A weekly recap of every gory detail in the latest episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
In this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” dubbed “Chupacabra,” one major character took a bullet, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) argued over whether to continue the search for Sophia and, most significantly, Glenn (Steven Yeun) made a startling discovery while attempting to get laid in a barn.
While some of what was done and said in this week’s installment was significant, much of it felt like pure preamble for the final two episodes in part one of season two; remember, after the Nov. 27 episode, “Walking Dead” is on winter break until Feb. 12.
With that in mind, here are the key points in “Chupacabra” ... well, the key points in addition to the truism offered up by Daryl Dixon: “People in hell want Slurpees.”
More ‘Walking Dead’:
Recap: Episode 2: “Bloodletting”
Recap: Season 2 premiere
The Shane vs. Rick situation
After putting all sense of human empathy on deep-freeze following his decision to kill Otis, Shane suddenly is calling Rick’s choices into question. He thinks everyone needs to move on instead of hanging around to continue Operation Find Sophia. Rick, on the other hand, wants to continue the search, which is understandable considering that it’s totally his fault that she’s missing in the first place.
Shane is using the situation to demonstrate to Lori that he is focused solely on protecting her and Carl. Unlike Rick — Lori’s husband and Carl’s father — Shane would not be distracted by such matters as caring about the welfare of others or trying to do what’s best for the group at large. Lori, who may or may not be carrying Shane’s baby, doesn’t seem impressed. All of this is quite a flip-flop on Shane’s part considering how loyal he was to Rick when Carl seemed to be at death’s door a mere three episodes ago. Apparently a man’s heart can change pretty quickly after he deliberately throws another man to the zombies just to save his own backside.
Daryl and Merle together again ... kind of
After a very nasty spill from the horse he “borrowed” from Hershel’s farm, which resulted in Daryl (Norman Reedus) piercing himself with an arrow, our Mr. Dixon started to have visions. Or, as I call them, Merle-lusions of Slander — conversations with his (seemingly) deceased, racist brother who busted Daryl’s chops for being a wuss and, even as a figment of Daryl’s injury-induced haze, still managed to make incredibly racist comments and insult the Democratic Party. The dialogue between brothers motivated Daryl to get himself together, a process that involved snacking on raw squirrel and creating a necklace made out of zombie ears. But it also tapped into Daryl’s insecurities about whether he truly fits in with the group.
Carol, ever the mother, picked up on that somehow. She reassured Daryl — who, by the way, also managed to survive a gunshot wound caused by Andrea, the poster child for why gun control is necessary — that he is “every bit as good” as everyone else. If, as many fans suspect, Merle turns out to be alive, the emotions raised by Daryl’s Merle encounter, specifically regarding whether he should be loyal to his fellow survivors, will likely resurface. Did Daryl get back to his ornery season one roots tonight, or is he reformed for good? Time will tell.
Is Sophia alive?
Presumably (hopefully) we will know the answer to that question before the mid-season hiatus. Daryl found her doll during his expedition into the woods, prior to his near-death experience. Shane calls that discovery proof that Daryl almost died for a doll. Rick calls that hope, a sign that the girl may be somewhere very nearby. At the moment, I am siding with Rick on this. Admittedly, I may be swayed by the fact that he seems more level-headed than Shane, and he also still has all his hair.
“We still have 11 condoms left” is an effective pick-up line.
At least it is when Glenn says it to Maggie during a zombie-pocalypse and, later, Maggie realizes that her father has banned her from “fraternizing” with him. Nothing makes a guy more attractive than dorky attempts at seduction and the knowledge that he is forbidden fruit. Well, those two things and passing notes with him under the table during dinner, a move as high school-ish as the conversation Shane and Rick had during this episode about their teenage romantic conquests.
Hershel Greene asserts his authority
Hershel turned into a bit of a control freak this week. In addition to banning his daughter from consorting with Glenn, he also chastised Rick for not keeping him apprised of various events on the farm. And he didn’t seem too keen on the concept of breaking bread with everyone from Camp Rick Grimes, either. “Don’t get close to them,” Hershel advised Maggie. “They’re not going to be around forever.”
Clearly Hershel is nervous and looking for an excuse to ask everyone to move on. And thanks to Glenn’s horniness, we now know why.
There’s something in the barn...
After passing a note to Maggie that suggested they plan a follow-up liaison in Hershel’s barn, Glenn headed there with a flashlight, presumably one or two of the much-touted 11 condoms and thoughts of romance. What he found instead were — major spoiler alert — lots of walkers. Being kept inside the barn. By Hershel. On purpose.
This was by far the most important reveal of the episode and one that even people who haven’t read the comic might have seen coming after Hershel’s and Rick’s recent discussion of the nature of the zombie epidemic. Rick insisted there was no cure. Hershel was not sure.
It seems reasonable, then, to assume that Hershel has kept every zombiefied relative and friend sequestered in the barn, in the hope that when a cure comes he can restore his loved ones back to their former selves. But if there is no cure, the guy is endangering everyone on the farm by keeping them there. (Also, can’t the zombies climb up and out of the barn? Based on the experiences of Shane and Otis at the high school, it seems possible.)
Is Hershel’s behavior understandable? Is Shane right about moving on from the farm, or is Rick following the more accurate moral compass? Was anyone weirdly glad to see Merle? Is Glenn ever going to get busy with Maggie again without imprisoned zombies standing in his way? Weigh in on any or all of these matters by posting a comment.