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Photo: Saeed Adyani (Netflix)
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Now that Sheila and Joel have figured who she killed while blacking out the other night, it’s time to focus on the clams again, so Joel tracks down Ruby’s Clams while Sheila fishes for what Anne may be piecing together.

Ruby’s Clams turns out to be a lone woman in the desert growing clams in a huge garage. She buys Joel’s lie about wanting to get into clamming and shows him her operation, though she wants to show him some other stuff and it makes for some good clam innuendo. Anyway, her brother brought her back these red clams from a cave at the bottom of a lake in Serbia and 5000 of them are about to be shipped out to restaurants all over California.


The Hammonds take one to Eric to see how they might kill it and nothing works. Also, that is definitely not a normal clam inside. They decide fire will have to be it, so the plan is to steal all 5000 clams and take them to Color Me Mine where they can destroy them in the kiln (Sven happens to work at Color Me Mine).

Fortunately for them, a Deus Ex Rocket Launcher shows up in the form of the Ball-leg Knights, who have been tracking Joel’s movements. They incinerate the garage and almost take Ruby, Sheila, and Joel with it. But everyone makes it out alive because obviously, the big showdown between the Hammonds and the Knights is coming in the season finale. This all felt a little pat. We haven’t seen the Knights since the end of episode six and then all of a sudden they’re around to kill all the infected clams? Hmm. I wish the writers could have inserted just a little more with the Knights this season. I love all the Hammond family stuff, but they definitely could have trimmed a little fat here and there in order to flesh out the Knight storyline more.

Anyway, a little side plot this episode is that neighbor Rick knows that something serious is going on with Joel and his family, but Joel won’t confide in him, so they kind of break up. I typed in my notes “TELL HIM,” because I honestly think they could bring Rick in on the secret and he would be super helpful with Anne, who has now put even more pieces together, like how Boon is connected to Gary, and she is about to hand off her hunches to homicide.

Photo: Saeed Adyani (Netflix)

But Joel can’t bring himself to tell Rick. I hope that’s something they do in the finale. Having a new person involved would also spice up season three a bit (should there be a season three, please let there be a season three).


Finally, as all of this dramatic world-saving stuff happens, Abby and Eric are at odds because he bailed on her idea to blow up the fracking site. It’s painful to watch them snipe at each other, but they are both obviously very hurt and not sure what to do with that. Abby feels betrayed that Eric doesn’t have her back and Eric feels betrayed that Abby would pressure him to do something he doesn’t want to do. They manage to put that on hold for the sake of destroying the killer clams, but they definitely need to have a heart-to-heart talk about their feelings.

Speaking of which, Joel and Sheila have a wonderful talk while they steal Ruby’s clams about whose fault it is that Sheila is undead and has brought utter chaos and danger upon their family. Sheila blames herself for eating clams she thought were bad, while Joel blames himself because he got high instead of cooking dinner and that’s why they had to go out. It really explains a lot if Joel has been carrying that around all this time. Not that he wouldn’t have been a good husband and partner anyway, but he’s willing to go the extra mile for Sheila partially because he feels so guilty about playing a part in killing her. Aww, Joel!


But Sheila points out to him that they can play the blame game all the way back to the cavemen who domesticated wolves and really, it’s nobody’s fault. And it really isn’t, not unless Ruby knew what she was unleashing on the world (and it sounds like she did not). What’s interesting about this, though, is that obviously, the Knights are not going to kill Sheila because where would the show be then? So what’s the threat after that problem is disposed of? The clams are incinerated, Ruby wasn’t some kind of evil genius trying to cause a zombie apocalypse and the Knights won’t be hunting Sheila forever. Will next season be all about thwarting Anne? That doesn’t quite seem like enough to keep the plot moving forward, so I can’t wait to see what the finale sets up.

Stray Observations

  • Sarah Baker is the woman who plays Ruby. She was very funny on Go On, a gone-too-soon gem that aired on NBC a few years ago. Seriously, that show was excellent. It made me laugh and cry within the same scene all the time and is totally worth a watch if you have a little time. Baker also turned in an outstanding guest spot on Louie.
  • Ruby: “Whoa, slow down. You gotta put a clam in a hot bath before she opens up.”
  • Paul: “It’s her third baby, Marsha. A shower’s tacky.”
  • Rick: “You should question your assumptions, that’s the only way the world’s gonna change.”
  • Sheila: “No open flames. It’s brush-fire season and I’ve caused enough destruction in Santa Clarita without burning it down.”
  • Abby: “Please, please don’t tell anyone about my flirting.”
    Eric: “Don’t worry, I couldn’t even describe it.”
    Abby: “I deserve that.” Abby’s flirting attempt was amazing.
  • Ruby: “I’m comin’ for you, you clam-thieving motherf*ckers.”

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher's television heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."

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