Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer ‚Äì “Ted”

“Ted” is the 11th¬†episode of season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and while it aired in 1997, one of the main themes of the episode is still prevalent today. Buffy‚Äôs mother begins dating Ted, a man whom her mother and all of her friends seem to love. Buffy, however, does not take to him. Whether it‚Äôs her superpowers or female intuition, she sees through Ted‚Äôs ‚Äònice guy‚Äô persona almost immediately.

To her mother and friends, Ted is constantly charming but when alone with Buffy, his mask slips. When he catches her cheating at mini-golf, he threatens to slap her. When she tells people this, they don’t believe her and tell her that she must have misheard him. About halfway through the episode, Ted’s mask slips again and he and Buffy have a physical fight which results in Ted’s death. Despite the fact that she had killed many vampires and demons, she feels intense guilt for ending the life of a typical human. It turns out that Ted was a robot, which lessens her guilt somewhat but she is still hurt that her mother didn’t believe her about Ted.

The main theme of the episode is the guilt that Buffy feels after Ted’s death but one of the strong underlying themes is that Buffy was not believed by anyone. When she tells the people in her life that Ted threatened her, their response is that she must be lying because Ted is such a good man. No one believed her until it was too late. In the twenty years since this episode aired, there have been countless stories by girls and women who had been too afraid to speak out about threatening behaviour from men for fear of not being believed. It has only been recently with the #MeToo campaign on Twitter that some women have felt brave enough to come forward with their own story. Hopefully this, coupled with the outpouring of stories from Hollywood, will mean that girls and women are believed before it’s too late.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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