In Season 2’s fifth episode of “The Walking Dead,” “Chupacabra,” everyone’s got something gnawing at them.
For the uninitiated, the chupacabra is a mythical creature that preys on lifestock — often goats — and drains them of blood. While the only scary beasts that make an appearance in this episode are zombies, we do get to see Merle again! (Sorry, Merle — you do terrify us. Just a little.)
So let’s break down a few of the character’s imaginary monsters, the thing that’s sucking away the little life that remains for them in this walker-filled world, shall we?
This is Daryl’s episode. At the farm, Rick hands out new search grids to find the still-missing Sophia. Daryl volunteers to go out on horseback and T-Dog jokes that maybe he’ll find his chupacabra again. We learn that once, while he was squirrel hunting, Daryl came across a chupacabra. (Or so he says.)
“You believe in a bloodsucking dog?” he’s asked.
“You believe in dead people walking around?” he retorts, perfectly, as always.
Scouring the woods on horseback, Daryl sees something by a stream. It’s Sophia’s doll! He yells for her; no answer.
Back on the horse, a rattlesnake spooks the animal and it rears, sending Daryl not only to the ground, but tumbling down a rocky hillside. When he comes to we realize he’s been pierced in the side by one of his own trusty arrows.
Survivalist he is, Daryl rips his shirt apart to bind the wound — he keeps the arrow in his gut — and gathers a sturdy walking stick and his bow. He doesn’t forget the doll, tucking it into the back of his belt. In pain, he still attempts to climb back up the hill — poorly. He tumbles back down, head over heels, more bruised and bloody than before.
When Daryl comes to, Merle is berating him.
“Why don’t you pull that arrow out, dummy? You could bind that wound better,” he taunts his brother, followed by rants about the other survivors not being kin and no one caring for him. “Let’s go,” Merle calls, pulling at Daryl’s foot. Except, it’s not Merle. Or even figment-of-Daryl’s-imagination Merle. It’s a walker!
Daryl bashes its head in with his walking stick, and when another zombie comes after him, Daryl pulls out the arrow’s that’s piercing his side, draws his bow and takes out that walker, too. “That son of a bitch was right,” he says of his brother’s/his breaking psyche’s impaled-by-your-own-weapon advice.
This is Rambo Daryl, and we like him, as much as he’s freaking us out. He eats squirrel guts. He makes a zombie ear necklace out of (you guessed it) zombie ears and zombie shoelaces. He pulls himself together to climb that damn hill again — this time, with more taunting from Merle.
“You were never here, like you aren’t here now,” Daryl moans.
“I’m as real as your chupacabra,” Merle laughs.
And Daryl makes it.
Too bad Andrea’s still gun happy, because when Daryl makes it back to the meadow across from the farm, she mistakes him — all bloody and wobbly and ragged — for a walker. While the men go to investigate with bats and axes, Andrea, perched on top of the RV, simply shoots.
Down goes Daryl.
Luckily, Andrea just grazed him, and Daryl, now recovering in Hershel’s bed, is considered a hero for risking his life to bring back the doll — the first hard piece of evidence that Sophia’s still out there.
Carol comes into his room with dinner and kisses him on the forehead.
“Watch out — I got stitches,” he grunts.
“You need to know something,” she says. “You did more for my little girl than her daddy did in his whole life.”
“I didn’t do anything Rick or Shane wouldn’t have done,” he says.
“I know you’re every bit as good as them,” Carol insists. “Every bit.”
Rick and Shane
Both men are fighting for the same thing — the safety of the woman and child they love, Lori and Carl. But both have very different ideas on how to ensure their longevity.
Rick insists they remain on the farm and continue searching the area until Sophia is found.
Shane tells Rick, “I’m trying to save lives, you’re trying to save cats from tree.” Sophia, Shane says, only matters to the degree she doesn’t drag the other survivors down.
“I’m just being realistic,” Shane later tells Lori. “We gotta start making the tough calls.”
Lori stands up for her husband, but Shane counters by saying, “The only thing I care about in this world is you and Carl. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you two safe.”
“Even abandoning a lost child?” Lori asks, shocked. “My son and I are not your problem anymore — we’re your excuse,” she says, stomping away.
Girl’s actually, literally got something sucking life from her — last episode, she found out she’s pregnant, which serves to amplify the Rick-Lori-Shane love triangle.
Lori gets in an argument with Glenn for not telling Rick — or Shane — about the pregnancy yet.
She gets into an argument with Shane; she has a moment with Rick. She weeps at Carl’s bedside, asking, “Baby, what do I do?” And from here on out, every word this woman utters has two meanings: What she’s actually saying, and what she actually means in regards to bringing a new life into this world.
Glenn and Maggie
Having casual sex with someone you see all the time can be awkward. Especially when your dad is getting super pissed off at these new survivors getting shot and hogging up all of his antibiotics and stealing his horse to go searching for a lost kid.
Maybe that’s what fires up Maggie and — though she was playing coy with Glenn after the first time they did the deed — she passes him a note during the thank-you dinner Carol cooked for everyone. “Tonight, where?” it reads.
Later, Maggie reads the note he wrote back: “Ever do it in a hayloft?” Her response: A look of utter horror.
Glenn is having trouble getting into the barn. We see Maggie running out of the house after him. Why? Because when Glenn finally sneaks inside the barn, up into the loft, he discovers Hershel’s terrible secret: a building full of hungry, angry walkers.
“You weren’t supposed to see this,” Maggie says, closing the episode.
Really? You think?