Joel Was Possessed: Santa Clarita Diet Ending Confirmed

Joel Was Possessed: Santa Clarita Diet Ending Confirmed

Thousands of fans were left thoroughly disappointed after the cancelling of Santa Clarita Diet. The quirky, unique, hilarious, gore-fest of a show starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant was cancelled by Netflix on April 26, 2019. This came after its third season due to a substantial drop in viewing numbers. To the horror of the numerous fans of this one-of-a-kind horror-comedy, the cancellation came at a critical point, which resulted in the show being left on a huge cliffhanger. However, thanks to a tweet by the show’s creator Victor Fresco, we now know what was happening in those final few moments.

SPOILER WARNING: This article will contain spoilers for Santa Clarita Diet including describing the final few minutes of the last episode.

santa clarita diet ending
Image Credit: Netflix Santa Clarita Diet

The Santa Clarita Diet Story Outline

In short, Santa Clarita Diet is the story of a suburban realtor couple going about their daily lives. Only one of them is a zombie. Okay, so she didn’t start out that way, but after falling ill in the most hilariously disgusting fashion, it is revealed that Sheila Hammond, the wife and partner of Joel Hammond, has died. Only she didn’t stay that way and was able to stand up and walk away as if nothing had happened.

What follows is a slew of hysterical, perplexing, and excessively gory events. All of this happens as Joel is running all around the city trying to find out what is causing his wife’s “illness” and whether there is anything that can be done to cure her.

sheila hammond
Image Credit: Santa Clarita Diet

Meanwhile, Sheila has found a new lease on life, as she becomes more and more driven by her id. No longer worrying about what people think, or worrying about much in general, Sheila brings a joyful, bubbly approach to the dilemma. Whereas Joel carries a constant, somewhat manic look of befuddlement and concern.

All of this is being witnessed by their rebellious, strong-willed 16-year-old daughter, Abby Hammond. Throughout Santa Clarita Diet Abby seemingly takes it in her stride that her mother is now undead, as revealed by the Hammonds’ 16-year-old, perpetually nervous, occult obsessed neighbour, Eric Bemis.

How Did Santa Clarita Diet End?

After three seasons Joel is able to uncover that Sheila’s condition is caused by a Serbian virus contracted from infected clams sold at a nearby restaurant and that there is a Serbian order looking to seek and destroy the undead. It is also revealed that there are multiple other undead within the town and that each one vomited up a small red fleshy ball during their change. Sheila was later shown by a fellow undead how the fleshy ball grows legs and acts as a pet to its host when left to develop in its own way.

This is where we get to the cliffhanger. With many many things having unfolded over the course of three seasons, we were left hanging. Sheila spent the majority of season two and all of season three asking Joel if he would let her bite him in order to pass on the virus. This way he would become undead just like her and they would be able to spend eternity together. Joel is not completely convinced, what with the murdering of other humans (even evil ones). So he kept sheila waiting whilst he made up his mind.

joel santa clarita diet
Image credit: Santa Clarita Diet

The Final Moments

Eventually, after a brush with death Joel decides he would prefer to be undead so that he could spend his life by Sheila’s side. However, immediately after making the decision, Sheila’s pet ball, affectionately named Mr. Ball Legs, decided that would be the perfect time to crawl into Joel’s head via his ear. The thing worth noting here is that shortly after the ball enters his head Joel said “Mama” in a very strange tone of voice. He then collapses to the ground. Joel is immediately bitten by Sheila in an attempt to save his life. Shortly after which his eyes spring open, he sees Sheila, smiles, and says “hello.”

So What Happened to Joel?

There is speculation amongst the Santa Clarita Diet fanbase as to what happened to Joel at this time. Could it be that Mr Ball Legs simply killed Joel in it’s attempt to communicate with Sheila? Or that it perhaps killed Joel out of spite? Could it be that Joel is now possessed by Mr. Ball Legs, and has not yet turned into a zombie himself? Up until now, the theories have been pure speculation. Since being cancelled the creators of the show have not given anything away. Perhaps in the hopes of another season being produced?

victor fresco

Fortunately, however, a tweet to the show’s creator Victor Fresco finally gave the answer we were all looking for. Having asked Fresco what exactly happened at the end of Santa Clarita Diet his response was unexpectedly candid!

Yes, Joel is Possessed by Mr. Ball Legs who at first makes him do his bidding… but then he and Sheila hunt bad people together and their love for each other goes on forever!

Such a lovely romantic notion for two people to live as zombies for all eternity! I think we all saw that Joel and Sheila’s love is unbreakable. So the revelation that their relationship would stay just as strong with Joel as a zombie is both wonderful to hear and unsurprising. However, it is fantastic to finally have confirmation from the man himself! The ending of Santa Clarita Diet was definitely the result of Mr. Ball Legs possessing Joel against his will. It’s just such a shame we won’t get to see all the wacky things Mr. Ball Legs was planning on making Joel do!



Eloise is a lifelong gamer, a studier of Ancient History and Archaeology, a pet care journalist, a new mother of one, and film studies graduate with a desire to pass on her own knowledge so that others may benefit from it.

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