Buffy the Vampire Slayer S02 E11 – Angel John Ritter

Previously: Another slayer shows up and gets to digging plot holes. Drusilla regains her strength and Cordy and Xander kiss.


Lorraine: Xander and Willow and debating the great life question, “who was the real power? The Captain or Tennille?” Buffy wants to know who they are, and while I know, I can’t say that I do thanks to any pop-culturally well rounded upbringing. Don’t fault my parents. They are foreign.

K: Apparently I was also “raised in a culture-free environment” as Xander said, because who???

Sweeney: *sigh* Australia.

Lor: Buffy is super busy, anyways, with all her expositing: Spike and Drusilla are gone, there are no more assassins after her and she is nursing Angel back to health. The teen-Scoobs arrive at Buffy’s house, where the door is suspiciously ajar. Buffy hears a glass break inside and runs in only to find her mom making out with John Ritter.

OH GREAT. I GET TO SNARK AN EPISODE WITH A DECEASED ACTOR IN IT. AWESOME. THANKS FATES. So, just so you know, John Ritter will probably end up being a giant grasshopper or a made out of killer moths or something, but I can’t actually say anything against him. RIP John Ritter.

Sweeney: RIGHT? It’s so distracting. Sorry, Lor.


Lor: In related news, TIL that Three’s Company cast photos are super awkward.

Anyways, there’s a whole lot of weird “my mom is making out with someone” tension in the kitchen. His name is Ted. Roll credits.

Buffy is passive aggressive with her mom about this new guy, and while it’s hard to side with Buffy completely, it’s also hard to forget all those nights she’s home alone being attacked by undead things while her mom is “working.” Sorry, Joyce. No Sandy Cohen Eyebrows for you.

Sweeney: EVER. We all cheered when Joyce threatened Spike with an ax because I think it’s her only parenting moment that we’ve seen so far. Nope. No eyebrows for you ever, lady.

K: Just for a change…

Lor: Angelic John Ritter is charming the pants off of everyone. He speaks geek to Willow and feeds Xander mini-pizzas. Buffy is clearly not as won over, though she puts on a brave face and proclaims herself, “okay.”

K: Favourite thing? Willow saying that she loves her new 9GB hard drive. HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS. NINE WHOLE GIGABYTES.

Lor: IRONIC SEGUE MAGIC to B getting her slay on, very violently and in a way that conveys general not okay-ness. Giles hilariously stands nearby, suggesting that maybe the Redshirt Vampire is defeated. “It’s staking time, really. Don’t you think?” Giles says. Buffy gets a little more violence in, though, before she stakes it.

Sweeney: This is why Buffy > every other heroine. “I’m angry. Let’s vent with kickboxing. VAMPIRE KICKBOXING.”

Lor: Rational thought: I know that Sunnydale is a Hellmouth and all, but I mean there is 1 (ish) slayer in all the world. Maybe all these Redshirt Vamps might pick one of the bajillion other cities in the world where Buffy doesn’t live? Maybe? /rational thought.

Sweeney: But, Hellmouth! Anywhere with more vampires is an inherently self-perpetuating thing. Hellmouth = more vampires. More vampires make more vampires. I’m game to point out the flawed logic at play here, but I don’t think this is the place. Plus, I’d probably create more vampires as a self-defense thing; Buffy seems to spend an awful lot of time staking newborns in the cemetery.

Lor: Buffy wonders why any vampires are hanging out in the park when she just killed one there and I swear I hadn’t watched that part yet when I had my above thought! Of course, she asked about vampires at the park and I applied that logic to all of Sunnydale, but anyways. Giles says that with their leaders gone, the vamps are sad and lonely. Buffy starts ranting about vamps but it ends up as a rant about mini-pizzas and thus, Angelic John Ritter.

At school, Xander is still going on about the mini-pizzas. B says that while Angelic John Ritter appears to be nice and polite and stuff, she doesn’t know him. She thinks he’s a little too clean. I have no commentary on how B is reacting in general, ’cause the truth is that she’s probably right and AngelicJR is probably a bug. Or a warlock. Or a robot. Or piecing together dead people in his basement. All I’m saying is that this is Sunnydale, the odds are against him being normal, and the SLAYER’S best friends should probably, maybe, eventually start considering things like this.


Lor: Xander makes me hate him some more when he starts teasing Buffy with a, “you’re having parental issues. You’re having parental issues.” Why are they friends? (K: SRSLY S: +1) As they are talking about Ted, Ted walks up for some contrivant reason. He invites the kids out to mini-golf and Buffy’s all, “nah, we got that thing to do!” Willow, of course, plays along but Xander throws B under the bus and accepts the invite. SERIOUSLY WHY DO THEY KEEP HIM AROUND?

Sweeney: You will eventually stop asking this, less because he matures and becomes better, and more because you will just give up.

Lor: Giles drops in on Ms. Calendar under the guise of textbook talk, but then admits that he just wanted to know how she was doing. Well,  she’s stayed out of mortal danger but she’s having trouble sleeping. Giles says she needs time, but she says that she needs space. She does not appreciate him poking around and giving her puppy dog eyes. “You make me feel bad that I don’t feel better.”

Y’all can’t give me back to back Xander and Calendar scenes. I’m about to bust a vein over here, because: what a bitch. By the time Giles walks out of the room with his head hung low, I’m ready to bestow the Kristy Thomas Crown of Cunty Fictional Character on Mrs. Calendar. Sorry. I just really don’t like her.

K: As much as I want to like her for making Giles less of a robot, NOPE. Way to kick Giles right in his puppy dog eyes. 


Lor: Buffy is bandaging Angel’s hand, and he’s give her wise words of hundred-year-old-vampire-wisdom. That’s one perk to dating older, right? Anyways, he says that loneliness is the hardest thing there is and B agrees to give Ted a shot. They kiss a little.

Now might be a good time to update you on my Angel-related-thoughts.

Dear Traumateers, I like him. I know, I know, he broods and he’s not a whole lot of fun, but it fits him. He’s a vampire with a soul! Of course he broods! And he’s self-aware and he’s cute around Buffy and so far, I like him. As for Spike, all of you people who are #TeamSpike know what he becomes. I’ve had a couple of episodes with him, and sure he gets good lines, but so does everyone. Even Xander, who I hate. Not really Ms. Calendar, though, but she sucks. Point is, I’m not like super impressed. He’s a bad guy, and one whose “FOILED AGAIN!” repeat act is just sort of “meh” for me. I am prepared to change my opinion and/or eat my words as the seasons develop. Just an update.

Sweeney: !!! Not that I didn’t already know this from emails, but as it is now in post form:

Lor: At mini-golf, Angelic John Ritter asks Buffy about boys lining up around the block for her, which is a tad skeevy. Willow almost blurts about Angel, but covers saying B is only interested in hitting the books. AngelicJR says that hopefully her grades will improve soon. B’s all, SKKKKRRRRT? COME AGAIN? and Mrs. Summers says she’s shared everything about her with AngelicJR because he wants to know everything. Every. Last. Detail.

Sweeney: Yeah, I have no problem snarking the dead, even if it is John Ritter; he’s too undeniably creepy here. AND YET NOBODY BUT BUFFY SEES.

K: Seriously. This scene is so freaking creepy. I was also going to give Buffy a shout out for wearing a bra, but NOPE. Two singlet tops. SIGH.

Lor: Buffy sucks at mini-golf, mostly because I think she’s trying to slay the ball. Mrs. Summers is all, “we won’t count that one!” but Angelic John Ritter is on hand to remind everyone that that is dishonest, and angels like honesty. Buffy goes to hit the ball from the grass, but instead grabs it and drops it in the hole. Of course, Angelic John Ritter sees it all because angels see everything.

He gives her a whole, “right is right” speech and is smacking his own leg with his golf club. He also says he isn’t “wired” as a liar so my guess is now firmly planted at robot. As long as he doesn’t possess the Internet, we should be good. He says that in his house, no one cheats at mini-golf (or something) and when B points out that she isn’t in his house, he threatens to smack her smart mouth. The others arrive and AngelicJR turns his happy back on, and offers everyone chocolate chip cookies.

The next day at the Summers’ home, Buffy tells her mom that Ted threatened her. In true negligent parent fashion, her mom says, “no he didn’t.” Because apparently parent sex trumps listening to your kid.

K: I think we’re now into negative numbers on the Sandy Cohen Eyebrows Scale. 

Sweeney: Oh, I’ve already decided that we need an alternative negligent parenting scale. I’m thinking we should just name it after Joyce.

Lor: Buffy now shares her unease, again, with her best friends who, again, barely listen to her. Xander leaves mid-conversation to go make out with Cordy and that is still weird. Willow agrees to help her spy on Ted though and presumably finds out where he works. Buffy goes to Ted’s job just in the middle of the day, because it should be super easy to not be suspicious at all. There she learns that Ted is rather machine like. Also, the picture of Joyce he keeps at his desk turns out to have Buffy cropped out. Or, folded out, because this is the 90’s.

K: Because, you know, finding a pair of scissors is really freaking hard.

Lor: At dinner that night, Angelic John Ritter Ted (I really should just quit with these nicknames) is skeevy and Buffy is awesome. When Ted asks how she would feel about Joyce and him getting married, B says it makes her want to kill herself. Instead of being concerned at all for her daughter, Joyce dismisses her.

K: Even MORE negative Sandy Cohen Eyebrows. Jeez, Joyce. This is NOT your finest hour. 

Lor: Buffy briefly goes out to patrol but no vampires show up despite her very amazing, “here vampire…” call. She goes back home and climbs back in her window to find Angelic John Ritter looking not so angelic. He’s found all her Slaying Supplies in presumably an hour or two, while Joyce has never found them, ever. Ted’s read her journal and thinks Buffy is CRAZY ’cause of all the Slaying stuff. He threatens to share the diary with Joyce, but Buffy grabs him. When she won’t let go, he robot-pimp-slaps her and it’s B’s cue to Slayer Slap him back. He knocks her around a tad, but she gets the upper hand just in time for Joyce to show up and see B kick Ted down the stairs. She kills him.


Sweeney: This is the moment where John Ritter’s being actually deceased makes this slightly awkward.

Lor: After a cut to black, we see Ted being zipped up in a body bag. I’m very confused by what happens next because for all intents and purposes it appears to be a cop doing his job. Buffy admits that she hit Ted and that’s why he fell down the stairs. They question her a bit but don’t hold or charge her.

K: We also learn that Sunnydale has the worst cops of ever, because the detective is all “Oh, he hit you an hour ago? I DON’T SEE A MARK ON YOUR FACE, YOU MUST BE LYING.” What the hell, Sunnydale PD?

Lor: The next day at school, Buffy is wearing her Overalls of Overall Sadness (K: Can you blame her?!). Xander and Willow try to reassure Buffy, telling her it was an accident and it wasn’t her fault, but that whole “killing a person,” thing is hitting her hard. There are cops at school asking about her behavior, too, so you know she’s in deep.

In the Wiggins Library, the Scoobies are trying to figure out a way to help Buffy. Giles is going on patrol and Willow is researching. Xander is pretty upset by the entire situation until he starts eating one of Ted’s cookies. This is not a metaphor for anything, it’s an actual cookie.

He suddenly goes zen, causing Willow to suspect the cookie. She analyzes it and finds that the secret ingredient is a tranquilizer. I would probably benefit from one or two of those cookies at work. They’ve also found an address for Ted and go after him.

Ms. Calendar spots Giles on patrol and chooses this moment to apologize. Of course, a vampire shows up and Giles does his best to fight him off. Ms. Calendar picks up a cross bow and when she shoots it, it ends up getting Giles in the back. Appropriate. He’s hardcore 30% of the time, though, and this is one of those times: he takes the arrow out of his back and stakes the vampire with it.

K: Also? RUUUUUUUUUUUUDE. As Giles pointed out to Buffy way back in season 1, you kinda need some training before playing around with crossbows. Beginners get the crucifixes, Jenny. 

Skills Jenny thinks she has with a bow and arrow.

Skills Jenny ACTUALLY has with a bow and arrow.

Lor: At Buffy’s house, she’s lamenting the sad state of affairs when Ted shows up, suspiciously not dead. He says he had to “shut down” for a while to get her off his back and he kind of reminds me of our IT team at work. Their first suggestion is always, “restart your computer.” My answer is usually, “why don’t you restart your face?”

ANYWAYS, Buffy and Ted fight and she stabs him with a nail file. That finally reveals a robotic arm because of course. Ted kicks Buffy IN THE FACE and she blacks out.

Ted’s house is actually a bunker, and can best be described by Cordy’s line: “It feels like home… if it’s the 50’s and you’re a psycho.” They find that Ted has been married multiple times but never divorced. When Xander checks a random closet, he wigs and says they’ve found their evidence against Ted, namely, his first four wives.

K: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee, BLUEBEARD!! Except with a robot…

Lor: Joyce sees Ted and freaks out. He feeds her a line about being dead for six minutes and a miracle! and I probably should’ve kept calling him Angelic John Ritter because there could’ve been a joke there. Sorry. I got lazy. Joyce FINALLY starts to suspect Ted ain’t right when he starts glitching and when he says he isn’t wired to listen to women. Because it has become a weird tradition to mention him at least once in the posts I write, sounds like Christian Grey.

We cut away from them to see Ms. Calendar helping Giles out with his wound. I only mention it because he has a great line about the layers of tweed protecting him, and that being better than Kevlar. Giles. <3

Buffy comes to. Downstairs, Ted is manhandling Joyce and then pushes her so hard she blacks out. Buffy sneaks up on Ted with a skillet. Two pans to the head later, he’s short circuited and, well, that’s that.

Xander is tasked with the exposition wrap up: Ted was a sickly loser whose wife dumps him. He makes himself a robot (?) steals back his wife and hold her in his bunker until she dies. Then he just keeps stealing more wives and holding them hostage. Willow admires Ted’s geekery, and has also kept a few of his parts to learn from them. Oh, Willow.

Buffy almost enters the Wiggins Library but turns around saying that she has to sound an airhorn before she enters a room. Xander and Cordy peak in, and cutely start giggling at what they see: Giles and Ms. Calendar making out. AT SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.

Mostly, though, I just can’t stand Ms. Calendar.

Sweeney: +1

Next time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Scoobies have to sit through sex ed. Find out how that goes in S02 E12 – Bad Eggs.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I spend too much time on YouTube. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

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  • Becca

    Lor, you are totally normal in liking Angel. I completely adored him and didn’t understand the big deal about Spike. And then things changed. Enjoy all the shirtless shots of Angel and know that even better stuff is to come!

  • 3hours

    I’m not at all worried about you not being a screaming Spike fangirl yet Lor. You will be 🙂 *sits and waits*

  • I know there’s a troika of Xander hate here but can I just say, I thought he was both good to Buffy and USEFUL in this episode and deserves some props for that.

    • *sigh* IT’S TRUE. This is one of the first episodes where he’s kind of legit, and that he does eventually start doing that more frequently. So yeah, props freely given.

  • As I have seen the episode before I knew that Ted was not real but seriously, right from the beginning he gives me the creeps. I’m completely on Buffy’s side and Joyce is such a terrible mother in this episode.

    Willow is so adorable with the whole 9GB thing. I love the 90s! And I love Willow!

    I had to google The Captain or Tennille and I still don’t really know who they were so I’m glad in my version they were discussing Sonny and Cher.

    I know I’m going out on a limb here but I really don’t think that Miss Calender is so bad. Please don’t hate me.

    Don’t worry Lor, until you know all that happens with Spike after Angel leaves, just enjoy him. He’s not that bad but you will also come to love Spike, I’m pretty sure about that.

    • +1 I am Team Angel forever, but yeah, I love Spike too.

      • Angel really is not the worst. Angel is a good fit for Buffy in the beginning of the series and later, Spike is who Buffy needs because no one else understands her that way I guess.

  • spikesjjojo

    Lor – I solved the Team Angel and Team Spike conundrum by deciding they are long time lovers having a bit of a…squabble….one that includes weapons and death threats but then they are vampires….

    I was not the first person to decide this. In fact, as you watch, keep in mind that fandom has probably written about every character having sex with every other character. Every character! Well, I don’t think Angel and Joyce bumped uglies. But then, I may be wrong. So next time you watch you can think of two characters – any two characters – and know that somewhere out there a groiny story exists…..because Buffy fans just like a lot of….stories and writing.

    Ted is just an ick – clearly living in Sunnydale fried his last brain cell many years ago. Xander is Xander – and he remains kind of a butthead but eventually he wears you down. And then annoys you again.

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  • Alanna

    Lor, I love how you basically guessed a large portion of the plot with the phrase “Or piecing together dead people in his basement”. And didn’t even realize!

  • Hey guys, I know your opinions might’ve changed by now, as they have with so many other things that shall remain nameless, but I just wanted to point out that I think telling someone they’re making you feel guilty for not feeling better after serious trauma is totally legit. It happens a lot that some else’s forms of care and concern are expressed in ways that are unhelpful to the personal processing and healing needs of a person, and it can be really hard and stigmatizing and scary to actually make that kind of statement to their face IRL, and no matter how understanding everyone is about it, it will probably hurt to hear, too. So, as much as I <3 Giles always, I also feel that Ms Calender is not a bad person for expressing her needs at that time.

    • Lor has said this in another comment so I’m now going to reiterate on my own behalf, but my Jenny Calendar opinions have changed. Even having seen the whole series through once, my relationship with the show was muuuuch more lighthearted on first go-round. I basically hated her for her role in the Angel nonsense this season. I also didn’t really think that blogging this show was ever going to get as intense as it got. (Actually, it was late S2 that I started to get a little scared about that possibility, BUT I STILL KNEW NOTHING OF THE REALITY.) My point being is that in early seasons there are a lot of instances in which I poked fun at characters to a degree that didn’t actually match my feels about those characters, if that makes sense.

      I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for if/how my Jenny Calendar opinion changes whenever I watch this show again.

      • I remember that being mentioned in the final wrap-ups, but I didn’t want to assume anything on your behalf. I know there’s been a lot of evolution in these posts as time went on. It makes rereading them very interesting, now that i know the future…. So I made the comment mostly for the benefit of first-time past-post future readers! 🙂