Story Code '6ABB12'
by Jane Espenson
Willow, Xander and Anya wait for Buffy to arrive at the ‘Magic Box’ so that together they can examine the spell books and charms they stole from the three geeks’ lair; they are a bit surprised when Buffy enters the shop wearing her new uniform, because today is her first day working at the ‘Doublemeat Palace’ fast food restaurant. Later, before she begins work, Buffy is made to watch a training video which tells the workers how wonderful ‘Doublemeat Palace’ burgers are, although the film is quite graphic as to how the burgers are made. Once the video is finished, Manny the manager gives Buffy a tour of the ‘Palace’ and introduces her to two of her co-workers, Phillip and Timothy; but due to their permanently vacant expressions Buffy is a bit alarmed, especially when she is told that the turnover rate of staff is very high. Buffy also thinks the ‘meat process’ used to create the ‘Palace’s famous half-chicken / half-burger medley is rather suspicious, and becomes increasingly concerned after discovering that several of the staff lockers are marked ‘vacant’. After a quick tour of the kitchen, where she notes that several areas are off-limits, Buffy takes her position at the counter. As her day progresses she is kept very busy, also noticing that the customers really enjoy the food, especially a strange old lady wearing a wig. During her lunch-break Buffy tries to investigate the gigantic walk-in freezer but she is caught by Manny, who warns her against getting too curious about the ‘secret ingredients’. When Dawn, Willow, Xander and Anya show up to wish her good luck on her first day Buffy tries to tell them that something strange is going on, but the Scoobies fail to hear her. As Buffy works long into the night Spike shows up, but Buffy tells him to leave her alone. As her co-worker Gary leaves through the back door, something attacks him from behind a dumpster. The next morning Buffy arrives for her shift, and is told by Phillip and Timothy that Gary is missing. Buffy then watches as Manny takes Gary’s timecard and puts it in a box marked ‘gone’, which already has lots of other cards in it. Assigned to work at the grill with Phillip, Buffy takes the opportunity to ask him what the ‘Doublemeat’ secret is, but he can only tell her it is a special process. Manny then asks Buffy to work a double shift, and Timothy announces that the new meat has arrived. Spike shows up again and tells Buffy that if she is that desperate for money, then he can get it for her. Later, Buffy sees the vampire hanging about in the alley, and so, during her break, she meets him for some quick and passionless sex. Meanwhile, Xander is confronted by a Vengeance Demon in his apartment; however, before the monster can attack him Anya arrives and hugs her old friend, Halfrek, who is actually an old friend and work colleague. Anya tells Xander that she summoned Halfrek to see her get happily married to him, but Halfrek makes comments about how often Xander criticises Anya, and manages to plant the notion in Anya’s mind that perhaps Xander is not treating her right. Willow is visited by Amy, who has heard that she has gone ‘cold turkey’; she puts a spell on Willow that causes everything the witch touches to dissolve or bend, in an attempt to make her use magic to fix it, but Willow refuses. Buffy is at work when she notices something odd: a human finger in the meat grinder! She causes a commotion in the restaurant, but no one believes her, and instead Manny fires her. Buffy goes to tell Xander and Willow her discovery, and gives Willow a burger to analyse so they can find out exactly what it is made of. She then returns to the restaurant to look for more evidence, and finds Manny’s severed foot. Willow studies the burger and discovers the real composition of the ‘Doublemeat Medley’, and, terrified for Buffy’s safety, immediately runs off to warn her friend. At the restaurant, Buffy is surprised to find the lady with the wig; however, the old woman then reveals her true self - a giant, venom-spewing demon. The monster spits on Buffy, paralysing her. Willow smashes through a window, shouting to Buffy that the secret ingredient is not human flesh, but is actually composed of vegetables and meat fat. Buffy and Willow grab the demon and together they are able to force it into the meat grinder. The next day, Willow goes to see Amy and tells her not to dose her with magic again, and to go away and leave her alone. Buffy returns her uniform to Lorraine, the new manager at the ‘Doublemeat Palace’; but when she tells Lorraine that she knows the company’s secret, Lorraine, wanting to keep the vegetable ingredient a secret, offers Buffy her job back - as long as she remains silent about her discovery.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy), Pat Crawford Brown (Wig Lady), Brent Hinkley (Manny the Manager), Kirsten Nelson (Manager #2), Kali Rocha (Halrek), T. Ferguson (Gary), Marion Calvert (Gina), Douglas Bennett (Phillip), Andrew Reville (Timothy), Kevin C. Carter (Mr. Typical), John F. Kearney (Elderly Man), Sara LaWall (Housewife Type), Victor Z. Isaac (Pimply Teen)
Directed by Nick Marck
TX (US): 29th January 2002
TX (UK - Sky One): 21st March 2002
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Anya and Dawn