Review: ‘Chucky’ S1X02: “Give Me Something Good to Eat”
Note: This review does contain SPOILERS for the previous episode. While I am trying to keep these as spoiler-free as possible, talking about the specific events of the prior episodes is unavoidable as I continue to cover this series.
With the groundwork laid out for the new story and character arcs, the second episode of ‘Chucky’ gets to show a more playful side with a whole lot of Chucky in all his glory. It may be too early to tell since the entirety of the first season hasn’t been displayed yet, but this may very well be my favorite episode of the series.
It’s been a week since the death of Lucas Wheeler (Devon Sawa) at the hands – or rather the vomit – of Chucky. Jake (Zackary Arthur) has been placed in the care of his extended family, now living with his Uncle Logan (Devon Sawa), Aunt Bree (Lexa Doig), and Cousin Junior (Teo Briones). It’s also been a week since Chucky revealed himself to Jake, as well as his intent to kill Jake’s Middle School tormentor Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and Chucky gets the strong itch to kill anyone at this point. He of course scratches this itch by killing the wealthy Wheeler’s housekeeper in a way that looks like an accident, but this has a ripple effect of sorts as it draws the suspicions of the investigating detectives, the lead of which being Detective Evans (Rachelle Casseus), the mother of Jake’s true-crime obsessed crush, Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson), as both recent deaths had happened in homes where Jake resides.
Meanwhile at school, as one of Jake’s bullies, Oliver (Avery Esteves), offers his condolences and invites Jake to his Halloween party, the vindictive Lexy plots to retaliate against Jake for humiliating her at the talent show. Junior, a character who is written as sometimes sympathetic and yet sometimes cold to his cousin, attempts to get her to back off from Jake, but she’s relentless. Despite all of this Jake is not yet onboard with Chucky’s intentions to harm her, but the equally relentless Good Guy Doll continues his manipulation of the 14-year-old outcast, trying to bring him to his side. In-between this, we get to see a bit of Lexy’s home life, introducing a future plot point involving her young, autistic sisters’ obsession with Chucky since the talent show, but overall, this scene comes up short in its attempt to paint Lexy in sympathetic light. As Chucky fails to make Jake an accomplice, he decides to take matters into his own hands and hunt her down without Jake’s help. After discovering that Chucky is missing, Jake rushes to the party in an attempt to stop Chucky and save her, but what he discovers at the party just may be the push needed to get Jake on Team Chucky.
To say that this episode is fun would be an understatement, and that really boils down to the writing – more specifically to the dark humor of the dialogue – and Brad Dourif’s vocal work. There are three examples of scenes that are total fun just because of the dialogue alone, two of which feature Chucky, one of which does not; the first of which is relatively early in the episode as Chucky totally bullshits Jake, swearing he had nothing to do with the death of the housekeeper, and also that he was accepting of his own transgendered kid. Both of things we, the audience, know are lies having witnessed the pre-titles death sequence, as well as the events from ‘Seed of Chucky’, where Chucky was not accepting of Glen/Glenda’s identity struggles. What really makes this a fun exchange is not only knowing that Chucky is lying, but also Dourif’s performance as the voice of Chucky, putting on a more of a calculating and innocent tone. On the flipside of this is a scene later on in the episode in which Chucky is talking to Lexy’s sister; here Chucky is much blunter and Dourif gives that attitude we all know and love from the character. Although it should go without saying, Dourif really shows a range that elevates the material beyond what it even deserves. However, lastly, the third example of a scene that’s fun just based on dialogue alone doesn’t feature Dourif at all, and instead involves Logan, Bree and Detective Evans. As the wealthy Wheelers are being questioned about the death of the housekeeper, Bree offers the cliched line about how “she was like family to them”, but once asked personal questions about their housekeeper, specifically where she lived and her next of kin, it becomes clear that the housekeeper was nothing more than an employee. Not only do I love that the writers call bullshit on this cliched line, but I also liked the performances from Devon Sawa and Lexa Doig as they react to the questions following that line. I’m sure I’m not doing any justice in explaining what it is that made this moment particularly entertaining for me. You have to see it to get it, I suppose.
Going beyond the entertaining dialogue, there are also some highly entertaining moments involving Chucky in action as well. In one scene we see Chucky, wearing a Hello Kitty mask, blending in with the crowd of Trick or Treaters as he attempts to locate the Halloween party that Lexy is attending. Clearly being played by either a child or a little person, there’s something about seeing Chucky walk the streets that brought a genuine smile to my face. At one point he offers an apple to a woman he encounters for information, and because of the opening sequence of this episode in which we see a young Charles Lee Ray (David Kohlsmith) discover and explore and apple with a razor blade within it – and because we know Chucky – it plays off as humorously sadistic. The real stand-out sequence however involves Chucky hiding under the bed that Lexy and Junior are making out on, and the “missed opportunities” are played in a rather amusing way.
Overall, this episode fires on all cylinders. The story and the actions of the characters continue to build and evolve the narrative of what’s to come, and most of all it’s just flat out entertaining from beginning to end thanks to the sharp writing and strong performances. If you love this franchise, you’ll love this show.
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