beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah

 

 

 

 

 

The Yankees. Abbott and Costello. The 'A'. Now those were teams.

 

season two   >  go fish

 

I'm determined to wrap up this season. I just am. Therefore, I am doing this review from memory. Not that seeing Nick Brendon in a speedo wasn't fun for me…okay, no. I have a confession to make. I'm sorry, but speedos do nothing for me. I find them disturbing and fairly cruel. No offense to Nick, it's not you. It's me. You look fine in the speedo, really. But--Oh! Let's play a game! No, not the "spot the stunt double, take a shot" game that frequently leaves me drooling on the floor, but rather the "spot the mistake in ST's review, win a prize!" not that I'm promising there will be mistakes, but it's early, I'm at work, I went to bed late, I haven't seen this ep in awhile…things happen.

 

So! There's these guys, and they act like asses. Therefore, they must be jocks. The running joke in this episode is that everyone in Sunnydale worships the ground the swim team--yes, you read that right, the swim team, walks on. Interestingly enough, no one at my school even realized the swim team exists. We were strange and unusual that way. But not Sunnydale High! They've got champion swimmers, and they're the only team that wins anything ever, so go them! Woo! This, of course, gives the members of said swim team free reign. Of the school, of the beach bonfire, of the women…if I were a guy on a swim team, I would totally transfer to Sunnydale. Totally. Because that's the only place they're going to get that kind of love and adulation. Hell, the cheerleaders even go to their meets! Our cheerleaders were required to show up to two matches at the most, and boy, were they bitter about it.

 

Buffy, attempting to snap out of her mopey phase from the golden pants era of I Only Have Eyes For You agrees to hang out with one of the members of said swim team. He seems nice, he has that athlete prestige, he has a pulse, so why not? Unfortunately, he turns into a royal ass in the car and Buffy has to attempt to break his nose on his own steering wheel. I am suddenly taken back to Say Anything and Lloyd's friends consternation that Diane dared to break up with him in his own Malibu. That's cold, man. And even though this has nothing to do with this episode of Buffy, I can't keep that little boy sitting with them on the curb from following this train of thought up with "Bitches, man..."

 

 

This, of course, conflicts poor Snyder. (The nose injuring incident, not my Say Anything incident.) On the one hand, he gets to look sternly at Buffy and threaten her. Always a good time. On the other hand, one of his prize athletes, sort of like a prize pig but not, is injured. Not such a good time. But he did get to harass Willow earlier into giving another member of the swim team a passing grade so he could carry Sunnydale to victory and glory and infamy in the high school swimming arena, so I guess it all sort of balanced out for the Snydman, yes?

 

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.

 

Buffy wrongly gets bitched out by Snyder and the coach and the nurse probably threw a few disdainful looks her way, I don't really remember, and while it's shameful the school blindly takes the athlete's side, I gotta take a moment to laugh at their dig on Buffy's clothes. Not because they're right and a woman should have to watch what she wears so men don't have to try and keep themselves under control, but because Buffy's wardrobe makes me laugh.

 

Things start to go downhill for the almighty gods of speedos when they start to be found with their skins ripped off. It's all supposed to be very mysterious and very monster of the week-y, but really the coach is giving them drugs to help them fill out their speedos. He's a good man, Charlie Brown, and the impetuous for this week's lesson! Say it with me, kids: Steroid type drugs are bad! And they might turn you into fishmen! But more importantly, drugs as a whole are bad! [even magic drugs! - SP] Now, toss in an "mmmkay", just for the hell of it! Come on, you know you want to!

 

So the boys are being split in two, the top two on the team as a matter of fact, and no one knows why, and Buffy's assigns herself to watch numba three. Perhaps they suspect a rival school. Teenagers can be so cruel. So cruel, in fact, that they don't want a psycho like Buffy Summers watching over them. So they rebel. Until Buffy's ex-boyfriend tries to give them a hickey. Then they get all freaked out and "will you be my best friend"?

 

This ex, of course, would be Angel, because Angel's killing all of her friends (friends here being loosely defined as psychotic, drug addled, rude high school athletes with inflated egos that Buffy can't stand. So the standard Webster's definition.). Buffy, luckily, wasn't required to save him or find his dead body, thus saving us both from an angsty B/A scene with witty dialogue and/or a morose scene of Buffy crying over her "friend's" body. Thank god for evil drugs, right? They make your blood taste bad, mmkay. And vampires will spit you out! Woo! So guess what, kids? Drugs are your friend!

 

See? See how easily a lesson of the week can be negated and crumble into pieces with shoddy writing? You have to pay attention to the details, people. You've just gotta.

 

Buffy stalks the #3 athlete around the school, but this time with his permission, and for some reason chooses to do it in a bright blue shirt that seems to be made out of that material the women of 20 Minute Workout used to make their headbands out of. I swear to god, I do not understand this wardrobe. Ignoring the bright, shiny monstrosity, Xander goes in where Buffy dare not-the men's locker room. Though, to be honest, I really don't see the point of sending Xander in as lookout if he's going to leave the damn locker room and leave athlete #3 in there alone. Xander, I love you, you know I do, but you're a dumbass.

 

When you're nude? I meant to say changing.

 

I suppose at some point I should mention that Xander joins the swim team of his own volition. Why? Because he likes to walk around in shiny underwear? Because he likes to swim in a public pool that most assuredly has been vilified? (And actually was for sure, thanks to a disgruntled and picked upon Jonathon. That's right. When you ain't got nuthin, you've got to use what you've got. I bear him no ill will. Xander, on the other hand, just might.) No, because Buffy took out a swim team member and for some reason they don't have a back up. So, desperate to be seen as a vital member of the Scoobs, he donned the red spandex speedo of doom. My god, he's so brave. Say what you will about hand to hand combat and using withcraft, but it takes real guts to walk around in a speedo. Our hats are off to you, Xander Harris. May your speedos never sag.

 

Buffy, feeling a bit impatient and maybe thinking if she helps tie #3's shoes she can get home in time to watch the Real World, enters the men's locker room. She of course enters in time to see a green sea monster man threatening #3. Who, I suppose by this point, I should call Gage. Because that's his name. Gage. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because he begins to twitch and before you know it, he breaks out of his skin and turns into one of those sea creature men type things. Because drugs are bad, mmkay. They change you, mmkay? Into a monster, mmkay? (Ooh, could that be a lesson?) He and the other sea monster dance around Buffy for a bit, get interrupted and slide into the sewers through the handy grate in the locker room. They have access to the sewer drain in the men's locker room. Tell me this town wasn't built for monsters to get around easily. Pffft. Either that, or it was designed by an idiot. Or a combination of th!e two.

 

Between this and the whole Angel spitting out Gage's blood, Buff deduces that it's something in the blood. Go Buff! Woo! Two points for the Slayer! Turns out, it's in the steam. The team is forced to sit in a steam room, sweating together in nothing but towels after each practice. Sounds like fun. Xander begins to freak, thinking he's going to be a sea monster and how the hell is he going to fit into his speedo then? Luckily, a plasma transfusion is all he and the remaining boys need. He doesn't know that yet, but it's cool. He's only got like 10 more minutes until the end of the show. He'll live.

 

Buffy confronts the Coach and gets pushed into the sewer for her troubles. She's not alone though, because the nurse that knew about all this got cold feet and the Coach had to push her into the sewer to give his boys lunch. Buffy got pushed in because boys have…other needs. Let's all give a collective shudder together, shall we? *shudder* Between this episode and Nightmares I'm sort of getting the feeling that ME has an issue with organized sports, or at least with the fanatical psychos behind them. And really, would a high school coach care enough about the win to dig up documents from the old Soviet Union and crack a code to create fish-steroids? High school? Little League, maybe. College, most definitely. But high school?

 

But is steroid use usually linked with, 'Hey, I'm a fish'?

 

Buffy swerves and dodges the fishmens' amorous advances, waiting for the Xandman to come save the day. Which he does by defeating the evil coach and extending his arm into the hole for her to catch onto and pulls her up. Buffy pays the coach back by tripping him into the sewer hole. And he's fishbait, thanks for playing. Once their appetite is sated, and we're never really made clear which one is being sated here, thanks, our fishmen head out to the sea. Bon Voyage and good luck.

 

I bet they're just happy to never have to wear speedos again. I'd trade my humanity for that. In a second.

 

 

 

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