|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 2, Episode 20|
|Air date||May 5, 1998|
|Written by|| Elin Hampton|
|Directed by||David Semel|
"I Only Have Eyes for You"
"Becoming, Part One"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Charles Cyphers||Coach Marin|
|Conchata Ferrell||Nurse Greenliegh|
|Armin Shimerman|| Principal Snyder |
|Jake Patellis||Dodd McAlvy|
It turns out the swim-team coach has been giving fish steroids in the form of steam (aromatherapy) to the swim team to get them to perform, but it turns them into sea monsters. Buffy Summers confronts the coach, and he is killed by the swim-team sea monsters.
At the beach, the Sunnydale High swim team is celebrating their latest victory, while Xander complains about having such a celebration just for the swim team. Buffy sulks on a rock, watching the ocean. A guy named Cameron Walker approaches Buffy and starts sputtering out poetic words. Buffy tries to scare him off, but he says he's looking to talk. Meanwhile, Jonathan Levinson is being dunked in a bucket of ice water by members of the team. Buffy rescues him and scares off the two bullying swimmers. The bullies, Dodd McAlvy and Gage Petronzi, walk off and talk about how weird Buffy seems to be to them (not knowing about her being the Slayer). Then Dodd stops, while Gage Petronzi keeps walking. Gage then smells something bad but keeps going. He walks by without seeing Dodd's skin, which is lying on the ground but with nothing left inside. We see a creature walk through the sewer.
The next day, Willow Rosenberg is teaching a class, and as she is walking around checking people's work on their computers, she sees Gage playing solitaire on his computer with naked women on the cards. She tells him off, but he doesn't seem to care. After class, Principal Snyder talks to Willow, having just told her that they can't get a new teacher for a while and she will have to continue covering (which pleases her). He then starts talking about Gage, and Willow tells him that he doesn't turn up for tests or do homework, or indeed anything at all, so he's failing. The principal is not interested, and tells her that as Gage is on the swim team, he shouldn't be expected to do work and that she should change his grade to a D. Buffy comes to school with Cameron, and he tries to grope her. She hits his head against the steering wheel and breaks his nose. Snyder happens to see this; he and Cameron blame Buffy for the altercation. Cameron tells the Swim Team Coach and Snyder she was leading him on, and the Coach, after telling Nurse Greenleigh to "take care of my boy", turns to Buffy and tells her she shouldn't dress so provocatively.
Later, Buffy rants to Rupert Giles and her friends about the incident with Cameron. Giles informs her that they found Dodd's remains on the beach. Cameron hits the sauna and\ hears some weird noises. The Coach bursts in and announces that Cameron has had enough. While everyone studies in the library, Xander goes out for a drink. Heading for the vending machine, he bumps into Cameron. Xander teases him for getting beaten by Buffy after he tried to paw her. Cameron heads off to the cafeteria for a snack, while Xander tries to decide between grape and orange soda. Cameron screams, and Xander rushes into the cafeteria. He finds the place in shambles, with Cameron's skin on the ground. As Xander turns around, the creature responsible for the mess a Gill Monster appears behind him.
In the library, Cordelia Chase tries to sketch the creature that Xander saw before running off "like a woman". Buffy and Willow return, having been informed that Cameron and Dodd were the two best swimmers on the Boys' Team; after them was Gage. Buffy is assigned to shadowing Gage suspecting that he will be next to be attacked while Willow interrogates Jonathan under a lamp. According to Jonathan, he indeed wanted revenge, but achieved it in a very different and odd way by relieving himself in the pool. Xander, who has been being teased by Cordelia for being a coward, overhears the coach and the principal talking they need another swimmer or they won't be eligible to compete, and they don't care if the guy can swim, as long as he shows up. The next day, Gage grows suspicious of Buffy when she starts following him around. At the Bronze that night, Buffy is caught in the act by Gage; she attempts to cover it up, but fails. He confronts her, and she tells him that his life is in danger, but he ridicules her, calling her a "psycho bitch" and a "head tripper", unknowing of what Buffy really is. He leaves, only to encounter Angelus in the parking lot. They complain briefly about Buffy, then Angelus "vamps out" and bites him, apparently with the thought that he'll turn him and recruit him into his war against Buffy. However, seconds later, Angelus stops and spits the blood out. Buffy comes to Gage's rescue. A now fearful Gage asks Buffy to walk him home, while Buffy looks thoughtful about why Angel spit the blood out.
The following day, Buffy, Willow and Cordelia sit in on swim practice. The three girls chat, still wondering what could be killing off the swimmers. Buffy wonders if Gage had steroids in his blood. They wonder if all of the swimmers had something in their blood that attracted the monsters. Cordelia comments on a cute new addition to the team, and then realizes that it's Xander. He walks over and informs them that he just made the team. Willow tells Buffy that Jonathan wasn't responsible for the swimmers' deaths, but instead got his revenge by relieving himself in the pool. At the beginning of swim practice the boys are swimming laps, Gage stops in the middle of his to wave and give a smile to Buffy. Cordelia is really happy that she's dating a member of the Sunnydale swim team, while Buffy and Willow tease him for being almost naked. Later, the team soaks in the sauna. There Xander continues to babble, but no one pays attention. Claws come up through a grate, but still no one pays attention.
While Buffy waits for Gage to exit the boys' locker room, she hears him yell. She charges in and finds Gage with a giant fish creature; a Gill Monster! Gage then cries out in pain and falls to the ground, rips open his shirt, followed by his skin, and becomes a Gill Monster himself. Buffy tries to fight the two monsters off, but one grabs her from behind and bites her arm. Suddenly, Coach Marin saves Buffy just by bursting into the room; although Marin is alone and unarmed, the Gill Monsters flee. Buffy is sent to Nurse Greenleigh's office. Marin is told that members of his team are becoming Gill Monsters. Buffy and Giles go hunting for Gill Monsters in the sewers, but fail to find any. Meanwhile, Xander again hits the sauna; there he tries to find out where and how he can get some steroids. His fellow swimmers tell him that he's already getting some right now; it turns out that the steroids are in the steam from the sauna.
Nurse Greenleigh tries to end the experiments of Coach Marin, who has been attempting to improve his swim team's performance by supplying them with steroids via the sauna-steam. When she becomes too annoying, he throws her through a grate into the sewers, where the Gill Monsters devour her. Xander warns everyone that he's had three exposures to the steam, and he is freaking out about becoming a Gill Monster himself. Buffy tells Giles to lock up the rest of the swim team while she goes to talk with Coach Marin. She confronts him, demanding information about the steroids he's been giving them, telling him he'll go to jail. The coach pulls a gun on her, and forces her into the same hole where Nurse Greenleigh met her demise. The coach explains to Buffy that the boys have already had their dinner, but that she's there because "boys have other needs."
Xander and Cordelia help round up the Boys' Swim Team members. Xander enters the locker room to check and see if he's becoming "scaly." A Gill Monster who used to be Shawn emerges from the locker room and jumps in the pool. Cordy thinks it's Xander and carries on about how much she cares for him. Xander reappears beside her, right before "Shawn" attacks Cordy, just missing her. They flee back to the library. Xander decides that, since Buffy hasn't returned, he should go after her. He meets up with Coach Marin and fights him for the gun. Xander disarms Marin, who is twice his size, and knocks the coach out. Xander looks down into the hole and sees Buffy, up to her waist in fetid water, being surrounded by Gill Monsters who are preparing to attack. He pulls her out before they can do so. Then Coach Marin bashes Xander's head with a pipe wrench from behind, incapacitating but not killing him. Marin then turns to Buffy and tries to do the same to her, but misses; his swing carries him off balance and he falls into the hole. She tries to catch him, but fails. Being no match for the Gill Monsters in their element, Buffy can only observe as they close in and rip Coach Marin to pieces. Xander recovers just in time to join her in witnessing Marin's demise.
The next day, everyone recaps and Xander is given prescribed treatment from Giles to ensure that the steroids don't take effect. Meanwhile, the Gill Monsters swim out into the ocean.
- This is the first of three episodes where we see a beach, the other being "Anne" and "Buffy vs. Dracula"
- This is the first of two episodes where Willow interrogates Jonathan, the other being "Earshot"
- Willow's line to Jonathan "You wanted revenge, didn't you? So you delved into the black arts and conjured up a hellbeast from the ocean's depths to wreak your vengeance" is an irony and also foreshadows both of their futures. Dark Willow will seek vengeance on Jonathan for Tara's death and Jonathan as a member of the Trio will conjure demons.
- Jonathan getting picked on in the beginning of the episode is another piece in setting up his suicide attempt in "Earshot".
- The nurse and coach are the 5th and 6th members of the SDH faculty to die in the course of the series.
- This episode features one of the most notable examples of a role reversal of the series' horror genre: Gage the strapping, muscular, male athlete asks Buffy, the petite, sexy blonde girl to walk him home because he's afraid.
- Dodd McAlvy, turned into a Gill Monster
- Sean, turned into a Gill Monster
- Gage Petronzi, turned into a Gill Monster
- Cameron Walker, turned into a Gill Monster
- Nurse Greenliegh, eaten by Gill Monsters
- Coach Marin, eaten by Gill Monsters
Behind the Scenes
Pop Culture References
- Xander's line, "In other words, 'this was no boating accident,'" was a reference to Jaws. The line, "This is not a boat accident," was uttered by Richard Dreyfuss's character after he examined a dead body found on the beach.
- Cordelia attempted to refer to the movie The Creature from the Black Lagoon when she was afraid that Xander would turn in to a fish monster, but she accidentally said "The Creature from the Blue Lagoon." Xander corrected her by reminding her that The Blue Lagoon was a movie starring Brooke Shields.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- When Xander comes out of the locker room after helping Buffy keep an eye on Gage, he tells her that Gage will be out in a couple of minutes after he puts his sneakers on. Gage is then shown putting on his shoes, but they aren't sneakers.
- Naked - "Mann's Chinese" (Plays during the beach party.)
- Nero's Rome - "If You'd Listen" (Plays at The Bronze when Buffy is spying on Gage.)
- Shawn Clement and Sean Murray - original score
- French: Les hommes poissons (The Fishmen)
- German: Das Geheimnis der Fischmonster (The Secret of the Fishmonsters)
- Marti Noxon has said in several interviews that this episode was written to show how athletes who use steroids ruin their bodies.
- The title Go Fish may have a double meaning here as the Scoobies "fish" for informaton in various ways.
- This is the last time the opening prologue is used.
|Xander - "That is wrong. Big, fat, spanking wrong. It's a slap in the face to every one of us that studied hard and worked long hours to earn our D's."|
|Carl Marin - "Take good care of my boy, Ruthie."|
|Nurse Greenleigh - "I always do."|
|Carl Marin - (turns to Buffy) "And you ... try to dress more appropriately from now on. This isn't a dance club."|
|Cordelia - "It's about time our school excelled at something."|
|Willow - "Hmm. You're forgetting our high mortality rate."|
|Xander - "We're number one!"|
|Xander - "I'm undercover."|
|Buffy - "Not under much."|
|Buffy - "And raise the possibility that someone brought forth this sea monster from whence it came to exact that revenge. 'From whence it came'? I'm spending way too much time around you."|
|Willow - "So, you delved into the black arts and conjured up a hell-beast from the ocean's depths to reek your vengeance. Didn't you?"|
|Jonathan - "What? No. I snuck in yesterday and peed in the pool."|
|Willow - "Oh. Ew!"|
|Buffy - "I think we should lock up the rest of the swim team before they get in touch with their inner halibut."|