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Mya Stone

S02.E11: Ted

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

 

This episode has it all. Slayers killing humans. (Er, not really. But a nice juxtaposition to the Buffy/Faith issues of S3 in retrospect.) John Ritter! Robots! (Precursor to the Buffybot?) Subtext quickly becoming text! 

John Ritter, though. Seriously. He was so creepy when he wanted to be. 

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John Ritter was creepy as Ted, he freaked me out.

Likes

- Seeing the Scoobies hang out besides school or vamp/demons stuff

- I liked the Angel/Buffy scene here he just let her talk and he listened Angel was very patient with Buffy

- Again John Ritter made this episode creepy creepy dude

- The issue of a slayer killing a human foreshadowing for Faith in season 3

- the scene at the end with the kids seeing Giles and Jenny kiss they were very cute smiling.

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This and Bad Eggs were shot within walking distance of my apartment at the time.  The golf course is Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, right next to the (then-closed and later radically remodelled) Galleria mall, which first became famous in the movie Valley Girl.

 

Not that I was in any way aware of this.  As I wrote in the Inca Mummy Girl thread, I really didn't become a regular watcher until the series shifted to Tuesday nights.  Oh, well.

 

The pacing seems a little dark and sluggish in the first half, with the blatant Stepfather remake dragging a bit because nobody believes Buffy, again and again.  (It doesn't help that the person Buffy gets the least support from is Joyce, who hasn't been presented terribly sympathetically to begin with, so scene after scene of "Oh, honey, I know you'll like Ted eventually" gets to be a little much, IMO.  Plus Kristine Sutherland has to play Joyce as drugged into Stepford-ville, so there's even less there there.) But it picks up nicely once Buffy kicks Ted's ass down the steps and the involvement of the Scoobies in the plot (finally!) halfway through Act III livens things up.  

 

Great episode for Cordelia, though, with her volunteering to go patrol with Giles (!) and her solving the mystery by using her super-decor powers.  (I really, really wish they'd let Cordy help the team this way more often; the only other example is in The Prom.)  Plus the costume department has figured out how awesome CC looks in brown, so that's good.  (Xander is right, it really was a "nice outfit".)

 

And the pacing finally kicks into high gear in Act 4, with the swift intercutting between three different fronts (Ted vs the Summers women;  Giles/Jenny and the vampire; the Scoobs in Ted's Bunker o' Love), leading up to a great Bad-Ass Buffy climax:

 

"Buffy, come out! I don't stand for this kind of malarkey in my house!"

"Uncle Teddy?" (WHAM!  Cast-iron skillet to the jaw!) This house is mine."

 

More fun than a nice game of Parcheesi™, for sure.

 

Plus it has one of the best scenes between the show's most important couple (Buffy/Angel) and a sweet reconciliation with my favorite (canon) couple (Giles/Jenny).  So always a pleasure, even in the slow parts.

 

By the way, the shooting script describes Ted as "handsome and athletic".  Now don't get me wrong, you get a chance to get John Ritter, you get John Ritter (aside from the acting chops, he was absolutely great backstage; Alyson Hannigan named Ted one of her four favorite episodes because they all had such fun hanging out with John), but it always did seem a little odd that Ted decides to give himself immortality by building a, er, rather substantial robot.  Points for the unconventional body image choice, I suppose, but still a little odd, for me.

Edited by DAngelus

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On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 2:04 AM, Mya Stone said:

 

This episode has it all. Slayers killing humans. (Er, not really. But a nice juxtaposition to the Buffy/Faith issues of S3 in retrospect.) John Ritter! Robots! (Precursor to the Buffybot?) Subtext quickly becoming text! 

John Ritter, though. Seriously. He was so creepy when he wanted to be. 

It's funny to see him play an essentially evil version of his 8 Simple Rules character. Did he ever tell his daughters not to date vampires? (and stick to physicists?)

On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 11:37 AM, Jazzy24 said:

John Ritter was creepy as Ted, he freaked me out.

Likes

- Seeing the Scoobies hang out besides school or vamp/demons stuff

- I liked the Angel/Buffy scene here he just let her talk and he listened Angel was very patient with Buffy

- Again John Ritter made this episode creepy creepy dude

- The issue of a slayer killing a human foreshadowing for Faith in season 3

- the scene at the end with the kids seeing Giles and Jenny kiss they were very cute smiling.

Yeah, for once he acted as more a less normal boyfriend. And who doesn't love Ginny?

On ‎10‎/‎07‎/‎2014 at 10:11 AM, DAngelus said:

This and Bad Eggs were shot within walking distance of my apartment at the time.  The golf course is Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, right next to the (then-closed and later radically remodelled) Galleria mall, which first became famous in the movie Valley Girl.

 

Not that I was in any way aware of this.  As I wrote in the Inca Mummy Girl thread, I really didn't become a regular watcher until the series shifted to Tuesday nights.  Oh, well.

 

The pacing seems a little dark and sluggish in the first half, with the blatant Stepfather remake dragging a bit because nobody believes Buffy, again and again.  (It doesn't help that the person Buffy gets the least support from is Joyce, who hasn't been presented terribly sympathetically to begin with, so scene after scene of "Oh, honey, I know you'll like Ted eventually" gets to be a little much, IMO.  Plus Kristine Sutherland has to play Joyce as drugged into Stepford-ville, so there's even less there there.) But it picks up nicely once Buffy kicks Ted's ass down the steps and the involvement of the Scoobies in the plot (finally!) halfway through Act III livens things up.  

 

Great episode for Cordelia, though, with her volunteering to go patrol with Giles (!) and her solving the mystery by using her super-decor powers.  (I really, really wish they'd let Cordy help the team this way more often; the only other example is in The Prom.)  Plus the costume department has figured out how awesome CC looks in brown, so that's good.  (Xander is right, it really was a "nice outfit".)

 

And the pacing finally kicks into high gear in Act 4, with the swift intercutting between three different fronts (Ted vs the Summers women;  Giles/Jenny and the vampire; the Scoobs in Ted's Bunker o' Love), leading up to a great Bad-Ass Buffy climax:

 

 

More fun than a nice game of Parcheesi™, for sure.

 

Plus it has one of the best scenes between the show's most important couple (Buffy/Angel) and a sweet reconciliation with my favorite (canon) couple (Giles/Jenny).  So always a pleasure, even in the slow parts.

 

By the way, the shooting script describes Ted as "handsome and athletic".  Now don't get me wrong, you get a chance to get John Ritter, you get John Ritter (aside from the acting chops, he was absolutely great backstage; Alyson Hannigan named Ted one of her four favorite episodes because they all had such fun hanging out with John), but it always did seem a little odd that Ted decides to give himself immortality by building a, er, rather substantial robot.  Points for the unconventional body image choice, I suppose, but still a little odd, for me.

Actually this is a key ep for Buffy/Joyce, note Joyce tries to cover for her daughter to the police. I think the scenes between them are great, you can really see both sides.  

Yes, CC is very sharp, she could almost be a private detective....? Like her better in seashells though.

You know I took your 'substantial' remark completely the wrong way, I was thinking you were suggesting the reason Ted had no problem getting new wives. I truly have a filthy mind, too much fanfic. 

  

(Hi, have you met...?) Ted (A prize for whoever can get that in-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'. 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.

Spoiler

Great scene where Buffy plays nurse to Angel (which she also enjoys doing later with Riley and season 7 Spike and in the comics fantasises about doing so in a sexy nurse uniform).


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 fascist society" Cordy; "Yeah, why can't we have one of those?"

Spoiler

(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

Spoiler

(or for Riley in Buffy season 4/5 or Spike in 6).

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

Spoiler

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,

Spoiler

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?  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

Spoiler

(which we see again later in 'Rm w/a vu').

Ted threatens to put Buffy in a mental institution which she was in before (and if 

Spoiler

'Normal Again' is to be believed remains in until she regains her sanity again after 7 years at the end of 'Chosen').

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.

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5 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

You know I took your 'substantial' remark completely the wrong way, I was thinking you were suggesting the reason Ted had no problem getting new wives. I truly have a filthy mind, too much fanfic

Oh.My.  

Sorry, I'll be over here in the "Bashful" section with Willow.  I never even considered those advantages in building your own body.

Although I guess it could add another meaning to Neal's jealous "Nobody beats the machine" remark.  Train kept a-rollin' all night long!  Joyce is a lucky girl, Dematorin™ aside. Wow. (Or, ouch.  Where's that slayer healing when Mama needs it?)

5 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Surely being only 16 Buffy should have a solicitor or at very least an adult with her when the police talk to her?

Since the age of majority is 18 in California, I think Joyce's presence would be enough.  Joyce should be witness to the interview, though, but to be fair, we don't know she wasn't watching through the one-way glass.

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That Joyce Summers. She's so caring and supportive... Such a loving mother.
 

Quote

Joyce: (exhales) Honey, look. I wouldn't have anything to do with anybody if they didn't care about you. But he does! I don't understand why you can't see that!

Buffy: He threatened me.

Joyce: What? (comes back to the island)

Buffy: He threatened me. He said that he was gonna slap my face.

Joyce: (disbelieving) He said no such thing! Honey, Ted told me what happened. He caught you cheating, didn't he?

Buffy: (exhales) Yeah, I kicked my ball in, put me in jail, but he totally wigged!

Joyce: And he didn't say anything about it in front of the others, did he?

Buffy: Uh, no, but I don't think that's the...

Joyce: (interrupts) Well, I thought that that was pretty decent of him! Ted said we are just gonna have to give you time to come around. Oh, speaking of which, he's making dinner for us tonight, so I'd like you at home, please, (points down for emphasis) promptly at six.

Some big guy threatens your 16-years-old daughter with violence? That's OK, 'coz "he didn't do it in front of the others"! What a decent guy, isn't he? True, Buffy's a real piece of work, but, watching episodes like Ted, I'm starting to believe our Slayer simply had a bad genes.
But no matter how unsympathetic Joyce could appear, she's model mother compared to Willow's and Xander's parents.

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And of course some small dose of old W/X goodness for me:
 

Quote

Willow: Ted's got no criminal record! Damn! This guy's like citizen of the year!

Xander: Don't sweat it. It'll be fine.

Willow: Don't sweat it?

Xander: Yeah, cute buddy! (goes over to her) We'll work it out! (ruffles her hair) No worries!

Cordelia: What happened to 'this is killing me'?

Xander: (shakes his cookie at Cordelia) Worrying isn't gonna solve any problems.

The cookie catches Willow's eye and she grabs it from Xander, breaking off most of it. She turns it in her hand as she looks at it.

 

Scobbies-buffy-willow-and-xander-7273121-320-240.jpg

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51 minutes ago, lembergwatcher said:

And of course some small dose of old W/X goodness for me:

XANDER:  Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! (beat; Willow quirks an eyebrow)  Okay, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!

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Roar.  Leopard-print.

Buffy+teenage+attitude.jpg

My podcaster points out that Buffy's refusal to eat Ted's food is 98% about resenting Ted's being in Joyce's life, but also a bit about the fact that Ted's making some fattening shit there, and Buffy does have to make sure she still fits her size 0 clothes.  I mean, "fried pizza"?  Buffy's cholesterol levels probably went up just from hearing Ted say the words.

Spoiler

Girlfriend wasn't kidding about craving that non-fat yogurt next season, I'm just saying.

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On ‎02‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 10:51 PM, lembergwatcher said:

Ted's ending is one of my favorites.

btvs_2-11_giles-jenny.jpg.3c94118a0695de96ea758f01e0c79712.jpg

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Too bad they decided Oz was such a "terrific" character and sacrificed Jenny instead...

Given the choice, I'm afraid I'd pick Oz, beautiful though Robia is. 

On ‎09‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 6:50 AM, Halting Hex said:

Roar.  Leopard-print.

Buffy+teenage+attitude.jpg

My podcaster points out that Buffy's refusal to eat Ted's food is 98% about resenting Ted's being in Joyce's life, but also a bit about the fact that Ted's making some fattening shit there, and Buffy does have to make sure she still fits her size 0 clothes.  I mean, "fried pizza"?  Buffy's cholesterol levels probably went up just from hearing Ted say the words.

  Hide contents

Girlfriend wasn't kidding about craving that non-fat yogurt next season, I'm just saying.

You wonder what the outfit Joyce refused to buy Buffy in Bad Eggs was like given she lets her wear this? 

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