Santa Clarita Diet Season 1 Episode 9: The Book! Recap


Things are getting a bit more intense this episode, as Joel and Sheila feel like Sheila’s time may be running out. Sheila and Abby spend the day doing mother-daughter stuff, like playing Raffi for a porn-loving biker, and Joel and Eric have a father-son day at the paranormal convention.

Joel interrupts Sheila as she’s packaging up delicious bags of Dan for her daily meals to tell her that he’s heard from Anton, the guy who claims to have the Serbian zombie cure book. Anton will be at the paranormal convention in Oxnard today, and is willing to meet them there.

But first, Sheila needs Joel to pop her eye back in more tightly. It’s been wandering around in the socket since it started jumping the night before. Joel girds his loins, and pops it in. We all need to accept the changes in our partners’ bodies as we age, even post-mortem.

Abby comes home, escorted by Rick, the cop from next door. One of his colleagues caught her running a stop sign while riding a motorcycle with no license or VIN, while wearing a leather jacket that says “pussy magnet.”

Rick gets distracted by the meat Sheila is packaging and insists he be invited over to share it whenever she cooks it up, hopefully for Korean BBQ. Rick is the anti-Dan. The motorcyle was obviously stolen/made from stolen parts, and Abby doesn’t have a license to drive a motorcycle. But he didn’t bother to investigate or charge her with anything. Then there are the murders happening right next door.

Joel and Sheila give Abby the required lecture after Rick leaves. Abby tells them she’s not sure she wants to go to college. Her parents agree that in this instance, it doesn’t matter what she wants. Abby grounds herself and goes to her room.

Sheila decides that she needs to spend some quality time with Abby. Recently, everything else has seemed more important than their daughter, and that needs to stop. As with any other chronic illness, it’s important to remember to have a life outside of the illness, and to make sure that everyone in the family is getting what they need, not just the person who is ill. It’s so easy to let being a zombie consume your life, and become the focus of the entire family. Look at how self-absorbed the zombies on The Walking Dead are.

Joel goes to Eric’s house to pick him up for the paranormal convention. Eric tells Joel that he knows how Dan died, but he’s glad Dan is gone. Lisa seems much happier now that Dan’s partner Anne is around the house all of the time, instead of Dan.

Lisa: “Dan’s partner Anne has been keeping me distracted. She comes like, all the time.”

Sheila and Abby intend to return the stolen borrowed bike, then go for tea at the cute little tea place. Travis’ brother is working at the chop shop, and is even more ignorant and rude than Travis. Plus he makes bad porn innuendo about Sheila and Abby. Sheila decides that he needs to give Abby back the money she paid Travis for bike repairs. He closes the door and doesn’t come back. Sheila changes their plans.

Sheila tries to talk to Abby about college while they search for a nonviolent way to force Travis’ brother out of his unit. Abby doesn’t want to go the conventional route with her life. They find her old Raffi CD and decide to play it outside the chop shop to drive Travis’ brother crazy. He ends up liking Raffi. It makes him happy. More porn innuendo. Mixing porn and Raffi is just wrong. It’s the last straw. Sheila’s ready to use the tear gas that Abby stole from Dan.

They climb up onto the roof, and count vents until they should be over the chop shop. They drop the tear gas in. Two guys run out of the unit next to the chop shop. Oops. The storage units have wonky ventilation. It’s no surprise that a business that allows all of these illegal uses started with sketchy construction.

Back in their own storage unit, Sheila tells Abby that she wants Abby to go to college so that she’ll be prepared for life when Sheila’s not there. Abby asks if she’s dying. Sheila tells Abby what’s been happening. They decide to go get tea after all.


Eric and Joel scope out the paranormal convention. Eric tries to teach Joel the ways of the nerd, but Joel, tall, good-looking high school quarterback, just can’t blend in. They spot Anton drawing a crowd. He tells the crowd about various conspiracies for a while, then someone asks about undead in Poland. After Anton responds, Joel asks about Serbia, and pushes to see the book. Anton says he doesn’t take the book out in public, but he does keep a digitized version on a flash drive around his neck. He accuses Joel of being with the government, which the crowd believes, even though Eric vouches for Joel, because Joel obviously doesn’t belong with the nerds.

Joel needs to get his hands on the flash drive. He and Eric argue about whether or not Joel should go straight to violence. The nerd who asked about the undead in Poland approaches Eric to ask about the posts he’s made on an undead board about a female undead subject. Eric tries to explain that he was hoping to find someone who could help, but Joel has a fit because Eric could have endangered Sheila by posting about her, and storms off to get the flash drive.

Anton is in the men’s room peeing. Joel tries to get him to stop peeing, but Anton can’t, so he just gives Joel the flash drive instead. It’s empty anyway. Anton made everything up. Joel makes him leave.

The nerd who approached Eric comes out of a stall and talks to Joel. He knows things about the undead that only people with experience know. He says that his boss wants to meet Sheila and might be able to help her. They never would have known about Sheila if Eric hadn’t posted. He gives Joel a card for Dr. Cora Wolf, necrobiologist.

When Joel comes out of the men’s room and finds Eric, Eric apologizes for posting about Sheila. Joel pretends to be a government agent loudly arresting Eric for knowing too many secrets, making him the coolest of the cool with the paranormal crowd. Joel did more for Eric as a father in this one day than Dan did in all the years they lived in the same house.

Back at home, Joel tells Sheila about his day. He realizes that he’s become someone different from who he used to be. Sheila says they’ll be different together. She’s all in on finding a cure. She wants to finish watching Abby grow up, and see the amazing person Abby becomes.

We cut to a shot of Dr Cora Wolf answering Joel’s call. It’s Portia de Rossi! She’s just created an undead rat. But can she cure undead rats and people?

Only one episode to go in this season.