H2O: Just Add Water 1×05: Something Fishy

This episode is all chaos and costumes. 😊 It’s mostly all about their lives from the perspective of Emma’s brother, Elliot, and Cleo’s sister, Kim, but not in a way that is so obviously “this is how their siblings perceive them”.

It’s the first time we see Elliot and learn more about Kim and Cleo’s relationship. Kim’s such a typical little sister, and I thought the episode captured that dynamic well.

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 5 of season one, “Something Fishy”. The show is no longer active; proceed at your own discretion.

The place that turned you into a fish

Lewis and Emma arrive at Mako Island. He’s surprised they turned into mermaids there, as he was expecting something more Club Med.

Emma and Lewis standing in front of his boat while looking towards the volcano on Mako Island

Emma leads him to the volcano’s cave entrance; Lewis is shocked that it requires such a hike.

They approach the waterfall. Emma explains that she’ll swim in, so she doesn’t get wet and turn into a “beached whale”. He’s surprised that swimming in through the underwater entrance was an option until he finds out it’s about 50m without coming up for air.

Emma warns him not to fall. Lewis says he’s a scientist and knows exactly what he’s doing. He falls down the entrance. She says she’ll meet him down there and swims to the moon pool via the underwater entrance.

Emma swimming into the underwater entrance of the moon pool in her mermaid form

Lewis is amazed. First, he wants to map the space, then take some rock and water samples for testing. He believes something in the volcano’s environment triggered their transformation into mermaids.

Figuring out what that that something was will help him figure out how they got their tails, and then he can start figuring out why.

Affinity with the sea

At the JuiceNet Café, Rikki talks about how sexist the Miss Sea Queen Pageant poster is. Miriam warns Cleo not to enter. Rikki says she wouldn’t be interested in a clingy dress competition; it’s actually a costume competition.

Miriam: I’ve always had an affinity with the sea.

Cleo: You? That’s a joke. I’m the one with the affinity. I’m a–

Rikki stops Cleo from spilling her secret.

This is weird

At home, Kim asks her mum if she’s seen Cleo. Her sister’s never there anymore, and Kim wants to borrow a belt. Kim looks through Cleo’s closet and finds her diary in one of the drawers.

Kim looking at Cleo's diary; orange mermaid tail and a pink mermaid illustration plus cursive writing on the pages

She sits on the bed and starts looking through it, shocked by the contents.


Miriam and Tiffany approach Cleo at an ice cream cart at work. Miriam says she’s finished her costume for the competition and that it’s “to die for”. Tiffany repeats “to die for”.

Miriam refers to the contestants as below her; Cleo asks about Tiffany, who’s also a contestant. Miriam says she’ll get runner-up and calls everyone else wallflowers…including Cleo.

Mrs. Geddes tells Cleo they’re short-staffed for the pageant and asks if she could work 9-4 that day. Cleo reveals she’ll be entering the pageant.

I’ve got fish that need me

Kim asks her mum if Cleo’s been acting different lately, like she might be in some kind of cult. Kim doesn’t even know what a cult is…just that it makes people do weird things.

Cleo arrives home and kicks Kim out of the kitchen. She asks her mum to teach her to sew later.

Kim puts a glass against Cleo’s bedroom door and listens.

Inside Cleo’s bedroom, she uses her power to raise the fish in the water out of the tank so she can clean it.

A cube of water with fish floats in the air, towards the ceiling

Kim sets the glass down, knocks on the door and enters Cleo’s room. She asks Cleo why her door is always shut, to which Cleo responds that it’s to keep Kim out. Kim continues to pester her sister, then asks where the fish from the tank are.

Cleo says they’re in the bathtub, but Kim doesn’t see them there. When Kim returns, the fish are back in the tank. Cleo says that she meant to say they were in the bucket, not the bath.

It’s only water, darling

Kim reads Cleo’s diary while using a Jacaranda Atlas book as a cover up. While cleaning, her mum bumps a glass of water next to Cleo, who rushes off to the bathroom. She transforms into a mermaid; Kim catches a glimpse of her mermaid tail before she manages to shut the door.

Kim runs to Emma’s to speak to Elliot. She gives him Cleo’s diary, for his protection, but he considers it private. She reveals that she believes their sisters, and possibly Rikki, are mermaids.

He says the diary is in code and the drawings could be doodles. Kim insisted something’s up; after all, she saw Cleo in the bathroom with a tail! She theorizes that they even have weird powers over water.

Emma walks into the kitchen to get a water bottle from the fridge; her brother and Kim watch her put a straw into the water bottle. Elliot doesn’t believe her and kicks her out.

First victim

That night, Emma knocks on the bathroom door for Elliot to hurry up. Impatient, she turns the water from the shower into hail. He rushes out of the bathroom, shivering from the cold and terrified of Emma.

He calls Kim to tell her she’s right. The next day, he tells her what happened. Kim says communication is for humans, and their sisters are like witches or vampires. It’s better to expose them for what they are.

At home, Elliot walks towards Emma with a glass of water. She catches him in the act; he offers her the glass, but she’s not thirsty. Elliot says he shares everything with Emma because she’s his sister, but she keeps secrets from and lies to him in return.

He asks her why she didn’t tell him she was a mermaid.

At Cleo’s Emma is appalled that she’d write a diary. Cleo thought it harmless, since it was “just a little one”. She looks for it in her closet; it’s gone.

All here

At the JuiceNet Cafe, Cleo says she found the diary under Kim’s pillow.

Emma, Cleo and Rikki sitting at a booth

Kim meets Elliot at the cafe. The mermaid trio watches as Elliot pulls a water gun out of his bag. Emma calls over Lewis. Kim infers Lewis is one of them, too.

Tiffany tells Miriam that Cleo entered the pageant. They think the girls are stressing over pulling a costume together overnight.

Lewis says they need to lead the siblings to thinking the diary’s about someone else — like Miriam. Lewis and the girls walk towards Miriam’s table.

Kim is surprised there are more mermaids. Miriam tells Cleo she knows everything, like how she’s entered the contest.

Kim and Elliot watch the girls and Lewis chat with Miriam

The mermaid trio leaves. Lewis walks up to a computer and pulls up a mermaid information site, returns to the browser’s homepage, then leaves. Miriam investigates the history and sees the mermaids page. They leave.

Kim considers the webpage proof that they’re in a mermaid coven and that Miriam’s the leader.

I know what you’re up to

At the docks, the trio sneaks into a watchtower and watch as Miriam and Tiffany walk by. Miriam decides to create a new costume last minute. She asks a fisherman a question as Kim and Elliot watch from afar. Kim infers Miriam’s putting the fisherman under her spell.

The fisherman gives Miriam two pieces of fake bait that she will use as earrings for her new costume. Miriam spots the sibling duo spying on her and indirectly accuses Kim of trying to gather costume intel for Cleo. Kim thinks Miriam is threatening her because she’s a mermaid.

Emma says they need to make it look like Miriam’s the one with the powers. Miriam and Tiffany walk by. Rikki steams the ground around where a hose has leaked so it looks like Miriam and Tiffany disappeared out of nowhere.

Elliot is shocked.

Expose them

The day before the pageant, Kim shares her plan to expose the mermaids with Elliot. They need to bring down the leader (Miriam) so the rest will follow. Elliot’s scared.

He’s supposed to turn on the fire hydrant and angle it over the wall so it hits the stage and turns Miriam and Cleo into mermaids. Kim thinks it will position her and Elliot as heroes.

The day of the pageant, Rikki is perplexed by the number of people interested in the pageant.

Emma: At least pretend you’re having fun.

Rikki: But I’m not.

Mrs. Geddes announces the contestants and their costumes. Kim and Elliot ready themselves backstage for the plan.

Mrs. Geddes announces Cleo Sertori, who has come as a Portuguese Man or War. No one claps until she says she’s a jellyfish.

Miriam is introduced last; a lifeguard pushes her out in a mermaid costume as she sits on a lounger.

Rikki: I might need this [popcorn] bucket to vomit in.

Miriam: You were supposed to be a mermaid.

Cleo: No, I wasn’t.

Miriam tells Mrs. Geddes that all the sequins and beading are handmade.

Kim gives Elliot the go ahead as a roller coaster full of screaming passengers pass by. He aims the hose for the stage. Cleo uses her hydrokinesis to prevent the water from hitting her. Everyone else is hit with water.

Miriam winds up drenched in water. Kim tries to out Miriam as a mermaid, but is confused as to why her mermaid costume is tearing. The Sertori parents shake their heads in embarrassment.

Miriam tries to “get” Kim, but falls off the stage.

Cleo covering her mouth as she chuckles

Mrs. Geddes crowns Tiffany the winner, much to her surprise and Miriam’s annoyance.

Cleo confronts Kim about stealing her diary; Don told her not to talk to anyone. 😅 Cleo says the diary was for an English assignment; they had to rewrite fairytales, and she chose The Little Mermaid. She explains her tail as her first costume shrunk.

Kim realizes her mistake and remembers Cleo can’t even swim. 👀

Giving 100%

In the moon pool on Mako Island, Lewis says he’s tested everything — the water, the rocks, the soil, the lichen, the dust — and everything’s normal.

Lewis lounging in a float with a coconut drink, while the mermaids surround him in the moon pool

Cleo says she took care of the diary, which is floating to the bottom of the moon pool.

My thoughts

I love how this episode had the same plot across three perspectives — Kim and Elliot’s; Miriam’s; and the trio and Lewis’s.

It’s a great example of how what you perceive from reading between the lines doesn’t lead to the correct perception. 🤷‍♀️ It’s just your perception.

It also portrays well the sibling dynamic…and hints a bit at Emma’s enmeshed family dynamic, what with Elliot being upset that Emma was keeping secrets.

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