Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E20 – Go Fish

In the twentieth episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, there are so many things happening at once. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.


  • Willow, please, be my teacher. Teach me the ways of the Force, I don’t care. I just want to hang out with you. ๐Ÿ™
  • How did Gage even get solitaire cards with naked ladies on them?
  • Can we talk about how accurate the culture is around high school sports teams, especially the popular/winning ones? For some context, my Cross Country team always did super well, but since it was in the fall when football was going on, we were always ignored. No funding, no special privileges, and totally and completely uncool. Even worse, my coach was a teacher at school and was pressured to pass multiple students that weren’t even trying not to fail. So yeah, this episode pisses me off for multiple reasons. Well, no, I’m not made at the show, but what it depicts. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE.
  • Well, that’s about the most clear case of slut-shaming I’ve ever seen on television. I mean, thankfully, the show clearly shows us that Buffy was in the right for slamming his head against the steering wheel, but WOW. It instantly set my heart up when it happened and I wanted to throttle Principal Snyder and Coach Marin. GROSS.
  • The choice between grape or orange? An eternal question, Xander. Glad to see you did not rush through such a decision.
  • Wait, is that a Silurian? OMG WHAT IF.
  • Oh, another appearance from Angelus. Great. UGH JUST PLEASE GO AWAY.
  • Wait, why does he not like Gage’s blood? A TWIST APPEARS!
  • Okay, it’s a bit simplistic, I’ll admit that. But I kind of like that Buffy tackled teenage steroid use because people think it doesn’t happen, and I knew classmates of mine on the football, baseball, and track teams who took steroids. One of them overdosed on steroids! He survived, thankfully, but it’s a serious issue. At the very least, “Go Fish” presents the idea that the social pressure that comes with playing sports in a public arena can drive athletes and coaches to pursue this avenue. I especially liked that we saw how much the coach supported this too because it’s about the culture that props up around high school sports.
  • OH MY GOD. I love that Buffy and Willow can’t resist joking about this. THIS IS SO PERFECT.
  • help me help me help me what is happening to Gage what is going on why is he screaming why is he so upset wh รขโ‚ฌโ€œ OH MY GOD THEY ARE TURNING INTO THOSE CREATURES NOT BEING ATTACKED BY THEM. HELP ME. THIS IS SO GROSS AND HORRIFYING. HELP ME.
  • The steroids are in the steam!!!! I CAN’T HANDLE THIS EPISODE ANYMORE. How does this show keep finding new ways to upset me?
  • Oh my god you just killed the nurse.
  • why does the coach have a gun. where did he get it from.
  • You know, I kind of wish I didn’t find out why the swim team members were turning into those monsters. As soon as Coach Marin started talking about the Soviet Union, I just rolled my eyes and tuned out. I mean, you are coach of a swim team at small high school. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS. There is no way you make enough money as a high school swim coach to pull this off.
  • OMG, Cordelia’s whole monologue to the creature, believing it is Xander, is just so beautiful. I never wanted it to end.
  • Woops, Buffy just sent the swim coach to his death by his own students. That’s awkward.
  • Oh cool, weird-ass Silurian creatures are out in the Pacific Ocean. NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT.

Oh god, I’ve made it to the season finale. LOL, yet again, it’s split up over the weekend. I SWEAR I DON’T PLAN THIS ON PURPOSE, EVERYONE.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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348 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E20 – Go Fish

  1. <img src=""&gt;

    Come on, it's not like I watched Prison Break for its sparkling dialogue.

    • Rayne says:

      Mmmmmmm…. Wentworth Miller! (I'm still mad at Joan of Arcadia being cancelled just as he was being set up as the antagonist!)

      • haguenite says:

        I was always under the impression it was cancelled partially *because* he was going to be the new antagonist and then he got Prison Break and everything just collapsed. But that's probably not how it went. Probably the higher-ups once again thought, hey, this is a great show. We should cancel it.

        • Rayne says:

          I really miss that show. It's one of the few that I bother to rewatch every few years. (Amber Tamblyn needs to be in more stuff!)

    • rabbitape says:

      You watched it for your love of cartography, particularly as represented as tattoos. Right?

      • Ha, I realized afterward that my statement was likely being interpreted to mean that I watched because Wentworth Miller was hot, when in fact my statement was an excuse for not having a wittier caption. I watched it because Sarah Wayne Callies was hot, though. Also, tattoo clues and vast conspiracies and ridiculous hijinks.

        • rabbitape says:

          I have to admit that I never actually watched it. I just know this dude was it, with tattoos that had maps and stuff in them, and also another guy who plays his brother.

        • Rob M says:

          Yeah, awesome reveal mid-pilot with the tattoo, so-so vast conspiracies and ridiculous hijinks, and mmmmmm Sarah Wayne Callies. And yes, your statement was entirely too easy to misinterpret…. good clarification!

    • Danny_SAP says:

      One of my unused screencaps was the fish-thing bursting out of him with the caption "what a waste of a pretty face."

    • SecretGirl127 says:

      I was so distraced by him that I had to stop watching and look him up in the episode guide. Then I felt stupid that I hadn't realized it was Wentworth (we are on a first name basis).

      I really enjoyed Cordilia pouing out her soul…even better that it wasn't to the right person so Xander could hear.

    • Katie says:

      Ooh, I know this is not the suggestions page, but maybe Mark could watch Joan of Arcadia???!!?? It was kind of awesome, although short?!

  2. settlingforhistory says:

    Filler episode of all filler episodes. It’s pointless and rather boring, but they had to save money for the finale I guess.

    „You’re forgetting our high mortality rate“ „We’re number one!“ The timing is priceless.

    (Vg’f n jbaqre gung Wbanguna qvqa’g xvyy uvf sryybj fghqragf, gur jnl gurl gerngrq uvz.
    N tbbq zrgubq gb znxr uvz gur ahzore bar fhfcrpg va rnefubg gubhtu.)

    I really don’t like how students who are good at sports always get special treatment.
    I guess I’m being oblivious again, but does this actually happen in high schools?
    Does your team have to be successful or popular?
    School sports are rather unimportant here , they certainly can’t help you to get into university.

    Wow, I hate that swimmer guy and I love to hate Snyder.

    Willow is so cute when she is trying to be mean.

    What do they tell the parents of these boys “They swam too far and Nessie ate them”?

    See, even Angelus thinks Gage is disgusting. ; )

    Ew, the transformation is actually more scary than the monster, just ew.

    School coaches are so often depicted as cruel or evil on TV, even Buffy has done it before.
    Those writers must have really disliked PE, not that I didn’t think my PE teacher had been send from hell to torture his students.

    “They have other needs.” This is wrong, just so wrong. Kill it with fire!

    Cordy has developed amazingly deep feelings for Xander, for her a speech like that at the pool was pretty emotional.

    Oh, these wacky Soviet guys, they had their hands in everything. ; P

    I know we have learned about forgiveness yesterday and I’m all for it, but damn it felt good to see that coach be eaten by the monsters he created.

    How could they know what would help the boys so fast? Did this happen before? Not that that would surprise me, Sunnydale’s hospital probably has all kinds of weird cases.
    But the cure came too late for Gage and again I feel more ha ha than aw.

    • cait0716 says:

      The coach's death always squciked me out. Yeah, he was a bad guy. But Buffy's line "wow, those boys really love their coach" implies that he was gang-raped to death. No thank you

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeahhhhh that's what I got from that too. I don't know if it was deliberate or just an unfortunate turn of phrase?

        • cait0716 says:

          Well, it's also placed immediately after the fish monsters were going to gang-rape Buffy (having already filled their bellies with the school nurse). And the coach's whole "boys have other needs". So I do think it was on-purpose. The whole thing is gross.

        • feminerdist says:

          Yeah I got that impression too. I even said to my husband "because gang-rape is so hilarious!" Ugh. Come on writers, you can do better.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        I thought they just ate him. Ew, that makes me feel bad for feeling gleeful earlier.

        • rabbitape says:

          I thought they ate him too. I feel a little sick now. And naive.

        • Danny_SAP says:

          I also thought they ate him. The implication of throwing Buffy in is they need somebody sexy to rape, otherwise the Nurse would have sufficed prior to eating, unless you can't rape on an empty stomach and oh god I just want to bash my head for typing that.


          • cait0716 says:

            Well, the coach clearly thought they needed a sexy girl to rape, but I don't think the fish monsters so much cared what they're victim looked like. Which could be a subtle commentary on rape being about power instead of looks if I thought for a second the writers knew how to deal with this intelligently instead of making a joke.

      • Andie says:

        I always thought that that line meant they loved him the way that I love chicken. Mmm, tasty.

      • Sadie_TARDIS says:

        THIS. That line is what I remember when I think about this episode, which, well, doesn't reflect well on the episode as a whole. I mean, if it had just implied in a neutral manner that he was raped, it would still have been tasteless, but I could probably write it off as karmic retribution for what he was planning to subject Buffy to, or something along those lines. But making a guy being raped to death the episode's PUNCHLINE? Yeah, now I'm mad. Oh, and did I mention that he was raped to death because steroids are bad? There's a reason I skip this episode on re-watch.

      • notemily says:

        Ugh, I was wondering about that, but I didn't wonder for long because it was too awful to think about.

    • guest_age says:

      Yes, that really happens in high schools. Particularly in small town schools where football is an institution. I always like to joke that in my small town, high school football was as much of a religion as anything else. Only everyone prayed to the almighty goalposts every Friday night instead of spending every Sunday praying to the Almighty.

      Buffy's depiction, however fictional and supernatural'ed up it may be, is fairly accurate.

    • robin_comments says:

      I really don’t like how students who are good at sports always get special treatment.
      I guess I’m being oblivious again, but does this actually happen in high schools?

      Oh, yes. It was so annoying at my high school that one reason I selected the college I ended up attending was that it had little interest in sports and didn't even have a football team at all.

    • John Small Berries says:

      "School coaches are so often depicted as cruel or evil on TV, even Buffy has done it before."

      With only one exception, every PE coach I had in school treated non-athletic kids like dirt. I was scrawny and uncoordinated, and the coaches had nothing but contempt for me. They showed the same contempt for everyone else who was underweight or overweight (which I really didn't understand, given that the coaches were overweight themselves) or not athletically inclined.

      The one coach who didn't act that way was small, wiry… and commanded absolutely no respect from the "jocks".

      So I personally see that depiction as completely realistic.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Oh, I agree completely. Every PE lesson was pure horror for me. I was overweight and had no coordination at all and the teachers always treated me as if I was just too stupid to understand how to do sports.
        What is surprising to me is that so many shows do this and I thought "Did non of the writers have good memories of PE?"

    • Ginsue says:

      "I guess I’m being oblivious again, but does this actually happen in high schools? "

      Same here. I did not experience this in high school.

      "Wow, I hate that swimmer guy and I love to hate Snyder. "

      Who will we hate when Snyder is gone? I am just speculating here because I really do not know how long he will last. I just cannot imagine a character, that causes the audience to gnash their teeth with every appearance, lasting for five(?) more seasons. Also, how could the director's resist killing him for that long? He's the perfect character to die ironically. I actually had my fingers crossed when Spike's gang infiltrated the school… no such luck.

  3. Seventh_Star says:

    i feel like i'm going to be in the minority on this one, but…i like this episode. like, A LOT. is the premise patently ridiculous? yes. is it often more than slightly offensive? also yes. is it the btvs episode that's the most like an episode of dawson's creek? probably. even so, i honestly enjoy it. there are some lines in this one that are really "out there," and i appreciate that. they crack me up so hard.

    wentworth miller (gage) is a cutie and has a great name. it's not on par with, say, benedict cumberbatch or ezekial wigglesworth, but it's a solid name.

    buffy just slammed that dude's face into his own steering wheel! YESSSS.

    "any demons with high cholesterol? *pauses* you're gonna think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh."

    are cafeteria privileges REALLY something to brag about?

    v yvxr gung jvyybj npphfvat wbanguna bs trggvat onpx ng gur grnz ol hfvat qnex negf vf zrnag gb cynl nf n evqvphybhf nffhzcgvba. ur vfa'g hfvat gurz abj, ohg ur pregnvayl qbrf yngre.

    ok, i hate it when gage calls buffy a bitch (NOT OK), but he sorta wins me over when he asks her to walk him home and when he waves at her from the pool like a little kid. it's cute enough for me to actually feel a pang of regret when he goes.

    xander in a speedo! sometimes i'm shallow…

    "the discus throwers got the best seats at all the crucifixions."

    "i want you to know that i still care about you no matter what you look like. and…and we can still date! or…or not. i mean, i understand if you wanna see other fish. i'll do everything i can to make your quality of life better, whether that means little bath toys or whatever."
    and this is the sweetest thing that cordelia could possibly say to xander, even if she was actually talking to a sea monster…

  4. Jack_of_Hearts says:

    So yeah, I was over the moon when Mark revealed that he was going to be reviewing Buffy, so when the reviews finally started to arrive I commited myself to becoming much more active and posting with greater frequency. That…didn't really pan out. I tried it for a couple of days, and found myself spending HOURS idly scanning through the comments section, and it completely drained my productivity. So, although I was having fun, I resolved to remove myself from commenting, at least until my coursework deadlines lightened a little. But if anything, my deadlines are even stricter at this point, and even at the risk of becoming overworked, I'm back. Because…Well, I suppose it's because I have very little self-restraint ๐Ÿ™‚ On that note though, this isn't exactly the greatest episode for me to have renewed my …watchingness for, although in its defense, it DOES serve to answer one of the most pressing questions raised by the most recent season of Doctor Who.
    "Do fish have fingers?" They do in Sunnydale.

  5. hpfish13 says:

    I fully recognize that this episode is not very good and suffers due to its placement in the season, but I remember watching it and just being excited that there was a swim team in it!! I swam on a team for 11 years (did about 20 hours a week in the pool in high school), and I loved that the star team at Sunnydale High was their swim team!

    Interestingly enough, the guys on our swim team were all fairly popular (the prom king my senior year was captain of the water polo team and on the swim team). On the other hand, we also had an awful coach; I didn’t swim on the high school team my senior year because of him (he was also the water polo coach and would mostly play the girls that flirted with him), and he tried to fail me—in my swimming PE class—for having a sprained ankle and being unable to swim. A few years after I graduated he was fired for a series of reasons, for planning on making a swim suit calendar as a fundraising idea, to being caught making out with a student in his classroom. He may not have been turning swimmers into fish monsters, but I did rejoice when I found out he was fired.

    All that being said, I love Willow’s interrogation of Jonathan.
    Willow: So, Jonathan. You tried out for the swim team twice and never made it?
    Jonathan: (fidgets) I'm asthmatic. I couldn't keep up.
    Willow: You resented it, didn't you?
    Jonathan: Maybe.
    Willow: You hated being pushed around by Dodd and the others.
    Jonathan: So?
    Willow: So, you wanted revenge. Didn't you? Didn't you?!
    Jonathan: (nervously) Yeah! Okay? I did!
    Willow: So… You delved into the black arts and conjured up a hellbeast from the ocean's depths to wreak your vengeance.
    Jonathan: Huh?
    Willow: Didn't you?
    Jonathan: (confused) What? No! I snuck in yesterday and… peed in the pool.
    Willow: (disappointed) Oh. (disgusted) Eww!

    And I love this moment of Cordelia’s!

    Cordelia: I want you to know that I still care about you, no matter what you look like. And-and we can still date. Or-or not. I mean, I understand if you wanna see other fish. I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better, whether that means little bath toys or whatever.

    • Ginsue says:

      Cordelia's moment was definitely worth watching this episode. As a first time viewer, I was only a tad disappointed that this was a filler, as it is still new material for me. Filler is just another chance for newbies to see these characters interact wonderfully. I imagine, though, when I rewatch Buffy, I will skip this one over in favor of more meaty episodes. I can admit that I see the non-spectacularness of this episode, though, even if I am still in awe at the newness.

      • cait0716 says:

        There are always great character moments that make the more lackluster episodes fun. This isn't one I'll specifically put on, but if it comes on TV or something, I'll leave it on.

  6. Jenny_M says:

    Oh god, I’ve made it to the season finale. LOL, yet again, it’s split up over the weekend. I SWEAR I DON’T PLAN THIS ON PURPOSE, EVERYONE.

    Do you KNOW how much rot13 facepalming is done about these things? JUST ONCE, A NICE FINALE ON A FRIDAY.

  7. Delta1212 says:

    The episode wherein Michael Scoffield turns into a fish.

    All in all, this episode actually wound up being better than I remembered.

  8. rabbitape says:

    Please tell me someone has a gif of Xander in his speedo. It's at the top of my wishlist, right next to a gif of Isabella Rossellini swimming from "Death Becomes Her."

    (I'm not really a skeeve. Honest!)

  9. Kickpuncher says:

    I know lots of people in fandom hate this episode, but I can’t help liking it at least a little bit for the Xander/Cordelia scenes in the pool room and the Jonathan scenes (FYI MARK JONATHAN HAS BEEN IN LOADS OF SEASON TWO EPISODES FOR A HANDFUL OF LINES. (He was the student who I inconsiderately asked for books on Stalin when the Scoobies were very busy researching, for one) I THINK IT’S A NICE BIT OF CONTINUITY TO HAVE A CONSISTENT MINOR CHARACTER LIKE THAT. I’VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR YOU TO NOTICE HIM.

  10. cait0716 says:

    Back in the summer of 2002, I received the second season of Buffy on DVD for my birthday. I promptly invited my friends over for a Buffy-fest during which we watched the entire season in a single sitting. It turns out that this is an 18 hour marathon and, being poor planners, we started it around 6 PM and watched through the night. It was a long night and we were all lagging toward the end. Thankfully Go Fish was there to provide a crucial 45-minute nap just in time to help us power through the last two episodes.

  11. robin_comments says:

    This episode is mostly delightfully wacky filler, so I will attempt to say absolutely nothing serious about it.

    Important things we learned in this episode:
    Both Xander and Buffy are absolutely terrible at undercover work
    Cordelia would still date fish monster!Xander. Little bath toys!!! \o/

    Getting together for a bonfire on a cold beach = MUCH more realistic social event for Southern California teenagers compared to the town night club.

    "Okay… good pie charts everyone." o.O

    "Because when I'm in the vastness of the ocean…" Guy Who Talks About Nothing But Sea Water, you are so wtf. And yes, it is over the top and ridiculous, but I must admit to being very amused.

    No romantic pressure… HEY ARE YOU WEARING A BRA?

    ok, the scene where Buffy's like, "oh, it is not me I'm worried about" and then throws him around, and then Snyder comes up and she gives him this FACE. That face just kills me. @ 9:56 minutes. go check it out.

    And it's THE RUSSIANS? lol evil Russian experiments. What what what are you doing writers, you need a sassy gay friend.

  12. robin_comments says:

    This episode is mostly delightfully wacky filler, so I will attempt to say absolutely nothing serious about it.

    Important things we learned in this episode:
    Both Xander and Buffy are absolutely terrible at undercover work
    Cordelia would still date fish monster!Xander. Little bath toys!!! \o/

    Getting together for a bonfire on a cold beach = MUCH more realistic social event for Southern California teenagers compared to the town night club.

    "Okay… good pie charts everyone." o.O

    "Because when I'm in the vastness of the ocean…" Guy Who Talks About Nothing But Sea Water, you are so wtf. And yes, it is over the top and ridiculous, but I must admit to being very amused.

    No romantic pressure… HEY ARE YOU WEARING A BRA?

    ok, the scene where Buffy's like, "oh, it is not me I'm worried about" and then throws him around, and then Snyder comes up and she gives him this FACE. That face just kills me. @ 9:56 minutes. go check it out.

    And it's THE RUSSIANS? lol evil Russian experiments. What what what are you doing writers, you need a sassy gay friend.

  13. knut_knut says:

    Confession: I love all variations of the Gill-man. The faker and more lulzy the costume, the better. As soon as I saw the ocean, I knew this episode would feature some Gill-man like creature, and I got very excited.

    Things I liked:
    – the Gill-man/men, obviously. I don’t know why I like them so much, maybe because they don’t scare me at all? I’m afraid of EVERYTHING- when I was younger I saw 5 minutes of The Blob (the 1950s one that was basically very angry jello) and couldn’t sleep for weeks- but frog people aren’t terrifying to me in the slightest.
    – I really loved Xander and Cordelia in this episode. I loved undercover Xander, which was basically him just being incredibly chatty, and Cordelia’s speech to “Xander” at the very end. She offered to give him little bath toys!!
    – Willow’s interrogation <3 I loved her little desk lamp that wasn’t actually doing much. She did crack him like an egg, as she said she would. Mission accomplished!

    Cont’d because IE is THE WORST EVER

  14. knut_knut says:

    – WHEN GAGE TORE OFF HIS SKIN ALKSJDF;ASJKDF I didn’t LIKE it, but it was REALLY UNSETTLING even though his skin looked like a rubber suit
    – I also really liked the creepy music during the final shot. Like I said before, I don’t find frog people all that frightening, but the music at that moment made my skin crawl

    Things I hated:
    – WTF VICTIM-BLAMING, SLUT-SHAMING, ALL THAT NONSENSE. SNYDER, YOU DISGUST ME. You put the swim team before attempted rape? And then tell Buffy the way she’s dressed means she’s asking for it? NO, NO, NO, NO, A MILLION TIMES NO.
    – Was it just me, or was there a gang-rape joke when Coach throws Buffy to the Gill-men?
    – Basically all the interactions with the swim team were pretty horrible. I hate that they got a free pass to be slackers and dicks just because they were a winning team. I think it’s actually pretty accurate, but I still hate it. I WILL HATE IT UNTIL I DIE.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Pretty sure it was a gang-rape joke. I don't know why I remember this episode so well.

    • Danny_SAP says:

      It's definitely not just you thinking it was a gang-rape joke… I think it can go either way… with them loving the raping or the eating of their coach. I'm of the eating preference… mostly because, otherwise, ew, bad writers.

      • Noybusiness says:

        I think Knut Knut means when the Coach threw Buffy. He actually intended them to gang-rape her. When the Coach fell in himself, Buffy's quip referred to them eating him.

        • Danny_SAP says:

          Oh you're right! There was a conversation in a different thread about whether Buffy's "Those boys sure do love their coach" (paraphrased) comment was a rape joke or not.

  15. misterbernie says:

    I feel so delightfully non-mainstream for not having the slightest clue who these people are.

    Fubhyq V dhbgr guvf ng Znex ba Zbaqnl?

    German title: Das Geheimnis der Fischmonster – The Secret of the Fish Monsters.
    That makes two "The Secret of the X" titles in German season two (the other being Inca Mummy Girl), just so you know.

    So. TOMORROW. Vf Sevqnl! Sevqnl!

    • @liliaeth says:

      Crefbanyyl V'z zber rntre sbe zbaqnl. Nyy gur orfg zbzragf bs Orpbzvat unccra va gur frpbaq cneg, jryy sbe zr ng yrnfg ๐Ÿ™‚

    • settlingforhistory says:

      I never liked episode titles with "The Secret of" because you're kind of ruining the secret with it, right?

    • t09yavosaur says:

      I only know Wentworth Miller from Prison Break but Shane West was considered a teen heart-throb when I was a kid. The only thing I can think of that he was in was A Walk to Remember but he is currently in Nikita.

      • RachelFatale says:

        Shane West was on Once and Again in the late 90s/early 2000s, and then he was on ER for several years.

  16. guest_age says:

    1) I love Jonathan, and how he just keeps randomly popping up, being awkward and scrawny, and then he goes away again. <3

    2) My favorite part of this whole episode is Cordelia's speech to the creature she thinks is Xander. Character growth, yay!

    3) And yeah, I know what you mean about sports culture. I wasn't on any teams but all of my high school's coaches were also teachers, and I have vivid memories of Civics (taught by one of the assistant coaches), sitting in the front row and watching him spend half the class period chit-chatting with the football players and then all of them copying my answers. The teacher would look right at them, see what they were doing, and just ignore it. Sure, we made it to state playoffs three of the four years I went there, but seriously, was that worth graduating a group of guys who could barely read, much less function in college courses? Absolutely not.

    4) This episode is like a treasure trove of people who are now slightly more well-known (Wentworth Miller, Shane West, Conchatta Ferrell). SO YOUNG!

    5) I feel so sorry for all of us dealing with a split finale. It's like the universe hates us all.

    • nanceoir says:

      Is there anyone else who remembers Conchatta Ferrell from that first ER show? It had Elliot Gould and the blonde recruit from Police Academy 4, and, after reviewing IMDb, I see it also had Mary McDonnell (which I think I now vaguely remember, but her role in Sneakers took over the random role spot in my head) and George Clooney. Anyway, that's the show I always think of when I think of Conchatta Ferrell.

      • guest_age says:

        I always just remember her because she's from about an hour away from where I live. There aren't that many famous people from West Virginia so we tend to remember the ones who are. I'm like a walking encyclopedia of famous people from here.

  17. NB2000 says:

    I do like this episode, it's a good story and covers a lot of issues that relate to the high school setting but WOW is this in the wrong place in the season. Angel's just sort of…here…in a role that could have been filled by Random Vampire of the Week.

    I can't really think of much to say about the slut-shaming of Buffy besides EWW and can I please slap Cameron/Snyder/The Coach for that? Please? At least the show makes it clear they're in the wrong about this.

    The monster effects for the fish-guys are really good and REALLY CREEPY. The pile of skin left after Dodd changes is so gross, there's like STEAM coming off it, ewww.

    Gur Wbanguna zvfyrnq vf vagrerfgvat. N pbhcyr bs frnfbaf, uryy rira ARKG frnfba, vg cebonoyl jbhyq unir orra n zbafgre ur frg ba gurz/n fcryy ur pnfg ba gurz. Juvpu envfrf gur dhrfgvba: qvq Jvyybj whfg tvir uvz gur vqrn gb hfr zntvp va gur shgher?

    • cait0716 says:

      Yeah, I think this episode would have been better pre-Passion. Then we could have rolled from IOHEFY straight into the finale and tensions would still be high. Also, isn't swimming a winter sport? Not a spring one?

      • hpfish13 says:

        Not at all schools, ours was Fall=guy's water polo, Winter=girl's water polo and Spring=Swimming. It was not fun to go to water polo practice in December when the wind was blowing and it was 40 degrees outside and you're being told "Raise yourself as far out of the water as you can!"

    • robin_comments says:

      er: Jvyybj tvivat Wbuanguna gur vqrn sbe nohfvat zntvp. nnnnnnnu gung vf fhpu n jbaqreshy naq UBEEVOYR gubhtug. V obgu ybir naq ungr lbhe oenva. V guvax V funyy nqbcg guvf nf cneg bs zl crefbany pnaba.

      Qhevat nyy bs gur Jvyybj vagreebtngvba gnyx V xrcg nobhg ubj zhpu yrff phgr naq syhssl gur pbagrkg jvyy or va yngre frnfbaf — ba obgu fvqrf.

      • NB2000 says:

        V ybir naq ungr zl oenva sbe guvf gbb. V zrna vg svgf fb jryy ohg…AB JVYYBJ FGBC GNYXVAT GUVF JVYY BAYL RAQ ONQYL!

        Bu zna V'z obgu qernqvat naq ernyyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb Rnefubg.

    • robin_comments says:

      er: Jvyybj tvivat Wbuanguna gur vqrn sbe nohfvat zntvp. nnnnnnnu gung vf fhpu n jbaqreshy naq UBEEVOYR gubhtug. V obgu ybir naq ungr lbhe oenva. V guvax V funyy nqbcg guvf nf cneg bs zl shgher pnaba.

      Qhevat nyy bs gur Jvyybj vagreebtngvba gnyx V xrcg nobhg ubj zhpu yrff phgr naq syhssl gur pbagrkg jvyy or va yngre frnfbaf — ba obgu fvqrf.

  18. t09yavosaur says:

    -I suppose if they have docks, it makes sense they have a beach.
    -Ok, dude. That story about the ocean is poetic but also a little creepy.
    -Don't y'all be mean to Danny Strong. Hi Johnny!
    -Meerkat look.
    -Ugh, Principle Snyder. She is already doing you a favor by teaching.
    -Nose, meet steering wheel. Have a nice day.
    -Continue your rapist excuses. She should introduce you to her ex.
    -I agree with Xander, the skin is the best part…when it is cooked and it is poultry.
    -Wait…Sunnydale High has a steam room?
    -60 cents for a soda. My how times have changed.
    -Johnny? Have you been lurking around all season just to become a bad guy?
    -Since the team didn't think of it does that mean the 3rd best swimmer guy is doing it to be the best?
    -Stalker Buffy, you are so not subtle.
    -It is you Michael Scofield. I'm doing great at American Actor Bingo this week.
    -"Walk me home," without his earlier jerkiness I could think he is adorable.
    -Aww, he was turning himself around. Also, ew.
    -He bit her, is fishyness contagious?
    -Is it in the steam?
    -And Shane West too. BINGO!
    -Awwww, Cordy. You're willing to still date Fish!Xander.
    -I learned from Jeopardy last night that there is a European fish that is called a Zander.
    -I am glad you can joke Buffy because it is realllllly not funny.
    -"This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back."

  19. enigmaticagentscully says:

    So I mentioned to my friend, who has been very good at avoiding spoilers so far, that I was going off to watch this episode and she told me (and I quote) that it is ‘really really stupid’. I asked, and she also said that it has nothing to do with the overarching plot, so I decided to do something I haven’t for a while – a stream of thoughts thing instead of a proper post!
    Here we go!

    -Sunnydale has a beach now?
    -LOL high mortality rate
    -Ewwwww creepy poetic guy coming on too strong
    -WOW, why are the people Buffy saves always such jerks to her?
    -OH GOD SKIN. I guess it was a bad idea to eat while watching this, huh?
    -Pie charts! Are they…paying Willow at all to do this job? Is that even legal?
    -Awwww Willow has integrity!
    -Boy, if Snyder tried this with Jenny, she’d hand his ass to him in two seconds flat. You know, it’s kind of a shame we never got to see any interactions between them, actually.
    -Yes, I still miss her.
    -Soo…Buffy’s dating this weirdo now?
    -Oh you disgusting fuckbag, DIE IN ALL THE FIRES
    -‘You’re gonna think about that later mister, and you’re gonna laugh!’
    -Wait, there’s a steam room in their school? The fuck? Since when? Is their school like Hogwarts, it just changes to suit their needs?
    -Oh it just…left?
    -Huh, Cordelia’s pretty good at drawing!
    -LOL I use ‘from whence it came’ all the time. Probably because my dad talks exactly like Giles. I also say ‘whom’ in the appropriate places.
    -Er…Buffy, you are really terrible at this ‘subtlety’ thing
    -Did his blood taste of chlorine or something?
    -Half naked guys make me a little uncomfortable. Half naked Xander doubly so.
    -Actually, respect to Xander for coming up with this plan
    -Oh Cordy, you are fabulous
    -So steroid abuse turns you into monster fish?
    -AWKWARD PSA TIEM oh god suddenly reminded of ‘I Robot…you Jane’ *sob*
    -Oooh a sewer hunt! Buffy has the most glamorous job ever.
    -Oh no! Poor nurse lady!
    -No good sentence starts ‘after the fall of the Soviet Union…’
    -Did he just say…for the win? FTW!
    -JESUS he brought a gun?
    -UM. ‘boys have other needs’ NO THANK YOU. ABORT. ABORT.
    -AWWWWWWWW Cordelia! She’s so cute! I mean, that’s clearly not Xander, but still.
    -Love Giles herding the swim team into the library cage! That cage has come in really handy so far, hasn’t it? Does anyone have a count of how many times they’ve used it to hold the monster of the week?
    -‘Those boys really love their coach’. UM. What exactly is she implying there?

    Nothing to say about this episode except…yep, my friend was right. It wasn’t BAD exactly, it was just…there.

    • cait0716 says:

      The sewer hunt! I was watching this episode and had no memory at all of that scene. That hasn't happened to me in a very long time.

      This whole episode just doesn't quite feel like it belongs. I agree that it's not bad. Just sort of "what?"

    • misterbernie says:

      I also say ‘whom’ in the appropriate places.
      *highfives you*

      Fhaalqnyr unf n ornpu abj?
      Fhaalqnyr unf ornpu abj – naq ab, V jvyy arire yrg guvf bar tb.

    • robin_comments says:

      Does anyone have a count of how many times they’ve used it to hold the monster of the week?
      oh, that's such a good count idea!

      Off the top of my head I can think of The Pack and Dark Age. So that's three so far… am I missing any?

    • Danny_SAP says:

      For The Win FTW! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Noybusiness says:

      -Boy, if Snyder tried this with Jenny, she’d hand his ass to him in two seconds flat. You know, it’s kind of a shame we never got to see any interactions between them, actually.

      Good point!

    • notemily says:

      -Did he just say…for the win? FTW!

      Reading your real-time reactions to this is so amusing. I had the exact same reaction here ๐Ÿ˜€ And I totally agree Jenny would have schooled Snyder so fast.

    • Cordette says:

      -Oh you disgusting fuckbag, DIE IN ALL THE FIRES


  20. Hotaru_hime says:

    Jonathan~ He's not really important, but he's so cute!
    Xander in a speedo!!!! Why don't you look like this anymore, Nicholas Brenden?!
    Finaole tomorrow! You are not prepared!

    • cait0716 says:

      Knaqre va n fcrrqb!!!! Jul qba'g lbh ybbx yvxr guvf nalzber, Avpubynf Oeraqra?!

      bu zl tbq, zl zbz jrag ba enagf nobhg ubj zhpu jrvtug Avpubynf Oeraqna naq Qnivq Obernanm tnvarq va yngre frnfbaf naq ubj vg arire jbhyq unir orra npprcgnoyr sbe FZT be Nylfba Unaavtna gb unir tnvarq gung zhpu jrvtug naq jung n fghcvq qbhoyr fgnaqneq vg jnf.

      • Hotaru_hime says:

        Vg'f n fuvggl qbhoyr fgnaqneq, nygubhtu Obernanm pneevrq gur jrvtug orggre guna Oeraqna. Ohg sbe n 200 lrne byq inzcver gung'f arire fhccbfrq gb punatr, obl Natry punatrq dhvgr n ovg qvqa'g ur?

      • @liliaeth says:

        V qvq ernq gung orsber zbivat gb Natry, Wnzrf fcrpvsvpnyyl fgbccrq rkrepvfvat nf zhpu, gb gel naq xrrc gurz sebz tvivat uvz gbb znal anxrq fprarf. Nsgre f6 bs Ohssl, V pna'g ernyyl oynzr gur thl. (gubhtu vg qvq uryc gur gurzr bs gur frnfba, jvgu Fcvxr nyy erirnyvat (nxn anxrq unys gur gvzr), naq Ohssl pybfvat urefrys bs (be orvat shyyl qerffrq sbe zbfg bs gur fprarf)

        • cait0716 says:

          V fhccbfr gung znxrf frafr. Gurl unq n unovg bs haqerffvat gur zra ba gur fubj. Rira Oeraqna unf orra ahqr/fgevccrq qbja naq bowrpgvsvrq ol gur pnzren zber guna gur tveyf fb sne (va Avtugznerf naq guvf rcvfbqr). Naq Fcvxr ernyyl jnf anxrq n ybg va gur yngre frnfbaf. Abg gung V rire zvaqrq.

          • @liliaeth says:

            Zr arvgure, gubhtu V fubhyq cbvag bhg gung FZT jnf nccneragyl fzneg rabhtu gb hfr ure cbfvgvba nf yrnq, gb unir vg chg va ure pbagenpg gung fur qvqa'g qb ahqr fprarf.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          "V qvq ernq gung orsber zbivat gb Natry, Wnzrf fcrpvsvpnyyl fgbccrq rkrepvfvat nf zhpu, gb gel naq xrrc gurz sebz tvivat uvz gbb znal anxrq fprarf. "

          Vg boivbhfyl qvqa'g uryc. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • kristinc says:

        V qvq abgvpr ubj Knaqre naq Natry tbg puhaxvre naq puhaxvre naq gur tveyf tbg guvaare naq guvaare. Qvfpbapregvat.

      • notemily says:

        Lbhe zbz vf evtug. V npghnyyl ernyyl yvxrq Ohssl'f ebhaqre snpr naq pheivre culfvdhr va gur svefg frnfba, naq V jnf qvfnccbvagrq jura fur orpnzr obar-guva yngre.

    • Jordan says:

      Wbanguna~ Ur'f abg ernyyl vzcbegnag, ohg ur'f fb phgr!
      Oynfcurzl! Whfg lbh jnvg! fb abg cercnerq sbe gur njrfbzrarff gung vf Wbuanguna!

      • Hotaru_hime says:

        V'ir jngpurq gur jubyr frevrf, V whfg qba'g jnag gb fcbvy Znex naq V qvqa'g jnag gb obgure plcurevat.

    • MzyraJ says:

      Wbanguna vf xvaq bs fjrrg, ohg V nyjnlf cersreerq Naqerj zlfrys ^.^ *ehssyrf uvf oybaqr unve* Ur jnf zl fjrrg-thl frzv-pehfu gb zl rzoneenffvat onq-thl pehfu ba Fcvxr…

      • Wenelmada says:

        OMG me too! ๐Ÿ˜€ Ab bar haqrefgnaqf zl Naqerj ybir…

        • MzyraJ says:

          *Understanding hug* We shall form our own (possibly very small) fan group! X)

          Whfg gung rcvfbqr jurer ur'f sbyybjvat rirelguvat unccravat jvgu gung ivqrb pnzren naq vf gelvat gb rkcynva jung unccrarq gb Wbanguna naq vf nyy thvygl naq fnq… Nyy gur srryvatf! Lrnu, ur fubhyqa'g unir qbar vg ertneqyrff bs jung uvf qrnq orfg sevraq jnf gryyvat uvz *rlr ebyy* ohg fgvyy.

          • Ida says:

            I want in it too!

            Fjrrg, fghcvq, ebznagvp yvggyr vqvbg. Ubj pbhyq ur or fb anïir? Evtug, V xabj jul. Ybir vf oyvaq, evtug? Naq nccneragyl rabhtu gb gnxr njnl jung yvggyr pbzzba frafr ur rire unq… Fher, yrg'f qb jung gur tubfg bs lbhe zheqrebhf qrnq pehfu gryyf lbh gbb, orpnhfr ur unf arire orra jebat orsber, naq rirelguvat ur gbyq lbh gb qb orsber whfg znqr lbhe yvsr fbbb zhpu orggre, evtug?

            Gung fprar va "Fgbelgryyre" jura ur'f whfg ybbxvat ng gur pnzren, fnlvat, "Gurer'f n ovt onggyr pbzvat, naq V qba'g guvax V'yy yvir guebhtu vg. Gung'f cebonoyl gur jnl vg fubhyq or…" V jba'g qral vg, V pevrq.

            Lrf, V ungr gung ur xvyyrq Wbanguna. Ohg V whfg ybir uvz fb zhpu.

    • Riel says:

      V gubhtug Jurqba gbyq Oeraqba gb fgbc jbexvat bhg? Orpnhfr "Knaqre fubhyqa'g ybbx yvxr gung".

      And coincidence! Last night I caught a rerun of Criminal Minds that featured a naked, soapy, Nicholas Brandon.

  21. Inseriousity. says:

    When he's ripping his own skin, it's gross.
    When the coach tells her to dress more appropriately, it's gross
    When they kill the nurse and her body is floating on the water, it's gross
    When they say Buffy isn't for eating, she's for mating, it's gross.

    This episode is full of gross, basically!

  22. Karen says:

    UGH. THIS EPISODE. WHY. High point of this episode: Nicolas Brendon in a speedo. Also, Wentworth Miller. But really this is a worse filler episode than "Killed by Death". This episode is just such a waste of time while we wait for the inevitable confrontation between Buffy and Angel. Unlike other MotW episodes, the Angel appearance here seems perfunctory rather than relevant to the MotW plot or moving the Angel plot forward.

    I mean, the episode is trying to say something about high school sports culture and steroid use. But it's just kind of too obvious and trying to hard to make this not very revolutionary point.

    Idk. Maybe I can't really relate because my high school never took sports that seriously. Probably because we sucked. LOL. But like we actually had an Olympic caliber athelete (like she actually went to the Olympics- Athens and Beijing and won individual silver and relay gold medals) on our track tea and still no one showed up to track meets. My college was a big sports school though. (Go Bruins!) But still, idk. This episode just doesn't really work for me on any level.

    And then there's the way that women are treated. Not only do we have the coach giving Buffy to the sea monsters to rape, which is gross and horrifying, but that scene with Buffy and Cam in the car is bad too. I mean, it's great that Buffy is strong and can beat him up for trying to assault her, but that scene is just too real for me to really watch. OH AND THEN IT'S FOLLOWED UP BY THE COACH TELLING BUFFY THAT IT'S HER FAULT FOR WEARING PROVOCATIVE CLOTHING. ;LSDKFJ;LSDKJF; EVEN THOUGH THIS MENTALITY IS SHOWN BY THE SHOW TO BE BAD, IT STILL MAKES ME ANGRY. UGH.

    Sidenote: Is Willow teaching all of Jenny’s classes? When does she have time to go to her own classes?

  23. "Oh god, I’ve made it to the season finale. LOL, yet again, it’s split up over the weekend. I SWEAR I DON’T PLAN THIS ON PURPOSE, EVERYONE."

    I don't believe you, Mark. I think you do plan this on purpose. We laugh at how prepared you are not. You laugh at making us wait through the weekend for the finale review.

    Yours is an evil laugh.

  24. clodia_risa says:


    V guvax gung jura Ohssl gbyq Qnja gung Knaqre jnf va n fcrrqb, Qnja tbg hcfrg naq uhssl gung Ohssl qvqa’g trg n cvpgher sbe ure.

    Nyfb, Ohssl gbgnyyl onaarq Qnja sebz nyy fcbegf – abj naq sberire. Nyfb, evqvat va pnef jvgu oblf.

    • cait0716 says:

      V ybir gung V pna abj genafyngr "qnja guernq" va zl urnq. V frr gur yrggref naq V xabj jung vg zrnaf.

      V org Ohssl nyfb onaarq Qnja sebz fgrnz ebbzf.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Nyfb, Ohssl gbgnyyl onaarq Qnja sebz nyy fcbegf – abj naq sberire. Nyfb, evqvat va pnef jvgu oblf.

      Naq gur ornpu naq fgrnz ebbzf.

      • L_Storm says:

        V'z fher gur ornpu jbhyq unir orra onaarq orsber guvf, ohg guvf rcvfbqr jnf cebonoyl gur svefg gvzr vg'q pbzr hc va sebag bs gur ivrjref.


      Frevbhfyl, V jnag *nyy* gur nygreangvir Qnja cybgyvarf. NYY BS GURZ. Lrf cyrnfr V jbhyq yvxr gung irel zhpu. Gbgnyyl npphengr gurbel, gbb: Ohssl jbhyq unir onaarq Qnja sebz fgrnzebbzf va na vafgnag naq vg jbhyq or obgu uvynevbhf naq fhcre qvssvphyg sbe Qnja gb rkcynva gb ure jrveqrq-bhg pynffzngrf qhevat svryq gevcf gb gur cbby. Gbgnyyl.

      Guvf vf enaqbz, ohg qbrf nalbar jub xabjf Ohssl snaqbz orggre guna V qb unir nal erpbzzraqngvbaf sbe ybatre-yratgu Qnja vafreg fgbevrf? Orpnhfr V jbhyq or nyy bire gung yvxr jbnu.

    • hamnoo says:

      Gurer ner Qnja guernqf? Lbh unir Qnja guernqf? V qba'g nyjnlf ha-ebg13 rirelguvat, ohg V'yy unir gb fgnl ba gur ybbxbhg sebz abj ba.

      • clodia_risa says:

        Jr qb! Jr gel gb unir gurz qnvyl fvapr gur zvqqyr bs frnfba bar, ohg jr zvtug unir zvffrq n qnl be gjb. V’z nyfb pbzcvyvat gurz gb cerfrag gurz nsgre fur’f orra rkcynvarq va frnfba 5. Jr nyjnlf gel gb fgneg vg bhg jvgu n irel boivbhf EBG13’q “Qnja Guernq” – juvpu V pna abj nyzbfg glcr jvgubhg univat gb pbaireg.

  25. Noybusiness says:

    "I mean, you are coach of a swim team at small high school. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS. There is no way you make enough money as a high school swim coach to pull this off."

    It's the Hellmouth lending a helping hand. Just like "Some Assembly Required" and "Ted". It's nice to have a universal explanation for weirdness.

    "But I kind of like that Buffy tackled teenage steroid use because people think it doesn’t happen, and I knew classmates of mine on the football, baseball, and track teams who took steroids."

    I remember that in high school Health class we had videos about steroids and they were very clear on two points. 1) 'Roid rage: if the guy you're dating is using steroids, get the heck away from him now. 2) Steroids increase muscle mass but don't strengthen tendons. This was illustrated with a lovely story about a man who picked up barbells and his muscles collapsed inside his arms.

    • Zoli says:

      This was illustrated with a lovely story about a man who picked up barbells and his muscles collapsed inside his arms.


      I mean, yes that will make the lesson stick, but good goddamn, I did not need that mental image. /brain bleach

  26. NB2000 says:

    Fubhyq V dhbgr guvf ng Znex ba Zbaqnl?

    Lrf lbh fubhyq

  27. purevertigo says:

    even wikipedia says [BtvS S2 finale] is one episodes that happens to be two hours long, you really should watch the whole thing tomorrow.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      I believe he watches the eps a little bit ahead of time. We're the ones who will roll around in agony waiting for the review. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Noybusiness says:

      No, they just don’t devote multiple articles to multi-part stories with the same name. They also have a single article for “Resurrection Ship”, “Exodus” etc. in BSG. [BtVS S2 finale] never aired as one episode.

    • Mez says:

      I disagree. [Finale] part 1 works really well as a single episode. There’s no reason to watch both at once.

    • echinodermata says:

      Removed the episode title from this comment and 2 others in this thread. Mark probably knows the title already, admittedly, but others might not and it's easier to moderate when we're consistent about the rules unless Mark specifically okays it.

  28. lawrence_s says:

    I have to believe this episode originated when Joss met with the writers and asked, "Do you have any scripts for episode 20?" and some newbie, unable to resist a tired joke, replied, "Go fish!"

    And the other writers groaned as Joss didn't realise she wasn't serious and thought "Hey, that's a good idea… sea monsters, right? We can even throw in a Jaws (mis)quote or a Black Lagoon reference or two!"

    And then otherwise they didn't really think it all the way through. It's really the only possible explanation.

    V guvax n pregnva punenpgre jub jvyy nccrne arkg frnfba cresrpgyl fhzf hc zl ernpgvba gb guvf rcvfbqr: "Oberq abj."

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      LOL really? I LOVE THIS. I need more Behind the Scenes Buffy Trivia in my life.

      • lawrence_s says:

        Er, sorry for the confusion, this isn't actual Behind the Scenes Buffy Trivia. I only think it should have played out that way, because otherwise I find the episode completely unjustifiable.

    • Thiamalonee says:

      I like your version!

      Per David Greenwalt's appearance on the Nerdist Writers' Panel Podcast, he and his wife wrote this pitch just after season one, and Joss decided to use it and bring the Greenwalts on-board. By the time they were in the writers' room, however, Joss and co were neck-deep in the season arc, and David said he felt so awkward with his fish script.

      I really like the episode, but it's clearly a stand-alone, not part of the arc.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        You mean David Fury (in his writing debut on BtVS), not David Greenwalt.

        I wonder why his wife didn't continue to co-write/be credited?

        • Thiamalonee says:

          Oops. Yeah, David Fury. His wife went to Mad About You, although they were both offered Buffy, that was when their writing partnership split, according to that interview.

  29. @sesinkhorn says:

    This is one of those episode that decided it was going to hit all my rape prevention and feminist hot buttons. FUCK YOU, AND FUCK YOU, AND FUCK FUCK FUCK YOU YOU YOU.

    I have to give props to the swim team here because I was on swim team in high school and we were LOCAL CHAMPIONS 25 YEARS RUNNING. 25 YEARS. And no one cared. They were like, "Oh, swim team, that's not a real sport. YEAH SHITTY FOOTBALL TEAM LET'S GO."


    Okay, scene where Xander walks into the cafeteria to find pile o' Cam: he's looking around for like a full minute when there is a VERY OBVIOUSLY STEAMING PILE OF SKIN AND CLOTHING IN THE ROOM. Like. Come on.

    That's pretty much all I have for this episode. I did not care for Buffy repeatedly being referred to as a "psycho" with "issues," but I still cackled when Gage asked her to walk him home.

    • Binx says:

      Didn't hit mine, as they were only showcased specifically so Buffy could point it out as being disgusting, unfair, and moronic. So as long as situations like that are treated in that way and shown in that light, then I'm all for those situations being presented. Buffy couldn't believe she was being treated the way she was just for being a girl and wearing what she was, and neither could we. We were meant to see the situation through her eyes, be on her side, and be affronted.

      • notemily says:

        You know, I agree with this, but then when she tries to explain it to Giles & co, they're all… ignoring her. I didn't like that part.

        • Binx says:

          No, I definitely didn't like that part either – nor get it. It's so out of character for all of them. The only thing I can think is that she had gotten past the attempted sexual assault long before, was granted pity and shock, and then moved on to ranting about the boringness of that dude and how much she hated Snyder for an hour or something, and they just couldn't take it any more because they were trying to solve murders…? I hope? My mind is totally just going to fill that in right there.

  30. cat lady says:

    One of my favorite MOTW episodes – funny, silly at times, and tackles a difficult and pervasive issue.

    And again, Joss takes on a horror classic, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, just so he can introduce him to his inner halibut.

  31. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Pie charts are the worst charts. Terrible terrible charts. Willow should know better.

    <img src=""&gt;

    XANDER And what about that nutty 'all men are created equal' thing?
    CORDELIA Propaganda spouted out by the ugly and less deserving.
    XANDER I think that was Lincoln.
    CORDELIA Disgusting mole and stupid hat.
    WILLOW Actually, it was Jefferson.
    CORDELIA Kept slaves, remember?

    Oh Cordy, sometimes you lose me with the anti-feminism but you win me back every time.

    <img src=""&gt;

    BUFFY So I'm treated like the baddie just because he has a sprained wrist and a bloody nose… And I don't have a scratch on me, which, granted, hurts my case a little on the surface, but meanwhile he gets away with it because he's on the 'aren't we the most' swim team. Who, by the way, if no one's noticed, have been acting like real jerks lately…

    She notices their expressions of impatience and tries to find some sympathy there. They have none to give.

    BUFFY So, anything new with you guys?
    GILES Thank you for taking an interest.

    Speaking of anti-feminism… a dude attempts to sexually assault Buffy and she gets in trouble for it and her friends couldn't care less.

    <img src=""&gt;
    Hello Xander Package! I mean Harris!

    <img src=""&gt;

    XANDER Yeah. I figured I can keep an eye on Gage and the others when Buffy can't.
    WILLOW When you're nude? I-I meant to say 'changing'.

    Where is Oz, btw. I think Willow is a little frustrated.

    <img src=""&gt;


    <img src=""&gt;

    CORDELIA Oh, my God! Xander! It's me, Cordelia? I know you can't answer me, but… God, this is all my fault. You joined the swim team to impress me. You were so courageous. And you looked really hot in those Speedo's. And I want you to know that I still care about you, no matter what you look like. And… and we can still date. Or, or not. I mean… I understand if you want to see other fish. I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better. Whether that means little bath toys or whatever.

    For example, this totally makes up for her "run like a woman" comment from earlier in the episode.

    <img src=""&gt;

    The high point of this episode is Xander's package. What a terrible 43 minutes of television. Transcripts from BvA.

  32. Raenef_the_5th says:

    Oh this ep… I don't have too much opinions on it except ew to the guys and their actions and the monsters, and Cordelia please be wonderful forever.

  33. Sarah S says:

    Two things. In Buffy there are no filler episodes, there are episodes that lull you into a false sense of security before hitting you with things like Passion. Second, ever hear the quote that goes something like, "If you don't laugh you'll cry."? I don't think Buffy's so much trying to be funny-funny as she's letting out some gallows humour because otherwise she'll have a nervous breakdown. There's a certain amount of that in this show and as someone who sternly has to repress the need to point out things at funerals like that the 20something younger brother of my best friend wouldn't be dead if he hadn't been doing those things he loved so much. Tragic, but it was all I could do not to be sarcastic and biting about it. I'm even worse at weddings. The point is, for Buffy and Xander, shock comes out in uncensored brain-to-mouth comments. At least, that's how I see it.

    • Sarah S says:

      Oh yes, something else I just thought of and will append to my own comment, sports teams getting everything handed to them was just something that I never experienced. See, ours always came back from any games or meets or what-have-you to the words, "So, how much did you lose by?" We knew they wouldn't win, so there was no point in asking who'd won.

      Now, those damned mathletes . . . swanning around, getting to not go to gym class. Feh.

    • darkwater says:

      Lrnu, guvf rcvfbqr qbrf abguvat gb cercner lbh sbe jung pbzrf arkg.

  34. lula34 says:

    "Wait, is that a Silurian? OMG WHAT IF."

    This is now my favorite think Mark has ever uttered. Because I love nothing better than WHEN FANDOMS COLLIDE.

  35. bookling says:

    Cordelia's speech when she thinks Xander is the monster in the pool is one of my favorite things ever. "I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better, whether that means little bath toys or whatever. " LITTLE BATH TOYS! Ha!

  36. kristinc says:

    The show clearly portrays the dude who tries to rape buffy, and the coach, and Principal Snyder as jerks.

    But what about Giles — when Buffy rants at him about the misogynistic treatment she received, he's basically " …. and? Could we discuss somethingimportant now?"

    Grrrross, Giles.

  37. kristinc says:

    The show clearly portrays the dude who tries to rape buffy, and the coach, and Principal Snyder as jerks.

    But what about Giles — when Buffy rants at him about the misogynistic treatment she received, he's basically " …. and? Could we discuss something important now?"

    Grrrross, Giles.

    • robin_comments says:

      My guess is that we're supposed to take it like they're preoccupied with what they think is a supernatural murder and aren't worried about Buffy's safety because gross high school guys are completely outmatched when it comes to her. But I agree, it should still elicit some concern and disgust, regardless of how easily Buffy can overpower a human. Supernatural murder is very important! But a moment of empathy and solidarity could be spared. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit the tone here because the writers are going for laughs. Which… was probably not the best idea. That scene REALLY should have been thought out more.

    • katherinemh says:

      That bugged me, too. I might be remembering incorrectly, but doesn't even Willow just kind of give Buffy a look, too, after her rant? Those guys are portrayed as jerks, but no one really actively sides with Buffy, either. It kind of makes it seem like they think Buffy's overreacting or something. I just wanted someone to speak up and say, "No, Buffy, you're totally right, those guys are being gross."

    • Sarah S says:

      They're having trouble caring because Buffy's not upset about the assault, she's upset about Snyder's favouritism. And since the other three have been putting up with that favouritism through the whole episode, there's very much a quality of, "You went on a date with one of those jerks. What exactly did you expect if they stepped outside the boundaries? Snyder would punish him?"

      They're ignoring her and irate because they've probably been complaining to her all this time, and they've movced past the initial outrage and into a desensitised state of, "We'll just work around the bastards." Buffy's just bringing it all up, and when she should have known better. No one's paying attention to the almost-assault because Buffy isn't either. It's all about Snyder letting him get away with it.

      • kristinc says:

        Yeah, what the heck is she thinking being upset that someone tried to rape her and then that gross violation was compounded by the violation of authority figures telling her she deserved it. Everyone knows that attempted rape and excuse of attempted rape are on exactly the same level as being made to take kids trick-or-treating, or hosting Parent Night!

        What did she expect anyway, going on a date. It's like she's a …. a dating-person or something! Doesn't she know the way to not be raped is to not go on dates with the Wrong Guys and that the Wrong Guys have neon signs over their heads identifying them?

        … seriously?

        these are the things you're arguing?


  38. Danny_SAP says:

    That is precisely what bothers me the most about this episode. THEY LITERALLY DO NOT CARE.

  39. theDMG says:

    Thing that makes me sad: Now that Jonathan has a name I won't see "Wbanguna!" popping up in the rot13 comments as much. It's fun to say, "Wbanguna!" Like yogilates. Yogilates!

  40. erinmarie says:

    This episode. I just. I don't understand.

    It's not absolutely awful, but why in the world is it in between I Only Have Eyes for You and the finale? After Passion, the episodes get really intense, and this is just so tonally jarring and does not fit AT ALL. Put it after Bad Eggs or something. It's a perfectly mediocre filler episode, but its placement makes me hate it so much more. But not all the comments I have are negative!

    Positive things:

    Xander in a speedo
    Cordelia speech which omg best thing ever i love youuuuu
    Wentworth Miller's face. I actually wouldn't have minded Gage appearing every now and again like Jonathan. His wave to Buffy was rather adorable .Jbhyq unir orra n orggre erobhaq guna Fpbgg Ubcr ng yrnfg.

  41. Meltha says:

    Yeah, the whole sports culture thing in this does indeed ring true. Heaven help you if you were into the arts rather than sports, too. We had a drama group that ended up going to state finals, but the school never even mentioned it so they could play up our (losing) basketball team. Same thing with choir, which won all kinds of regional awards, but had its funding slashed. Our graphic arts students were top of the line too, not that you'd know it unless you had friends in it.

    And as a teacher now, I've actually had one student come up to me after class and try to explain very earnestly that if I failed him, I would be hurting the whole college and showing poor school spirit. He had never once turned in a paper, had about a 25% attendance rate, and had rousingly failed every test. So would I please just give him a C- to show my team spirit?

    I managed not to laugh when I said "no," but it was a close thing. Though, actually, having to do that in a vacant classroom to a guy who towered over me and was built like Schwarzenegger in the good years was a little intimidating. Still said no, though.

    • This kind of school sports culture always fascinates me a bit because where I'm from we only play sports in clubs that have no affiliation whatsoever to any school, so there's no reason for any teacher or student to care or give out any special privileges to athletes.

      • PheasantPlucker says:

        This is more my experience as well. Schools here have sports teams, but its all strictly extra-curricular and means nothing in terms of academics or privilege.

        • Meltha says:

          I think on the administrative levels it actually feeds into alumni who tend to give contributions to the school more when their team is winning, and sometimes schools actually brand themselves based on their sports teams to get students, particularly for private schools or colleges/universities.

          • PheasantPlucker says:

            The idea that high school sports could be a big business is such a foreign concept to me (although having watched American TV and movies since the beginning of time I've always been aware of its existence), especially because (around here) even though schools will pride themselves on the achievements of their sporting teams, it doesn't help you get into university any more than being on the debate team or chess club does. Universities don't have serious sporting teams (most university sports competitions are just excuses to drink, and are volunteer-based). As most education in New Zealand is publicly funded, private schools generally don't have trouble filling their places (and these schools are generally semi-private, so they also get some governmental funding, just not as much as public schools). There have been a couple of instances of a couple of (public) schools trying to poach rugby players for their teams, but had everything to do with being competitive morons. Why they bothered I don't know, because the only people who care about their rugby performance are already desperate to go to those schools. The entire incident was unusual enough in this country to get hashed out in the national news for (what seemed like) forever.

    • Sarah S says:

      Now, I don't know if you're American, but keep in mind that in the American system, since you have sports scholarships, it's a way of upping your college-bound graduates without worrying about all those pesky test scores. We don't have that in Canada, and I get the feeling that there's less of a culture of school sport whosit here.

      Then again, most schools don't have hockey teams, so I suspect that might be a factor too. Seriously, who cares about anything else?

      *Ducks as the CFL fans head her way*

  42. Patrick721 says:

    My only question…why Soviet experiments? I mean, aren't the "secret experiments from another nation america doesn't like" usually done by Nazis? I dunno, I've just seen a lot more stuff with Nazi mad scientists than Russian ones.

    • misterbernie says:

      Steroids have a much bigger association in popular culture with the former Eastern Bloc, though. Plus, in the late 90s, "Nazis made me do it" was something of a stretch already, age-wise.

    • Dru says:

      eh, not really. I mean, Salt the movie had Russians for villains as recently as 2010. It's still a v. popular trope.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      USSR and Eastern Germany were the countries with the biggest reputation for 'successful Olympic athletes who look like they were probably pumped full of steroids'.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      I had to laugh at your comment because I've got a Russian friend who asked me why the villains are always Russian in movies.

  43. cait0716 says:

    Probably because of the Cold War.

  44. hpfish13 says:

    When I was 11 the worst grades I got were in PE (C- in volleyball, C+ in basketball and B- in basketball). We were graded on ability instead of effort. I happened to be a good runner, but the quarter we did track, if you couldn't run a mile in less than 11 minutes, you failed.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Graded on effort – now that would have been nice. I pretty much failed every PE class and the teachers didn't care how much I tried. They always gave me one grade better for every activity that included aiming, because my eyesight is so bad, that still didn't stop me from failing.
      I'm so glad that no employer or university cares even a little bit about my PE grade.

      • James says:

        We used to get a grade for achievement (A-E) and for effort (1-5). It was nice for students who struggled to get good grades to have some acknowledgement that they were trying hard even if they weren't getting As. I'd always pull C1 in PE, even when I was on the lacrosse team, so. No special treatment for team members there!

      • @liliaeth says:

        Funny, the graded on effort thing is how I managed to get a passing grade for PE.

        There was no way I could finish the 3km run in the time we were meant to run it, so she let me finish it on my own time and let me pass for finishing at all…

        Of course by the end of it, I was close to hyperventilating, but still…

    • t09yavosaur says:

      We were graded on fitness test standards and attendence. I was lucky because my flexibility and sit-up scores counteracted my pathetic mile time (I am much better at the pacer test) and push-ups. Also girls got a D for simply attempting a pull-up.

      Other than that, though, our teachers were pretty cool.

    • notemily says:

      I walked the mile in protest. SEVENTEEN MINUTES BABY, YEAH!

    • amyalices says:

      …You guys were graded in P.E.?


      We (my UK state school) still had to do it, per government regs, but there was no real attempt to treat it as a full subject unless you chose to study sport science. (Which: no.)

      I used to just twirl a badminton bat around with my friends (so light!) while the sporty crowd played basketball.

  45. Kari18212 says:

    I actually kind of liked this episode, mostly for the fact that (almost) all of the gross, gross things said/done by the coach, swim team, and Snyder were shown to be gross. Highlights-Xander in a Speedo obviously (plus, nice way to turn the objectification around and show how uncomfortable Xander is made by it. Maybe you'll think about that in the future some more now!!), Gage asking Buffy to walk him home and Xander saying he likes when people try to mess with Buffy. I like the idea that he appreciates that she's strong and able to take down people who are jerks to her especially with all the icky things he's said in past episodes. Maybe some tiny character development in that area?

    • SosaLola says:

      Xander always appreciated that Buffy is strong. Heck he was attracted to her because of it.

      • notemily says:

        Unless she's beating up Larry for him.

        • Kari18212 says:

          yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote that comment. Yes, he sometimes says and does things like he likes her strength… and then he does something that implies it makes him feel less ~manly~ (usually when it involves other people from school seeing it also, which is fairly realistic but still not my favorite thing to see). I liked that scene for him saying to another guy from school that she's strong and can take care of herself and I like that about her, since it seemed different than how he's acted in the past. Wow that was a lot of words for something pretty simple to say lol.

          • SosaLola says:

            I liked that scene for him saying to another guy from school that she's strong and can take care of herself and I like that about her, since it seemed different than how he's acted in the past.

            Other than the Larry moment, I'm struggling to think of any moment where Xander expressed anger over Buffy rescuing him. Instead, we have Xander reassuring Jesse that Buffy is a superhero who will rescue them, thanking Buffy for saving him in Teacher's Pet, telling Cordelia that his plan is to wait for Buffy to come and rescue them when they were trapped in the basement, the quote "a demon comes, Buffy slays it, then we party." Don't remember it exactly. I can go on listing all the moments Xander told someone about Buffy being the hero or expressed joy at Buffy being there to save them, yet I can only remember the Larry incident when talking about Xander hating that Buffy saved him.

        • Sarah S says:

          Mm. I think there's another factor here, though. What if Xander's learned the hard way that having someone else defend him just means the beating will be worse later on? I always thought he didn't want Buffy to defend him, not so much because he doesn't want it, but because he knows it'll come back to haunt him later. Willow misreads it as the "guy code", but I think the only guy code going on there is that letting a girl rescue him just means the other guys take it as read that he should just be harassed more for it.

          She's only helped him in the short term, in the long term, he's looking forward to Larry being even worse, and it's only the luck of accidentally outing the guy that saves him in the future. He thanks Buffy later on because her intentions are good, not because she's really helped him long term.

        • SosaLola says:

          That wasn't about Buffy being stronger than him. It was about being mocked and laughed at, about the fear of the reaction of the students in school, otherwise he'd always welcomed Buffy coming to his rescue. He'd never showed anger at Buffy rescuing him other than this time, which IMO means that it's the exception rather than the rule.

  46. hassibah says:

    "-Actually it was Thomas Jefferson
    -Had slaves, remember?"

    I think this is a really underappreciated Cordelia line.

    I like Johnathan's revenge by urine and the transformation to fish people looked sufficiently gross and decent, too.

    Yeah, I think if this episode had come before Passion I don't think it would get the hate it does. Where it is is just a weird change in tone.

    • cait0716 says:

      That is a great Cordy line. It flies by way too fast.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Say, Hassibah, I didn't see a comment from you on yesterday's episode. I was a bit worried, actually, that Boreanaz broke your heart with his moving performance. But hey––it's nice to see that you've recovered. Welcome back! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • hassibah says:

        Speaking of which, have you been in recovery since Angel was a fratboy jerk to Buffy? Where you been?

        Man that episode. I don't even know, except for that Giles makes me so sad. It's probably good that I was distracted by the mundanities of life yesterday.

        • BradSmith5 says:

          Oh, Hassibah, you know I always need time to recover from your tongue's barbed sting! Ouch and horror!

          That bit with Giles was sad to watch. He probably thought he'd be able to see her again or something. ๐Ÿ™

          But no thoughts on the possessions of Angelus and Buffy? I thought you'd be like, "This shows that their relationship has no more depth than two actors just playing their parts!" And then everyone would agree with you, but you didn't say that so now you missed your chance.

          • hassibah says:

            Oh yeah actually I feel really dumb.

            I always remembered this episode as Buffy being so hard on the murderer because she was projecting all her rage at Angel, naq gura uvf fgbel raqvat va sbetvirarff orvat n cnenyyry gb gurve fvghngvba.
            But I only noticed yesterday that Buffy was apparently mad at herself because she still blames herself for unleashing Angelus, or something, and I either never picked up on that or I forgot about it.
            So if that was the case what was her and Angel's possessed slow dance meant to represent? Is Buffy supposed to be realizing that she can forgive herself or Angel? Or does it not have anything to do with Buffy's guilt and was it just throwing a bone to the depressed shippers? I dunno.

            Also I really like the Giles and Jenny theme. It's nice that I can hear it without a cheesy Angelus voiceover this time.

            Do you have any thoughts? Or are mine so weird you don't know how to respond to them? I'd like to know your opinions as well, you hardly ever post!

            • BradSmith5 says:

              Yeah, I think we're supposed to feel as if Buffy had a moment of forgiveness there; she kinda lingers while Angel is the first to pull away. Unless Grace's spirit just decided to leave before the other guy's did, ha,ha,ha.

              Themes! YES! I wish every character had a theme. I love them. We should all pick themes for the characters sometime.

              And yeah, I know I haven't been posting. But c'mon! By the time I get here ninety percent of the episode is quoted and every single thing that I liked has been expounded on. Why waste everyone's time? It's just so much easier to write something unique when I disagree with everyone. So––you need to be angrier at the episodes! Then I'll be like "Grrr! That Hassibah! Motivate me, o anger!" ๐Ÿ˜‰

              • hassibah says:

                Oh yeah I definitely have a harder time commenting on the episodes that everybody likes than the ones that everybody hates. I have some weird unpopular opinions, I might as well make the most out of them now that the downvote button's gone ๐Ÿ˜‰

                I tried to clarify all of my *feelings* about Jenny and her story arc on Passion day, I don't know if that helped or made it worse.

    • fandomphd says:

      That is one of my favorite Cordelia lines ever.

      I had a high school English teacher who apparently really liked to tour Monticello (I think he was a big fan of the architecture … or something?) and apparently always liked to go on the tour and disingenuously ask about the "all men are created equal" and slave-owning thing.

  47. Sadie_TARDIS says:

    Sunnydale’s cebkvzvgl gb gur bprna vf ernyyl vapbafvfgrag. Nppbeqvat gb Wbff [jub pynvzrq gung Fhaalqnyr vf fhccbfrq gb or jurer Fnagn Oneonen vf va bhe jbeyq uggc:// ] naq gur bqq bar be gjb rcvfbqrf va gur frevrf, (guvf bar, cyhf gur ybnqvat qbpxf va “Vaabprapr” juvpu ner frra ntnva va Frnfba Guerr, naq n guebjnjnl fprar va jung V oryvrir vf rcvfbqr bar bs frnfba svir), vg’f evtug fznpx ntnvafg gur Cnpvsvp, ohg nppbeqvat gb zl rkcrevrapr jvgu Fbhgurea Pnyvsbeavn, gur cynpr ernyyl qbrfa’g unir gur phygher bs n ornpu gbja. Ornpu ivfvgf fubhyq or zhpu zber pbzzba, naq ernyyl, jbhyqa’g univat n Uryyzbhgu evtug ba gur bprna cbfr qnatref juvpu ner arire oebhtug hc va gur frevrf – gvqny jnirf, harkcynvarq sybbqvat, rgp? Nabgure urnqfpengpure gb jvyr njnl gur ybat ubhef.

    • robin_comments says:

      uzzz… Sebz jung jr'er tvira, V'q unir gb nffhzr gung Fhaalqnyr vf fhccbfrq gb or xvaq bs arne Fnagn Oneonen abegu/fbhgu ertvba-jvfr ohg vf frg ntnvafg gur pbnfg. Va znal pbnfgny FbPny pvgvrf V'ir fcrag gvzr va, lbh pna trg gb gur ornpu va n irel fubeg pne evqr naq gurer'f qrsvavgryl n "ornpu gbja" phygher va fbzr bs gurz. Ba gur bgure unaq, V pheeragyl yvir yvxr… 30 zvyrf sebz gur ornpu? Naq zr naq zl sevraqf ivfvg vg znlor bapr n lrne. Zl pvgl qbrfa'g unir n ornpu ivor naq V'ir crefbanyyl zrg bayl bar fhesre va zl ragver yvsr. Gur ornpu vf yvxr… jurer lbh gnxr ivfvgvat snzvyl jura cynlvat gbhe thvqr. Be, jura V jnf lbhatre, sbe obasverf naq qevaxvat. yby.

      V nofbyhgryl nterr gung OgIF pbhyq unir zvarq gur ornpu frggvat n ybg zber sbe fhcreangheny uvwvaxf…

  48. @cykotyks says:

    I sort of have to laugh at the whole "AWESOME SWIMTEAM" idea because, well…I was on my high school swim team in southern California. And our school was pretty much mediocre in everything but swimming. Sure, we had a few baseball players make it to the minor league, but the one consistently good sports team we had was the girl's swim team. We won league champs every year.

    We got zero perks. The guys, who were still pretty decent, mostly got teased. For an April Fools day PA announcement, they claimed they'd take out one of the parking lots to build a pool (we didn't have our own – our varsity team was mostly club swimmers who were at club practice anyway).

    In a way, I see that particular aspect as a swimmer's dream, but on the other hand, I have to wonder how many SoCal schools actually had a "swimming elite" problem. Mostly what I saw were homophobic slurs from the student body (because the guys would often shave for championship meets) and most teachers didn't even know who all was on the swim team. I can't imagine any public school going that far for swimmers. Football, baseball, even basketball, yes. Not swimming.

    In semi-related commentary: one of my favorite parts about this episode is how much they didn't actually fuck up the swimming bits. Their dives aren't legal, but other than that, it's an accurate representation! Go Buffy!

    • tigerpetals says:

      Maybe because it was a girls' team? I mean it might not have been the only reason, but it could have been a factor. There's not much I know about sports hierarchies, but generally female participation isn't the kind that I've ever seen get wide acclaim and cult worship. I've heard of a few female athletes enough to remember them, Serena Williams and Venus Williams, but that's it.

      • SweetVerda says:

        Our high school swim team had champion boys, but the same thing happened. Homophobic slurs (because men with shaved legs in speedos is apparently a frightening sight to some), we weren't included in the sports pep rally, we had no funding, and swimming did not fulfill the PE requirement (while all land sports fulfilled the PE requirement). It was maddening.

        Buffy didn't really represent swimmer culture. Or swimming. They did illegal dives, and then swam a 25 as slowly as possible, and suddenly practice is over? I'm all for tapering, but that was ridiculous.

        • tigerpetals says:

          Yeah, but you said the only consistently good team was the girls' team. Plus homophobic slurs at the sight of shaved male legs is connected to sexism, in my view. Because shaving is being thought of as a girl thing and being like girls is bad.

          I'm sure it doesn't. I know little of it, but I've never heard anyone praise the accuracy of swimming culture in this episode. In fact it's kind of odd to me that they'd choose swimming to represent sport culture gone out of control.

          • SweetVerda says:

            Oh, I'm not the original poster. In my school the girls were merely alright. I was just saying that it's a common pattern that I've seen. I do agree that believing shaved legs = female is sexist.

            Maybe things are different in SoCal? But still, I wonder why they didn't use a spring sport more commonly linked to steroid use, and one that people actually go to games for, like baseball.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      My school's guy swim team did this fun thing/hazing ritual where they shaved fun designs into their hair and walked around school like that for a week or so before shaving the rest off.

  49. Dru says:

    Why are characters named Gage inevitably horrible douchebag rapists/rape-culturists? This is the second show Mark's reviewed that does this with a Gage. and no, I don't like either Gage.

  50. Chelsey says:

    Buffy is the first show on which I really tuned into who wrote episodes and started A. tracking down other stuff they wrote and B. realizing often they wrote/had something to do with my favorite shows.

  51. fantasylover120 says:

    I have no real commentary for this ep except for the endless rage I feel for the slut shaming scene and utter love for Buffy's rant after.
    Daily Buffy Quotable
    "Dude, what is that foulness?"-Gage
    "It's a slap in the face to those of us that work hard for our Ds!"-Xander
    "You know what grates my cheese?"-Xander
    "You're going to think about that later, Mister and you're going to laugh."-Buffy
    Cordelia: I think I lost all will to cheerlead. Xander: Raise your hand if you feel her pain."

  52. darkwater says:

    Ahh.. finally… tomorrow comes.

    V pnaabg jnvg sbe gur ernpgvba gb gur pyvssunatre sbe Orpbzvat Cneg 1. Unu!

    Nyfb gur jubyr ynfg guveq bs cneg 2.. pna whfg jernx crbcyr. Nz V evtug?

    Gur jubyr guvat vf n snibhevgr bs zvar, ohg creuncf bar bs zl zbfg njrfbzr ovgf ner jvgu Fcvxr.

    Oh yeah, and Go Fish just happened. Right. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  53. feminerdist says:

    You know, this sort of cult of sports is so ridiculously true. I taught at a big SEC university, and I have horror stories about the shit athletes could get away with. (More specifically, the athletes in the popular and well-funded sports. Many student athletes in less popular sports were very hard workers.) BLATANT plagiarism is a big one. Also, a colleague of mine was going to fail a football player, and the head coach CALLED HER HOUSE and literally harassed her to pass him so he could play.

    Now I teach at a smaller university, so there's less pressure from the athletic department.

  54. Katie says:

    Now that Mark has mentioned Jonathan by his name, is it still spoilerish if we alert him to Jonathan's constant background presence in almost every episode? (I personally think it's one of the funniest things about Buffy how Jonathan just keeps showing up. Like a couple of episodes ago in the library for books on Stalin. Or when the gun lady was attacking Buffy)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      • Rayne says:

        Jonathan aka Wbanguna (his rot13 names) appearances in previous episodes:

        1) Inca Mummy Girl: The kid that Impata switched to at the Bronze when she didn't want to drain Xander.
        2) Reptile Boy: The boy that Cordy bossed around at the end of the episode (when she decided younger guys were better)
        3) What's My Line Part 2: The boy that Patrice (the Order of Taraka lady dressed as a cop) takes hostage
        4) Bad Eggs: The boy that's screaming in the hallway as one of those things attaches to him. Xander and Buffy follow him to the Mama Bezoar
        5) Passion: One of the two students who actually used the library as a… *gasp*… library!

        And of course in this episode, he gets bullied by the swim team, interrogated by Willow, pees in the pool and we finally learn his name! (eta: Okay, we actually learned his name in Reptile Boy, but this is the episode where Mark finally notices him!)

        He's an easter egg!

        • cait0716 says:

          He's also in the unaired pilot, which I was really excited to notice. He's pretty much just standing in line to get into the Bronze, but it's still fun to see how far back his character stretches.

        • Hotaru_hime says:

          The best thing is that they could have had any extra fill in for his roles in these episodes but they decided they liked the continuity of Jonathan.

        • hoodd1 says:

          5) Passion: One of the two students who actually used the library as a… *gasp*… library!

          Was the other student (the redhead) Ellie Kemper from the Office? It sure looked like her! My Google-fu has failed to turn up an answer to this Very Important Question…

      • Mez says:

        According to Danny Strong (Jonathan's actor), the part of Jesse was originally written for him – and then he auditioned REALLY badly…

        • Thiamalonee says:

          Really? According to the DVD special features, Danny Strong auditioned for Xander, even though they chose Nicholas Brendon, instead, they liked Danny enough to keep bringing him back.

          • Mez says:

            I'm going by a Q&A session I went to with Danny Strong…

          • Mez says:

            Actually, thinking about it… was Jesse even in the original pilot? Maybe he auditioned for Xander, didn't get it, had Jesse written for him instead, didn't get it…

  55. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Dodd's tattoo kinda looked like what would happen if Abe Simpson's Flying Hellfish tattoo somehow mated with Charlie the Starkist Tuna. <img src=""&gt;
    Cute couple, y/y?
    <img src=""&gt;

  56. beckaboomer says:

    Mark Watches has been a very temperamental site for me these past couple of days. I think my computer is rebelling against me. *side-eyes computer*

    Okay, so let's watch "Go Fish!"

    …on second thought, let's NOT watch "Go Fish." It's a silly episode.

    Um, things happen? Xander wears a speedo (and is super-pale like me! yay!). Cordelia is pretty adorable with her speech to Not-Xander Fish Monster. Really though, there isn't too much to say about this episode. I'm just looking forward to the finale, because I have ALL OF THE FEELINGS for season two's ending. ONWARD!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I don't know where they are coming from, but like…thousands of new Buffy fans are coming every day, and it's stressing my server out. hence the site being temperamental!

      • beckaboomer says:


        …wait, what? =D Anyway, it's all good. But if it was this bad for me for the past two episodes, I shudder to think of what awaits us in the days to come. And lo, there were too many Buffy fans trying to access the server at once, and the server was not robust, and could not withstand their numbers. Mwa, ha ha.

    • hoodd1 says:

      +1 for the Monty Python ref!

  57. pica_scribit says:

    Every time I see this, I remember that the basketball team at my sister's college roofied an entire girls dormitory *as a joke*, and never got in trouble for it. In fact, if never even got in the papers. Gross manifestation of privilege. Ugh. So glad there were no athletics teams or frats at my uni.

  58. 00guera00 says:

    At my high school it was don't pass don't play for any extracurricular activities. Band, choir, cheerleading, dance, drama, athletics, art…It wasn't just the athletes who could be seen groveling to teachers to try and get that push to a passing grade.

    And I went to a 5A school in SE Texas where football is king, but IIRC our 'star' football player was a straight A, top ten percent type so I doubt he ever had to have his grade fudged to keep his eligibility :\

    I never really understood the motivation for the coach. He lost his three best swimmers. You'd think that'd would make his stop giving the steroid steam baths before all he had left on the team were the bench. (Do they have bench in swimming? Second string, maybe?)

    • MzyraJ says:

      I never really got that either. If he hadn't realised they were going to turn into monsters then that would have been fine if he'd then stopped or altered the method, but… What, he gets like a handful (if that) of wins out of each of them before they disappear and then he has to get new swimmers each time? I guess through the steroid use any old student could become relatively top-grade, but it would probably become suspicious once nearly all the student body has been decimated and only after they joined the swimteam :/ Mind you, we don't know how long it takes for them to become fish people after starting on the steroids, but even if it took most of a year, the swimteam being apparently attacked and killed each year would get rather suspicious.

      The only thing that makes any sense to me is that the coach is insane, or maybe went insane after the first guy(s) turned into fish people (from guilt or just "OMG humans turning into FISH PEOPLE" – and that would kind of be understandable) and figured "Why not continue? They're my fish-ish boys and this (and feeding them other people in the school) all makes total sense!" But really, it's probably just bad writing and characterisation, because this makes no logical sense to me.

      • t09yavosaur says:

        The coach mentioned that he had adjusted the formula of the steam and thought he had it right at last.

        • MzyraJ says:

          Oh, okay thanks, that makes a lot more sense. But still, assuming that was his first experience with the paranormal, who responds like "Ah, oh well, let's try another (slightly different) batch!" rather than deciding to stick with the decent human swim team that they already have?!

  59. Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

    I really can't relate to the sports issue in this episode. I went to a small high school in a low populated state so even though our basketball team won the states several times, it wasn't THAT big of a deal. I mean we were proud and everything, but from what I know my classmates didn't get special treatment… We didn't even have a real football team, we had a club team that people generally made fun of xD
    From what I remember I'm pretty sure kids actually got suspended from teams (including things like drama) if they were failing or caught partying.

  60. notemily says:

    Go Fish, aka The One With Wentworth Miller In It, or so my roommate calls it.

    – Did Xander just say "jicama-breath"?
    – …According to the transcript, HE DID. Whut? Okay first of all jicama is delicious, secondly why would Xander even know what it is, thirdly what does jicama-breath even smell like? That's just so random.
    – I hate how Jonathan was like "somebody help me!" and then he rejects Buffy's help.
    – Wentworth Miller! He's dreamy.
    – Poor Willow. Snyder, stop being creepy.
    – WTF creepy rapey swim guy. You don't know who you're messing with.
    – "Look at the way she dresses." DIE IN A FIRE.
    – "Try to dress more appropriately from now on"? DIE IN ALL THE FIRES.
    – "This was no boating accent." Hee
    – "Any demons with high cholesterol?" Well, *I* thought it was funny, Buffy.
    – Love Cordelia as the sketch artist.
    – "From whence it came" is actually incorrect but I'm the only one who cares.
    – Willow interrogating Jonathan is really cute, especially with the desk lamp.
    – According to my roommate, nobody ever DOESN'T make a swim team, because the more swimmers you have, the higher score you get at meets. I did not know this!
    – "I'm a swim groupie." LOL Buffy
    – Noes, Wentworth Miller is being bitten by Angel! But Angel doesn't like his blood!
    – "I'm undercover!" "Not under much!" Hee!
    – Wentworth Miller is now Fishworth Miller!
    – "The creature from the BLUE lagoon was Brooke Shields."
    – What? The Russians are behind this? This is so weird.
    – "For the win!" No.
    – klsajfd;adjsf;sdfaj;safdjlk ;RAPEY MCRAPERSON STOP IT
    – LOL Cordelia thinks Xander is a fish guy. I love this scene! The part about "little bath toys" is the best.

    Uh… this episode is just kind of there. Coming between IOHEFY and the finale, I always forget about it. And how rapetastic it is. *shudder*

    • Ginsue says:

      "Look at the way she dresses." DIE IN A FIRE.
      – "Try to dress more appropriately from now on"? DIE IN ALL THE FIRES.

      Did that phrase originate in "Mark Does Stuff" or somewhere else because it is so appropriate sometimes?

    • notemily says:

      Also now I want some jicama

    • Seventh_Star says:

      "From whence it came" is actually incorrect but I'm the only one who cares.

      i care! but i didn't know it was wrong. i want to know! is it just wrong in context (i don't remember all that buffy said there)? or grammatically?

  61. L_Storm says:

    In my high school, even when the football team won the state championship, they were always expected to do well enough to keep up their grades on their own merits. They were also expected not to be total dicks to everyone else in school. Interestingly enough, a lot of this was enforced by the older players, and as a tiny queer kid in high school, they all looked out and protected me, basically as their adopted little sibling. On the other hand, when they did finally win the championship, our town declared that date an official town holiday.

    Yeah, there isn't much to say about Go Fish otherwise…

  62. KaileeA42 says:

    Mark, I love the way you always find things to enjoy and admire in what most people consider pointless fillers. You always enjoy them more than I expect, it brings me a new appreciation of them! Sidenote: I have seen BTVS a million times since I discovered it in 2008, but I am re-watching right now! I just watched Passion last night so I am ALMOST caught up!

    Also, IMPORTANT SIDENOTE: When you mentioned how much great stuff David Fury had written I was like "David Fury! I love him! He has written a lot of great stuff, hasn't he?" So I looked him up on Wikipedia. And then, joy of all joys, I discovered that DAVID FURY is my BIRTHDAY TWIN!!! Yes!!! It is thanks to you that I know this essential information! Seriously though, he has written loads for Buffy and Angel! He wrote for LOST and now he is on Fringe! ( A man after my own heart. He writes for practically every show I love!)

    Anyway, I AM SO EXCITE for the finale! ( this is what you have reduced my grammar to, BTW, your fault) Waiting over the weekend will cause me PHYSICAL PAIN. Also, you are SO UNPREPARED, Oh my god.

    Also, anyone here read the Buffy and Angel comic books? Some pretty exciting arcs happening right now! Great artwork too.

    Also, how can I make it so that I know when people reply to my comments? Do I need to make an account of some kind? I'm such a newbie. Oh nevermind, BLONDE MOMENT. I just found the "subscribe" option.

  63. tigerpetals says:

    The voiceover is back. Though I think it’s shorter.

    Cordelia had a big smile at Willow’s joke! <3

    Obvious bad lines, Buffy.

    Jonathan acts like Xander in Halloween.

    We get more obvious stuff about how guys find girls acting in a protective decent person capacity to be creepy and unbelievable, and a girl’s protection lowers a guy’s status.

    Willow is a great teacher. <3

    Buffy is never a perk and she’s about to prove that. His lines are so bad, oh god.

    She just has the worst luck in timing and is surrounded by the same people everyone else is. Everyone.

    Hey she’s got the right to rant a bit.

    I don’t feel sorry for Cam at all.

    That looks like a Deep One.

    Buffy is terrible at the people aspect of detective work.

    Jonathan could have gotten in after all.

    Weird to think she used to be a popular girl. Then again, those things are learned, and Buffy hasn’t practiced them for a long time.

    That was a quick turnaround for a jerk. Then again there was nothing about Gage being stupid.

    Fish creatures need claws? Not that I know much about sea animals. They are fishMEN, though. So maybe.

    Do steroids play a part in making them jerks? Wikipedia says maybe.… But it’s Wikipedia.

    I always feel sorry for Gage and Nurse Greenley.

    It doesn’t even make sense. Fishmen get disqualified –apart from how they have an unfair advantage- so he should give up.

    Ew, we do not need a rape threat.

    That is so wonderful of Cordelia.

    Xander is helpful. These last few episodes are really great for the teamwork and interaction alone.

    Buffy lost him with her Slayer grip? I guess it was just slippery.

  64. robin_comments says:

    so, you guys? I have a confession to make………

    I have been trying so hard to rewatch with Mark for the past few weeks, episode by episode….

    but today *sobs with shame* I… I could not stop. I was on Hulu, and you know how it just brings up the next episode if you don't stop it. WELL I DID NOT TURN AWAY. I KEPT WATCHING THE WHOLE NEXT EPISODE.

    I swear, every few minutes I was like, "ok, and now that is enough. 1 more scene and I will– OH DAMN IT TO H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS."

    (i can't be the only one, can i?)

    • beckaboomer says:

      *Psssst* You're not the only one. I'm already two seasons ahead at this point. I'm having to go back and RE-re-watch stuff now. It's actually pretty funny.

      • Dee says:

        I just finished re-watching season 3 and I had to force myself not to go on.

        I'm compensating by re-watching season 1 Angel – that doesn't count right?

    • cait0716 says:

      I tend to just marathon the week's episodes the weekend before because I rarely have time during the week. And I did go ahead and finish out the season because I couldn't not. You're definitely not alone

    • fan says:

      I started watching along with Mark (first-time Buffy watcher too!). Then I got behind on account of being outside the States for a few weeks and not having Netflix. And now, somehow, I'm halfway Season 4 (and Angel Season 1)…

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      Lbh’er abg gur bayl bar sbe fher! V jngpurq rc 21 gb or ernql sbe Znex’f erivrj… gura pbhyqa’g fgbc naq jngpurq rc 22 nf jryy. Gbbx n ybg bs rssbeg gb fgbc zlfrys sebz tbvat ba gb frnfba 3!
      Nf n fvqrabgr, ubj snagnfgvp ner 2.21 naq 2.22? Fbzr bs gur orfg GI rire va zl bcvavba.

  65. quenstalof says:

    -Gage reminds me of some of my sixth period kids…
    -Oh god pressuring Willow to pass the jocks. you know how much trouble they would get in if someone finds out? So much trouble.
    -I'm trying to pay attention to the episode, but I'm still stuck on the principal asking Willow to change Gage's grade. That's just an icky abuse of power. I mean its not like she's getting paid (right?) so who could she even complain to? she can't really be a member of the union if she's not getting paid, she's just what an intern? Slave labor? and Snyder could really use his principalness (principality? It's probably "position as principal," but I want it to be one word) to mess up her life.
    -The swimmer guy/coach/Snyder blaming Buffy for hurting him is just icing on this disgusting cake.
    -"This isn't a dance club" Fuck you.
    -Super-creepy Buffy, you don't look like a stalker. at. all.
    -Hi Angel. That was really unexpected and I like that.
    -Whoa. How was that cockshot on network tv? I'm glad when I was on the swim team the boys wore more like trunks because traumatizing
    -Shane West?
    -Wow the coach totally snowed everyone. Poor nurse, Buffy and co think it was you. (And the coach more and more looks like my creepy assistant swim coach who would follow the girls up and down the lane during practice)
    -"Boys have other needs"?! Once again, fuck you coach.
    -Awww that was a super sweet speech from Cordelia. She would love him even as a fish.
    -Do you think maybe these fish boys will end up at a secret government facility like the invisible girl? I guess not, but imagine what they could have been.

  66. claretstock says:

    This episode is kinda boring to me. There are a few funny lines here and there(are there any Buffy episodes that DON'T though? Seriously the funny lines are one of the pillars of love upholding my fan mansion for Buffy.). The plot is meh though.

    All of the cameron/coach/snyder slutshaming had me fuming right along with Buffy. So gross. So typical of a sexist way people use to shut up a young girl who is saying something that they don't want to hear.

  67. karate0kat says:

    So, I skipped this episode during my rewatch because yech, but SHANE WEST WAS IN IT? I remembered WM, but not Shane. Shane gets such a teeny bopper rep for Walk to Remember but he's totally badass on Nikita.

    And now I have to go watch this episode. Or at least find screencaps.

  68. Ginsue says:

    I love these list things.

    I guess I liked this episode and I didn't like it.

    The slut-shaming and the privilege made me feel things, but it was so blatant. I wish the episode was more subtle because that is what I experience. Usually, I have to deal with men who act as though they are paying me a compliment by giving me attention and I should be grateful that they took the time out of their day; I should thank them for calling me pretty and following me for two blocks, asking personal information with the pretense of getting to know me while ignoring the simple fact that I am very uncomfortable… Maybe I am just hyper-sensitive. I almost wish that misogynists were so blatant that I could actually just call them out on it without other people calling me a whiner, or thinking that I should be grateful for the attention of good-looking guys, ICK. I feel for Buffy. I've been called a "bitch" way too many times because I actually feel as if I don't owe some random guy my attention. Manners and tact just doesn't work, right Cordelia? I took her advice the other day and just said what I thought, that I wanted nothing to do with a creep who talks from his car window to pick up a girl. It worked better than saying I had a boyfriend.

    Happier topics:

    Xander deciding between orange and grape.

    I feel your dilemma. Darn snack machines, always putting my favorite beverages side-by-side!

    Damn, I project too much onto these characters. I think the purpose of this entire episode was to make me feel things.

    However, I just cannot relate with the privileged jocks. In my school, a lot of the athletes were actually decent guys, and a lot skinnier than the muscled swim team (How old are they?). Of all the problems my school had, we actually did not have this. I had more problems with privilege in the workforce than at school.

    Final Advice: When skimming through Netflix, avoid reading any paragraph for a future episode. I saw the summary for the finale, "Fcvxr sbezf na hayvxryl nyyvnapr jvgu Ohssl ntnvafg Natry" – cnencuenfrq. THANKS A WHOLE LOT NETFLIX!

  69. John says:

    I really liked this episode this time through. I didn't in the past. Huh.

    The coach giving Buffy to the swim team because "boys have other needs" really freaks me out, more than anything else.

    Also, even though it's pretty twisted, I had to laugh: "Boy, they really love their coach."

    I didn't get it until I watched it this time.

  70. mgauck says:

    Wait, is that a Silurian? OMG WHAT IF.

    Best line ever, Mark. And you haven’t seen some of the old school Silurian episodes that look more like that!


    That is my sisters favorite part too. However, her dislike for Xander exceeds yours. Vg’f orpnhfr bs Knaqre abg gryyvat Ohssl gung Jvyybj vf jbexvat ba gur Fcryy ng gur raq bs Orpbzvat Cneg VV. Nygubhtu V oryvrir ur qvq fb gung Ohssl jbhyq qb gur qrrq jvgubhg qvfgenpgvba zl fvf guvaxf vg jnf orpnhfr ur’f fgvyy wrnybhf!

    Oh god, Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve made it to the season finale. LOL, yet again, itรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs split up over the weekend

    You are only torturing yourself. Can’t wait to see what you think!

    • MaggieCat says:

      "Nygubhtu V oryvrir ur qvq fb gung Ohssl jbhyq qb gur qrrq jvgubhg qvfgenpgvba zl fvf guvaxf vg jnf orpnhfr ur'f fgvyy wrnybhf! "

      V jvyy fcyvg gur qvssrerapr naq fnl gung V'ir nyjnlf gubhtug vg jnf orpnhfr ur fvzcyl jnagrq Natry qrnq ol nal zrnaf arprffnel; wrnybhfl, erfragzrag, naq (haqrefgnaqnoyr) natre bire gur cnva naq unibp Natryhf unq pnhfrq jrer nyy ng cynl.

      Ertneqyrff bs Knaqre'f bcvavba ba jurgure Natry rira qrfreirq gb yvir ng gung cbvag, uvf havyngreny qrpvfvba gung Ohssl qvqa'g qrfreir gb xabj qrfcvgr gur snpg gung fur'f tbvat gb or rzbgvbanyyl jerpxrq rvgure jnl jura fur yrneaf fur qvqa'g unir gur orfg cbffvoyr vasbezngvba naq FUR VF GUR BAR JUB JVYY NPGHNYYL UNIR GB XVYY UVZ vf n jubyr 'abgure ceboyrz.

  71. @farwell3d says:

    The biggest problem with this is episode is WHEN it happens. After the last 3 truly excellent episodes, and with the finale looming… This one barely even touches the mythology arc.

    Slap it before Passion (and include Jenny, of course) and it's a perfectly fine filler/MOTW ep with a fun take on the Creature From The Black Lagoon…

    Here? Just breaks up the momentum the show was building.

  72. Fiona says:

    This is the first one of these I’ve actually watched purely so I can comment properly. It’s yet another one I always skip on rewatches so it was kind of fun anyway. Here are my incoherent thoughts while watching:
    – The teaser for this episode is so nineties.
    – So many overenthusiastic extras.
    – I like how Sunnydale suddenly gains things when they become useful to the plot.
    – WENTWORTH MILLER. I suddenly miss Prison Break, at least the first series when it was actually good.
    – Yay for Johnathan’s reappearance.
    – Willow teaching makes me happy.
    – Also how against any form of cheating she is, it’s adorable.
    – ‘you know what really grates my cheese?’ why didn’t that catch on as a phrase?
    – Buffy should have broken his arm or something more painful. Dick.
    – Eurgh, rape culture.
    – First sign that the coach is also a dick.
    – ‘Like an Oreo cookie!’ cue tumble weed. Oh Willow, there’s a reason you’re my favourite.
    – Xander’s snarkiness means I can never really hate him.
    – Shouldn’t Xander know not to go into a wrecked room by now? Be a little bit more genre savvy man.
    – Is it weird that those piles of skin don’t really creep me out?
    – Excellent sturgeon face there Mr. Brendon.
    – Not a big fan of the phrase ‘run like a woman’.
    – Cordelia’s always there to put things back into perspective.
    – ‘Sebz jurapr vg pnzr’ lnlll, Ohssl naq ybge pbyyvfvba!
    – I like how it subtly continues the insecurities that Xander has about not being ‘manly enough’. That’s great writing.
    – Any scene where Willow gets to interrogate people is always comedy gold. She always get so into it.
    – Danny Strong really does have the best terrified face of anyone ever.
    – Arbitary appearance of Angelus, just to remind us that he still exists.
    – Nicholas Brendon does look pretty good in swimming trunks, just thought I’d get the shallow comment out of the way.
    – Is there any way to make a steam room scene which doesn’t end up being homoerotic?
    – Xander’s awkwardness is endearing.
    – Now the fish men aren’t creepy but people pulling off their own skin is horrifying.
    – Uryyb gurer fubg juvpu jnf va gur bcravat perqvgf sbe lrnef.
    – So are people who take steroids secretly fish people?
    – ASH with a gun. Should not be attractive and yet somehow is, although maybe that’s just him.
    – Hello again Shane West.
    – What the hell is that shirt Xander’s wearing? It’s hideous.
    – ‘Once, twice, three times a fish guy.’ Another classic line from him.
    – Don’t you know not to trust the guy who suddenly starts talking about his plan Buffy? It always means he’s about to kill you, or at least try to.
    – Ooh, Vampires in Venice flashback.
    – Extreme cleavage shot there, I wonder if that was a deliberate choice.
    – I like how Cordelia at least tries to accept Xander for the fish monster she thinks he is. It shows how much their relationship has developed and that she really does care about him.
    – Xander finally gets his own tiny action scene, even if it is against a human.
    – Anyone else suddenly get reminded of Born Free in the final scene? ๐Ÿ™‚

    That’s it. Although it’s fillery and the writers are clearly biding their time for the finale this episode was a lot more fun than I remember it being. I’m a fan of B movie type plots which are fun and fairly mindless (see my love for The Mummy as a film). It’s got some good character and relationship moments too. Now roll on tomorrow, for which you really have never been less prepared :D.

  73. stellaaaaakris says:

    My biggest reaction to this episode is EWWWWWWWWWWW. I don't like how they look after they shed their skin. *shudder* Do not want.

    Other thoughts: Is that the guy from Prison Break? Oh, and is that Shane West? It's a bit hard to tell since it's so foggy. But yes and yes. My people-spotting skills still work! I feel bad for Gage since he genuinely didn't seem to want to turn into a fish. And he figured out Buffy could protect him and wasn't all cowed by that. He asked her to walk him home and then he stopped during swim practice to wave at her. Cute. I'm glad. Because up until the moment Angel attacked him, I was pretty much pissed at every male we saw, including him. Still angry at just about everybody else, but at least I had feelings other than contempt for all men.

    Willow is so cute teaching class. I was physically leaning towards my computer to see if the floppy disk Jenny made was between her desk and…something else. But I didn't see anything. ๐Ÿ™ Maybe the janitor moved it.

    But my favorite parts were Cordelia's speech to faux-fish-Xander (no, seriously, that was amazing) and Xander's attempts at going undercover. Way not to draw attention to yourself, man.

    Also, Jonathan is Doyle from Gilmore Girls!

  74. kelseyofcake says:

    Okay, it's late, and no one is going to see my comment, but I'm posting anyway.
    This is another one I haven only seen once before.

    -Yaaay! We get to use Johnathan's name now! Also, I don't think a high mortality rate is something to be proud of, Willow.
    -Eeeewww!!!! Melty flesh!
    -I feel concerned that Willow has to do all this teaching on top of her classes. Would this be legal?
    -I hate you Snyder. There's enough of this grading bullshit IRL.
    -Well, I kind of feel bad for this guy here since I have a tendency to babble about things I am passionate about too.
    -Aaaand with that bra comment my sympathy is gone.
    -Have I mentioned that I hate Snyder?
    -”Leading me on” “Look at the way she dresses.” GO DIE. PAINFULLY.
    -And now the coach is policing her outfit. Everyone here who is not Buffy or that nurse can go fall in a vat of acid. Seriously, if Joss wants me to get really pissed off all he has to do is insert some rape culture and victim blaming.
    -Buffy, you can rant about this whenever you want. Don't hold back.
    -”You ran like a woman” Look, Joss, I know what you are trying to do with this show. I know that you created the character of Buffy because you thought it would be better if the stereotypical blonde chick who always dies is actually the one fighting the monsters. But statements like that do not help.
    -Willow, you fail as an interrogator. And I love it.
    -Xander in that… D8
    -Willow, you have a mysteriously-absent boyfriend.
    -'Okie dokie coachy” that was kind of cute
    -Uzz, zber tnl fhogrkg sbe Knaqre. V xabj Wbff fnvq ur pbhyqa'g qrpvqr vs ur bevtvanyyl jnagrq vg gb or Jvyybj be Knaqre gb ghea bhg tnl, fb ur chg va fbzr sbe obgu, ohg V srry yvxr gurer'f n ybg zber sbe Knaqre. V guvax gur bayl bar Jvyybj trgf vf va Qbccyrtnatynaq, vfa'g vg?
    -Noo, not the nurse! She was the only new character who didn't piss me off!
    -Eeeewwww, fuck you coach.
    -Aaawww, Cordy, you're cute. This is adorably funny. I love it when you do sweet things like that.
    -He was wanting to watch? Ew.
    -YAY! Xander does something useful!
    -For a split second my mind did wonder if the coach had been gang raped to death, as others have suggested. But the idea was too disturbing to me even if he was an asshole that in my head, they were totally going for "love like people love pie".
    -This ending is corny. Guess this was our break episode. But does it count as a break if I spend a good portion of the time being angry at rape culture? Hm.

  75. Binx says:

    I just love this episode. I think it's an awesome serving of classic MOTW. Buffy bashing some pig's face into his steering wheel, Wentworth Miller, Xander in a speedo, Jonathan peeing in the pool, that creepy/awesome last shot… just <3. Even if it does have terrible placement in the season. I think it's one of those that makes for a really fun random rewatch after you've seen the whole series, but I can imagine it's kind of a letdown if you came in biting your fingernails expecting big season finale stuff to start winding down already.

  76. Bobby says:

    One thing I remember from this episode is how amazingly gorgeous Cordelia looks here. She's always beautiful but I don't know what it is about her look in this episode but she's never looked more luminous.

  77. Xane says:

    It was my opinion that the coach was eaten. Nothing else ever occured to me.

    Yes, successful athletes in Southern California High Schools sometimes get special treatment. It's blatant and far-reaching. Still.

  78. @Ivana2804 says:

    I don't have anything particularly deep to say about this episode. In some ways, I really like it, and in some ways, I really dislike it.

    It's the kind of episode that would fit really well in season 1, with all the episodes that were obvious but still effective metaphor about some particular aspect of the dark side of school life (Witch, The Pack, Out of Mind, Out of Sight) and with the light, quippy tone despite the dark things that are happening. But it really has no place within the arc of the second part of season 2. If it had happened before Surprise, it would have worked much better – but its placement after I Only Have Eyes For You is terrible and really ruins the tension before the finale.

    The good:
    – Examination of the dark side of school sports, as well as sexism and rape culture (with the show clearly condemning Cameron, Snyder and Coach Marin on their behavior)
    – Cordelia's speech to who she thinks is Fish-Xander
    – Cordelia's hilarious opinions on equality
    – Jonathan
    – the way Gage quickly learns the lesson and asks Buffy to walk him home
    – Xander in a speedo

    The bad
    – terrible placement of the episode
    – the OOC moments when Giles, Willow and the other Scoobies don't care about Buffy being sexually assaulted and then blamed by Snyder and the coach
    – Angel's appearance is particularly ineffective, even more so than in Killed by Death. He really doesn't seem like the Big Bad, more like a random annoying vampire. Why is he suddenly recruiting high school kids? Has he run out of minions, or what?
    – the gang-rape/murder jokes at the end: I think that Buffy joking to herself about "her reputation" is gallows-humor, and a reminder that, if she got gang-raped, a bunch of people would probably be saying that she was “asking for it”, so that might not be bad writing, just an intentionally uncomfortable moment. But "Those boys really love their coach" and Xander's almost happy expression really creep me out. Whether the coach was being eaten or raped (before being eaten), it's not a laughing matter either way, and it seems like the show is asking us to enjoy a revenge-fulfillment fantasy.(he was a bad guy so he deserved it).

  79. @Ivana2804 says:

    Cordelia: It's about time our school excelled at something.
    Willow: Hmm. You're forgetting our high mortality rate.

    Indeed, let’s see:

    Dead staff members:
    •Dr Gregory, the biology teacher eaten by the insect lady (Teacher’s Pet)
    •Principal Flutie, eaten by his students… err, wild dogs (The Pack)
    •Jenny Calendar (Passion) *cries* ;'-(
    •Ms. Frank, the teacher shot by the janitor (I Only Have Eyes For You)
    •Nurse Greenleigh, thrown by the coach Marin into the pool to get eaten by his boys/monsters (Go Fish)
    •Coach Marin, eaten/raped to death by his boys/monsters (Go Fish)
    •Plus “Ms. French”, who *was* the insect lady.

    Dead/disappeared students:
    •Boy killed by Darla (Welcome to the Hellmouth)
    •Jesse (The Harvest)
    •Dave and Fritz (I Robot, You Jane)
    •Emily and Morgan (The Puppet Show)
    •Kevin and two other boys (The Prophecy Girl)
    •Sheila (though she was sired and we don’t know if she ever got staked; but she’s dead as far as her family, friends and school know) and probably others during the attack on the school (School Hard); one of the victims was probably a parent, or maybe teacher (the ‘no veal’ guy killed by Spike).
    •Rodney Munson (Inca Mummy Girl)
    •The real Ampata, the exchange student – seriously, how did they explain it to his family in Peru?
    •Ford (Lie to Me)
    •Theresa (Phases)
    •The four members of the swim team, who didn’t die but did become monsters and swam into the sea – as far as the school knows, they probably are listed as dead, or at least disappeared
    •Marcie Ross, who must be still listed as disappeared, even though she’s really with the secret government organization.

    Snyder really must be doing one hell of a job to cover up all this!

  80. plaidpants says:

    I was a little shocked that these kids are now like, permanently fish monsters. Can't they do anything to fix them? What about their families?

    Anyway, I can't really add anything much of value to this, because this is a pretty clear filler episode. Loved the Cordelia/Xander stuff, I hope those two continue on for a bit.

    And left over from last episode, I really want to see more Dru, and learn more about her backstory. I feel like right now she just seems like a prop in the pissing match between Spike and Angel, or someone who occasionally spouts off prophetic/future visions. I'm hopeful in these next couple episodes she'll come into her own to really be a force to be reckoned with.

  81. jody says:

    I have to say, Nick Brendon is way too jacked to look like the loser geek he's supposed to be.

  82. MMT says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to Mark for these reviews before his head explodes. It's been a blast reading you… and the 3rd season is great, too.

  83. notemily says:

    Vg'f bar bs gubfr Yvarf Gung Oht Zr sebz gur Ybeq bs gur Evatf zbivr, gbb.

  84. SosaLola says:

    This episode shows Cordelia mocking Xander for being "less than a man" and you wonder why he feels insecure all the time? He's bullied and mocked for who he is. No wonder he works hard on being a "man".

    • amyalices says:

      See, I always thought it was the opposite way around – she picks that to tease him with because he's always so concerned about his image and 'manliness.'

      • SosaLola says:

        That doesn't really sound like Cordelia. I believe Cordelia meant it as it is, she's tactlessly frank, if that's what she meant by calling him less than a man, she'd have said it straight.

  85. David says:

    In an interview on the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, David Fury said that this episode was written before he had jointed the writing staff on the show – it was just a freelance gig. And it was written with him having only seen the first season and unaware of what was going to be happening in the broader story arc of the second season. So, that's why it feels so much like a first season episode.

  86. candace says:

    I found my way over here from Whedonesque when you started watching Buffy and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reliving the episodes through your first-time watcher eyes. So much fun to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. canyonoflight says:

    XANDER IN A SPEEDO! That's really the only reason I rewatch this episode when I do marathons.

  88. theduck says:

    Oh god I forgot to read this last night, how could I ๐Ÿ™

    Today's (well, okay, technically yesterday's) Badly Translated episode title:

    Original text:
    "Go Fish"
    …35 translations later Bing gives us:
    "Stop it."

    Obviously Bad Translator doesn't like this episode.

    All I remember from this episode is Xander in a speedo, which is good enough for me. ๐Ÿ˜€

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