THE WALKING DEAD – EPISODE 5, DEAD CHUPACABRA: Friday 18th November, FX, 10pm
Last week we saw the most chilled out edition of The Walking Dead. It seemed too good to be true, and guess what, it was. This week’s show puts on a brave face, valiantly trying to maintain the ‘it’s not so bad’ tone, but lets face it, what we really want to see is chaos. And chaos does indeed strike, however while the chillaxed mood lingers we’re treated to some scenes that will actually leave you smirking. What’s that you say? Chuckles? In a zombie TV show? Sounds as unrealistic as the dead rising from the grave, right? And yet there were a couple of reasons to smile this week.
For starters, master escapist Glenn has turned into a bit of a horndog. Last week we saw him do the no pants dance with Maggie during a romantic supply run and now he’s developed a bit of a thing for her. Watching Glenn bumbling and fumbling in an attempt to impress his zombie apocalypse sweetheart provides some much-needed comic relief. Their note passing during the most awkward dinner scene in zombie history adds that extra touch of tension to a series already hung up on dealing with human interaction over zombie mayhem. Maggie’s keen but her over bearing father Hershel is holding her back, just like he’s holding back some valuable information from the group, but more on that later.
Even Shane and Rick have a quick giggle. Whilst continuing the search for Carol’s daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) the duo take a trip down memory lane, discussing the ghosts of girlfriends past. It doesn’t last long though, as Shane’s ever-growing pessimism quickly takes over. Which brings us once again back to the crux of the season so far, hope. Sophia has been missing for so long now that she’s become the embodiment of that word. Rick’s determined to find her. Shane thinks their wasting time and risking the safety of the group. One thing’s for sure, a lot rides on her safe return. Group moral depends on it and the empty space she’s left behind has allowed our two leaders to show let their differences show.
Good thing we have a third leader then, ay? That’s right, while Rick and Shane quarrel about the right thing to do, underdog Darryl has been getting the job done, only this week he stumbles on a bit of trouble. Whilst tracking Sophia he accidentally gets thrown from his horse sending him tumbling down into a hidden ravine. He regains consciousness only to discover that he’s been impaled by one of his own arrows. A nasty bang on the head combined with the summer heat and extensive blood loss sends him spiraling into a fever dream hosted by a hallucination of his lost brother Merle (Michael Rooker). Merle slowly dissects his kid brother’s psyche, exposing his regret of not thoroughly searching for his missing sibling and jealousy that he’s not considered a natural leader. Turning his angst into energy Darryl eventually manages to make it back to the farm compound bleeding, limping and battered only to be mistaken for a walker and almost taken out by a trigger happy Andrea. However having found Sophia’s raggedy doll during his ordeal, Darryl once again manages to bring the group back a reason to hold onto hope, something Rick and Shane have yet to do.
And if the climax of this week’s show is anything to go by, the group will soon need all the hope they can get. Remember that awkward dinner scene, well turns out the note Maggie passed to Glenn indicated that she actually did want to take things further. It also turns out that old man Hershel does indeed have a dark secret. As Glenn arrives at the farmhouse barn looking for some late night love he instead finds a shack full of ravenous walkers. Why exactly does Hershel have an army of walkers in his barn? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find that out…