-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Willow continues on her 12-step magic rehab track. Step one: Experience the queasiness of withdrawal (Wrecked). Step two: Allow your friends to de-magic the house. Step two is where we find our slayer along with Dawn packing away all the elements and instruments of magic from Willow's room. Willow watches and guides the girls towards hidden objects. Willow isn't looking so hot. I guess step one really took its toll on her.
Eventually, Buffy got around to raiding the evil nerd posse's headquarters; unfortunately they had vanished leaving well-covered tracks. They, did, however leave lots of things for Willow to play with, such as some razor scooters and a picture of that Vulcan woman from Enterprise (another critically acclaimed UPN show).
Anya begins to rant about the difference between demons and human villains. She seems to think that demons are more hardworking… speaking of work. Buffy appears ready for her first day at work?!!
Welcome to the Doublemeat Palace, may Buffy take your order? Not until she sits through a training video. Can you say slaughter? Good, because it's slaughter that makes your Doublemeat sandwich so delicious, or so Buffy learns via VHS. The video is followed by Manny's (the manager) pop quiz: Why do you want to work here?
Buffy, at first, mistakes Manny for a human being that may be interested in her needs, wants, goals, and desires and begins to tell him about her needing money fast, not having time to go through an interview process, etc. Then she realizes that he just made her sit through hours of horror and hygiene tips from the big guys at Doublemeat Enterprises, so she says the correct answer: to be a part of the Doublemeat experience. The rest of her torture, I mean, orientation includes a tour, a locker assignment, and finishes up with a tasty Doublemeat sandwich, of which Buffy is expected to partake with great enthusiasm. Can I just take a moment to explain what Doublemeat sandwich is supposed to be: It's like the Big Mac meets a nasty school cafeteria chicken sandwich, hence the Doublemeat (chicken and beef). Good? I hope your gag reflex isn't too strong, otherwise watching this episode may cause you to hurl.
Following lunch Buffy is put on the register, where she realizes that life can't get any worse then this, no wait, that's when I realized Buffy's life couldn't get any worse and started to feel better about my own life. The register has a gazillion buttons each with a little icon that represents a menu item or combo meal. There are, of course, buttons for supersizing and such. Seems easy enough, until Buffy is faced with the family order… from hell.
Time goes by very slowly in the Doublemeat Palace and the other employees seem to be devoid of personalities and/or souls. Buffy becomes suspicious of the various goings-on. For one, Manny, the manager, seems very much like a zombie and he's oddly territorial, forbidding Buffy to go certain places like the walk-in freezer. Add on the fact that Buffy's locker has the last employee's things in it, because she or he just failed to show up one day (by the other employees reaction to such behavior it's apparent this sort of thing happens a lot) and the fact that no one wants to come clean about the Doublemeat sandwich's special ingredient (everyone just tells her it's a meat process or something). You can see why she'd be suspicious.
To keep herself from falling asleep or committing suicide, Buffy entertains ideas of foul play and begins to think of her employment as undercover slayer work. She explores and asks questions, but comes up with nothing except for a theory that the secret Doublemeat ingredient is cat (when Buffy is snooping in the walk-in freezer, Manny tells her curiosity killed the cat, hence the cat-burger theory). Eventually, things pick up when Buffy receives a visit from Scooby gang. They've come strictly in a cheering on and supporting Buffy's new job capacity, but of course Xander can't resist the allure of the Doublemeat sandwich. He is the only one to order a sandwich, despite Buffy's paranoid warnings that they may be made of cats. Anya mentions something about having the Doublemeat Palace cater their wedding since she can no longer count on Willow's magical help. Don't worry, everyone gave Anya the usual look of disdain reserved for when she says something insensitive.
Besides Buffy trying to explain how working at the Doublemeat Palace has turned all the other employees into zombies and having Xander tell her that zombie-like behavior is completely normal for fast food employees, that pretty much summarizes the Scooby's visit.
Spike also finds a way to work himself into Buffy's night of Doublemeat horror. He stands in line like he intends to place an order when really all he does is order Buffy to leave with him and never come back. I guess he doesn't want word to get out that he's bagging a slayer that works at the Palace. Well, he does have reputation to protect, but I digress. He seems upset that Buffy would allow herself to participate in such demeaning work. He even goes as far to say that working there will be the death of her. Buffy's only retort is that she needs the money. Poor Buffy, as if the humiliating costume weren't enough she has to have Spike, a lowly and defective vampire, tell her how pathetic her job is.
After closing, one of Buffy less-zombie like coworkers, Gary takes the garbage out, where we see him attacked through the eyes of his unknown assailant.
The next day at work, Buffy is informed that she will be on the grill and have to complete a double-shift because Gary didn't show. She calls Xander to tell him that he will have to take care of Dawn that night.
While Xander is talking to Buffy, a demon materializes his living room, commanding him to cower at her wrath. Xander hangs up and commences to cower when Anya appears and identifies the demon as Halfrek (a close friend and fellow vengeance demon from Anya's past). Anya, then explains to Halfrek that she did not summon her to perform vengeance evil on Xander, but rather to be a guest at their wedding. Halfrek is a little taken aback by the news of their engagement and asks Anya why she would be doing such a thing. Anya replies that she loves Xander.
Meanwhile at Doublegross Palace, Buffy tries to find the joy in flipping burgers and frying fries. When break time rolls around Buffy goes to the back alley to have at it with Spike. With her back against the wall and Spike slobbering all over her, the look on Buffy's face seems to reveal that making it with Spike isn't the upside of her day.
Over at the Summers' household, Amy pays Willow a visit. She claims that her visit is due to a nostalgic urge to retrieve her rat's cage. Once inside, all Amy can seem to do is ask about Willow's magic addiction recovery. You can tell Amy doesn't understand Willow’s determination to stop using her magical talents. Willow tries to ignore Amy's flippant attitude, but suddenly Amy gets the brilliant idea to give Willow a birthday present. Noo, it's not Willow's birthday, and it's not exactly a present. Amy zaps Willow like Rack did in a previous episode (Wrecked). Suddenly, Willow's eyes turn black and everything she touches magically alters against her will.
Over at Crappymeat Palace, Buffy stares vacantly into the meat grinder as she grinds some sort of meat. Suddenly, her stare focuses on the meat. She bends down to get a closer look at something under the grinder and finds a severed finger! She high tails it out to the dining area and starts throwing the customers' food on the floor, screaming, "It's people!". So, of course Buffy gets fired.
Over at Xander's, Halfrek starts grilling Anya on the particulars surrounding her and Xander's engagement. Everything Anya says about Xander, Halfrek is able to ask to a question that puts Anya in the position of defending Xander and her love for him. For example, Anya innocently talks about how Xander loves her despite it being a hard task and Halfrek asks, "Who told you it isn't easy to love you?" Then Anya tries to further explain that she often puts her foot in mouth and Xander, always tells her when she's not being appropriate. So, of course, Halfrek says, "So he corrects you." Anya sort of notices that she's not going to be able to win, so she stumbles over more awkward explanations until finally Halfrek tells her that its okay if Anya doesn't want to talk about him anymore.
Cut to Magic shop, where Xander and Dawn are playing go fish. Buffy barrels in and slaps a double "people" meat sandwich on the table in front them, exclaiming that she's calling an emergency meeting. Buffy fills them in on what just happened to her at the Palace, using the severed finger as a visual aid. Unfortunately, Xander eats the evidence before Buffy can get to the part where the secret ingredient is people.
Willow rushes in, still a little affected by the magic hit, but she's effectively covering it up (mostly because Buffy and Xander are freaking out about the meat and don't notice her junkie twitch). Willow figures out a way to test what's left of the sandwich for human parts, while Buffy changes into plain clothes for a little recognizance.
Once the Palace closes, Buffy breaks in to survey the scene. She finds a severed foot still in its shoe, which she identifies as Manny's.
Back at the shop, Willow sets up her chemistry set complete with test tubes and everything. Anya finally arrives armed with lots of insecurities to hit Xander over the head with. Xander doesn't make things better when he asks if Anya looked all veiny and stuff like Halfrek when she was demon. Anya asks if he thinks Halfrek looks unattractive and well… there's no way out of that one.
Sad side note: Before Anya gets there Xander and Dawn chat it up while Willow fiddles with her scientific tools. During their chat Dawn comes to the realization that Buffy's future is really limited by her slayer duties (and not mention having to take care of a teenager minus a level-headed adult mother or watcher). Dawn notes that crappy jobs like Buffy's job at the Palace is pretty much the most Buffy has to look forward to (and you were wondering why Buffy's been slinking around with Spike). Oh so sad.
Willow's tests reveal that the meat is actually made up of a soy-based plant-derivative and more importantly not people.
Meanwhile, Buffy comes across the wig of this little old lady that ordered an cherry pie (among other things) from her earlier. She sighs regretfully at not being able to save the old lady from the grinder. Come to find out that wig lady is behind her and is actually the host of some awful looking gigantic man-eating worm. At first, Buffy isn't worried because she figures she can take the demon, but then she finds out that the worm thing has sprayed some sort of paralyzing venom on her. As her range motion becomes more and more limited, Buffy finds it harder and harder to get away from the worm thingy. Soon the worm corners Buffy and begins to nibble on her shoulder. Just then Willow chimes in on the drive-thru intercom, explaining that meat is really vegetable. Willow goes on to confess her bout with Amy and the magic dose she received earlier. Of course, Buffy can't respond because she's being eaten.
Buffy somehow manages to turn on the grinder, which makes a lot of noise. Willow gets the hint and rushes in to save Buffy. Willow surprises the demon from behind, ducking out of the way when the demon tries to spray her. She then proceeds to behead it, but that doesn't kill ol' wormy, she's still wiggling around. Buffy stabs it with a knife and Willow throws it into the grinder. I guess, the next day's burgers will made of worm (how's your gag reflex?).
The next morning, Amy stops by the house to borrow some detergent and stuff. Willow refuses to let her in and doesn't mince words telling her she's no longer welcome there.
Buffy goes to the Palace to return her uniform, which results in her meeting with Manny's replacement, Lorraine. Lorraine seems a little more normal than Manny, except for the fact that she's very gun-ho about her 5-year tenure with the Doublefakemeat Corporation. Buffy kind of lets it slip that she knows the secret ingredient. Lorraine, sees this as threat and asks Buffy what she wants. Instead of asking for enough money to tide her and Dawn over until she can get a better job, low self-esteem Buffy asks for her job back. Lorraine is happy to oblige under the condition Buffy renew commitment to the Doublecrap experience. Buffy smiles indicating she's ready to rise (or shall I say sink?) to the challenge.