BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

Doublemeat Palace

Feb 05 2009 03:34 am   #1Spikez_tart
Oh yeah - everyone has been waiting to discuss this episode.  So here goes.

This eppy takes me back to my dear old college days, working fast food, the boyfriend cruising by for a free dinner (unbeknownst to management), the burger broiler, the smell, the customers who insist you sing the jingle, the mop (ew), the special sauce, the attractive brown and orange polyester outfit, skating on the floor because its so greasy you couldn't pick up your feet without risking a skull fracture.  Did I mention the paycheck?  Well, let's not go there.

I always laugh at this stupid show, which shows how easy I am to entertain.  I loved the Soylent Green reference (It's People!) and Buffy's employee training.  The scene where Spike comes by to cheer Buffy up is very sweet.  They're actually talking like a real and loving couple there for a minute.  How does Spike know where to find her?  She must have told him about it, that's how!  Another conversation.

Let's face it.  This episode is thin, thin, thin. 

(My boyfriend froze one of the fried cherry pies to see how much grease penetrated the crispy crust.  Let's forget I mentioned it.  I'm glad to say that my husband would never do anything like that, or drink tomato juice while working in a blood lab either.)

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 05 2009 07:16 am   #2Guest
My first real job was at Auntie Anne's Pretzels in the mall. Worked there for 6 months, until they reduced my hours to 5/hrs per week once school started. (I had 12 available, heh.) Made it up to $5.15/hr back in the day....  I had this horrible anal manager that chewed me out just for humming to myself while I squeezed lemons in the back for lemonade. And one of the other managers left me along on the register on my first day - without register training! Thankfully, someone else arrived for their shift that could do it, and it was a very slow day, as I was alone for an hour hoping no one would drop by!

I'll never work food again. Ugh. I'd go back to telemarketing first.

CM
Feb 05 2009 02:30 pm   #3Guest
Somebody explain how Spike can tell sweetly tell Buffy that she's better than this job, then have sex with her standing in a dirty alley and she's not too good for that?

(I don't meant to offend anyone who has had sex outside or whatever, but they were behind a dumpster for crying out loud)
Feb 05 2009 03:45 pm   #4nmcil

Spike-Sex-Alley-Buffy-Sex/Dick Monster-Killing Job-Hot Alley Sex  -   GREAT BIG "I hate myself, I hate being alive, I hate having to find my way as "life in the adult world," I hate Spike, I hate all the ugly dark inner demons I see in myself, Hey, I can use Spike as a great sublimation for my life and everything that I hate about it and myself. 

I really hated how they use that dirty trashy alley sex scene to again reiterate the "Unwholesome Feeding Off Each Other" metaphor - especially, as you pointed out, his lines about how Buffy is better than all this. 

There are some really good things in this episode, and some really "doublemeat cheesy" stuff, like the Nice Old Lady Demon.  The Doublemeat Place makes an excellent symbol for Buffy's crawling my way back to life arc.  Nice use of Willow as the helping hand and rescue, makes a great contrast for where she ends up at the season's end. 

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 05 2009 07:59 pm   #5Scarlet Ibis
Somebody explain how Spike can tell sweetly tell Buffy that she's better than this job, then have sex with her standing in a dirty alley and she's not too good for that?
The long and short of it?  Sex isn't work.  Sex with Spike is pretty much Buffy's only reprieve.  Also, she'd been waiting for him.  She sees him through the window, gets this look of pretty much wanton desire as she fluffs her hair, then flees to the back to meet up with him. 

Also, is it just me or does she look slightly annoyed during?  He was going too slow perhaps?

How does Spike know where to find her? She must have told him about it, that's how!
I assume something along the lines of, "I won't be around so much anymore cause I found a job, finally.  Sure, it's at the DP, and we all know how much I loathe customer service, but it's money," followed by  telling him her work schedule. 
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 05 2009 10:02 pm   #6dampersandspoons
My favorite part of the episode, aside from the fact that fluorescent lights and Spike in vamp makeup are not a party, was that the old lady demon was a phallic symbol and metaphor for the scariness of discovering one's sexuality, something that was paralleled quite nicely in the alley.

Her sexual experiences before this were always so sweet and tender and *yawn* and now we have pure lust and need, to the point of doing it against a wall on a short break.  I've been there.  It's not that gross.  Well, a little.  But if it were with Spike, I could make an exception, is what I'm saying.

So yeah, we have all this tension and "hate" and "dirrtysex" and "more hate" and then what happens?  Willow, the lesbian, lops off the tip of the old lady's penis head and we all know what happens next.  Yet another tongue-and-cheek message.

I didn't think the episode was thin at all.  In fact, I think it was rich with messages and humor and drama and the restaurant itself was a character and who could ever hate someone who makes fun of capitalism and mass production?  Not I. 

I enjoyed it quite a bit!
Feb 05 2009 10:05 pm   #7dampersandspoons
Also, miss Scarlet Ibis, Tobias and his hair plugs make me crack up every time I see your icon!  My friends and I dressed up as the cast of Arrested Development two years ago for Halloween and my friend went as Tobias, with the hair plugs and Never Nude jean shorts.  HILARIOUS.
Feb 06 2009 12:45 am   #8Scarlet Ibis
But if it were with Spike, I could make an exception, is what I'm saying.
Yeah, she was clearly not grossed out by it, following him back there and all for that specific reason.  She only tells him to get lost when he told her she should quit.

I don't know that the old lady demon with the phallic like head thing was supposed to have any real symbolism.  I heard somewhere (maybe a DVD extra?) that it was just an unfortunate coincidence.  I mean really, most things are phallic like anyway--like the stake for instance.  No significance there.  Can't go piercing things in the heart with a circle.  You need the point.

And damper--you know they're doing a movie, right?  I was so excited, that I blue myself
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 06 2009 01:17 am   #9TammyDevil666
It's probably just me, but she looked really bored in that alley scene.  I never liked it, or this episode.  I think it may be one of the worst ones of the season, in my opinion.
When I say, "I love you," it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy.
Feb 06 2009 01:34 am   #10Scarlet Ibis
It's probably just me, but she looked really bored in that alley scene.
Yeah--bored/annoyed.  My personal opinion is because she thought he was going to slow, which I guess, is not her style.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 06 2009 02:18 am   #11Spikez_tart
The alley scene - there were some outtakes on Youtube where JW makes a bigger scene out of it and Buffy doesn't look so miserable when she runs out to the alley for Vampire Booty Call.  Sarah and James keep breaking up laughing.  And, the dumpster - gross.

Phallic symbols - Yes, rife in the Buffyverse and pretty much on purpose.  This wasn't the first snake demon rearing its ugly head - there was the fraternity demon in a basement, the demon in the sewer in Band Candy, the Mayor for those who prefer a really big demon, the multi snake demon that Spike fights so Dawn can get her bring my mother back from the dead egg, the demon snake Glory summons to find Dawn and probably some others reptile types.  Am I detecting a theme?  (And, I don't think they go for snake demons on Angel.  Hm.)

As for the stakes, there are other non-phallic ways to kill vampires and probably more effecient and less dangerous ways - holy water, sun light (what ever happened to Willow and Tara's mega sunlight ball?), a crossbow would still be phallicky, but at least a little less dangerous, and of course whacking their heads off with axes.  JW purposely chooses the stake the most often for the fun of having a cute little blonde girl schtup a big mean vampire with a phallically inspired stake, also so Buffy can get into lots of exciting fights and she can hide it in the back of those skin tight pants.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 07 2009 01:45 pm   #12sosa lola

- XANDER: Now I get Warren being the supervillainy type, but I thought Jonathan completely learned that lesson.

And we thought you learned your lesson about using magic irresponsibly in S2, Xander, but apparently, humans repeat their mistakes.

- 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.

God! I love Willow/Anya!! They're just so Xander/Spike, only gentler.

- 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.

Willow's tone reminds me of Halfrek's tone later. Both best friends are not happy about this marriage and try to increase Xander and Anya's doubts. Willow is showing Xander how much of a one-dimensional character is Anya; speaks of nothing but sex, money, and the grossness of her demon days. No one wants to live their rest of life listening to nothing but that. While Halfrek tries to show Anya that Xander tends to over-correct her behavior and way of talking, and no one likes being criticized all the time, we wanna be ourselves with our partners.

- Yay for Buffy finally getting a job and working seriously on keeping Dawn, she kinda reminds me of Xander in S4, it's probably karma for all the teasing she used to give the poor boy back in the day.

- Awww, so adorable for the Scoobies to show up and support Buffy on her first day, it's sweet to see Buffy smiling again.

- This episode is doing a good job showing how much Willow misses magic, first how she was in awe of the magic items she'd seen with the nerds, second when she'd spaced out in the Doublemeat Palace, and third her grumble later about how slow it is to work without using magic.

- XANDER: I think you're seeing demons where there's just life.

And life is the season's big bad

- 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.

Xander, I'm guessing Buffy was just being polite and she really needs the money. Just pay for the damn burger!

- 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.

Double LOL! You can't blame me for loving Anya and Willow! I also love when Xander comforted Willow afterwards, hee.

- ANYA: (whispers to Dawn) Everyone's so delicate.

I don't think you'd say that if Willow was being mean to you, Anya.

- I love Spike's genuine concern for Buffy, and him offering to get her the money, but I can't help think that he doesn’t understand. Spike sees Buffy as a demon and expects her to live like one, he doesn’t understand the pressures of real life, the pressure of having a sister to take care of as well as the need for money to buy food, clothes and keep the house. He expects Buffy to walk away with him because she's "better than that", but life is sadly unfair. So many people out there are "better than that" but they had to suck it up and work in lousy jobs to keep living, and that's what Buffy doing.

- XANDER: Yeah, okay, bye. (hangs up, yells) Ahn, that was Buffy, she's working late, so I might have to go- yah!
 
I think this answers the question about whether the Scoobies baby-sit Dawn or not. Apparently, they do when Buffy or Willow are busy. Unless Buffy doesn't trust Willow with Dawn yet, and relies on Xander now.

- HALFREK: You know how it is, half the time I have no idea if I'm maiming the right guy. (Halfrek giggles and Anya nods)

Sometimes I wonder about Anya's so called humanity.

- Poor Willow, trying so hard to be good and clean, but bad friends like Amy come in and ruin it for her. I wonder why Amy is acting this way. Is she upset about being a rat for years and blames Willow for not bringing her back sooner? Um, Amy, be thankful that Willow actually searched around for your rat self in that damn night and took care of you all these years when she didn't have to. After all, you're the one who turned yourself into a rat, it's not Willow's fault.

- 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.

Now here's another guy who doesn't understand. It makes me realize how girls think more rationally and wisely than guys. At least in this season. Spike who thinks of Buffy as a demon, therefore living by demon standards, Xander is thinking of her as a hero, therefore not needing a bright job to make her special, she already is.

- Good for Willow to stand up to Amy. And while I sympathize with Amy for losing three years of her life, I can't really blame Willow, it wasn't her fault Amy was a rat in the first place, and yet she'd taken her in, and took care of her throughout those three years, trying to find a spell to bring her back.

- I think Buffy is taking the easy way out by choosing to work at a fast-food restaurant. She could find another job, but she stuck around because it's easier to stay in this job… I guess. Or maybe other jobs needed a college diploma? But then, we've got Xander's construction job, which Buffy can do so well in. 

Feb 08 2009 09:14 pm   #13nmcil

It's probably just me, but she looked really bored in that alley scene.

Yeah--bored/annoyed. My personal opinion is because she thought he was going to slow, which I guess, is not her style.


For me this is the answer to their first scene - when Spike gives her the line about her choice to be in the service trade - they both are engaged in service to their destructive relationship - the visuals of the alley sex scene even has the "teamwork" graphic. For me, that is not the face of a woman having any pleasure from her connection, but one of a woman simply accepting the use of her body, and his as well, for some psychological need having nothing to do with affection. To me, even when she closes her eyes, it comes across more of acceptance of some form of intrusion than pleasure. With the pleasure that comes with Spike's body, also comes the price of facing very dark side of herself.

Why do so many viewers dislike this episode? is it because all the obvious metaphors or the Cherry Pie Old Lady Monster? I think it makes a good transition episode and I like the treatment for the Doublemeat Experience - maybe not the most original comedy, but it still works for me - and every time I see the Buffy-Philip grill scene, it totally creeps me out.

I think that this scene tells much about the episode - "murky waters" is a symbols of danger in the subconscious; troubles of the inner Buffy demons - put DMP together with her dreamscapes imagery of staking Spike in Dead Things and I think we have an excellent visualization of her mental state.


 

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

what I like so much about these lines that what she finds at the DMP is just all this creepiness - what could be more creepy than that scene at the grill talking with Philip - ears filled with grease and unable to hear.

It's a interesting ending with Buffy going back to her job, a miserable job even if it does give her immediate money relief and Willow taking a big step in turning Amy away and trying to stay off the magic. Plus we have the first real indications of Anya getting back into the Vengeance Demon role wearing that big gaudy necklace and sharing colors of clothing with Halfrek and the troubles with Xander.

Put together a collage of some of , IMO, important images - even to the symbols on t-shirts Buffy & Dawn wear - and Buffy wears a blue jacket like in Wrecked.  I don't the creative ever just put any images without connecting them to the episodes - just like you folks are careful and specific about your specific words as are visual artists with their visuals.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nmcil/3263670327/sizes/o/
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 08 2009 09:32 pm   #14Spikez_tart
Why do so many viewers dislike this episode? is it because all the obvious metaphors or the Cherry Pie Old Lady Monster? Too much like Real Life.  I worked at a similar establish decades ago and it still gives me the creeps.  (Although, I like this episode.) 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 08 2009 09:47 pm   #15Scarlet Ibis
Spike sees Buffy as a demon and expects her to live like one
I don't  think that's the case at all.  Spike just sees Buffy as better.

For me, that is not the face of a woman having any pleasure from her connection, but one of a woman simply accepting the use of her body, and his as well, for some psychological need having nothing to do with affection.
That's the thing though--by Spike going slow, it implies affection and tenderness.  Buffy pretty much rejects any form of tenderness from Spike.  She wants "dirty," aggressive sex from him, and he's not giving that.  Yes, it's an alley, but it's slow and tender in movement.  It's too much like someone who gives a damn, which Spike of course does.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 08 2009 10:10 pm   #16nmcil
He expects Buffy to walk away with him because she's "better than that", but life is sadly unfair. So many people out there are "better than that" but they had to suck it up and work in lousy jobs to keep living, and that's what Buffy doing.

This is true and millions upon millions of Real Life heroes do exactly this sacrifice when there are no other alternatives.  Thing with the Doublemeat Palace is that it makes a great metaphor for life eating away at Buffy, plus it works for the arcs of Willow and Xander as well - It's all the mundane and tearing away of the spirit that makes life and the economics of having to live in the adult world, no parental fall back position, that can make life so terrible. 

Buffy's  last scenes brings us back to her very immediate reasons for staying at the DMP - while Spike speaks truth to her, she can do better and this job killing her spirit, She needs the money.  Everything is so layered however, DMP and real life might be breaking her down, but Buffy, IMO, is the primary creator of her life at this point - and what a tragic and powerful conclusion this comes to in the next episode - you just have to love how Spike's theme of it's killing you or this place will kill you is  turned around in Buffy's dreamscapes and their alley scene in Dead Things -
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 09 2009 03:49 am   #17Spikez_tart
Spike sees Buffy as a demon and expects her to live like one - Nah, I think he sees the beautiful woman he loves working in a grease pit and wearing a hat with a cow on it and it breaks his heart. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 09 2009 10:58 am   #18nmcil
Spike sees Buffy as a demon and expects her to live like one - Nah, I think he sees the beautiful woman he loves working in a grease pit and wearing a hat with a cow on it and it breaks his heart.

Nicely put - I am of the opinion that all the theme of Spike trying to bring Buffy into his dark world is metaphor, the mirror world of Buffy's self identity confusion and trauma - I never really accepted that Spike wants to drag her into being in the dark - His love and attraction for Buffy is, IMO, his wanting to reach for some light into his past life of all darkness.  I think that it is Buffy's emotional needs that must see him as the representation and explanation/sublimation for her desire for him.  Spike may want her, or accept what she gives him in their dark world, but I don't believe that this is what his heart and love wants.  

The writers often use Spike's utterly poor choice of words and timing to bring a cold reality check and barrier to any love, understanding, and communication.  We have the instance of his totally stupid and wrong use of the lines about fucking and killing a Slayer in Smashed - We have his ill chosen words of calling her an animal primal sexual animal drive) in the only time we see them in a pleasant connection after sex in Dead Things and we have his "you belong in the dark with me" also in Dead Things.   These scenes always lead to Buffy immediate anger or bad reaction on her perceptions of self.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 09 2009 08:25 pm   #19Scarlet Ibis
Spike may want her, or accept what she gives him in their dark world, but I don't believe that this is what his heart and love wants.
Of course it isn't.  It's what Buffy wants.  It's Buffy who's making the distinction.  Spike not only changes from within--he was willing to change from without, but that is constantly rejected by Buffy.  In s5, like Anya of s4, he tries to assimilate.  He changes his dress, he tries to hang out iwth her friends and family, and becomes a gentleman.  That was viewed as "creepy."  S6, there is no longer a divide (not that the divide was all that great before) between him and her friends--they've had time to bond, and have become much more civil (this is mostly directed at Spike and Xander and Anya by default since she only disliked Spike in the topical sense initially simply because Xander didn't).  So if Buffy had wanted a relationship that involved dates at the Bronze or having Spike over for movie nights with her friends or whatever, it wouldn't have been a problem on Spike's end.  The ball just happened to be in her court, and she put the damn thing in the shade.

We have the instance of his totally stupid and wrong use of the lines about fucking and killing a Slayer in Smashed
He said that to see her reaction--she was only going to stay at the promise of more sex.  He laughs at her getting pissed off right after.

We have his ill chosen words of calling her an animal primal sexual animal drive) in the only time we see them in a pleasant connection after sex in Dead Things
I'll give you that one, though the scratches on his chest are very visible in the scene

and we have his "you belong in the dark with me" also in Dead Things.
I still maintain that was to get her off.  Not to mention the fact she was the one who headed up there in "the dark" all on her lonesome.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 09 2009 09:11 pm   #20Guest
Why do so many viewers dislike this episode?
 i freakin' love this eps. it's funny and heart wrenching (spike being his usual sweet self and buffy rejecting it) all at the same time. i'm not sure i agree that buffy HAD to stay at that job though. yeah she was hurting for money, but she's a smart, and if nothing else, phsyical talented girl. IMO, spike is completely right in telling her that she's better then that place( which by the by was super creepy). she could have easily gotten a job as a personal trainer or some type of fighting style teacher and made WAY more then that hell hole was paying. one thing i didn't quite get(which actually isn't seen til later eps.) is the hours she works. a place like that has to be open by at least ten, and she ALWAYS worked the late shift getting her home in the middle of then night or at the earliest 2000ish. that makes no sense. and side's if she was hurting so bad for money she could have easily had two jobs and still had time for patrolling and world saving stuff. without school i'm sure she had tons of time. sorry that just always bugged me. but on a happy end note. spike was SOOO hot in that purpley shirt when he's talking to her under the floresents. ....
legen
Feb 09 2009 09:20 pm   #21TammyDevil666
Well, don't know about the hours, but my God, totally agree about the shirt.  I think that was the hottest he's ever looked, in my opinion.
When I say, "I love you," it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy.
Feb 09 2009 11:00 pm   #22nmcil
This episodes makes a big issue of Spike speaking directly to Buffy in a very serious mode - when she tries to turn away from him as she has done so many other times, Spike grabs her arm and makes her listen to him.  Spike does not talk any silly sex innuendo shit to her, but speaks to her as adult to adult, equal to equal about her choice to stay in this situation.  But we have to remember that DMP stands in for plot device and metaphor, both for the symbol of Buffy's current life and mental state and, IMO, the symbol of her subconscious struggles which she places so much on Spike as a representation of her own self-image.   And I still think that there is so much left over Angel/Angelus unresolved issues that help make her relationship with Spike an impossible thing to accept and see with more realistic perceptions.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.