‘The Walking Dead’ Recap (Season 2, Episode 5): “Chupacabra”

Helloooo, zombies! Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead was dangerously vitamin Z deficient, but fans need not worry about tonight’s episode; the walkers have returned, although not quite in the expected way.

Once again, a flashback opens the episode. Shane, Lori, and Carl are attempting to escape the city. The freeway is choked with vehicles, and traffic is at a standstill. An explosion nearby catches the attention of Shane, who walks a little ways into the woods with Lori and a few others in tow. Above them, helicopters race towards the city. Shane reaches a clearing, where, in the distance, he can see the city being napalmed.

Cut to present day, where the group is once again setting out to search for Sophia. The writers really need to speed things up a little bit. They’ve been feeding the audience with clues for weeks now, but the drama has completely gone out of this plot-line. One of the biggest problems is that the rescue effort never feels like it’s collective. It seems like it’s become Daryl’s personal mission to find the girl, but the two characters are, aside from the fact that they travel together, unconnected. I can’t remember a time that he’s ever spoken to Sophia before, or to Carol, and there’s no redemption for some wrong he’s committed to be gained from finding her. It’s just a man looking for a girl, and it’s hampering the show.

Shane and Rick discuss their high school conquests as they “search” for Sophia. The two give no indication that their main goal is to find Sophia, and they do not find any clues, so it feels a bit at odds with what’s supposed to be happening. However, the characters get a chance to shoot the s**t, and it’s fantastic. They clearly have a very deep bond, and, in this instant, it’s easy to imagine the sheriff and his deputy as old hunting buddies and forget that there are walkers around. Delving into their past also adds a lot of tension to their current relationship. Shane eventually tells Rick that he thinks the whole search is fruitless, and that he wants to call the whole thing off.

A snake scares the horse Daryl is riding. The horse panics and throws Daryl down a ravine. One of his arrows pierces his side in the fall, but, on the plus side, he finds one of Sophia’s dolls in a creek bed. Taking it, he tries to climb up the ravine but falls back down just as he nears the top. This is where things get crazy. Daryl’s brother Merle, who, if you’ll remember, was left handcuffed to a pipe on a roof in season one and sawed his own hand off to get away, shows up for a pep talk. Of course, it’s just a hallucination, but that doesn’t change the fact that Merle is a jerk. Still, it snaps Daryl out of his semi-conscious state and saves his life; a zombie is gnawing on his boot. Daryl jumps up and kills his assailant with a stick before pulling the arrow (yes, he’s done all of this with an arrow sticking through him) out and stabbing another approaching walker. Now, adrenaline pumping, he cuts off the ears of the doubly-deceased and makes a necklace with them before successfully pulling himself up the hill. Yup, this confirms what I always expected: Daryl is awesome.

At the farm, Glenn confronts Lori about the pregnancy, and she makes him promise not to tell anyone. Rick and Shane return, and Rick finds Herschel waiting for him. The doctor is upset because nobody asked for his permission to use the horse, and Rick allowed Jimmy, a teenager in Herschel’s care, to participate in the search. Herschel tells Rick that from now on, both he and the sheriff will need to handle only their own people.

Herschel also doesn’t like that Lori and Carol are making dinner for his family as a way of saying thank you. He believes the entire group is getting a little to comfortable, and warns Maggie not to get too close to Glenn. Maggie takes offense to this, as she’s twenty-two and capable of making her own decisions.

Daryl finally returns to camp, but he’s in bad shape. As he emerges from the woods, Andrea, who’s on watch, mistakes him for a walker and shoots him. I would have quit watching the show if Daryl had died, but lucky for him, and me, Andrea is a pretty bad shot with a rifle; the bullet grazes the side of his head, leaving him wounded, but alive. He’s taken inside and bandaged up by the doctor, but not before T-Dog notices Sophia’s doll.

Dinner that night is incredibly awkward. Nobody’s talking, but Maggie slips Glenn a note indicating that she wants to have more of the sex. Which is weird because she’s already shot him down pretty harshly a couple other times. It almost seems like she’s just trying to get back at ol’ Daddy Greene. Hmm…sex as a form of rebellion? I’m pretty sure that’s why 16 and Pregnant exists. Anyway, Glenn writes back saying that she should meet him in the hay loft. She reads the note after dinner and freaks out. She runs to stop him, but he’s already discovered that a hoard of zombies is being kept in the barn.

There was some pretty excellent goings-on in tonight’s episode, but I can’t help feeling like it, and last week’s, are building to something bigger. I’m betting next week, fans are in for a rough time, and I mean that in the best way possible.

More ‘The Walking Dead’ Recaps:

(Season 2, Episode 4): “Cherokee Rose”

(Season 2, Episode 3): “Save the Last One”

Eli Elliott is a writer and horror aficionado. When he’s not pondering the plot intricacies of TV’s finest, he attempts to unravel the mysteries of cult films at his blog, Cinematrocity ...read more

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