H2O: Just Add Water 1×06: Young Love

This is my #1 least liked episode of H2O. I still think it’s important to watch, or at least read the plot to, because it shows the contrasting characteristics between Rikki and Emma.

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 6 of season one, “Young Love”. The show is no longer active; proceed at your own discretion.

Plant nursery

Elliot, Emma and Rikki walk through a greenhouse. The girls carry boxes containing supplies for Lewis, who’s building an automatic watering and security system for his brother Lenny’s plant nursery. Lenny is Lewis’s second oldest brother out of four.

Elliot says he could hide there forever; Rikki thinks he should. Emma says he needs to go to surfing practice. Rikki pulls her aside to remind her about the whole mermaid thing.

Byron’s teaching Elliot how to surf, and Elliot’s first few lessons are in the sand. Neither of them are going in the water. 🤷‍♀️


Byron asks Emma to join him in cleaning up the beach. She asks Rikki to watch Elliot for her; Rikki doesn’t want to, as she doesn’t like kids. Byron starts Elliot’s lesson.

Rikki tells Emma to take Elliot with her, but Byron says he needs practice. Since Rikki doesn’t want to attend the “Clean Up the Beach Rally”, Emma leaves Elliot and goes off with Byron.

Rikki: I take no responsibility for anything that may or may not happen to him.

Emma: I trust you.

Byron walking away with Emma, who's looking back to Rikki, who's sitting on the ground looking at Emma

After Emma leaves, Elliot decides to show off to Rikki about how he’s going to be a pro surfer. He runs towards the water with his surfboard, ignoring Rikki.

He’s wiped out by the first wave. Rikki rushes to save him, using the surfboard to give him a hand.

Rikki holding the yellow and black surfboard in the ocean

He’s shocked. She tells him to get on it and uses her mermaid strength to push him back to shore.

Zane and Nate walk up, confused about how Elliot managed to do so.

Zane and Nate standing behind Elliot, who just washed up on shore with his surfboard

He looks for Rikki, but doesn’t see her.


At home, he tells Emma and their parents what happened. Elliot says Rikki’s even faster than dolphins. Emma tries to find out what he saw, but their dad asks why he was even in the water to begin with.

The doorbell rings.

Elliot answers and is excited to see Rikki, who isn’t excited to see him. He’s curious how she was so fast, but she shrugs him off. His family calls her a hero. Annoyed, Emma pulls Rikki aside to chat.

Rikki and Emma chatting in her bedroom, which is nautical-themed

Emma lectures Rikki for getting in the water; Rikki tells her to look after her brother herself next time. Rikki was careful; Elliot doesn’t suspect a thing. She was careful and made sure.

Emma explains how her family doesn’t keep secrets and that he’d never be able to handle finding out Emma kept the mermaid secret from him. Rikki says that people who grow up in such “perfect families” can’t handle anything (and she’s not wrong; that’s what enmeshment does, after all).

Later that night, Elliot writes on a card in the living room next to a red car, red pencil bag, and red box of chocolates. The whole place is dark, except for the light on the table. (Why is he being so sneaky here, when he could have done this in his room? 🙄)

Rikki, Cleo and Emma walk into Emma’s room. Cleo knows she took a “calculated risk”, but is still surprised. In other words, Rikki’s still being lectured for literally saving Emma’s brother’s life after Emma abandoned her responsibility and Elliot decided to act out.

Funny how people who grow up in strict households are quick to act out as soon as they’re away from strict authority figures. 👀

Rikki wants to drop it, because Elliot’s safe at home. She walks over to lean against Emma’s desk and accidentally knocks a glass of water over, getting Emma’s geography homework wet.

Rikki dabs the water with tissues, but Emma’s worried she’ll blur it. She uses her mermaid power to evaporate the water, but the pages crumple and look old. Emma attempts to reverse it by adding water molecules, but this causes the pages to mold.

This only adds to the tension. They’re all still learning how to use their powers; Emma wants them to get better — fast.

Rikki, Cleo and Emma through the reflection on Emma's mirror

Elliot knocks on the door and walks in to give Rikki a card and a box of chocolates that he used all his savings on. He’s awkward about it, Rikki’s annoyed, and Emma thinks it’s cute. He asks her to play a game and Emma answers for her. Rikki decides to leave instead.

Emma pulls him aside to assess his crush on Rikki. He promises their love won’t intrude on her friendship with Rikki. Emma explains that Rikki’s not the type of girl for him, because she’s older and more mature.

“Some of us men like that in a woman.” ~Elliot

Not a relationship

At the JuiceNet Cafe, Emma joins Rikki and Cleo at a table. Rikki breaks the silence by asking if there’s something Emma wants to say to her. Elliot pulls a chair from another table and sits next to Rikki.

Emma sitting across from Cleo, Rikki and Elliot

Rikki asks when they became babysitters. 🥴 Before Emma can ask Elliot to give them time alone, Wilfred (JuiceNet Cafe owner), delivers their drinks.

Wilfred asks Elliot if his girlfriend liked the chocolates; Rikki chokes on her drink. Wilfred tells the girls that Elliot came in with his piggy bank and spent everything he had.

Rikki pulls the girls aside to chat. Cleo thinks Elliot’s crush is so sweet. Emma wants Rikki to humor him instead of hurting his feelings. Rikki thinks they’re disturbed and thinks he only likes her because she saved his life.

They continue to chide Rikki, while also insisting it’s not a relationship because Elliot’s 11. (Make up your mind?!)

Told you

At Lenny’s plant nursery, the girls ask Lewis for advice on dealing with Elliot. Lewis explains to Lenny how the watering system works.

Lewis explains that most guys just want to know where they stand without feeling like a loser. In his experience, the crush won’t wear off on its own.

No thanks

Elliot runs up to Rikki as she’s walking on the beach. He brought her something, but she doesn’t want anymore presents. He asks her to a movie, but she turns him down. Elliot grabs her hand, and she pulls it away.

She confronts him about his crush and says she’s not interested. He offers being loners together.

Rikki: Even if you were four years older, two feet taller and a whole lot less squeaky clean, I would not be interested. In the real world, no means no. So back off!

She walks away and watches him toss a dolphin figurine into the ocean. (Rude. Also, the irony. Perhaps he should’ve attended the beach cleanup rally, too.)

Find Elliot

Rikki joins Emma and Cleo at the JuiceNet Cafe. Apparently, Elliot is missing. Emma scolds Rikki for breaking her brother’s heart yesterday. 🙄

Emma says it’s not a crime that he’s got a crush on Rikki and blames Rikki for anything that happens to him. 🙄 Emma and Cleo leave.

Rikki, mopey AF, sits down at a table. Lewis joins her and guesses that she tried to let him down gently, but mortally crushed him instead. He recommends thinking like a little kid.

Rikki: Easier said than done. Where would you hide if you were a little kid?

Lewis: Somewhere you’d never find me.

The watering system

At Lenny’s nursery, Rikki calls for Elliot. It’s nearly closing time, and she’s quite sorry. She finds him sitting on the ground surrounded by greenery.

Rikki, surrounded by leafy greenery

“I remember you saying you could hide in here forever.” ~Rikki

She apologizes for what she said yesterday and explains that she’s used to people not liking her and feels trapped when people like her. She doesn’t handle it well.

Lenny leaves as the gate shuts. By the time Rikki and Elliot get there, Lenny’s gone. Lewis’s watering system works.

Rikki calls Lewis to confirm when the watering system starts and tells him she’s trapped inside with Elliot. He’s on his way. Lewis drops his fishing pole in his boat and calls Emma.

At the nursery, Rikki runs with Elliot to avoid the sprinklers and getting wet. She pauses and tries to remember the interval between watering every second. Elliot doesn’t have a clue.

Lewis arrives and bangs on the door for Lenny, but he’s not there. Rikki and Elliot can’t get out because Lewis installed an unbreakable, automatic lock yesterday.

Elliot doesn’t understand what the big deal about getting wet is. Rikki distracts Elliot while Cleo dumps water on the lock system and Emma freezes it open. They run out in time before the sprinklers.

Lewis is distraught over the locking system, because he told Lenny it’s unbreakable. Cleo accuses him of locking them in, when Lewis set the gate to lock at closing time. Lewis says he’ll rectify it because it’s prone to breakage.

Elliot wonders why Rikki was running from the water; she blames her water-based mascara. Emma tells him to never run away again, not to tell mom and dad, and not to get a girlfriend until he’s old enough. He tries to hold Rikki’s hand.

“And don’t push your luck.” ~Rikki

Rikki swimming, as a mermaid, underwater towards a small, blue dolphin figurine on the sand

As a mermaid, Rikki swims to grab the dolphin figurine Elliot tossed into the sea earlier.

My thoughts

Emma, the all-responsible and orderly character who prides herself in her stubbornness and responsibility, left the responsibility of her brother’s safety to Rikki — the person she has repeatedly shown to not trust — so she could go off with Byron, the boy she likes.

Um, what?

I must be misunderstanding something, because Emma’s doing this is soooo out of character for her — or is it that she just doesn’t care about anything anymore, due to a boy?

Once again, Byron is nothing but a plot device in the form of an otherwise pointless character. Without him taking Emma away, the rest of the episode’s plot never would have happened.

Which means we wouldn’t have had to watch Emma blame Rikki for literally saving her brother’s life or her brother’s infatuation with his savior.

I’ve been in Rikki’s shoes. I’ve been an adult and the crush of a minor…it’s weird. It was weird when I was in high school and my elementary school brother’s friend had a huge crush on me.

I felt so paranoid about being perceived as encouraging the crush that I didn’t even know how to behave anymore. It’s awkward and not at all “cute”.

Beyond this, Elliot didn’t even get a full lesson. Byron was giving Elliot lessons, yet he’d also signed up for the beach clean up happening at the same time…make that make sense.

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