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Discussion of 2.20 "Go Fish" - Aired 5/5/1998 (WB-US)

Mr Trick

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I just remember that the guy who played Michael Scofield in Prison Break is in this episode.

I liked Angelus' brief role in this episode and him spitting out the blood gave Buffy the clue that something was up with the swim team.

This is one of my least favourite season 2 episodes. It's sandwiched between IOHEFY and Becoming which I think doesn't do it any favours. It's pretty much a standalone episode which would've been better off pre-Angelus arc.
Keep forgetting he's in this episode to be honest:D To me they just had him there as a token because its the last one before the big finale. Not sure his part works too well IMO. Think IOHEFY would have been a much better choice to go before Becoming.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Think IOHEFY would have been a much better choice to go before Becoming.
Agreed. Also I think, because Spike, Dru and Angelus became the most interesting characters of the season, their lack of presence was really noticeable in this episode. What were they doing in the days between IOHEFY and Becoming?
 

Give Us A Kiss

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Sineya
The swim team have chosen the beach for their victory party, why doesn't this surprise me ?

Jonathan is being bullied, again :(

The monster did some creepy things to the body which I do not want to know about...

"Your pie chart looks a lot like solitaire", he obviously wasn't making a pie chart :p

Willow is doing the right thing by giving Gage a low grade, Snyde's talking nonsense.

"You like it rough", he's right, she does.

Buffy's right, the swim team gets away with everything just because they are about to win.

That monster is very, very ugly...

I doubt Jonathan has anything to do with the monster, so questioning him is a waste of time.

Angelus, acting like Angelus...

Steroids ? Wouldn't be surprised if they are involved with the swim team...

Xander, in Speedo's, not really my cup of tea.

The monster got Gage, no surprise there.

Buffy's right, Winning=trophies=having a good rep.

Xander, you talk too much.

So, the coach is basically killing them with the steam ? ouch !

The coach is evil, very evil...

Cordy, that was a nice "talk" you had with the monster whom you thought was Xander.

At least the coach gets what he deserves, torture.

Home for the creepy monster seems to be the ocean, better than a hellmouth.

Next time: An eventful two parter, Becoming.
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
Buffy sure takes her time to go help Gage from being vampire lunch, (looong dramatic pause,) lol!

This episode might be my line; with an open mind I have come to see the charm and value in objectively bad episodes from season 2, particularly in this and my previous rewatch last year, but I just can't make friends with Go Fish. I sat thinking about why and I think it is for two reasons: one, there is nothing in the episode that offers value philosophically, thematically or in character analysis, and two, as thetopher discussed in another thread for a different episode, this particular episode is hard to justify in terms of mythology, because it doesn't contribute and enrich it. The idea is like an imaginative dead end: other more successful monster of the week episodes leave the imagination with far more interesting places to take themselves with afterwards. I feel compelled to think afterwards about what could have been with better Motw episodes, whereas this one only makes me wish the episode slot had not been wasted. This one might be my least favorite of the season; certainly bottom 3, unquestionably.
 

Sharky

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I hate this episode. Yes, the placement is awful but:

"Oh no, they already had their dinner... You know boys have other needs too.."

This line has to be the worst thing I've ever heard in BTVS. Alluding to gang rape of our heroine? Too much here. Buffy's follow-up "I guess those boys really do love their coach.." was bad too. Not to mention when Buffy broke Cameron Walker's nose because he was getting very close to sexual assault, two different characters tell Buffy afterwards it had something to do with the way she dresses and it doesn't seem to get acknowledged by the show how idiotic that mentality is.
 

jls

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Haven't read all the posts yet, but must chime in. So much horrendous sexism and victim-blaming goes on in this episode. While I accept it from the villains of the story, it makes us hate them, it makes us root for Buffy vigorously; what I can't stand is the lack of interest and indignation of her friends and Giles. She is all alone in it, which I find unacceptable. It makes me rage every time.
 

Jam

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This, for me, is the only season 2 episode that adds very little to the season. Also, its placement in the season is even more confounding; if it were earlier in the season, perhaps it could be more forgivable but alas, it is not, and it offers very little build-up to the 2-part finale. I think the whole concept of the episode could've been scrapped, but then I wonder: what should 2x20 have looked like? What should it have been about? Just speaking generally, I think it should have set the stage for "Becoming" and made a more seamless thread between the finale and "I Only Have Eyes For You" – that's not to say that it should've been a 3-part episode or anything, but more along the lines of "The Prom" and "Graduation Day"; even season 5's last few episodes. I can see how "Go Fish" could kill the momentum leading up to the finale.

The only thing worth noting in terms of continuity is that Buffy seems a little more at ease and open to other romantic pursuits, which could certainly be attributed to the forgiveness theme in the episode before.

Even the tone seems off... it feels more like a season 1 episode than a season 2 episode.

Yuck, Cam.

Undercover Buffy is very charming! I have to admit, I do like the interactions between Buffy and Gage – wouldn't have minded more of those. RIP, gone too soon.

Even Angelus doesn't add much to the episode.

Cordy's speech to not-Xander is cute (and slightly ridiculous but that's par for the course for this episode).

My biggest takeaway from this episode: I just wish I could scrub "My boys have other needs." and "Those boys really love their coach." from my brain.

Tagline for Go Fish: "This was no boating accident."
 

GraceK

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I love that the coach ends up being gang raped to death at the end. Seriously that is some dark stuff in what appears to be a fluffy episode :p
 

DeadlyDuo

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Even Angelus doesn't add much to the episode.
Angelus' role was to literally spit out blood which gave Buffy a clue that something was up with the swim team.


I love that the coach ends up being gang raped to death at the end. Seriously that is some dark stuff in what appears to be a fluffy episode :p
I think the coach drowned. The water was quite deep and it wouldn't take much weight to push him under.
 
Jam
Jam
I meant more season arc-wise as in doesn't much in terms of continuing on from IOHEFY and leading into Becoming

ChaseRules

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I think that one of the main reasons of the show was to show off Xander body . After all he couldn't have Cordy go out with a loser so Joss cocked up a reason to have Xander show of hid body . Any one else think that ?

Also I know that was the only time we see Xander undressed in any way. It was like once he had shown off his body he never had to again .
 

Mr Trick

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I know it has close competition (Teacher's Pet I'm talking about you!:p) but I think this is hands down the worst episode of the whole show. The MOTW is cheesy and cringy. The gender politics stink. There's some rubbish acting from the supporting cast. Plus it just feels like most of the themes have been done before and better. The other thing I hate is that much of the humour feels sitcomy. There's no stakes in this one.
 

Btvs fan

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Buffy meets Prison Break 🤓

Not a great episode and I could've done without the rape line (Fury Carrie's these on into Angel S5 😐) or the earlier sexual Assault attempt that's played for comedy.
Also did we really need the swim team to try and drown a kid to show they're not nice guys and have it coming 🤔
Angel literally shows up for his contractual scene of the week then leaves
Also Xander is meant to be geeky and self conscious in his swimming trunks when the actor is clearly in great shape is unintentionally funny 😂
Not a great episode 4/10
 

FaithLehane16

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I'm thinking about giffing some Xandelia moments in this episode in hopes to get some notes on them.

I just got done watching this episode. I think this episode would have been more appropriate before Passion aired instead of Becoming Pt. 1.

Xander showed some growth in this episode.

And this episode is very misogynistic. Snyder and the coach are very misogynistic. I wonder what it would be like if Snyder would have been involved with The Trio in Season 6. It just seems to me that he tries his best to have an excuse to expel or suspend Buffy. Doesn't he have another hobby? His nose is so far up The Mayor's ass it's not even funny.

The Buffy&Angelus scene in this episode was cute. He called her beautiful. :)

The coach is very lame. There are other ways to make your team win besides having fish monsters take away the lives of human beings.

Xander in a speedo was cool. It is hard to believe that Cordy would wait to deflower that

Lackluster episode to the extreme but can I just say? How fricking adorable is Cander here?!

It's such an underrated 'ship :(
Yes, and it should've went longer than it did. The way they broke up never made sense.

Agreed. Also I think, because Spike, Dru and Angelus became the most interesting characters of the season, their lack of presence was really noticeable in this episode. What were they doing in the days between IOHEFY and Becoming?
I think preparing their next move of what they were going to do.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I just got done watching this episode. I think this episode would have been more appropriate before Passion aired instead of Becoming Pt. 1.
This episode does suffer from unfortunate placement. It's often seen as one of the weakest episodes of Season 2, and because it's sandwiched between IOHEFY and the two part finale, it could give the perception that it's weaker than it actually is (though I wouldn't consider it in the top 10 episodes of Season 2).

And this episode is very misogynistic. Snyder and the coach are very misogynistic.
I wouldn't say they're misogynistic in so much as they hate women in general, but kind of like with Percy in Doppelgangland, they let the jocks get away with all sorts because they represent the school in competitions and championships. In Doppelgangland, Snyder wanted Willow to give Percy a better grade so he could stay on the team (I forget what sport he was doing).

The coach is certainly the more misogynistic of the two whereas Snyder only cares about the school winning. Buffy injuring some star players (even though it is in self defence) isn't going to go down well because if the players are injured, they can't represent the school and so Sunnydale High might lose out on winning state championships and such.

I wonder what it would be like if Snyder would have been involved with The Trio in Season 6.
It wouldn't work because Jonathan and Andrew were students whilst Snyder was principal so there would be that weird power dynamic. The only one Snyder would probably work with is Warren because Warren transferred pretty early on to go to a different school due to his intelligence so he's not going to view Snyder as his principal.

Interestingly, Andrew wasn't originally supposed to be part of the trio. It was meant to be Warren, Jonathan, and Tucker (the guy who released the hellhounds in Prom). However, the actor playing Tucker was unavailable hence why we got "Tucker's Brother".

It just seems to me that he tries his best to have an excuse to expel or suspend Buffy. Doesn't he have another hobby? His nose is so far up The Mayor's ass it's not even funny.
The Mayor is a very powerful figure in Sunnydale, Snyder knows it's better to stay on his good side.

Also Snyder views Buffy as a trouble maker so he wants her out so that she's not his problem anymore.

The Buffy&Angelus scene in this episode was cute. He called her beautiful. :)
I don't think Angelus was aiming for cute, more along the lines of mocking. It's interesting that Angel's and Angelus' feelings for Buffy mirror each other in opposite ways. Angel loves Buffy and wants to protect her whilst Angelus hates her and wants to destroy her.

I imagine Angelus wanted to make Buffy his new "masterpiece" hence why he was playing mind games with her. Dru would probably be jealous that she's not getting Angelus' attention anymore though I think Spike would be happy that Angelus wouldn't be sniffing around Dru so much.

The coach is very lame. There are other ways to make your team win besides having fish monsters take away the lives of human beings.
I don't think turning them into fish monsters was the intention. After all, they can't compete once they turn.

Xander in a speedo was cool. It is hard to believe that Cordy would wait to deflower that
Cordy never slept with Xander, Faith was his first. It's also possible that Xander doesn't feel ready for sex yet. Him turning down both Willow and Buffy's advances in BB&B could've been for more reasons than just not wanting to take advantage. He'd talk the talk to maintain an image but he couldn't walk the walk.

The way they broke up never made sense.
It reflects badly on Xander that he waited until Willow was in a relationship with someone else before he started taking an interest.

It does bug me though that Oz and Cordelia happen to walk in just as Xander and Willow kiss because they thought they were going to die. Had they done it two seconds earlier then the kiss wouldn't have happened. Also Xander goes from being unable to stand to suddenly being able to climb down through the broken staircase to an injured Cordelia.

I think preparing their next move of what they were going to do.
Acathla wasn't discovered until the next episode though. Either there were plans that were discarded and new ones made involving Acathla, or the vampires were just milling about.
 

FaithLehane16

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It reflects badly on Xander that he waited until Willow was in a relationship with someone else before he started taking an interest.
This is why I prefer Oz as her boyfriend because Oz treated her better as a romantic partner than Xander. Xander was just busy sniffing after Ms. French, Buffy, Ampata, and Cordelia alot to not care enough to see her in that light, but rather as a little sister. Plus Cordelia is in a higher standard than Willow.

Acathla wasn't discovered until the next episode though. Either there were plans that were discarded and new ones made involving Acathla, or the vampires were just milling about.
I know, but I was just saying that they were trying to think about what are they going to do.

I imagine Angelus wanted to make Buffy his new "masterpiece" hence why he was playing mind games with her. Dru would probably be jealous that she's not getting Angelus' attention anymore though I think Spike would be happy that Angelus wouldn't be sniffing around Dru so much.
Same here.

It wouldn't work because Jonathan and Andrew were students whilst Snyder was principal so there would be that weird power dynamic. The only one Snyder would probably work with is Warren because Warren transferred pretty early on to go to a different school due to his intelligence so he's not going to view Snyder as his principal.

Interestingly, Andrew wasn't originally supposed to be part of the trio. It was meant to be Warren, Jonathan, and Tucker (the guy who released the hellhounds in Prom). However, the actor playing Tucker was unavailable hence why we got "Tucker's Brother".
If Snyder wasn't their principal, what would you have thought?

And I knew that part.

Cordy never slept with Xander, Faith was his first. It's also possible that Xander doesn't feel ready for sex yet. Him turning down both Willow and Buffy's advances in BB&B could've been for more reasons than just not wanting to take advantage. He'd talk the talk to maintain an image but he couldn't walk the walk.
But it is hard for me to believe so. I understand your point.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Plus Cordelia is in a higher standard than Willow.
Depends on what standard you're measuring against. Cordelia is more popular than Willow however Willow is nicer than Cordelia. Cordelia dresses better than Willow but Willow is more intelligent.


If Snyder wasn't their principal, what would you have thought?
It would be weird because Snyder isn't the kind of character that would want to hang out with people decades younger than him (unless we're talking Band Candy Snyder). Teenage Snyder seemed like a good guy if a little too try hard, I wonder what happened to make him the man he became.

LOL I was going to say it would be weird for a middle aged man to hang out with 3 people decades younger than him, but than I realised that is basically the scooby dynamic :p
 

thrasherpix

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Because Snyder defended what jocks did doesn't mean he'd defend the Trio for what they did, let alone work with them.

Snyder was realistic in at least one way: it wasn't so much what you did that he measured you by, but who you are and who you did it to. That's how a great many people (including school principals) are in the real world, and just because they support the vile behavior of one group doesn't mean they won't hate the same actions when done by a different group (especially if done to the approved group, even if it's revenge against the approved group who did the same thing to them first).

Also, he does not like chaos. Though the Trio, if less obsessed with being comic book villains, could've easily become clients of Wolfram & Hart (with evil hobbies on the side) in which case he'd probably cut them a lot of slack as "success stories." But I don't think he'd have approved of them acting like boys stealing and tinkering with occult forces and weird science while trying to emulate comic book stories (even if they weren't using it for evil means) as it's too chaotic.
 
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ChaseRules

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I gathered from what a idea of what Snyder was really like . And that was someone who was running b the school because the Mayor had
told him to keep order in the school & also stamp down on the kids since he wanted them to not to question what was happing in the town.
And since Snyder liked putting people down it was a perfect job for him .
 

Mr Trick

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Some fishy gender politics in this one?... sorry! o_O

The highlights are still Willow grilling Jonathan and Xander's speedo scene and Cordy's reaction to it:D
 

ChaseRules

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Liked your pun Mr Trick .

Funny thing about that . Wasn't that the only time we saw someone in a swimming suit .
And that scene showed that Cordy was shawol & she not by any means .
 
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