We Can't Kill People! is the second episode of the first season of Santa Clarita Diet, and the second episode overall. Victor Fresco served as writer and Ruben Fleischer served as director. The episode was officially released on Netflix on Friday, February 3, 2017.
The episode opens with Sheila and Joel in the middle of the desert, digging a giant hole to bury Gary's remains, which are stuffed inside a large tupperware container. The couple tries to carefully lug the container over to the hole, but they are having trouble, as Sheila misplaced the lid to the container and instead just used a thin piece of saran wrap as a replacement cover. Unfortunately, that idea didn't work too well, and as the pair starts to panic after seeing a car approaching, they accidentally spill Gary's body parts all over the ground, missing the hole entirely. Noticeably flustered, they bend down to the ground and start using their hands to scoop the blood and limbs into the hole as best they can.
Struggling to conceal everything in time, Joel and Sheila decide to get up and act like nothing is wrong as the unknown car pulls up. As soon as Joel sees the door open, he charges at the driver with a shovel in hand, only to discover that it's Eric Bemis, who took Abby to the desert after she discovered the smashed toaster oven in the backyard and blood on the lawn. Abby explains that she didn't know what was happening, so she used the tracker app on her phone to determine her parents' location, and asked Eric to take her there, prompting him to steal Dan's car to do so. Seeing the amount of blood spilled everywhere, Abby questions if they killed someone, and although Joel tries to lie at first, Sheila tells her the truth, explaining that Gary was a horrible man and did not listen to her words. Sheila says she feels terrible and makes it clear that she never wanted to get the family involved, but ultimately Joel and Abby have no choice but to be accepting of it.
Eric then starts to fill the hole with dirt, explaining that the less time spent at a crime scene, the better. He gives the family advice on covering up the murder and asks if Gary had a family. Sheila confirms that he just moved to Santa Clarita a week ago, and since she has the keys to his house, she and Joel go there to pack suitcases and make it appear that Gary left town. They also devise a plan to drive Gary's car to Burbank and leave it at the airport. As the couple drives home, Joel harps on Sheila to control her impulses, as they can't just go around killing people. He tells her that she should only eat chicken or beef from now on, and she agrees with his demand. He also says that they need to return the Range Rover, much to Sheila's dismay. Meanwhile, Eric gives Abby a solution that will eliminate any traces of blood, and Abby thanks him for all of his help. Joel and Sheila then begin spraying their yard with the chemical in the middle of the night, causing Dan to wake up and see them.
The next morning, Sheila wakes up to a call from her boss, Carl, who is angered that Gary has gone missing. Sheila immediately asks Joel why he didn't tell her that Gary stole the Peterson listing from them, and Joel passes it off by saying there was a lot going on. Sheila then explains that the same couple is going back to the Peterson house today, and with Gary not around, they can take over the listing again. Joel is excited about the good news, but admits that he might have even better news, revealing that he found a virologist online who might be able to figure out what's wrong with Sheila. Sheila suggests that he go see the virologist while she gets ready to show the Peterson house. However, Joel doesn't think that's the best idea, and argues that he will pick her up after he meets with the virologist, so they can go show the house together. Sheila gets offended that Joel doesn't trust her, but Joel justifies his distrust by explaining that Sheila did in fact buy a Range Rover and disembowel a man yesterday. Sheila then confesses that due to California state law, new cars cannot be returned, thus forcing them to keep the Range Rover. Although Joel is clearly distressed, Sheila assures him that they will sell the Peterson house together and figure everything out. Sheila then climbs on top of him and the couple start kissing, when suddenly Abby comes in the room and interrupts, explaining that Dan is in their backyard inspecting their grass.
As Joel runs outside to scope out the situation, Sheila makes sure that Abby is holding up okay after the events of last night. Abby confesses that she's dealing with everything fine, and Sheila promises her that she will only be eating packaged meats from now on, and that the family will go back to being normal, aside from this one little secret. Sheila then rushes outside with Joel, as Dan is kneeled down, sniffing their grass. Obviously suspicious, Dan explains to Joel that he saw him spraying his grass at 2:45 in the morning and wanted to see what the problem was. Joel lies and says that they have an ant infestation, while Sheila yells at Dan to mind his own business. Joel then escorts Dan off of his property, and explains that it isn't cool for him to trespass on their lawn like that. Dan, however, doesn't really care, and before leaving, he tells Joel that staying on top of an ant problem could prove to be overwhelming.
Later on, Joel goes to visit the virologist at City College. On his way to find Dr. Hasmedi's office, Joel has a brief confrontation with an orderly, who is giving him a hard time about why he wants to speak to Dr. Hasmedi. However, he eventually directs Joel where to go, and as Joel enters the doctor's office, he explains that he has a few questions about something that's happening to a friend and where he might go for help. He reveals that his "friend" has dry blood, only eats raw meat, and that they threw up an organ-like ball. He then reaches into his bag, whips out a ziploc bag containing the ball, and gives it to Dr. Hasmedi, confessing that he saved it in olive oil, as he didn't have any formaldehyde. Dr. Hasmedi then suggests calling in a co-worker for further help, and Joel says that would be great. At the same time, a starving Sheila raids the fridge for some meat to dine on, but upon eating it, she realizes that she now finds the taste unbearable and disgusting. Discouraged, she spits it out and goes to try a different kind, only to encounter an extremely displeasing smell, much to her dissatisfaction.
Meanwhile, Abby decides to ditch school, and as she's leaving, she runs into Eric in the hallway. He asks where she's going, and she explains that after what happened last night, school just seems so trivial, and that she craves something more exciting. Eric then decides to go with her, claiming that he has the perfect place to go.
Back at City College, Dr. Hasmedi's colleague, Dr. Hernandez, comes in to inspect the organ-like ball. She begins answering Joel's questions with more questions, until eventually Joel realizes that she's actually a psychiatrist and that the doctors think he's insane. Dr. Hernandez suggests that he be admitted to the fifth floor until they can figure out where the ball came from, but Joel immediately bolts out of the office. On his way out, he receives a phone call from Sheila, who asks how everything went with the virologist. He tells her they haven't heard about any outbreaks and that they might be chasing him. Sheila, however, changes the subject, and explains that Carl called and wants them to do the Peterson showing right now, to which Joel says he'll be there in 45 minutes. He asks Sheila if she ate yet, and Sheila lies to him, claiming that she isn't hungry.
Joel then arrives at the Peterson house with a bag full of raw meat, insisting that Sheila eat something. Sheila confesses to him that she can no longer eat meat anymore, and explains that ever since she tasted human flesh, even the thought of other meat repulses her. Joel tells her that they can't just start killing people, as their lives are finally getting back to normal. He proposes that maybe it's the freshness of the meat that satisfies her and suggests that she kill animals instead. Although she doesn't think it will work, she agrees to try anyway, but just then, the doorbell rings, interrupting their conversation. The Hammonds go to answer the door, and the buyers immediately ask about Gary, seemingly disappointed that he isn't there. They ask if Sheila is feeling okay, to which she responds that she's feeling great.
They continue on with the showing of the house, and the buyers seem happy with everything. However, Sheila impulsively snaps at them for touring the house four times without so much as making an offer, and the couple, now offended, explains that they are nervous about making such a huge investment. Sheila then goes on to tell the couple that change is inevitable and that when life is giving you a new truth, you have to accept it, secretly referring to Joel's denial about their current situation. Just then, they hear a loud rooster crow in the distance, which frustrates the buyers and turns them off to purchasing the house, so Joel, still panicked by Sheila's outburst, advises that Sheila go next door to check out where the sound is coming from. Sheila agrees, but first grabs a poncho from her car to prevent any blood from getting on her clothes. She then heads next door to chase the bird, and although she has trouble catching it at first, she finally is able to kill it.
We then see Eric and Abby again as they enter a comic book store. Abby seems hesitant about the idea, but Eric assures her that she will love it. Eric, obviously a regular visitor of the store, greets the owner, Bunchen, who is quick to remind him that they cannot look at a comic book for more than thirty seconds without buying it. They head over to the comics, and Eric asks Abby how she is feeling after witnessing her parents scrape half a dead man into a grave. Abby insists that she's fine, clearly annoyed that people keep asking her that. Eric then tries to explain that his home life also isn't the easiest, telling Abby how his parents separated, and after his dad left town, his mom married a total douchebag. Just then, a specific comic book catches Abby's eye. She picks up the book, which reads "Mombie" on the cover, and Eric immediately panics, trying to reassure Abby that the character in the book is nothing like Sheila. In that moment, things start to sink in for Abby, and she is visibly uneasy as she reads through the horrid details of the comic. Bunchen then yells at her to put the book down, as it has been more than thirty seconds, but a now provoked Abby grabs Bunchen by the throat and knocks him to the ground, telling him that she doesn't feel like following the rules. Bunchen, clearly scared, has a change of heart, and tells her to take all the time she needs.
Back at the Peterson house, Sheila returns to finish up the showing with Joel, where she tells the buyers that the rooster will no longer be a problem, and the two end up finally getting an offer on the listing. After the buyers leave, Sheila wants to celebrate, but Joel is hung up on whether or not Sheila was able to eat the rooster. She avoids telling him at first, because she wants him to be happy for a moment, but she eventually confesses, explaining that the rooster just didn't taste as good as Gary. Joel once again reiterates that they can't kill people, so Sheila suggests simply eating pieces of people and then letting them go. This gives Joel an idea, so he takes Sheila to the morgue at City College to see if they can obtain a dead body, or at least a piece of one. He speaks to the same orderly he saw earlier, offering him cash in exchange for a body, but the orderly tells them that a full body will cost $5,000 in cash, which the Hammonds cannot afford. Joel only has $400 on him, and in return the orderly provides him with a single foot. When they get back to the car, Sheila takes a huge bite out of the foot, but is repulsed by how old the flesh tastes and complains that it wreaks of chemicals. At this point, Joel begins to get upset and frustrated and snaps at Sheila to eat the foot anyway.
After the pair return home, Joel cuddles in bed with Sheila and apologizes for yelling at her in the car. She is understanding about it and admits that it's been a very stressful 24 hours. They discuss why and how this could be happening to Sheila, but they both have no idea what the problem is. Sheila expresses how hungry she is and how much she misses food, and a concerned Joel tells her that they're going to kill people so she can eat. She assures him that she can do it herself and that he doesn't need to get involved. However, he tells her that they've been together since high school, and he isn't going to abandon her now, especially when she needs him the most. They try to decide who to kill, but Abby knocks on the door and interrupts their conversation. Finally realizing the reality of the situation, Abby climbs into bed with her parents to seek comfort in the changes that are happening. They assure her that everything will be fine, and that things will return to normal soon enough.
- Ricardo Chavira as Dan Palmer
- Patton Oswalt as Dr. Charles Hasmedi
- John Gemberling as Bunchen
- Adam Rose as Orderly
- Nia Renee Hill as Leslie
- Scott Beehner as Bill
- Terry Walters as Mia
- Roxana Ortega as Dr. Hernandez
So Then a Bat or a Monkey • We Can't Kill People! • We Can Kill People • The Farting Sex Tourist • Man Eat Man • Attention to Detail • Strange or Just Inconsiderate? • How Much Vomit? • The Book! • Baka, Bile, and Baseball Bats