into their mother's boyfriend's past? That's just plain safety.
Ted folding out Buffy's face from the photo wasn't so much creepy; it was more rude. Ted the Robot is a shady robot who couldn't spend the extra few cents to get a bigger frame. You don't trust someone like that.
Sure, he lied to everyone and said he was engaged to Joyce but the frame....the frame!
Buffy accidentally killing Ted had major implications for her character development, whether overt or subtle.
Up until Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 11, she had only used her strength to kill vampires and demons. She occasionally fought humans and stopped them from achieving their goals. However, she never seriously harmed or killed someone.
This was the first time she used her Slayer strength to kill a human.
I think this pivotal moment was essential for Buffy's character development because from this point on, she becomes more careful about her fighting. She's more structured in her training and she values all of her decisions. In fact, her accidentally taking a life plays into the future when Faith accidentally kills someone.
There were real life implications that Buffy experienced. Her life could've changed because she got too careless with standing up against Ted. Buffy the Vampire Slayer felt too real as a humanized show with this death, the police station scene, and the stigma she faced at school afterwards.
It's great to see the Scoobies not sit back and believe the worst about Buffy. Their intuition kicked into full gear. Even Cordelia was on full game mode with doing some investigating and calling out Giles with his hypocrisy.
A good rule of thumb for anyone new to Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that if anything seems too simple and human, chances are it's not. While there are certain humanized scenes, there's a lot more supernatural stuff going on.
Xander: What do we know?
Willow: Well, apparently the secret ingredient is not love.
Xander: What is it?
Willow: I'm not positive, but I think it's dematorin. It's like a tranquilliser; keeps you all mellow and compliant. It also shares a few components with ecstasy.
Xander: This is evidence. This is real evidence that Ted was some kind of a crook! Buffy's cleared. Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you.
Xander: That's the cookies talking, but you rock!
Though, I do question Willow's hunch to check Ted's cookies.
Why the need to inspect the cookies? Nothing led to the moment of needing to check them. It felt a tad random to throw this in as the ah-ha moment and reason to check his apartment.
They were already suspicious of Ted. They could've just gone to the apartment regardless and check things out.
Finding the secret room beneath Ted's apartment was creepy, but discovering the four dead wives in the closet was on another level. Ted's skeletons were LITERALLY in the closet.
I love a good clever joke. Whoever planned that in the script needs a round of applause. It's the perfect added touch to make light of a shocking discovery.
When I was seven years old and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 11, I missed the joke. This time around I finally got it. Kudos!
Xander: Whatcha got in the closet, Ted?
[He opens the door]
Xander: Let's go.
Cordelia: But we need evidence
Xander: We got it.
Willow: What's in there?
Xander: His first four wives.
Who else loved Jenny crashing Giles's night to patrol? He didn't expect this and I think deep down he was giddy to have her around.
She went out of her way to be with him and spend time with him. That might be one of the sweetest things she did that brought them back together. (Seriously, why can't dating be more like this?)
Though, her shooting him with the arrow will always be hilarious. We can't ever forget that.
When Ted reemerged from the dead, I wasn't surprised. In a supernatural show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, death never felt permanent unless otherwise stated. Having Ted return was almost expected.
Let's make a note that this is the second robot to appear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
We had one in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 8 with Willow's boyfriend, and this won't be the last robot we see. Someone must've really loved technology to include it as a supernatural entity. It pops up quite a bit as compared to some demon characters.
Buffy: You died.
Ted: That's right, little lady. You killed me. Do we have something to say about that? Are we sorry?!
Buffy: What are you?
Ted: I'm a salesman. That's what you should have remembered. No matter how hard you put him down...
[He throws Buffy down]
Ted: A good salesman always bounces back.
It's a shame that it took the entire hour for Joyce to realize that something was off about Ted.
As I mentioned above, if Buffy was so adamant about him, that should've been the first sign. However, him returning from the dead had to be the biggest red flag.
There were police officers, an autopsy and questioning. If he survived the attack, they would've informed her sooner. Finding out the next day when he casually broke into her home shouldn't have been the deal-breaker by that point.
Luckily Buffy saved her mother in time with the frying pan, but a lot of the conflict in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 11 could have been avoided. With that realization, the hour felt like filler.
What did you think of "Ted"? Why did Joyce have trouble in love? How did no one check up on Ted when his first four wives went missing?
Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Come back here and let us know what you think.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.