Buffy Episode #112: "DoubleMeat Palace" Transcript

Written by Jane Espenson
Original Air Date: January 29, 2002

Transcribed by Joan the English Chick (pisces@englishchick.com).
Transcriber's Notes:


GILES VOICEOVER: Previously...
Buffy and Spike up against the wall in "Smashed."
SPIKE: You never had it so good as me.
Buffy and Spike in the wrecked building
BUFFY: If you tell anyone about last night, I will kill you.
Buffy and Willow in the arcade in "Gone"
BUFFY: So you three have, what, banded together to be pains in my ass?
WARREN: We're your arch-nemesises ... ses. You may have beaten us this time, Slayer, but next time... JONATHAN: Maybe not! Jonathan throwing down the smoke-bomb. The Geek Trio escaping.
Willow de-ratting Amy.
BUFFY: Amy? How've you been?
AMY: Rat. You?
BUFFY: Dead.
AMY: Oh.
WILLOW: It's nice, having another magically-inclined friend around.
Willow and Amy on the Bronze balcony in "Smashed"
AMY: It's way too early to go home yet.
Willow and Amy walking down the street.
AMY: So what do you wanna do? I have a better idea.
WILLOW: Is it dangerous?
Willow and Dawn in Rack's place.
WILLOW: Let's get outta here.
Dawn in the car screaming.
The car crashing.
Spike and Buffy leading Dawn away.
WILLOW: Dawnie, I'm sorry, I'm so-
Dawn slapping Willow.
BUFFY: You could have killed her.
WILLOW: I need help!
Willow and Buffy in the bedroom.
WILLOW: No more spells. I'm finished.
The Scooby gang in the kitchen.
WILLOW: There's some money stuff we're gonna have to talk to you about.
BUFFY: So you're telling me I'm broke?
GILES: How bad is it?
BUFFY: Anya says pretty bad.
GILES: Buffy ... some discussion, about, um ... wha-what you're going to do now.
BUFFY: Oh. I've been giving that a lot of thought actually. And I think I've figured it out.


Teaser

Open on exterior shot of the Summers house, day.

Cut to the living room. Xander walks in from the kitchen, carrying a bowl of popcorn.

XANDER: Now I get Warren being the supervillainy type, but I thought Jonathan completely learned that lesson. I never even heard of this other guy.

Xander sits on the sofa beside Anya, puts the popcorn on the coffee table. Willow is sitting in a chair opposite the sofa.

WILLOW: You should have seen their headquarters. It was like the nerd natural habitat.
ANYA: Well, if we know where they are, shouldn't we do something?
WILLOW: We tried. Buffy was gonna go in there and bust them on the spot.
XANDER: I'm sensing a 'not so completely.'
WILLOW: Yeah, well, she went in, and then-
ANYA: Speaking of Buffy, isn't she ready? She's gonna be late for her first day.
WILLOW: Hey, respect the narrative flow much?
ANYA: Please continue the story of failure.
WILLOW: So, Buffy went in, but they'd cleared out. And she brought back the stuff that they left... (Xander listening, eating popcorn) ... spell books, some parchments, (smiling) a couple of rare things, charmed objects, and a conjurer's harp...

Willow trails off, looking a little wistful. Xander and Anya look at her with concern.

WILLOW: (snaps out of it) A-and they had other stuff, you know, Razor scooters, and pictures of the Vulcan woman on "Enterprise."
XANDER: Ooh! (chuckles, rubs his hands together, then sees Anya's expression) I mean ... nerds.
ANYA: Okay. See, this is why demons are better than people.
WILLOW: Interesting turn.
ANYA: When I was a vengeance demon, I caused pain and mayhem, certainly. But I put in a full day's work doing it, and I got compensated appropriately.
XANDER: Welcome to today's episode of 'Go Money Go!' I hear it daily.
WILLOW: Yep, for the rest of your life.

Xander looks dismayed, continues to contemplate that as Anya continues talking.

ANYA: But supervillains ... want reward without labor, to make things come easy. (lecturing) It's wrong. Without labor there can be no payment, and vice versa. (Shot of Willow listening intently) The country cannot progress. The workers are the tools that shape America.
BUFFY: (OS) Good to know.

The others look over.

Reveal Buffy standing in the doorway, wearing red pants, a red-and-white striped shirt, and a hat with a stuffed animal head on top.

BUFFY: I was kinda feelin' like a tool.

The others stare.

BUFFY: And now I know why.

Wolf howl. Opening credits.

Guest starring Elizabeth Anne Allen, Pat Crawford Brown, Brent Hinkley, Kirsten Nelson, and Kali Rocha. Written by Jane Espenson, directed by Nick Marck.


Act I

Open on a 1950s-style commercial. Sepia-toned picture of the exterior of a fast-food restaurant with cars driving past.

NARRATOR: You've seen us in your city or small town across the American West...

Picture of the interior of the restaurant with booths and hanging plants.

NARRATOR: ...you've ordered our delicious food...

Sepia picture of a smiling man in a white shirt and black bowtie, giving a thumbs-up.

NARRATOR: ...from our happy employees!

Reveal Buffy sitting in a small room watching this on a television. She wears a small blue pin reading "Buffy Summers, trainee."

NARRATOR: But now you're seeing it all from a different way, you're seeing it from behind the counter!

Picture of a smiling woman ordering food from a smiling employee. This picture starts off sepia-toned and then fades to natural color.

NARRATOR: ...because you've just become part of the DoubleMeat experience!

Shot of a geeky teenage boy in the red-and-white striped uniform, holding a tray covered with paper-wrapped burgers.

BOY: I'm part of it!

Shot of a young woman wearing the uniform, holding a tray.

WOMAN: I'm part of it!

Shot of an older man wearing the uniform.

MAN: I'm a part of it too!

Star-cut to a shot of a farm. A picture of a cow appears in front of it.

NARRATOR: This cow... (cow moos) and this chicken... (chicken appears beside the cow, and squawks) ...don't know it yet, but they're destined to become part of it as well! So what happens when a cow and a chicken come together?

The pictures of the cow and the chicken swirl together and become a sandwich.

NARRATOR: Why, that's a DoubleMeat Medley! Let's take a look now at the process of harvesting these two special meats.

Close shot of a row of cows' rear ends.

Cut to shot of Buffy watching. Sounds of frantic mooing and squawking, as well as thumping noises. Buffy makes a disgusted face.

BUFFY: Holy crap!

Fade to later. The video is still going. Now it shows a man in the uniform washing his hands.

NARRATOR: ...washing your hands thoroughly after each visit to the restroom.

The man takes a paper towel to dry his hands. Zoom in on the paper-towel dispenser bearing the words, "NOTICE: Employees must wash hands with soap before returning to work."

NARRATOR: Follow these rules and you'll be a happy part of the DoubleMeat family for a long time!

The picture changes to the DoubleMeat Palace logo, which is a creature that looks like a cross between a cow and a chicken.

Buffy stares at the screen, looking dismayed. Behind her, a man in the red-striped uniform goes over to the wall and turns on the light. He turns to Buffy. He wears thick glasses with ugly black frames. He is Manny The Manager and this is his office.

MANNY: Interesting, isn't it?
BUFFY: (fake smile) Oh yes! Like how the cow and the chicken come together even though they've never met. It's like Sleepless in Seattle if, (Manny turning off the TV) if Meg and Tom were, like, minced.

Buffy smiles at Manny. He is completely humorless.

MANNY: I'm Manny the manager. It's not a joke, it's just my name.
BUFFY: Right. Y-you mentioned that a couple of times when I filled out the application.
MANNY: Why do you want to work here, Buffy? You seem like a sharp young woman, and there are a lot of other jobs.
BUFFY: Well, I-I kinda need money pretty quickly, like, today, and, and so I didn't want to go through a lengthy interview process, and I figured this was probably the fastest... way... to...

She pauses as she catches sight of Manny's stern face.

BUFFY: Be...cause I ... wanted to be part of the DoubleMeat experience?

Manny smiles and nods.

MANNY: Come on, let's take a tour.

Cut to the adjoining employee lounge. Manny leads Buffy over to a table where two men sit staring at nothing. A row of lockers is in the background.

MANNY: Philip, Timothy, this is Buffy. She's going to work the counter.
BUFFY: Hi.
PHILIP: (to Manny) What happened to the other one? Catherine?
MANNY: Emily?
PHILIP: Yeah.
TIMOTHY: She's gone.

Weird horror-movie shot of Timothy from above, with Buffy in the background. Timothy continues staring blankly in front of him.

BUFFY: What happened?
TIMOTHY: Whatever always happens.

Manny opens a locker labeled "Vacant." It's full of clothing.

MANNY: (turns) You can use this one.
BUFFY: Uh ... there's, there's someone's stuff in there.
MANNY: They must have left it. You can toss it, or keep what you want.
BUFFY: Sure they're not coming back?
MANNY: We have a lot of turnover here.

Manny starts to walk away as Buffy follows. He pauses, points at Philip and Timothy who are still staring vacantly.

MANNY: Watch these two. (continues walking)
BUFFY: (follows) Are they gonna do something?
MANNY: They're solid. Follow their example and you won't go wrong.

He stops walking next to a wall.

MANNY: They're lifers.
BUFFY: Lifers?
MANNY: In it for life. Like me. You wanna get something out of this, Buffy? You'll do the same. You put the work in, and ten years from now, you'll be where I am.

He points at his chest. Close shot on a round blue button pinned to his shirt with "10 Years" on it.

MANNY: I promise you.

Buffy doesn't look excited by the idea.

Manny turns to the wall where a time clock is mounted next to a rack full of cards. He removes a card and inserts it into the clock, then removes it and hands it to Buffy.

MANNY: Congratulations. You're on the clock.

Buffy looks at her time-card, still not thrilled.

Cut to the kitchen. Various employees wearing the red-and-white striped uniform are moving around preparing food. Manny and Buffy enter.

MANNY: This is the kitchen. The beating heart of the DoubleMeat Palace.

Buffy looks around, spots a young woman using a Hobart to slice some sort of meat. The round slices fall into the hopper below. The woman stares vacantly ahead of her. Buffy walks closer.

BUFFY: Wow. They're all so ... identical.
MANNY: Yeah. They all start to look the same to me too.
BUFFY: Oh, no, not the employees, the, the chicken slices.

Zoom in slowly on the bottom of the Hobart as the chicken slices continue to fall out, one by one.

Zoom in slowly on Buffy's face as she stares at it, mesmerized.

Zoom in closer on the chicken slices.

Buffy snaps out of it as we hear a man's voice in the background.

MAN: Uh yeah, Medley meal number 2, uh, double-size it...
MANNY: (pointing) Drive-through station's over there. High pressure job, you won't need to go in there. (pointing around) Over there's the grills, the fryers, the walk-in freezer...

Buffy looks in the direction he indicated the freezer. She begins to walk that way.

MANNY: (alarmed) You don't need to go in there either! (follows her)

Buffy goes over to a filing cabinet. On top of it is a large plastic jug marked "Dehydrated Pickles."

MANNY: That's the dehydrated pickle storage. (Buffy trying to open the filing cabinet) Those are locked!

Buffy looks at him.

MANNY: Now I want to show you this.

He turns and walks off. Buffy follows.

Manny leads her to a rack where a lot of paper-wrapped sandwiches are sitting. He picks one up and begins to unwrap it.

MANNY: Look. The DoubleMeat Medley.

He unwraps it with a flourish, revealing a perfect-looking sandwich in a hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, etc.

BUFFY: Oh, I know the Medley! It's just, uh, the video was ... kind of graphic, with the slaughter. (wrinkling her nose)
MANNY: (gesturing at the sandwich with his other hand) The classic double-decker with a twist. A pure beefy patty above the mid-bun ... and a slice of processed chicken product below the mid-bun. Plus pickles, and the secret ingredient. (holds it out toward Buffy) Eat it.
BUFFY: Oh, you know, I had a-a big breakfast. I'll just wait for...

Manny holds it out and gives her a look. Buffy inhales deeply and gives a fake smile.

BUFFY: Uh ... but it smells so good.

She takes the sandwich in both hands and takes a bite.

BUFFY: Mm. (mouth full) So, what *is* your secret ingredient?
MANNY: It's a meat process.

Buffy looks uncertain, swallows hard.

MANNY: Now I think it's time to start earning your money, don't you, Buffy?
BUFFY: (smiling nervously) Mm-hmm.

Cut to the counter. Buffy stands beside a tall young man who is working the cash register.

BUFFY: So ... what's the deal with Manny the manager? If I ask him really nice can I write a children's book called that?
GARY: (hands her an empty paper cup) Fill this while I get the fries. (turns away)
BUFFY: (looking at cup) Fill this? I didn't know there was gonna be drug testing on this job.
GARY: (laughs) You're funny. (stops smiling) You better stop that.
BUFFY: (filling the cup at a soda dispenser) Why?
GARY: Productivity. One of Manny's watch-words. 'Levity is the time-thief that picks the pocket of the company.'
BUFFY: I prefer the one that goes, 'Manny's a humorless dolt who picks the pocket of he-should-bite-me.'
GARY: (sighs) You really need to be quiet with that.

Gary picks up the tray with the fries and soda and hands it to the customer.

GARY: Here you go.
CUSTOMER: Thanks.

The customer leaves and another customer comes up, an elderly lady wearing a bushy gray wig.

WIG LADY: I'd like a small coffee, and cherry pie.

Shot of the cash register as Gary pushes buttons. The buttons all have pictures of food on them.

GARY: That's a dollar ninety-two, ma'am.
BUFFY: (staring) You hit so many buttons, it's like, button-palooza.
GARY: No, it's easy, I - look.

The old lady is digging money out of her purse as Gary shows Buffy the buttons.

GARY: There are little pictures of the food on the buttons. (shot of his finger pointing at the buttons) I hit the coffee button, then I hit the small button. And then cherry pie. There's a picture of a little fried pie.
BUFFY: Uh-huh.

The old lady hands over her money.

GARY: Then, I hit the total button... (putting the money away) I put the money in the drawer, I close it, and it resets the system. A cocker spaniel could do it. (looks at the customers) Here, why don't you take the next one, the family? They're regulars.

Gary moves away. Buffy moves behind the cash register.

BUFFY: (to wig lady) Hi. I'm new.
WIG LADY: (smiling) I come here every day.
BUFFY: (smiling) That's nice.
WIG LADY: Oh, you really might make it, dear. Not like some of them, where suddenly you never see them again. I can see you here a long time.
BUFFY: (fake smile) That's great.

Gary returns with the food.

WIG LADY: Thank you.

She takes it and moves away. The family moves up: father, mother, and three kids.

BUFFY: Hi. Welcome to the DoubleMeat Palace, may I help you?
FATHER: Yeah. We need two Number Four Medley Meals, a junior Medley, a Fisherman's Medley with bacon, and a kid's meal. Plus three fries, a chocolatey shake, and extra pickles on one of the Medleys.

Spooky music. Buffy looks at the cash register in alarm. Zoom in on the cash register with its bewildering array of buttons.

Zoom in on Buffy's anxious face.

Pan across the row of buttons.

Buffy stares at the buttons, then looks at the customer.

BUFFY: Excuse me. Um, this button. (pointing) Does it look chocolatey to you?

Cut to later. Pan across the interior of the restaurant with various people sitting in the plastic booths eating. Buffy sits at one of the booths, alone, eating a Medley. She sighs.

Fade to later. Buffy walks slowly through the kitchen area and over to the freezer door, looking around. No one else is visible. She opens the freezer door. Inside the walk-in freezer we see a tall rack of shelves laden with boxes of frozen meat(?).

Buffy closes the door, revealing Manny watching her. She jumps.

MANNY: You don't need to be in there.
BUFFY: (nervous) Sorry. I was just curious.
MANNY: Curiosity killed the cat. (moves away)
BUFFY: (to herself) Theory number five. Cat burgers.

Cut to later. Pan across several employees mechanically doing their jobs. Buffy is working the counter. A couple of customers move aside, revealing Anya and Dawn.

DAWN: (smiling) Hey Buffy!
ANYA: We're here to support your subsistence-level employment. Bravo.

We see Xander and Willow are there as well.

BUFFY: (smiling) Thank you. This is cool of you guys.
XANDER: So, Buff, how's it going?
BUFFY: I don't know. I-I've waitressed before, but ... this is different.
DAWN: (frowns) Uh, when have you waitressed?
BUFFY: That summer in L.A. It was a diner, and ... we had, you know, lots of people who didn't tip, (Willow playing with the straws in the straw dispenser) and funny funny health code violations ... but ... it, it wasn't like it is here. (quietly) I think there's something wrong, here. W-Will, are you okay?
WILLOW: Uh, sorry, I, uh... (puts the straws back) Yeah, uh ... something's wrong?

The Scoobies lean closer to hear Buffy.

BUFFY: There's, there's this manager, right, and he's all scary and mysterious, you know? And then there's the secret ingredient. And, (even quieter) and the people that work here? They're, they're kind of strange, you know? They just ... just stare into space ... plus they disappear.
ANYA: Disappear poof?
BUFFY: No, not poof. Well, I don't think so.
XANDER: It's fast food. I have swum these murky waters, my friend. There's the assorted creepiness, there's staring, there's the enthusiastic not showing up at all. I think you're seeing demons where there's just life.
BUFFY: I, I didn't say demons. It's just a vibe. I mean, you guys still haven't seen this manager.
ANYA: Well, isn't that him over there, getting the pickles wet?

Long shot of Manny doing something with the jug of dehydrated pickles.

XANDER: Yeah, with the saddle shoes... (close shot on Manny's feet)
WILLOW: ...and the glasses?
BUFFY: I don't know. Maybe it's just the video that's freakin' me out. (wrinkling her nose) With the cow, and the chicken, all swirly together. (Willow making an "ew" face)
XANDER: Mm, make me hungry, why don't you? (looking up at the menu board) How's about one of those delicious Medley Meals?
BUFFY: Okay, you got it. On me. (moves away)
XANDER: Hey, thanks! (to the others) See, I think she'll be fine once she settles into the routine. And by ordering, I'm helping.
DAWN: And getting a free meal?
XANDER: Well, yeah.
ANYA: Well, if you like the food here, honey, maybe we should get it for the reception.
DAWN: You're serving burgers? (Anya nods) Cool!
ANYA: Well, time is running very short. After Willow gave us the 'whoosh' engagement party, I got slack on the planning 'cause I figured she'd help, but, well, now that's all been blown to hell.
WILLOW: Hey, standing right here! Standing right exactly here.
ANYA: Sorry. Didn't mean to tempt you.

Willow and Xander roll their eyes.

ANYA: (whispers to Dawn) Everyone's so delicate. (normal voice) Anyway, I still have to select the bridesmaids' dresses, and, well, then there are the guests from out of town and the ones from the demon realm -- you wouldn't believe how many of them have yet to let us know either way.

Buffy returns with a tray.

BUFFY: There you go, and I double-sized it for ya.
XANDER: Oh, thank you!

Xander unwraps the burger and takes a big bite.

BUFFY: And cut way back on the cat.
XANDER: (mouth full) Cat?!
BUFFY: Just kidding. (Xander gives a sarcastic laugh) Probably.

Cut to later. Exterior shot of the DoubleMeat Palace, night.
Cut to inside. There are a few customers sitting and eating. Gary is clearing trash off the tables.

Buffy is leaning on the cash register looking bored. Behind her we see an older woman employee just standing and staring into space.

BUFFY: (to herself) Sloooow night.

Buffy looks over at the woman, sighs, walks over and tugs the woman's sleeve.

BUFFY: Gina.

Gina slowly turns to Buffy -- not her head, but her entire body turns. Her expression is still blank. Buffy waves a hand in front of her face.

BUFFY: (taking off her cap) Since it's slow, do you think they'll mind if I take another break?
GINA: We're not allowed. Downtime robs us all.
BUFFY: Mm, thus quoth Manny. There's no one here.
GINA: Sure there is. (indicating the counter) Look.

Buffy frowns, turns.

Reveal Spike standing by the counter, examining the menu board above.

BUFFY: This'll make my day complete. (sighs, walks over to the cash register) What?
SPIKE: What's in the DoubleMeat nuggets?
BUFFY: I'm working. Go away.
SPIKE: Yeah, and you chose to be in the consumer service profession, and I'm a consumer. (smirking) Service me.
BUFFY: (not amused) Order something or go.
SPIKE: (sighs) Give a bloke a chance for his eyes to adjust. Damn fluorescent lights. Makes me look dead.

Buffy just makes an annoyed face.

SPIKE: Some demons love 'em. The way they vibrate makes the skin twitch. That the kinda demon you are, luv?
BUFFY: I am not a demon. I don't know why you can hit me, but (firmly) I am not a demon.
SPIKE: Oh. I see. That why you took this job? Prove something to yourself? A normal job for a normal girl? (shakes his head) Good way to drive yourself crazy, that is.
BUFFY: (shrugs) I'll be fine.

Spike leans forward, puts his hands on the counter.

SPIKE: Buffy.

She just stares at him.

SPIKE: You're not happy here.
BUFFY: (quietly) Please don't make this harder.
SPIKE: You don't belong here. You're something ... you're better than this.
BUFFY: I need the money.
SPIKE: I can get money. (gestures with his head) Walk with me now, come on.
BUFFY: I ... I need to go help Gary with the fries.

She turns to go but Spike grabs her arm.

SPIKE: You gotta get outta here, this place'll do stuff to you.

Buffy pulls free and walks away.

SPIKE: This place'll kill you!

Cut to the alley behind the DoubleMeat Palace. Camera angle from the point of view of someone hiding behind some trash cans. We see Gary come out the back door and begin doing something with the trash. He hears a noise, looks around, toward the camera.

GARY: Someone there?

Camera angle moves up as from the POV of someone coming out from hiding. Gary's face shows recognition.

GARY: Oh, hi, what are you doing? What, what-

Camera angle moves closer as Gary suddenly begins to scream.

Close shot of his cap falling to the ground as screaming continues.
Blackout.


Act II

Open on exterior shot of the DoubleMeat Palace, day.

Cut to inside. Close shot on the time clock reading 9:00. We see Buffy standing behind Timothy as he punches in.

BUFFY: (sighs) Feels like I just left, you know?

Timothy turns slowly to look at her.

TIMOTHY: You came back. (punches his card)
BUFFY: (not thrilled) I came back.

Timothy moves away. Buffy takes down her time-card and punches it. She goes to walk off and finds Manny standing there. She jumps and gasps.

MANNY: Gary's gone.
BUFFY: Gary. Oh, the guy that helped me out at the counter yesterday?
MANNY: He didn't show up this morning.
BUFFY: Well, shift's just starting.
MANNY: He was supposed to unlock early this morning. Didn't show. Pull his card.
BUFFY: (frowns) Well, I'm, I'm sure, you know, he's just late. (removes Gary's card from the rack) He didn't seem like he was leaving.
MANNY: I'm moving Timothy to counter. You're on grill.
BUFFY: Me?
MANNY: I've been watching you.
BUFFY: B-but I-I don't know how to grill.
MANNY: (smiling) Just think. This is the last day you'll ever be able to say that.

Buffy looks displeased. She walks past him.

Cut to the grill. Buffy stands beside it as Philip is explaining how it works.

PHILIP: You put the beef on the grill, you hit the button, then it beeps. You flip the beef, hit the other button, then it beeps. You put it on the bun... (pauses, thinking) There's not a button for that.
BUFFY: Repeat until insane.

Close shot on the grill as Philip puts meat patties on it.

PHILIP: It eliminates variation. (pushes button) Every burger at every DoubleMeat Palace is the same. (Buffy looking at him) People don't like variation.
BUFFY: Got it. Variety is the spice of bad.
PHILIP: Mm.

Philip has his arms crossed, staring at the meat. Steam rises as the meat cooks.

BUFFY: So ... what's the secret ingredient?
PHILIP: (not taking his eyes off the grill) It's a meat process.
BUFFY: Well, what does that mean?
PHILIP: It's a process, they do it to the meat.
BUFFY: But, what *is* it?
PHILIP: It's just the name of the process.
BUFFY: (giving up) Oh. Yeah.

The grill beeps. Philip picks up a metal spatula and gives it to Buffy.

BUFFY: So, I ... guess we're gonna get ... kinda greasy, huh?
PHILIP: Mm.

Close shot on the grill as Buffy flips the burgers over.

PHILIP: Skin ... hair ... eyelashes ... nostrils...

Buffy makes a disgusted face.

PHILIP: ...inside your ears... (looks at Buffy) You wanna look inside my ears?
BUFFY: (very disgusted) No. No, that's okay.
PHILIP: Once I noticed I couldn't hear and went to the doctor. He said it was grease ... that made a plug.
BUFFY: (ew) Ohh.
PHILIP: Mm. They gave me a kit. Kit for cleaning my ears. (smiling) It's got this little bulb mechanism.
BUFFY: (fake smile) Imagine that.

Philip laughs, and Buffy tries to laugh too.

MANNY: (OS) Buffy?
BUFFY: Yay! It's Manny!

Relieved, she puts down her hat and goes over to Manny.

MANNY: You're working a double shift.
BUFFY: What? A...nother eight hours? Right after these eight hours? But that's ... (whining) so many hours.
MANNY: You get paid for it. Plus an extra free DoubleMeat Medley.
BUFFY: (pouting) What happened? Why the double shiftiness?
MANNY: Gary didn't show. And now one of my grinder guys is late too.
BUFFY: But they could still show up, right? I mean, they could be anywhere.

Suddenly a huge bag of meat is slammed down onto the table beside Buffy. She makes a face. We see it was Timothy who just arrived with the meat.

TIMOTHY: Your meat's here.

Cut to: Xander's apartment. Xander sits on the sofa, talking on the phone.

XANDER: Yeah, okay, bye. (hangs up, yells) Ahn, that was Buffy, she's working late, so I might have to go- yah!

Xander turns to see a woman standing in the middle of the room. She wears a long cape over a purple blouse and gray pants. Her face is all mottled and veiny (like Anya's in episode "The Wish"). Smoke or mist surrounds her. She holds out her arms.

HALFREK: (deep resonant voice) I have been called, and vengeance shall I wreak. (points at Xander) Cower, masculine one ... tremble as you face my wrath!

Anya enters from the other room, holding pen and paper.

ANYA: Xander, I'm starting to think that maybe we should do a pot-luck thing.
XANDER: Honey?

Anya turns to see where he's looking. She gasps.

HALFREK: (resonant voice) Hello. I am here to tear this man apart. (Anya smiling happily) How many pieces do you wish?
ANYA: Halfrek!
HALFREK: (normal woman's voice) Anyanka? Oh my god!

Both women squeal and giggle and hug.

ANYA: How are you, how are you?
XANDER: You two ... you know each other?
ANYA: Funny, Halfrek, I didn't summon you to kill Xander, I called to invite you to our wedding.
HALFREK: Y- Oh my ... what an embarrassing mistake! (Anya shows her the engagement ring) Oh my god, gorgeous!

They continue giggling. Xander stands up slowly.

XANDER: Wow, um, you two clearly have some catching up to do. So I'll, uh ... (gestures) I'll not be in the apartment.

They watch him leave.

ANYA: Gosh, it's swell to see you again, Hallie, I didn't mean to have you materialize all the way here, I mean, not-not till the ceremony, I mean.
HALFREK: I guess I got the message garbled. (laughs) You know how it is, half the time I have no idea if I'm maiming the right guy.

She giggles. Anya nods. They both look in the direction Xander went.

HALFREK: So, um ... you're marrying that man with the large upper arms?
ANYA: (smiling) Yes.
HALFREK: Why?
ANYA: Well, because I love him.
HALFREK: Hmm.
ANYA: Oh, we're gonna be very happy together.
HALFREK: Hmm.
ANYA: What?

Cut to the restaurant. Buffy lowers a basket of uncooked french fries into the vat of hot oil. It begins to bubble and sizzle.

Creepy horror-movie music. Buffy looks at another basket which is sitting above the oil. The oil underneath it bubbles wildly.

TIMOTHY: (OS) It's boiling with nothing in it. Sometimes it does that.

Shot of Timothy and Buffy standing side-by-side staring mesmerized at the boiling oil.

TIMOTHY: They say bugs fall in there. (pause) Oh, I'm back. You can go on your break now.

Buffy snaps out of it, turns to walk away. She catches sight of the window and stops.

Reveal Spike walking past outside the window, looking in at her. He stops walking to look at her.

Buffy takes off her cap and runs her hand through her hair, looking at Spike.

Spike resumes walking.

Cut to the alley. Buffy stands leaning her back against the wall as Spike stands pressed up against her with his hands on the wall beside her shoulders. Buffy has her hands on his upper arms. Spike is moving rhythmically against her (we see them only from the waist up). He moves his head as if to kiss her but she turns her face away. Spike continues to move as Buffy stares blankly off to the side. On the wall beside them hangs a poster with the word "Teamwork."

Cut to Willow's bedroom. Willow lies on her stomach on the bed, marking a book with a yellow highlighter. The door is open. We hear knocking.

WILLOW: Come in.

Amy appears in the doorway.

AMY: It's me. Dawn said I could come up.

Willow looks surprised. Amy comes into the room.

AMY: So, is she pissed at you too, or just me? (Willow doesn't reply) What did you tell her about me?

Willow stops highlighting, takes a few deep breaths before looking up at Amy.

WILLOW: D'you want something? (fidgeting nervously with her pen)
AMY: Um ... yeah ... actually. I mean, I, I don't, don't know if you wanted to keep it, or...

Amy looks to her left. Shot of the cage she lived in when she was a rat.

WILLOW: You want it? Really?
AMY: Well, yeah, you know, I mean ... it's not much, but it's home. Or it was. I don't know, I guess it's stupid, but...
WILLOW: No, i-it's not stupid. You can have it, of course.

Amy pauses, then sits down on the bed beside Willow.

AMY: Hey. So I hear you got this whole cold-turkey thing goin' on. (Willow nods) How's that going?
WILLOW: It's good. It's really good. I mean, i-it was hard at first ... frustrating ... doing everything the slow way. It was like, 'is everything gonna take forever, forever?'
AMY: (sympathetically) Yeah.
WILLOW: (still fiddling with pen) But, uh, it's better now. I'm ... getting my focus back.
AMY: Mm. I can see that.

Amy indicates Willow's book. We see that Willow has highlighted all the text on the entire page.

WILLOW: (defensively) It's a pivotal page. (sits up, closes book)
AMY: So this is it, huh? This is ... gonna be your life from now on?
WILLOW: What? (uncertainly) No.
AMY: Well, you're never gonna do it again. Ever. (gets up) You're never gonna ... feel how it made you feel.

Amy kneels to look at the rat cage.

WILLOW: Don't think that's the way to look at it.
AMY: Hey Will? It's your birthday. (stands up, picks up the cage)
WILLOW: Um, no it isn't. But now that you mention it, Buffy's is coming...
AMY: Potestas. (latin translation: "power" or "you have the power.")

Blue light shoots from Amy to Willow. Willow gets up quickly. Her eyes are all-black with magic, and little streams of blue magic crackle around her hands.

WILLOW: What? (looking at her hands)

Amy just watches.

Willow stares at her hands, turns and touches a vase on the bedside table. The vase peels away in sections like a flower.

She touches a lamp on the table and it sparkles and then disappears.

WILLOW: (alarmed) Amy...
AMY: (smiling) It's a gift. It's magic ... and it didn't come from you. It came from me. Completely legal. (pause) Enjoy.

Amy leaves, carrying the cage.

Willow stands there panting and looking anxiously at her hands.

Cut to: exterior shot of the DoubleMeat Palace, night.

Cut to inside. Close shot of ground meat extruding out of a grinder. Spooky hypnotic music.

Close shot of Buffy watching.

Overhead shot of the grinder with blades rotating and moving chunks of meat around with them.

Close shot of the hopper with the ground meat oozing out into it.

Suddenly Buffy crouches down and digs around in the ground meat with her hands. She finds a severed human finger, picks it up and looks at it.

Cut to Manny's office. He is hanging up a framed poster reading "Dedication." Buffy rushes in holding the finger.

BUFFY: Look! Look what I found under the meat grinder!
MANNY: Oh my god.
BUFFY: Wanna tell me what's going on?
MANNY: I'm not sure.
BUFFY: Try again.
MANNY: (nervous) Well... there was an accident, maybe six weeks ago, a grinder incident.
BUFFY: Right, but see, *this* isn't six weeks old. This, is new.
MANNY: It is? Oh... well, maybe Gary did come in this morning, or, I don't know, late last night, maybe there was an accident. Got himself to the hospital.
BUFFY: Right. Maybe he's in the hospital. (louder) Or maybe, he's in the grinder! Huh? Huh? Meat process, secret ingredient? Maybe, Gary's on the grill! Or maybe he's under the pickle chips!

She turns and runs off.

MANNY: Buffy. Buffy!

He follows her.

Cut to the kitchen. Buffy goes running through it and into the customer area.

BUFFY: (yells) Stop! Stop! Everyone, you have to stop! Stop eating!

She shoves a customer's tray so that it spills, grabs a burger from another customer's hand.

We see the family from earlier. The little boys begin to cry as Buffy grabs their food away from them.

BUFFY: No, you can't have this! It's not beef! It's people!

She continues to run through the restaurant shoving customers' trays off their tables and similar.

BUFFY: The DoubleMeat Medley is people!

Manny and Timothy run over and grab her, begin hauling her back toward the kitchen.

BUFFY: The meat layer is definitely people! It's people! It's people! Probably not the chickeny part. But who knows? Who! Knows!

The people stare at her. The old woman from before pushes to the front, holding up a half-eaten pie.

WIG LADY: What about the cherry pie?

Blackout.


Act III

Open on the same scene as Manny and Timothy have managed to wrestle Buffy back into the kitchen area. She shoves Timothy aside with one arm.

MANNY: What are you doing? I thought you were part of the team!

Buffy backhands Manny and he flies onto a counter, slides across it and onto the floor.

Philip rushes Buffy and she shoves him back with slayer-strength. He flies across the room.

Manny lies on the floor glaring up at Buffy.

MANNY: You are fired.

Buffy gives him an angry look and storms out.

Cut to Xander's apartment. Halfrek and Anya are drinking tea from delicate china cups.

HALFREK: Tell me more about Xander.
ANYA: You keep asking about him. Do you think I'm making a mistake?
HALFREK: Do you?
ANYA: Well, no! Xander, he... (ponders) He's very kind, and brave ... he has the sweetest smile and the nicest body, and ... he loves me. I mean, sometimes it isn't easy, but, he does.
HALFREK: Who told you that it isn't easy to love you?
ANYA: Well, you know, I'll do something, or say something, and, and then he has to say stuff like, (imitating Xander) 'it's incorrect for you to appreciate money so much,' or, or, 'Observe: here is how a real human would behave.'
HALFREK: Oh, so he corrects you?
ANYA: Well, no, it's just ... um ... well, no, I mean, now I'm all confused, I mean, wha, do you think there's something wrong with, with the way he treats me?
HALFREK: (shrugs) Do you?
ANYA: Okay, you have to stop doing that. I love Xander.
HALFREK: Even though he thinks he knows better than you?
ANYA: B-but he doesn't, he doesn't think that.
HALFREK: (quickly) Okay. I'm sorry. (small laugh) I was just curious. You know, you don't have to say another thing about it if you're not comfortable.
ANYA: B-but I am! I mean ... it's not like I'm hiding any deficiencies or anything.
HALFREK: Hmm.

Cut to close-up of Xander's face. He holds a bunch of playing cards and is staring at them.

XANDER: I have absolutely no threes. Go fish.

Close shot on a table with a pile of cards. A hand reaches to take a card from the pile. A paper-wrapped bundle lands on the table beside the cards.

Cut to wider shot and we see that we're in the magic shop. Buffy stands beside the table where Dawn and Xander are playing cards.

BUFFY: (hands on hips) I call an emergency meeting, and this is it? Where's Willow? Where's Anya?
DAWN: I-I couldn't find Willow. I knocked and knocked on her door.
XANDER: And Anya's entertaining a vengeance demon named Hallie. Say Buff, did you ever see Anya as a demon? 'Cause if that's it ... whoa.
BUFFY: There's something wrong at the DoubleMeat Palace. Really wrong.

She turns and walks over toward the counter. Dawn gets up and follows.

DAWN: Have you been demon-fighting? Is that why you smell funny?
BUFFY: No! I'm talking about...

Buffy pauses, sniffs her shirt, pulls some hair in front of her face and sniffs it, makes a face.

BUFFY: Ucch. That's great. That's, that's just great. I try to do the simplest thing in the world, get an ordinary job in a well-lit place, and look, I'm right back where I started. Blood and death and funky smells. (fiddling with something on the counter) Look. Look what I found near the grinder.

Close shot of the severed finger as Buffy removes some tissue paper that she had wrapped it in.

DAWN: (very heartfelt) Ew. (pause) Whose is it?
BUFFY: I don't know. It might be this guy named Gary, the only one in the whole place who didn't seem all brain-dead. He didn't show up this morning. Except now I think he was there the whole time. As the secret ingredient. We need to analyze that burger. We need to find out if it used to be people.

Xander turns from the table in alarm. We see that his mouth is full of burger.

XANDER: What?!

Buffy and Dawn turn to look at him. The empty burger wrapper is on the table beside him.

XANDER: (swallows) People?
BUFFY: Xander, you ate the burger?!
XANDER: (stands up, yells) Well, first you say it's cat, then you come in and hand me a burger, blah blah blah, five minutes later 'oh and by the way, it happens to be hot delicious human flesh'!
BUFFY: I needed that burger to analyze it. Now I'm gonna have to get another one.
XANDER: *That's* your problem with this scenario? You getting seconds?

The door jingles as Willow rushes in.

WILLOW: Late! Late, sorry, I ... I was reading for school, well, highlighting anyway. (quietly) Anyway, late.
XANDER: Yeah, you just (deep breath, gesturing at the empty wrapper) missed the Gary burger.
WILLOW: What are we doing? Let's jump right in. Did Xander say something about food?

Willow goes to put her purse on the table. She touches a pencil that's sitting on the table and it goes limp (as if the pencil had turned into rubber). Willow quickly picks it up and shoves it into her purse to hide it.

DAWN: You wouldn't want any. Apparently the DoubleMeat Medley is people.

Xander belches and puts his hand over his mouth. Willow looks at the burger wrapper in disgust.

WILLOW: Whoa. Bad.
BUFFY: I bet it's not even just this one time. Or even this one town. There are DoubleMeat Palaces all over California.
DAWN: (disgusted) I've eaten there a lot.
BUFFY: Well, everyone has! They've got the perfect deal. Everyone expects high turnover of the employees, they get the meat for nothing, and ... (pauses) And they have us disposing of the bodies! How sick is that? (Xander still looking disgusted) We need to bring down the whole corporation. Will, Xander ate the burger, is there any way for sure to figure out what it was?
WILLOW: Well, yeah, I can start analyzing it with science, not ... I can use science. (to Xander) You ate it?

Xander puts up his hand as if to say 'I don't want to talk about it.'

DAWN: Um, we have the wrapper. There's little scribbles of meat on the wrapper. (Willow nods)
BUFFY: (picking up her jacket) Okay, good, you guys get working on that. It's after closing, so I'm gonna go there and see what I can find out. (leaves)
WILLOW: (breathing heavily) Cool, you go. We'll be good.

Willow looks a little shaky but she goes to the table and starts setting up. Dawn walks over.

DAWN: Are you okay?
WILLOW: I'm just worried about Buffy.

Cut to exterior shot of the DoubleMeat Palace, all dark for the night.
WILLOW VOICEOVER: She could be walking into anything.

Cut to inside. Buffy walks slowly through the dark restaurant.

She opens the door to the walk-in freezer and walks in, looking around. The door begins to swing shut behind her. She grabs it just before it locks her in. She leaves the freezer.

Cut to the meat grinder. Buffy touches one of the blades, then looks at her fingers and sniffs them. She crouches down to look at the opening where the ground meat comes out.

Metallic noise from behind. Buffy turns, frowns.

BUFFY: Manny?

She gets up, starts walking in that direction. Suddenly she falls down out of shot.

BUFFY: (OS) Ohh. Manny?

She stands up again, back into the shot, holding a shoe with a severed foot in it. The ankle stump is bloody. The shoes are the style Manny was wearing earlier. Buffy wrinkles her nose.

BUFFY: Guess you really were a lifer.

Cut to the magic shop. Dawn and Xander sit at the counter in background. In foreground we see Willow with a microscope and a bunch of test-tubes arrayed in front of her. Several of the test tubes hold yellow or orange liquid. Willow holds a beaker of green liquid.

WILLOW: (whispers) Don't need magic. Don't need it. Don't need it.

She pours the green liquid into some of the test tubes.

Pan over to Dawn and Xander.

DAWN: My friend Janice? Her sister's a lawyer.
XANDER: You think I should sue over the burger? That's interesting.
DAWN: No, I just mean... (sighs) Buffy's never gonna be a lawyer, or a doctor. Anything big.
XANDER: She's a Slayer. She saves the whole world. That's way bigger.
DAWN: But that means she's gonna have like crap jobs her entire life, right? Minimum wage stuff. I mean, I could still grow up to be anything. But for her ... this is it.
XANDER: Okay, but maybe you'll be a lawyer or a doctor, and you can use all your money to support your deadbeat sister.
DAWN: (sarcastic) Oh, that's terrifically better. Thanks.
WILLOW: Hey, guys, I-I think I've got it.

Xander and Dawn get up, walk toward Willow.

XANDER: Good job, Will. Those aren't, like, potions, are they?
WILLOW: No, no potions. It's not magic, it's chemistry. You can tell by how damn slow it is.

Xander sits beside Willow as Dawn stands on her other side.

WILLOW: I made a solution that reacts to the proteins in human blood. So we're pretty close to knowing for certain.

Anya comes rushing in.

ANYA: (panting) I'm here! I'm here.
DAWN: We're doing chemistry.
ANYA: Oh. So sorry I hurried.
XANDER: Hey, did your friend have a good time? And then leave?
ANYA: (sullen) She's gone.
XANDER: So, Ahn, the way she looked, with ... the face... (nervous laugh) That wasn't what you used to look like, was it?
ANYA: Is there something wrong with that? I mean, did you think she was unattractive?
XANDER: Okay, is there any answer to that question that won't make you nuts?
ANYA: Halfrek was always considered to be a great beauty.
XANDER: Well, hon, she was a little... (Anya glaring) ...there was some veinyness.
WILLOW: Hold this. (hands something to Xander) Okay. If the solution reacts to the proteins, then I'll be able to see it. (quickly) I mean, I'll be able to look through the microscope and, and then see it. (bends over the microscope)
ANYA: (to Xander) It's not like you're so perfect either, what with your ... strangely large upper arms and your tendency to criticize.
XANDER: Huh?
DAWN: (to Willow) What do you see?
WILLOW: There's no reaction.
XANDER: Oh god, no! No reaction!
WILLOW: Which means it's not human.
XANDER: (upset) It's not human! (realizing) It's not human?
ANYA: Well, is it demony? I mean, maybe someone's ... you know, killing demons and using them as a cheap source of meat. I mean, we've all heard of that.

Dawn makes a very disgusted face to show that she hasn't heard of that until now.

ANYA: And by the way, I'm opposed to using demon meat, no matter how much money it saves. (to Xander) Does that surprise you?
XANDER: Again, I say 'huh?'
WILLOW: (still looking in microscope) No, I'm not sure what I'm seeing. Cellulose?

Shot of the slide on the microscope. Looks like a lot of brownish cells clinging together.

Willow pulls back from the eyepiece.

WILLOW: There's something weird here.

Cut back to the DoubleMeat Palace. Buffy walks slowly through the kitchen, still holding the severed foot. She sees something on a table.

BUFFY: Scalp?

She puts the foot down on the table and stares at the thing.

BUFFY: Wig! (picks it up) Wig lady?
WIG LADY: (OS) Oh dear.

Buffy turns to find the old lady standing behind her, bald.

WIG LADY: Wig lady, is that what they call me?

Buffy stares at her, frowning.

WIG LADY: I don't care for that. (takes a few steps closer) I mean, I have to do something to hide this.

A huge snake-like thing pushes its way out of the top of her bald head. Its eyes are her eyes, so it leaves her face eye-less and sagging. It has a round bald head and a toothy mouth with the eyes underneath the mouth. It extends to at least ten feet long, still connected to the old lady, and hovers in the air in front of Buffy's face. The face on the end of it squeals and suddenly squirts a mist at Buffy.

Buffy tries to get away but finds she can't move.

WIG LADY: It's paralyzing. Don't try to move, dear. You really can't, much.

The snake-head thing continues to squeal and move toward Buffy as she tries to back away.
Blackout.


Act IV

Open on the same scene. The Wig Lady stands there with the snake creature protruding from her head. Buffy manages to break free and jump to the side as the creature strikes out at her.

WIG LADY: The paralysis spreads upward, by the way. You may want to flail your arms a bit while you still can.

Buffy is struggling away slowly, gripping the counter for support. The Wig Lady follows.

WIG LADY: Did I tell you? You're my favorite.

We get a close shot of her face clearly showing that she has no eyes. Buffy glances back, continues trying to get away.

WIG LADY: DoubleMeat workers. You're all so full of DoubleMeat burgers, and you just slide down so smooth.

Buffy reaches the end of the counter she's leaning on, falls to the floor and tries to push herself back up.

WIG LADY: Oh, I just love the paralysis. It means I can eat you slowly.

The snake-head is right up in Buffy's face. Suddenly she hits it with something and it flies aside, squealing.

Buffy begins crawling along the floor, using mainly her arms.

Cut to outside. Willow walks up to the front door and tries to open it, but it's locked. She puts her hands against the glass and peers inside.

Cut back to inside. Buffy still pulling herself along the floor. Shot of the Wig Lady's feet walking toward her.

Buffy reaches the other side of a metal table/counter and sits up beside it, using her hands to pull her paralyzed legs up beside her. She grunts, then looks alarmed and tries to be quiet.

WIG LADY: I know you're under there.

The snake head squeals. Buffy cringes.

WILLOW: (OS) Buffy? Are you in there?

Buffy looks around as Willow's voice seems to come from nowhere, sounding tinny.

Cut to outside. Willow stands beside the drive-through ordering station, talking into the microphone.

WILLOW: I can't see you inside.

Cut back to inside. We see Buffy crouching behind a metal table with the Wig Lady on the other side.

Buffy looks alarmed, begins to move again, pulling herself along the floor beside the metal counter.

WILLOW: (OS) Buffy, if you're in there, the burger isn't people.

Suddenly the snake head comes between the sections of the counter and faces Buffy, squealing. She gasps and ducks down to slither underneath the bottom shelf.

Cut to outside. Willow is still talking.

WILLOW: They aren't even meat, it's all processed vegetables. Isn't that weird?

Cut to inside. Buffy pulls herself along underneath the tables/counters.

WILLOW: Buffy, there's more. Something happened today ... i-it wasn't my fault. It was Amy's fault, but I feel so bad about it.

Cut back to the kitchen. Buffy pokes her head out from under the table, looking around cautiously.

WILLOW (O.S.): It was Amy's power, but, but it felt like I was doing everything myself. And I couldn't stop. And now it's gone and I feel kinda shaky and ... like I, I need it ... Buffy?

Buffy looks around, doesn't see anything, begins to crawl out. Suddenly the Wig Lady appears, the snake head in Buffy's face again. She slides back underneath but the Wig Lady bends over and grabs Buffy's shoulders, hauls her out and onto her feet.

Then the lady just stands there as the snake head begins to bite at the shoulder of Buffy's jacket. Buffy gasps in pain, reaches behind her trying to find something on the counter that she can use as a weapon, but she only manages to push some stuff off onto the floor. The Wig Lady grabs Buffy again.

Cut to outside.

WILLOW: (alarmed) Buffy, something fell.

Cut back to inside. The Wig Lady shoves Buffy across the room. She bumps up against the meat grinder and her hand hits the red button. The grinder blades begin to whirl.

The snake head still has hold of Buffy's shoulder and is biting her. Buffy seems completely paralyzed.

Willow runs in.

WILLOW: Buffy!

The Wig Lady and the snake head both turn to look at Willow.

WIG LADY: Visitors! How nice.

The snake head spits its paralyzing liquid at Willow. She shrieks and jumps aside.

The Wig Lady and snake head turn back to Buffy. It resumes biting Buffy.

Suddenly Willow appears behind the Wig Lady.

WILLOW: Missed me.

She swings something, severing the snake body right above the Wig Lady's head. The snake mouth squeals and lets go of Buffy, leaving a bloody wound on her shoulder.

Buffy falls to the floor.

The Wig Lady groans and sways back and forth. We get a really nice disgusting shot of the severed stump on her head, oozing yellow liquid. The lady and the severed snake creature fall to the floor beside Buffy. The creature is still wriggling and squealing.

WILLOW: Buffy!

Buffy lifts her hand, holding a plastic butter knife. She stabs the snake with it. It continues to squeal.

Willow runs over and grabs the snake creature, wrestles it up and throws it into the grinder. All seems quiet for an instant, then the snake head reappears over the edge of the grinder compartment, squealing. Willow screams and shoves it back down into the grinder. Squealing noises die away, accompanied by disgusting squishy noises.

Willow leans down and helps Buffy up.

WILLOW: Buffy, are you all right?
BUFFY: Para...lyzed, but ... I think it's wearing off.
WILLOW: (smiling) I did it! I killed it, Buffy, look!

Shot of the inside of the grinder as the blades go round and round, chopping the gray-green creature into smaller bright green pieces with lots of yellowish blood. Very icky.

Buffy and Willow look, then look over to the part where the ground meat comes out. Ground-up green snake-meat starts oozing out.

BUFFY/WILLOW: Ewwwww.

Cut to: next day. Bright sunny morning. Amy walks down the sidewalk and up the walk to the Summers house, rings the doorbell.

Willow opens the door.

AMY: (cheerful) Hey.
WILLOW: (not moving aside) Amy.
AMY: Can I come in? My new place isn't set up, and I wanted to borrow some stuff like detergent.
WILLOW: You really can't.
AMY: I can't borrow detergent? Well, when they start calling me 'stinky Amy,' I'm just gonna say, 'hey, not my fault...'
WILLOW: I can't spend time with you anymore.
AMY: What?
WILLOW: You can't come in here again.
AMY: What's up, y-you didn't like your birthday present?
WILLOW: That's right.
AMY: You're telling me that you didn't have a genuine blast? Come on, that was a sweet spell. That was like a trip to Disneyland without the lines.
WILLOW: You don't get it. What you did to me was wrong. Do you have any idea how much harder that makes, just, everything?
AMY: You know what I notice? You're not denying that you had fun.
WILLOW: Shut up.
AMY: Oh, yeah. Sharp argument you got there. Were you on the debate team? I forget. I forgot a lot while you were failing to make me be not a rat.
WILLOW: Amy. If you really are my friend ... you better stay away from me. And if you really aren't...

Beat.

WILLOW: (meaningfully) ...you *better* stay away from me.

Amy looks surprised, but she turns and leaves. Willow goes back inside, closes the door.

Cut to: interior of the DoubleMeat Palace, employee lounge. Buffy walks in holding a bundle of folded clothing, walks over to the manager's office.

We see a woman taking down Manny's "Dedication" poster. Buffy knocks on the door.

LORRAINE: Yeah?
BUFFY: Hi. Uh, you must be the new manager. I-I'm Buffy Summers.
LORRAINE: I'm Lorraine Ross. They called me in when Manny did his disappearing act. You hear about that? Guy just disappeared.
BUFFY: Yeah. I think ... I think that used to happen a lot around here.
LORRAINE: Buffy Summers. I heard about you. Caused a big scene.
BUFFY: Oh, yeah. Practical jokes not really right for the workplace. I so get that now. Anyway, I just wanted to return my uniform. (hands it over)
LORRAINE: Oh. Most people don't even bother.

Buffy starts to leave, pauses and turns back.

BUFFY: The DoubleMeat Medley ... is vegetables?
LORRAINE: How do you know that?
BUFFY: So I guess it's true.
LORRAINE: Um, close the door? (Buffy does) Have a seat.

Lorraine sits at her desk and Buffy sits in the chair opposite.

LORRAINE: It's a formed and texturized vegetable-based meat-like product, suitable for grinding. It's blended with large amounts of rendered beef fat for flavor.
BUFFY: Wait, the secret ingredient in the beef is ... beef?
LORRAINE: Buffy. You know something powerful here, do you understand that? The DoubleMeat reputation is built on a foundation of ... well, meat. You can't spread this around.
BUFFY: I get that. (pauses to consider) It's a valuable secret, isn't it?
LORRAINE: Is there something you want?
BUFFY: I really need money.
LORRAINE: You want money?
BUFFY: No! Well, I mean, yes, but, but no, I ... well, I, I want to work. See, I-I have zero money coming in, and there are expenses, and by the time I interview for a new job and get hired and go through a training process, it... well, I'd ... I'd really like to not be fired anymore.
LORRAINE: (small smile) Well, I don't want any more practical jokes. I mean it.
BUFFY: I promise.
LORRAINE: Well, I'm a little short-handed right now, and you're already trained ... (smiles) I think you can not be fired.
BUFFY: (relieved) Thank you. That's, that's great. And I can do the job, I promise that too.
LORRAINE: I certainly hope so. I don't like short-timers, Buffy. I like people who *want* to be here. Maybe you didn't take this job seriously before, but from now on?

She points at the "5 years" pin on her uniform.

LORRAINE: See this? I want you to be shooting for this from here on out.

Buffy looks a little displeased by that, but resigned.

BUFFY: Right. Here on out.

She gives a small brave smile.
Blackout.
Executive Producers: Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon.
THE END

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