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The Walking Dead: Chupacabra

Maggie: “You weren’t supposed to see this.”

Well, it’s nice to be right... or is it? I haven’t read the comic books, so my conjecture that Hershel and family had some hidden zombies was just that. I can see that the secret in the barn is not going to be popular with our little gang of survivors and the pet zombies explain a lot -- why Hershel just wants them to leave, why Maggie was upset when T-dog killed the well zombie, and the rule against guns on the property.

It makes sense that many people would have trouble killing their loved ones, especially if they hadn’t seen what our survivors have seen. They might still be hoping for a cure or maybe, like Morgan, it is just beyond their capacity to kill their friends and family. Our survivors are having that kind of sentimentalism knocked out of them, some more quickly than others.

The argument between Shane and Rick was the most obvious example of this. Do you risk everything to find a lost little girl or do you move on in the interests of survival? Rick is clinging to his humanity while Shane’s is slipping away. I’m not sure who is right. I’m pretty clear that the zombies in the barn should be offed, but I think I’d be out there looking for Sophia until I knew for sure what had happened. Of course it might cost me my life, and ultimately the lives of those I love, because I am no longer there to protect them. As Lori says, there are no more easy decisions.

Daryl certainly took a beating this week, falling down what amounts to a cliff, not once but twice. After all our speculation last week about them killing off Daryl I was worried that he might be a goner, especially when the walker was chewing on his shoe. Imaginary big brother Merle came to the rescue. Daryl obviously still feels like an outsider in the group, but for a backwoods, red-neck survivor he seems to have more heart than many. He carried Sophia’s doll back with him, even though it wasn’t clear he was going to make it himself. And if falling down a cliff twice, being shot with your own arrow and being attacked by two walkers isn’t enough, you can look forward to being shot by a trigger-happy Andrea. I am glad that she is fed up with laundry but you shouldn’t, as a beginner, be shooting a rifle at long range when many people you are supposed to care about are in the line of fire. Thank goodness she just grazed Daryl.

Poor Glenn, trying to figure out why all the women are “crazy.” The world may have ended but that doesn’t mean some of the old problems go away. How, as twenty-something man, do you figure out women? (Hint: not by using their menstrual cycle as an excuse to dismiss their intelligence or their emotional struggles). What do you do as a father who doesn’t like who his daughter is sleeping with? What do you do as a woman who is pregnant with a baby that quite likely isn’t your husband’s? Oh wait, that is a product of the world ending. The flashback made it clear that everyone thought Rick was dead. As single mother watching the army napalm Atlanta, you might consider hooking up with the bad ass male who is trying to save you and your son’s life. I feel bad for Lori, Shane and Rick. Nobody intended to create this mess, but it sure is a doozy.

Bits and Pieces

Shane sounded a lot like Carol’s horrible husband, with his “operational security.”

Why on earth would you go anywhere without your child? I wouldn’t leave my kid alone with strangers, and if they were napalming Atlanta, I would sure as hell get back to him as soon as I could.

Shane and Rick in a struggle for power is not going to be a pretty thing. How will Shane react if he thinks he has his own child to protect?

So much for a nice thank-you dinner.

Can people help me out? I’m not sure why this episode was called “Chupacabra.” I looked up what it is, but still can’t figure it out. Any ideas?


Carol: “You're Rick’s wife. Sort of makes you our unofficial first lady.”

Jimmy: “So you believe in a blood-sucking dog?”
Daryl: “You believe in dead people walking around?”

Daryl: “People in hell want Slurpies.”

Rick: “I never lied about Sheila, I just got mixed up about what the bases meant.”

Shane: “It’s like we’re old folk, all the people in our stories are dead.”

Merle: “Kick off them damn high heels and climb, son.”

Hershel: “Don’t get close to them, they’re not going to be around forever.”

Dale: “If I’d known the world was ending, I’d have brought better books.”

Dale: “Jeez, Glenn, what were you thinking?”
Glenn: “I was thinking that I may be dead tomorrow.”

Dale: “Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’ve all wanted to shoot Daryl.”

Rick: “Maybe I’m holding onto a way of thinking that doesn’t make sense anymore.”


  1. As much as I loved this episode, I was horrified that the show runners decided to make Marita Covarrubias live up (or "down") to the low expectations the men had for her gun-wielding ability. It felt like a lesson: see, this is why women should just stick to laundry.

    As for the Chupacabra--didn't Daryl talk about how he'd seen one in the woods? If so, then it stands for imaginary woodland creatures that haunt us in our darkest, most lost hours. Like Merle.

    And then it's a metaphor for how encountering monsters can make us become more fully ourselves--either frighteningly pragmatic like Shane, ear-wearing like Daryl 2.0, or deeply human like Rick.

  2. Of course Hershel was always going to have a dark secret. Is't it always so with idyllic farms in apocalyptic stories?

    My guess is that he not only hoardes the zombies of friends and family but any zombie that wonders in. He's keeping them for the fututre when a cure is found. Of course we and the cast know it's futile. Conflict will ensue. I just wish they take Lauren Cohan with them after it's all over.

  3. I think Josie is right, that the Chupacabra was Merle. Mostly because the actor who played Merle said so on the Talking Dead, that aired on AMC after Walking Dead. :) Patryk, I'm also hoping that our little band of survivors takes Lauren Cohan with them. She's already died horribly in too many shows I love.

    I also hope I'd be like Rick, and stay to keep searching for Sophia until I knew the truth. What's the point of survival if we're not human any more?

  4. Great comments! Thanks all. I thought that Merle was the Chupacabra but it didn't fit the definition and although Merle wasn't very nice he was there to help Daryl survive probably in the way he helped Daryl survive childhood. I agree with Billie that survival isn't much if we don't retain our humanity but how much humanity? That's what I love about this show. It strips everything down to basics (like most post-apocalyptic shows) and then has characters argue about what it means to be human. For Shane it is protecting those he loves at all costs but for Rick it is more all encompassing and for Hershel it is weirdly skewed. I think those zombies must be friends and kin or Hershel is choosing the walkers who are strangers over the live humans who are strangers.
    Ps. I hear what you are saying about Andrea Josie but I think she will develop into a fighting machine - she just has to get her head on straight. Can't see her going back to laundry.
    Pps. I really hope Daryl stays his own sweet self. The zombie ears were creepy. I noticed Rick saved them rather than throw them away. Interesting.

  5. I don't know if I'm ridiculous or not for trying to apply logic to a zombie show but wouldn't Daryl most likely be infected now? He has been using the same arrows over and over to kill zombie. Now, one of those arrows just impaled him. I don't think his method of wiping the blood off on his pant leg was particularly sterilizing.

  6. Topher -- I was wondering that, too. I'm not entirely clear on the disease mythology of this series. The survivors seem a bit too cavalier about handling the zombies and not worried enough about getting zombie blood on them. I'd be treating the zombies like they were infected with ebola. Is the disease just transmitted via bite, so it's the saliva? Do you have to be alive to be infected? Why were there so many corpses on that highway? Why didn't they become zombies?

    The hanged man definitely confused me, too. Did he die then become a zombie because zombies ate his legs? Do zombies eat the dead? If so, wouldn't they be eating each other? Was he hanging there slowly strangling to death when zombies found him?

    And why would the French have been working on a cure? You can't cure dead, and the zombies are dead, right? From what I remember Jenner saying, the only part of the brain activated is the brain stem, so, for the most part, the zombies are brain-dead. And are the zombies still decomposing? If so, that means the survivors just have to wait until the zombies decompose to the point they're no longer a threat, like when their jaws unhinge or their muscles detach from their bones.

    And, really, what's Hershel thinking? How can he look at the zombies and think a cure is possible? Will all their wounds and rot suddenly vanish or will they be cured only to die a horrible, lingering death anyway? How will they react to finding out they killed and ate humans? Who would even want to come back from that?

    Sorry for all the questions. I love this show, but these issues have been nagging at me. Maybe I should just break down and read the books.


  7. I'm still watching, but just not feeling the love this season.

  8. I hope I'm wrong but I have this horrible feeling that Sophia is in that barn along with all the other walkers.

  9. KAM asked: "The hanged man definitely confused me, too. Did he die then become a zombie because zombies ate his legs?"

    If I'm remembering correctly, the note the hanged man left said he "got bit," and he decided to hang himself. I think Daryl made some comment about him being too stupid to shoot himself in the head. I don't know if it was zombies or animals that were chewing on his legs, though.

    Mark, I was also wondering if Sophia was in the barn, but then I remembered Hershel making them finding her one of the conditions of their leaving, so I don't know. I'm liking this season, but I'm way tired of the "where's Sophia" plot line.

    I love Daryl. I can't wait to see the actor who plays him on next week's Talking Dead!



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