Don Mancini is back to remind us why you don’t fuck with the Chuck. The first episode of this was a chess board, the pieces have been set up and they have begun to move in an intriguing way. Great new characters, promises of old characters to honor the legacy of the franchise, and you have all the recipes for a great show.
So what is the set up? 14 year old Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) purchases a Good Guy Doll at a yard sale and we immediately get a glimpse into Jake’s personal life that seemingly made this purchase necessary. We find out that, with the untimely death of Jake’s mother he’s become a bit of an outcast with his peers and most regrettably, his own family. Jake deals with most people around him not being able to understand him or desire to be there for him in any significant way. The always great Devon Sawa takes on dual roles here as Jake’s father, and his fathers twin brother. As his father, Logan Wheeler has retreated into the bottle to mask his inability to deal with the death of his wife and accept his son as a gay teenager. Jake deals with his own crisis in the form of podcasts and art involving dolls. Chucky becomes a refuge for Jake, but that dynamic doesn’t last long.
As a fan of the franchise, and horror as a whole, it’s been a while since I looked forward to something as much as hearing the legendary Brad Dourif’s sharp tongue when he embodies Chucky. The episode didn’t disappoint. The menace we all love him for was there from the opening credits, and it didn’t take long for Jake to catch up on it. When he does, without spoiling anything for you, that gives us a glimpse into who the show is going to include to honor the films that came before it. In a great moment in the episode, Chucky reveals that despite his glaring, well, character defects..he is of course an ally. Chucky has no regard for human life, but while he lets you live, dammit you have a right to love you want to love.
Perhaps the only thing I would have changed about the episode was the choice that was made to start the body count. The dynamic we were introduced to I believe still had some mileage, and I would have liked to have seen where else it could go, to make that character’s fate more effective later on. But the story is going where it needs to go. Also worth noting, that if the inventive kill we saw was a sign of things to come, I am along for this whole ride. A great cast, with a central character I already care about, and Brad Dourif bringing his A game once again, has made this fan extremely happy. My recommendation is definitely to stick around and watch Chucky help more of these characters shuffle off this mortal coil.
Reviewed by: Paul Huffman