Okay, so… I did that thing again where I was gone for ages. We’re not going into it, but I was just feeling all “what’s the point” and lazy about a lot of things and this (and my other blogs, incidentally) were collateral damage.
It also doesn’t help that this episode is not a fave. I mean, it’s not IWYJ bad, but it’s also not a stunner.
Granted, it bears the ill luck of being sandwiched between two fantastic episodes, but even so…
Although, you do get the delicious privilege of seeing a young Wentworth Miller turn into a fish/tadpole… thing:
And, of course, the one and only time I actually caught myself drooling for Xander:
And there is not one Cordelia moment that isn’t flawless:
… I mean, the hair alone.
But this episode does also have a really obvious “Steroids ‘R Bad, Mm’kay” message, and the one thing I hate more than most things: Buffy almost being sexually assaulted… Again. Let’s stop going to that well, people, okay? That well sucks. Find another fucking well, d’you hear me?
Go Fish did deal with issues of privilege, though—primarily in the context of school sports. Which does happen, by the way… Sometimes in unbelievably gross ways. As a society, we tend to be alternately shockingly permissive and naughtily titillated by athletes’ bad behavior—especially if they’re winners. And, well, in a way, it’s encouraged. Just think of all the incentives offered young athletes when it’s time to go to college. After a while, it’s expected that they get free shit (including women), and a free pass to do whatever they want (including sexual assault). It’s just the way the world works, as Cordy says. Not always, of course. That would be generalizing atrociously. But it happens.
Thankfully, the show seems to take issue with this attitude—especially since the athletes in question are turning into B-movie monsters. The metaphor is clear: compromising yourself in order to be a “winner” turns you into a monster.
I’ll admit, I don’t even know how big the pressure is in high school to be a winner—I was blissfully unconcerned with my own school’s sports lineup—but I imagine it all starts somewhere.
Anyway, what I’m saying is… actually, I don’t even know. I think I’m out of practice. Hopefully the next one’s better, eh?
- “Team? Swim team. Hardly what I'd call a team. The Yankees. Abbott and Costello. The 'A'. Now, those were teams.” I may be going nuts, but I’m sort of liking Xander in this one…. *checks for fever*
- “Dude, what is that foulness?”
- I love Cordy’s outfit. I love Cordy’s everything.
- “You know what really grates my cheese? That Buffy's not here to share my moral outrage about swim team perks… She's too busy being one of them.” Aaaaand he lost me. Fuck you, Xander.
- Yes, good.
- Hey, I like Buffy’s outfit. I am now glad you’re a fish thing, asshole.
- So… no one cares about Buffy being attacked because she can take care of herself. FEMINISM!
- “Any demons with high cholesterol? … You're gonna think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh.”
- “God, this is so sad. We're never gonna win the state championship. I think I've lost all will to cheerlead.” Aww, poor Cordy…
- Hey, look, you guys! It’s a Gameboy!
- Aw, The Bronze has an animal cracker display case. My headcanon is that they put it there after Oz requested it.
- The only person more obvious at following people than Buffy is probably Lorne.
- “Who is she—the Chosen One?” I see what you did there, Angel.
- “No, he just sort of… peed in the pool.”
- Hey, everyone, it’s Shane West!
- 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.
- Er… fish don’t fuck. At least not like humans do.
- “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 Speedos. 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 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…” If you don’t love Cordelia, you need to kill yourself.
- *Monsters head into the ocean* Me: Well. That’s gonna destabilize the ecosystem something fierce…