Buffer - Recap

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Ian, Gabe, and CJ watch a Buffer match between Gold, Red, and white teams, while Suki works as announcer. CJ is eager to cheer on Cal Rice, the lead Gold player. When Gabe points out her interest, Ian appears jealous. He also insists that the game doesn't make sense, but Gabe notes that baseball wouldn't make sense the first time to an outsider. Cal wins the game for his team, which remains undefeated. Afterward, CJ invites Gabe and Ian to join her and other students at the lounge to watch a replay of the game. Ian isn't interested, and CJ notes that Buffer is like life. When Ian refuses, CJ goes without him.

As Ian and Gabe leave the arena, Ian wonders if CJ is interested in him, and Gabe figures she wouldn't have invited him if she wasn't. When Gabe points out that if Ian doesn't go, he'll lose CJ to Cal, Ian decides to go to the lounge. However, they spot the red team's coach, Coach History, slipping into the woods. Concerned that the Gnomes might attack him, Ian and Gabe follow the coach into the woods. Gnomes surround Coach History, but make no move to attack him. Ian calls out a warning and the Gnome and Coach History all disappear into the night.

The next morning, Ian and Gabe arrive for History class and figure that Coach History won't show up. However, he comes in, unharmed, and begins class. Ian gets a message from coaching telling him to come to the arena. Coach explains that he's applied to get Ian put on work-study as a Buffer equipment manager. Ian takes the job, and later tells the others about his new job. When he derides the Buffer players, CJ comes to their defense and insists that the game takes intelligence.

The next day, Ian is working at the arena when Cal insults him. Ian does his best to ignore him, and Coach History comes over. He explains that if he doesn't win the next game, he'll be taken out of the coach rotation. He wants Ian to join Red Team and use his preflexes to help win the game. Ian asks about the Gnomes, and Coach History merely says that they didn't bother him because he didn't do anything, and notes that Ian took one of the creatures' helmets. Ian hesitates and Coach History insists that he can be great.

Later in the locker room, word spreads of the offer and Cal taunts Ian. Ian spars back and Cal dares him to meet him in the woods to fight. The two of them go to the forbidden zone, but Cal's three teammates surround Ian and prepare to attack him. The Gnomes arrive and Cal and his friends run. However, they make no move toward Ian, who quickly leaves.

Ian meets with the others at the observatory and tells them what happened. He figures that Coach History is connected to the Gnomes, and dismisses CJ's concerns that it might be a trap. They figure they have to break into Coach History's office, but Suki warns that they haven't found any hidden passageways leading to the coach's office. CJ and Suki aren't happy with Ian's plan, but agree to help him for the sake of their team.

When Ian arrives at the locker room the next day, he discovers that Cal has thrown towels everywhere. He goes out into the arena to confront his rival, telling him to clean up his mess. When Cal refuses, Ian accuses him of cowardice for running from the Gnomes. Cal starts to fight him, but Coach breaks them up. Ian says that they'll finish their fight in the arena and resigns, and then tells Coach History that he's joining Red Team.

That night, the group watches Coach History's office through a telescope. He's busy mapping out Buffer plays. Ian tells them that he's on the Buffer team, and figures they can take a dual approach to learn about Coach History's connection to the Gnomes. CJ figures that Ian is just looking for an excuse to beat Cal, but Ian promises that he won't let the game distract him from their plan.

The next night, Ian starts practicing Buffer with his teammates, and is a natural thanks to his preflexes. He soon becomes wrapped up in the game and insists that the team continues drilling. When Coach History leaves to prepare courses for the next day, Ian agrees to stay and run he drills, but the other players soon become exasperated.

CJ and the others watch Coach History's office and see green Gnome lights inside. CJ wants to go and get evidence, but Gabe and Suki want to wait until Ian arrives. CJ insists and they finally go across. The trio set off the security beams and CJ runs to Coach History's office. Gabe and Suki draw off the monitors, and Gabe sends Suki to find Ian while he trips the Monitors. They capture him, and he starts using his ability.

CJ enters Coach History's office and he is already there, waiting for her.

Suki gets to the locker room and tells Ian what's happened. They go to the building but the Monitors are guarding the doors. Ian climbs up to a back window and goes in, and discovers that Coach History is working with a broken projector. The only beam left is the green one. CJ is there, and Coach History asks what they're doing. They both insist that they saw the lights and thought that he was in danger. Coach History lets them go, and CJ and Ian argue about how Ian was late. She still thinks that he's playing Buffer just to beat Cal, despite Ian's protestations. However, she then decides that they can use Ian's plan to take advantage of the game to break into Coach History's office. Meanwhile, Gabe uses his hyper-suasion to convince the monitors to befriend him.

Back at the observatory, CJ tells the others that she saw some electrical components in the office. Since Ian and Suki will be at the game, CJ proposes that she breaks into the office with Gabe and get the evidence they need. Suki provides them with an electronic lockpick. When Ian objects, CJ points out that it's his plan, and she's just adapting it to the new situation.

The next day at the Buffer match, Suki works with the other announcer while Cal and Ian square off. CJ and Gabe slip away and go to Coach History's office. Meanwhile, Coach History tells Ian that if he wins the game, he'll tell the student everything he knows about the Gnomes.

The game begins, and Ian and Cal are at each other's throats throughout the game. Meanwhile, CJ and Gabe break into Coach History's office and find a piece of electrical equipment. When they turn it on, it emits the Gnomes' distinctive screeching noise. The security alarms go off and Gabe and CJ discover that Gnomes are moving toward the office, cutting off their escape.

At the arena, Suki gets word via PDA that CJ and Gabe are in trouble. She intimidates her co-announcer to go to the bathroom, and then impersonates his voice, while signaling to Ian that the others are in trouble. Once he's in the arena, Ian fakes an injury to his wrist and goes to get it taped. He skates across campus to get to the office.

CJ and Gabe have no choice but to run in the opposite direction. They find Ian ahead of them, and he tells them to get back to the arena while he deals with the Gnomes. Ian takes them on and defeats them, and then gets to the arena. He arrives just in time for Coach History to send him in. However, he tackles Ian, the ball bounces into the Gold goal, scoring the final point and winning Gold the game. Afterward, Ian is momentary set back but then congratulates Cal. Cal spits on his hand and walks away. Coach congratulates Ian and admits that it's clear he has something special. When Coach History reminds Ian that he'll never know what he knows about the Gnomes, Ian says that he'll find out eventually, but Coach History will never win Buffer without him.

At the observatory, Suki analyzes the electronic device from the office and realizes that it's a Gnome communication device. They need a helmet to make it work. Meanwhile, CJ thanks Ian for throwing the game to help them, and Ian admits he did learn a few things from Buffer. Suki activates the stolen device and they hear distorted human voices. Suki uses an amplifier, and they realize that the voices are those of Tower Prep students.