Ted (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Buffy learns that Ted is a robot.
|Directed by||Bruce Seth Green|
David Greenwalt |
|Original air date||December 8, 1997|
Buffy is unable to warm to her mother's new boyfriend, Ted. When her escalating conflict has apparently lethal consequences, Buffy's guilt turns to fear—Joyce is in far greater danger than anyone could have imagined.
Buffy's mother Joyce introduces her new friend, Ted Buchanan, a salesman. He tells Buffy that he has been seeing Joyce for quite some time now. Buffy becomes uncomfortable with Ted's 1950s sitcom mannerisms and is not impressed by his offer of miniature golf. That night, Buffy beats a vampire to an unusually bloody pulp before killing it, worrying Giles that something is troubling her. Buffy asks Angel for his take on things. He says that her mother needs a man in her life, and she should give him the benefit of the doubt.
The golf outing goes poorly. When Buffy tries to cheat out of sight of the others, Ted notices and threatens her with a slapping.
Buffy talks her way into Ted's workplace where an envious co-worker tells her that he is an unbeatable salesman they have nicknamed "the machine". She also learns that he is making plans for a wedding in two months time.
At dinner, Ted denies the engagement, but confesses to Joyce that he has hopes they will. Buffy slips out for some slaying and on her return, finds Ted has read her diary. He threatens to tell Joyce about the 'Slayer' unless she toes the line. She defies him and is slapped. In the resulting brawl, Ted is kicked down the stairs. Joyce declares him dead when she cannot find a pulse.
The day after a talk with the police, Buffy is in a haze of guilt. Willow, Xander and Cordelia dig deeper into Ted's life—discovering Ted's cookies are drugged; Cordelia finds Ted has had four wives since 1957, all of whom have since disappeared. That night, while Giles patrols, Sunnydale High teacher Jenny Calendar surprises him and apologizes for avoiding him. A vampire attacks and Jenny accidentally shoots Giles with a crossbow. Giles, only slightly injured, takes the shaft out of his own body and uses it to stake the vampire.
Buffy finds a reanimated Ted in her room; they fight again, and upon cutting him Buffy discovers that Ted is a robot. Ted knocks Buffy unconscious and escapes to find Joyce, but the damage he has sustained in the fight has left him erratic. Ted confronts an astonished Joyce, but as he malfunctions he reveals his true intentions; as Joyce resists, Ted becomes violent and knocks her out. Buffy then awakens, and knocks Ted out with a frying pan. Meanwhile, the Scooby Gang investigates Ted's bunker which is decorated in 1950s style; Xander finds Ted's previous four wives—all dead.
The gang returns to school the next day, with Buffy cleared of all charges, and discuss their discoveries about Ted. Apparently, the real Ted Buchanan was a sickly, but brilliant, inventor in the 1950s whose wife left him. In desperation, he built a robot version of himself. The robot kidnapped Ted's wife and held her captive in his bunker until she died. The robot then sought out other women resembling Ted's dead wife and repeated the process until it met Joyce.
Willow: I'm just saying that if Tennille were in charge, she would have had the little captain hat.
- "Ted" was shot during the Halloween holiday. Many members of the cast and crew came to the set in costume; Kristine Sutherland (Joyce) wore 1950s clothes like Ted's first wife, and Sarah Michelle Gellar came as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, along with her dog, Toto.
- During the filming of the final confrontation between Buffy and Ted, both Sarah Michelle Gellar and John Ritter were ill. Gellar had the flu whereas Ritter had food poisoning from the night before.
- Ritter claimed this episode influenced his understanding of his own stepdaughter.
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