February 26, 1998 (Blue)
Written by: David Fury & Elin Hampton
EXT. BEACH - NIGHT
The scene looks almost primitive, hedonistic as students dance around a BONFIRE to MUSIC emanating from a boombox.
MOVING THROUGH the throng, and past the pyre, we find XANDER, WILLOW and CORDELIA warming themselves.
All I'm saying is, it was a stupid
idea to have a victory party on the
beach. it's officially nippy. So say
I think it's festive. A party with
Well, it's the team's choice. It was
Team. Swim team. Hardly what I
call a team. The Yankees... Abbott
and Costello... Those were teams.
No. Yes. But more no than yes.
I mean, look at that...
XANDER'S POV - DODD McALVY
a lanky student with bad skin dances with two pretty coeds.
Dodd McAlvy. Last month he's the
freak with jicama breath who waxes
his back. He wins a few meets and
suddenly he's inherited the "cool"
Hey, all I know is, my cheerleading
squad's wasted a lot of pep on
losers. it's about time our school
excelled at something.
You're forgetting our high mortality rate.
(with pumped pride)
We're number one!
sitting cross-legged in the sand, away from the crowd. SOFT MOONLIGHT highlights her features as she watches the tide roll in, looking positively...
She glances over. WIDEN to find CAMERON, a lean but muscular senior, as he sits next to her.
Yeah. It's so... so...
Eternal. Our true mother giving
birth to new life, and devouring
old... Always adaptable and
nurturing, yet constant and merciless.
Boy. I was just gonna go with 'big'
Cameron smiles at that, in a not uncharming way.
Me and some of the other guys on the
team come out once a week to train in
it. Swim against the current.
Funny. That's just how I feel most
of the time. So, Cameron Walker...
She holds up an imaginary microphone.
You've just won the state semi-
finals, what are you gonna do now?
He looks at her warmly for a moment. Buffy momentarily finds herself affected by his gaze.
I'm going to hang out with Buffy
Summers. Get to know her.
Taken aback, Buffy lowers the "mic."
Uh, whoa. Pause button. Cam--
Hey, no pressure. I'm just saying I
like being around you, that's all.
The look on Buffy's face cells us she feels the same way.
They hear SHOUTS and LAUGHTER, the cruel, sadistic-type and turn to see...
pushing someone's head down into a metal beverage tub filled with ice water as several witnesses laugh. The someone pulls himself out, gulping for air. It's JONATHON.
C'mon, Jonny, you gotta hold your
breath longer than that if you ever
want to make the team. Somebody
As he shoves Jonathon's head back down into the tub,
She grabs Dodd's wrist and twists his arm behind his back in an armlock. He lets go of the underclassman.
INSERT: DODD'S FOREARM TATTOO
a grinning, cigar-chomping shark.
Classy tat. I take it they ran out
ANGLE: Dodd's feet
as a delicate female foot sweeps them out from under him. He falls, looks up to see
DODD'S POV - BUFFY
standing over him. Cameron behind him, smiling.
What's your problem?
Had it coming, bro.
One of Dodd's friends, GAGE, pulls him away.
Chill, dude. A bunch of us are
gonna take a little night dip down
the beach. You in?
He and Gage take off. Buffy turns to Jonathon.
Let's find you a towel.
Why don't you mind your own business.
I can handle this without your help.
He storms off. Buffy turns to Cameron
Isn't it fun to hang out with me?
EXT. DOWN THE BEACH - MOMENTS LATER (NIGHT)
WE MOVE with Dodd and Gage, walking to their little sub-party down the beach. It's really dark and a little creepy as they move away from the music.
Man, that chick gives me the creeps.
Dodd suddenly stops, sensing something. He looks around.
DODD'S POV - THE OCEAN
We watch the surf roll in and out again.
as he continues to trudge on. Then he pauses and sniffs the air with a sour expression.
Dude. What is that foulness?
GAGE'S POV - EMPTY BEACH
Hey, Dodd! Dude!
Getting no reply, he shrugs and moves off.
As the camera PANS BACK, we HEAR a sharp SCREAM - nearly drowned out by the nearby crashing waves -- and a sickening, wet, RIPPING sound. The screaming stops.
Then, a SHADOWY HUMANOID FIGURE rises up from behind a dune to move off, toward the sea. LOW ANGLE on a PILE of TORN CLOTHES and REMAINS -- cartilage and skin, STEAM rising off it in the cool night air. Clearly visible is the tattoo of the cigar-smoking shark.
INT. WILLOW'S COMPUTER CLASS -THE NEXT MORNING
To the CLICKETY-CLICKING of several computer keyboards being typed upon, Willow walks among the desks of students working at their terminals. Peering over their shoulders, she's very into her nurturing teacher role.
WILLOW'S POV - COMPUTER MONITORS
All displaying PIE CHARTS in progress.
Okay, really good pie charts, guys.
Good, good, good.
She stops at Gage's desk, whom we recognize from the teaser.
Gage, your pie chart... It's looking
a lot like solitaire...
with naked ladies on the cards.
What's your point?
THE BELL RINGS.
As Gage and the rest of the students file out,
enters, pushing through the tide of exiting students, like a salmon swimming upstream. Passing Gage, he gives him a gregarious pat on the shoulder.
Nice work in yesterday's meet, son.
Now let's go for it!
Gage barely pays attention to him as he merges with the rest of the student traffic. The classroom now empty, a scowling Snyder approaches Willow. She moves to greet him.
Rosenberg. How's the class --
everything in order?
Well, actually --
Great. I've been talking to the
board -- we're having trouble finding
a competent teacher this late in the
term. Do you think you can continue
subbing through finals?
Oh, sure. I like teaching.
Isn't that nice. You're a team
player and I like that. A team
player wants everyone on the team
to succeed. Wants everyone to pass.
(not getting the
Uh, yeah, okay...
I understand there's a problem with
Oh, good, then you know. Well,
besides the behavior problem, he
won't do homework, his test scores
are, well, actually he doesn't have
any test scores since he never shows
up when we have--
Snyder waves her off dismissively.
I'm not interested in any of that.
I'm interested in why, when this
school is on the brink of winning its
first State Championship in fifteen
years, you slap a crucial member of
the team with a failing grade that
would force his removal. Is this how
you show your school spirit?
Yes. I mean, no. I mean, I'm just
trying to grade fairly.
Gage is a champion. He's under more
pressure than the other students.
And I think we need to cut him some
He turns on his heels and walks away. Willow watches him go.
You're asking me to change his grade.
Snyder stops and turns to her.
I never said any such thing. All I'm
suggesting is you recheck your
figures. I think you'll find a grade
more fitting to an athlete of Gage's
stature. Perhaps something in a 'D.'
He swivels around, and exits.
She exhales in frustration.
INT. HALLWAY - A SHORT TIME LATER (DAY)
Willow is walking with Cordelia and Xander, who is clearly (though figuratively) bent out of shape.
Just like that? He actually told you
to alter his grade.
Exactly. Except for the actually
telling me to. But he made it
perfectly clear what he wasn't
That is wrong. Big, fat, spanking
wrong. It's a slap in the face to
every one of us that worked hard and
studied long hours to earn our D's.
Xander, I know you take pride in
being the voice of the common wuss,
but the truth is certain people are
entitled to special privileges.
They're called winners. That's the
way the world works.
And about that nutty "all men are
created equal" thing?
(rolling her eyes)
Propaganda spouted by the ugly and
I think it was Lincoln.
Disgusting mole and a stupid hat.
Actually it was Jefferson.
Got any more?
You know what really grates my
cheese? Buffy's not here to share my
moral outrage about swim team perks...
EXT. CAMPUS PARKING LOT - MEANWHILE (DAY)
A Mustang pulls into a space and parks.
She's too busy being one of them.
INT. CAMERON'S CAR - CONTINUOUS (DAY)
Cameron shuts off the engine as he continues what's obviously been a drawn out monologue. Buffy sits beside him, bored senseless. The bloom is off the rose.
See, when I'm out in the vastness of
the ocean, I never feel alone. It's
like the sea is an old friend of
mine. You ever hear of Gertrude Ederle?
(her brain dribbling out)
No. No, I haven't, Cam.
First woman to swim the English
Channel. Same thing. She used to
talk to the ocean. Carry on entire
conversations. I do that
Listen, Cam, thanks again. I'd
forgotten how nice it is to just
talk... or, in my case, listen,
without any romantic pressure.
Hey, I'm not about pressure. I want
Oh, I'm comfy. I'm practically
nodding off! That's how comfy I --
Are you wearing a bra?
Buffy reacts, stunned, as if slapped across the face. Then:
Not hearing her, he casually brushes his hand along her arm.
C'mon, tell me you haven't been
thinking about this ever since last
What I'm thinking about is how much
I'd better get out of here.
As she reaches for the door handle, the electronic door lock is tripped with a sharp "CLUNK."
INSERT: Cameron's hand on the door lock controls.
Relax. I'm not going to hurt you.
Oh, I'm not worried about me.
He moves in to grope her, roughly. In a flash, she seizes his roving arm with her right hand, and slams his face into the steering wheel with her left. His car horn blares, the force causing it to stick.
Ow! You... broke my nose!
As the horn continues its din, Buffy looks up to see the disapproving visage of
staring back at her through the windshield.
INT. INFIRMARY - A LITTLE LATER (DAY)
CLOSE ON a chemical ice pack being squeezed until it makes an audible "POP."
ANGLE: NURSE GREENLIEGH
an older, stocky woman, shakes the ice pack then hands it to
who holds it to his swollen nose, as he sits in a chair, an ace bandage wrapped around his wrist.
PULL BACK to find SNYDER and BUFFY in the foreground, as she defends herself.
I wasn't the attacker. I was the
That's not how it looked from
where I was standing.
I don't know what happened. First
she leads me on, then she goes
schizo on me.
Lead you on?! When did I lead
C'mon, look at the way she dresses.
Snyder nods. Buffy is suddenly self-conscious.
COACH MARIN, a hulking bear of a man, enters.
Marin nods to Snyder, gives Buffy a cursory glance, then crosses to Cameron. Snyder signals for Buffy to sit.
How we doing, Cam?
Coach Marin. How bad does it look?
Well, luckily his nose isn't broken.
But it sure as hell's gonna sting for
a couple of days.
Snyder pulls him away for a more privacy.
I mean, our chances of winning
the State Championship. Can we
still do it?
Oh. I'm gonna need Cameron back a
hundred and ten percent. He's the
best swimmer I got, now that Dodd...
He trails off. Buffy notices his disturbed expression.
What happened to Dodd?
Snyder and Marin share a look. Then Snyder turns on Buffy.
That's none of your concern.
You'd better hope that boy's nose
heals before the meet this Friday.
The coach turns back to Cameron.
Walker, you better hit the steam room
when you're done here. Try to keep
those sinuses clear.
Ruthie, you take care of my boy.
looks up from her paperwork.
I always do.
turns back to Buffy.
And you, try to dress more
appropriately from now on. This
isn't a dance club.
Marin and Snyder exit and Buffy's jaw drops.
INT. LIBRARY - A BIT LATER (DAY)
Willow and Xander are at the table with Giles. They'd been working at something as the table's littered with open books. At the moment, they patiently watch
BUFFY rant, having just entered.
So now they're treating me like I'm
the baddie. Just because he has a
sprained wrist and a bloody nose...
(realizing it doesn't look good)
and I don't have a scratch... Which,
granted, on the surface hurts my case
a little, but, meanwhile, Cameron
gets away with it because he's on the
"aren't we the most" swim team, who,
by the way, if no one's noticed, have
been acting like real jerks lately...
She suddenly notices the books and realizes everyone's just looking at her. She gets it. Something's happened.
And what's new with you guys?
Thank you for taking an interest.
Apparently, some remains were
discovered on the beach this
morning. Human remains.
Dodd McAlvy's remains.
No. He was eviscerated. Nothing
left but skin and cartilage.
In other words... "This was no
So, something just split him open
and ate out his insides?
Like an Oreo cookie.
The others look at her.
Except, you know, without the
chocolatey cookie goodness.
Principal Snyder's instructed the
faculty to keep the news quiet for
now so as not to unduly upset the
For "students," read "swim team."
So, we're looking for a beastie.
That eats humans whole, except for
Doesn't make sense.
Yeah! Skin's the best part!
Any demons with high cholesterol?
(off Giles' look)
Later on, you're gonna think about
that and you're gonna laugh.
INT. STEAM ROOM - LATER (DAY)
sits alone, in a towel, gently nursing his swollen nose.
We HEAR a HISS as fresh steam blows in, then quiet again, except for a faint DRIP.
He leans back and closes his eyes.
PUSH in on him. Closer.
INT. OUTSIDE STEAM ROOM - AT THE MOMENT (DAY)
SOMETHING'S POV - MOVING THROUGH THE LOCKER ROOM
slowly, but deliberately, toward the steam room door.
INT. STEAM ROOM - MEANWHILE (DAY)
CLOSE ON Cameron's face. His eyes slowly open, as if he'd heard... what? He listens for a moment, then satisfied, closes his eyes again.
The door JERKS OPEN and Cameron jumps with a start.
ANGLE: COACH MARIN
framed in the doorway.
Okay, son. I think you've had
enough. Time to hit the shower.
He lets the door fall closed. Cameron's heart beats like a Keith Moon solo.
INT. LOUNGE - NIGHT
Xander crosses from the hall toward the soda machine, counting out change.
Too much research. Need beverage.
He collides with Cameron, who keeps going as Xander's change spills everywhere.
(picking up change)
Oh, forgive me, your swimteamliness.
Cameron continues on toward the cafeteria.
Liking the nose, Cam. Good look
Cameron stops, turns.
Meaning Buffy must not be on your
list of privileges after all. Man,
I love it when you guys mess with her.
Cameron considers attacking Xander. Then --
You're lucky I'm hungry.
Not to me.
INT. CAFETERIA - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
The lights are off in here, moonlight streaming in through the windows. Cameron makes his way toward the back.
He stops, hearing something. Moves forward more slowly. Sniffs, his face registering disgust.
God, what is that?
INT. CAFETERIA - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
Xander puts in the last of his change, pondering.
Grape, orange. Grape, orange.
A BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM -- accompanied by the sound of tearing and tables being knocked over -- emits from the cafeteria.
Xander starts, then heads into:
INT. CAFETERIA - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
Xander enters, runs well in, then stops, looking down.
At his feet lay a pile of skin and Cam's torn clothes. Fighting the terror welling up inside him, he opens his mouth to call for help.
He turns and finds himself face to face with
The thing has a spiny head, like a fish; palpitating gills at the side of its neck; large cold black bulging eyes that never close.
Its gaping piranha-toothed jaw widens and lets out a PRIMAL CROAKING SCREECH.
So does Xander.
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
CORDELIA AND XANDER
are at the table, a large sketch pad sits in her lap. He stands over her shoulder, antsy. She draws as he talks.
No, its mouth was bigger, and
Like this. And with more teeth.
And what's that? I said gills, not
Cordelia's had it with him. She puts down her pencil.
I'm doing the best I can.
-- an approximate rendering of the Gill Monster, with many differences, including, but not limited to, a too big mouth with too many teeth.
Is this what you saw, Xander?
Ye-ah. I think so... Pretty much.
You're not sure.
Well, it was dark. The think went
out the window pretty quick. And I
was... a little shocked when I saw it
Go ahead, say it. You ran like a
Xander shoots her a look.
Hey, if you saw this thing, you'd run
like a woman, too.
Willow, holding a computer printout, enters with Buffy.
Buffy was right. According to the
statistics, Dodd and Cameron were
the best swimmers on the team.
First and second, actually. And if
my theory's correct, that means Gage
Petronzi, the third best swimmer, may
be the next item on the menu.
God, this is so sad. We're never
going to win one State
(an anguished insight)
I think I've lost the will to
Raise your hand if you feel her pain.
No one does. Giles moves to Buffy.
If you're proposing these killings
are not random, that would indicate
a revenge motive.
And raise the possibility that
someone brought forth this sea
demon from whence it came to
carry out that revenge.
"From whence it came?" I'm spending
way too much time around you.
Who hates the swim team that much?
(off their looks)
Besides me, I mean.
thinks for a half beat, then excitedly raises her hand.
Jonathon! He was bullied by Dodd on
the beach, remember?
And he did say he can take care of
those guys himself. Good call, Will.
You should question him.
I'll crack him like an egg.
Meanwhile, I think swimmer
number three might benefit from
your protection and watchful eye.
Discreetly, of course.
I'm on it.
What about me? What can I do?
Well, you could go out in the parking
lot and practice running like a man.
Xander gives her a look.
INT. LOUNGE - DAY
is at a table, with his feet up, playing with a Gameboy.
PAN ACROSS THE ROOM to BUFFY
at another table, casually steals glances at him, as she pretends to flip through a magazine.
HER POV - GAGE LOOKS UP
in her general direction.
immediately averts her eyes, going so far as to reach down and "adjust" her shoe.
INT. COMPUTER CLASS - MEANWHILE (DAY)
The room's dark, except for a desk lamp. Jonathon sits alone near the front of the room. Willow sits on the edge of her desk, and stares at him for several beats.
So, you tried out for the swim team
twice and never made it?
I'm asthmatic. I couldn't keep up.
You resented it, didn't you?
You hated being pushed around by
Dodd and the others.
You wanted revenge, didn't you?
Yeah. Okay. I did!
Willow smiles from ear to ear, a little cocky. Now moving in for the kill.
So you delved into the black arts
and conjured up a hellbeast from
the ocean's depths to wreak your
JONATHON squints at her.
What? No, I snuck in yesterday and
peed in the pool.
Willow's smile slowly fades.
INT. LOUNGE - LATER (DAY)
PrIncipal Snyder and Coach Marin walk together, talking.
This is such a blow. Sooner or
later the rest of my boys are gonna
find out. How can I ask them to swim?
It's a terrible, terrible tragedy.
We all feel your loss, Coach. I
don't know two finer boys than
Cameron and... that other one.
He stops the coach, turns to him.
But I know they would want their
friends to go on and win that State
Championship. It's time to think of
I don't have a full team as it is.
If we don't find someone at tryouts
this afternoon we won't be eligible
As they start off again --
You'll find someone. All he has to
do is wear a bathing suit, right?
They clear frame, revealing Xander, who has been listening. After a moment, he follows them out of frame.
INT. BRONZE - NIGHT
Buffy, her hair secured fetchingly into a loose bun, with two ornate wooden chopsticks.
Sips her drink as she watches
BUFFY'S POV - GAGE
shooting pool, by himself. As he lines up a shot, he looks up and sees her.
BUFFY turns and moves past a pillar. Gage confronts her on the other side of it.
This me and my shadow act is getting
old. What do you want from me?
Oh, I um... Okay. It's a little
embarrassing, but, um...
I'm a swim groupie.
(squinting at her)
Yep. There's just something about
the smell of chlorine on a guy.
Gage turns to walk away, but Buffy quickly BLOCKS HIM. She appears tiny next to his large athletic frame.
Okay, my sex appeal seems to be on
the fritz today, so I'll straight
shoot for a while. There's some...
thing lurking around making filets
out of the populace and i think you
might be next.
Uh huh. And you think that because...
It's already attacked... it's already
killed some people.
Gage looks at her for a few beats.
You're one twisted sister, you know
that? Go find someone else to harass.
He PUSHES her out of his way and moves to the exit. Buffy glares, doesn't follow.
EXT. BRONZE - MOMENTS LATER (NIGHT)
Walking down the deserted alley.
Little wacko bitch pain in the--
From out of nowhere:
You've got to be talking about Buffy.
Gage jumps, then sees
partially visible in the soft glow of a street lamp. He smiles at Gage, who eyes him, warily.
How'd you know?
She and I... had a thing once.
Biggest mistake of my life.
My condolences, dude.
He continues cn his way. Angel falls into step with him.
She's a real head tripper.
Tell me about it. The girl thinks
she's God's gift or something.
Who is she, the Chosen One?
You know, what she really needs is
for someone to knock her down a few
enjoying that idea.
That'd be sweet. Anyone in mind?
You're in luck, friend...
Gage turns to see
ANGEL, IN FULL VAMPIRE GLORY.
Gage's eyes go wide with terror.
It so happens, I'm recruiting.
Fangs bared, he lunges at Gage's throat.
ANGLE: BRONZE DOOR
as Buffy exits, in time to hear:
Hey! Get off! Noooo!
She runs. Rounding the corner, she stops in her tracks, surprised.
HER POV - GAGE
dazed, but very much alive. He is holding his neck, in a daze, up against the alley wall.
Next to him is Angel, wincing and SPITTING, as if he's tasted battery acid. He suddenly senses her and looks up. Without a word, and before he can react, Buffy nails him with a roundhouse kick to the face, which sends him reeling back.
She reaches up to her bun, and pulls out the two THIN WOODEN STAKES. Her hair falls to her shoulders as she shakes it out. Angel stops.
Why, Miss Summers... You're beautiful.
Buffy stands, ready to attack, stakes poised.
Angel suddenly grabs Gage and hurls him into Buffy, sending them both sprawling. He hurries off, still spitting out the taste of Gage's blood.
Buffy helps Gage up, grimly watching Angel disappear.
So that... Was that the thing that
No. That was something else.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of
something elses in this town.
As he takes this in...
She turns and casually walks away, TOWARD CAMERA, Gage in b.g. He suddenly snaps out of it and runs up to join her.
Walk me home?
She smiles, wryly as they continue to walk OUT OF FRAME.
INT. POOL AREA/SWIM PRACTICE - THE NEXT DAY
Blows a whistle as swimmers dive in for a practice run.
GAGE gets out of the pool and turns to wave at
who sits in the bleachers with Willow and Cordy. She waves back.
He spit it out? I thought Angel
He usually does.
You think his eyes were too big for
I think there was something in Gage's
blood Angel didn't like. As, for
That would explain all their
And the winning streak.
Maybe whatever is in their blood is
what's attracting this creature to
Any luck researching our fish monster?
Zippo. We couldn't find any sea
demons that match the description
that Xander gave us. Not that
Chicken Little was much of a witness.
CORDY'S POV - FEET AT LOCKER ROOM DOOR
PAN UP the body of a well-built swimmer in Speedos.
That, girls, is my kind of...
We see the swimmer's face.
Xander notices them and is horrified. He tries to cover himself with his hands.
Xander? What the hell are you doing?!
I'm under cover.
You're not under much.
Willow lowers her eyes, but keeps sneaking peeks.
Get out of here before somebody sees
you impersonating a swim team member.
I don't do impersonations. I tried
out for the team last night and I
Cordelia smiles. He's gone up nine levels of cool.
Figure I can keep an eye on Gage and
the others when Buffy can't.
Like when you're nude. I meant to
sees Xander talking to the girls.
Harris, you can flirt on your own time.
Xander leaves them.
I'm dating a swimmer on the
Sunnydale swim team.
You can die happy.
So, Will, what about Jonathon?
No, he just, uh... he sort of peed in
ANGLE: THEIR POV: XANDER
Dives into the pool. All the girls wince.
INT. STEAM ROOM - DAY
Post-practice. Xander sits in the steam room with Gage and another swimmer, SEAN. They all wear towels.
Don't you guys get claustrophobic
I mean, what's the deal? You
perspire a lot and can't breathe.
INT. LOCKER ROOM/JUST OUTSIDE THE STEAM ROOM - CONTINUOUS
ANGLE: the grate outside the steam room.
Or read. I mean, you could, but the
pages would probably get all wet...
The grate MOVES.
INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS - DAY
Buffy is standing just outside the locker room, pretending to read a notice on the wall.
The DOOR SWINGS open.
Xander comes out, towel drying his hair.
You gotta love this undercover deal.
Twenty minutes in a hot room with a
bunch of sweaty guys.
He was right behind me, putting his
sneakers on. But, they're not the
Velcro kind, so give him a couple of
He touches her lightly on the shoulder.
Tag, you're it.
He disappears around the corner.
INT. LOCKER ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY
Gage sits on a bench, putting his sneakers on. He SMELLS something rancid, and makes a face. He SNIFFS the air, checking under his arms, his sneakers... no... Trying to locate the source of the horrific smell, he walks to the bank of lockers.
Tension escalates as he OPENS one.
INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS - DAY
She paces, nervously.
Suddenly, a SCREAM comes from inside the locker room.
Help! Help me!
She rushes in.
INT. LOCKER ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY
Buffy enters and sees
HER POV - GAGE AND THE GILL MONSTER
as the creature converges on Gage, near the grate outside the steam room.
Get behind me. Now! Do it!
He does. She sizes up the creature, contemplating her next move, as the creature approaches. Then it stops. Buffy looks at it quizzically. And that's when Gage screams.
She turns to find him doubled over.
He bolts upright, his face twisted in agony and slick with sweat. Or slime. His hands suddenly go to his chest and Buffy watches, horrified, as his body SPLITS WIDE OPEN down the middle.
ANOTHER GILL MONSTER EMERGES from the molted casing that was once Gage Petronzi. ON BUFFY'S REACTION...
INT. LOCKER ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY
THE TWO GILL MONSTERS
converge on Buffy as she backs away, their webbed feet SLAPPING aggressively on the hard floor. They BLOCK all exit potential.
A monster moves toward Buffy. She kick boxes him in his BELLY, and he rolls back, crashing into a locker.
The other creeps from behind. She whips around, jumps over a bench, and grabs a LACROSSE STICK from an open locker.
While she rams it into his face, the other one slithers back and grabs her shoulder with his PIRANHA-LIKE teeth.
CLOSE ON Buffy's face in anguish as the creature takes a healthy bite. She CRIES OUT in pain and backhands the creature, who staggers back, falls on its belly and SLITHERS down the open grate. As Buffy nurses her wounded shoulder, the other GILL MONSTER is about to spring when
grabs Buffy and pulls her away to safety. The Gill Monster does the same SLITHERING act down the hole.
INT. INFIRMARY - A SHORT TIME LATER - DAY
The nurse is finishing up dressing Buffy's wound.
I don't think you'll need stitches,
but you should probably have your
family physician take a look at it.
WIDEN to see Giles and Marin standing over the table.
How are you?
I'm definitely feeling the burn.
The nurse exits. Giles turns to Marin.
Well, the good news is, it would
appear none of your team has
But the bad news is that they're
How could this happen?
Are you saying you don't know?
Giles stares levelly at the coach. The coach sits, defeated.
You work so hard, you start winning
suddenly... you like to think it's
just you, you're just inspiring the
boys to greatness. But in the back
of your mind, you wonder...
You never asked the boys if they were
(shakes his head)
Maybe I was afraid to.
INT. COMPUTER ROOM - END OF DAY
sitting at her computer, while Buffy and Xander stand on either side of her, their eyes glued to the screen.
"Dodd McAlvy... torn tendon. Gage
Petronzi... fractured wrist...
depression, headaches... "
It's all here in their school medical
All symptomatic of steroid abuse.
But is steroid abuse usually linked
with 'hey I'm a fish'?
There must be something else in the
mix. The point is, the boys were
And Nurse Greenliegh treated each and
every one of them. She must have
If steroids are that dangerous, why
would they do that to themselves?
The need to win. Winning equals
trophies equals prestige for the
school. You see how they're treated.
It's been like that forever.
Sure, discus throwers got the best
seats at all the crucifixions.
Meanwhile, I'm breaking my nails
battling the forces of evil and my
French teacher can't even remember my
So what's the drill? Get Nurse
Let's throw the book at her!
Or, a book...
She's probably gone home. It can
wait. Xander, try to find out what
these boys are taking, or at least
how they're taking it. Pills,
powder, syringes --
What about you?
Giles is loading up the tranquilizer
gun. We're going fishing.
INT. SEWER TUNNEL - NIGHT
It's very dark and creepy. Buffy and Giles move through the dank, filthy tunnel. She holds a FLASHLIGHT, and he holds his TRANQUILIZER GUN, as they trod through the murky sewage.
They HEAR SPLASHING ahead of them.
Buffy SHINES her flashlight in the direction of the noise, and Giles AIMS his tranquilizer gun, ready to shoot.
ANGLE: A RAT
making its way along the wall, retreating from them.
BUFFY and GILES
share a look, exhale warily, then continue on.
Passing the OPENING to an offshooting tunnel.
NEW ANGLE - FISH-GUY POV OF GILES AND BUFFY
sloshing back the way they came.
ANGLE: GILL MONSTER
watching them from the darkness.
EXT. SCHOOL - MORNING
INT. LOCKER ROOM/STEAM ROOM - MORNING
THE VISAGE OF XANDER
Through the THICK STEAM.
PULL BACK to see him and three other swimmers (among them, Sean) in towels. All of them, sans Xander, appear to be meditating. At least one is in a lotus position.
I'm feeling good.
Loving this swimming.
Had some carrot juice this morning,
a little wheat germ mixed in...
Woke me right up. Nothing like it...
Breakfast of state champions, you
The other swimmers continue to meditate and breathe the steam deeply into their lungs. Xander cuts to the chase.
Okay, so, when do we get our next dose?
Sean opens his eyes and looks at Xander.
What do you mean?
Who's carrying? I need a little
something to improve my performance.
Give me an edge.
The steroids!? Where are they?!
The other swimmers share a look, then laugh.
You're soaking in it, Bud.
(taking a deep breath)
PUSH IN ON XANDER
His eves darting around, as the realization sinks in. He tries to bottle his growing panic.
It's in the steam.
Ahh. The steam.
And what steam would that be?
INT. POOL - DAY
Nurse Greenliegh is in heated discussion with Coach Marin, following him around the pool.
It's got to stop, Carl. These poor
Are you a quitter? here's no room
for quitters on this team.
Listen to yourself! Do you
understand what's happening?
We're very close to perfecting this.
We just need to adjust the mix.
He exits, and she follows, into --
INT. PUMP ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY
You can't be thinking of continuing
to expose the boys.
They're gonna be the best. I don't
settle for anything less.
They're gonna be monsters! Don't
make this any worse. You've lost
Lost? They're not lost.
He grabs her and shoves her -- she falls right into:
iNT. GROTTO/PUMP ROOM (INTERCUT) - CONTINUOUS - DAY
She splashes down, surfaces again, looking up frantically.
Carl! What are you doing?
Looking after my boys. They may be
out of the game right now, but we're
still a team.
She locks around, suddenly much more afraid. Turns, sensing movement.
And a team's gotta eat.
Her eyes go wide -- and she is suddenly sucked down under the surface.
Coach Marin looks contemptuously down at the water.
INT. LIBRARY - DAY
Xander paces the floor nervously, as Buffy, Willow, Giles and Cordelia digest the new info.
They've been absorbing the steroid
mixture through the steam.
Not they. We. Me. We need an
antidote, don't you think? Clock is
Let's not break out the tartar sauce
yet. It's not like you were exposed
more than once.
Xander can only look at her.
Three times a fishguy.
What am I gonna do?
You you you. What about me? It's
one thing to date a lame unpopular
guy. It's another thing to date the
Creature From the Blue Lagoon.
"Black" Lagoon. The creature from
the Blue Lagoon was Brooke Shields.
(as an afterthought)
And thanks so much for your support.
We need to find the rest of the swim
team and lock them up before they get
in touch with their inner halibut.
Yes, good. But we're also going to
need to know exactly what was in the
steroid gas so the hospital's
toxicology lab can develop an
I'll have a little talk with Nurse
You're really liking this whole
interrogation routine, aren't you?
The trick is not to leave any marks.
Then I'm gonna visit the coach.
Somehow I just don't believe that all
he's been giving them is inspiration.
INT. PUMP ROOM - A LITTLE LATER (DAY)
The coach enters, followed by Buffy.
You've got quite an imagination,
Right now I'm imagining you in jail.
(as to a child)
You're wearing a big, orange suit
and -- oh look! The guards are
You don't have any proof that --
Tell me what you put in the
He stops. The facade drops.
After the fall of the Soviet Union,
documents came to light detailing
experiments with fish DNA on their
Olympic swimmers. Tarpon, mako
shark... But they never cracked it.
And you did. Sort of. Why?
What kind of a question is that? For
the win. To make my team the best
they could be. Do you understand we
have a shot at the State Championship?
Do you understand that I don't care?
It's over. There's not gonna be any
swim team this year.
Boy, when they were handing out
school spirit you didn't even get on
line, did you?
No, I was in the line for 'shred of
The coach raises a gun. Buffy stops.
Which you obviously skipped.
Get in the hole.
He motions to the manhole. Buffy moves toward it.
She drops in.
INT. GROTTO - CONTINUOUS (DAY)
HIS POV - BUFFY
nearly chest deep in murky water below the school.
HER POV - MARIN
through the hole, looking down.
You think I don't care about my boys.
But I do. They count on me.
So you're gonna feed me to them?
Oh, they've had their dinner.
She feels something brush up against her. She turns with a start, and sees, with horror
HER POV - NURSE GREENLIEGH'S MASTICATED CORPSE floats by.
But boys have other needs.
Off Buffy's reaction...
INT. POOL - A LITTLE LATER (DAY)
Xander and Cordelia enter to find...
No one. Willow and Giles must've
rounded up the rest of the swim team.
Xander neurotically rubs the sides of his neck.
Does my neck look a little scaly to you?
Of course it's scaly, the way you
keep rubbing it dry like an idiot.
He approaches the door to the locker room. He turns to her.
I need to look in the mirror. Wait
here. But feel free to come in if
you hear me scream.
She looks concerned as he goes inside.
Cordelia walks around the pool, waiting. There is an eerie silence, and she watches the reflection of the pool water dancing along the walls. Suddenly, she hears the CREAK of the locker room door opening.
So... Any gills yet?
She hears A SPLASH and turns to see the pool water RIPPLING.
Xander, what are you--
As she bends down to look down into the pool.
A GILL MONSTER
is swimming along. Cordelia puts her hand up to scream, then, realizing...
The Gill Monster continues to swim. Cordelia paces it as she goes on:
Oh, my god... Xander... Xander. It's
me. Cordelia. I-- I know you can't
answer me, but... this is my fault.
You joined the swim team to impress
me. You were so courageous and you
looked really hot in those Speedos.
In the background, the locker room door opens again, though this time Cordelia doesn't hear it, and
He's taken aback to find Cordelia mid-conversation with the Monster. He slowly comes up behind her.
I want you to know I still care for
you, no matter what you look like.
We can still date -- or not date,
but... I mean, I'll understand if you
want to see other fish... And I'll
try to make your quality of life the
best it can be, whether you need
little bath toys or whatever...
She has ended up kneeling by the shallow end where it swims.
Cordelia reacts with a start and turns around.
That's not me.
Cordelia looks back at the monster as it lunges from the pool at her. She screams. Xander takes Cordy's hand and runs with her out the door.
INT. LIBRARY - MOMENTS LATER (DAY)
Giles locks the door of the book cage in which four swim team members are locked up.
Stay calm. Either we'll find an
effective antidote, or... just stay
Willow re-checks her list and makes a face.
Everyone's accounted for, except Sean.
Xander and Cordelia ENTER, overhearing.
Oh, I think we can safely say we
found Sean. He was in the pool,
Xander looks around.
She hasn't come back yet.
INT. GROTTO - MEANWHILE (DAY)
looking around for something to grab onto. A weapon, an escape... She listens. It's quiet, except for the steady dripping of the wet walls.
This is just what my rep needs. That
I did it with the entire swim team.
Then, behind her...
TWO GILL MONSTERS
rise up slowly from the water, unseen by Buffy. After a beat, they submerge again.
INT. PUMP ROOM - MOMENTS LATER (DAY)
Xander approaches the room cautiously.
HIS POV: Coach Marin standing over the manhole.
What's up, Coach?
The coach stands, visibly nervous.
Harris. How are you feeling?
A little dry. Nothing a nice lemon
butter sauce won't cure. Where's Buffy?
The coach looks over at:
ANGLE: HIS GUN
sitting on top of something (I don't know what's in a pump room, okay?), off to the side between them.
INT. GROTTO - MEANWHILE (DAY)
BUFFY reacts as if something's brushed her leg. Suddenly,
A GILL MONSTER
leaps out of the water at Buffy. She throws him off. He disappears under the murky water. Then ANOTHER one jumps. She pops him in the face, and he, too disappears. Then ANOTHER. They're fast, the water begins to froth with activity.
INT. PUMP ROOM - SECONDS LATER (DAY)
The coach makes a dash for his gun, grabs it just as Xander grabs him. Xander twists his arm, makes him drop it.
I don't like guns.
He slams his elbow into the coach's face, dropping him.
Elbows are neat, though.
INT. GROTTO - MEANWHILE (DAY)
Buffy's breathing heavy, still holding off the Gill Monsters, but she's losing steam. She's not sure if she can continue.
Then, she sees one, his head barely breaking the surface, making a run for her, like a shark bearing down on its prey. She stands as ready as she can to fend it off when suddenly
A HAND reaches down. She looks up and sees
BUFFY'S POV - XANDER
stretching as far as he can.
With all the Slayer strength she can muster, Buffy springs herself up. She grabs his hand and Xander pulls her out just as the charging Gill Monster leaps. Missing her, the creature splashes back down into the murkiness.
INT. PUMP ROOM - CONTINUOUS (DAY)
Xander pulls Buffy all the way out. She shivers from the combo of damp clothing and stone cold fear. Xander takes off his outer sweatshirt and slips it over her head.
Just doing my part for our team.
In that instant,
rises up, smashing a wrench into Xander's head. He comes at Buffy as Xander crumples -- Buffy is tired, but fends him off with a kick -- that sends him into the hole.
She dives at the hole, reaches down.
Coach! Give me your hand --
The sounds of eating and screaming stop her. Xander crawls over to the hole, looks down as well.
Those boys really love their coach.
INT. LOUNGE - THE NEXT DAY
Buffy, Willow, Xander and Cordelia sit at a table.
I've got to take a make-up Chem test
at three, and I'm meeting some of the
guys for plasma transfusions at five.
It's turned into quite the busy
The fun never stops with you, does it?
Giles seems pretty confident that the
treatments are going to work.
Turning into a Creepy Crawler wasn't
in my "Top ten list of things to do
before I turn twenty."
I just want you to know that you've
really proven yourself to me. And
next year, you don't have to join the
new team if you don't want.
Xander looks at Cordy, touched.
I'd be just as happy if you played
Xander's face drops. Buffy and Willow share a smile. Giles enters the lounge and beelines over to their table.
The people from Animal Control just
left. Our creatures have apparently
made a dash for it. So to speak.
Does that mean we have to hunt them
I don't think so. I don't think
we'll see them anymore.
Where do you think they'll go?
EXT. OCEAN - DAY
Two scaly ridged backs break water, then disappear again. PAN TO see
ANGLE: A GILL MONSTER'S HEAD
it looks back at the CAMERA.
The head disappears into the black ocean.