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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Santa Clarita Diet gets rid of that pesky Dan problem

Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix
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Not every episode of a TV show can be action packed, which is where Santa Clarita Diet’s “Attention To Detail” finds itself. It’s not a bad episode at all, but for me it didn’t quite gel as well as the two that came before it that were so top notch. It did, however, seemingly get rid of that pesky problem with Dan (Ricardo Chavira), which could go either way in terms of whether it’s a positive or negative step for the story arc.Time will tell.

Basically, Dan has another person for Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore) to kill—a sex trafficker, which seems like a perfect target, right? The lowest of the low. Except Bob (Ryan Hansen) is not a sex trafficker, he’s Dan’s wife Lisa’s (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) side piece. And he’s not a bad dude at all. He’s a pediatric oncologist. You can’t kill a guy for having an affair, but you certainly can’t kill a guy who treats cancer kids.


That’s a big strike one against Dan. Strike two comes when Eric (Skyler Gisondo) and Abby (Liv Hewson) find Dan’s stash of drugs and money, which he has presumably been helping himself to from police raids. That’s a big no-no, Dan. Strike three is when he continues to threaten Joel, saying Joel is his bitch and he’ll continue to kill people for Dan until Dan says otherwise. Three strikes and you’re out—literally, conked on the head with a shovel.

Without having seen the next episode, I’m assuming Dan is dead. That not only frees up the Hammonds and provides Sheila with more food, but maybe Lisa can settle down with her doctor lover and Eric can finally have the father figure he so desperately wants and deserves. Win-win-win! Also, more Ryan Hansen is never a bad thing, so while it seems like he’s probably a one-off guest star, it’d be cool if his character was recurring.

Speaking of Eric, he and Abby have managed to continue being friends after the kiss debacle, which is very sweet and also gives hope that she’ll eventually come around on how great her neighbor is.

There’s also this whole other plot about how Sheila lost her pen at Loki’s (DeObia Oparei) apartment—a pen with their realtor branding on it. But Joel retrieves said pen and that’s basically the end of that plot. Joel encountering Loki’s friends (and giant snake, shiver) is definitely a funny couple of scenes, but it’s also just a wheel-spinning plot to pad the episode. Viewers don’t get any real updates on Loki or the zombie problem.


Overall, not the strongest offering, but the final four episodes of the season should still be a lot of fun, because there are plenty of captivating storylines to explore.

Stray observations

  • It has been a little frustrating to watch Raylan Givens take it on the chin so much (though Olyphant is killing it), so it was delightful when Joel finally snapped and bashed Dan with the shovel. You stay frosty, Joel.
  • Can Eric rock a Kevin Bacon from Tremors hat or what? Somehow it made him even more adorable than he already is.
  • Commenters have pointed out that Loki may have become a zombie by transfer of blood with Sheila via the knife he stabbed her with. That actually makes a lot of sense. I felt like the show did so much to draw our attention to Sheila not being sure if she broke the skin that that was surely the way she transmitted the disease, but it may well have been the knife.
  • “I’m not doing cocaine, Abby. I just have a feeling I would be unbearable.” Eric’s sense of self-awareness is outstanding.
  • “No more doing things separately. From now on, we fuck things up together.” Awwww.
  • “Or I’ll just plant some evidence. I’m an L.A. sheriff’s deputy, it’s literally what we do.”

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