Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5: Chupacabra

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5: Chupacabra starts out with a dream sequence. Lori, Shane, Carl, Sophia, Carol and her husband are stuck on a road leading up to Atlanta in a huge traffic jamb. Carol offers to give Lori some of her husband's food rations and he refuses to share. It's a tactical matter of survival--a mirror image of the argument between caring for the group, or just for those that matter the most to you that is going on between Rick and Shane.

Shane can't pick up anything on the radio, not even an emergency broadcast, so he and Lori decide to walk ahead on the road to see what's going on. A little further up, past people who are fighting, they see military helicopters fly overhead and a strange light flashing in the sky. The military is dropping napalm on the city. Shane holds onto Lori as they watch the city burn. There is no going back to the way things used to be.

Lori wakes up and joins  Carol who is hanging freshly washed clothes on the line. Carol wants to cook a dinner for Hershel and his family as a way to thank them for their help/hospitality. She asks Lori to speak with them about it, seeing as how she is Rick's wife, and kind of like their "First Lady." Lori says that she'll see what she can do.

Rick and the others are gathered together to plan out the day's search for Sophia. As they decide who is going to go where, one of Hershel's group, a young kid named Jimmy walks up and says that he wants to help. He claims that he spoke with Hershel and that he has his consent. Shane thinks that this is a waste of time; that the signs of life Daryl came across in the abandoned house could have been from anybody. Daryl replies that the person that slept in the closet used a blanket that would over cover somebody that was waist high. It had to be Sophia.

Daryl decides to take a horse and cover as much ground as possible to find Sophia. T-Dog teases him about finding a chupacabra when he's out. Dale tells them that apparently one day when Daryl was out hunting squirrels, he spotted a chupacabra. Rick asks him if he actually believes in the goat sucking dog monster, and Daryl replies by saying to him, you believe in the walking dead don't you?

Glenn is sitting on the porch plucking at the guitar that Dale gave him and runs into Maggie. He tries to talk to her about what they did in the pharmacy (have sex) and she totally blows him off. She is being really hard on him, making it seem that what they did didn't take too long at all (a blow at his self esteem and manhood) even though she is clearly attracted to him and wants to be with him. Her father Hershel is putting pressure on her to leave their group well enough alone, as he plans on them leaving soon. Unfortunately, Glenn's efforts to play it cool make him come off as a dork. "There are still 11 condoms in the box." he says to her. "Yeah, I see that as 11 more minutes of my life gone." "It wasn't that bad was it?" he asks. She says "I don't even know if I like you." and walks away. Maggie is trying hard to stay away from Glenn, but it's clear that she genuinely likes him.

Rick and Shane are on patrol in the woods. Rick attempts to get Shane talking by reminiscing about his high school conquests. Shane is quite the player, and he was getting girls even when he was a teenager. They have a good natured man-talk, before the conversation runs sour.

Rick asks Shane what he would do. Shane bluntly tells him that Rick is risking their lives for a little girl that may already be dead. Before everything went to hell, you had 72 hours to find someone who was lost. If you didn't, they almost always wound up dead. And with the way things are now, she has to be dead.

Rick reveals that the reason why he won't give up on her is because he feels responsible for what happened. "She looked me in the eyes Shane. She trusted me." He won't betray that trust just because the world has changed.

They argue. Shane believes that he can take care of the group better than Rick. The rules have changed, and you need to put the needs of the group ahead of one little girl that could be dead for all they know. They are waisting time, and Rick insists on spreading the group as thin as possible. The more they look, the more people get hurt. If they had just moved on instead of searching for her, Carl wouldn't have been shot, Otis wouldn't have died (Shane says this, almost as though he blames Rick for being put in the situation where he had to sacrifice Otis to save his and Carl's life) and he wouldn't be hurt. Every time they go out, someone gets hurt, or worse. Shane believes that he's trying to save people's lives, while Rick is out trying to save a cat from a tree. As though Sophia is not important at all to the group's survival. Which, in a way, she isn't, as she is a scared little 12 year old girl. But, then again, Carl is the same age and just as incapable of protecting himself as she is. However, Shane loves Carl like a son, so in his mind, he's worth it, whereas Sophia is not.

Daryl is riding a horse through the woods, when he spots Sophia's doll lying in the mud of the creek bed. He calls out to her, but there is no reply so he gets back on the horse. A little further down the creek, the horse spots a rattle snake and panics, throwing him off. Daryl painfully rolls down the rocky cliff side and lands hard in a shallow pond of water. His arrow pierced through his side, from the back to the front on the fall. It didn't strike anything vital, but it is quite painful.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

He lost his cross bow, and picks up a big stick and goes fishing for it. Something stirs the trees near the  pond, but nothing steps out, so he ignores it and starts to painfully climb back up the cliff, holding onto loose rooted trees growing in the soil near the rocks. He gets about half-way up, and then falls back down, hitting his head hard on the rocks.

Glenn tries to talk to Lori about the pregnancy test, and realizes that she is pregnant before she can say anything. She begs him not to tell Rick and Shane as she spots them walking back to the farm.

Rick talks to Lori about his conversation with Shane. He doubts himself and wonders if maybe he's holding onto a way of thinking that doesn't apply to them any more. Lori reassures him that he is making the right choices. If it were Carl lost out there, she wouldn't stop until she found him, or his body. Either way, she'd want to know.

Beth, one of Hershel's daughters, interrupts them and tells Rick that her father wants to speak with him. Hershel is upset because he is missing a horse. Rick thought that Daryl told him that he took it. He did not and Jimmy went off to help without his permission. Rick tells him that Jimmy gave the impression that he had it.  Hershel tells him that the boy has a way of misinterpreting things. Hershel tells Rick to take care of his people, and he'll take care of his own.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Daryl hit his head pretty hard on the rocks. He wakes up to a hallucination of Merle teasing him about caring about the group, a bunch of losers that he doesn't think too highly of, and getting hurt while searching for a little girl.

"Come on, get up," Merle says and kicks him. "Ain't nobody gonna care about you except for me." Daryl looks down to see that it wasn't his brother that kicked him, it's a walker chewing on the top of his boot. Panicked, he grabs his stick and bashes its face in. Then he pulls the arrow out of his side, and shoots the second walker before it reaches him.

He mutters to himself about his brother being right, then guts the squirrel he recently killed and eats it raw, getting blood on his face and hands. Then he cuts off the two walker's ears and one of their boot strings and makes a necklace out of them, 'Nam style. Apparently making trophies out of body parts you take off of a person you killed is a way to claiming dominance over the dead. Daryl has declared his dominance over the walkers.

Daryl clearly isn't in his right mind. He struggles up the cliff once more, with Merle mocking him at the top, telling him to take off his high heels and stop being a pussy. Merle lies about taking care of him, and extends him his hand. Daryl tells him that he isn't even real. "I'm as real as your chupacabra," he teases, and that pisses Daryl off enough to give him the fuel to reach the top of the cliff. He says something to his brother, and he isn't even there. Merle is nothing more than a hallucination.

Hershel sees the women working the kitchen and asks Maggie as she sets up a folding table what is going on. She tells them that they wanted to make them dinner as a way to thank them. Hershel wants to know why he wasn't told and she claims that she didn't think it was a big deal. He then confronts her about hanging around Glenn. She tells him that she can handle herself, and that she is too old to be having that sort of conversation with him.

Dale takes water into the RV and is startled to find Glenn sitting there. He tells him that he was returning his book. Dale apologizes, saying that if he knew that the world was ending, he would've brought better books. Glenn asks Dale if Andrea is on her period, and then goes on to say that he read that when women live together in a group, their cycles start to line up. Dale wisely tells him to keep his theory to himself. (Andrea is guarding the group by taking watch because she no longer wishes to be a victim, or wash people's clothes.)

Glenn thinks all the women are acting strange, first Andrea, then Maggie, then Lori. He tells Dale that he had sex with Maggie, but she keeps giving him mixed signals, and when Dale asks him what is wrong with Lori, he brushes it off--keeping her secret; for now at least. Dale tells him to be careful, he knows that Hershel isn't comfortable with them being on his farm, and is worried that they might do something to get the group kicked off the land.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Andrea thinks she spots a walker, but can't see that it's Daryl, dog tired, covered in mud and blood, dragging his cross bow behind him. She is about to fire on him when Dale tells her not to. Shane, Rick, T-Dog and Glenn run up to Daryl with hand held weapons. When Glenn realizes that it's Daryl they stand down. Daryl looks at them, and they way he is standing, hunched over, looking half dead, it's unclear if he is a walker or not. Andrea smiles to herself and gets ready to shoot.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Daryl tells Rick to shoot him in the head, as they approach him to help. They lower their weapons, seeing as how he is still alive. Then Andrea shoots him down. Rick screams No! and she realizes her mistake. People come running out of the farmhouse. Hershel demands to know what is going on. Rick and Shane help Daryl up after it's revealed that Andrea is a bad shot and she just grazed his temple with the bullet. She didn't kill him.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

T-Dog shouts to them as they leave and holds up the doll that Daryl was holding. "Isn't this Sophia's?" he asks.

Hershel sews Daryl back up and tends his head wound. He is surprised that Rick's people have survived as long as they have.

Shane tells Rick to give up the search for Sophia, seeing how hurt Daryl is. But Rick won't give up. Daryl made good ground today, even though he fell down the cliff twice in the process. They now have solid evidence that Sophia is alive.

In the farmhouse, Rick asks Lori what to do. She tells him that he is making the right choices. Rick walks away. Shane approaches her. He tells her that all he cares about is keeping her and Carl safe. Lori tells him once again that she and her son are no longer his problem. But he won't give up on protecting either of them.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Dale sits down on the porch steps next to Andrea, and tells her not to be so hard on herself, that everyone has wanted to shoot Daryl at one time or another. He sees how angry she is at herself, and believes that yelling at her wouldn't solve anything.

Andrea is at a tipping point. She is angry with grief over losing her sister and blames herself for her death. She can shut down all of her emotion and become like Shane, or he can help her grieve and bring her back to her humanity.

At dinner, everyone is silent. Glenn tries to break the tension by asking if anyone knew how to play a guitar, as Dale gave him one and he doesn't really know how to play it. Otis's wife says that Otis knew how to play. Hershel says that he was good at it too. This seems to break some of the tension in the group.

Maggie slips Glenn a piece of paper and pen under the table saying "Tonight. Where?" Referring to having sex again. Hershel gives her a look, and when she takes the note back from Glenn, she doesn't read it right away--attempting to hide what she did.

Carol takes the bedridden Daryl his dinner. He didn't ask for it. She says that she did it to thank him, that he's done more for her little girl than her own daddy ever did. Daryl doesn't think that he's done anything special, nothing that Rick or Shane wouldn't have done. She pauses and kisses him on the head and tells him that she knows. She says that he is every bit as good as they are--most like the first time anyone has ever said anything so kind to him in his life.

While doing the dishes, Maggie reads Glenn's note asking her if she's ever done it in a hayloft. She panics and runs out to stop him. But she is too late.

Glenn finds the barn doors pad-locked. He climbs up the ladder to the loft. Inside the barn he notices the smell of rotting flesh and finds that the barn is full of walkers. Maggie rushes up to the loft, and she tells him that he wasn't supposed to see them.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Next week's episode promises to pick up the action. I can't wait to see what happens next. Will Glenn tell the group what he found? How long will he keep it a secret? In addition, how long will he keep Lori's pregnancy a secret?

In this episode we learned:
  • Hershel has been storing walkers in the barn.
  • Sophia is still missing, but will soon be found.
  • Daryl saw a chupacabra when he was out hunting by himself back in the day and tripping from eating bad mushrooms, and that is why the episode is named after it.
Points of Clarification:
I was reading through the comments on for today's episode of The Walking Dead and someone actually said that Otis was out hunting so that they could feed the walkers in the barn, or else they would die. The Walkers. Would. DIE. 

Um... They already died. Not eating won't kill them again. Also, there is no evidence to support that they actually need to eat anything to remain animated. Look at bicycle girl. She didn't even have a stomach, and she was still crawling around.

Of course, Hershel being the Man of God veterinarian that he is, wrongly believes that the walkers need to be fed. But then there's the question of what are they feeding them?

Would he really give away that much food to dead people, food that his living family members need to survive? Wouldn't someone in Rick's group notice him heading over to the barn every night and tossing in a living thing for them to eat alive? Rick and company are sleeping out doors in tents and the RV. They would've heard something screaming if it was fed to the walkers, right? Remember, as we saw with the well walker, they are not interested in food that is not moving and displaying signs of being alive, i.e. kicking and screaming as they devour them.

-UPDATE- Episode 6 gave us the answers to my questions. Patricia (Otis's wife) is feeding them chickens. Those poor misguided fools. Apparently, they would feed dead people as Hershel thinks that they are just sick, not animated dead cannibals that hunger for their flesh. No one has heard the walkers eating chickens alive, or cared about it, so I assume that the barn is far enough away for them not to notice such a thing.

Also, barns do not have wells in them. The well walker clearly fell through the wooden well cover. There was a huge hole in the center of it, indicating that it fell through when the wood broke, not that it got into a well in the barn and crawled over to the well in the field. That, and the well walker was NOT OTIS. Sheesh.

Most importantly: The walkers in the barn are members of Hershel's family, like his wife and step-son, and others like his neighbors that he wants to save by finding a cure.

Take a good look at the last picture from the episode.

Do you see Otis? No. That is because Otis is not a walker and he is not in the barn. They did not go to the high school to fetch him because there wasn't anything left of his body but bones by the time the walker herd was done eating him. Remember the skeleton of a nurse Rick saw in the pilot episode? She was nothing but bone and a little bit of tough muscle. And she wasn't a walker. She was a corpse.

This isn't "Return of the Living Dead." Once you take out the brain, the walker is dead, well finished dead. Dead-dead. Not undead. You know what I mean.

Look at the barn walkers picture again. Do you see a little girl among the walkers? No? That's because Sophia is not in the barn, and she is not a walker. She will not be leaving the barn if or when they break out of it. Why would they draw out the search for her if she was?

Besides, don't you think that Glenn would have seen her if she was? He's a pretty smart guy and seems to have good eyesight. The reveal of her in the barn would've been one heck of a cliff hanger to leave the episode on as well. For these reasons I believe that its highly unlikely that Hershel and his family found Sophia, realized that she was bit, and put her in the barn with the other walkers for "safe keeping" until he could find a cure for them.

If Sophia does show up as a walker in the barn, that would be quite the shocker for the group, and could result in a bloody confrontation between Rick and Hershel.

I just hope they find her soon. That story sub-plot feels as though it is taking forever to be resolved.

I know I said this earlier on in the post but I think that it bears repeating, as some people seem to have missed the point. Merle had both of his hands when he showed up in this episode because he was a hallucination. He wasn't actually there. Daryl hit his head pretty darn hard on his multiple falls down the rocky cliff, and was seeing someone that wasn't really there. Merle represented the negative part of his subconscious mind. He was saying things that Daryl feared, that maybe he thought to himself on occasion. Essentially, he was having a conversation with himself.

Daryl is not going to be infected, the walker was chewing on the top of his steel toed boots. He didn't chew on the walker ears, the shoe string got close to his mouth, not into it. Trust me. If Daryl was going to be infected, we would've been shown a shot of a bite on his foot. Or, even better, if he knew that he was infected, he would've shot himself in the head. Daryl is the type of person to kill himself and end it all to prevent becoming a walker.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your review
    and have enjoyed the second series
    especially the characters of daryl and andrea
    best wishes