A lunch lady comes up to bitch at Rose, who protests that she's just talking to a teacher. She mentions that the Doctor doesn't like the chips, and the lunch lady is offended: "The menu has been specifically designed by the headmaster to improve concentration and performance!" She tells Rose to get back to work, and leaves; Rose says something twice as true as she knows, as she's leaving: "See? This is me. The dinner lady." Did you think you were a superhero, Rose? The Doctor just grins and asks for dessert; she threatens to kill him, and goes back to the lunch line, the Doctor grinning after. (Which is to say: Companion Rose leaves her Doctor and returns to her rightful station, wearing the uniform of the commonplace, claiming it's all she is.)
Another creepy teacher, creepy Mr. Wagner, approaches a girl named Melissa and tells her that, since "Milo's failed" him, Melissa's being recruited to the top class. The Doctor watches absently, chewing his lunch. Milo, in a cut scene, suffered from Scanners disorder and died explosively, which is a bummer but covered nicely by the "failed" euphemism. That almost happened to my sister at her old college. Wagner turns to Kenny (a big kid you should keep your eye on) and tut-tuts him for not eating the chips. "I'm not allowed," says Kenny. Wagner peremptorily summons another boy, Luke, to the "extra class," and leaves with a bunch of children. Finch watches from above, and watches the Doctor watching them.
Rose dries trays in the kitchen, watching the creepy lunch ladies wheeling in a barrel of oil and treating it like toxic waste, all in masks and goggles and gloves, and the head lady telling them to be careful and not spill a drop. Rose's phone rings; it's Mickey. "What you got?"
Mickey sits in an internet café; on the wall behind him, it reads, "Because Friends Stick Together" -- which also appears on Mickey's website. Aww. He confirms through the Army records that there was massive UFO activity in the area three months ago: "Over forty sightings, lights in the sky, all of that." Going for photos or reference gets Mickey locked out ("TORCHWOOD - ACCESS DENIED" big and red and flashing).
Back in the kitchen, Rose tells Mickey that all the kitchen staff were replaced at the same time. She watches them acting nuts with another barrel of oil: "And this lot are weird." Mickey's proud: "I was right to call you home." Rose admits/hopes she thought maybe he just did it to get her home, and Mickey grins, shaking his head: "That's the last thing I'd do." Oh, let him be, Tennyson would say. Let him be, He loves to make parade of pain That with his piping he may gain The praise that comes to constancy. "Because every time I see you, an emergency just gets in the way..." One of the barrels in the kitchen tips over, soaking a lunch lady. Which is gross, and would make me scream like an alien lunch lady for sure -- but my skin wouldn't start smoking, I don't think. "I've gotta go," says Rose.