Crossing the Stream: Part 37 - "Santa Clarita Diet," Sn 1, Ep 8

Coming back to work and back to the routine after a long weekend found me with several false starts in the morning. I never really recovered, and the day got away quickly.

Holidays are no friends of mine when I'm trying to keep my portion control down. Traditionally, Memorial Day is a barbecue day for my family. I did not attend any barbecue, but I sure did kill a pot of spaghetti within that three-day weekend. Leftovers are potentially dangerous for me, because no one in my family eats them, and I have an unlimited supply.

I have not gone backwards as of yet. Thirty-four pounds down, I still don't feel anywhere near losing a size of clothes, but I do need a new belt. I switched belts about a month ago, then went back to my older one today. And now I'm on the very last notch. I haven't had a belt too big for me ever. So, that's a feeling. My shirt today was also a bit of an XXL tent on me. So I can't be far from dropping that first X off there.

And after a very long weekend, it was difficult to get back into the swing of thing. My elliptical ride was not too much of a fight, but it seemed to last forever. I was ravenous afterward, and made some questionable cafe decisions, but I hope tomorrow will put me back firmly into the routine.

And if it doesn't, I'll do it all again, anyway. That's the most significant part of this period.

"Santa Clarita Diet," Season 1, Episode 8 - "How Much Vomit?"

Okay, so I was right about some things, and I was wrong about some things. I like how this show insists on zagging whenever I get the notion it's going to zig.

A notable exception comes with Anne's continued presence in Dan's house. Making eyes (and bicep squeezes) with Lisa places her as the new sharp eyes for the Hammonds to avoid, and potentially improves on the Dan formula by replacing him with a quirkier, more likeable Deputy. You see it coming from a mile away, but it is a boon for Xxxx who plays Lisa. The show is slyly pivoting her character from boozy, unfaithful wife and embarrassing mom to a more subtle rendition of SNL's old "Lov-ahs" sketches with Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch. The selfishness is still there; Lisa's deranged lack of perspective about Dan's crimes (namely that he had a shit-ton of money lying around and still denied her a Michael Kors watch and a housekeeper) is a fun epilogue to the fact that literally no one misses Dan.

In the world of subverted expectations, however, it's lovely that Loki's change of personality is equal to Sheila's, but rather than becoming more assertive and voracious he becomes more chilled and lyrical. And when this gag solidified, I was so thankful that Sheila had someone to talk to about being undead. Then I was twice as thankful that Sheila was not tempted for a second to leave her life behind to join Loki.

"Did it take long to find me?" is the refrain on Loki's song in the club. That's cute, but ultimately it did take quite a while for the show to come back to him, and almost no time at all to find a way for nice, undead Loki to become villain enough to be dispatched and forgotten immediately. Funny enough, his death becomes laughably inconsequential as anything beyond the first successful killing that Sheila and Joel commit together. His unchecked pursuit of Sheila without any attempt to know her outside their mutual state just makes Joel's valiant attempt to recreate a memorable spaghetti dinner (using various pieces of Dan) all the more meaningful...and disgusting, but you know. Sweet.

Joel's determined to make it work, even without fully understanding her situation the way Loki does.When the time comes for Sheila to finally reveal that her body is deteriorating, it's on Joel to reassure her, rather than the other way around like she assumes.

Another subverted plot is that of Abby and Eric. While it looks like a real dud to have them conveniently get involved with a chop shop only two rows down from the Hammond family storage locker, Eric's purloined cash from Dan's stash leading directly to the scumbag biker shooting it all up his arm and OD'ing is probably the best way for the teens to come to terms with how logistically nightmarish and uncool the act of body disposal is. They come away with a new understanding of Sheila and Joel's new reality, along with a new badass vehicle and a a newfound trust with each other.

And speaking of newfound reality, wow did it strike me as particularly gross this episode. Watching Drew Barrymore fail to reattach her toe using hot glue, needle and thread, and eventually a nail and hammer, is pretty stomach churning. It would all go over the line if the show went more that a minute before such grotesquery gave way to more of the comedy of mundane detail. Joel and Sheila's mincing about their shopping trip and their inability to leave the store with just their list fulfilled is fun and paints a real piture of this marriage. As doe Joel whining about the water jetpack excursion.

And now, the only open plot thread concerns an internet conspiracy guy who might have a seventeenth century cure for what ails Sheila. Well...that will be...really over the top, probably.

Random Notes:

-"Can I at least lick the spoon? Give me something."

-If Sheila were to eat the heroin-flooded body of the biker, would it be tainted meat? Would she feel any ill effects? I mean, if a man who just ate pizza fulfills a pizza craving...

-My obsession for dates and details: March 27, 2000 marks the Hammonds' "Whazzzzup" sign and first house sale, and it likely would have been a turning point in their life together. Abby was born around a year later.

-"It wasn't easy, I puked twice. And I think we need to throw out the pasta maker. I left it to soak, but it's not looking good.
Did you try vinegar and baking soda? Because that's how I got Gary out of my shoes."

Rating: A-


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