-- Quotes --
The beach is the site
for the victory party of the Sunnydale High swim team, and everyone's celebrating
except Buffy. One of the team members, Cameron, approaches the lonely Slayer
and keeps her company. Another team member, Dodd, mocks Jonathan in front
of everybody, so Buffy steps in to stop the foolishness. Dodd and fellow
member Gage then leave the party and walk along the shore. Suddenly, Dodd
disappears without Gage even noticing. He smells a strong odor coming from
somewhere, so he decides to return to the party. He doesn't hear Dodd quietly
scream in agony, nor does he notice the scaly creature walking away from
The next morning, Principal
Snyder stops by the computer classroom to talk to Willow about one of her
students, Gage. He is currently getting an "F" in the class, and Snyder
encourages her to work his grade into a passing one. Meanwhile, Cameron
gives a Buffy a ride to school, then tries to put the moves on her. She
retaliates by busting his nose on the steering wheel. Principal Snyder
sees this and calls the two of them to Nurse Greenliegh's office. The swim
team coach, Marin, meets them there, and they discuss their chances for
winning the state title. In the library, Buffy learns that Dodd's insides
were eaten from some mysterious creature, leaving only his skin behind.
Hours later, Xander takes a study break and heads to the vending machine.
He bumps into Cameron, who is on his way to the cafeteria. Cam notices
a foul smell when he enters the cafeteria, and a horrific scream follows
soon after. Xander follows the sound, but he's too late, for all that remains
of Cameron is his skin on the cafeteria floor. Xander then turns around
and encounters the scaly creature that most likely killed Cameron.
Later, Xander explains
to Giles and Cordy that the creature got away before he could get a good
look at it. Without Cameron gone, Giles determines the pattern of the killing
is connected to the swim team ranks. Dodd and Cameron were the first and
second best swimmers on the team, respectively. Since Gage is the third
best, he would most likely be the creature's next target. Buffy decides
to keep an eye on Gage, while Willow interrogates Jonathan, who has tried
out for the team several times but never made it on. All Willow learns
is that Jonathan peed in the pool. Later that night, Gage confronts Buffy
about her spying on him. She tries to come up with a good excuse, then
simply tells Gage what's really going on. He doesn't buy it, so he turns
and walks out. Outside, he meets Angel, who promptly sinks his teeth into
Gage's neck, hoping to turn him into a demon. Buffy arrives on the scene
just in time to witness Angel suddenly withdrawing his fangs from Gage's
neck and spitting the blood out. He tosses Gage's weakened body at Buffy
and makes his escape, all the while spitting out the blood in disgust.
Gage believes Buffy now, so he asks her to walk him home.
At swim practice the next
day, Buffy tells Willow and Cordy about Angel's distaste for Gage's blood.
She believes that Gage may have been taking steroids, which might have
turned Angel off. Willow then considers the possibility that the steroids
might be what's attracting the creature. They then find out that Xander
has joined the swim team. The position was open due to the recent deaths,
so Xander took it as an opportunity to spy on Gage when Buffy couldn't.
After spending some time in the steam room, Xander gets dressed and meets
Buffy outside of the locker room, telling her that Gage is still inside.
She soon hears Gage screaming and runs inside, where she sees the creature
standing in front of Gage. She gets between the two of them, but something's
wrong with Gage. To her horror, Buffy watches as Gage tears away his own
skin in agony before emerging as the same type of creature standing behind
her. Gage's former skin drops to the floor, and he quickly attacks Buffy.
The two of them are too much for Buffy, and when her guard drops, one of
them bite into her arm. Coach Marin arrives to pull Buffy out of danger,
and the two creatures escape through a hole in the floor. Buffy and Giles
question Coach Marin, but he denies any knowledge of substance abuse in
his team. They can't figure out what's going on, so Buffy assigns Xander
to learn more about the team's drug use while she and Willow talk to Nurse
Greenliegh. However, Nurse Greenliegh is already being led to her doom
by Coach Marin, who won't listen to her pleas to stop the experiments.
He drops her into the sewer below, where the fish creatures quickly feed
In the steam room, Xander
learns from one of the other members that the steroids are in the steam
itself. This means that Xander has been exposed to the same substance that
transformed Dodd, Cameron, and Gage. He tells the others that he's already
been in the steam room three times, so Buffy talks to Coach Marin. Eventually,
he tells her about Russian experiments with fish DNA on their Olympic swimmers.
He then draws a gun and orders Buffy to drop into the sewer so his boys
could satisfy their "other needs". After dropping down, Buffy sees the
chewed-up remains of Nurse Greenliegh floating in the murky water. Upstairs
by the pool, Cordy mistakes a newly-emerged fish creature for Xander. She
expresses her sorrow for his fate, but Xander shows up again, just in time
to save her from the creature's attack. They return to the library, where
Giles has locked up the remaining members of the swim team. Xander then
goes to see Coach Marin, and they engage in a struggle over the gun. Down
below, Buffy fends off the creatures until they finally surround her from
all angles. Xander knocks Coach Marin down and extends his arm through
the hole for Buffy. She leaps up, grabs Xander's hand, and is pulled to
safety. Coach Marin gets up for one last strike, but Buffy is ready this
time. She sweeps him off his feet, sending Marin into the sewer with his
swimmers. They converge on him, leaving Coach Marin with nothing to do
but scream. Later, Xander tells the others that he has to get a blood transfusion
along with the rest of the team, hoping that will prevent them from changing.
As they speak, the fish creatures swim out into the ocean, against the