Santa Clarita Diet Season 1 Episode 5: Man Eat Man Recap


Today seems like a good day to get back to recapping the show about sentient, flesh-eating, undead realtors who live in the suburbs, doesn’t it? Between sweeps and the  crimes ethics violations antics of the current resident of the White House*, it’s been hard to find time for this show. Let’s see if they’ve solved their food shortage and health care issues yet. Those rare chronic illnesses that insurance won’t cover and doctors dismiss can be devastating for families in so many ways.

Abby enjoyed her ride on Rick’s bike in the last episode so much that she’s decided to try to fix up her dad’s old high school motorcycle. She finds it in the family storage unit, along with the body of the week in the freezer. Oops. Parenting mistake #212. You have to do a certain amount of baby-proofing, no matter how old your kids are.

Joel stakes out Principal Novak’s house until he leaves for work, then knocks on the door, hoping to find Novak’s Serbian-speaking grandmother at home. He’s in luck. Baka Novak answers the door, but she refuses the pastries he’s brought her as a bribe for translating the Serbian zombie posters. However, like all thrifty grandmothers everywhere, she see’s the value of a good empty box, and allows him to stay.

Baka Novak tells him the story that the posters depict. There was a village that was overcome with the undead. The entire village ate each other. Her father used to threaten to send her there if she didn’t behave. The second poster mentions a cure that comes from a rare book.

Joel looks into finding a copy of the book. He finds a mysterious internet character named Anton who claims to have it. Sheila tells him to take a day off from the realty business, because he seems a little tense.

Abby goes to Eric for advice about the dead body and the lying about the dead body. Eric puts it all in perspective for Abby, pointing out that her parents are just trying to protect her, and they usually do a better job than his mom. His mom is having an affair, instead of going to her spin class. She’s accidentally linked her cell phone to his computer, which is just as awkward as you’d imagine it to be. Let’s all go take a moment to check our device settings. For the children.

Eric doesn’t say anything to his mom because he doesn’t want to embarrass her. He knows she’s trying to protect him from her crappy marriage. They’re interrupted by Eric’s parents. When Dan hears Joel took the day off, he gets very interested.

Joel and Rick, his other cop neighbor, are getting high and jamming in Joel’s basement. Joel asks Rick to run a background check on someone for him. Dan shows up and makes some bad jokes. After Rick leaves, Dan uses Gary’s finger to blackmail Joel into being his friend. He’s already done a full investigation on the finger and Gary, and assumes that Joel killed Gary because he was having an affair with Sheila. Dan wants his new friend Joel to do a little murdering for him as well. Dan will be away for the weekend on a hunting/alibi trip while the murdering is accomplished.

Joel tells Sheila that Dan is blackmailing him to kill someone because he thinks Joel murdered Gary. Sheila’s pissed off that Dan’s such a misogynist that it doesn’t occur to him that Sheila might be the killer. Well, we already knew Dan had a lack of imagination. Dan wants them to kill a drug dealer/murderer who keeps getting off.

They discuss the merits of the murder for hire/blackmail scenario while driving home from the open house Sheila and Abby were working all afternoon. Sheila figures that she’s going to have to kill and eat someone anyway, why not let Dan funnel criminals their way? Joel likes being his own boss, choosing when and who to kill, and doesn’t like the blackmail aspect of the situation. Abby doesn’t get a voice in the argument. They send her out of the car to collect signs while they bicker.

Sheila argues for a division of labor, where Joel continues his research for the cure while she continues to procure food for herself, but Joel isn’t ready to let her take on that responsibility on her own. Sheila agrees in the end.

Abby, having listened to this discussion being carried on in metaphor and interrupted bits, tells Eric that the lying is killing her. She tumbles onto his bed with him to tell him. His brain is disengaged by having her so close and on his bed. Eric kisses her, and she jumps up in shock. They manage to work through it, with embarrassment, denial, and more metaphor. The metaphor also helps Abby with the issue she came into the room with. Eric is the MVP of this show. Truly an unsung hero. The entire Hammond family would be non-functional without the kid, and probably his own family, too.


Joel and Sheila carefully plan their first premeditated murder, then head off to the victim’s apartment. Tonight’s lucky winner is named Loki, and has a rap sheet as long as Sheila’s arm. The murder doesn’t go as planned, since Joel and Sheila don’t do a run through first to make sure they can get their plastic blood protection outfits on quickly and smoothly. Once they lose the element of surprise, Loki fights them off, and leaves the house. Sheila thinks she may have given Loki a small bite during the scuffle, though. Probably not. But maybe. But probably not.

If the vomit covered hotel room that Loki just died and came back to life in is anything to go by, she definitely broke the skin. We’ve got a second member of the undead on our hands.


Dan just keeps getting creepier and more sinister. Now he’s walking around with Gary’s finger, and it’s not even for a snack.

Lisa is in her own little illicit love bubble, and nothing is going to burst it. Yet.

Seriously, it’s no wonder Principal Novak has such a crush on Eric and wants him protected. He builds robots, he takes care of his mom, he’s an expert on the undead, disposing of evidence, and interpersonal relationships: is there anything he can’t do?

Having a giant bad guy who knows Joel and Sheila’s names and faces for a second zombie can’t be a good idea.


Sheila: Just relax. Don’t do anything. I’m dead. It can wait until tomorrow.

Eric: Today, Bob copied and pasted all of the lyrics to Stevie Wonder’s Part-Time Lover, which seems lazy and on the nose.

Joel: Dan found one of Gary’s fingers in our backyard. He thinks you and Gary were having an affair, and I found out and killed him.   Sheila: So Dan assumes you killed Gary. That’s sexist.

Joel: I don’t want to be Dan’s hired assassin. I’m just settling into being a real estate broker who kills people. And the only thing I like about that job is I get to be my own boss.


*He will never be referred to by official title on this blog. Not my reality.