Story Code '5V11'
by David Greenwalt
and Joss Whedon
Things for Buffy finally seem to be looking up: Spike and Drusilla are missing and presumed dead; the Tarakan contract on her has been called off; and she has been taking care of her love, Angel. But the peace and quiet is short-lived, and Buffy is surprised when she finds her mother in their kitchen kissing a strange man. After Joyce introduces him as Ted, he quickly becomes popular with Buffy’s friends, promising Willow free computer upgrades, and impressing Xander with his excellent cooking; Buffy, however, remains sullen and distant, uncomfortable with this new intrusion into her life. She becomes unhappier still the next day when she and the others run into Ted at school, and he invites them to play miniature golf on Saturday. Buffy later, admits to Angel that she is only unhappy as she doesn't like seeing her mother with a man other than her father, and promises that she will make an attempt to tolerate, if not like, Ted. That Saturday, at the miniature golf course, Ted catches Buffy cheating and his charm instantly disappears; he tells her that he will not stand for that sort of behaviour, and when Buffy answers back, threatens to hit her. But when the others show up, Ted once more becomes his charming self, and Buffy realises that something strange is going on. She tries to tell her mother the next day, but Joyce defends Ted. Suspicious, Buffy pays a visit to Ted's workplace, where his co-workers reveal that Ted plans to marry Joyce in two months. Buffy brings the subject up at home that evening, but she is sent to her room. Ted catches her sneaking back after a night out slaying; he has been reading her diary and now threatens to tell Joyce everything unless Buffy is nice to him. Ted tries to hit Buffy, and when she defends herself he falls down the stairs to his death. Buffy is wracked with guilt, feeling that the act of taking a human life means that she cannot continue being the Slayer. Willow, Xander and Cordelia decide to help out, and begin investigating Ted’s background; oddly, when Xander eats one of Ted's cookies his mood immediately changes - he becomes extremely buoyant and tells the girls that there is nothing to worry about. Willow analyses the cookies and discovers they are laced with a tranquilliser, and when she and the others go to Ted's apartment they find the bodies of four of his previous wives hidden in a wardrobe. Meanwhile, Buffy finds that her bedroom window has been nailed shut - and Ted appears in her room. He attacks Buffy, and when she stabs him with a nail-file, she sees that his arm is full of wires - Ted is a robot! He knocks Buffy unconscious and goes downstairs to see Joyce, telling her that he was dead for six minutes but then revived; he tries to get her to leave with him, but he has developed an odd stutter, which makes Joyce suspicious, and Ted is forced to knock her out. He then goes after Buffy, but she hits him with an iron skillet, tearing the skin off his face to reveal his robotic skull, and causing enough damage to deactivate him for good. Willow, Xander and Cordelia unearth the truth: the original Ted was a weak man whose wife left him, and so he built a robotic version of himself who then kept trying to bring back his wife. Ted is dismantled; meanwhile, Giles is able to reconcile his differences with Ms. Calendar.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Ms. Calendar), John Ritter (Ted), Ken Thorley (Neal), James G. MacDonald (Detective Stein), Jeff Langton (Vampire)
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
TX (US): 8th December 1997
TX (UK - Sky One): 6th June 1998
TX (UK - BBC): 9th December 1999
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Oz, Cordelia, and Angel