H2O: Just Add Water 1×04: Party Girls

This episode was one of my least favorites. It felt like the writers wanted to throw as many characters together as possible to show how catty Miriam could be and how cool Emma thinks she is. 🤷‍♀️

You can watch H2O for free on YouTube. I also embed the full-length episodes on each episode’s recap before the spoiler alert.

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! This is a recap of H2O, episode 4 of season one, “Party Girls”. The show is no longer active; proceed at your own discretion.

Ready when you are

Lewis reads an anthology about mythical creatures from his boat as something watches him from afar and slowly approaches. His phone rings. “It’s for you,” he says as he holds it out.

Emma talks to Cleo through the phone while hanging on the side of Lewis's boat, while Lewis reads his book on a bench in the boat

Emma rises to the surface and takes the phone. On the other line, Cleo asks if she’s decided the time for the party that night. Cleo insists it’s a tradition, but Emma doesn’t understand how they can do the party this year since they’re mermaids. Emma and Lewis grin at each other.

Emma is shocked to learn Cleo’s new job is feeding dolphins at the Sea World Marine Park. Lewis is shocked, too.

Cleo, wearing an apron and gloves reaching nearly to her elbow, uses tongs to put fish into a bucket.

“Yes, of course the tank’s full of water, Emma. They’re aquatic mammals.” ~Cleo

She tells Emma she’s not going to let being a mermaid run her life. 👀 The door opens and her boss walks in. She ends the call.

Her boss shows concern as Cleo puts on a shower cap, asking if Cleo is alright. Cleo puts the tongs into a bucket and carries a bucket of fish in each hand as she follows her boss out of the feeding kitchen.

Emma calls Cleo stubborn. She asks if the book is useful. Lewis says they’re “hotter than average mermaids”, who don’t even have “cool water powers”.

Emma decides the only place they’ll find answers about their mermaid powers is Mako Island. She’s faster on her own, so she’ll go alone.

Cleo takes a deep breath before walking out towards the dolphin tank. Her boss watches her as she feeds the fish.

Locket

Emma swims towards Mako Island, passing dolphins on the way to the moon pool. At the bottom of the moon pool by the entrance, she finds a locket.

Underwater in her mermaid form, Emma smiles at a locket she found in the sand

She rises to the surface and sits on a step by the moon pool’s edge, looking around and then at the locket.

Lots of things are a mystery

Cleo grabs two buckets of fish from the feeding kitchen and walks back outside. She’s no longer wearing a shower cap.

Cleo grabs two buckets full of fish

A blonde woman with curly hair spots Cleo while watching the dolphin show. Her smile fades as Cleo leaves after handing off the buckets to the dolphin trainers.

Back in the feeding kitchen, Cleo puts fish in buckets with the tongs. She drops a fish into a bucket of water that splashes onto her. She picks up a wet towel to ring out and is thrown a dry towel by the woman who watched her from the crowd.

Woman: Timed well, wouldn’t you say?

Cleo: Er, yeah. Thanks. Nearly got saltwater in my eye. Would have stung.

Woman: It does sting, doesn’t it? But not when you’re actually underwater. Why is that, I wonder?

Cleo: I don’t know.

Woman: Lots of things are a mystery. Still, you’ve got time to learn. Staying dry — that’s the big one.

Cleo’s boss walks by through another door and motions for her to follow. When Cleo looks back to the doorway the woman stood in, she’s gone.

Thanks, Lewis

At Emma’s, Lewis is sitting on the bed with Emma and Rikki. He says the locket looks normal; Emma thinks there’s something more to it since she found it at the bottom of the moon pool.

Rikki jokes that there are earrings to match with it. Emma insists she’s trying to find some answers.

Lewis pulls spray bottles out of his backpack and says he thinks he’s figured out which liquids turn them into fish. He quickly sprays Rikki’s arm and looks at his watch as he counts down. She doesn’t change; it was vegetable oil.

Lewis continues experimenting. Rikki is painting her toenails. Emma doesn’t want to do her yearly party because it’s too risky now that they’re mermaids.

Rikki says she hopes she would’ve been invited, but Emma says it’s not her scene. Rikki says she and parties are meant to be. Emma’s decided the party isn’t happening. Rikki says that a party with boys and dancing would’ve been great, but it’s not that kind of party.

Lewis reveals it’s a sleepover, to Rikki’s disgust. He quickly sprays them with a liquid that had a 32% water content. Emma manages to dry off in time, while Rikki’s too busy imagining aloud all the “fun” they could have had. She turns into a mermaid.

Rikki in her mermaid form, on Emma's bed, after Lewis (sitting on edge of Emma's bed) sprayed her; Emma is sitting on the bed as a human, between them both

Invitation

At the JuiceNet Café, the trio chat in a booth about the woman who approached Cleo at work. She’s sure she knows something, because she knew it was dangerous for Cleo to get wet.

Emma and Rikki are concerned about Cleo working around so much water, especially after finding out she got water on herself. Cleo tells Emma she’s just scared for Cleo and too scared to have her sleepover party. Cleo’s determined not to live life scared of every drop of water she sees.

Rikki agrees with Cleo: Emma should host her party. Cleo notices the locket and says it’s beautiful. After reconsidering, Emma calls her mom to text invitations to all the girls on the list…including Rikki.

Zane places a tray of “three frozen colas” on their table while grinning.

Zane placing a tray of three brown-colored drinks on the girls' table

Emma’s suspicious. Cleo smiles and takes the one closest to her. Zane says they looked thirsty and walks away; Miriam and Tiffany watch from afar.

Cleo eagerly takes a sip and pulls away, disgusted. Zane laughs. It’s prune juice. Rikki laughs and sarcastically calls Zane mature.

Girls’ phones beep around the café about Emma’s party, but Miriam’s doesn’t. She passes it off like she’s not interested; Zane recommends they crash the party.

Contained spillage

At Emma’s Cleo prepares for the sleepover. She asks Emma if black currant and alfalfa juice are the best drink choices instead of trying something new this year, since she quit the swim team.

Emma jokes about having full-cream milk while they’re at it. She asks if people will accept using water bottles. She places a stack of two hand towels on the corner of a table.

Cleo says to excuse them by saying her mom was doing laundry, so they have a precaution in case they get wet.

Emma’s mom walks in and says the room looks great. She won’t hang around, though she recommends Emma put away all the towels. 👀 She leaves once the guests arrive.

Hope there’s enough food

Some girls on the swim team ask Emma if her mom’s still serving vegetable salad; one says she brought her dietary supplement just in case. 🙄

Emma says she still eats sensibly, even though she’s no longer on the swim team. She lets them know there’s a quiet room upstairs for anyone who needs to sleep early for morning training.

They miss her on the swim team; Emma says she still swims. One of the girls says the water bottles are “so cute”.

Cleo applies lip gloss to one of the girls sitting on the floor. Emma tells Rikki she knew this wasn’t her scene.

“I can’t believe it’s anyone’s scene.” ~Rikki

The doorbell rings. Miriam and Zane walk in, with Zane holding two trays of gluten-free pastries.

Miriam tells Emma her invitation must have gotten lost. Emma’s mother welcomes Zane and Miriam, surprised they’ve arrived. Rikki offers to kick them out; Emma doesn’t want to make a scene. Her mum has invited the two party crashers to stay and eat with everyone.

Emma pulls her mum aside to chat. Her mum encourages her to make more of an effort around Zane, because his father’s an old family friend. Even though neither were invited, they’re here now and may as well enjoy themselves. Her mum leaves.

The girls decide to change into their pajamas. Miriam pulls Zane’s face to focus on her.

“It’s gotta be a parallel universe.” ~Rikki

Zane

Some girls crowd around Zane and giggle every time he talks. Rikki, Cleo and Emma sit at a table bored because most of the guests are chatting with Zane.

Rikki, Emma and Cleo sitting at a table while the guests crowd around Zane

Emma pulls Zane away from the girls who “need him”. In her bedroom, he admires their old primary school photo. Emma tells him to forget about whatever trick he’s trying to pull.

Zane says he’s just here with Miriam. Emma asks what his girlfriend thinks of him flirting with everyone else, to which he responds that Miriam’s not his girlfriend — she’s just the girl he lets follow him around sometimes. He bought her an outfit for tonight and thinks that’s fair.

Rikki walks in with a plate of his pastries, insisting Zane take one despite his declining. He reaches for one and Rikki tells him to take the one in the middle. They anticipate disgusted reaction as he bites into it, to no avail.

Zane proposes eating them all himself, because they’re so delicious.

“You didn’t think I’d be so immature as to put prunes or something in them, did you?” ~Zane

She motions for Zane to leave, leading him out of her room and down the stairs. He tells her she’s kicking out the life of the party. A guest, Alyssa, asks Emma to show the girls her necklace. Emma leaves getting rid of Zane to Rikki.

Necklace

Emma shows off her necklace. She takes it off and lets the girls look at it up close. Miriam looks on from afar. Emma places it on her button-up shirt and leaves to get more pillows. Cue the impromptu pillow fight.

Alyssa picks up a small cooler that’s almost empty and fights Cleo over it. The spout pours water into Cleo’s hand. Alyssa apologizes; the girls are playing with the towels, so Cleo runs into the closet and transforms.

Fiona asks if she’s okay. The other guests are also concerned. Cleo says she’ll be out in a minute; Fiona opens the door anyway. Cleo, standing in a sleeping bag, falls over face-first.

Cleo zipped tight in a sleeping bag, only her face poking out

“‘Bout time we got comfy and hit the DVDs. Right, girls?” ~Cleo

The girls swing each other in sleeping bags. Miriam says Cleo needs a turn, since it was her idea. The girls chant Cleo’s name; she says she suffers from motion and airsickness. She uses her hydrokinesis power to explode the water bottles and coolers, creating a distraction.

Miriam’s hair is soaked with alfalfa juice. 🤭 She is soooo disgusted. Emma walks in with two pillows and plays off what happened.

“Not again. Every time this room gets hot and full of people, something just happens to the air pressure and BANG! There go the drinks.” ~Emma

Miriam says those drinks just ruined her new top. Emma looks for Cleo, who sneaked off to the bathroom to dry off with a hair dryer. Emma helps her dry off with some towels.

Emma dries Cleo off with towels in each hand, while Cleo dries herself off with a hairdryer

Miriam

Miriam tells the guests that this is the worst party she’s ever been to, so she’s leaving. Rikki watches from afar as Miriam takes Emma’s necklace.

Rikki confronts Miriam at the door to give the necklace back. Miriam pushes past Rikki and drops the necklace. Rikki picks it up and calls Miriam a thief as she starts to leave.

Miriam turns around and says no one will believe she took it. If anything, they would think Rikki stole it. She leaves.

Fault

In the bathroom, Cleo blames herself for almost spilling the mermaid secret because she convinced Emma to host the party. Emma comforts her, telling Cleo she was right about getting the job at the Marine Park; they can’t hide their whole lives just because they’re mermaids.

Downstairs, Rikki hands the necklace to Emma and tells her what happened. Cleo considers telling everyone, but Rikki says it’s her word against Miriam’s.

Cleo says they should join the party. Rikki holds back until the guests ask Emma which guy on the swim team has the cutest legs. They decide to join the girls to build the perfect guy out of the boys on the swim team.

Emma gives Cleo the necklace, believing it will be safer with her since she was able to hide her mermaid tail in the middle of the sleepover.

I know what you mean, even if you don’t

At work, Cleo’s boss, Mrs. Geddes, encourages her. She sees the mysterious woman again, standing on the bridge over the dolphin tank.

“You found it in the pool, didn’t you? On Mako Island. That’s where Gracie lost it — fifty years ago.” ~Miss Chatham

Miss Chatham holding the necklace that's around Cleo's neck

The woman says she’s 65 years old when Cleo starts to make sense of what the woman is saying.

She tells Cleo she’s got spirit and to enjoy it all she can, along with her friends. Aloud, she hopes they’ll be alright…eventually. Cleo calls after the woman as she walks away.

My thoughts

  • It still surprises me how much happens in each of these episodes.
  • At the same time, I’m reminded of the horrific influence old teen shows had on my generation as kids. Diet culture was left and right, for instance. Girls were catty just to be catty. 🤷‍♀️

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