The Walking Dead: 205 “Chupacabra” Review
“Chupacabra” (Season 2, Episode 5)
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was all about one man, or should I say one redneck, Daryl Dixon. Daryl’s relentless quest to find Sofia started off as a horseman of the apocalypse routine with him striding through the woods picking off squirrels with a crossbow. It was nice to see the episode soon flip this back and turn into the near apocalypse of the horseman instead, which really brought this episode to life and gave us more insight into Daryl. The Sofia storyline has been dragging on a little too long for my liking and has really slowed the pace of things back at the farm. Although, the closing scene where Glenn stumbles upon Hershel’s prize-winning zombie collection should kick the next episode up a gear.
We also saw the return of Merle in this episode, which may have a few knock-on effects for Daryl in the remainder of the season. Merle in the first season was just awful in every respect, Michael Rooker did the best he could with him but he is too much of a stereotype to really care about. Those of you that were attentive to the opening credits would have noticed Rooker’s name appear, therefore robbing you of any surprise when Merle reappeared at the creek.
At first I thought this was going to trash the episode before it really got going but thankfully this wasn’t the case. We’ve never actually seen the two Dixie, sorry Dixon, brother’s on screen together so it was always going to be interesting to see how they would interact, especially as they’re not in the comics. This was a great way to bring Merle back, having him play a few mind games with Daryl worked well and the two actors had a great chemistry in their scenes. Showing Merle as a projection of Daryl’s subconscious may have implanted a few seeds of doubt into his role within the group, which could have a few repercussions later on. Although, Susanne bringing Daryl some food & saying he did more for her daughter than her father ever did may have eliminated this from his mind – hopefully not as this could make for some great viewing.
The opening flashback was great (even with the wife-beating Ed having an input) seeing how the initial group of survivors formed is something we’ve not caught much of a glimpse of so far. What was also good was the fact that it gave us an impression of how Shane & Lori started to get together as the pair witnessed the napalming of Atlanta. It seems the US government pulled out all the stops to prevent World War Z from happening.
Andrea sniping Daryl was pretty much redundant as it couldn’t have been more obvious that they weren’t going to kill him off after spending half the episode developing his character. I did chuckle when I saw Suzanne pegging out the washing again, the ridiculous image of her ironing at the camp in Season 1 came flooding back, here’s hoping Hershel doesn’t have a Corgi trouser press lying around.
And what about poor Glenn, not only is his new relationship with Maggie more like the romance between a moth and a light bulb but he also gets a bunch of flack from Dale about dating the farmer’s daughter. To rub even more salt in the wounds when Maggie eventually slips him an invite to a second date of his choice, he chooses a flesh-eating barn dance. It doesn’t rain but it pours.
All in all a pretty decent episode that keeps the storyline moving forward, the scene is set for next week’s edition and it will be interesting to see how Hershel is going to handle the Q&A about his ranching of the undead. Now all that’s left is to give ‘Chupacabra’ a Google and find out what it actually is.
Scene of the episode – Daryl pulling his own arrow out of his side and firing it straight into the attacking zombie’s head – kill of the season so far.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.