Zombie shows, by definition, have a high body count. We've all gotten quite used to The Walking Dead killing off any characters it wants to. But when Santa Clarita Diet returns, cast and all, to Netflix for season 3 this week, will all our favorite characters be there too?
We definitely know that the main four stars — Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, and Skyler Gisondo — will be back. This season, Barrymore's undead real estate agent Sheila will continue to murder and eat the terrible people of Santa Clarita, while husband Joel (Olyphant), daughter Abby (Hewson), and neighbor Eric (Gisondo) help her cover her tracks. The big twist this season is that Sheila has asked Joel if she can turn him into a zombie too, so that he'll be immortal right along with her.
Because this is a Netflix show with seasons that are only 10 episodes long, the actors with recurring roles have been free to go off and pursue other gigs (like Nathan Fillion, who no longer voices Gary in season 3). That means good news for them is questionable news for Santa Clarita Diet fans. When last we left off, there were a whole lot of loose ends featuring those recurring characters: Is Gary choosing to live on? Will Anne start worshipping Sheila as God's instrument? Are Paul and Marsha going to hunt down Sheila?
Here's all we can tell you about new and returning cast of season 3.
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Drew Barrymore As Sheila
Character: Sheila, who is really relishing her life as a zombie now, especially every time she downs some fresh bad-guy flesh. She's still got to figure out how to control her rage without losing an eye, chewing off her own finger, or completely blacking out and going on a killing spree.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: This feels silly to write. Ever seen a little film called E.T.? Or Never Been Kissed? Her brilliant column for Refinery29? The producer/actress' next project is the movie The Stand-In, in which she plays an actress who hires her stand-in to sub for her for the unpleasant tasks of her life.
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Liv Hewson as Abby
Character: Abby, the confident teenager who decided to channel her frustration over the weirdness at home into becoming an ecoterrorist. Did she get that out of her system yet? Season 3 gives us a solid... maybe?
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Australian native Hewson's first big role was as a college student who is magically transported into a Korean soap opera in Dramaworld. Hewson (who uses they/them pronouns) is probably more recognizable from their parts in the movie Before I Fall and season 2 of Top of the Lake. We'll see them back on the big screen with some very big names (Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, etc) in Fair and Balanced, the upcoming movie about Roger Ailes and Fox News.
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Timothy Olyphant as Joel
Character: Joel, the admirably supportive husband who doesn't seem entirely sure he wants to transition into a zombie. That's not just a serious commitment, but also a rather dangerous one. We suspect Sheila needs rational mortals around her to keep her humanity intact, but there's big changes coming for Joel this season.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Olyphant's career started with some quintessential Gen X roles, including the murderous film student in Scream 2, a drug dealer in Go, and even a love interest for Carrie on Sex and the City. He went on to star as Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO's foul-mouthed Western Deadwood, which aired from 2004-2006. Law enforcement seemed to suit him, as he also played a deputy U.S. Marshall in Justified from 2010-2015. We'll see him next in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and that long-promised Deadwood movie.
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Skyler Gisondo As Eric
Character: Eric, who was swayed by a single kiss from longtime crush Abby to help her blow up a fracking facility. Something tells us there's very little he wouldn't do for her. (Something would be very, very right.)
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Gisondo has been acting since he was 6 years old, so you may have seen him guest star in everything from Drake & Josh to ER. He was Jennifer Lawrence's little brother on The Bill Engvall Show, and Emma Stone's little brother in The Amazing Spider-Man. He was then in Vacation, Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb, and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Next up, he is one of the lucky boys invited to the awesome party that is Olivia Wilde's Booksmart.
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Natalie Morales as Anne
Character: Anne Garcia, the very Christian detective whom we last saw kneeling down to Sheila. Will that sign from God (the fracking explosion) be enough to keep her quiet about her girlfriend's murdering neighbors? That's tough to know because things get complicated in season 2.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Morales is starring in her first lead role on the NBC sitcom Abby's, created by Mike Schur. We don't know if that meant she couldn't squeeze a couple of episodes of SCD into her schedule, but it could explain her shorter arc this season. She previously worked with Schur as Lucy on Park and Recreation. You might also know her from so many of her smaller-but-memorable roles on Girls, The Grinder, or 90210.
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Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Lisa
Character: Lisa is naturally still around, since she's Eric's mother. And as usual, she's still very invested in Eric & Abby's will-they-won't-they thing.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Ellis has been a supporting character on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia for years, playing the waitress who gets harassed by Charlie (played by her real life husband Charlie Day). She also played Nick Miller's toxic ex, Caroline, throughout the run of Fox's New Girl.
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Linda Lavin as Lisa
Character: Lavin plays an elderly woman that Sheila starts to deliver meals on wheels to in order to assuage her guilt. However, things get very complicated towards the end of the season.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: The Tony-award-winning actress has had a storied career, but most recently, she starred in Sean Saves The World and had memorable roles on The Good Wife and The O.C. where she played Sandy Cohen's mother.
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Goran Visnjic as Dobrivoje Poplovic
Character: Mr. Poplovic works at the Serbian consulate and it's very clear from his first appearance that he is up to absolutely no good.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: If you think you recognize Visnjic, you absolutely do. He's been in so many TV series and movies over the years, including Pan Am, Extant, Timeless, and of course, ER.
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Dominic Burgess as a Poplovic Goon
Character: As Mr. Poplovic's goon at the Serbian consulate, Burgess' character gets really into the muck this season. Like, really, really into it.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: This British character actor has enjoyed many roles that might make him a little familiar. He played Ember on The Magicians, Ramsay Deacon on The Flash, and he's also Chidi's Australian bestie on The Good Place.
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Jonathan Slavin as Ron
Character: Ron returns and things get really weird. If you don't remember him, he's the guy Joel made friends with at the psychiatric hospital. He's also the guy Joel accidentally told about Sheila being undead. Whoops.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Slavin has been working in television for years (My Name Is Earl fans know him well), but most recently he's been seen on Speechless as Mr. Powers.
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Shalita Grant as FBI Agent Tess Rogers
Character: FBI agent Tess Rogers is the only new character that has been announced for SCD. According to Deadline, she's in town to investigate that very suspicious explosion, which you know will lead her to the Hammonds.
Before & After Santa Clarita Diet: Grant starred on NCIS: New Orleans, which some of us didn't realize was a thing until writing that sentence. She was also on the PBS Civil War drama Mercy Street.