Halloween is a little over a week away, but the second episode of Chucky offers horror fans a fun episode that takes place on the most spooky holiday of the year. In doing so, the series takes a marked step in the right direction after a somewhat mediocre pilot. Fittingly titled “Give Me Something Good to Eat”, this week’s episode reels the viewer in by crafting an impactful story about Jake’s gradual descent into darkness.
The Joker once said that madness is like gravity; all it takes is one little push, or one particularly bad day to make even the best of us snap. In the unfortunate case of Jake Wheeler, he gets pushed several times this episode alone. On top of the fact that he watched Chucky murder his father in the series premiere, the world has firmly shoved Jake to the other side. One particularly cruel prank by Lexy, his school’s resident mean girl, is certainly the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But several reprehensible acts at the hands of his classmates make it abundantly clear that, as Chucky himself says, he’s Jake’s only “real” friend in the world.
Imagine that. At the trying age of 14, constantly hounded by bullies and the identity crises that come hand-in-hand with modern adolescence, Jake can’t lean on anyone, other than a creepy doll that houses the soul of a homicidal maniac. So what’s he supposed to do when he and Devon, the one other person who remotely treats him nicely, are literally pushed into a closet at a Halloween party and ridiculed for their suspected homosexuality? The duo is sarcastically applauded by a room full of pubescent monsters who feel the need to tear others down to feel good about themselves. Here, Jake and Devon are humiliated together, an experience that could either sever their connection with each other or, hopefully, strengthen it and give the former a life jacket in his seemingly inevitable turn to the dark side.
This scene at the party is terrible, but it’s surpassed by Lexy’s unforgivable mockery later in the episode. Throughout the evening, she wears a trench coat to conceal her costume, but she promises her boyfriend, Junior (Jake’s cousin) that the ultimate reveal will be worthwhile. Not long after Jake escapes the closet, he stumbles onto Lexy’s nastiest act yet. Merely one week after the tragic death of his father, Lexy makes fun of it by dressing up as the deceased and acting out the nature of his death — electrocution. Dozens of Jake’s classmates laugh and cheer Lexy’s name while she recreates Jake’s father’s dying moments. More than anything else, including the murder itself, this moment essentially brings Jake to his knees, and it’s practically a miracle that Lexy leaves the party alive.
Fully aware of Lexy’s viciousness, Chucky places her at the top of his hit list. He hatches an elaborate plan to stalk her down by going so far as to wear a Hello Kitty mask and impersonate a trick-or-treater. (Watching the world corrupt Jake is rough, but this visual adds some much-needed comedic relief to the episode.) Chucky eventually makes his way to the Halloween party, and he comes within inches of ending Lexy’s bullying once and for all. Jake stops him in the nick of time, but it seems like Lexy’s fate is sealed. The episode ends with Chucky manipulating Jake by educating him about the “kill or be killed” world he faces. Chucky tempts Jake with the knife and inspires him to stand up for himself in the wake of all the torment he continues to face. The closing visual of Jake taking the blade from Chucky’s hand, and the reflection in the cold steel switching from Chucky’s sinister smile to Jake’s vengeful look of determination, perfectly punctuates the story.
This second chapter of Chucky is a much stronger outing than the premiere. In some ways, the series would have made a better first impression had this episode been its first offering, as it brilliantly sets up a heated battle for Jake’s soul. At this point, few signs point to Jake’s redemption, but some hope can be found with the friendly face of Devon, the lone person who treats Jake with kindness. Based on the various pushes into madness the boy has already been dealt, Devon and anyone else who might want to save Jake will certainly have their work cut out for them. At this point, based on Lexy’s blatant abuse, the viewer can’t be blamed for rooting Jake (and Chucky) on in their quest for revenge. Whatever happens next, the series has certainly set itself up for success moving forward.
Thankfully, horror fans won’t have to wait too long to see what’s next. New episodes of the Syfy and USA Network series will be released weekly, so catch Chucky, along with our review, every Tuesday.
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