Season 2, Episode 11: Ted

In this episode!

  • Content warning:┬ádomestic violence.
  • Mark provides the style report:
    • Buffy had thin eyebrows, which changed her look completely
    • Cordelia’s new look was “very pulled together”
    • Katherine is curious–does anyone else notice these things?
  • We would love to have an expert on fashion come and do a special episode of The Cleveland Hellmouth. Anyone out there want to join us?
  • Mark asks, “Does anybody get any action that they don’t deeply regret?” Katherine says tentatively, yes?
  • Mark is most upset that Buffy spoke to the cop without getting a lawyer first.
  • Katherine points out that this business of Buffy killing Ted is a big deal and will be important later. Unlike Buffy, though, we think killing Ted was a great idea.
  • Why the controversy over this episode? Katherine explains that many fans were upset that there was no paranormal activity. It is the sole episode of Buffy without paranormal activity in the A story. Many fans complained it was straight up Science Fiction. Katherine says she doesn’t care. What do you think?
  • Mark says, this episode is especially creepy in light of Anthony Sowell and Arial Castro cases. The Hellmouth being located in Cleveland makes more and more sense.
  • We noticed that it is interesting that there is minimal religion in Buffy, yet in this episode, Ted prays. Mark calls his praying, “attack prayers” and suggests that Jesus wouldn’t like it.
  • We love Jenny and Giles. We think they are acting like adults and actually have a pretty healthy relationship. We really like that.
  • Mark noticed that in the scene where Xander is leaning against the vending machine that all the items in one row are upside down. Did anyone else notice this?
  • Cordelia points out that since Buffy is a superhero, doesn’t she have more rights than ordinary people? (Remind Buffy fans of anything?) Willow says that is the view of the fascist state. Cordelia asks why we can’t have that, and I would suggest, here we are now!
  • Mark makes an interesting comparison between Buffy and Mohammad Ali.
  • Katherine asks, “Why is Ted a great cook?”
  • Mark is ultimately unhappy by this episode because he feels that unlike every other episode of Buffy that we’ve seen, this one could be lifted out to stand on its own. It isn’t (beyond the Giles and Jenny part) part of the larger narrative arc. For that reason, it is disappointing. Katherine, natch, disagrees.
  • We are considering having a rate the episode so that listeners to this podcast and decide which is the best and worst of Buffy.

Shout outs: To the podcast Writing Excuses which has nothing whatsoever to do with Buffy, but it just a wonderful podcast on writing.

Must read or watch: The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

3 wonderful comments

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  1. David OftheLegionoflisteners said...

    on 17 April 2017 @ 3:12 am

    It looks like I’m going to be staking out a vaguely contrarian stance. I think the scene with Xander and Willow siding with Ted is important and carries a tie to the real world. The whole episode is basically a catalog of warning signs of domestic violence. One of those signs is isolating people from friends and family. That scene shows Buffy becoming isolated in a way that can be managed over a single episode. This allows the Buffy killing Ted thing to be a moment where Buffy kills a human and the audience knows he deserves it, but the people around her don’t necessarily have reason to see it. I’m not a huge fan of the episode, but it plays a huge role in establishing Joyce as a real character. I think a lot of the coming episodes would have less resonance without this one. Look what she has before this, a couple of one note “parents just don’t understand” bits and a few moments where she is threatened. This is one of the first times where you see her in a sustained appearance with her own motivations.

  2. Katherine said...

    on 7 June 2017 @ 3:24 am

    I like your argument, David. We certainly will see a revisiting of the isolating Buffy situation. I find Joyce’s reactions fascinating throughout the episode, and as I say in our podcast, I’m especially impressed and sadly surprised that Joyce supports Buffy with the police. I’m not sure I agree entirely with you though that Joyce comes off as real (except for the cop thing). She, too, has been drugged and hypnotized by Ted and seems very Stepford wifey to me.

  3. David OftheLegionoflisteners said...

    on 8 June 2017 @ 10:47 pm

    Maybe real is too far, but she has her own motivations. I have some more thoughts on Joyce, but I’ll save them for the next episode.


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