RECAP: ‘The Walking Dead’ – S02E05 – “Chupacabra”

NOTE: Let’s be mindful of all the new viewers participating in this conversation and try not to spoil plot points taking place deep into the run of the comic series. Mild speculation is fine and encouraged, as well as talking about things that have happened in the comic up until the point they are at in the show, but don’t get too explicit with regard to future surprises. They will be deleted. Thanks!



“What’s in the Barn?”

Flashback! Chaos on the highway! Has a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert just let out? No! It’s people trying to flee Atlanta who are instead stuck in some serious gridlock, including Shane, Lori, Carl, Carol, Sophia, and Carol’s abusive survivalist husband. Carol tries to make friends by offering some of their extra food, but her husband puts the kibosh on that right quick, woman! Shane and Lori leave Carl with their nice new friends while they go off to investigate why the radio has stopped broadcasting about the refugee camp but instead they witness, off in the distance, the U.S. government helicopters napalming Atlanta!

Roll those credits!

Back in the present, Lori’s in a bit of a state of shell shock over her pregnancy but there’s no time to dwell because Carol wants her help to cook Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man and his family a big dinner as a way of saying thanks for the tentative and conditional and tenuous hospitality.

It’s a new day so it’s time to go search the woods for Sophia again. They’re going to work off the evidence Daryl found last week of a little person–possibly a child, possibly a little person–sleeping in an abandoned farm house. The search party uses this opportunity to make fun of Daryl for believing that he once saw a chupacabra in the woods but he traps them in an inescapable fortress of logic when he declares that in a world full of reanimated dead people, a blood sucking dog monster is no big stretch. Also, some random teenage boy that we haven’t seen before wants to join the search for Sophia.

Back at the house, Glenn sits on the porch strumming Dale’s guitar, badly. Maggie shows up and immediately goes weak in the knees because she is a young lady and Glenn is strumming a guitar. It’s all going well for him until he mentions that they still have eleven condoms and he does everything but waggle his eyebrows lasciviously at Maggie. Glenn has no game.

Rick and Shane patrol the woods in awkward silence until Rick asks Shane about his teenage conquests, a subject on which Shane cannot help but expound upon. it would appear that Shane had a lot of sex in high school. Rick? Not so much. It’s all fun and games until they realize that all of these women are probably dead. Shane’s drunken text message booty call list has been severely limited. Bummer. Since they’re already down about the state of the world, Shane thinks that maybe it’s time to give up on finding Sophia.

Elsewhere in the woods, Daryl searches for Sophia/hunts varmints on horseback. He comes upon a creek and in that creek he finds a child’s doll. Sophia? He calls out but gets no answer. Back on the horse, Daryl is so consumed with looking for Sophia that he doesn’t notice the big snake in his path, but his horse doesn’t miss it and alerts Daryl to the presence of the snake by rearing back and tossing Daryl off its back and down the side of a steep and rocky hill. He tumbles and rolls and tumbles and rolls and ends up back in the creek with one of his own arrows sticking out of his side and a lot of blood seeping out into the water.

After the commercial break, Daryl stumbles out of the water and fashions a tourniquet out of his shirt sleeves. Just as he begins to calculate the odds of finding another medicine man, Daryl hears movement in the woods. Grabbing his crossbow and a walking stick he tries to climb back up the hill, but finds it slow going with an arrow sticking through his side.

At the house, Glenn confronts Lori about her pregnancy. He gets all judgey about her not having told Rick. And look who it is! Rick is back, but lucky for Lori she doesn’t have to worry about talking about her impending bundle of joy because Rick wants to talk about possibly giving up on looking for Sophia. Is he too soft to lead this group? Shane thinks so!

Back on the steep cliff, Daryl find himself in a bit of a pickle after having made it about half way to the top and then promptly falling all the way down again.

Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man is pissed at Rick. Someone took his horse (Daryl) and someone took his teenage boy (whose name is Jimmy, apparently). This whole arrangement is not working out to his liking and perhaps they had better just worry about their own people for a spell.

At the creek, a delirious Daryl hallucinates his brother Merle giving him shit about… well, everything. It’s what Merle does. It’s what he’s good at. Subconscious Merle tells Daryl that he can’t trust the group and that they will get rid of him when it suits their needs. Subconscious Merle tells Daryl to shoot Rick in the face the first chance he gets. Daryl doesn’t get a lot of time to think over this startling development because he comes to and finds a zombie gnawing on his boot! A vicious fight ensues and ends with Daryl smashing the zombie’s skull with his big stick. (Not a euphemism.) But wait! Another zombie has heard the ruckus and he makes his way towards Daryl who saves his own ass by yanking the arrow out of his side and loading and firing his crossbow just in time to put the arrow through the zombie’s skull! Exciting!

Daryl gets a few minutes during the commercial to catch his breath then it’s time to get up and attend to his now gaping arrow wound and make some life choices. It would seem that he is going to heed the call of his subconscious and go Full Daryl. He eats raw the innards of the varmint that he had killed and then crafts a necklace from the ears of the zombies. Um, gross? Climbing back up the hill, Daryl has another conversation with Subconscious Merle in as much as Subconscious Merle goads him into getting pissed off enough to finish climbing the hill.

Back at the house, Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man finds Lori and Carol cooking dinner in his kitchen and the old man feels his total control of the house slipping! This cannot stand. Also, Maggie needs to stop hanging out with the asian boy.

Dale finds Andrea up on top of the RV with a rifle and she says she’s washed her last clothes. It’s time to be a badass! Inside the RV, Dale finds Glenn who wants to engage Dale in a conversation about whether or not all the women in the group are on the same cycle because they’re all acting weird at the same time. Dale, being a wizened man of experience, knows a minefield when he sees one and deflects the conversation only to find out that Glenn and Maggie have had sex. This could lead to trouble, Dale muses.

Suddenly, Andrea spots what may be a zombie! Something has certainly emerged from the woods and is stumbling their way! She wants to shoot it but the guys want to bludgeon it and Rick says hold up, zombies are Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man’s purview! The group ignores Rick and runs out to confront the zomb–it’s Daryl. Nevermind. Unfortunately, because of sun glare Andrea can’t see that it’s Daryl through her scope so she shoots him.

Chicks, man.

It’s bad enough that Rick and the guys rolled up on Daryl with their weapons drawn but now Daryl’s been shot by a member of the group. Looks like Subconscious Merle was right. Lucky for everybody, Andrea is a terrible shot and she only grazed his head, knocking him out but not killing him.

Back in the house, Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man patches up Daryl who recounts to Rick how he found Sophia’s doll. Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man cannot believe that Rick and the gang have survived this long. Plus, he’s still pissed about Daryl taking his horse without asking.

Despite Daryl finding the doll, Shane still wants to abandon the search for Sophia because Shane is still a dick.

Andrea is a bit down about the whole having shot Daryl thing. Dale tells her not to worry about it because they’ve all wanted to shoot Daryl at one time or another. Jeffrey DeMunn is awesome.

The big dinner has arrived and it’s not going well. Lori almost didn’t attend because she was too busy crying alone in a dark room. Glenn tries to break the tension by asking if anyone can play guitar and he’s told that Otis played guitar really well. Awkward. No one is really talking. It’s like a wedding party where two bitterly divorced parents are sharing a table and no one wants to say anything for fear of setting them off. It’s not all bad for Glenn, though. Maggie passes him a note under the table and it would seem that soon they will only have ten condoms left, he just has to name the location. Dr. Hershel, Medicine Man watches Glenn and Maggie make eyes at each other and knows something is up with those two.

Carol brings Daryl some food and kisses him on the forehead. She thanks him for looking for Sophia and tells him that he’s just as good of a man as Shane and Rick. (Well, Rick, anyway.) This all flies in the face of the teachings of Subconscious Merle and Daryl has some thinking to do.

Maggie helps put away the dishes from dinner and then finds a moment to sneak a look at the note she passed Glenn asking him where he’d like to have sex with her next. The answer, surprisingly, isn’t “anywhere” it’s a hayloft and Maggie is horrified!

Glenn heads to the barn with a blanket and tries to get in. It seems as if all the doors are padlocked. Curious. Maggie runs from the house towards the barn as fast as she can but not before Glenn finds a way in through the hayloft and discovers…

The barn is full of zombies!


I was happier to see Andrea on top of the RV wielding a rifle than I thought I’d be. It’s good to see the characters that are familiar slowly moving to a place familiar to longtime readers of the book. I also enjoyed the Merle feint, if only because I know it will piss people off who are waiting for him to show up again. I like that Daryl has a battle going on in his subconscious between his old bad self and his new good self. Manifesting that in a visually interesting way with Subconscious Merle is a lot of fun.


  1. Pretty good episode….THE BARN!!!! ive been waiting to see if that was going to happen or not.

    Darryl has used those crossbow bolts to kill so many zombies…you’d think it would be instant infection/contamination when he gets pierced with one.

    I liked the Merle hallucination. Last week when they showed him in the preview i thought they were ruining it, but its a cool way to bring him back without doing it.

    nitpick of the week: pretty sure attack helicopters are incapable of delivering napalm…but hey it was the end of the world, all hands on deck.

    • Yeah, I fell for the Merle spoiler too. I’m glad it was just a hallucination. That hallucination was a real jerk too.

    • I think those were bigger then attack helicopters in which case you can drop them off the sides with an explosive and get the same result. Chinooks are perfect for this since they could carry a dozen barrels in the bay.

    • I hadn’t though about the contaminated crossbow bolt idea. But after Andrea shot him, it looked like one of those severed ears fell into his mouth when he went down. That can’t be sanitary. Not can being splattered with blood and brain matter. I would think any way it gets into your bloodstream, you’re boned.

  2. This was probably my favorite episode of this season so far. I really enjoyed how it jumped between all the different storylines and never seemed to be rushing or taking it’s time. This was just paced excellently and gave a lot of characters a few different moments to shine.

  3. I’ve been anxiously awaiting for the barn reveal for three episodes and I was not disappointed. They’re really building up the tension between Herschel’s group and Rick’s and it’s all going to come to a head in the next episode. Sunday can’t get here fast enough.

    If there’s one constant between the comic and the show, it’s that in this new world, no matter how safe you think you are, you’re wrong.

  4. I’m just glad they didn’t assholify Daryl after all. Him and Dale are the only two likable characters left on this show. If they go in any way, there’s really no reason to keep watching, imo.

  5. This was a good episode but not as great as the previous ones. Love the barn reveal that made me geek out and the tension with Hershel and the group is spot on. The whole Daryl talking to his brother reminds me alot of the show ‘”DEXTER”; When he talks to his dad now evil brother but it was solid. It looks like there sticking closely with the comic so fans of the show not reading the comics are in for some great surpises coming up.

  6. I don’t mind them playing with Daryl’s mind, but I really hope the character stays bad-ass. The show needs one complete bad-ass and Rick certainly doesn’t fit the bill.

  7. I think Daryl is one of the best characters on the show right now. That’s why I thought it would’ve been a ballsy move for the show to have him get taken out by friendly fire like that. It would’ve been like The Wire, where a main character could get suddenly capped in the head. I love the character, but I think it would’ve been powerful to see him go out like that. It would emphasize how dangerous the world they live in is. But he had a great line after getting shot where he said, “I was just kidding”. And the scene with Daryl in bed and Carol telling him how he is just as good as any member of the group was heart warming. And the barn scene, YES! Viewers who haven’t read the book are wondering, “why are they keeping zombies in the barn?” My wife thinks they’re maybe running experiments on them since Herschel is a vet. I’m keeping my mouth shut.

  8. As soon as Andrea shot Daryl I said to myself, “That stupid b*tch! If Daryl dies then the writers are gonna get alot of angry letters!” But fortunately Daryl gets to live to be the biggest badass of the show.

  9. Great review. Funny. i liked what you said about Good Daryl vs Bad Daryl.
    Great show. As mentioned before the show is well paced. I liked that last weeks episode as well as this week one.

  10. I have one small gripe. I did not like the zombie chewing on Daryl’s boot. A zombie chewing on Daryl’s boot, is like me chewing the tablecloth at the start of Thanksgiving. I have instincts and they all point to the turkey. I guess the zombie’s flesh eating instincts are not as finely tuned as my turkey eating ones.
    Great show!
    I have the same feelings watching this as I had when I read “The Road.”

  11. This season continues to improve in quality, these feel like real characters to me now.

  12. andrea continues to be the worst character on tv. other than that, really good ep. Daryl and Shane are the standouts of the series which is odd considering they don’t exist or don’t exist very long in the comics.

  13. I said it last week and im saying it again.

    mark my words

    Daryl = Tyrese

  14. I am not afraid to say I look forward to this recap as much as the new episode…what with the mention of lasciviously waggled eyebrows and whatnot. Thank you for the literal LOL’s, good sir

  15. Episodes 3 and 5 have carried the season so far. Not say that this hasn’t been a great season to date, but I could watch 3 and 5 over and over again. More dreamscape Merle please. Love it! And yeah, it has that Dexter feel when Dex and his dad chat it up. Those are great scenes.