H2O: Just Add Water 1×02: Pool Party

“Pool Party” is the second episode of the first season of H2O: Just Add Water.

Episodes are available to watch on YouTube, just make sure you’re choosing full-length as opposed to the short versions. Or you can watch it here:

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! This is a recap of H2O, episode 2 of season one, “Pool Party”. The show is no longer active; proceed at your own discretion.

A catastrophe of the highest order

Emma fills a bubble bath. She stares at it, hesitating, then gets in. She looks at her tail in disappointment.

Emma in her mermaid form while in a bubble bath

Wearing gloves, Cleo reaches into her fish tank. The deeper she reaches, the closer the water gets to the top of her gloves. She withdraws as soon as water touches her skin. Kim knocks at the door as she turns into a mermaid. Cleo says she’ll just walk to school.

She texts Emma and Rikki a photo of a clownfish. Emma’s mom sees the text, since Emma’s phone is downstairs. Rikki’s phone is on the beach, while she’s in the water.

The trio is at Cleo’s. Cleo notes that moisturizer is mainly water and they can never moisturize again. Rikki says that they can swim for miles, like dolphins. Emma says she missed training for the first time in six years.

Cleo says they have to tell someone, like their parents or a doctor; Rikki references being hospitalized for insanity if they tell someone. Emma agrees that they can’t tell anyone, even Cleo’s mum and Lewis.

Miriam’s party

Miriam offering Rikki a blank invite

Miriam passes out invites to her pool party that she’s hosting in honor of Byron winning a surfing competition, though she doesn’t know anything about surfing. Miriam offers Rikki a blank invite, but she turns it down.

Lewis walks up to Cleo, who rambles about “nothing much” happening with her. He asks her if she’s going to Miriam’s party. She says yes. Miriam reminds other girls that it’s a pool party, causing Cleo to change her mind.

Cleo tells Rikki and Emma that it’s “so uncool” to miss a party thrown by Miriam, because she’ll never invite them to another party again. Cleo knows going to a pool party is dangerous, but proposes telling Lewis because he’d look out for them.

Rikki tells her she did the right thing in choosing not to go. Emma thinks they should go for Byron, not Miriam, because surfing is just like swimming; it takes hard work and training, you need to know someone’s supporting you.

Rikki accuses Emma of liking Byron, but she laughs it off.

Emma says they need to learn more about themselves so they can develop some discipline to prevent themselves from turning into mermaids.

Cleo is keen to experiment whether they can control their mermaid form and texts Lewis, but then she finds out she’ll have to swim to test the theory.

At the beach, Rikki and Emma beg Cleo to no avail. The two girls walk into the water and chant, “No tail. No tail. No tail,” until they turn into a mermaid.

Rikki and Emma as water creatures on the beach, mid-transformation
They turn to water before growing tails 🧜‍♀️

Lewis approaches with his fishing rod and bait box. The mermaids hide behind some rocks. He asks who leaked that this spot is his “highly classified fishing spot”. Cleo apologizes.

He says he got her text about going to the pool party again. Cleo says she’s not going anymore because she has too much homework. Lewis says he might just join them for a swim; Rikki says they’re naked. He offers “a quick dip” instead; Emma says goodbye.

Because we’ve got tails

At Emma’s, Cleo says they’ll never be invited anywhere cool again because of their tails. Emma says her swimming career is over.

Emma turning her glass of orange juice into an ice pop

Rikki points out that they’re complaining about being “mer-freaks” when they have powers — Cleo drinking water from midair and Emma turning her glass of orange juice into an ice pop. She doesn’t even have a power, yet she’s not whining about it.

Rikki leaves. Cleo says, “I know how she feels. Sometimes, I don’t even wanna hang around me.” Emma looks at her for five seconds, then down at her ice pop.


At the JuiceNet Café, Cleo asks Lewis what he thinks about Rikki.

“You know those stonefish that kind of look like a rock, yet could shoot enough poison to kill an entire football team in half a second? She kind of reminds me of one of those.” ~ Lewis McCartney

Byron walks into the café and everyone starts clapping. Cleo walks up to congratulate him and asks about his ranking. Zane tells her to control herself.

Lewis says to Zane, “You’re dry. That must feel different.”

Zane threatens to remove Lewis’s head if he mentions the fire hydrant incident again. Lewis stands up and grabs Zane’s shoulder; Cleo tells him to let it go and Byron agrees that Zane’s not worth it, because Zane won’t change.

Cleo sits back down at the table and tells Lewis that Byron is such a nice guy. Emma’s right: They should go to Miriam’s party to support him.

An unenthusiastic Lewis agrees. He explains how he doesn’t understand her, because she keeps changing her mind. One minute she’s going; the next, she isn’t; now, she’s going again.

He leaves the café.


Emma eats a bowl of cereal in her kitchen. From the staircase, her mom asks her if she can afford to miss training again, noting that she even trained when she had the flu and broke her arm.

Her father mentions the regionals and her seeing a doctor.

Emma says she doesn’t need a doctor. Her mom points out that she’s been spending a lot of time in her bedroom and even more time in her bathroom.

When she brings up moodiness and going through changes, Emma says, “Exactly, Mum. You got it in one,” and takes her cereal and orange juice to go.

Tick tock

Cleo calls Miriam from her bathroom to let her know she’ll be going to the party — probably. She’s wearing a shower cap, gloves and full-body wetsuit. Miriam asks what she’ll be wearing, and Cleo says, “Something appropriate.”

She pours a blue bucket of water on her head and says, “Go.” She steps away towards two towels sitting on the toilet and counts down from 10 as she rushes to dry off. By one, she grows a tail.


At the JuiceNet Café, Lewis asks Rikki if he can sit at the booth with her. She hopes not; he sits anyway.

Lewis explains that he knows they’ve had their differences, but he wants to know what’s wrong with Cleo, because she kept turning him down every time he asked her to go to Miriam’s party.

Rikki says maybe she doesn’t like him. Lewis did consider this, but then realized her standards must be low because she hangs out with Rikki.

She says, “Goodbye, Lewis.” Her hand taps the table near where Lewis’s drink sits.

He asks if she can tell him what’s wrong. She declines, and he asks please. He knows something’s wrong. Rikki reveals that they’re not even speaking right now.

Her hand forms into a fist, and the drink bubbles. Rikki explains that she’s trying to be alone right now; the drink molecules bubble and the top turns foamy. Lewis touches the glass and finds it hot. He asks if this is someone’s idea of a joke.

Rikki looks at her hand, forming it into a fist, and smiles.

Officially curious

At the beach behind some rocks, Rikki boils a puddle of water until it steams away.

Emma meets Rikki under a bridge and apologizes for her negativity earlier. Rikki says it’s cool and that she has something to show her.

At Lewis’s not-so-secret fishing spot, he overhears Emma talking to Rikki. He calls out to them and asks if they’re naked again. Rikki says they’re having a bit of a girl talk. He says, “Yes, but are you naked?”

Emma tells him to go; Lewis says he’s there to fish. He’s having withdrawals and needs the relaxation. He says they should be going instead. Emma mentions him following Cleo around.

Lewis says he’s over that, because she just can’t make up her mind. His phone beeps, and he uses that as proof: She’s going to the party again. He gives up.

Emma and Rikki tell Lewis to go to the party so Cleo’s not alone. He declines, saying he’s there to fish. Cleo could be in trouble, so call her back.

“I am not some lackey. I am not some all-purpose servant. Do you really think you can tell me what to do and I’ll jump? Her phone’s off,” Lewis says as he attempts to call Cleo.

Rikki says she could be in big trouble. Lewis says he only likes her in a “friendship” kind of way. He relents as leaves.


Cleo arrives at Miriam’s house for the party wearing a scarf and sweater, carrying a box of tissues. Miriam and her friend, Tiffany, answer the door. Miriam reminds Cleo it’s a pool party.

Cleo says she has a terrible cold,, so she won’t be swimming at all. She asks about Byron; Miriam’s sure he’ll arrive soon. Miriam asks about keeping the sweater on, to which Cleo says you can’t be too careful with a cold.

Miriam tries to convince Cleo to go home; she doesn’t like sick people. Cleo says she can still party, and Miriam agrees as long as Cleo goes outside, doesn’t touch anything and stays away from everyone. Miriam calls Cleo a “loser” behind her back.

Cleo, Cleo…

Cleo walks around the pool cautiously. Nate points at her as she walks by; Zane approaches her, teasing her and saying they wanted some fun. She tells him to get back, and he keeps taunting her.

Zane says she had a good laugh when he got soaked last week, so it’s her turn. She says she has a cold and can’t go in the water.

“It’s the flu, actually. And it’s catching. It could even be pneumonia.” ~Cleo

Zane taunts her, encouraging people to chant her name.

Don’t freak out

Lewis arrives at the party. Miriam is surprised to be there, because she didn’t think he was going. When she asks, he says he never leaves home without his fishing gear. He asks where Cleo is.

“She’s around by the pool, spreading disease.” ~Miriam

Zane, Nate and a random guy swing Cleo back and forth towards the pool as she begs them to stop. Lewis walks up and tells Zane to let her go, so he does — by tossing her into the water.

Lewis chastises Zane for having no brain; Zane and the boys go to get a drink.

Lewis squats by the edge of the pool and apologizes to Cleo, who tells him there’s something he should know as she looks at her watch. He says she doesn’t need to say anything.

She says she really does, and water starts bubbling around her. She mentions her strange behavior and tells him not to freak out. The bubbling stops once she turns into a mermaid.

“Lewis? You have to help me.” ~Cleo

Lewis falls back in shock; Cleo begs him not to leave her because she really needs his help. She reaches out her hand. He shakes his head. She continues to beg him to help her.

Cleo holding on to the edge of the pool, in her mermaid form

Lewis takes her hand right as Emma and Rikki arrive. Everyone else has gone inside. Emma freezes the sliding glass door shut.

Lewis asks for help lifting Cleo out as a mermaid. The girls explain that they’ll grow tails if they get wet, too. He’s shocked, but proceeds to lift Cleo out on his own.

Zane tries to open the sliding glass door; Miriam is perplexed that it’s frozen.

Cleo asks what they’re going to do; Rikki begins steam-drying her off. Seconds later, she’s back to being a human. Rikki’s found her power!

Lewis asks what’s going on. Emma rushes them off. Rikki stays behind for a few seconds to evaporate the pool water.

Miriam, Zane and the other guests run out to the pool. Miriam is confused, and Zane tells her to check her heating system.


Lewis and the trio see Byron on his way to the beach with his surfboard and ask why he’s not at Miriam’s pool party.

Byron doesn’t even know who Miriam is beyond her blonde hair. He says parties aren’t even his thing.

Emma: Nice board.

Cleo: Nice pecs.

Rikki: Nice attitude.


At Lewis’s fishing spot, Rikki warns Lewis not to tell anyone. He knows they’d end up as science experiments.

Emma quit the swim team today. Cleo says the mermaid thing is out of control; it’s too big.

Lewis describes the girls’ powers as growing tails and

  • Emma freezing things,
  • Cleo exploding things and
  • Rikki boiling things.

Emma agrees that it’s bizarre, but still good sometimes. Rikki calls it “totally, absolutely awesome”. Cleo sees Lewis grinning and pouts.

My thoughts

  • Cleo is essentially the “weak” one of the group, but the #1 reason I love her so much is because she’s so self-aware! She also gives me autistic vibes. 👀 She feels autistic-coded, even if she doesn’t have stims.
  • Emma has SO MUCH PRIDE, and Rikki offends Emma because of this SO EASILY…and this is the major cause of their conflict throughout the series.
  • I know Byron’s supposed to be a hunk and all that, but I didn’t even like him when I first saw this series. The disrespect towards female characters from the stereotypical hot male characters grosses me out. I know H2O: JAW plays into so many toxic tropes. That doesn’t mean I’m going to refrain from calling out its toxic traits. 👀
    • So Emma smiles when Byron reduces Miriam to her hair color, all giddy that he doesn’t even know her. Teen TV encourages the catty, girl-against-girl competitive behavior. So gross.
  • The more into this show I recap, the more I’ll share why I dislike Emma.
  • I think Cleo was also not written that well, because in this episode…she was only shown fighting back with her words. She didn’t bother to kick or hit or anything, so the danger felt fake. The bullying felt mediocre. I feel the writers wanted to paint Cleo as weak and didn’t know how else to do so. 🤷‍♀️

Love this post?

Support me by subscribing to my blog and/or buying me a cuppa:

Leave a comment