Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 20

Go Fish

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 05, 1998 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

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  • Go Fish

    This is an extremely fun episode! The main plot is intentionally hokey and really pretty dumb, but all the people involved play it out for maximum laughs and for the most part, it works. With all the heavy themes and emotions running wild over the last group of episodes, it's actually quite refreshing to have one excessively inconsequential 'fun' episode before the heartbreakers, "Becoming Pt. 1" (2x21) and "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22), roll in. In only that goal, this episode fantastically succeeds, mostly due to its timely humor.

    I don't have a lot to say about this aside from a few observations. First up is that Willow should have been replaced as teacher of the Computer Science class by now. It's not that I don't like seeing Willow teaching but rather that it's completely unrealistic. Second of all, I find Cordelia's comment, that winners get special treatment because that's just the way the world works, very intriguing. From my own experiences, this comment seems to be far to commonly true. It's also important to realize that the definition of who is a 'winner' changes during different stages of your life. In high school a 'winner' may be a jock, while in your 30's whoever has the most money is generally considered the 'winner,' regardless of physical appearance.

    I really enjoyed seeing Buffy beat the shit out of the guy who was trying to take sexual advantage of her in his car. Xander's comment to the jocks later, "I love it when you guys mess with her," is also highly entertaining. It's funny to note that when Buffy doesn't want to turn guys on the guys seem to want to jump on top of her, yet when she wants to be sexually attractive she has trouble. When Buffy goes stalker girl on Gage, the swim team guy, so she can protect him, he seems completely turned off by her. She amusingly admits her sex appeal is on the fritz. This problem possibly stems from the fact that she really is very sexually insecure with herself. Her experience with Angel certainly didn't help at all.

    This episode bashes all those dumb teachers in high school who think "school spirit" is a matter of life and death, and I adore it for that. When I was in high school I always had teachers telling me I needed more "school spirit" and that I had to attend school assemblies. Thank you Scoobies for helping to show the world how amazingly dumb "school spirit" is. "School spirit" can burn in that pile of books over there titled 'useless.'

    So there's the gratifying "school spirit" and jock bashing, but the ending ocean scene leaves me feeling odd. I don't know what to make out of that. Anyway, the biggest draw of this episode is the ridiculously funny dialog. The characters have fun with the corny plot and everyone has a good time of it. This isn't blow-you-away material, but it's definitely a lot of fun if you're in the non-serious mood.
  • Something fishy going on

    Go Fish

    The Good;

    Good analogy of the competiveness of sports, the dangers of cheating and sports stars being feted and misbehaving as a result (does a week go by without that happening?). Very nice transformation scenes and a great mislead. Some great humour surrounding Xander and his relationship with Cordy, Snyder and of course the Angel subplot isn't forgotten (Why Miss Summers, you're beautiful). Love her Diana Prince moment and her stalking Gage. Plus Jonathon!

    The Bad;

    Terrible monster outfits! Also isn't it a bit much to let the swimteam just go at the end? They've already killed 2 humans in addition to gangraping Buffy, what if they decide to start attacking yachts full of tasty bimbos etc?

    Best line;

    Xander; I'm undercover

    Buffy (leering); Not under much!

    Wheldon cliches;

    Character death; the coach and the school nurse at the 5th and 6th members of the SDH faculty to die in 2 years

    Women good/men bad; Buffy gets sexually assaulted twice, making it the 4th and 5th time for her (if we don't count the Master mauling her) Cam deservedly getting his nose broken in reply to his forcing himself upon her and Buffy's already doubtful reputation ("I heard someone say she was fast") taking a further blow by 'doing it' with the entire swimteam. Nice role reversal though in the girls ogling Xander rather than the other way around for once.

    Kinky dinky;

    Xander in his speedos often considered as his sexiest moment in the series. Although a sizeable minority think his sexiest moment when he was hyena possessed in The Pack which says a great many things about Buffyfans?

    Subtext; Xander seem nervous at the thought of being in the steam room with a bunch of near naked guys. By contrast the girls all seem to be very taken by the sight of him in his speedos, even Willow which seems to once again suggest she's bi rather than gay

    What the fanficcers thought; Buffy 'doing it' with the entire Mutant Swimteam an alarmingly popular pairing. In the end she kills them all with a swordfish's nose and escapes with Willow and Xander's help. If you like the idea of Buffy or any of the Buffy girls 'doing it' with demons just type 'Monsters and Angels/GOT' into your search engine

    Questions and observations;

    I always thought the guy from Prison Break looked familar, rewatching this I now know why (although he doesn't have the tats yet). It's a shame he gets transformed, I love the little hints of a relationship developing between him and Buffy, especially a terrified Gage asking Buffy to walk him home after she saves him from Angelus (talk about gender roles reversal, the strapping athlete asking the petite blonde to protect him). Cam reminds me of Buffy's old boyfriend from LA and the type of guys she used to go out with. Now of course she rapidly get's bored of him as he's nothing compared to Angel and the steroids have made him a jerk. Presumably either the coach added magic to the steroid mix or he's another recipient of the Hellmouth Genius effect.

    7/10 I think, a pretty slight tale but funny nonetheless

  • Go Fish

    Go Fish was a good episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it had a Disturbing Behavior feel to it at some points. Willow continues to teach Ms. Calendar's class, as Principal Snyder continues to monitor her, and make special arrangements for swim team members. In this episode we also see a completely new side of Zander as he goes under cover on the swim team to find out whats going on. The girls of the Scooby Gang are surprised to see him on the team sporting a speedo. The swim team coach is the main culprit in this episode and played his part well. This was an entertaining episode to watch.
  • Standard freak of the week episode. Swim team turns into fish monsters, people die, nobody cares.

    Jesus, this was a terrible episode that belongs in the dregs of season 1. I'm not a Buffy hater, but this episode was just laughable. While there were some funny bits and I did enjoy Zander and Cordie dialogue, it hardly makes up for this train wreck of a plot.

    How in the world does a gym coach know enough about chemistry to perfect (well not really perfect) gene manipulation? Once again it annoys me how little anyone seems to care that several students are now trapped in fish form. Granted they were jerks and had some serious hard-ons for the ocean, but doesn't anyone care about their families? On top of that, we have two dead teachers. No big deal, I'm sure the school can get a student like Willow to sub for the whole year! No school would let a student teach a class and actually grade her fellow peers. I know its a TV show, but come on.

    Nice Pie charts Everyone :)
  • Overall a good episode of Buffy when compared to some of the worst, but when compared to some of the best, it's not brilliant.

    Season 2 &3 are my favourite seasons of Buffy and even though this is not my favourite episode, it is still pretty good. In this episode members of the school swimming team being skinned by an unknown demon. After more investigating, it is discovered that the team are being skinned in order of their positions on the swimming team. When the Scooby Gang investigate, they discover this & Buffy follows the swimmer whom they believe to be the next victim. Angel attacks him at one point and he doesn't seem to like the swimmers blood. After more investigating it is discovered that the team are not in fact being skinned but are in fact turning into demons themselves. The Scooby Gang discover that the swimming coach has being putting steroids into the air in the steam room, which has been causing the team to transform into demons. In the end, in true Buffy fashion, Buffy saves the day and the coach is no more.

    The best part of this episode is when Willow is interrogating Jonathan and when we see Xander in his Speedos. Overall a good episode of Buffy when compared to some of the worst, but when compared to some of the best, it's not brilliant.
  • Season 2, Episode 20.

    Sunnydale High swim team members are mysteriously skinned alive, and it is discovered that they are taking in a form of steroids that turns them into fish-like creatures.

    This wasn't my favorite episode, but it wasn't necessarily bad. We saw Nicholas Brendan in a speedo. Rawr. Haha, and I also liked seeing Conchata Farrel in a serious role that wasn't Two and a Half Men. I didn't expect it. A lot of those swim team members were hot, too! I also LOVED when Cordelia said that she would still date Xander even if he was a fish. It was very unexpected of her. Decent episode.
  • So, the swim team.

    This episode's placement is really it's downfall. It is an episode that is better suited for the beginning of the season when things are just getting started, not at a pivotal time in the series, but I like the episode none the less. It kind of shows how real life has to continue even in face of all the evil that is taking place around Buffy. I also love Wentworth Miller and he is really hot in this episode, a jerk, yes but still really hot. I also find Xander's turn as an athlete to be really funny and the random appearance of Shane West is also appreciated. The scene at the end is cute with them swimming off to the ocean, overall a good episode that was badly placed, but I am one of the few who love filler.
  • Could have been better...

    I just did not like those monster, they were just ugly! This was not one of my favourite episodes. I just think that it could have been much better without those ugly monsters.

    It had a pretty good story and it was nice seeing Xander in his speedos :)

    As an Episode and a Story it was not so bad, but monster coming out of their skin that was just a bit disgusting.

    I think it was just a filler episode but it was kind of a bad one... I guess the coach was behind all those monster and at the end the monsters lived happily ever after...
  • Ehw, Fish Guts!

    Go Fish-When several members of the Sunnydale High swim team are mysteriously skinned alive, Buffy and the gang take it upon themselves to protect the remaining members, which results in Xander revealing a side of himself rarely seen.

    The last of the "classic horror movie monster" episode of the seasons, "Go Fish" is does the whole swamp thing/Creature from the Black Lagoon thing and it's just a mess. The whole metaphor for stereoids turing the average athlete into a monster is weak and is not executed well. The guest stars are mediocre yet some are up in coming stars like Shane West and future Prison Break star Wentworth Miller. Also, the fish creatures look too much like the monster it's inspired from and lose their appeal. Also, Angelus is pretty much used as a convenient yet horrible plot device to show they're is something wrong with the athletes' blood. I also hated the coach who is reponsible for the swim teams' transformation and the annoying nurse who got eaten, thank god!

    The only redeeming parts are hilarious scenes like Xander showing up wearing his speedo and when Cordelia mistakes Xander for being one of the fish monsters. Also, Gage's transformation into the fish monster is a cool sequence. But a las, the episode is hardly bearable and pretty much has those scenes to entertain you.
  • It's not that this was a bad episode...

    It's not that this was a bad episode, but the placing was horrible and didn't at all help the story arc. This seems to be a pattern that BTVS returns to time and time again.

    The episode revolves around the school swim team and of course their is something fishy with them, literally. A demon seems to be snatching their insides and leaving the skin behind for the scoobies to find. When Xander tries out for the swim team, does this mean it is the end for him too? Or can Buffy save him? After a wonderful monster-of-the-week episode, "I Only Have Eyes for You" I don't understand why BTVS would switch to an below average one, and right before the climax of the season. With this barely contributing to the story arc and not having really any memorably moments (except for the numerous boys in speedos) their isn't much praise here. This episode would have gotten a sure fire higher rating if it had come earlier into the season before the story arc had been created and waiting to be resolved. The one thing that stood out to me is that this is the first time BTVS shows truly graphic images. Before this, there was barely anything with blood and guts but seeing Gage's hand split in two and having a demon come out of it on television surely had my mouth open (not wanting to eat of course).

    The episode does have some low points, from its repetitiveness and its lack of something wonderful that makes Buffy Buffy. It barely even resolves the problems set forth from some of the characters and that just pisses me off even more. I don't know, it just doesn't stand out as one of the top episodes of the season.
  • Skip this one and go straight to "Becoming".

    As mentioned in the previous review, only one episode between "Passion" and the "Becoming" two-parter was worth keeping. That one was; this one isn't. For the penultimate episode before the big finale, this episode reeks of being out of place, as if they had it originally earlier in the season (or another season one leftover), but had to move it here. Because of that, little capitalization is made on the major character moments from the last episode, and the episode suffers. Other shows like "The X-Files" did better intertwining self-contained episodes with ones that cover the larger story arc.

    Despite the emotional showdown between Buffy and Angel under ghostly possession, it doesn't amount to anything in this one. Angelus' only scene doesn't address it, but rather is a plot device to clue in the gang to the doping on the team. Any vampire could've filled in. One could imagine Spike doing the same pre-"Innocence" without altering much.

    Xander has the closest to something workable, in being on the swim team causes him to face his insecurity about his manhood. But it doesn't translate to more than eye candy for the ladies and gay men. This is another episode to show that Nicholas Brendan is way better looking than Xander ever should be, but is because it's a TV show.

    The monster of the week is another classic horror staple; the Creature from the Black Lagoon, only the twist is that they are not mutated fish, but humans. While the make up is solid, these episodes tend to be below average since they use paint-by-numbers plotting with little character development. The metaphor is obvious: steroid abuse, still a major topic nine years later, and special treatment student athletes get. However, what does this have to do with the characters? It would've fit better to have Buffy try something in hopes of improving her own strength going into the big fight with Angelus and having it backfire, fitting her self-destructive arc.

    How the fish monster takes over its human host doesn't make sense. As seen, the parasite will hollow out its host until only its skin remains, at which point it'll shed. However, how can this happen when the victims act completely normal until less than a minute before the skin falls off? Shouldn't there be a transition where they become sick as their human selves waste away, since right before their skin falls off the fish is already fully grown? Granted, the make up is well-done, but that's not enough.

    One problem with an earlier episode, "Bad Eggs" (seems these obvious puns related to the monster of the week tend to lead to bad episodes), was that there was no explanation for the teacher's motive. Unfortunately the reasoning here doesn't work. The coach's motivation, something about fish-DNA and secret government testing, would work better on "The X-Files". The writer, who only wrote this episode, seems not to have a good enough grip on what type of show this is and thought any fantasy would do.

    Despite that, there are some good moments in the episode. Because of the school emphasis, we have plenty of great nasty Snyder moments, from him wanting to determine how Cameron's broken nose is all Buffy's fault to convincing Willow to change Gage's grade without explicitly saying so.

    Ultimately, this episode's only noteworthy in that it is Wentworth Miller's first TV acting gig, but considering his breakout in "Prison Break" was still over 7 years away, that doesn't mean much. It may have worked better at another point in the season, but after Spike got out of the wheelchair, it's best to skip this one and go straight to "Becoming", which luckily redeems the sins of this episode.
  • One of my least favourite episodes of Buffy.

    I have always had a strong feeling of hate towards this episode. I'm not sure what it is, but it fails to make me care in slightest of what is going on.

    I am one of the very few people who like the Buffy episode "Bad Eggs" (apparently it is quite ridiculous), yet for some weird, unknown reason I cannot stand equally bad (in other people's opinions) episodes such as this one.

    Don't worry, it is still a great episode of television, but when it's situated in a great show like Buffy the vampire slayer, you can't help but feel a little disappointed that this episode happened.

    The only thing I can really think of, that makes me want to rewatch this episode some day, is the encounter between Willow and Jonathon, when Willow is "interrogating" him. The outcome of this scene is hilarious, and well worth the average 40 minutes of viewing you'll encounter.
  • The swim team turn into monstrous fish creatures and Xander wears a speedo... calm down ladies.

    So this is a pretty silly episode but by no means is it bad. It's just really a filler episode which kinda has like the creature/freak of the week theme that say you might have seen on X-Files or early Smallville.

    The Swim Team is suddenly performing very well but it seems the Coach has been doing some experimenting with the boys nutrition. A few of the team turn into huge scary fish and the Scoobies get on the case.

    Xander goes undercover and takes one of the newly open spots on the team. Willow finds her true calling when she interigates Jonathon (very funny).

    The best part of this episode would have to be when Cordy is talking to one of the fish creatures that she believes is Xander, saying how they can still be together.

    Like I said this episode is straight up filler but it is still an okay watch. The kind of episode that you can sit down and not fel lost at all if you havent seen the episodes that come before.

  • I can't believe I'm rating this episode this high - I really can't. But I find it a really fun episode (after the third viewing).

    "Go Fish" is one of those episodes of BtVS that instantly makes you think of old, cheesy B-horror movies, or the awful Saturday night movies on the Sci Fi Channel. While fairly silly and ridiculous, "Go Fish" is actually a fun episode.

    The first time I saw this episode was on TV - a rerun on FX network. I hated it, I thought it was awful. So when I bought the DVDs I only watched about ten minutes of it in total - I kept rewinding through most of it. Still hated it. But after watching it a third time when going through my DVDs again, I found myself enjoying this episode. The episode is quite gross, featuring fish monsters erupting from human skin and we get to see the piles of human flesh. But the episode is also heavy in humor, and I was grinning most of the way through it. The best parts of the episode - Buffy was EXTREMELY hot in this episode; Xander in a Speedo was hilarious; Cordelia was EXCELLENT and further established herself as my favorite supporting character ever; the fish monsters were actually one of the better-designed episodes of the season.

    I used to consider this episode to be as horrible as "Inca Mummy Girl" but I've come to like it. It was great fun.
  • Xander in a Speedo

    This was such a funny episode. Xander in a Speedo was so amazing I loved Cordelia's reaction to that. I found it amusing that Xander decided to go undercover on the swim team to find out what was going on and protect the guys. I loved Buffy and the one guy. It was so funny that she was hanging out with him and then he came on way too strong and she beat him up. I loved that she stalked Gage and then when Angel came along and bit him he asked Buffy to walk him home because he was scared. It was really cute and amusing to see the swim team guy scared.

    I loved when Buffy was worried about her reputation. I loved that scene it was so funny to see Buffy worried about that and doing it with the swim team. It was just very amusing.

    I loved Willow being interrogated by Snyder to give Gage a D in computer class. I loved how insulted Xander was about earning his D's.

    This episode was just kind of there and it really didn't have a purpose but it was okay.
  • Xander gets into the school's swimming team, but something really weird is going on in it.

    I don't understand why in the middle of the whole Angelus drama Josh puts an episode like this. I was horrified. All I wanted to see was what happened with Buffy and Angel, but this episode hardly shows them in the same scene, actually it barely shows Angelus at all. At least, it's funny you would think, but you'd be wrong. It's more like a "first season" episode, with stupid creatures in silly costumes. At least the usual characters do a good job, and you a little more of Xander, which is constantly being put down in this show, so that's kind of nice. He being sort of popular and Cordelia being at last proud of him. But when it comes down to it, the main story line although it holds up, leaves much to wish for. And the lack of secondary story lines, makes this a really "blah" episode, if not a "what were they thinking?" one. The ending really hits a new low, when you think the bad part of the episode is over, they give you an "open end"? I thought that was one of the worst ideas of this episode.
  • Has its good points: Xander in a speedo is nice

    Favorite quotes: Xander: What am I gonna do?
    Cordelia: You, you, you. What about me? It's one thing to be dating the lame unpopular guy, but it's another to be dating the creature from the blue lagoon.
    Xander: Black lagoon. The creature from the blue lagoon was Brooke Shields.

    This was definitely a filler episode getting us ready for the final showdown with Buffy and Angelus. I wouldnt say it was a total loss, there were some very funny moments in it. I especially liked Cordelias reaction upon seeing Xander in his speedo. She went non-verbal, and that is a new thing for her. Not too shabby!
  • Xander joins the swim team!

    A very original plot and honestly I think that if any other series had attemptd it they would have failed dramatically, it has Buffy written all over it.

    I never would have guessed that Xander was the swimming type and Cordy didn't guess it either from the look on his face. But despite the appreciation from Cordy, Xander still looked embarassed as if he was ashamed of being part of another team.

    The issue of drugs was tackled quite well, as usual the drugs were portrayed in a negative aspect which was just as well as it was actually turning the whole swim team into fishy alien creatures.

    At the end we saw the creatures swimming off into the ocean, I wonder what will become of them.
  • real men where speedos...

    So something is fishy with the swim team, literally. Members of the winning swim team start disappearing and all that is left is their skin. Xander hears one of them screaming and when he runs in to find out what’s happening he sees some fish creature run away. With the first and second swimmers down the think that number three is next. Buffy is watching him at the bronze and when he leaves he gets attacked by Angel, but Angel spits out his blood – there was something that he didn’t like. The gang think it’s steroids so Xander decides to go undercover to figure it out. Turns out that it’s not steroids but fish DNA to make them swim faster. Buffy confront to coach who pushes her down to feed the needs of his boys. Giles comes to her rescue and the coach gets pushed in the tank where his boys attack him.
  • Pretty much a filler episode.

    Well this episode wasn't great but at least the mystery why the swimming team is turning into fish and we find out it's some kind of drug that will make the team strong enough to beat the swim competition but they end up turning to fish. The episode was so-so but still watchable.
  • Lost episode ... !

    This episode is very interesting, fascinating. But we wonder why an episode like that is in the middle of this season. Angel is absent, or almost, the intrigue of the season issn't here...
    So what is good in this episode ? We are in the school life. At first, there is a party on the beach, which is interessant. We see the swimming pool and the swim team, after have seen in other episodes pom pom girls, football...
    It also allows to developp Xander-Cordelia relationship. We realize she really in love with Xander. Buffy is still a single girl but she flirts several times with swimmers.
    At last, Nicholas Brendon is really funny as usual...
  • Two episodes from the season finale, the prod needs one more episode to make it 22... That\\\'s all it is. The others story lines aren\\\'t develloped, it feels out of place in this end of season.

    As I said, it feels out of place. No Angel, no end of the world clues. Just Buffy who saves the highschool one more time before things really go out of hand. One on the only positive thing is that we see Wentworth Miller for one of the time on TV.He was hot, even back then ! Especially when he plays bad-ass ! Oh and of course, Buffy\'s lines are as always very funny, especially when she breaks Cameron\'s nose ! Well done, girly ! ^^
  • Raw Fish

    Any monster-of-the-week episode aired in between two Buffy epics is doomed for failure, and Go Fish is unsurprisingly the only weak link in an otherwise stunning group of episodes at the end of season two. Nothing more than a monster story, it's only notable for the hilarious sight of Xander in his Speedos.

    Despite featuring appearances from pre-fame actors including Wentworth Miller and Shane West, the principal story in Go Fish is nothing but filler material. The idea behind the fish men features nothing original, and there's no boundary-pushing subtext to it all besides a weak "drugs turn you into a monster" moral. The only decent thing here is the pretty awesome monster effects. The scene in which Gage's skin literally falls away is excellently shot, and the first time this show managed to gross me out.

    Unlike every other episode during this part of the season, Angelus is used badly here, randomly appearing and getting into a badly staged fight with Buffy before running away again. Unless they had to fulfill David Boreanaz's episode contract, his appearance here is essentially pointless. He adds nothing to the story and it's disappointing to see him used this way as we're so close to the finale.

    Besides some neat scenes involving Xander and Cordelia and their twisted but ultimately cute relationship, Go Fish ends like raw sea food served up in an empty restaurant.

    Director: David Semel
    Writers: David Fury, Elin Hampton
    Rating: D
  • Once again, Buffy takes on a nemesis whose connection with vampire-lore is iffy at best: swim-team members who are turning into gill-monsters. Something much scarier than that happens to Buffy herself: she is turned into an even bigger wimp than Xander!

    A better title for this one would have been “Xander the Gill Monster-Slayer”...even though the gill monsters are never actually slain. (What was animal-control going to do with them, anyhow? Cure them, or just take them to a zoo where there would have been the risk of a breakout?)

    Here are some of what I believe they call dramatic cheats; stop me if you\'ve noticed:

    1. While this is not the first time Xander has come to Buffy\'s rescue (remember \"Prophecy Girl,\" where he had to help Angel revive Buffy?), it IS the first time their normal roles of Slayer and victim have been drastically reversed. For instance, how is it that Buffy has so much trouble dealing with the gill monsters...and yet it\'s nothing for Xander and the others to simply run away from them? It\'s like they wanted to make sure Xander stood out, but this is going way overboard; Buffy as a hapless damsel really should be impossible, but that\'s what this episode demotes her to. Indeed, this is the only occasion I can remember in which Buffy\'s life is saved twice from the same thing in the same episode.

    2. Buffy\'s \"wetlook\" scene is just about my fave in the whole series, but the way it was handled practically ruined the entire episode. That\'s because, instead of being allowed to use her wits and escape OR to defeat the gill monsters, Buffy is forced by the script/director to simply sit in the water and wait to be saved…while Xander does all the hard stuff? This is BAYWATCH, not BUFFY.

    3. Why are Buffy and the others so un-concerned about Xander turning into a gill monster, even though he\'s been exposed to the \"Lampwick #5\" three times? (That, or whatever its name was; hey, at least it fits...anybody remember the Coachman and his donkeys from \"Pinnochio\"?) Who told them how much of the stuff it takes to change a guy? Logically, they should have locked Xander up with the rest of the swim team…or at least sent someone along with him when he goes to find Buffy. This \"don\'t worry\" attitude shown in the library negates much of the suspense.

    4. When Xander goes to look for Buffy at the episode\'s end, how does he find her and Coach Marin so quickly? Remember, he and Cordy ran right past the pool-equipment room a minute ago, without a clue. If they knew what was happening, wouldn\'t it have made more sense to confront Coach Marin then and there?

    5. In the sewer, how does Buffy figure out that she\'s going to be raped and mutilated instead of eaten? It would have been better if Coach Marin had told her more about the situation, like: \"...But boys have other needs. And I’ll be right here to put you out of your misery when they’ve finished. (chuckles) Believe me, if you’re not dead after what YOU’VE got coming, you’ll wish you were.\"

    6. Why does Coach Marin leave his gun lying so far away, without even locking the door to the pool-equipment room? And why doesn\'t Buffy use this opportunity to search for another exit, before the gill monsters get there? Also, for that matter, how do the MONSTERS get in and out of there? They couldn’t possible reach that hole in the ceiling, could they? To be more blunt, what if Xander had needed to force his way in and/or STEAL the gun...as opposed to simply out-muscling a guy twice his size, in mere seconds (think about it, folks)?

    7. Why do the gill monsters run away from Coach Marin in the locker room, then attack him later in the sewer? He didn\'t even have his gun earlier, did he? For that matter, why attack him at all? In the first place, they\'ve already eaten (supposedly). In the second place, by killing Marin, the monsters are literally biting the hand that feeds them.

    8. At the end, how does Buffy know that the gill monsters are taking up permanent residence in the ocean? In the first place, if they really wanted to escape, they could have done so at any time; why wait so long? In the second place, their food (and sex) supply is still in Sunnydale.

    9. After Coach Marin recovers from Xander\'s elbow-strike (having given Xander just enough time to free Buffy from Marin\'s watery lion-den; what a coincidence), why does he come at them with a pipe-wrench, instead of using the opportunity to recover his gun?

    I suppose the purpose of all this was to give Xander a \"showcase\" episode. But the sad truth is that he didn\'t really need it...at least, not this kind of showcase. The Slayerettes (Xander, Cordy, Oz and Willow) always held their own nicely whenever Buffy had to be in two places at once, and neither Faith nor Kendra were around to help.

    In fact, Willow and Cordy and Xander had a specialty which worked extremely well: just as the \"Special Guest Vampire\" was about to finish off Buffy, one or more of the \"Scooby Gang\" members would divert the \"SGV\'s\" attention (usually by bravely if vainly attacking it)...consequently finding themselves at its mercy, and giving Buffy the necessary adrenaline and/or inspiration she needed to \"dust\" the \"SGV.\" As they say, if it ain\'t broke, don\'t fix it.

    Diminishing Buffy in favor of Xander to make him stand out would have worked much better had the producers gone all the way with it...like inserting a punchline which only makes sense because Buffy isn\'t the Slayer here but a victim. For example, below is a variation on the \"Go Fish\" finale which nicely (at least for me) plays off Xander\'s line, \"Just doin\' my part for our team\":

    ...The coach swings a large pipe wrench, bringing it down on the top of Xander’s head. Then he swats Xander aside so he can attack Buffy.

    Buffy reacts fast and ducks away from the wrench-wielding coach...but instead of taking a swing at her with it, he reaches down and grabs his gun from the floor. He levels it directly at Buffy’s face.

    Coach Marin: (mimicking Buffy) “This isn’t over.”

    She’s got her back to a corner, and he’s standing between her and the hole. Grinning in triumph, the coach tightens his grip on the gun.

    Coach Marin: My boys deserve a better cut of meat than you, anyway.

    Another ounce of pressure on the trigger and he’ll splatter Buffy’s head across the wall. But behind the coach, Xander has regained consciousness, and catches him with a ramming tackle. The shot which would have killed Buffy ricochets harmlessly, and the gun goes spinning away, far out of reach.

    The coach accidentally rolls into the hole, barely manages to grab the edge, and holds on for dear life. Xander, still bleeding from the ears and mouth, stands over him.

    Xander: You know something? I couldn’t agree more.

    He kicks him in the face. The coach screams as he falls into the water below. He stands up in the water, shaking it out of his face and coughing.

    Buffy: (reaches down) Grab my hand!

    Coach Marin: (to Buffy) Toss me the gun! Hurry!

    He’s too worried about his sea monsters surrounding him to realize the stupidity of what he’s saying.

    Coach Marin: The gun, dammit! Throw me the gun!

    She gazes back at him as if to answer, “Ha! No way!”

    Coach Marin: Boys! Boys, uh, now, now, boys! No! I...

    They attack him.

    Coach Marin: No, boys!

    He screams and struggles as they pull him under. The water bubbles and swirls violently, and suddenly the coach’s hand comes up...only his hand, which has been bitten off. One of the sea monsters resurfaces, just long enough to take the coach’s hand in its jaws. The water continues to swirl and bubble, as Buffy pulls her arm back up.

    The head of a sea monster floats to the surface, followed by the now-limbless corpse of another and the limbs of a third, and after that the headless corpse of the first. All of these body parts have been viciously gnawed.

    Buffy: (to Xander) Looks like you just did my part to boot.

    Cut to the school lounge. Willow and Buffy are sitting on one of the couches opposite Xander and Cordelia on the other. Xander’s head is heavily bandaged.

    Cordelia: (to Xander) ...I want you to know that you\'ve really proven yourself to me. And you don\'t have to join the new team next year if you don\'t want. I\'d be just as happy if you played football. (smiles)

    Buffy and Willow exchange an amused look.

    Buffy: (to Cordelia) You’re not the only one he’s proven himself to. In fact—(to Xander)—you keep playing your cards right, Xander, and I think our team’s gonna start calling you captain...instead of me.

    Xander: Me...Captain...Instead of you? (cringes at the idea) ...I’d rather be a fish.

    Cut to the sewers. The camera pans over to what’s left of Coach Marin’s body, which floats around the pool of water. Suddenly, a dozen of what look like grotesque hand-puppets burst through the coach’s back. They are baby sea monsters.

    Although this still is hardly the Buffy Summers we all know and love, it DOES make a nice lead-in to \"Becoming,\" where Buffy really does retire (albeit temporarily) and leave Xander to lead the \"Scooby Gang.\" Still, given such episodes as \"Go Fish,\" it\'s a wonder Buffy even accepted her \"Class Protector\" award in \"The Prom.\" I half-expected her to call Xander up on stage and donate it to him.

    Maybe there\'s a better version of \"Go Fish\" on the cutting-room floor; if I find one, I\'ll be happy to let you know about it. Moreover, I was sorry they couldn\'t get horror-movie-master John Carpenter to write and/or direct, since he has worked very closely with guest star Charles Cyphers over the years. What an in-joke that would have made; it also would have been a great way to get back at all those people who can\'t resist asking Charisma Carpenter if she\'s related to John.

    But, to quote Dennis Miller, “…Of course, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.”

    May God and the Slayer Be With You.
  • When the High School swim team starts disappearing, Xander goes undercover in a speedo.

    Another episode that really should have come before Passion. This is definitely a filler episode, and although not bad, at this point in the season the audience is waiting for the Angelus arc to heat up. Instead we get a few pointless scenes with him just to remind us he's still around and still gunning for Buffy.

    As to the episode itself: It has some things to say about the inherent preferential treatment of atheletes that actually robs them of their education. We also get a Cordelia-ism that is pretty amusing-- but mostly this episode stands out for putting Xander in a speedo, in which he looks quite fine.
  • 'Any demons with high cholesterol? You're going to think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh.'

    Another one of my favourite episodes, it’s quite unique even tough the monsters look suspiciously like the creature from the black lagoon.
    But ofcourse Joss turned it into his own fish creatures that were made after the use of steroids.
    Besides, the creature from the black lagoon is from my favourite black and white movie.

    This neat episode had the horror classic vibe that a lot of the episodes from this season had, but I have to chose this one as the best,

    It begins at the beech where a guy is hitting on Buffy and meanwhile some other guy gets eaten up like an Oreo cookie.

    Next day Cameron (the guy who was coming onto Buffy) begins to flirt and almost sexually harass her but she breaks his nose and ofcourse all the teachers blame her.

    That same night Xander finds the skin of Cameron in the lunch room and there is a fish monster near it, Xander naturally ran away like a woman.

    The fish make up was excellent, really. Top class. And it turns out that the two best swimmers of the swim team got eaten up so they are afraid that the third best is going to be eaten next, his name is Gage played by Wentworth Miller.

    So, anyway. Buffy’s job is to protect him and on the meanwhile he almost gets eaten up by Angelus but Angelus spits out the blood that apparently had steroids.

    Another fun part of this episode was Xander in Speedos, he joins the swim team to watch over them when they’re naked. Plus Cordy can die happy now.

    Eventually it turns out that those fish guys weren’t eating anybody, the men were becoming the fishes. Gage rips off his skin (which was one of the coolest scenes of the show, hank you very much) and they jump into the sewers.

    The steam has the steroids, so Xander may become a fish guy because he went three times in the steam. Meanwhile Buffy learns that the Couch was the one behind it all and he still takes care after the fishes, he gave them the nurse as food and now he gives them Buffy because boys have other needs. ‘Great, just what my reputation needs. That I did it with the entire swim team’.

    But Xander saves Buffy in time and the Couch falls in the water and gets eaten up by the fish. Or, ripped apart.

    This episode really has that classic vibe going around, the make up was superb and so were the action sequences. The end was pretty when the fish guys swim into the sea for a new home, man gotta suck being them.
  • Holy Fishsticks, Batman!

    At first, this was one of those episodes that was painful to watch for me. But it's also one of those episodes that grows on you the more you watch it. It's actually a very complex tale on several levels, with many plots being developed simultaneously. While there is no real plot development on the overall season arc, there is some much needed character development for Xander and Cordelia, and I think it was during this episode that I actually started liking Xander. We also have the underlying plot about the swim team, with the swim team members being callous, overbearing, obnoxious jerks who think they can get away with anything they want. One of the problems I still have with this episode is how totally unrealistic it is for the writers to try to make us think that a student, (in this case Willow) no matter how smart they might be, could become an interim teacher. As someone who works in the Colorado school system, this is a totally and utterly ridiculous scenario.
  • Once, twice, three times a fish-guy

    One of only two Sunnydale beach parties launches this episode, the funny yet moralistic one-parter before the series climax. Sunnydale High is finally famous for something other than a high death rate and odd occurrences – a swim team that is going to the state championships. The pressure on Snyder (from the Mayor?) to have a functional school leads to pressure on the Team Coach, the second evil sports coach in BTVS (the first being the Little League trainer in "Nightmares") – something tells me Mr Joss was a not big sports fan at school.

    The point being, of course, that athletes in US schools are treated differently, they don’t have to pass classes, they are part of an elite. As Cordy, a fan of this system, says: “Certain people are entitled to special privileges”, one of them being sexual gratification from – well, whoever. Cameron seems the sensitive swim-boy, talking about the mother-sea “so eternal, always adaptable and nurturing”, but his status means he can have any girl he wants. Well, apart from Buffy. Poor Buffy – not only is she not recognised for her slaying services to schoolkind, she is also blamed for Cameron’s attempted assault on her. The nasty sexual undertones are dealt with in a jokey way (“just what my reputation needs – that I did it with the whole swim team”) but there’s a serious message here – important men get away with assault and the women get blamed (“Look at the way she dresses”, “Try to dress more appropriately”). William Kennedy Smith anyone? Buffy is accused of not having any school spirit and thus by association she is un-American. As with the Mayor story arc in the next season, it seems that Joss and the team are trying to undermine accepted American values.

    Xander is against these kind of special privileges, until he is goaded by Cordelia’s derision to try out – and be accepted – for the team. He is the ultimate under-achiever but when he has a reason for doing something, he can be good at it. Hiding behind those horrible jumpers is one fit body - I don’t think they could have done this episode in Series 6 when the muscles were turning to fat. Cordy proves love for him once again her when she thinks Xander has turned into the creature from the blue/black lagoon and delivers a lovely soliloquy, telling him that they can still date: “I’ll do everything I can to make your life better – if that means little bath toys, or whatever”. Her values haven’t completely changed however; at the end she tells him she’d be just as pleased if he tried out for the football team.

    Angel features in the episode as a convenient MacGuffin; his trying to eat Wade leads the gang to suspect swim steroid abuse - the other moral of the episode being that Drugs Are Wrong (m’kay). Willow asks why anyone would take steroids if they fuck you up – well, this is answered in the episode. To Win. Wade’s encounter with Angel makes him realise that he needs Buffy’s protection. The tough guys don’t like Buffy out-machoing them, until she saves them. These boys have very specific gender ideas. Guys are sports heroes and girls the cheerleaders, the encouragers, not the do-ers themselves.

    Someone who doesn’t fit into the testosterone male idea is Jonathan, whom Buffy saves for the 7th (?) time, much to his discomfort. Willow gets to do her sadistic interrogating act again as the gang suspect that the swim team is being terrorised by a man in a rubber suit, er, I mean a demon that Jonathan has raised, perhaps putting the idea into his head for the first time. The cute twist is that the swim team themselves are the demons – the fish DNA they have been breathing in during the steam room sessions eventually turns them into monsters. At the end, nobody sees the error of their ways and the bad guys get theirs: Cameron turns into a fishguy, the colluding school nurse is eaten by the fish-monsters and the Coach is hoisted by his own petard – after attempting to throw Buffy to be sexual fodder to the fish-demons, he is then raped and murdered by his own team. Poor old Snyder, no wonder he hates Buffy - not only will the team never make the state championships, but there’s yet another teacher to replace. The recruitment costs at Sunnydale High must be ginormous.

  • This episode covers Sunnydale's answer to performance enhancing drugs. The swimteam has been taking substances that turn them into the creature from the black lagoon. The only reason it got a 1.5 over a 1 is Xander looks cute in a speedo.

    If you're going out of your way to make a horrible episode of a television, one of the easiest routes is to go all "After School Special" by using an anti-drug theme. Yes, drugs can be bad. Especially when they cause over-dramatic and cheezy television programs. I think this is my least favorite episode out of the entire series.
  • Something's fishy at Sunnydale High

    I am always a sucker for the underdog. In this case, I am a sucker for the episodes that are the underdogs in the Buffy legacy. A number of episodes that I thought were very fun and entertaining episodes are looked down upon by many fans of the show. I won't name all of them here, but this episode is sure one of them. Not favored by many, and looked down upon by many more, "Go Fish" is a fun and enjoyable hour. True, it is not "classic" Buffy, or important in any way to the series, but does every single episode need to be?. Can the show stray from the major drama and storylines for a fun piece of filler episode like this?. Sure it can. A lot of people probably wondered why this particular episode was scheduled where it was in the season. Season two had gotten heavy and serious and these were the last three episodes of the season. So, people were probably surprised(and annoyed)that an episode like this came so late in the game. This is the episode we get right before the gigantic, history making two part finale?. I can see their point from that angle, but that's no reason not to see the good and the fun in an episode. It's also one of the better 'high school sports' stories the show has done. It was touched upon in "Some Assembly Required" earlier in the season, but it's done much better here. Anyways, what was going on among the chaotic halls of SH this week?...

    Buffy and the gang come to find that there is something sinister on the prowl in Sunnydale. What's causing people to be stripped of their skin?. Before long, the gang comes to find that the high school swim team are turning into sea creatures.

    This fun little episode was the first to be written by future Buffy/Angel great David Fury. He co-wrote it with his wife, Elin Hampton. She never wrote for the show again, but she did appear as the case worker's co-worker who sees her freaking out over invisible Buffy in Season six's "Gone". Anyways, David said in an interview that he envisioned doing an old horror movie homage to "Creature From The Black Lagoon". Mission accomplished. He also had the clever ideas and metaphors down pat. Some people too quickly toss a side this episode as not having those. But it does. At least to me. We saw in season one's "The Witch" how parents are forcing their kids to succeed and to be something. Here, we see how the school and school employees will do anything for their students to succeed and to bring glory to the school. It's also an interesting episode showing the different treatment that star athletes receive in schools over all others. Mostly the smart students. Years down the road, who will be ahead?. Will the smart, ignored students be washing your windows, or will it be the jocks and football heroes?. I guess the jocks bring the fame and glory to the schools, while the brainiacs are just the...well, brains. Always the brawn, never the brain. There are a few cases of this throughout the entire episode. Some of it is so despicable, you wonder how it is(or was)during your own high school years. Take Gage, for instance. He would rather slack off instead of doing his computer work, but Principal Snyder makes Willow pass him. Snyder has always been about school spirit, so this does not seem below him. Does it for your principal?. Is it fair for the other students who work long and hard to get that, and Gage gets it because he's an athlete?. It's quite sad and unfair, but that's how it goes sometimes in schools. The most disturbing incident was when Cameron attacked Buffy in his car in the school parking lot. Guess who gets blamed?. Cameron gets off scot free, and Buffy gets blamed(by Snyder)for the incident because she was wearing clothes that were too provocative. Uh huh. As I have noticed other people say, it was made even worse when the Scooby gang didn't seem to care. As if it's okay because she's the slayer and she would win in a situation like that. Wether or not she could is besides the point here. The fact is that she was sexually assaulted and the perpetrator got off and she was left with the blame when she did nothing. Again, the athletes do nothing wrong and they come first. If the gang showed more worry if it were to of happened to Willow or someone, then something would be seriously wrong. They need to know that because it's Buffy, it doesn't lessen the assault. I guess it's natural that the swim team would turn into sea creatures. This is what they do, and this is the environment they are in. Plus, the creatures were pretty darn cool. And then there's the coach(played by Charles Cyphers, who horror fans will know as Sheriff Brackett from the first two "Halloween" films). Who wouldn't fantasize about throwing a demanding teacher or coach to the pack to be eaten sometimes?. Lol.

    The only other important aspect this episode has going for it is the continuing relationship between Xander and Cordelia. They have evolved into two people who actually care for one another, and in this episode that care deepens. When Cordelia thinks Xander has turned into one of the swim creatures, she gives a surprising talk to him. She says how she doesn't care what he looks like and she'll keep him in the tub and get a rubber ducky and all that. It's a surprising speech. I mean, it's Cordelia!. It just goes to show how much Cordelia has developed and matured. Before, she wouldn't hang around someone like Xander, much less keep his new sea creature persona and plan on getting it swim toys. Of course, she did talk about how it would change her persona and reputation when she thought about "if" Xander turned, but that all changed when she thought he really did. This only shows that Cordelia must be serious about what she said, but that she must also be serious about her love and relationship with Xander.

    In the end, "Go Fish" is not top of the line Buffy, but it's a much better episode than people give it credit for, and has more going underneath the surface as well. I guess this episode was intended as the calm before the storm.