Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 5 (Chupacabra)

Spoiler Warning!

In episode 5, the search for Sophia continues, as the atmosphere grows tenser and more volatile with every day the group spends on the farm. The series seems to be making a habit of showing flashes back to earlier periods of the group's sojourn, before we joined up with Rick in that hospital back in the first episode. This time, we see Lori and Shane stopped on a highway that looks a lot like the one the season opened on - except with people still alive (which threw me off). They bump into Carol and Ed, and Carl befriends Sophia, just before we see Atlanta (I presume) napalmed into oblivion.

Back in present time, Rick and Shane have a little disagreement about the wisdom of continuing the search for Sophia. Shane cares only about keeping Lori and Carl safe, and he views their rescue mission as a liability when they should be focused on staying together and keeping themselves safe. Rick, of course, feels he has a duty to find Sophia, and is too honorable to just leave her behind. But, he seems to be slowly succumbing to Shane's perspective - further doubting his approach, and whether he's being too soft in a hard world, and that his values, the values that have made him such a unique and compelling character, are out of date in this post-apocalyptic world.

Daryl continues to make the most headway in tracking Sophia down, although he's always a step behind. Though this time he almost loses his life falling down a ravine. In the episode preview, I was shocked to see Merle back, but it turned out to be more of a fever dream that actually worked quite well, which helped pull Daryl to his senses and survive the backtrack to camp after injuring himself in the fall. On the other hand, his hallucinatory meeting with his missing brother may have been just what was needed to turn him against Rick and the rest of the group. I've really come to like and respect Daryl, I almost hate to see him become an enemy of the group.

Now when he made it back to camp, it was huge when Andrea unknowingly shot him, thinking he was a walker. I'm kind of disappointed that the bullet only grazed him and that he's okay, because when the show cut to commercial, I was thinking how amazing that was, that they'd just kill him like that, and the consequences of it. Andrea may have saved the group, if Daryl was determined to attack Rick, but he was shot before he had a chance to do anything, so the rest of the group wouldn't have known that, and would only view Andrea as having mistakenly killed one of their own. What's more, with the doll tucked in Daryl's belt, for all they could have known, he might have found Sophia, but he'd never be able to tell them where to look if he were dead. But then, he wasn't dead, only mildly injured (on top of his earlier injury), and it's almost like nothing came of all the potential drama. Except that we're no longer sure if Daryl can be trusted.

Hershel seems to be characterizing himself as more and more of a dictator within the farming household. I resent his strictness and his rules, not necessarily because they're a bad idea, but because he refuses to explain them to our group. It makes me not want to trust him, all the more with Glenn's revelation at the very end of the episode. It's not clear what that barn full of walkers is for (I still don't believe they wouldn't have made any noise, such that noone would have figured it out already), but it's ominous at best. My first inclination is that Hershel plans to kill his new guests for some gain, although I don't see what that is. A more optimistic guess is that maybe he's studying the walkers somehow in the hopes of finding a cure. In any case, the group has been doing nothing but getting on Hershel's bad side lately, and I feel very strongly that something big is about to go down. I also kind of hope it does, because it's beginning to feel like we've lingered at this farm just a bit too long, and it's about time to move on.

With or without Sophia, although I really would like to see her safe and sound...

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