"Buffer (episode)"
Season 1, Episode 4
Airdate: November 9, 2010
Buffer episode
Writer(s): Glen Morgan
Director: Peter DeLuise
This article is about the episode. For information about the sport, see buffer.

"Buffer" is the fourth episode of season one of Tower Prep. To uncover the secrets of the gnomes, Ian must join Coach History's buffer team.


Gold Team is playing Buffer against Red and White as Ian, Gabe, and CJ watch, and Suki works as an announcer. CJ cheers on Cal Rice, the star player on Gold. Gabe thinks it's funny that she's so interested in Cal, and Ian wonders if she likes him. Meanwhile, Coach History sends in a Red player and tells him to take out Cal no matter what it takes. As they watch, Ian insists that the game doesn't make sense, but Gabe notes that it's the first game he's watched. Cal makes the goal with time running out, but Ian isn't impressed. The game ends and Gold remains undefeated.

After the game, CJ tells Ian and Gabe that the team is gathering in the lounge to watch the replay. CJ plans to be there, and says that Buffer is like life. Cal says that he'll see CJ later, and CJ shrugs and goes after him while Ian watches.

As they go, Gabe says that CJ wouldn't have invited Ian if she didn't want him there, and Cal doesn't like Ian because CJ is into Ian. He figures that if Ian doesn't go, Cal will win. Ian agrees, but as they go, they notice Coach History sneaking into the woods. They follow him and watch from hiding as he meets with Gnomes. Ian calls out a warning, but discovers that the Gnomes have no intention of attacking Coach History. When Ian turns away for a moment, Coach History and the Gnomes disappear, and the two boys retreat to the campus.

The next morning, the fringers arrive for History and discover that Coach History is fine. As they sit down for Ian gets a message from Coach summoning him to the locker room. He explains that he's got Ian a work-study job as Buffer equipment manager. Ian takes the job, and meets later with the others at the observatory to tell them what happened. When Ian describes the Buffer players as dumb, CJ insists that it takes intelligence to play. Ian wonders if she's attacking him or defending Cal.

The next day, Cal insults Ian and skates off. Coach History comes in and tosses Ian the ball, which he promptly catches. He says that he wants Ian to join the team, and that if his team loses then he'll be off of the rotation for coaches. Ian says he doesn't know how to play, but Coach History says that he knows about his power, and he can pull strings to get him on the team. Ian responds by asking why he went in the woods, and Coach History claims he just went off into the woods to let off some steam. When Ian asks about the Gnomes, Coach History says that they don't bother him because he didn't do anything, and notes that Ian hung the Gnome helmet on the flagpole. Ian ducks the question and asks for time to think about it, and Coach History says there's only one game left. Ian feigns nervousness, but Coach History says that he can be great, and everyone wants to be great.

In the locker room, Cal reveals that he heard Coach History's offer and taunts Ian. Ian says that he can see the future and his schooling Cal in manners. Cal tells him to meet him outside in the woods in five minutes and leaves. Ian goes after him, unaware that Coach History is watching them and nodding.

Outside, Cal goes into the forbidden area and Ian goes after him. The other players arrive to participate, but the Gnomes arrive. The team members run off, and the Gnomes shut off their lights. Ian realizes that something is going on with them and Coach History.

Back at the dorm, Ian goes to the observatory and tells the others what happened. They're surprised that the Gnomes let Ian go and chased off his attackers, but Ian figures it's connected to Coach History. CJ wonders if it's a trap to get Ian, who took one of their helmets. Ian figures that they have to investigate and master their powers for their own purposes. Gabe suggests that they use the tunnels to get to Coach History's office, but Suki warns they haven't found any tunnels in that area. CJ and Suki both warn Ian to go carefully, but agree to help him.

The next day, Ian arrives at the locker room and discovers that Cal and his friends have scattered towels everywhere. He goes out into the arena and uses his ability to catch a ball that Cal throws at one of the players. Ian tells Cal to clean up the locker room, and Cal attacks him when Ian says he ran from the Gnomes. Coach separates them and warns that if they fight again, they'll both be sent to West Campus. Ian says that they'll finish it in the arena and resigns. He goes to see Coach History and tells him that he's joining Red Team.

In the observatory, CJ watches Coach History through a telescope, and is surprised to see that he's up that late. They figure they need evidence to prove that the Gnomes exist, and Coach History may have the proof. CJ suggests that they sneak in via the tunnels, but Ian arrives to tell them that he's now on the Buffer team. He insists that they have two paths they can take, but CJ is furious that he's doing it. She accuses him of getting at Cal, but nobody believes Ian when he claims he has nothing against Cal. He admits he does have a small problem with Cal, but assures CJ that he'll be there for the group after practice.

At practice the next night, Ian uses his preflexes to stay ahead of everyone else. Practice runs late and the others wonder where Ian is. Meanwhile, Ian insists that they run the drills, and agrees to do it without Coach History, who has work to do.

The fringers watch and wait until Coach History turns off the light. CJ spots a green light in his office and they realize there are gnome lights.

Ian insists on running the drills, much to the exasperation of his fellow players.

CJ insists that they have to go to the office and get their evidence, but Gabe suggests they wait for Ian. Suki agrees, but CJ wants to run out in the open and lead the security monitors to Coach History and the Gnomes. The trio finally crosses the yard, but set off the security sensors. The Monitors chase after them as they head for Coach History's office. CJ runs inside the building while Gabe sends Suki to find Ian and blocks the others, and then starts talking.

CJ gets to Coach History's office and finds him waiting for her, while a green light glows in the background.

Suki gets to the men's locker room and gets Ian's attention. He refuses to come out because he's naked, until Suki impersonates Gabe. When that doesn't work, Suki impersonates Coach to get him out there. They go to the teacher's building, and spot a green Gnome light in the window. The Monitors have the front door locked down, so Ian uses a hose and sprinkler as a crude grappling hook to climb to an upper floor and get in. He goes to Coach History's office and bursts in. He finds Coach History with a pico laser, and explains that he had to replace the red and blue, leaving only green. CJ is there, and Coach History asks why they're running around. They say that they figured he was in trouble and wanted to help, and Ian asks if they can go. He agrees as long as Ian goes to bed to get rest for the big game tomorrow. As they leave, they argue about the fact that Ian broke his promise. CJ insists that Ian was just practicing to beat Cal. She says that they can use the game as a diversion to break into Coach History's office. As they talk Gabe arrives, having charmed the Monitors into being friends.

In the observatory, CJ says that she saw some electronic components that Coach History tried to hide from her. She figures that Coach History won't show up in his office during the game. Ian and Suki will be involved in the game, so CJ and Gabe will break in and get the evidence to connect Coach History to the Gnomes. Suki has modified a PDA to open the lock. When Ian says that they don't have a backup plan, CJ says that now she's on his path. They all agree.

At the Buffer match, Cal taunts Ian, and the coaches break them apart. Suki and the announcer, Dan Maxwell, start broadcasting. CJ and Gabe head for Coach History's office. In the arena, Cal notices that CJ isn't there. Meanwhile, Coach History tells Ian that if he leads the team to victory, he'll tell him everything he knows about the Gnomes.

The game begins and Cal starts by knocking Ian down. The game continues with Cal on Ian every step of the way. Meanwhile, Gabe and CJ use Suki's device to get into Coach History's office, and signal Suki that they're in. They find the projector and another piece of equipment that emits a loud screeching sound like the Gnomes make. The sensors register a disturbance and Gabe and CJ go out into the hallway. Gnomes move in on them and they retreat to the office, and then signal Suki that they're in trouble. When Coach History calls a timeout, Suki sends Maxwell to the bathroom and then impersonates his voice and signals to Ian that the others are in trouble. Coach History tells Ian to get in there and score a goal, and Ian reluctantly goes back into the arena.

As they prepare for the faceoff at zero-all, Cal says that the pain will be mental. Ian lets himself be blocked and then tells Coach History that he's sprained his wrist. He tells Coach he's going to tape it, and then skates across the campus to save his friends.

CJ and Gabe realize they have no choice but to run down the hallway in the opposite direction. They run into Ian, who says that he's got it and they need to get to the arena. He then attacks the Gnomes and takes them down.

The game goes into overtime, and Cal wonders where Ian is. Meanwhile, Gabe and CJ arrive and meet with Suki. Ian gets back to his team and Coach History sends him in. He tackles Cal, but the game bounces into the goal, winning the game for Gold. The other watch as Ian kneels on the floor, defeated. However, he goes over and congratulates Cal on a good game. Cal spits on his hand and leaves, but Coach congratulates him and admits he does have something special, and others believe that as well. Coach History tells Ian that he'll never know about the Gnomes, but Ian says he doesn't need Coach as much as Coach needed him.

At the observatory, Suki examines the electronic device and realizes that it's a translation device. However, they need a gnome helmet to hook it up to. As Ian goes to do his homework, CJ acknowledges that Ian could have won the game, but he threw it on behalf of his real "team." Ian admits that he did learn something abut life from Buffer. Suki activates the device and they hear human voices. She realizes that they can receive but not transmit, and uses a signal amplifier. Ian realizes that the voices are student voices.


Guest starringEdit


New KidMonitoredWhisperBufferRooksBook ReportElectionField TripDreamsPhone HomeTrustSnitchFathers