Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E11 – Ted

In the eleventh episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, THIS WAS NOT IN THE AGREEMENT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.


Look, straight-up, this is one of the most pervasively creepy episodes of television that I’ve ever experienced. It’s like “Blink” or “Home” or “Pusher” or Locke’s story in “The Man Behind The Curtain.” There are just so many brilliant things the writers set up here, and it’s one of those pieces of fiction that deserves multiple viewings.

But what I think I picked up the quickest (after it was over, of course, and I could breathe again) was that if you’re watching this for the first time, you have no goddamn clue what this episode is going to be about. In fact, it isn’t even until well beyond the halfway point that the story even attempts to inject something “weird” into the narrative. Instead, as Ted begins to creep closer and closer towards controlling Buffy and Joyce, we have to cope with the idea that there just might not be a “supernatural” justification for us. Even then, when that is revealed, the writers don’t toss aside the first twenty-five minutes of the episode either. This is still a story about misogyny, abuse, domestic violence, and how those elements of our society are utterly horrifying. I don’t think the episode is necessarily perfect in that regard, but I was impressed with how obvious that subtext was.

It was nice to get an episode about Joyce Summers, since y’all know I love her to pieces, and I thought that her subplot with Ted would remain that: a subplot. I was glad that it was clearly going to take up the main narrative focus. I only recently have had to deal with the fact that one of my parents is starting to “date.” It’s been over five years since my father passed and my mother is…sort of seeing someone? IDEK HOW THAT WORKS. I haven’t met him, but I don’t think I’ll have the same reaction as Buffy does here. Of course, I haven’t walked in on my mother making out with someone else, and I certainly haven’t done that and had the father be John Ritter. Still, I think the show tackles the issue well. Initially, Buffy is being unreasonable and unfair about the whole thing, and it takes Angel telling her such for her to admit that she’s got to support her mother. (Also: LOL his hand is injured all of a sudden.)

It’s here that the writers hark on a couple fears just to start things off: What if someone you love is dating someone that’s not a very good person, and what if they can’t see it? Oh god, how many of us have seen that? HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN IN THAT RELATIONSHIP??? I feel so bad for the few friends who told me very early on to ditch my first boyfriend because they were 100% right about him and how gross he was. Of course, I was so biased against it that I couldn’t see the truth of the situation. And that’s a genuinely awkward situation! You care about your friend, but you don’t want to be presumptuous, rude, or unfair. You start questioning what’s right and wrong in the context of the circumstances, and everything is so confusing.

The writers take it a step further: what if that person is actually horrific, but only to you and in private? When Ted started scolding Buffy for cheating at mini-golf, threatening to slap her, I just curled up on my bed and whined. Yeah, no thank you, John Ritter. It was such an awful thing to say, and it came entirely out of nowhere! I had guessed that this episode might just explore the difficulty between Buffy and Joyce by adding Ted into the picture, but in that one instance, the whole tone of the episode changed.

Of course, things get so, so, so much worse. It’s not just enough to address this fear; Buffy has to deal with the fact that Joyce doesn’t believe her own daughter. There’s a clear parallel to abuse here; I wouldn’t say that “Ted” triggered me, though. This is a totally different situation to me because Ted’s actions weren’t pervasive over many years. Still, I could recognize that fear very well; the first time I told a counselor that I was being abused, they flat out told me I was lying. (This is the same counselor in junior high that told me that if I acted less gay, I’d be bullied less. I hope he was hit by thirty busloads of kitties.) That’s such a horrifying thing, to be told you’re lying when you know something to be irrefutable and true!

And then this episode just ignores any attempts by the viewer to feel comfortable at all. I was simply blown away by how increasingly frightened I felt by every new twist, every new detail that I learned. I must admit that I did laugh when Buffy went to Ted’s work and this was just a totally natural thing and no one would notice a sixteen-year-old walking around an office like that. But Buffy played the part well, and in the process, she learns that Ted is basically perfect. Oh, and right, he’s marrying her mom. OH OKAY, THAT’S A HUGE DETAIL YOU PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED, TED.

Can we just talk about how horrifying the dinner table scene is? It’s so awkward. It hurts. It is painful to watch because Buffy knows there’s something deeply wrong with Ted, but she can’t share it. She can’t tell her mother because she doesn’t feel like her mom is on her side anymore. God, what an awful feeling, one I know too well from experience. But what can she do in this situation? I admit that she’s dramatic about the whole affair, but what sixteen-year-old isn’t?

I felt bad for both the Summers women in this episode. I wanted Joyce to be happy. I wanted Joyce to believe her daughter, too. That meant that either Ted had to go, or Buffy would have to tolerate having him around. It’s a tough and complicated situation, and I started to wonder where this was going to go from here. It was clear to me that this wasn’t going to be a supernatural demon or anything of the sort; Buffy was going to have to deal with a human, one she did not particularly like.

So you can understand my shock when she returns to her bedroom from a night of patrol to find Ted in her bedroom. It’s just….I could not believe that this was happening, and I couldn’t believe it was happening so early into the episode. It felt like the climax of the story; it was the big confrontation between the two of them! Ted slaps Buffy, I want to throttle him, and the two begin to fight.

And then I start freaking the hell out when Buffy kicks him down the stairs, Joyce takes Ted’s pulse, and she says that he’s dead.




Before we get back to Ted being a life ruiner, I did want to address the entire subplot with Giles and Jenny. I swear to you that I did not know she’d be in the very next episode after I stated that I missed her. I really love how the writers deal with bringing her back into the story. At no point did I feel like they were disrespecting her decision to stay away from Giles. Yes, it was painful to watch Giles be so sad (and puppy dog eyes is a perfect way to describe him), but the important thing here was that Jenny needed her own space and her own time to come to terms with nearly dying. At the heart of it, the show was saying that she should be respected for that.

Sure, that process could probably be speeded up by JENNY SHOOTING GILES IN THE BACK ON ACCIDENT. Look, just to give it a bit more context, I was already freaking out because of everything else in this episode, and I honestly think that moment just sent me over the edge. I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my Netflix stream more in my whole life. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HAPPENING AT ONCE.

Anyway, back to Buffy. There’s a tenderness to the writing as Buffy has to start coping with the fact that she killed a human being. Even if he did hit her first, it doesn’t assuage her guilt. She killed him. I genuinely think it’s the best writing we’ve seen in season two. The choice to make her mourning so somber is brilliant because it’s clear Buffy is in shock, examining her own morality. Of course, it needs to be stated that Sarah Michelle Gellar sells this completely. That scene where she starts crying when she tries to talk to her mom about Ted? She instantly looks like a child who wants the love and approval of her mother. She’s so heartbroken because even if Ted was terrible to her, her mother was in love, and, as Angel said earlier in the episode, loneliness is a terrible thing to have to deal with. And now she’s alone again.

I was kind of in a fragile place. I’ll admit that. I really liked what this episode was doing with Joyce, Buffy, Giles, and Jenny. It was some of the most subtle and emotive writing of the whole season. And just when I am lulled into this comforting sense of introspection, HOW THE HOLY FLYING FUCK IS TED STANDING BEHIND BUFFY. WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. HE’S DEAD. HE. IS. DEAD. WE WATCHED HIM GET ZIPPED UP INTO A BODY BAG. THAT IS BASICALLY CONFIRMATI–NO, WAIT, ACTUALLY, IN SCIENCE FICTION, THAT IS NEVER CONFIRMATION. WHAT WAS I THINKING? OH, RIGHT, I WASN’T. BECAUSE TED IS ALIVE AND NOW HE IS CHOKING BUFFY AND THIS IS HORRIFIC AND I CANNOT HANDLE LIFE.

I simply resorted to shouting WHAT THE FUCK over and over again when Buffy stabbed Ted and wires were exposed. In an instant, so many clues came rushing back to me. His coworker called him a “machine.” He wasn’t “wired that way.” Joyce said that “every house should have one.” IT WAS ALL THERE. IT WAS JUST SITTING IN FRONT OF MY FACE THE WHOLE TIME, AND I GUESSED ABSOLUTELY NONE OF IT. The end of “Ted” is progressively terrifying on so many levels. He’s a serial killer (as we learn once the Scoobies go investigate his house GOOD LORD), he’s a ROBOT created by that serial killer, and he is UNBELIEVABLY MISOGYNIST. These three things, combined with John Ritter’s performance, made me feel like I would never stop thinking that Ted is going to just show up in my bedroom. It’s brilliant, horrifying, and something that’s going to stick with me for years. It certainly doesn’t help that the last image of Ted that we get is one where his face has peeled away to show his metallic jawline. Like….who thinks of this? Well, Joss Whedon does, obviously.

I’d like to see a day where Joyce does find out that her daughter is the Slayer; I understand why she couldn’t find out Ted’s true identity here. It’s early into this show, and there’s a whole lot left in the series’s run. I still feel sad for Joyce, but I like that we go out in “Ted” with two heartwarming images: Joyce and Buffy hanging out on their porch, and Giles and Jenny making out in the library.

But seriously, what the hell did I just watch. Also, Cordelia and Xander made out in a broom closet. I don’t know how I feel about that?

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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418 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E11 – Ted

  1. Are you posting spoilers? Using oppressive language? Blatantly trolling?

    <img src="; height="75%" width="75%">

  2. hpfish13 says:

    This episode is so tricksy and complicated. It is also the second on the list of Joss’s top 12 episodes he didn’t direct, and here’s why, in his own words.

    “John Ritter was a gentleman and a hell of an actor. And we got to start asking the really tough moral questions—just long enough to set up a swell act three break. Good act breaks are a thing of beauty forever.”

    It’s interesting thinking about how episode of television would be different if you had seen them with the commercials intact. There are some shows that I think benefit from the break to freak out about it, while others work really well with the whole “shocking moment, fade to black for a few seconds and then come back into it” thing.

    Personally, I’ve found it particularly good when watching shows that have shocking act breaks with a group of people having the commercials is nice, because it gives everyone a chance to talk about it and freak out, without missing what’s happening next. Watching by myself, however, I tend to favor the no commercials route.

    Well, what does everyone else think?

    • cait0716 says:

      I loved commercial breaks. Especially on Buffy. They were always filled with frantic phone calls to my best friend as we tried to process what had just happened. Or, in later seasons, freak outs with my mom while we refilled our dinner plates.

      But rewatching without commercials is nice now that I know what's coming and I just want to get there.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Not a fan of commercial breaks, personally. I'm too impatient, and 99% of commercials irritate the bugfuck out of me.

      DVDs were a godsend.

    • @owldragon says:

      I agree, in that I prefer the no commercials route when I'm watching by myself, or when everybody I'm watching with has already seen the episode. Commercials are great when you're watching with other people; freaking out together is a wonderful social experience. πŸ™‚

    • Inseriousity. says:

      I prefer not having commericials. If you're ever watching Buffy though, you can normally play a game of SPOT THE AD-BREAK cos there's that music and then the blackout that just seems to make it really obvious. πŸ˜›

    • dasmondschaf says:

      I am not a huge fan of commercials, but I AM a huge fan of the four-act structure that they've given television in the United States. Watching Doctor Who on BBC America really drives home that I am just so used to the pacing and the "exciting moment with dramatic music swell followed by COMMERCIAL BREAK" that I really can't handle it when there's no natural pause for the suspense to build.

    • MrsGillianO says:

      I have never seen "Buffy" with commercial breaks – I first came across it on BBC2, which is one of the advert-free British channels – and then I bought all the DVDs. I can't imagine how annoying it must be to have it broken into fragments by commercials.

      • hpfish13 says:

        I haven't seen it with commercials either (just really long pauses as I waited for the not exactly legal videos I was watching to load). In fact, the only shows I can think of that I watched on TV with commercials are 24 and Lost, and those were with a group of about 20 people in my college lounge. Then, it was great to have the commercial breaks, because those shows are designed to have those freaking out moments and we could all theorize and discuss during the breaks. I watch things on hulu all the time, but the commercials are shorter and somehow it ends up feeling different than regular tv.

      • @liliaeth says:

        I've always felt that it's good to have a commercial break (no more than that though), since it lets you go to the toilet. (god I remember that when Buffy aired here in Belgium the first time, there was only one commercial break in the entire ep…compared to nowadays….)

        But any more than that gets annoying (like say nowadays*grumble*)

      • NB2000 says:

        I started watching on BBC2 as well. It was so weird when a friend taped some episodes off Sky One (which we didn't have at the time) for us and there were ad breaks everywhere. What got me was how they were in such awkward places, like right after the opening credits there was a break.

  3. ladililn says:

    Qnvyl Qnja Guernq! *pbhtuVguvaxjr'irnpghnyylzvffrqnsrjqnlfohgjungrirepbhtu*

    Jryy, fur qrsvavgryl jbhyq unir orra urnivyl vaibyirq va gur riragf bs guvf rcvfbqr va FBZR jnl, evtug? Nyfb guvf dhbgr:

    QNJA: N ebobg? Ernyyl? Jnf vg Grq? 'Pnhfr V nyjnlf fnvq gurer pbhyq unir orra zber guna bar bs uvz.

    Fb pyrneyl fur unq fbzr vqrn bs jung jnf tbvat ba. Znlor fur fhfcrpgrq uvz sebz gur ortvaavat? Znlor fur npghnyyl yvxrq uvz? Znlor ur gevrq gb xvyy ure? Qvfphff! :C

    • SweetVerda says:

      V gubhtug gung znlor Qnja jbhyq or gur bar gung Grq srryf gur arrq gb punatr/ryvzvangr. Znlor fur purngrq ng zvav-tbys vafgrnq. Naq gura Ovt Fvfgre Ohssl (GZ) gevrf gb cebgrpg Qnja, jvgu fvzvyne erfhygf.

    • cait0716 says:

      Guvf rcvfbqr vf ernyyl vagrerfgvat jura lbh pbafvqre Qnja. Va n shgher rcvfbqr, Qnja fcrpvsvpnyyl zragvbaf Grq gur ebobg. Vg'f vzcyvrq gung fur xarj jung jnf hc jura ur jnf nebhaq. Fb V guvax guvf vf gur rcvfbqr jura Qnja qvfpbirerq Ohssl'f frperg vqragvgl. V org gurl obaqrq n terng qrny bire gurve zhghny qvfyvxr bs Grq. Gurl'er obgu fgvyy uhat hc ba gur vqrn bs gurve sngure ng guvf cbvag, Qnja cebonoyl zberfb guna Ohssl fvapr fur'f lbhatre. Qnja znl unir orra zber jvyyvat gb rng gur sbbq, be yvxr Ohssl fur znl unir ershfrq nalguvat Grq pbbxrq (gnxvat qverpgvba sebz ovt fvf). Rvgure jnl Grq jbhyq unir ivrjrq obgu bs gurz nf bofgnpyrf, gubhtu V'z fher ur fgvyy sbphfrq uvf raretl ba Ohssl. Ohg V org ur xabpxrq Qnja bhg orsber Ohssl jura ur pnzr onpx gb yvsr, be fbzrubj vapncnpvgngrq ure. Fur jbhyqa'g unir svg va gb uvf cyna jvgu Wblpr. Fb nsgrejneqf, V org Qnja jnf gur zbfg sernxrq bhg bire gur gubhtug bs Grq pbzvat onpx guna nalbar naq Ohssl pbzsbegrq ure ol gryyvat ure ng yrnfg n cnegvny gehgu.

    • clodia_risa says:

      V guvax jr’ir bayl zvffrq bar qnl! Fbzrgvzrf, ubjrire, vg’f n yvggyr yngr. JUNGRIF, JR’ER NJRFBZR.

      Bu, ur gbgnyyl jnf ohggrevat ure hc, juvpu znqr Ohssl srry rira zber vfbyngrq. Ab bar va gur snzvyl oryvrirq ure.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Qba'g jbeel, jr qvq bar gjb qnlf ntb, juvpu xvaq bs pbirerq obgu cnegf bs gur gjb cnegre. Jr znl unir zvffrq lrfgreqnl, ohg V guvax FBZRBAR unf qbar n guernq rirel qnl.

      Nf sbe Qnja'f ernpgvba, V'z abg fher, ohg V'z vapyvarq gb oryvrir gung Grq cynaarq ba trggvat evq bs ure nf jryy, gubhtu V'z abg ragveryl pregnva ubj. Qvq ur zrna gb xvyy ure? Oenvajnfu ure vagb fbzrguvat? Abg fher.

      Ohg Ohssl onaarq Qnja sebz ebobgf, naq Qnja sbe bapr unq ab ceboyrzf jvgu gur ona. Ohssl nyfb pbafvqrerq onaavat Qnja sebz zvav tbys (naq cebonoyl arire jrag urefrys ntnva nsgre guvf), ohg Qnja qvqa'g nterr jvgu GUNG bar.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      Fur jbhyq unir ybirq Grq, rira vs bayl orpnhfr Ohssl qvqa'g yvxr uvz.

    • @liliaeth says:

      V'z guvaxvat gung vs Qnja jnf vaibyirq va gur rc, vg jbhyq unir orra fgebatre vs Qnja jnf ragveryl gnxra va ol Grq, naq fur yvxrq uvz nyzbfg nf zhpu nf Wblpr qvq. Orpnhfr gura Ohssl vfa'g whfg gnxvat njnl ure zbz'f oblsevraq, ohg ure fvfgre'f cbgragvny arj qnq nf jryy.

  4. tigerpetals says:

    Ted is the most horrifying episode yet. God, I wish girls could get away with killing guys like that in real life. The guy threatens her, then invades her room and reads her diary -totally different from Buffy snooping at both an intimacy level and a social power difference- and he threatens to put her in an institution. Then he hits her. He'd have hit back if she hadn't kept hitting him. For the safety of women it was better for him to die even if he'd been human.

    At first I thought Cordelia was taken aback because Xander gave her a sincere compliment. Then he held her hand while climbing down the ladder at Ted's house. And it's nice that she's being all supportive of Buffy and Giles.

    Speaking of which, I'm glad he and Miss Calendar are together again. Heal me.

    Oh Willow.

    • Zoli says:

      It's so fucking true. Uuuugh. I had the misfortune to watch someone close to me in an emotionally abusive relationship for years so when Ted showed up I was like KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE. Guh.

      I also saw another TV episode that turned this up to 11. (Dollhouse spoilers): Erzrzore gur thl jub xvqanccrq jbzra naq shpxvat cnenylmrq gurz jvgu jungrire purzvpny naq gura NEENATRQ GURZ VA CBFRF fb ur pbhyq cergraq gurl jrer uvf snzvyl?!?! V fgvyy pna'g qrpvqr vs ur'f perrcvre be Ebobg!Grq vf perrcvre ohg gurl'er obgu cerggl vaperqvoyl shpxrq hc. WBFF JURQBA JUNG VF LBHE OENVA.

    • @liliaeth says:

      Rfcrpvnyyl fvapr jr svaq bhg yngre ba va Abezny Ntnva, gung Ohssl'f nyernql orra va na vafgvghgvba evtug nsgre fur ohearq qbja gur tlz.

    • majere616 says:

      So you support the death penalty for domestic abusers?
      Okay then…

      • tigerpetals says:

        I think it's crystal clear what my comment actually meant, and I have no interest in talking about what kind of punishment should exist for domestic abusers.

        But because I knew that might get people fussing and pretending I'm bloodthirsty, let me say that I was talking about defense. If Buffy hadn't been a Slayer, those hits would have hurt far more. It's blatantly obvious that Ted is and intends to continue being violent, and in real life Buffy wouldn't have been able to get away with killing him despite that. She likely would have imprisoned and Ted's pain would have been given more sympathy in news coverage.

        Not to mention the cop's comment about Ted's size: in this happier TV world, he doesn't believe it's Buffy's fault or that Buffy really caused him to fall down the stairs. In the real world, any chance of Buffy not getting punished for this lies in her tiny delicate-looking whiteness and good looks against Ted's big male body.
        If my father had been like Ted, and I had accidentally killed him while defending myself, I'd likely go to jail. In no world is that right. The worth of the life of the abuser or the individual reasons for the abuse do not remotely come into my reasoning, because it's centered on the abused. If someone were to attack you, would you think it's fair for you go to jail if you killed them? Would you put their life before yours?

        • majere616 says:

          (Sorry it took me so long to get to this.)
          I honestly misunderstood what you meant in your original post. For some reason my mind immediately jumped to thinking you meant it as a punitive measure rather than a possible outcome of self defense. I apologize for my error, and freely concede that you're right.

  5. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Hear that? That’s the sound of my heart bursting into a million tiny jewel-winged butterflies and fluttering off into a soft, candyfloss scented breeze.


    I have other thoughts about this episode. I really do. I want to tell you how fucking creepy Ted was, and how I think he’s my favourite monster of the week so far (if the term can even be applied). I want to tell you how I screamed the house down when he appeared again because I genuinely thought he was dead. I want to tell you how unbelievably fucking bizarre it was that he turned out to be a robot of all goddamn things. I want to tell you how much I love Xander and Cordelia sneaking off to make out in between hating each other’s guts. I want to tell you how much I wanted to give Joyce a hug in this episode.

    But right now…none of that seems to matter. Instead I’m just going to sit here and quietly weep with joy. Y’all know exactly why.

    Don’t mind me. Carry on with your episode discussion.

    • ladililn says:

      I love your love for Giles/Jenny. πŸ˜€

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

        This gif is always relevant.

        Seriously, I have been watching this show for like five minutes, and they've already shot into my Top Ten Ships list.
        By which, I mean, I do actually have a literal list. And they are on it.

        I like lists.

        • ladililn says:

          I totally have a literal Top Ten Ships list too. Sometimes I have a Top Ten Ships List Divided into Books, Movies and TV Shows. …I like lists too.

        • Ginsue says:

          Going down with the ship >:D

          I know how you feel. I have thoughts about this episode as well, but for the long term, I am just happy for Jenny and Giles. They also battled together, battled! It's love! Maybe I was just so relieved that they were on talking terms, or maybe I had an odd sense of humor, but I busted up laughing when she accidentally shot Giles. Then he had to be badass, and stab the vampire with that same arrow!

        • Genny_ says:

          I've tried to do 'top ships' lists before but before I know it, they're like a hundred items long. I salute you for managing.

        • hassibah says:

          I'd like to know the other nine.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:


            In the interests of science…

            1) Mulder and Scully – The X Files
            2) Laura Roslin and Bill Adama – Battlestar Galactica
            3) Giles and Jenny – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
            4) Capt. John Sheridan and Ambassador Delenn – Babylon 5
            5) Col. Roy Mustang and Lt. Riza Hawkeye – Fullmetal Alchemist
            6) Jean Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher – Star Trek: The Next Generation
            7) Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks – Harry Potter
            8) Harry Dresden and Lt. Karrin Murphy – The Dresden Files
            9) The Doctor and River Song – Doctor Who
            10) Amelia Peabody and Emerson – The Amelia Peabody mysteries

            This is me limiting myself to one couple per series, by the way.

            Anyone else got a similar list to share? :3

            • Neet says:

              I've only really got three ships that I'm willing to yell at the television for: Benton/Corday and Abby/Carter on "ER" and a certain rcvp couple on "Veronica Mars". I get very bored by romance, though I prefer couples that are together than characters that are apart and moping about it (I like Giles and Jenny, but that's mainly because I could just like watching Jenny being awesome nonstop for a whole episode. Anything that gives me more Jenny is good).

            • @liliaeth says:

              Hmm lets see if I can get to ten (unfortunately I ship so rarely that I'm not sure I can do the one ship per show…

              1 Ohssl/Fcvxr
              2. Duncan MacLeod/Methos — Highlander
              3. Emmet/Bay — Switched at Birth
              4. Spike/Angel — BtVS and Angel
              5. Katniss Everdeen/Peeta Mellark — Hunger Games
              6. Finnick Odair/Annie – Hunger Games
              7. Dean/Impala — Supernatural
              8. Doctor/Tardis — Doctor Who
              9. Doctor/River — Doctor Who
              10. Amy/Rory — Doctor Who

            • beckaboomer says:

              Anyone else got a similar list to share? :3

              Well sure, if you really want to see it! =D These are in no particular order, because I can't pick a true favorite. Also, this list contains ships from movies, books and TV. Just 'cuz.

              1. Karl "Helo" Agathon/Sharon "Athena" Agathon (Battlestar Galactica)
              2. Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter)
              3. Katniss Everdeen/Peeta Mellark (Hunger Games)
              4. Sirius Black/Remus Lupin (Harry Potter)
              5. Margaret Hale/John Thornton (North and South)
              6. Wbfu Ylzna/Qbaan Zbff (Gur Jrfg Jvat)
              7. Simon Tam/Jayne Cobb (Firefly)
              8. Ephram Brown/Amy Abbott (Everwood)
              9. Anne Shirley/Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables)
              10. Yrtbynf/Tvzyv (Ybeq bs gur Evatf) ….yes, really.

              Wow, I love making lists. There's actually another one that's a big spoiler for Buffy and Angel both, so I'll leave it off. Whee, shipping is fun!

              ETA: Ahhhh, forgot to rot13 #6, I didn't know it was a confirmed Mark Watches show. Okay, whew.

              • avonleaapples says:

                Barney/Robin, How I Met Your Mother
                Ron/Hermione, Harry Potter
                Rory/Amy, Doctor Who

            • Jenny_M says:

              Oooh, ooh, this is fun!

              1) Nejra & Nentbea (LOTR and rot13 for spoilers)
              2) Pacey and Joey (Dawson's Creek. DO NOT JUDGE ME, Y'ALL, I WATCHED A LOT OF WB PROGRAMMING)
              3) Heero & Duo (Gundam Wing)
              4) Laura & Almanzo (Little House books not TV show)
              5) Stacey McGill & Sam Thomas (Babysitter's Club again with the judging I make no apologies!)
              6) Fry & Leela (Futurama)
              7) Jack & his Jears (no j/k it's Sawyer & Juliet or Claire & Charlie for Lost, I can't decide between them)
              8) Gvz Evttvaf & Ylyn Tneevgl (Friday Night Lights – rot13 since it's on Mark's to watch list)
              9) Gnef & Jvyybj (orsber Qnex!Jvyybj, naljnl Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
              10) Pbnpu & Gnzv (Friday Night Lights AGAIN but seriously #10 is actually my numba one ship FOR LYFE)

              I had to rot13 like half my ships. MARK PLEASE WATCH ALL THE THINGS.

              • DreamRose311 says:

                Lrf! Gur Gnlybef!! SBERIRE Naq V fgvyy tb sbe Whyvr naq Zngg rira nsgre nyy gur ernyyl onq guvatf fur qvq. Fur'q cebonoyl trg urefrys xvyyrq vs gurl jrera'g gbtrgure, naq fvapr ur pna'g or jvgu zr…

                For Lost for me, it has to be Penny & Des!! Though your two work for me too.

                • Jenny_M says:

                  OMG I forgot about Penny and Des. I AM A BAD LOST FAN. Yeah, they tie with the other two for me!

                  Friday Night Lights stuff: Jura Znex fgnegf jngpuvat SAY vg jvyy frevbhfyl or gur orfg qnl bs zl yvsr. Hatu vg vf FB SEVTTVA' TBBQ. Gnzv Gnlybe, l'nyy. Gnzv Gnlybe. Arrq V fnl zber?

                  • monkeybutter says:

                    Nope, that's enough. They're one of my favorite ships, too. I just love Pbnpu naq Gnzv. I also love your numbers 1 & 6. Good shipping choices! πŸ™‚

            • hassibah says:

              OK I don't really obsessively ship things. Actually I think one of the few times I ever shipped something that wasn't canon was Jo and Laurie back when I was a kid, so actually most of the things that came to my mind are the super obvious ones. But now that I've thought about it.

              Jo and Laurie
              Ron and Hermione
              Rogue and Gambit (I grew up on the cartoon)
              Willow and Oz (Giles/Jenny and Spike/Dru are pretty far up there as well)
              Han and Leia (in the last little while I have been watching Star Wars movies for the first time in like 15 years, so lately it's like I am stoked like a 12 year old in 1979)
              Sarah Connor/Reese as long as I'm doing movies
              Gwen and Rhys – Torchwood (why not)
              Also I was really happy with how all the relationships ended up in the Alanna books.

              Jamie and Victoria -Doctor Who (sry Jamie/Two people, don't hate plz)
              Tegan and Nyssa -Doctor Who(thx tumblr for planting this in my head.)
              In the
              Katniss and Joanna -Hunger Games (I just really liked their short-lived bromance in book 3)
              Also I get people that ship Luna/Harry, even though I love Ginny/Harry fucking a lot. For a while after DH came out I also imagined Luna and George somehow getting to know each other and being together. Luna is good with grief and George wouldn't care that she's weird(in my head.)
              Neville and Dean as well. For the longest time I really thought Neville was going to be revealed to be gay.

            • @Ivana2804 says:

              1. Ohssl/Fcvxr
              2. Anna/Miles (This Life) – I wonder how many people are familiar with his 1990s UK show
              3. Josh/Della (Night & Day) – now this is a completely obscure UK show from the early 00s, so I'm pretty sure nobody is familiar with it πŸ˜‰
              4. Veronica/Logan (Veronica Mars)
              5. Niles/Daphne (Frasier)
              6. Nikita/Michael (La Femme Nikita) – not the new Nikita, I haven't seen that one
              7. Tim/Dawn (The Office [UK])
              8. Virginia/Wolf (The 10th Kingdom)
              9. Gaius Baltar/Caprica Six (Battlestar Galactica)
              10. Chief Galen Tyrol/Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (Battlestar Galactica)

              Others I'm very fond of include Natry/Qneyn, Giles/Jenny, Willow/Oz, Knaqre/Naln, Jvyybj/Gnen, Jrfyrl/Yvynu…

    • Resized your picture for you, hope you don't mind.

    • knut_knut says:


    • hassibah says:


      oh hey

    • Delta1212 says:

      Guvf pbzzrag znxrf zr jnag gb jrrc sbe pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag ernfbaf.

    • NB2000 says:

      They're definitely a ray of adorable sunshine in an otherwise uncomfortable episode.

  6. settlingforhistory says:

    This is definitely one of those episodes that I liked better after watching it again years later.
    Thinks that made me like it:

    Jenny is back and has forgiven Giles, yay!
    I guess you really can’t stay mad at him long when he makes puppy dog eyes.

    Jenny shoots at Giles’s butt, again bonding over violence. That seems to be the top method of finding friends and kitting relationships in Buffyverse. Unfortunately that doesn’t work in real life; I could totally misaim a crossbow.

    Xander giving Cordy a complement; he is so not regretting that kiss. I was afraid one of them would when I watched yesterday’s episode for the first time; the broom closet snogging is so them.

    Creepy robot is creepy. (Ur vf zber pbaivapvat nf n uhzna guna gur yngre barf jr zrrg)

    Buffy immediately admitted she killed Ted, I can’t believe the courage that girl has.
    (Va pbagenfgf avpryl jvgu Snvgu, abg gung V'z fnlvat Snvgu vf n pbjneq.
    V unq gb ynhtu ng jung Pbeql fnlq, gung Fynlref fubhyq or yrrjnl, vg svgf Snvgu' cuvybfbcul cresrpgyl.)

    The Scoobies are the best friends a Slayer could ever wish for, no accusations or doubts, instant research party. (Gung Snvgu pbhyq unir unq guvf fhcbeg, gbb, vs fur unq abg fjvgpurq gb gur qnex fvqr znxrf zr xvaq bs fnq.)

    So much Joyce in this episode, I love Joyce!

    Angel and Buffy spending time being all couply without demons or talk of the next apocalypse, they are sweet together.

    We see that Buffy is strong enough to accidentally kill someone; it’s a scary thought, but an important lesson for every superhero.
    With great power comes great responsibility, except when it’s robots, robots are fair game.

  7. Seventh_Star says:

    this episode makes me so uncomfortable. i know it's suppooooosed to, but i don't have to like it. just…acres and acres of DO NOT WANT (besides the adorable-ness that is giles & jenny. yrg'f yrg gurfr gjb xvqf unir fbzr sha juvyr gurl pna, funyy jr?).

    i'm just gonna have myself a little quote-a-thon.

    in which i see myself in willow:

    willow: *cute overexcited squeal-y noises*
    xander: "that's the sound she makes when she's speechless with geeker joy."

    "he's a clean clown! *pauses* i have my own fun."

    in which angel acts his age:

    buffy: "i just have so much to deal with. i don't need some new guy in my life."
    angel: "no, but maybe your mom does."
    buffy: "well, sure. if you're gonna use wisdom."

    in which cordelia gets the best lines in the episode:

    cordelia: "i don't get it. buffy's the slayer. shouldn't she have…?"
    xander: "what? a license to kill?
    cordelia: "well, not for fun, but she's like this superman. shouldn't there be different rules for her?"
    willow: "sure, in a fascist society."
    cordelia: "right! why can't we have one of those?"

    cordelia: "i guess you should know since you helped raise that demon that killed that guy that time."
    giles: "yes, let's do bring that up as often as possible."

    and just cos i like it:

    xander: "can you say 'overreaction'?"
    buffy: "can you say 'sucking chest wound'?"

    in conclusion, i really, really want one of those mini pizzas…but i don't particularly want to be, y'know, TRANQUILIZED.

    • cait0716 says:

      I always like that Willow's excited about her 9GB hard drive. It gets funnier the more time passes. Especially now that I'm like "my phone has 32 GB, whatever". Nothing dates quicker than technology.

    • Smurphy says:

      I was sick and I didn't have an appetite before watching this episode yesterday. Actually paused it and went downstairs to eat after that scene.

    • rabbitape says:

      Upvotes for a truly fantastic roundup of episode quotes. And your rot13…nevermind, I have something in my eye, I'm totally fine.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Arngyl, gur fhpxvat purfg jbhaq vf ersreraprq va Erfgyrff.

    • Caravelle says:

      cordelia: "i don't get it. buffy's the slayer. shouldn't she have…?"
      xander: "what? a license to kill?
      cordelia: "well, not for fun, but she's like this superman. shouldn't there be different rules for her?"
      willow: "sure, in a fascist society."
      cordelia: "right! why can't we have one of those?"

      I like that they knew many viewers would feel that way (because Buffy is a superhero, because we know she's good, because she's the freaking protagonist and we never want the rules to apply to them when it's inconvenient) and they not only addressed it in strong terms, but they put it in CORDELIA's mouth. Just in case you thought the idea had the slightest bit of merit to it…

  8. Jenny_M says:

    The robot puns in this episode are truly beautiful things. I think this is the first time I've rewatched it, and knowing what Ted was the entire time gave me a severe case of the giggles whenever one of those puns dropped.

  9. Shiyra says:

    What I like about this episode is that it deals with the very important issue of the mistreatment that kids often get from their step parents, and the disbelief and dismissal of the paternal parent (and even closest friends) when their child reaches out for help or validation. I haven't experienced this myself, but it must be so heart breaking, frustrating, and infuriating.

    -Xander actually complements Cordy which is nice.
    -Buffy feigning a patrol, "Vampires, here vampires."
    -"You should have seen the interns face when I got up off the table though, it was a hoot." One would think that the people who work in the Sunnydale morgue would be used to this by now. Gung wbo zhfg unir n uvture zbegnyvgl engr guna Fhaalqnyr uvtu fpubby.
    -Jenny shooting Giles with crossbow. Are they even now? Can they please start hanging out again?
    -"Uncle Teddy, this house is mine."
    – Yes! Giles and Jenny back together again!

    What I don't like is that Ted turns out to be a robot and so his even though he gets shut down, he's never really a punished. Although his personality is based on his creator, it's obvious that the real Ted got away with some horrible crimes.

    • cait0716 says:

      Well, you can't punish a robot. You'd just reprogram it. But it has no actual sense of right or wrong. His creator ought have been punished, but being long dead, not exactly a possibility.

      I do like that Ted was a robot because it means that Buffy didn't actually kill a human

      • Shiyra says:

        Exactly what I mean, I want the real Ted to be punished. But I guess that's unrealistic, people get away with crap all the time. I am glad that Buffy didn't kill a real person either, it would have destroyed her, but even when she thought she had, she didn't try to hide from the consequences of what that could entail. Even though Joyce set it up to protect her from confessing to the cops that she did it, she still does confess cuz she has integrity and that's what makes her a hero in my eyes.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Gung wbo zhfg unir n uvture zbegnyvgl engr guna Fhaalqnyr uvtu fpubby.

      Lrf naq n ybg bs gubfr tenirf va Fhaalqnyr'f 12 tenirlneqf unir gb or rzcgl.
      Jung qbrf gur zbethr gryy crbcyr jura gurer vf ab obql sbe gur shareny?
      Qb gurl trg n ershaq?

      • Shiyra says:

        Ununun! Abj V nz vzntvavat n shareny jurer gur qrnq crefba trgf envfrq nf n inzcver naq gurve ragver snzvyl naq nyy gurve sevraqf jvgarff vg… Jung, ubj jbhyq gurl unaqyr gung?!

        I don't really know why I rot13'd that?

        • settlingforhistory says:

          Vg zhfg unir unccraq zber guna bapr, Ohssl pna'g or rireljurer.
          Gurl jbhyq or fnsr gubhtu vs gur shareny vf uryq orsber fhafrg.

          About rot13ing: better safe than sorry, after all Ted could come to visit if you spoil. *eek*

  10. Smurphy says:

    Can I start out by saying RIP John Ritter. I was an occasional watcher of 8 simple rules but I watched the final episode he was in and the goodbye episode he was not in and I cried like a baby. He was such a brilliant and funny actor and I think the show and its writers and the rest of the cast was pretty brilliant too. This is one of my favorite shows to watch in reruns.

    This episode gives me the heebie jeebies. That might be because my parents are separated (actual divorce eternally pending) and the thought of my mom dating (while nice and I would LOVE HER TOO…) is scary. There are so many not good guys out there in the world (thank you daddy issues) and you hear stories like this one, but true, far too often.

    Like I said I’m paranoid and have daddy issues so it might just be me but this one hit just a little too close to home.

    Oh and Buffy thinking she killed an innocent human being. SAD FACES FOREVER. Even if this was a rewatch and I knew she didn’t…. naq V nyfb xabj guvf jvyy or n erpheevat gurzr yngre…

    On the brighter side:


    We got a lot more Angel/Buffy time as well.

    Giles and Miss Calendar are reunited! Sbe gur gvzr orvat ng yrnfg…*fnq snprf*

    Is it just me or is this a seriously unquotable episode.

    On a completely irrelevant note. I just discovered the unaired Buffy pilot. LOL until the end of time. That was horridly amazing. I realize it's not canon and makes Joss cry but… still.

    • tanbarkie says:

      "RIP John Ritter"

      Hear, hear. *raises glass*

    • cait0716 says:

      I loved 8 simple rules! The guy who wrote it actually lived down the street from me and I went to school with his son (who the son in the show was loosely based on). And yes, RIP John Ritter. After learning he died, I watched this episode.

      The unaired pilot is amazing! Zreprqrf ZpAno naq Qnaal Fgebat ner obgu va vg. Guvf znxrf Unezbal gur ybatrfg-ynfg punenpgre va gur Ohsslirefr, nf fur'f va obgu gur hanverq cvybg naq gur Natry svanyr.

      • Smurphy says:

        Well that was just a lovely fact. Thank you… and it was… I laughed. A lot.

        V yvxrq gung Qnaal Fgebat unq n yvar va gur hanverq cybg. V sbetrg ubj zhpu ur'f va gurfr svefg frnfbaf. V'z tbaan ynhtu jura ur orpbzrf na npghny punenpgre naq Znex'f yvxr JBNU gung qhqr.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      For a long time this was one of my least favorite episodes because I didn't like seeing John Ritter play someone so evil… I had watched it so few times that I had even completely forgot about Jenny shooing Giles >.<

      Anyway! Back to the main point: Noise Off. Hillarious moved based on a hillarious play… Cast: John Ritter, Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, and a few other completely awesome people. Go. Watch. Now. And Laugh. (It's probably clear, but there was a 2 year period where I couldn't watch the move without crying non-laughter tears :o( )

    • PhsntPlkr says:

      On the subject of that irrelevant note… would that happen to be available online anywhere?

  11. guest_age says:

    Okay, so…I have a lot of feelings about this episode and they're going to involve me talking about some triggery topics, so if you are reading this and discussion of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of a 5-14 year old child or attempted suicide is a trigger for you, please stop reading now! I don't want to upset anyone in that way, though I do have a lot of feelings about this episode that I need to get out.

    I hate watching this episode. This episode, in and of itself, is a trigger for me, because it is so utterly accurate to my experience. (In a metaphorical sense of course–my first step family did not consist of robots, thankfully.) When I was six, my mother remarried and moved the two of us into her new husband's house, where we lived with him and his three children–a boy and a girl both older than me, and a boy younger than me. His house was located on a street where literally every single house on it was owned by one of his siblings or his parents. I was transplanted out of my family into his, literally. Only from day one, every single person there made it clear that I was an outsider, that just because my mom was now a part of their family, that didn't mean that I was. One of my earliest memories is of asking my mom to change my last name to match theirs, in the vain hope that doing so might make them accept me. Considering everything that happened after, I'm glad she turned that request down.

    For the next few years, the emotional abuse continued, and my older step-brother decided that I could be his human punching bag. That moment where Ted tells Buffy he's going to slap her across the face? My breath actually catches. Except the thing is, I don't remember the physical abuse. I have records of it–my paternal grandma has told me about times she'd see me covered in bruises and I told her who had done them, or once she got called in to my school for a conference with my first grade teacher because I'd written about being beaten up at home and the teacher had found the paper. I have seen that paper, so I know it happened, but I have absolutely no recollection of it, which terrifies the hell out of me because it means that whatever the specifics were, they were so horrible that my brain has put up a wall to protect me. That's terrifying to know something happened to you and not even be able to remember it.

    But what I do remember is that when I was eight, just beating me up wasn't enough. The same step-brother raped me. My memory of this is hazy–I get flashes from time to time, and the impression that it happened more than once, but again the terrifying thing is that I don't remember the details.

    Throughout this time, I begged my mother to let me move out, please just let me get away from these people. She insisted over and over again that it was just me not liking change, that soon I'd adjust, that I'd fit in, that I'd learn to like it there.

    Watching Joyce flat-out deny it when Buffy tells her that Ted threatened her sends me into fits of rage that I can't even deal with. I understand that she was dosed with a drug, so maybe I could get past that, except that later, when Buffy tries to talk to her after Ted's "death" she sends Buffy away and says she can't talk about it. I'm sorry, Buffy is dealing with taking a human life and you can't take two seconds to hear her out?

    My opinion of Joyce has never recovered from this episode, I'm sorry to say. I can't stand to even look at her because looking at her reminds me of my mother denying it when I told her I was in need of help, that I needed to escape.

    (cont'd in second comment)

    • guest_age says:

      Eventually, I attempted suicide and was stopped by, ironically, the same step-brother who'd been the one to drive me to it. He told my mom and during the conversation that followed, I broke down completely and begged, sobbing and pleading, for her to let me move in with my paternal grandparents because if she didn't, I would end up trying it again–it wasn't a threat to scare her, it was just the honest truth: I could not have continued living there, and if it were my only choice, I would've ended my life.

      Finally, after all those years, she did let me move in with them. My grandma immediately put me into therapy, and during one session, I confessed to my psychiatrist that I'd been raped. She was legally bound to report it, and the entire story broke out across our small town. I won't go into the threats I received as a result of that because they're not related to this episode, but eventually a cop came to my grandparents' house to talk to me about it. The scene where Buffy is in the police station is so reminiscent of what happened that once again, instant trigger. She was so condescending–how could a star quarterback and beloved high school student possibly have raped overweight, not conventionally attractive me. I told her my story again and again–what I remembered of it, at least, because as I say, I don't remember huge chunks of that time in my life due to my brain having blocked it away from me. The way the cop tries to twist Buffy's words in this episode happened to me over and over again during that conversation. Oh, so I'd actually had a little crush on him before our parents got married? So I probably wanted it, then? I was eight years old. Fairly sure that even aside from the fact that no always means no full stop period end of fucking sentence, being eight cancels everything else out.

      I can't handle watching this episode. If whoever wrote it didn't come from a similar broken home, then they deserve all the awards for the research they must've put into it because it is accurate to what I experienced beyond all belief. I just can't handle watching it.

      And while I'm at it, Jenny apologizing to Giles for telling him that she needed space? UGH, NO THANK YOU. SHE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID IN THE COMPUTER ROOM.

      • **All the hugs for you**

      • arctic_hare says:

        Oh jesus. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I don't even have the words for how fucking awful that is. All the hugs, seriously. Thank you for sharing such a painful story, that couldn't have been easy.

        • guest_age says:

          It gets a little easier every time I tell it–which I try to do when it's appropriate because in the same way that I think this episode might've helped me when I was younger and going through it (watching Buffy kick Ted's ass is cathartic as hell, I have to admit), maybe me putting it out there that it happened to me and I am still standing might help someone else. I don't know that it will, but it's the only way I currently know how to help so I figure I might as well try.

      • Sophi says:


        You might not need nor require the hugs or love of people across the internet but we have them all ready if you want them.

      • cait0716 says:

        I'm so, so sorry you went through that. *hugs*

      • znachki says:

        Saying that I'm so, so sorry that this happened to you seems so inadequate. But please accept the hugs and the good thoughts I'm sending your way.

      • Dru says:

        (trigger warning here too)

        I am so, so sorry that happened to you. It never fails to amaze me just how awful people can be, and this just makes me wish I could scoop up your child self away from harm. Something similar happened to me when I was 5 or 6, and in my case I'm thankful for the bits my brain has actually forgotten/blanked out. I just wish I could actually just forget the entire thing altogether – my parents were extremely overprotective of me as a child, I've never had the heart to tell them about the time they couldn't protect me from. Twenty years later, I can face what was done to me, but it'd destroy them if they ever found out.

        • guest_age says:

          That's a good point you bring up about having it blanked out maybe being a good thing. I don't know what knowing would do to me, but I'm also one of those people who has to pick at a scab if I have one, so I'm constantly wondering what on earth it was that's so bad my brain made me forget, and sometimes I wonder if my morbid imagination is worse than the reality. Ugh.

          Either way, I'm sorry you went through it. A choice between remembering something horrible or forever guessing isn't one anyone should have to make. *hugs*

          • Dru says:

            **hugs you back**

            I know what you mean about it being like a scab – my mind keeps returning to the memories I do have of it, despite the fact that I want so badly to forget. I hate the fact that it happened at all, and the influence it has over me – I didn't get a choice in it, and I hate that I have to carry even those vague bits of memory around because I just can't see why I have to. If the memory-wipe from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind existed, I have no doubt about the fact that I'd use it.

            Though I did wonder as I grew older, whether he'd tried it with any of the other kids at the day care (he was the son of the woman who ran the daycare centre my parents left me at), and I hope to God he doesn't have access to children now. I guess I'm lucky in that it happened over a short-ish time and my parents pulled me from the daycare, I don't even know how I would have held up in a situation like yours.

            (I'm sorry for all this blah, but sometimes it…helps, in a way, to know I'm not alone. Though what a thing to be not alone for. And thank you for listening, you are braver than I would ever have been)

            • guest_age says:

              I had the same worry about him doing something simliar to someone else, especially since I found out he got married and had a kid several years ago, but last I heard, he was in jail for an entirely separate offense, so that gives me some comfort.


          • @liliaeth says:

            hmm, I keep thinking the same about why I forgot the faces of just about every kid I was in elementary school and Junior high with. Being bullied might not even remotely be up to the same level of what you've been through. but that doesn't stop my memory from protecting me of the hell those kids put me through for eight years.

            All the hugs for you

      • knut_knut says:

        I’m so, so sorry you went through that *hugs* Thank you for sharing your story *all the hugs*


      • hassibah says:

        Wow I'm so sorry all of that happened.
        I don't know if you want or need hearts or hugs or tea with oranges (hi I like Leonard Cohen) but I give all of them freely.

      • beckaboomer says:

        My grandma immediately put me into therapy, and during one session, I confessed to my psychiatrist that I'd been raped. She was legally bound to report it, and the entire story broke out across our small town. I won't go into the threats I received as a result of that because they're not related to this episode, but eventually a cop came to my grandparents' house to talk to me about it.

        WAIT WHAT



        …Seeting rage. In other news, I want to hug you through the Internet, and also tell you that I'm glad you shared your story and I believe you are incredibly brave.

        • guest_age says:

          Yeah, I lived in a REALLY small town (my graduating class had less than 80 students, to give you an idea) and everyone knew everyone else. Even once I moved to my grandparents, I was within 2 minutes of the house where all this stuff happened to me. People threatened me for "hurting his reputation" and insisted I was lying–it got so bad that I couldn't even ride the bus to school, so my grandmother drove me to school every single day for five years. I barely slept at night (and I found out recently that my grandmother slept in the living room with a gun at her side) because we were all afraid that my former step family would come to our house in the middle of the night to break in or set the place on fire.

          The world does, indeed, suck at times.

          And thank you for the hugs!

          • beckaboomer says:

            My rage was so seething I couldn't even spell "seething." πŸ™

            See, I was in the middle of a situation like that (it involved my aunt being abused by her husband, who was a police officer). People were angry at HER for telling the truth about him. They became angry at our entire family because we stood by her. ….I wish sometimes that I could round up all of the sucky people and just put them on an island so they can live together and be horrible to one another. Anyway, sorry for going off on my tangent there, just that part in particular made me so rageful.

        • hassibah says:

          Yeah, I'm really mad to say that it didn't surprise me at all.
          cats>people always.

      • rabbitape says:

        Endless hugs. I'm so sorry.

      • amyalices says:

        I'm so sorry that happened to you – but thank you for being willing to share with us.

        All the internet hugs forever!

      • Ginsue says:

        You deserved better than that. You also deserve to talk about it. It must have been difficult to watch and to share. I find it brave, as I am not good with self-disclosure myself.

        I probably will not watch this episode again, but not because it was a bad episode, far from it. It was too good at what it did. I definitely understand the 'trigger' this episode can cause.

        • guest_age says:

          I made the mistake of re-watching it today while I was writing up my thoughts about it and…yeah. A mistake. I think it's a good episode, and I'm glad it exists because there are people it will help feel less alone, but…yeah, I am not at a place where I can handle it.

      • kelseyofcake says:

        I wish I could put into words how sorry I am that you had top go through that. Nobody in this world deserves that. *HUGS*

      • notemily says:

        And this is why I have trouble watching this episode–because the dismissiveness that both Joyce and the police display happens way too often in actual real life. πŸ™

        I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can't believe a cop tried to retroactively slut-shame an eight-year-old.

      • misterbernie says:

        *also offers you all the hugs*

      • SosaLola says:

        I'm really sorry that you had to experience this. Some people are just bastards.

      • MrsGillianO says:

        I've only just seen this. I feel sick at what happened to you and how the people whose PRIMARY DUTY was to protect you failed you so completely and tried to blame you. Eight.


  12. cait0716 says:

    Whenever I'm depressed or feeling down I put on my overalls. It's a comfort thing. Equal parts "these are the comfiest pants I own" and "No I don't care what I look like right now". I'm pretty sure I picked up that habit from watching this episode repeatedly. For me overalls = sadness

    The way Joyce treats Buffy in the beginning just breaks my heart. I know she was drugged and manipulated and I do forgive her for it. But when she sides with Ted over Buffy? That hurts. More than most things.

    And then Buffy kills Ted and we get the whole "oh shit, Buffy killed a human." It's so tragic and real. And I just love Buffy so much in this episode. She knows what she did was wrong and she owns it and her guilt is heartbreaking.

    But Ted comes back and this time Buffy gets to wail on him guilt free. I love that she kills him with a frying pan. It's the perfect symbol, both because it's a "woman's weapon" (playing into women belonging in the kitchen) and because it's how Ted was manipulating Joyce, Xander, and Willow.

    Prequel comic spoilers:

    Va gur cerdhry pbzvpf, Ohssl qbrf qb n fgvag va n zragny vafgvghgvba nsgre Qnja svaqf ure qvnel naq fubjf vg gb gurve cneragf. Vg'f vagrerfgvat gb frr ubj gung ergpba znxrf guvf rcvfbqr cynl fyvtugyl qvssreragyl. Grq'f guerng ubyqf n ovg zber jrvtug naq urycf nppbhag sbe ubj rkgerzryl Ohssl ybfrf ure grzcre

    Show spoilers:

    Naq bs pbhefr ol gur fvkgu frnfba gung ergpba unf orpbzr cneg bs pnaba, jvgu Ohssl gryyvat Jvyybj gung fur fcrag gvzr va n zragny vafgvghgvba orsber pbzvat gb Fhaalqnyr. V guvax vg'f fbzrguvat gung bayl unccrarq va gur havirefr jurer Qnja rkvfgf, ohg vg fgvyy unf vagrerfgvat vzcyvpngvbaf sbe guvf rcvfbqr. Rira nf vg znxrf ab frafr jvgu Ohssl ersrerapvat "fnivat gur jbeyq sebz inzcverf" va gur pbyq bcra bs Onq Rttf

    • Smurphy says:

      V jnf guvaxvat nobhg gung… tvirf vg ragveryl arj zrnavat. V jbaqre vs va gur qnja gvzryvar ur vapyhqrq gur jbeq "onpx gb" uzzz…

    • ladililn says:

      Lrnu, gung nqqvgvba nyjnlf frrzrq xvaq bs vapbatehbhf jvgu gur rneyl frnfbaf, ohg vg arire bppheerq gb zr gung vg zvtug or Qnja-havirefr-bayl rirag; V whfg nffhzrq gung va gur aba-Qnja-havirefr vg unccrarq n qvssrerag jnl. Ohssl qbrfa'g npghnyyl zragvba gung vg jnf orpnhfr bs fbzrguvat Qnja qvq jura vg pbzrf hc va F6, qbrf fur? Ohg vg qrsvavgryl nqqf na vagrerfgvat arj ynlre gb Ohssl-xrrcvat-ure-vqragvgl-frperg-sebz-ure-Zbz vs lbh guvax bs vg gung jnl.

    • robin_comments says:

      Tbbq cbvag! V unqa'g pbafvqrerq gung orsber, naq gur Frnfba 6 eriryngvba nobhg Ohssl va gur vafgvghgvba qbrf nqq na vagrerfgvat arj ynlre gb gung pbasebagngvba jvgu Grq. Vg nyfb nqqf n arj ynlre gb Wblpr'f qvforyvrs bs Ohssl. (Zl cneragf vafgvghgvbanyvmrq zl oebgure sbe n fubeg crevbq jura ur jnf rkcrevrapvat fbzr frevbhf qvssvphygvrf gung fpnerq gurz, fb V'z bar bs gur crbcyr jub qvqa'g svaq gung ergpba ng nyy haoryvrinoyr. V pbhyq gbgnyyl vzntvar ure cneragf qbvat gung gb Ohssl nsgre fur ohearq qbja n tlz naq bgure varkcyvpnoyr crefbanyvgl punatrf & orunivbe. Ohg zber ba gung va frnfba fvk…)

    • Re: Comfort Overalls – my friend and I call these 'The Dungarees of Despair'. We also own 'Melancholic Hoodies'. In happier situations, we call our pyjamas or jogging bottoms 'Relaxypants'

  13. arctic_hare says:

    eeeeee THIS EPISODE. <3 It is so so creepy and unsettling and disturbing and I love it for precisely that reason. Ted is one awful, misogynistic motherfucker, isn't he? IT'S LIKE THE 1950S CAME TO LIFE AND WERE EMBODIED IN A HUMAN. Who then made a robot of himself that reenacted the Bluebeard legend. Ye gods. John Ritter, may he rest in peace, was fucking FLAWLESS in this role. Until I saw him in this, I never knew he could be so creepy! I'd previously only known him from Three's Company and the Problem Child movies, and then suddenly here he is scaring the shit out of me. And, here's the thing: he was SO good at it, that Whedon had to tell him to tone it down, I think he was even creeping HIM out. Think about that for a second! Ritter also wanted to see what was in Ted's Closet of Doom, too. No thank you (plus I think it's better to leave some stuff to the audience's imagination).

    Other stuff:

    – Why are Xander and Willow debating Captain and Tennille? This is another example of the writers not getting what was current pop culture in the 90s.



    – Look, I know his food is drugged, but watching this on an empty stomach is nevertheless a bad idea.

    – JENNY!!! I'm in total agreement with her here. I mean, I want my ship up and running, but she's right, he needs to not burden her like that. Let her recover and cope on her own time in her own way at her pace, without worrying about his feelings.

    – I would love Buffy's shirt more if it weren't the dreaded leopard-print. Sigh. It does look good on her, though. Very good.

    – Joyce, you should believe your daughter, not Ted. πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ Though that's likely the drugs at work.

    – Oh, so he's an ableist shithead too. LOVELY.


    – Hmmm, maybe he took the potion too? Well, that'll get unfortunate looks-wise…



    • tigerpetals says:

      For some reason I never got that this was the Bluebeard fairy tale, even though it's one of my favorites.

    • robin_comments says:

      Joyce, you should believe your daughter, not Ted. πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™
      I know it's supposed to be the drugs but I'm kind of :D: all over the place about this… Like, I feel as if even artificially ~soothed Giles would have believed Buffy if she spelled out to him how Ted was physically threatening her. And how drugged was she still when she didn't want to look at Buffy? idk. Joyce just gives me complicated feelings sometimes, I guess. Well, maybe that just makes her a more three dimensional character, huh? A perfect mother would be simplistic and boring.

    • cait0716 says:

      There's an interesting and subtle subversion here. Yes, Ted is from the 50s and he embodies the strict gender roles of the 50s. He's misogynistic and takes it a step further into abuse. What's interesting is how well he fits in to the 90s. He's respected at work where he excels at his job. He's a "good on paper" guy that Joyce was falling for before he started drugging her. Even though he has "outdated" views of gender, they aren't outdated enough to raise red flags with anyone but Buffy. We haven't come as far as we think we have.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Yeah, no kidding. *sighs* And of course, there are people today who want to revert the US back to that decade and think it was so wonderful. I hate the world.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Why are Xander and Willow debating Captain and Tennille? This is another example of the writers not getting what was current pop culture in the 90s.

      Well, in the 90's, I was into the Beatles, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, and so were my friends. We would totally have had a conversation like this. Pop music? What's that? ;p

    • LadyPeyton says:

      "Why are Xander and Willow debating Captain and Tennille? This is another example of the writers not getting what was current pop culture in the 90s. "

      Honestly, I think they were probably debating Captain and Tennille because the writers couldn't think of anything less cool for Xander and Willow to debate exactly for the purpose of prompting the viewing audience to shake their heads in bewilderment and ask why they were debating the Captain and Tennille.

      Plus Muskrat Love is rock and roll!

      • cait0716 says:

        There's a theory that The Captain and Tennille debate about who has the power refers back to the power switch that happened between Spike and Dru in the last episode. I don't really understand the reference, so I don't know how accurate it is, but it's one possibility.

    • notemily says:

      I remember when "gigabyte" was a completely new term to me.

      Also, what? Potion?

      • arctic_hare says:

        The potion thing is a reference to the movie Death Becomes Her, in which the principal characters drink a potion that keeps them young forever… but, they can die, and if they fuck up their bodies somehow, it's permanent. It's hilarious, but also full of nightmare fuel.

        • drippingmercury says:

          It's hilarious, but also full of nightmare fuel.

          Thank you for perfectly encapsulating why I like Death Becomes Her so much. It's silly as fuck, yeah, but doesn't Meryl Streep blow a big hole in Goldie Hawn with a bazooka or something? how is that not awesome.
          (eta: not that I hate Goldie Hawn, it's mostly just Streep with heavy weaponry.)

          • misterbernie says:


            And the movie is awesome for it. Because yes MERYL FUCKING STREEP* with a fucking shotgung (and also GOLDIE HAWN and ISABELLA ROSSELLINI).

            *MERYL. FUCKING. STREEP period, actually. I love her even more when she gets a chance to ham it up.

            • drippingmercury says:

              Ah, it was a shotgun! I guess a bazooka would have been more… explosive. I kind of fail at modern weaponry. Most of what I know about weapons comes from books and RPGs so it lacks in relevance and/or accuracy.

              and MERYL. FUCKING. STREEP. indeed.

              • misterbernie says:

                Nf sbe gur rkcybfvirarff – lrf, frr Vaabprapr πŸ˜€

                I probably "know" more about pseudomedieval weaponry from the Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age than anything about these gun-thingies, so, yeah.

                I love Meryl Streep so much it's ridiculous.
                (Also, ISABELLA ROSSELLINI and her webseries on animal sexuality awesome)

                • drippingmercury says:

                  Bbu, vf Vaabprapr jura Ohssl (be fbzrbar) hfrf n onmbbxn? V znengubarq gur frevrf bapr va '04 naq gur zber V erjngpu jvgu Znex, gur zber V ernyvmr V qba'g erzrzore guvatf orlbaq gur znva cybg nep.

                  Heh, I deleted my sentence about Skyrim because I worried it was irrelevant. But yes, even with unrealistic and ridiculously outsized (looking at you, Dragon Age!) weapons, I'm far more confident in my knowledge of short swords, halberds, and longbows than… that kind of gun people like to carry for… gunning… purposes.

                  Would that be Green Porno? Because I am definitely going to watch that.

                  • misterbernie says:

                    Lrf vg vf. Naq nf bire-gur-gbc nf gur fprar vf, V whfg ybir vg gb ovgf.

                    Skyrim is probably where I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon πŸ˜€
                    And yeah, ridiculously oversized weaponry but rule of cool and all that – I love dual-wielding swords that should probably be two-handers in real life (I just like 'em, make me feel all manly, *snrk*).

                    that kind of gun people like to carry for… gunning… purposes.
                    EXACTLY. So you point it at things and pull that thingy and then things… happen?

                    And yes, that's it! It is adorable and informative and awesome and occasionally a bit gross when she talks about snail vaginas and penises.

                    • drippingmercury says:

                      Rule of cool indeed, I just can't help but feel like my character is actually a hobbit when they're clutching a dagger that's actually the size of a short sword. Plus it's always distracting when my great sword is taller than my PC and strapped to their back without a sheath. I keep expecting it to slice their legs to bits whenever they run.

                      Spending the rest of the afternoon in Skyrim? What an excellent idea! *goes to do the same*

  14. Raenef_the_5th says:


    God, this episode, it makes me cringe all the time because of all the very truthful things about people not believing you about someone. It's a horrible feeling!

  15. echinodermata says:

    So this is a pretty memorable episode; I always found it interesting how this episode tackles really serious issues and is pretty explicitly about men who are abusive and controlling over women and how women behave, and yet, the episode is still pretty damn cheesy and…the dude’s a robot. A robot! I’m impressed that this episode manages a lot of gravitas, and yet….robot! (Sorry, will never get over that.)

    So this is an uncomfortable episode to watch, but I love love love Buffy here and as much as I hate watching her so vulnerable, I’m glad the show went there and gave us this Buffy who’s basically on her own against her family and friends in her dislike of Ted. (Of course, that turns out to be because the robot laced his cookies with drugs. Oh show.) And then she thinks she killed a person and that’s a pretty shattering thought to her; I’m happy that she doesn’t try to hide what she did and works to come to terms with the idea that she just killed a human being because that would be a heavy burden to carry. (Of course, dude was actually a robot. Oh show.)

    But how great is it that Buffy reclaims her house as her own against some vile misogynistic dude and uses a frying pan to do it! Symbolism!

    And that’s why Buffy is my hero.

    And gif:

    • echinodermata says:

      For anyone who saw weird shit with my comment and other comments 'in reply to it' that weren't actually replies, I didn't close my alt tag for my gif and that somehow fucked shit up for some reason. Sorry! Who knew? And hopefully all is good now and comments are restored and look normal.

      Okay, always close the alt tag. Lesson learned.

    • cait0716 says:

      My favorite thing is that Willow figures out what the drug is using a microscope. Science doesn't work like that. I mean, yes, you can figure out chemical and molecular structure using a microscope, but it has to be super high powered.

      Buffy's my hero, too. Forever and always.

      • echinodermata says:

        I automatically fanwanked the microscope thing such that she added a chemical to the cookie that reacts in some way to the presence of the drug and she was viewing for any change as indicated by the chemical.

        Because my mind refuses to process the alternative.

    • Nos says:

      That quote in the giff I still use, constantly, to this day.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      that gif is so perfect.

  16. LadyPeyton says:

    I hate this episode. It's in my top 5 worst episodes of all time. John Ritter should never ever play evil. It is wrong on a basic level.

    That is all.

    Ok, that's not really all. I wanted to clarify, that yes, this episode is actually very well written and well acted. I agree with that. It's just *too* well written and well acted and I am either so creeped out I can't look or so angry with Ted, and even Joyce in some scenes, that I'm screaming at the TV. So very good episode, way too creeping and ragey for me to endure.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      oh god like

      i am of the opinion that the fact that John Ritter is Ted is 90% of the reason this episode is so terrifying.

      • @liliaeth says:

        yeah, it's really the acting that makes this ep. Not just of John Ritter, but of SMG as well.

        A few days ago, someone mentioned this ep as one that might make you stop liking BTVS, cause they didn't like it. And I couldn't help responding that this is probably one of my favorite eps of s2.

        Well that and that you'd probably love it, exactly because it feels so real, but that's because i followed your read of Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Avatar*g*, and I've kind of noticed a theme…

      • @farwell3d says:

        Oh god yes. I had NO fucking clue John Ritter could go there as an actor. I'd seen him on Three's Company as a kid, he was a nice guy, maybe a jerk sometimes, but…. Holy fuck that performance shook me to my 16 year old core in 1997 (or was it early '98? I think late 97….)

  17. Noybusiness says:

    "I hope he was hit by thirty busloads of kitties."

    That gives me an image of a light blue triple-decker bus full of kitties. The driver kitty has a hat. After they run over the counselor they congratulate themselves on a job well done.

    Seriously, that person had no business being a counselor.

  18. hassibah says:

    "A clean clown…I have my own fun"
    I am so familiar with this kind of awkward.

    I can relate to this episode….ok let me qualify that. I have known the godawful feeling of having someone be a total fucking tool to you and no one believing you when you tell them about all the asshole things they did because they all think he's awesome. You know the cartoon with the singing frog that only sings in front of you and everytime you bring other people around to see it it just fucking sits there croaking and pretending to be normal? And you're just sitting there and eventually you start screaming "like no FUCK YOU YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PERSON" and everyone just thinks it's you with the problem? That is why I can relate to both Buffy and Big Bird(okay Big Bird is slightly different but whatever.)

    Man John Ritter how are you so perfect at recreating every creepy asshole authority figure that I wish would die in a fire(at first, I mean before he takes it to a whole other level)?
    Also poor Joyce!

    I like how Xander is totally positive that Ted must be a horrible, dangerous person the second he finds out that Buffy killed him. See he can be a good friend when the writers let him!

    "Yeah, in a fascist society"
    "Yes! Why can't we have one of those"

    "I guess you should know since you raised that demon that killed that guy that time"
    "Yes let's bring that up as often as we can"

    Library time is a lot more fun with Cordelia around.

    I like how when the kids all walk in on Giles and Jenny makeouts Willow and Buffy run in fear while Cordy and Xander are all giddy. Hey 1/2 figured it out!
    Their scenes were all so good and AGAIN I totally forgot that it was this episode where Jenny showed up again so yay good surprises!

    The costumes in this episode though-WTF? I can let the giant overalls of depression go because they're pretty apt for the scene, but Buffys weird leopard/wine coloured tank tops are the kinds of things I'd expect to see on someone like 20 years older.

    • Kari18212 says:

      'giant overalls of depression' lol forever.

      zl svefg gubhtug nobhg gur birenyyf gubhtu vf gung gur bayl bgure gvzr (gung V erzrzore) frrvat ure va gurz vf va Urycyrff. Abg fher vs vg vf vagragvbany, ohg V ernyyl ubcr vg jnf orpnhfr vg jbexf cresrpgyl jvgu ubj Ohssl'f srryvat va obgu rcvfbqrf.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      Xander is very much like a puppy. He's as loyal as the day is long and a pleasure to have around as long as you don't mind repeatedly pushing his nose away from your…ummm…so yeah. Like a puppy dog.

      • Ginsue says:

        I really hated that frog as a kid. -_- He was a troll before trolls became popular.

      • @farwell3d says:

        Yeah. I don't think Xander was ever a bad FRIEND to Buffy and Willow, really. He's been a sexist jerk, but I don't think his friendship and loyalty has ever been questionable.

        Bs pbhefr, ur'yy ERNYYL cebir gung yngre va gur frnfba, ng gur ubfcvgny.

    • notemily says:

      oh my god I hate that fucking frog so much
      and it was the goddamn mascot for the WB

    • MaggieCat says:

      "(okay Big Bird is slightly different but whatever.) "

      It's not that different! The reason the grown-ups on Sesame Street got to meet Mr. Snuffleupagus is because the writers were afraid kids might think that adults wouldn't believe them if they told them something was wrong. It all fits! I remember when that happened, and I was born the same year as Buffy so they should have watched it.


      (Snuffy was my second favorite character on SS. Clearly this is something I took very seriously.)

  19. NB2000 says:

    I don't really know what to say about this episode besides DEAR GOD THIS IS CREEPY AND AWFUL but in a good way.


    And how does she somehow not see him until he reveals himself? As the police officer says, Ted's a big guy and there's not exactly anywhere he could hide in that corner so…she just doesn't notice him? It's really silly but that distracts me so much when rewatching.

    V’q yvxr gb frr n qnl jurer Wblpr qbrf svaq bhg gung ure qnhtugre vf gur Fynlre

    Zjnunununun fbbba-vfu.

  20. Dru says:

    What if someone you love is dating someone that’s not a very good person, and what if they can’t see it? Oh god, how many of us have seen that?

    I have. And it's going to end in a wedding, which sucks because I want to be happy for my friend and CAN'T.

  21. Neet says:

    There's only a couple of Buffy episodes that genuinely creeped me out, gubhtu abar nf zhpu nf "Abezny Ntnva". Demons I can cope with (jura gurl'er abg gur Tragyrzra be gung guvatf sebz "Fnzr Gvzr, Fnzr Cynpr"), the show can poke fun at them and laugh at their absurdity. It's been a long time since I thought leaving a gap in my curtains at night would let a vampire fly in. But for the first half of this episode, we think Ted is a normal human and that means he's someone we could meet in the real world. Even when we find out he's a robot, that doesn't undo the effect he has at first and the horror of the situation he put Buffy in. Just wrong on all levels.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      taney! NPX. lrnu, gung rc npghnyyl fpnerf zr. vs v nz ubzr nybar va gur qnex, v unir gb whfg ybbx nebhaq gur ebbz juvyr vg'f ba fperra be snfg sbejneq. un.

      • @farwell3d says:

        Gur bayl gjb rcvfbqrf gung rire ernyyl perrcrq zr bhg jrer Uhfu (bs pbherf) naq Cnffvba.

        • bookworm67 says:

          Agreed! Zl zbz (jub'f n qvruneq Ohssl sna) qrpvqrq gb fubj zr Uhfu sbe gur svefg gvzr ba Unyybjrra jura V jnf yvxr gra orpnhfr fur gbyq zr vg jnf ernyyl tbbq. Ab zragvba bs gur penc-vaqhpvat greebe ng nyy. V jnf genhzngvmrq sbe yvsr, V gryy lbh.

  22. Sindragosa says:

    Unf vg rire orra pbasvezrq be qravrq vs Grq jnf znqr ol gur fnzr thlf jub znqr n tveysevraq-obg naq gura n Ohssl-obg?

    • clockworkmonk says:

      grq jnf znqr ol…. Grq. gur bevtvany Grq.
      Jneera znqr gur bgure obgf.

      • Smurphy says:

        V ernq fbzrjurer gbqnl va zl ohsslirefr geniryf gung gur cnegf gung jvyybj gbbx znl unir orra hfrq ol Jneera gb znxr gur bgure obgf.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Gurl fnl Grq qvrq n ybat gvzr ntb, juvpu lbh frr jura gurl fubj uvf byq snfuvbarq ubhfr. Naq ur znqr Grq nf n ercyvpn bs uvzfrys.
      Gur thl jub znxrf gur bgure ebobgf vf lbhatre naq jr jvyy zrrg uvz va n yngre frnfba.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Grq jnf znqr ol gur erny-yvsr Grq, jub vf qrnq ng gur gvzr bs guvf rcvfbqr.

    • NB2000 says:

      Nf bguref unir cbvagrq bhg gur bgure ebobgf jrer znqr ol Jneera, nygubhtu cneg bs zr vf abj grzcgrq gb urnq!pnaba gung Jneera jnf n qvfgnag eryngvir bs Grq naq sbhaq gur qrfvtaf sbe gur ebobg fbzrjurer.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Grq whavbe, bu tbq cyrnfr ab! Gung vf jnl gb perrcl, gubhtu vg jbhyq svg erznepnoyl jryy. Whfg ybbx ubj Jneera gerngrq uvf tveysevraq, ur tbg zber sebz Grq guna whfg gur qrfvtaf.

        • NB2000 says:

          V jnf guvaxvat yvxr, perrcl hapyr be fbzrguvat ohg lrnu Grq Whavbe jbhyq or FB ZHPU JBEFR naq lrg znxr fpnel frafr. V'z tbvat gb tb fuhqqre va gur pbeare abj.

  23. znachki says:

    John Ritter was perfect for this role. At the time, most of us knew him from "Three's Company" where he played the goofy horndog Jack Tripper. Great camoflauge for Ted, and it made his turn all the more starteling.

    • Meltha says:

      In a way, casting John Ritter as Ted reminded me a lot of the casting of Roots. The worst characters, the ones who were so absolutely heinous, were played by Pa Walton, Mr. Brady, Lou Grant, and Sandy Duncan the Wheat Thins girl. Having people who were predominantly associated with fun, positive, likable roles playing the antagonists somehow made the things they did seem more horrible.

  24. tigerpetals says:

    On the couples front:

    I'm glad we had Miss Calendar say she felt bad for not feeling better, and it shouldn't be her responsibility to feel this way. Go her. That's something I struggle with.

    Bangel is having a sweet moment.

    Gur raq vf avtu sbe gurfr sbhe.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I'm glad we had Miss Calendar say she felt bad for not feeling better, and it shouldn't be her responsibility to feel this way. Go her. That's something I struggle with.

      I really loved how the events of this episode (and them getting back together) were basically on her terms. She actually had a fair point in telling Giles to back off, but even when she relented, it wasn't because he wore her down or anything. She just made the decision to forgive him and that time she was the one to seek him out.
      I love her character so much.

    • robin_comments says:

      I'm glad we had Miss Calendar say she felt bad for not feeling better, and it shouldn't be her responsibility to feel this way. Go her.
      yes! It's just a small moment in the scheme of the events of the episode, but it's actually my favorite.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Gur raq vf avtu sbe gurfr sbhe.

      Qha qha qha!

      Fbeel, V unq gb.

  25. This episode is easily one of my faves and not just because I was all OMG JOHN RITTER the first time I saw it (I had a huge crush on him when I was a kid – no judging this is a safe place!!).

    I don't remember catching all the robot puns before, but last night I was laughing as I picked them up. Sabryna couldn't remember what this episode was about so I couldn't even explain my snickers :X

    There's so much about this episode that is so GOOD: Buffy at first simply being uncomfortable about her mom dating and that turning into something very real. I think that's one of the things I love about this show, it takes these 'normal' situations and gives them a fresh whedonesque spin.

  26. etherealclarity says:

    John Ritter is the creepiest in this episode. THE CREEPIEST.

    Is it bad that I really want to try all of those cookies and mini pizzas?

    OH OH OH – Mark's comment about Angel's hand in the last episode is resolved as we see Buffy bandaging his hand in this one!

    • Smurphy says:

      The writers knew that Mark would one day be upset about it and wanted to redeem themselves just for him… how'd they know? Well, personally I think it was a visit from the Doctor.

  27. redheadedgirl says:

    V’q yvxr gb frr n qnl jurer Wblpr qbrf svaq bhg gung ure qnhtugre vf gur Fynlre;

    Wrfhf, znex. Ernyyl lbh unir ab vqrn ubj GUNG gncr raqf.

    • hpfish13 says:

      Frevbhfyl, Znex fubhyq ernyyl fgbc nfxvat sbe guvatf sebz Wbff. Gurl ner arire, rire tbbq.

      Wblpr'f ernpgvba vf whfg urnegoernxvat.

      • @farwell3d says:

        Bu, fbzrgvzrf gurl ner tbbq. Yvxr gur ynfg fprar bs Fzvyr Gvzr.

        Lbh whfg cnl n uvqrbhfyl uvtu pbfg sbe gur tbbq. Yvxr "N Ubyr Va Gur Jbeyq"

        Fbo sberire.

  28. Partes says:


    I mean, there are so many good things but also so much creepy. And as strange as it is to admit it, I hate watching creepy. I can enjoy scary. I can roll with freaky. But creepy just makes my spine tingle and want to turn the tv off, and that is my reaction to every second Ted is on screen, and has been since I was around twelve years old. After I saw the reveal, re-watches just gave me the wigs.

    But still, Xander and Cordelia are hilariously awkward and Giles and Jenny are awesome so I can deal. BEGRUDGINGLY.

  29. Karen says:

    When I think about season 2, I tend to kind of forget about this episode because it's kind of quietly brilliant. There's no Big Bad here and the drama is based more in the relationship between Buffy and her mother, Buffy and Ted, and Buffy dealing with having killed someone. Mark hit all of the major points in his post so I don't know how much I have to add.

    My parents are still married to each other, so I've never had to deal with the concept of a parent dating before, but there were still aspects of Buffy in this episode that I could really grab onto. Like the idea that you see a side of a person that no one else sees and you feel like no one will believe you? That's a very real fear. And just the way that Buffy feels powerless in her situation because the people she trusts most in the world- her mother and her friends- won't believe her.

    Another part of the episode that really sticks out to me is Buffy questioning the rightness of her behavior. Yes, Ted DID hit her first, but Buffy is the Slayer and is supernaturally strong and she was very upset and thus probably not controlling her strength like she should have. So it's totally understandable that she feels guilty. I mean, Buffy's world is pretty black and white. There are demons and there are humans. Buffy's job is to slay demons and protect humans. But when Buffy killed Tend, she killed a human. Sure, he seemed like a bad person, but he was still a human. So yeah. idk. I think that introduces an interesting shade of grey into Buffy's moral landscape.

  30. Kickpuncher says:

    The Scoobies’s investigation was my favorite part of this episode and I’m a bit disappointed that Mark just glossed over it. For all of Xander’s flaws, I like that he’s the pro-active one of the group who starts looking for a way to validate Buffy. It’s similar to the way that Xander was the one in “Prophecy Girl” who refused to give up on Buffy after she went up against The Master. The Xander/Willow/Cordelia scenes are also pretty hilarious and I like that the normal kids played a big role in saving the day. Also Xander is treating Cordelia more nicely so good for him!

  31. cat lady says:

    This episode gets a lot of demerits from fans because after Buffy killed a human, Joss lets her off the hook. "See? Ted's not human! It's OK that you killed him! No consequences!" Joss rarely ignores consequences, and this was a big reset.

    On the other hand, Ted is only a monster of the week. Prolonging this issue might have caused issues.

    On the third hand, yes, this episode is just perfect up until Ted comes back from the dead. Human monsters are much scarier than vampires.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      I don't think this episode was without consequences for Buffy just because Ted is a robot.
      Buffy learns first hand that she can't treat bad people the way she would a demon and that is a hard life lesson.
      I also belive she was punished enough by letting her think she killed a person, she seemed really traumatised.

      • cait0716 says:

        I agree with this. And I think the consequences of Ted being a human would have been too large for a MOTW episode. Abgr ubj gur fnzr fvghngvba erireorengrf sbe gur frpbaq unys bs frnfba guerr naq riraghnyyl oyrrqf vagb Natry. Vg'f fhpu n qrsvavat zbzrag sbe Snvgu'f punenpgre.

        • settlingforhistory says:

          Evtug, vg jbhyq unir qrsvarq gur jubyr frevrf naq Ohssl'f punepgre gbb zhpu.
          Ohssl pbhyqa'g ybbfr ure "vaabprapr" ng gung cbvag, vg jbhyq unir qvfgeblrq ure.
          Juvpu vf jul V nqzver Tvyrf sbe xvyyvat Ora, vg'f yvxr Fancr xvyyvat Qhzoyrqber fb gung Qenpb'f fbhyq pbhyq fgnl vagnpg.

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      I don't feel like she's let off the hook or that the consequences are ignored. Buffy herself clearly feels horrible about it, and isn't that the most important consequence that needed to come about? She obviously takes to heart the need to be extra careful with her strength about humans (guvf vf obea bhg yngre va frnfba 3 – jvgarff ure ernpgvba gb Snvgu'f zheqre bs gur znlbe'f nvq). And as you said, having her mope around guilt-wrecked for weeks wouldn't have made for compelling tv.

    • Ginsue says:

      These events seemed like a big wake up call for Buffy. Maybe I am projecting too much, as I know that even believing for a second that your anger caused irreversible damage (For me it was in the form of friendships that I thought I destroyed) is one of the most lonely feelings. As she is walking to school and skirts away from all the other students' eyes, I felt that way, as if I was a monster that was now exposed. She cannot even remain in the company of her friends. And I may be projecting again, but even comfort feels rough when you feel like that. You forget that you are a person and wonder what you will destroy next time. Those are heavy feelings and heavy consequences. I wouldn't wish the feeling on anyone for even one minute.

  32. RoseFyre says:

    Ted is…horrifying. This is the one episode that I literally could not rewatch the entire thing, because the way he treats Buffy is so absolutely beyond horrifying to me. I just can't watch it. I'm a completist, and there are other episodes I don't love – and even in this one, there are bits I like – but this is the one episode that I absolutely hate. Not because it's not well done, but because it's so real.

    Ted could happen. Ted DOES happen. Most of what we've seen on this show is supernatural villains, or situations that can't occur in real life. The Master? So clearly a vampire. Spike and Drusilla? Also vampires. And yes, there are humans who go on rampages, but…while there are parallels, it's not so obvious. Ted, though he's a robot in the end, is an abusive human, basically, and it's just horrifying to know that this sort of thing does happen out there in the real world, to know that there are people like that, who show one face to the world and another to the people they control – or the people they want to control.

    And so that's why I literally could not bring myself to rewatch this entire episode. I did watch it, remote in hand, and fast forwarded through….pretty much all of Ted's scenes. I watched the Giles/Jenny and the side stuff, and even them talking about Ted, but I couldn't watch Ted.

    This also brings me to something I mentioned in a comment response yesterday – why Xander doesn't bother me, even though there is slut shaming. I think it's mainly because Xander is intrinsically a good person. He is flawed, yes, and one of his flaws is his need to be manly. But…I watch Xander, and I know that he generally means well. I watch Ted and I know that he doesn't. And I think that's the difference for me.

    Also, the other thing – everyone is flawed. Everyone on this show is flawed, and everyone in real life is flawed. Xander's flaw is his insecurity – at least based on what we know so far. But I think this show does well with giving everyone flaws, even if we haven't seen them yet. What we have seen – Cordelia is self-centered, Xander is insecure, Willow is also insecure, though in different ways, Buffy retreats into herself when things go wrong and then acts out, Giles hides his past, Angel doesn't always do the right thing, and also hides his past.

    So, yes, Xander is flawed, but he's intrinsically good, unlike Ted, which is what made me think about this. And so that's why it doesn't bother me, I think, especially not to the extent that it bothers other people.

    But yes, in conclusion, Ted is horrifying, because it could happen.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      Well, I like Xander, but I'll admit he can be a jerkface creator-insert sometimes. If a funny, loyal one! I mean I'm pretty sure (!!!!!) that the people watching this show right now know he's not bad beyond bad and don't really need to be reminded of it, and that he does have a good core, but the things people are taking issue with are the times when no one inside the show itself holds Xander responsible for those little things?

      • RoseFyre says:

        I know, but sometimes I feel like the point is hammered home past the point of necessity.

        Also, sometimes I think people are like "but you didn't notice him being mysoginistic? How can you be so TERRIBLE?" And, frankly, I think I'm not a terrible person for wanting to enjoy the show, rather than analyze how the characters are terrible people.

        • arctic_hare says:

          As Mark said the other day, a lot of people don't read all the comments before posting their own, so stuff tends to get repeated. Back in the days of Avatar, we had a whole meme spring up because of how often it was mentioned that Jason Isaacs voiced Zhao. It happens.

          Please point me to an example of someone actually saying you're terrible for that.

          • RoseFyre says:

            No one has outright said anything about being terrible, but there's been the arguments that have popped up, and there was a whole thread yesterday about racefail regarding the Kendra and the airplane thing – which is racefail, yes, but some of the tones – and maybe this is due to reading over the internet – seemed to be saying "that may not be what the writers intended but it is SO OBVIOUS why is everyone not seeing this?"

            And am I the only one who generally reads before responding? Because I do. Which is why I have very few top-level comments, and way more comments that are responses to other people's comments – if someone has said something already, I don't feel a need to repeat it.

            • arctic_hare says:

              Do you know why there's been arguments? Allow me to explain. The people who dislike Xander did not start them. All we did was criticize his actions in our posts. Then, people started popping up to complain about our criticisms and insist we weren't being nice enough, weren't focusing on his good points enough, calling us radical feminists, and trying to excuse his behavior by saying things that essentially boiled down to "boys will be boys", which is never ever an acceptable defense of a character's actions.

              Here's how it feels to see those kinds of comments wherein it is declared sad, annoying, awful, etc. that we are criticizing Xander's behavior: deeply uncomfortable. Frustrating. Infuriating. Irritating. You get the idea. It feels like people are asking us to stop bringing up these problematic moments, like they're trying to silence us. That is far more tiresome than reading valid criticisms of a character one likes could ever be. Between people like you trying to make us feel bad for pointing out Xander's problematic behavior, people assuming that I won't have anything to say about future bad behavior of other characters when Mark gets there, and multiple incidents of people requiring 101-levels of explanation on isms, I am exhausted and frustrated beyond belief and on the verge of not posting any more comments other than my modly reminders not to use a word, not spoil, etc. I'm sure that would make a lot of you very happy, but I don't really want to give in and be silenced, and I refuse to feel bad for criticizing ANY character.

              Also, I want to remind you that intent isn't magic, and it's generally not a good thing to tell people that there are no arrows just because you don't see them.

              • notemily says:

                You should totally take a break if you need one, but I for one would miss your comments.

              • beckaboomer says:

                I'm sure that would make a lot of you very happy, but I don't really want to give in and be silenced, and I refuse to feel bad for criticizing ANY character.

                Well, it sure as heck wouldn't make ME happy. I like your comments very much. πŸ™

              • RoseFyre says:

                No, intent isn't magic, but that also means don't blame people for not seeing the arrows even if you do.

                • amyalices says:

                  Have people blamed you for that?

                  Because it goes both ways, and there is really quite a lot of blaming people for seeing the arrows, and mentioning it when we do.

                  • RoseFyre says:

                    Not me directly, no. What I'm seeing in the original discussion of the arrows is "just because you don't see an arrow doesn't mean there isn't one." And maybe the "you" isn't emphasized, but that's how it reads over the internet, with the implication that you should be seeing the arrows, and are somewhat of an idiot if you don't.

                    • notemily says:

                      I can't speak for everyone here, but when I say that, I mean exactly what I say. It's okay if you don't see an arrow! A lot of people don't see an arrow! Just don't accuse people who DO see it of looking for arrows where there aren't any or of ruining the mood with their discussion of arrows.

                      From the arrow post:

                      You do not see the arrow. Do you care if there's an arrow?
                      If Yes, then engage in conversation until you are satisfied one way or another. Then proceed to question 4.
                      If No, then accept that person sees an arrow and move on.

                    • RoseFyre says:

                      Good to know. I think some of it is tone, which is partly based on trying to interpret text without actual tone – I don't get that feeling from you at all, that you mean "well, you're stupid", but I do get it from some of the other commenters here. Maybe I'm reading their words wrong. Maybe I'm not. That's a problem with the internet: you can't necessarily know what anyone was thinking when they made a comment, because you don't get tone of voice or facial expressions or thought processes, only the words that they ultimately choose to type and press "post" with.

              • thisyearsgirl says:

                I would really miss your comments! Buffy's my favorite show ever but I really don't want the comments to only be one big lovefest, I like all the discussion and getting to see certain characters/situations from perspectives I didn't really consider when I was a teenager. But I understand that you're frustrated, truly.

              • PhsntPlkr says:

                Given that your comments are generally my thoughts in a far more eloquent form, I'd be devastated if you did stop commenting. That said having read through a lot of the replies you get, I totally understand why you might feel the need to not engage in discussion at this point. ::Internet Hugs::

              • drippingmercury says:

                Well, add me to those disappointed if you stop commenting, but I understand if you need a break. Just reading some of these discussions has been taxing for me, I can't imagine modding them, especially given the way people have been berating you in particular (because you're part of the alleged "dog-piling" on Xander, wtf? Which is worse, criticizing the writing of a problematic character or silencing and belittling a real, live person? HMM).
                For what it's worth, you have my support and I applaud you for putting up with as much as you already have.

              • misterbernie says:

                Seconding (or, well, uh, sixthing I think) the 'I understand if you need a break, but I would really miss your comments' thing.

            • Genny_ says:

              Seconding what arctic_hare said, because I just want to reiterate: constantly being shut down on discussions of sexism when the topic in question, i.e. the terrible behaviour of teen boys towards girls being excused because they're teen boys/good people *really*/etc. is one that some of us (including me) have personally experienced and have been regularly shut down on?

              IS REALLY HORRIBLE. Seriously. I got enough of this shit when I was in school, I'm not particularly pleased to be getting it about a fictional character of all things. Especially not when the general tone seems to be 'oh, but do you have to act like it's so important?'

              • RoseFyre says:

                I am NOT shutting down discussions in other comments. This is a comment thread that *I* started. I am allowed to state my opinion. I have consciously stopped responding directly to those comments, at least on those points – if there are other things I find interesting, I will respond to them, and simply not discussing what I don't find interesting.

                • Genny_ says:

                  Yes, a passive aggressive remark of 'I get sad when there's hate' doesn't count at all. Sorry, but intended or not, you're really making me feel like you want me to shut up and stop criticizing Xander.

                  It is indeed your thread, but you deliberately, implicitly brought up other threads. You can't be surprised people followed that up? I mean, this is about people's reactions to *other threads* from what I can tell. I didn't say YOU were directly shutting people down.

                  Oh, and the thing about opinions goes both ways. (Why are you commenting if you don't want discussion, or any disagreement whatsoever? I could understand being pissed off if people were coming in and telling you your opinion was so bad you shouldn't be posting it, but all I'm seeing is people *disagreeing* with you.)

    • hassibah says:

      When he's not being offensive I'm kind of indifferent to Xander TBH. For me though when he's being gross, especially in the case of the first season and change, I just see that dialogue as really horrible writing decisions and not really as essential parts of his personality, my mind just kind of separates those two parts to him and treats them as separate entities. Whenever I see these early plotlines I don't really think 'why is Xander so evil' but 'why would anyone write dialogue like that? why would you write a supposedly positive character like that? why would you ever want to put that on a show' etc. It's not totally limited to his character either, though he def is the worst case. Sebz frnfba 3 ba V frr Knaqre nf n cerggl qvssrerag ragvgl guna jung ur vf ng svefg, naq fvapr zbfg fubjf gnxr n juvyr gb svaq gurve fgevqr V whfg graq gb sbetrg jung unccraf va gur rneyvre rcvfbqrf nygbtrgure.
      Which I guess helps explain why I have different feelings about him and, say, flawed Harry Potter characters which tend to have a lot more thought put into why they were written to be the way they are.

      • RoseFyre says:

        I think some of it is also time period – because 1997 isn't now. Slut shaming wasn't even a word then. Which is not to say that it didn't happen, but that people didn't necessarily view it in the same way as they do now – and I think that should be acknowledged as well. As an example of an even older piece of fiction, The Chronicles of Narnia are incredibly sexist in some ways – Susan and Lucy stay home while Peter and Edmund fight. Do I let that ruin my enjoyment of them as what they are? No. Now, 1997 isn't that long ago, but Buffy was completely radical for its time. Does it backslide? Yes. Does that lessen my enjoyment of the show? No.

        And it's completely your right to be indifferent to Xander. I don't know if I'm unusual or what, but I really do love all of the main…hrm, heroes? Protagonists? Good guys? Heck, I like most of the villains – the only one I really don't like is the one who outright bores me (Nqnz). Maybe I'm an optimist, maybe I look for the best in people. I just get sad when there's hate.

        • Genny_ says:

          "I just get sad when there's hate."

          Ugh, can we please just… not do this? Acting like people shouldn't criticize important issues because 'oh, but it's so much nicer if we like everyone!' is freaking obnoxious. If you get sad when there's 'hate', scroll past the damn hate.

          Also, it's nice that sexism doesn't decrease your enjoyment. I mean it; must be nice. That doesn't mean everyone else is obligated to react the same. Hey, I like Narnia. I know people who can't enjoy Narnia because it's sexist. Do I whine about it? Nope, I acknowledge everyone has different thresholds for what they'll put up with, read my Narnia, and let them get on with it. I certainly don't complain about how the fact sexism bothers them more than it does me makes me sad so could they just stop it.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Seriously, ALL OF THIS. I don't care if people quietly choose not to read my comments because they know I'll probably be criticizing Xander or whoever, but I DO care when this crap crops up and I'm intended to feel bad for my criticisms. Everyone really does have a different threshold, I've been on both sides of the equation (where something wasn't past mine but was past others' and vice versa), and I just deal with it and move on.

        • kyliesis says:

          Even if Buffy was on the air before slut shaming as a word was commonly used, I don't think that people shouldn't call it out for what it is. In fact, I think it is really important that we do, especially since Buffy is held up specifically as a feminist show. What does it say when even writers on show that are actively trying to present a pro-feminism narrative use these slurs, especially so frequently and by a character presented as one the "good guys"? Nobody is saying that the show should not be enjoyed despite its faults or that it should lessen your enjoyment. People are writing about the show precisely because it is something they enjoyed. They are pointing out the problems because it is important to acknowledge the problems even if it is part of something we love. The tone can get pretty heated because often when someone does write a critique, there is often a comment saying that the critique is overly harsh, unjustified, or is wrong because that was obviously not the writer's intention. I think it must become frustrating when this happens every single time. (I read all of the comments as well.)

          I love this show, I pretty much spent the entirety of my high school career watching it. It helped me form some of my first concrete ideas of what feminism means. But it's not perfect and as my own ideas have changed, so has my viewing of the show.

    • Genny_ says:

      "I think it's mainly because Xander is intrinsically a good person"

      Yeah, but that's how this stuff *works*. Guys like Ted are the ones we see as The Ones That Are Sexist, in the media and on the news and everywhere, and then guys like Xander go: oh, but I'd never hit a woman. I'd never assault a woman. I don't hate women like those violent misogynists. I can't be sexist. I'm not like that. It's true of any *ism.

      Xander doesn't have to be *as bad* as Ted to be *bad* with regards to sexism and such. Xander not being anything LIKE as terrible and terrifying as Ted doesn't actually make him any better than he himself is. Comparison just isn't necessary.

      Which, don't get me wrong, isn't saying 'so don't like him!', but it's not actually necessary to do all that to like him. Slut shaming is slut shaming and bad even when it comes from somebody who is fundamentally moral and decent. Xander can not be a terrible person and be sexist and the sexism isn't less of a problem for his not being a terrible person.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Thank you for so perfectly articulating this. I was trying to put the words together, but just fail in that regard today for some reason. All the upvotes. <3

      • thisyearsgirl says:

        Very well said πŸ™‚

      • hassibah says:

        Yep this is a really succinct way of putting it.

      • claretstock says:


        People often bring up the terrible extreme cases to excuse the problematic behavior that is *not that damaging*. The fact is though, that you don't get cookies for not being a horrible person.

      • RoseFyre says:

        *shrugs* I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this, because, frankly, I am always going to like the characters. I like everyone on this show except the one character who outright bores me. (Obviously, I am not counting one-shot characters – they are generally there for a purpose, and not to be full characters.)

        I also think context has to be taken into account. This was filmed in 1997, which is not that long ago, but it's before slut shaming was a word. It was revolutionary in its own way, and no, it was not perfect. There is racefail, there is genderfail. There is classfail (V'z fher fbzrbar jvyy qvfphff guvf jvgu Snvgu if. Ohssl arkg frnfba). That doesn't make it a bad show.

        And no, comparison may not be necessary, but there is definitely a tone in some comments of "you didn't notice the genderfail? How could you not?" when people respond with things about the characters/writers/show that are positive. Not everyone watches for social justice. Some of us watch to enjoy ourselves.

        • Genny_ says:

          Did you miss the part where I said it was fine to like him?

          You can like problematic characters. You do not need to find excuses for their problematic elements like 'oh, well, there are WORSE people'. If you like Xander in spite of his sexism, fine! Just acknowledge that people are not making up the discussion of sexism.

          Also, slut shaming did not become a problem when it acquired that name; it acquired the name because it was, and is, a problem. Slut shaming is a problem now. It was in 1997. It was in 1897. The idea that 'oh, well, back then it wasn't a problem-' is a flawed one. It did not hurt women any less to be judged for their sexuality in 1997 than it does now. The whole mindset of 'well, it was a long time ago, cut them some slack'- no. It being dated means that at the time, it was more socially acceptable. It does not mean it was any less harmful, more OK, or less worthy of criticism.

          And nobody said it's a bad show for being racist, classist, sexist at times, etc. Seriously, where are you getting this? (Why do you think people are here if they hate the show..?)

          Also, your not-actually-veiled implication of 'stop ruining our fun, let go and relax, you'll enjoy yourself more!' is obnoxious, thank you. I watch for fun too. I'd have a lot less fun if I didn't criticise it, since I'd just get irritated at the sexism and give up with no outlet. If *you* don't enjoy it, fine; and I mean that, it's not everybody's thing. But less of the judgement for those of us who do, please.

          And finally, I must admit, I have yet to see a single person who dislikes Xander criticise those who like him. Rather, I've mostly seen Xander fans go into critical threads and complain about 'haters'. Sure, I may be wrong- I read most comments, but not all- but the idea we're all wandering around insulting people for not being interested in that particular discsussion has me raising an eyebrow Spock style, sorry.

        • Jenny_M says:

          I honestly could go either way on Xander, but this argument really struck a chord with me, because nobody is saying you can't enjoy yourself or that it's a bad show. I don't think anyone would be commenting at all if it were a bad show. The people who are commenting from a social justice perspective are just as entitled to make comments as those people who aren't. From a purely unbiased perspective (and I mean that, I DO NOT care one way or another about Xander Harris), I have seen far more incidents of people going into the anti-Xander threads complaining about how people are being too harsh/mean/etc. than I have seen incidents of people going into pro-Xander threads to do the opposite.

          If you want to enjoy the show, enjoy the show. If you want to love the characters, love the characters. But why is it so necessary for some people who want to do those two things to tell people who want to critique it from another perspective that they're wrong?

          • RoseFyre says:

            There are incidents. I am trying to avoid going into others' threads and trying to take over, which is why I started my own.

            I also find it fascinating that every single comment I've gotten in response has been about the Xander stuff rather than the "why I can't rewatch Ted" stuff. It is clearly the hot button issue on this forum.

            • PhsntPlkr says:

              Given that you've attacked the forum users over the "Xander stuff" and not the "Ted stuff", its not actually surprising at all that the discussion has gone that way. No one is saying you can't like Xander. No one is trying to shut down discussion of his good characteristics. What people are objecting to is you suggesting that our viewpoints are utterly unreasonable and unfair to both you and the character. Personally? When I first saw Buffy, aged 11 or 12, I liked him. He's loyal and funny and means well. I can still see those characteristics at 25, but my impression of him now is certainly coloured by his misogyny and controlling behaviour. All of those impressions are valid, but pointing out one side of them does not invalidate the other side, nor those who see other things entirely.

              • RoseFyre says:

                I was writing about my opinions. Rereading my post, the only thing I can see that might be insulting to others is that I said "And so that's why it doesn't bother me, I think, especially not to the extent that it bothers other people." I was stating my personal opinion about why Xander doesn't bother me – which he doesn't. I had come to that realization based on this episode. Perhaps my responses to the responses are somewhat more confrontational, but those responses are definitely more confrontational than my original post.

                I'm trying to avoid taking over other people's threads, but why shouldn't I respond when they respond in mine?

                I don't know that I'm ever going to agree with the people on this forum who notice every single thing that Xander says that is at all anti-women. I don't have to agree – just as they don't have to agree with me. But my original post was consciously trying to state my opinion without directly insulting anyone else or saying that "everyone has to believe this." No one does. But I wanted to explain why it doesn't matter to me – because the fact that it matters to a lot of people made me think about that. (Also, Ted, because that's when I came to the realization, but…no one is arguing about Ted.)

                • beckaboomer says:

                  I'm trying to avoid taking over other people's threads, but why shouldn't I respond when they respond in mine?

                  But.. no one is saying that you shouldn't respond! People are responding to you! That's how a discussion works, right?

                  You did start the thread, and your original post was not offensive IMO. I agree with you that Xander is intrinsically good, and that helps me see past his more glaring flaws. Others either cannot or do not want to see past those flaws, and will always dislike him, much as I always have a slight distaste for Cordelia. Whatevs! Find your own grail, you know? Different people have different thresholds.

                  I think the problems and arguments are originating when you imply that other people are just being argumentative and/or mean when they state opinions about Xander's flaws. You said in reply to your first responder (who agreed with you!) that "sometimes I feel like the point is hammered home past the point of necessity." And you've used the phrase "some people" when discussing those who dislike Xander, so of course some of the people who hold that view are going to see that as talking about them! And they're going to respond. Why is that not cool? This is a public forum, no?

            • Jenny_M says:

              I said that the majority of incidents seemed to happen in the anti-Xander threads, not all of them.

              And yes, it is the hot button issue on the forum. And you started a thread that directly addressed Xander, Ted and misogyny. Were people not supposed to respond? Because it can't be both ways. The discussion is going to happen if the topic is brought up. Don't want to hear other people's opinion on Xander and his treatment of women? Don't bring it up and/or go into the threads about it. Nobody is telling you that you can't have an opinion on the subject, but you have GOT to be prepared to defend your position instead of getting upset about the fact that people are responding to the things you are saying on a public forum.

              • RoseFyre says:

                As an example, I link you to this thread. It explicitly states "If someone wants to talk about his good qualities, they can do so in an appropriate place. Don't wander into a discussion about something totally different, and act like it's relevant, you know?" Basically, that comment reads to me as "if you don't like this discussion, go someplace else." Fine. I discussed it in an appropriate place: the thread that I started, which I wrote to discuss my opinions as non-confrontationally as possible. Was my goal to cause arguments? No. My goal was to state my personal opinions and realizations as to why Xander doesn't bother me. If my own thread isn't an appropriate place, where is?

                I knew I might get arguments, but I immediately got one response (if you look at the top level responses) that basically read to me as "well, you can think what you want, but Xander is clearly a misogynist asshole even if you don't see it." That's great that other people think that, but it's trying to convince me as much as other conversations have been trying to convince others.

                I don't think I'm wrong to have an opinion, and I don't think I'm wrong to make a thread stating that opinion in a way that explicitly states that it is my opinion. Perhaps it is wrong to say in other people's threads "no you are clearly wrong stop being mean to Xander" but I'm not doing that. I intentionally do not respond to the vast majority of comments that discuss Xander and misogyny. But if a top level comment isn't the appropriate place, what the hell is?

                • Jenny_M says:

                  I just…I don't think I understand what the problem is. I'm sorry. But if I posted a top-level comment with a controversial opinion, I would expect to get responses that argued with me on that? I mean, if I posted that (for example) Giles was being emotionally manipulative to Jenny, but it was just my opinion, I would assume that people would respond to that. (It's not something I actually think.)

                  If someone came into that thread, however, and started talking about how Giles is really smart and reads a lot of books, that would be derailing, because the topic wasn't about Giles and books, it was about Giles and emotional abuse.

                  So when your top level comment addresses Xander and misogyny well…the discussion generated is going to be about Xander and misogyny. If your top level comment was about Xander and Cordelia, the conversation would very likely be about Xander and Cordelia. Does that make sense?

        • notemily says:

          Not everyone watches for social justice. Some of us watch to enjoy ourselves.

          And some of us do both. In fact, for some of us, analyzing media from a social justice perspective is enjoying ourselves. We're not trying to ruin anyone else's enjoyment; we're just talking about what WE see in the show.

        • beckaboomer says:

          Who exactly said that containing certain instances of racefail/genderfail/etc. made Buffy a bad show? We're all here because we like Buffy. If people dislike certain characters, or are bothered by their behaviors, they are perfectly free to say so in their comments. No one is under any obligation to respond to those comments, or agree.

          I love Xander. Xander is sometimes an obnoxious, sexist asshole. I still love him. Some people do not. THIS IS OKAY. Why is this hard to understand?

      • misterbernie says:

        You are good with these word things. I like.

    • SosaLola says:

      RoseFyre, I agree with your thoughts on Xander. V ybir uvz fb zhpu orpnhfr ur’f n synjrq qrprag crefba. Evtug abj, ur’f whfg na vzzngher grrantr obl, naq V’z rkpvgrq gb frr uvz ribyir vagb n pbasvqrag zna. πŸ™‚

  33. Chelsey says:

    God, I have so been there. I had to play third wheel to my best friend and her emotionally abusive bastard of a boyfriend for two years. THE. WORST.

    Oh Ted. Oh SMG in those overalls. Oh Joyce. Oh.

  34. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Please try not to use 'lame' as an insult on this site, it's considered ableist.

  35. If you have this reaction to Ted alone then you're going to need someone standing by with a defibrillator as you watch the rest of the season.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    You really aren't prepared

  36. …in hindsight my brain is now comparing Monica and Chandler in a cupboard to Cordy and Xander in a cupboard.

    Still prefer Cordy and Xander.

  37. arctic_hare says:

    "Lame" is an ableist word, do not use it on this site.

  38. t09yavosaur says:

    -I was raised in a culture free environment too. I know those names but not anything else.
    -Xander and Willow looked pretty unfazed that Buffy's door is like that.
    -Hi Ted.
    -That has to be the shortest cold open ever.
    -Having Ted be the bad guy would be the conventional thing to do; Joss doesn't (often) do conventional. But he is also the title. Hmmm.
    -Suck Up Ted.
    -Were Bagel Bites not in stores yet?
    -Trying Too Hard Ted
    -Girl in the leather jacket in the background walked down the stairs twice.
    -Creeper At School Ted.
    -Green Floppy Disks!! I only ever had black ones.
    -Teds voice inflection is creeping me out.
    -Xander, remember the trail of candy bars?
    -I love Xander for going along with the girls' lies even as he shoots them down.
    -Jenny and Giles πŸ™
    -Buffy Angel! πŸ™‚
    -Presuptious/Her Grades Are None Of Your Business Ted.
    -When I've played mini-golf the rule is you can at least bring it back to the course.
    -Oh Heeeey, Robot Ted.
    -What did he put in those cookies?
    -Cordy Xander. πŸ™‚
    -I'm feeling rebellious and I am just the viewer.
    -He assaulted her in her own home, killing him was perfectly legal. Also she's a minor.
    -I love that Joyce protects Buffy when talking to the police and it is Buffy who confessed to pushing him.
    -This is…heavy.
    -Pot cookies.
    -Jenny and Giles? [Note: I almost typed Genny and Jiles.]
    -Reconsidering My Reluctance To Use Curse Words On The Internet Ted.
    -Does shooting Giles make them even?
    -I never understood why a person choking another person would just watch while they grab for a weapon.
    -Fashion sense. Saving the day (and your style) one rug at a time.
    -Ugh, a robot stuck in the 50s.
    -Dead Ted, For Real
    -My mom snacks on snap peas too.
    -JENNY + GILES 4EVA!! πŸ˜€
    -I love Xander and Cordelia's little giggle after.

    I'm thinking Angel only got to be included cause everyone else was being couple-y.

  39. beckaboomer says:

    RIP John Ritter… you were a very good actor and you are missed. I become physically uncomfortable every time I watch this episode, even knowing Ted is a robot. It's just horrifying to watch Buffy be threatened by her mother's boyfriend and then blithely dismissed. I get that the drugs were making Joyce more compliant, but I'm still not sure why they seemed to make her more apt to disbelieve Buffy here. In any case, I guess what makes me so uncomfortable about this episode is how often that happens in real life. How many victims of abuse are told, "They'll never believe you"? And how many are actually believed? Gaaaaaahhhh, it makes me sad and angry and just UGH.

    I always wondered what might happen if Buffy had to fight a human being. When I thought she had killed a person, I was so scared for her. SMG has the best sadface, it makes me want to hug a kitten just so I can feel better.

    GILES. JENNY. BACK TOGETHER. YAYAYAYAYYYY! Yeah, that's all I gotta say about that.

    Oh, and that counselor you mentioned Mark? Fuck that guy. I hope he's not only hit by the busload of kittens, but a tank full of baby otters and puppies and also chinchillas. Yeah. >_<

  40. arctic_hare says:

    "(Also: LOL his hand is injured all of a sudden.)"

    Maaaaaaaaaaaark, don't you remember the end of the previous episode? He got a freakin' KNIFE jabbed right through his hand! πŸ˜€

  41. robin_comments says:

    tbh I would love this episode A HUGE AMOUNT if only Ted didn't turn out to be a robot. Why not just leave him as a creepy serial killer?

    That was a huge disappoint to me, because I feel like the writers wanted to bring up really interesting dilemmas but then do nothing with them. Having Buffy trapped in an uncommon but horrific human situation and then end up accidentally killing a human being who was an evil, awful person but still someone she couldn't dismiss as an "it"… that could be amazing, and the episode is the most powerful when Buffy is dealing with these challenges. But then they're like LOL j/k it doesn't count because it turns out that he was a robot.

    Superhero Buffy being made to feel powerless by a regular "weak" human, because of age, gender, and social constraints… really interesting! Superhero Buffy dealing with the consequences of losing control when fighting with the much more fragile people around you, after becoming accustomed to fighting monsters… really interesting! It all turning out to be none of those things because he wasn't even a human at all? siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

    [sorry I'll just be over in the corner ruining everyone's good time. that's me, ms buzzkill!]

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      I do like the robot twist because it's meant to be, idk, symbolic payback that we would like to take against people who are like that in real life.

    • claretstock says:

      Superhero Buffy being made to feel powerless by a regular "weak" human, because of age, gender, and social constraints… really interesting!

      I found that to a very interesting aspect of this episode as well. For the most part this episode creeps me out and makes me angry. Creepy because of the obvious reasons, Ted is creepy. And angry because the powerlessness that is imposed on Buffy is not something that is a made up characteristic of the bad guy, it here in the real world and I've seen it happen to women around me. It hits close to home, so while it is an interesting episode, I don't particularly love rewatching it.

  42. Karen says:

    To expand further on how this changes Buffy's moral landscape. Here's the thing. When the series starts, in Buffy's world there are humans and there are demons. Humans are goo and she protects them from demons. Demons are bad and she slays them in order to protect the humans. Then Angel enters the picture and he's a demon… but he's also good, so she shouldn't slay him. But then you meet Ted and he's a human, but he's also bad. Where does that put Buffy in her good vs bad, to slay vs to protect world view? What is her Slayer responsibility here?

  43. Polgara says:

    I've never been a fan of this episode, but reading your analysis is making me look at it with new eyes. It's all shiny and new now!

    Yeah, I have nothing deep or exciting to post, just wanted to say, I love seeing everything through your eyes, particularly when it's been over a decade since it was all new to me.

  44. ajaxbreaker says:

    I love, love, love the fact that Buffy killing a man is treated with so much gravitas. Yes, Buffy kills day in and day out, but it's not the same as taking an innocent life. She was shocked and wrecked by guilt, and rightly so. I am so very glad that Buffy does not handwave it as "oh it's ok, he's an abusive jerk who provoked me". (Nyfb jung n qvssrerapr sebz Snvgu, jub n frnfba yngre jvyy chg hc nyy fbegf bs sebagf gb nibvq qrnyvat jvgu xvyyvat gur znlbe'f nvq)

    The only thing that should have been included was a scene of Giles and Buffy discussing the murder. I think Giles could have stepped up more for Buffy.

    ETA: Jon Ritter is so, so creepy here. DO NOT WANT.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Back when I was living in the UK and buying the box sets of Buffy and Angel on VHS (2 boxes per season), I was always interested to note that the boxes containing human-on-human violence always got a higher rating (15* or even 18) than human-on-demon or demon-on-human (12 or 15). Human-on-human is much more real, and I was glad to see it was treated with more seriousness. So Ted didn't turn out to be human, but as long as we thought he was, his death was treated with a seriousness I appreciated.

      * UK ratings, for those who don't know, are largely numbered by age-appropriateness. Violent content is much more likely to earn a higher rating over there than sexual content.

  45. buyn says:

    V’q yvxr gb frr n qnl jurer Wblpr qbrf svaq bhg gung ure qnhtugre vf gur Fynlre.

    Jryy ubcrshyyl nyy gur fghss va gur zvqqyr unezf Znex, naq ur jvyy or noyr gb frr guvf. Fbbbbbba.

    Ted is creepy.

  46. maisontv says:

    I think one of the reasons Buffy has resonated with people – much more so than other sci-fi/supernatural shows – is that at the core of these fantastic stories are real experiences that teenagers go through. If you were to strip away every fantastical element of this show you would still be left with a very realistic teen drama.

    Like a lot of people, I have conflicting feelings about this episode because it is so good, but also triggering for me. My father was emotionally abusive and even though he took his temper out on everyone in our family, I felt like I was the only one who ever felt unsafe or saw that it wasn't just an occasional bad mood. Nobody else wanted to talk about it, so I never said anything. When my parents divorced it got worse and one week while at my dad's he got angry and threw a laundry basket at me. Teenage me didn't know what emotional abuse was, but I knew physical abuse and I had always told myself that the last straw with him would be the second I felt that he would actually hit me. So I begged my mother not to make me go back and we finally compromised on every other weekend. I didn't tell her why I didn't want to go back and she never asked, even though my younger sister was still in his custody every other week. After he died in 2010 I was finally able to acknowledge to myself that his behavior was abusive, but even to this day I haven't talked about it to anyone in my family because I know they will accuse me of being over-dramatic or too sensitive.

  47. amyalices says:

    I always get annoyed when TV shows go overboard in emphasising that Humans Are The Most Important Evar! It means they continually take copouts which mean everything's okay again.

    I would love this episode much more if there was more focus on 'okay, he wasn't actually a human… but he might well have been, and Buffy still caused his death.' I know this is a monster of the week episode, but it always annoyed me that as soon as it was proved Ted was a robot, everything was fine again. Buffy kills sentient beings every day (or I assume so, anyhow – she patrols every day, right?), ones that are natural killers, so to see her come up against someone who was a killer by choice and be responsible for his death… could have been really interesting!

    Still a solid episode though, with clever themes – I guess I just wanted them to take it further.

    • robin_comments says:

      I always get annoyed when TV shows go overboard in emphasising that Humans Are The Most Important Evar! It means they continually take copouts which mean everything's okay again.
      This is my #1 pet peeve in fantasy and science-fiction and I feel so YAY!! about someone else getting irked about this as well. I feel like the There Many Competing Species But Humans Are Inherently The Best No Matter What trope is just a copout from actually exploring complicated questions.

      anyway, I have no good points to add. this was a pointless comment. carry on! πŸ˜‰

    • Dru says:

      I hear you on the "humans above all!" bugaboo, but 1997 on the WB (teen TV channel) was a very different climate from now, especially when it came to Morality Issues – this was the same network whose biggest hit was Seventh Heaven (super saintly show about a preacher's family) after all.

      And they did freak out with the morality stick during the show's run, getting to the point where Joss made his frustrations public.

    • Genny_ says:

      Yeah, I recall being kind of… surprised by how HEAVILY the show emphasizes that killing a human like she thought Ted was counted as 'really' killing and nothing else did. Vampires are self aware and sentient, and yeah, the vast vast majority to say the least are murderers who can't realistically be contained, but the fact remains that she *kills them*. The idea that this requires no effort on her part to come to grips with at all, and that the problem she had with killing Ted was simply that he was *human*, weirds me out a bit.

      • amyalices says:


        Especially as Ted's 'death' – while definitely the result of Buffy's actions – was an accident, due to her forgetting her own strength in the heat of the moment, as opposed to her deliberately going after vampires and demons all the time.

        I guess it mostly feels like a wasted opportunity – there is so much more that could have been gone into here.

        • Genny_ says:

          Yes, this also. Buffy found an abusive guy in her room and he threatened her and she panicked, forgot her own strength like you say, and it's terrible and tragic but… seriously, the whole thing feels a little odd to me.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        I always see Buffy killing vampires without a second thought as her having become hardend to it, I doubt it was so easy at the beginning.
        Snvgu vf gur erny punyyratr gb gur gnobb bs abg xvyyvat uhznaf, orpnhfr Ohssl unf gb fgbc ure ng nyy pbfgf.

        Gur jubyr terl nern orgjrra uhznaf naq qrzbaf vf unaqyrq orggre va Natry jurer jr frr tbbq be "arhgeny" qrzbaf naq Natry bayl xvyyf gubfr jub nggnpx crbcyr (fbzrgvzrf rira bgure qrzbaf).
        Jr nyfb frr gung vg vf abg rnfl sbe Natry gb xvyy gur zrzoref bs uvf "snzvyl" rira gubhtu ur xabjf gurl ner veerqrrznoyr.

        • amyalices says:

          *Tevaf* Lrnu, V'z whfg jnvgvat sbe Snvgu'f neeviny gb ernyyl trg vagb guvf. Vg'f n ovg uneq gb qvfphff sbe abj.

          Gurer gur cbvag frrzf gb or engure gung gurl xvyyrq n olfgnaqre ol nppvqrag – vg jnfa'g whfg gung ur jnf uhzna (nygubhtu gung oebhtug cyragl bs ceboyrzf jvgu vg), vg jnf gung ur jnf abg npghnyyl gelvat gb xvyy gurz ng gur gvzr. Re. Fb sne nf V erpnyy.

          Zna, glcvat va EBG13 vf qvfpbapregvat. V'z hfrq gb orvat noyr gb frr jung V'z fnlvat!

      • settlingforhistory says:

        I think evil humans and evil demons are quite different.
        Evil humans are capable of change, remorse. Killing a human means robbing them of that chance. Also for evil humans there are laws and prisons.
        Evil demons are just that, evil. There is no other way to protect the *innocent* than to kill them.
        Lbh pbhyq ohg gurz va pntrf, ohg jr nyy xabj ubj gung gheaf bhg.

        • Genny_ says:

          Yes, but that wasn't the point I was making. It's not about the idea Buffy *shouldn't* kill demons, it's about the fact that she has *no* difficulty with the concept. We never see her even remotely challenge the idea that demons etc. can't change, despite having a vampiric love interest, even just for her to come to the conclusion that no, they can't.

          She's justified, but it seems weird it isn't even the slightest bit difficult for her, and that this episode puts forward that the *only* reason it isn't is that they aren't human. I always assumed she was simply used to death and was a decisive person before this ep, but after it, I was kind of… like 'okay, so apparently that's not it?'

          • settlingforhistory says:

            'okay, so apparently that's not it?'

            Well, maybe that's it though. I can compare it with a soldier who is hardened to shooting enemy soldiers, but then he has to shoot a kid because that kid also has a gun.
            So he is used to death but who he kills still makes a difference.

            • Genny_ says:

              I think what weirds me out is that vampires etc. often *look* like humans. Even with the faces. Whereas a kid doesn't look like an adult.

      • ManicDBB says:

        Nyfb Ohssl unf nyernql "nppvqragnyyl" xvyyrq n uhzna va Gur Cnpx jura fur guerj gur mbbxrrcre vagb gur ulran pntr & ur jnf rngra.

        • ManicDBB says:

          Sorry, I didn't mean to rot13 that.

          Also Buffy has already "accidentally" killed a human in The Pack when she threw the zookeeper into the hyena cage & he was eaten.

          • amyalices says:

            Excellent point. I mean, from a writing point of view, I can see that they didn't want to go into that right there, but it still raises eyebrows when it's suddenly happning again and is a huge deal.

            I'm sure it's unintentional, but it suddenly makes it look like all the trauma is only because she got caught that time – oops, writers!

  48. Binx says:

    One of the many things I love about this episode is that Buffy kind of gets to take over the traditional role of the SON, the young male who's territory is being invaded by another guy coming into his house, only this is THE SLAYER'S HOUSE. I love how that was the downfall of the misogynistic Ted, who had preyed on multiple households and families – that he finally came across a kickass daughter who was way bigger and badder than he could ever handle. What is a man, even a robot man, against She Who Stakes Vampires?

    Buffy is the head of her household, y'all. Her territory. Her mom. Don't mess with it.

    • Dru says:

      Buffy is the head of her household, y'all.

      *sigh* I love that she gets that role here, but vg ernyyl oernxf zl urneg va Frnfba 5, jura fur unf ab pubvpr orpnhfr bs Wblpr'f vyyarff naq fhofrdhrag qrngu (naq Qnja).

      • Binx says:

        Forewarning to others: The comments below are EXTREME spoilers.

        Lrnu, V whfg erpragyl erjngpurq Gur Obql naq Sberire…zbfg qrcerffvat rcvfbqrf bs nyy gvzr. Gurl fgvyy znxr zr pel. V srry ernyyl onq sbe Znex nyernql, rfcrpvnyyl pbafvqrevat gung ur ybirf Wblpr fb zhpu.

        Naq BZT, Wraal. Vg'f nyzbfg urer. Naq gurer'f ab jnl gb cercner uvz.

        Ohg ba gur cyhf fvqr: Anhtugl Natry. Uvf punenpgre orpbzrf *vasvavgryl* zber vagrerfgvat jvgu gur vagebqhpgvba bs Natryhf VZB.

        • settlingforhistory says:

          Naq BZT, Wraal. Vg'f nyzbfg urer. Naq gurer'f ab jnl gb cercner uvz.
          Ohg ba gur cyhf fvqr: Anhtugl Natry. Uvf punenpgre orpbzrf *vasvavgryl* zber vagrerfgvat jvgu gur vagebqhpgvba bs Natryhf VZB

          Lrn, vg'f n uneq qrpvfvba jrngure gb pel be fzvyr tyrrshyl.
          V pna'g jnvg sbe Natryhf, ohg Wraal'f qrngu vf fb cnvashy gb jngpu.
          v rkcrpg gung rcvfbqr jvyy znxr gur fvgr penfu.

  49. puevfp says:

    On a scale of one to ohaavrf, Ted is pretty dang scary as far as Buffy monsters go.

    In fact, i'll give a 95% ohaavrf scare quotient to Ted.

    • kristinc says:

      "one to ohaavrf"

      I really wish I had one of those Orson Welles applause gifs to put here. I just want you to know I literally did clap like a seal when I rot13'd that.

  50. Dru says:

    In a weird way, this episode feels like a Joss take on The Stepford Wives, only this time the man is the creepy robot as well as the controlling killer. Am I the only one who gets that feeling?

    • drippingmercury says:

      I certainly thought so. At one point Buffy does tell Willow her mom is acting "Stepfordy", so I'm sure it was intentional.

  51. Ginsue says:

    I have probably a million thoughts on this episode, but they are not organized well. Most of my notes just say. "OMG John Ritter is being creepy!"

    Actually, I sensed the creepy before he even caught Buffy cheating. In my notes, right before he reveals himself, I jotted down, "'Little Lady?' Eww. What a creep." My inner misogynist senses were tingling. God that is just so demeaning to say to anyone who is over the age of six.

    His name may have been Ted, but all I thought was, "Hey, there is John Ritter."

    Just watching this episode for the first time is an emotional roller-coaster. I did not know what kind of story I was getting, and I also jumped when John Ritter appeared in the room. Hey, I really believed that he was just a human, and I bought it hook, line, and sinker!

  52. 00guera00 says:

    So… this episode…

    From the age 15-17 I was in an emotional and sexually abusive relationship. I had several friends who tried to tell me my ex was a jerk and an ass, but it wasn't until after we broke up that my best friend confessed that he sexually assaulted her. When I asked her why she didn't tell me when it happened she told me she was afraid I wouldn't believe her.

    I was devastated. I'd known her for like, forever, how could she think I wouldn't believe her? But she said I didn't ever really want to hear anything bad about Ex, so she didn't want to take the risk. I told her I would never think she would lie about something like that. If she had told me, that relationship would have ended a lot quicker. I wasn't so concerned about me, but I've always been rather protective of my friends.

    I was on the other side of the fence (with the same friend) a few years back. She came to me in tears a few months before their wedding because she was sure he was cheating on her. It's a really hard tightrope to walk between saying 'DON'T GET MARRIED! HE'S SCUM!' and 'Well, yeah, maybe if you get counseling it will get better, but you know trying to 'fix' someone is never a great plan' It was rather hard to be excited about the wedding after that night :\

    The kitchen scene, where Buffy wants to talk to Joyce and Joyce turns her away? Pisses me off to no end. Joyce is the mother and the adult…Buffy is a child and is hurting and lost and when her mother turns her back on her I just want to throw things.

  53. Hotaru_hime says:

    "Ted" was the very first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I ever watched. It was a rerun on a Sunday afternoon and I started watching from when they started to play mini-golf. So pretty much the first scene I saw was Ted threatening Buffy over cheating and I didn't even know the name of the show I was watching. I caught on after the commercial break, but it was a terrifying episode. After this I tried my best to catch the Buffy reruns (they must have been on Season 5 by then) but often failed. It took years before I finally sat down and watched the whole series, although the rerun episodes that I did manage to see stick out in my head.

  54. Genny_ says:

    I think I must be in a minority here: this episode does… very little for me?

    I think it's a perfectly good episode, and the stuff dealing with Ted being abusive and everyone's reaction or lack thereof is very well played, and genuinely chilling and terrifying in a lot of ways, but it just doesn't seem to click with me. Especially once we get to the reveal and surprise, Ted's a robot! I just… gah, I don't know. I guess some episodes just don't appeal to me for totally arbitrary reasons.

    On the plus side, Giles/Jenny is PERFECTION and I am always happy whenever ANY plot allows for more Joyce!

  55. atalantapendrag says:

    This episode *shudder*. Joyce reminds me of my mom a lot, this was the ep where that became "BUFFY PLAYS RIGHT INTO ATALANTA'S MOMMY ISSUES".

    Ted is SUPER CREEPY and disturbing.

  56. megikins says:

    I have never liked the episode "Ted" now I realize why, it made me feel very uncomfortable an I was kind of creeped out by Ted and John Ritter's creepy portrayal.

  57. etherealclarity says:

    Things I forgot to mention in my first comment.

    1) I love how passionate Xander is about finding out what was wrong with Ted. Again, loyalty. It gets me every time.

    2) Joyce seems unreasonably harsh in her reactions to Buffy, even beyond the "being drugged" issue. I mean, I know that it is implied that Joyce and Ted have been seeing each other for a bit at least, but the fact that (while drugged at the dinner table, no less) Joyce can't seem to understand why her daughter would be freaking out when Ted comes in and a mere 2-3 DAYS after Buffy meets him he is talking about marriage? You would think that the drugs would make her more mellow in response to Buffy's reactions, not less. These are some very selective drugs. And that's seriously sketchy. 2-3 DAYS. Not cool, Joyce.

  58. kelseyofcake says:

    So…this episode. Let's get started.

    -Was there a reason the 'chosen one' intro only played over certain episodes in season 2?
    -My flashdrive has more memory on it that Willow's computer. That just feels weird.
    -Aaww, Willow's little squeal of joy is funny.
    -I probably would have been fooled by Ted at first too and gotten into recipe swapping with him because I also like cooking.
    -"I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming text."
    -Buffy, I fully support you being picky about the men your mom dates. Queen Joyce deserves only the best.
    -Okay, Joyce, I really like you. But come on if a guy you only recently started dating wants to know everything about your daughter right down to her grades, doesn't that strike you as creepy? I get that you're drugged but sheesh.
    -No. No no noNONONONO! I DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THIS! STOP IT I WANT TO GET OFF! This is like my dad when I was younger getting mad at me for the most insignificant things and smacking me. God this scene is so hard to watch.
    -HOLY CREEPY, that folded photo on Ted's desk.
    -Oh fuck you Ted and fuck that prayer of yours. That wasn't even the least bit subtle.
    -Oh my god, no this bedroom scene can go lock itself in a chest of nightmares welded shut with iron rods and sent to hell. This is why I gave up writing in diaries, because I had to be so vague about everything anyway to keep something like this from happening. (I was never threatened with being sent to a mental institution, but I was hit for daring to write certain thoughts down.)
    -Oh…oh shit. Buffy, let me hug you. SMG does such a good job showing the weight Buffy feels from what she did . The scenes at school and with her mom… πŸ™
    -Oh, so he's a serial killer too. Fantastic.
    -Well I am so glad that's over. But….he said the intern saw him get off the table and leave. So are the police still looking for him after finding his house, or did they get the robot….?
    -GILES AND JENNY YAY! Something happy to end this scary episode with!

    So, yeah. This episode was not fun. Mark's reaction at the top of the page was mine when I saw this for the first time and it's still difficult to watch in places.

    • hassibah says:

      "because I had to be so vague about everything anyway to keep something like this from happening. "

      Oh god yes my family had no concept of privacy so I was always the queen of euphemisms. I'm still in the habit of being very vague when I talk about things and it pisses off just about everyone I know.

      Sorry that this episode was hard to watch πŸ™

      • kelseyofcake says:

        You would think parents would recognize that diaries are not meant to be read! The point is to be able to write down things you couldn't express otherwise. Ugh.

        Judging from a lot of these comments, I'm definitely not the only one. "Ted" seems to have left an impact on a lot of people. πŸ™

    • notemily says:

      -No. No no noNONONONO! I DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THIS! STOP IT I WANT TO GET OFF! This is like my dad when I was younger getting mad at me for the most insignificant things and smacking me. God this scene is so hard to watch.

      Yep. That was my experience too. πŸ™

    • drippingmercury says:

      -Oh my god, no this bedroom scene can go lock itself in a chest of nightmares welded shut with iron rods and sent to hell.

      THIS. I briefly kept a diary in my teens… until it was read aloud to me and other members of my family and I was mocked for its contents, especially regarding being abused and my sexuality. It's pretty uncomfortable talking about such a violation of privacy, watching it play out on screen is… gut wrenching. The more I think about this episode the more personal and unpleasant it gets.

  59. Nos says:

    I can't watch this episode cause it's extremely triggering for me. The part where he goes into her bedroom…just totally makes me have a bad moment. But I am glad Mark enjoyed it.

    Nyfb, fubpxvatyl rabhtu, vg'f gur bayl bar gung vf ernyyl gevttrel sbe zr. Frrvat Erq fubhyq unir orra, ohg ol gur gvzr vg nverq snaqbz jnf unq tbar bs gur envyf nobhg vg, naq unq nyernql fcrag ubhef naq ubhef qvfphffvat vg, fb V jnf fbegn qrfrafvgvmrq.

  60. MrsGillianO says:

    V’q yvxr gb frr n qnl jurer Wblpr qbrf svaq bhg gung ure qnhtugre vf gur Fynlre

    Bu qrne, Znex, or pnershy jung lbh jvfu sbe. πŸ™

    Nyy guvf tyrr nobhg Wraal/Tvyrf erpbapvyvat vf whfg hcfrggvat.

    Naq vf nalbar ryfr erzvaqrq bs Yvivat Pbaqvgvbaf, jvgu gur ebbz-zngr bayl Ohssl erpbtavfrf vf n qrzba juvyr rirelbar ryfr nffhzrf fur'f whfg veengvbany, wrnybhf be obgu? V ybir gur jnl pregnva gurzrf fcveny ebhaq naq ner nccebnpurq va qvssrerag jnlf.

  61. nextboy1 says:

    What a fantastic episode! Streaming thoughts below:

    I just love how the almost B-movie premise of an evil robot dad almost completely disguises how DARK and sinister this episode is. John Ritter is phenomenally creepy, even when acting as mr perfect for the first act or so, and despite the fact I thought it was all wrapped up a little too easily with a Xander "this is what happened" chat right at the end to clear it all up, I thought the mystery was decent. I was honestly convinced that Buffy had killed Ted, and all the scenes with her as a 'killer' are superbly done; the look on her peer's faces, the disbelieving policemen, THAT scene in the kitchen, all simply heartbreaking, and so frustrating when we all know it was in self defence. She even ends up blaming herself, saying "I had no right to hit him that hard", or something like that, and she knows that despite the fact for anyone else it would have been purely defensive, having her superslayerfightingpower means that she needs her own rules of when she can engage her true strength (does that make sense?). I <3 moral ambiguity.

    I also really appreciate how the writers, and not just in this episode, make it almost understandable that Joyce doesn't realise that Buffy is the slayer, despite how ridiculous and absurd everything that happens around them is, because their conversations are always rooted in such realistic mother/daughter conversations. I completely feel Buffy's frustration when her mum won't believe her, and I LOVE that it's not just a simple right/wrong paradigm here; Buffy wants her mother to be happy, but she can't help but reject Ted, even before we find out about what he really is. Kudos to SMJ for being able to act like a teenager so well!

  62. quenstalof says:

    Um…if the episode is named after him this can't be good.
    9 Gb hard drive? wow
    that was the cutest sound that Willow just made
    the subtext here is rapidly becoming…a text
    I have my..own fun
    Lol the mental image of freud doing that dance is amusing
    oh this is going to kill me isn't it? Jenny/Giles
    It looks so much like Castle park. so much, even with the freeway so close.
    way to be creepy ted, what's with the leg whacking. Super creepy, but who's gonna believe Buffy about it?
    I'm thinking there's something in the food
    He's got a wedding set?
    Ew Joycie
    What the fuck she killed him? omg omg I cannot handle this what the fuck
    How is she not concerned that her boyfriend was in her teenage daughter's room?!
    THis episode is stressing me out
    Yay Jenny/Giles reunion!
    Holy fuck! Not expecting that. I just full on gasping, startled jumped out of my skin.
    Is he really a machine? Power down for a while indeed
    She shot GIles!
    OMG! Did Cordelia's fashion sense just save the day? Best thing ever.
    Ewww! Stop with the Daddy thing.
    OH god something horrible is going to be in the closet
    Thank you for not showing me that
    I don't take orders from women. I don't think Joycie is going to like that very much.
    Yay Jenny/Giles. It is the one happy thing in this episode so far.
    Buffy's gonna kill you for messing with her mother. And I think it will stick this time jackass
    OMG HE'LL BE BACK! I am hilarious. or actually…I make my own fun
    YAYAYAYAYAY Giles/Jenny forever. (or at least as long as Whedon will let us have it, because I am not hopeful)

  63. Jeff says:

    I don't' think it's a cop-out that Ted turns out to be a robot. As the slayer, Buffy has many supernatural abilities, and I think she deep down knows there is something otherworldly about Ted. I don't think that if Ted was human, she would have battled him hard enough to kill him, because she would have instinctively pulled back. Even though she doesn't realize it, the supernatural quality of her adversary brought out the enormity of her response.

    If you look at it this way, then the fact that he's a robot is an intricate piece of the plot.

  64. theduck says:

    This was the first Buffy episode that ever actually scared me. Gur bayl bgure bar fb sne jnf gur ubfcvgny bar yngre va guvf frnfba orpnhfr UBYL SHPX GUNG QRZBA JNF PERRCL. Anyway, my notes:

    – Willow's squeak over the computer thingy! So cuteeee <3

    – "Freud would have said the same thing… except he might not have done that little dance." There are so many times in my notes when I just write down a quote followed by "oh, Xander." This is one of those times.

    – Aww, poor Giles. I don't blame Jenny at all though. I'm glad she was straightforward enough to tell him she needed space.

    – Buffy and Angel hangout time! With no monsters or anything! πŸ˜€

    – Ted, so creepy. Ugh.

    – Joyce, believe your daughter! Bad mom award! (Although, now that I think about it, she was probably under the influence of Ted's drugs already…)

    – HOW GLAD AM I THAT THEY CONTINUED XANDER AND CORDY'S RELATlONSHIP? I mean, okay, "let's go make out in a closet" isn't actually a relationship, but it's something, right?

    – Yeah, I really don't have much to say about the actual plot of this episode…

    – Cordy, you have no tact. And yet somehow that just makes me love you more…

    – "Yeah, I get that reaction from men all the time." That line made me lol.

    – Oh my god Giles got shot what. Although I laughed inappropriately at that because it made me think of the Stargate Atlantis episode where McKay gets shot in the ass with an arrow. Oh god now I want to write crossover fanfiction DON'T LET ME.

    – I love how Cordy's fashion sense helped them find the trapdoor. xD

    – Aww Giles/Jenny <3

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Oh god now I want to write crossover fanfiction DON'T LET ME

      I want that fanfic, I love Stargate and all the spin-offs/movies.

      • theduck says:

        It'll probably happen someday… I find a way to cross EVERYTHING with Stargate. xD

        • hpfish13 says:

          I'm excited because I finally get to watch Stargate Continuum tonight (my netflix came in the mail today) the panel for which at Comic-Con made me want to watch the show in the first place!

        • settlingforhistory says:

          It's a curse, isn't it? You just watch a movie or re-read a book and suddenly "What would McKay do?" or "Daniel would be fascinated". It happens to me with several different fandoms, but because I'm a lousy writer I usually just check the crossover sites for new fics.

          • theduck says:

            Exactly! I have like three work-in-progress Stargate crossovers right now and most of them are with the most ridiculous fandoms but I CAN'T HELP IT.

  65. katherinemh says:

    What, Freud would've said the exact same thing! …except he might not have done that little dance.

    <img src="; alt="" title="Hosted by" />

    Anyone? Bueller?

  66. lula34 says:

    I read all of Mark's post, I did. But really, he compared "Ted" to both Doctor Who's "Blink" and OMG FAVORITE FOREVER, the X-Files' "Home." And this is why I adore Mark, because, obviously. Will never ever ever ever ever not be afraid of the Peacocks. They've probably adopted Ted.

    "Maybe one day you'll learn…the pride…the love…when you know your boy will do anything for his mother."

    • Neet says:

      I was looking at that list, and I was thinking, "I'm sure that's X-Files, but I can't remember…oh, God, that's the one with the Peacocks, isn't it. I wiped that from my memory for a reason!"

    • Avery says:

      Will never ever ever ever ever not be afraid of the Peacocks. They've probably adopted Ted.


      I don't think IntenseDebate lets people change font sizes in comments, but for accuracy, that should be in 72pt. Imagine pulling that mangled robot face out from under the bed. AUGH.

      • lula34 says:

        NO THANK YOU. I do not want to imagine that.But I do think Mama Peacock &Ted would be the most terrifying force with which to be reckoned. Ihope Steven Moffat doesn't read this site because he will make that the next “big bad” on Doctor Who & I just cannot deal…

    • enigmaticagentscully says:


      I have only ever seen 'Home' once and I never intend to again. GOD that episode. *shudder*

  67. notemily says:

    Oh, "Ted." Sigh. You are one of the episodes I don't like to re-watch, not because John Ritter isn't brilliant, but because it's so painful.

    – I have to say though that right off the bat we get a little improvement from Xander. Maybe it's the Cordelia thing, but he isn't as obnoxious as usual. He even seems to make an effort to be less of a buttface, asking about Angel even though he says that he doesn't really care about Angel–he cares about Buffy, which is why he's asking. And then Buffy rolls her eyes at his "naughty stewardess" line. It's not perfect, but I'll take it.
    – Uncomfortable thing number one: Your parent(s) DATING. So weird. I've never had to go through that, but just the thought of it is super-strange to me. (Especially if I had still been a teenager when it hypothetically happened. Now, it would matter less, because I'm out of the house and living on my own.)
    – Also, how did Joyce get from "breaking a wine glass" to "making out with Ted" in the 0.5 seconds it took Buffy to run to the kitchen?
    – Watching with Netflix's subtitles on, which are AWFUL. Instead of "you should market these things," they transcribe Xander's line as "you should work at these things." No sense.
    – [Guvf vf bar bs gubfr rcvfbqrf jurer V ERNYYL jbaqre ubj Qnja jnf qbvat jvgu nyy guvf. Jnf fur fzvggra jvgu Grq'f zvav-cvmmn-znxvat jnlf? Be jnf fur rira zber nggnpurq gb gur zrzbel bs Unax orpnhfr fur unq orra lbhatre jura gurl fcyvg hc?]
    – "I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming, uh, text." One of the most-quoted lines in Buffy, I believe? It applies to SO MANY THINGS.
    – LOL the subtitles have little musical notes when Xander starts singing "you're having parental issues."
    – Floppy disks!
    – Then Xander is obnoxious some more by completely overruling Buffy's desire to not play mini-golf with Ted. Sigh. Also, mini-golf with mini-pizzas? I am sensing a theme.
    – Giles and Jenny πŸ™ I love that she immediately calls him out for making up a pretense to see her. Straightforward as always. That's why I love you, Jenny.
    – "I certainly don't mean to make, um, dog eyes at you…" Heh.
    – ["Lbh unir fbzrobql ryfr va zvaq?" Lrf V qb, Natry! Ohg jr'yy fnir gung sbe "Onaq Pnaql."]
    – Uncomfortable thing number two: Ted acting way too much like a father figure even though he just met Buffy. He has NO RIGHT to be talking to her about how her grades should pick up or telling Joyce how to parent her. I would be just as pissed off as Buffy right now, and possibly more.
    – Uncomfortable thing number three: "Little lady." *shudder*
    – Uncomfortable thing number four: JESUS CHRIST IT IS JUST MINI-GOLF
    – LOL "I'm not wired that way"
    – Uncomfortable thing number five: Threats of physical violence. Get the fuck out, Ted.
    – Uncomfortable thing number six: Nobody believing Buffy when she tells them Ted is bad news. This is like… ACTUAL nightmare fuel for me. Because it happens ALL THE TIME IN REAL LIFE.
    – This is the point at which I start suspecting that there's something in the food he's giving them, but I can't remember if that actually happens.
    – Xander actually compliments Cordelia's outfit for once, which is pretty hilarious.
    – "You want to go to the utility closet and make out?" Hee, I kinda love them.
    – "I'm Bu– Linda. Belinda." Nice save Buffy.
    – LOL "the Machine" SO MANY PUNS
    – Uncomfortable thing number seven: Saying grace. I know that's not an uncomfortable thing for a lot of people, but it is for me. Especially if it's not a tradition at the Summers house, which I get the impression it isn't.
    – Uncomfortable thing number eight: Saying grace passive-aggressively. Seriously, get the fuck out.
    – Uncomfortable thing number nine: "Joycey." Ew.
    – God, this is giving me flashbacks to being a kid and arguing with my parents and feeling like nobody was taking me seriously. Stop hitting so close to home, show.
    – Number ten: Ted is WAITING IN HER ROOM. Get the fuck out, Ted.
    – Number twelve: "Then you'll spend your best dating years behind the wall of a mental institution." I can't even deal with how many things are wrong with this sentence.


    • notemily says:

      – Number fourteen: When Buffy thinks she's killed an actual human being. That's so awful, I can't even. I want to throttle Ted for making it look like Buffy was the instigator here.
      – Number fifteen, and this might be the worst one: THE POLICE OFFICER DOESN'T BELIEVE HER BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BRUISES. This is so rape-culturey and horrible and I just want to curl up into a little ball and make it go away forever but I can't because it's something that happens every fucking day in real fucking life.
      – Buffy wears the Overalls of Shame. I get that they're supposed to indicate that she's too upset to focus on her appearance, but I still think they're adorable.
      – Uncomfortable thing number sixteen: Buffy blames HERSELF for what happened, completely forgetting that Ted was a creepy, controlling, abusive asshole. The bit where she implies that she only disliked Ted because he was dating her mom–no, you disliked him because he was a horrible person.
      – "In a fascist society." "Right! Why can't we have one of those?" Cordy, thank you for making me laugh in the middle of this episode that makes me feel horrible.
      – "Yes, do let's bring that up as often as possible." Hee.
      – Oh yeah, there definitely is something in the food.
      – Damn, now I want a cookie. But… not a drugged one?
      – Wait, Willow can do DRUG TESTS ON COOKIES in the science lab? WTF is this? Also, I love that "sciencey things" are always indicated by different colored liquids in various containers.
      – Jenny! Don't get attacked by vampires!
      – Jenny, don't shoot Giles!
      – No, I said DON'T shoot Giles!
      – Giles pulling the arrow out of himself and stabbing the vamp with it is fucking badass, though.
      – John Ritter really sells the robot thing here. It must have been fun.
      – I love that Cordy's interior design sense saves the day. Incongruous rug!
      – Uncomfortable thing number eighteen: "Daddy's here." NO. JUST NO.
      – "His first four wives." I love that they don't show it to us. SO. CREEPY.
      – Number nineteen: Yelling at Joyce. JOYCE, GET OUT. SAVE YOURSELF.
      – Layers of tweed saved Giles!
      – Jenny and Giles laughing together! MAYBE THERE IS HOPE!
      – And she hits him with his precious cast-iron skillet! LOVE.
      – That face with his mouth all messed up is fucking awful.
      – So… did they go to the police and tell them that Ted was a robot the whole time? Because… I'm not sure what happened here.
      – "He's on the scrap heap. Of life." Uh… does Joyce not realize that Ted was a robot? That's a weird line otherwise. I'm confused. I guess Joyce thinks Buffy just… scared him away or something? But I still don't get what they told the police.
      – ["Jvyy, lbh'er fhccbfrq gb hfr lbhe cbjref sbe tbbq!" yby sberfunqbjvat.]

      So right: This is a really well-written episode. So well-written that it creeps me out WAY TOO MUCH and gives me a constant sense of DO NOT WANT that lasts for a long time even after I'm done with the episode. So, uh, good job there, writers? I suppose? PLEASE BRING BACK TENTACLED HELLMOUTH MONSTERS AND EVIL VAMPIRES, SHOW. At least they don't usually get all abusive and rape-culturey on you. *shudder*

      The one thing that I always think about is they kind of pull back from the implications of Buffy actually killing a person. They have her deal with the guilt for a day or so, but they don't deal with what would have happened in the long term if she had that on her conscience. And really, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Slayer would accidentally kill a human being.

      [Jr frr yngre gung guvf rknpg guvat unccraf gb Snvgu, ohg V fgvyy jbhyq unir yvxrq gb frr Ohssl urefrys qrny jvgu vg, orpnhfr Ohssl boivbhfyl jbhyqa'g unir tbar gur Snvgu jnl bs ercerffvat gur thvyg naq gheavat rivy.]

      Now I'm going to go read Lord of the Rings where everything is fantasy and nothing hurts.

      • t09yavosaur says:

        "So… did they go to the police and tell them that Ted was a robot the whole time? Because… I'm not sure what happened here."

        I don't think they had to as there was that intern who saw him leave and the fact that the body was gone.

        They did mention something about the police while Buffy and Joyce were snacking on snap peas but I don't remember what they said because I wasn't really paying attention.

        • notemily says:

          Well, but what did they think happened to him? If Buffy and Willow broke the body down for parts, how do they explain a lack of Ted to the police? Maybe they assume he just left Sunnydale in order to not be arrested for serial killing.

    • misterbernie says:

      Uncomfortable thing number seven: Saying grace. I know that's not an uncomfortable thing for a lot of people, but it is for me.
      Yeah, that just always makes me go bwuh before I realise that yes, some people actually do that. Lol cultural shock*.

      *Well, not quite because I've once seen someone do it in Germany, but it is much more common at least in the American teevees.

    • cait0716 says:

      Oh God, the saying grace thing. When my stepmom moved in we had a meal where she insisted we all say grace. Which, being raised atheist, I refused to participate in. And then my brother, being my little brother, also refused. And there was this whole big thing where we got in tons of trouble for making her feel unwelcome or whatever when it was like "this is our house and you raised us as atheists and now we're suddenly supposed to pretend we're Catholic because you didn't bother to explain that to your wife?". Anyway the whole thing got more and more ridiculous until one day she yelled at me for saying "bless you" after she sneezed because I didn't believe in god and that was blasphemous and I just gave up.


  68. notemily says:

    Also, Mark: the image of your awful counselor being hit by thirty busloads of kitties made my day. Hee hee. Kitties.

  69. celestineangel1 says:

    I cannot watch this episode because it is triggering regarding personal issues of horrible stepfathers.

  70. fantasylover120 says:

    To this day I still don't know how I feel about this ep and I've seen it at least three times now. On one hand, I appreciate that they went there and were willing to explore these darker issues (and John Ritter has never been scarier RIP dude). On the other hand it feels just awkward to me, which I know is the point but still. My feelings towards this ep are complicated and I still haven't worked out if I like this ep or not.
    Daily Buffy Quotable:
    Buffy: Vampires are creeps. Giles: Yes, that's why one slays them.
    "We can do that thing anytime. I'm tired of doing that thing."-Xander
    "Vampires…here vampires."-Buffy
    "Check for cookies….For evidence."-Xander
    "The advantages of layers of tweed."-Giles
    Buffy: Will, you're supposed to use your powers for good. Willow: But I just want to learn stuff.

  71. gsj says:

    my mom loves this episode because she has a huge crush on john ritter and that's basically the only thing i have to say about ted.

  72. misterbernie says:

    So, I'm late commenting. I was out watching an ARTISTIC piece of PERFORMANCE THEATRE tonight, and then I was DRINKING COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOLIC FLUIDS; these two things may not be related (but they may be, after all), but they certainly both inform the following comment:


    John Ritter being all the creepies and SMG being the best actress forever


    And Willow is being a computer geek! And slightly creepy? BUT MOSTLY A GEEK I love her

    Also JOYCE I want to watch her and Buffy eat cake and watch nostalgic movies forever

    German title this time: Ted. Oooh… yeah!

  73. Courtney says:

    Oh god watching you go through this series episode by episode is almost painful for me. BtVS was my first favourite show (starting watching when I was 7 while it was airing) so it gives me the most feelings. I can't take the suspense!

  74. sporkaganza93 says:

    AGH THIS EPISODE IS SO FUCKING CREEPY. Ted is just the scariest fucker ever. I fell into the trap of getting emotional because I thought Buffy really had killed him, which made it SO CREEPY when he suddenly showed up "alive" again. And yet, somehow, I knew all along he would. Ugh, gives me the creeps. Abusive Ted and his creepy MIND-CONTROL FOOD. UGH how did you not mention that. Even though it doesn't quite make scientific sense, IT'S STILL FUCKING HORRIFYING AND WRONG AND GROSS. I love food and the idea of inadvertently eating something that's manipulating my emotions is just… JIBBLIES.

    Anyway all that is basically why I love this episode so much. So far, the more a Buffy episode destroys me, the more probable it is that I'll love it.

  75. Andie says:

    "V’q yvxr gb frr n qnl jurer Wblpr qbrf svaq bhg gung ure qnhtugre vf gur Fynlre."


  76. Binx says:

    For those who were a little irked by Joyce ignoring Buffy when she said that Ted threatened to slap her, remember: when Buffy first said it she went, "what?!" and then the cinnamon rolls she had just started nibbling on when Buffy walked in began working their magic. All the food Ted made, including those rolls, were laced with drugs to make the eaters all compliant and mellow. Personally, I think that's why she didn't react or care much – especially as she was purposely shown taking several bites throughout the scene.

    Forgive Joycie!

  77. bookling says:

    Ugh, I remember when I watched this episode for the first time I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. My mom married her Ted, and it hasn't really gotten any easier to see her with him because he's still a gigantic asshole, but now I don't have to live with them anymore. But the very mannerisms were eerily familiar — the way he would be charming and generous around Joy and then turn threatening once her back was turned. My now-stepfather once backed me into a corner when I was 16 and was yelling down into my face about how he wanted to smack the shit out of me, because I talked back to him. I wished he would, so I could call the cops. And my mom was downstairs, she heard everything. That was the worst part — that she knew and that she chose to be with him anyways. That's why I felt so much for Buffy in this episode, because she obviously wanted her mom to be happy, but how do you let someone you love choose someone like that?

    • notemily says:

      That's horrible. πŸ™ I would hope that if Joyce had heard Ted be awful to Buffy she wouldn't have defended him, but who knows. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

  78. IceBlueRose says:

    I have no idea if anyone's posted this yet (probably but there's 4 pages of comments and I'm exhausted but I had to read this before bed, lol) but a fun fact is that both Sarah Michelle Gellar and John Ritter were both horribly sick during that fight scene in the bedroom and were running fevers and having to blow their noses, cough, etc. in between takes and all that. If I remember right, they talk about it in The Watcher's Guide, Vol. 1. I'll have to go back and check though. I have to give both of them kudos for that because you can't even tell because you're so caught up in what's happening there and they both sell it.

    • notemily says:

      I read that SMG had the flu and John Ritter had food poisoning. I think it works, though, because even if they look pale and sick or whatever, you can chalk it up to Buffy being super stressed out and also just having been knocked unconscious, and Ted being a robot.

  79. SosaLola says:

    I adore the last scene. Not just the Giles/Jenny kissing, but also the smile Xander and Cordelia share when they peeked at Giles and Jenny through the library doors.

    Xander/Cordelia for the win!!!

  80. drippingmercury says:

    There’s a clear parallel to abuse here; I wouldn’t say that “Ted” triggered me, though. This is a totally different situation to me because Ted’s actions weren’t pervasive over many years. Still, I could recognize that fear very well; the first time I told a counselor that I was being abused, they flat out told me I was lying.

    The situation was too different for me to find the episode triggering either, but I was unprepared for how uncomfortable it made me with the accuracy of its depiction of abuse and how much it made me think about my own history with abuse.

    And fuck school counselors, seriously. When I came to school crying one day in first or second grade I was sent to the counselor, who then made me call my abuser while she was at work to tell her how much she’d hurt me. WHAT. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A CHILD SHAME THEIR ABUSER AT WORK, GIVE SAID ABUSER HOURS TO STEW OVER IT, THEN SEND THAT CHILD HOME TO BE ALONE WITH THAT PERSON. WORST. IDEA. EVER. Subsequent experiences with school counselors (henceforth strictly academic related) did not improve my opinion of them. IDK I’m sure some people have had just wonderful counselors, but for me? Yeah, NO.

    (This is super uncomfortable to talk about so I would like to take this moment to thank Mark and the moderators for making this a place where I feel okay semi-anonymously talking about abuse. Knowing I wasn’t the only one to have such experiences makes me feel less… awkward and ashamed of sharing them. So thanks.)

  81. valjavertjinn says:

    As a devoted Calendiles (Giles/Jenny shipper), I love, love, LOVE this episode! Jenny and Giles are the cutest and awesomest pairing in the Buffyverse, in my opinion. πŸ˜€

  82. kristinc says:

    Ted triggered me. Watching the episode literally left me with adrenalin racing through my system and shaky limbs. But I did find it worth watching and enjoyable because it was satisfying in the end to see Buffy vanquish him.

    My mom was very controlling so I well know the feeling of having someone decide they'll just invade your personal space, go through your things, read your diary and so on, and you can't do a single thing about it. That feeling of knowing they can make whatever arbitrary, stupid rules they want and you have no court of appeals even though they're being petty and irrational.

    It was just my mom and me, she was a single parent and I had no siblings in the house, so where Buffy experiences being isolated from someone who would normally have acted as her ally, I didn't have any allies to be isolated from. Where Buffy experiences an outsider invading her home and taking over I was raised to simply not believe I was entitled to have my own personal space, but that didn't stop me from feeling angry and violated; I experienced the same burden of emotional violence and crazymaking that Buffy does when the people around her insist that she's wrong for feeling angry.

    My life completely changed when I went to a new high school where the teachers and staff not only knew every kid, they cared about each of us, and they believed me. I can't describe what a tremendous change in your life that is, what a huge burden is gone, when authority figures in your life finally affirm that what you're feeling is reasonable and present — for the first time — a viewpoint in which your abuser is wrong.

    In summary, this episode totally made me feel ~all the things~, and I feel like the writers really get it. Let me tell you, a big part of what made it so completely creepy and evocative was that the dismissing and oppressive language used is absolutely dead on. There almost seems to be a vocabulary that controlling and abusive assholes use, with common phrases, so when Ted was in Buffy's bedroom lecturing and threatening her, power tripping her, I felt like he was talking to me. I was on the receiving end of so much of the exact same shit.

  83. 22aer22 says:

    Your reviews are such a delight to read! I had exactly the same reactions to this episode–it was genuinely upsetting/compelling when I thought Ted wasn't supernatural, an issue Buffy was going to have to come to terms with without slaying, and when you think she's killed a regular person. I was *shocked* and had no clue where the show was going to go next. BUT THEN HE'S A ROBOT AND IT'S SO CREEPY AND SCARY!!

  84. John says:

    Late to the party here, but I was equally surprised and stunned when I saw "Ted" for the first time. My mom has been in a relationship with a guy that my brother and I despised. Eventually she saw him for who he really was (a cheating, stalking liar with a malefic wife who stalked my mother WITH HIM) and we got the authorities involved and all was well.

    She's married to a much cooler guy now. =P

    But yes, back to the point: "Ted" hits certain spots that you addressed perfectly, Mark.

    And you're still oh-so-deliciously unprepared.

  85. Kim says:

    I don't think Angel's hand is magically injured; I think Buffy's redressing the wound in his hand from the last episode where Spike drove a stake through Angel's and Drusilla's hands. I'm assuming that vampires take longer to heal from stake wounds.

    • notemily says:

      I believe Mark is referring to the fact that the hand wound is barely or not noticeable at the end of the last ep as they're helping Angel from the church.

  86. Sam says:

    omggg so I just found out you're watching Buffy and I'm soooo excited 'cause this is like my favorite show. I just can't wait until you get into the later seasons, just because I'm more familiar with those episodes 'cause I watched them more recently.
    Oh and by the way

  87. enchantedsleeper says:

    xD I gotta say, I picked up on the possibility of him being a robot when he said "I'm not wired that way". I mean, who uses that kind of phrasing naturally? Having said that, the other puns you mentioned went over my head, and although I had a sneaking suspicion Ted wasn't human, I was still really shocked when it seemed like he'd died and Buffy had to come to terms with having taken another person's life. I was all, "But he's gonna come back, right? He's gonna come back to life and be creepy again and this time Buffy'll beat him and it'll all be better." (I think watching a few kinds of these shows has taught me how they usually work. Sometimes. x3) To my relief, he did, and Buffy beat him eventually and things were better. But I don't think the show let Buffy slip by without examining herself and her motivations for hating Ted originally, not to mention giving her a taste of how she would have felt if he had in fact been human and stayed dead. The conversation she has with Willow and Xander at school is a great one, especially when Xander says,
    "And I know you would never hurt anyone intentionally. Well, y'know, unless…"
    Buffy: "Unless… they were dating my mother?"

    Even though it turns out Buffy's 'hunch' about Ted was right, it felt like things could so easily have gone either way and she definitely wasn't let off guilt-free. It would be interesting if her mother did find someone else in a much later episode (though I reckon this whole thing will probably put her off the dating scene for some time @_@) and we saw Buffy consciously try to improve on her behaviour from last time and not overreact so much. Whilst secretly running background checks just in case he is a monster. xD


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