Spoilers for Chucky episode 7, titled “Twice The Grieving, Double the Loss,” ahead. For more, check out our review of last week’s episode.
Two murdered moms mark quite the place to start an episode of TV, but this is Chucky, and we deal with dead parents on a regular basis here. Last week’s frantically paced “Cape Queer” had a lot of paradigms to shift, so “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” slows things down to build some tension for the finale. But aside from pushing one character past their point of no return, “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” feels like Chucky stalling.
With two main characters having a dead mom to cope with, Chucky devotes more time to Junior’s (Teo Briones) grieving process. That process involves sucker-punching Jake (Zackary Arthur) and suspecting his dad of having an affair with Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) after she shows up to Bree’s funeral and kisses him (classic Tiff). Junior’s descent into madness has been a long time coming, but his heel turn still feels forced. Put under immense pressure by his father, ignored by his girlfriend, convinced Jake has it out for him, Junior’s been a ticking time bomb all season.
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Early on, Jake was framed as an outsider that Chucky could exploit, until he connected with other people and insulated himself from the killer doll. Junior was always a foil to that and, after being cast aside like clockwork, has fallen victim to the same way of thinking. But lately, it’s felt like the show has actively worked to keep Junior totally isolated so that we’d buy it when he snapped. Chucky has had a lot of fun exploring the negativities the Good Guy doll can represent to each character; for Junior, it seems it may be something as dull and blunt as a weapon to beat his jerk dad to death with after that last straw breaks. Logan’s death scene is brutal and well-shot. And ending with Junior and Chucky singing “We Got the Beat” just felt right, as the show usually does when leaning hard into the bizarre.
Chucky’s malign influence is raising much more interesting questions across town in his childhood home, which Tiffany is using as a staging ground for some kind of Good Guy doll army. Chucky’s soul-splitting voodoo and to what ends it’s being used for remain one of the more exciting mysteries of the show, and the image of the platoon of Chuckies all turning their heads to the kidnapped Devon (Björgvin Arnarson) allows for some ambitious ideas to be in play. But that’s for next week — in the here and now, I’m more disappointed in how the loss of Devon’s mother is treated as an afterthought. Not only does focusing so much on Junior’s loss shortchange Devon of good emotional material, it also just feels strange that no one’s talking about Kim, a detective investigating a string of murders, being murdered herself.
Jake and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) aren’t in a much better place, with both seeming to be finished with their own development as characters. Arthur and Lind’s chemistry and banter is still fun, but there’s no conflict between the two. They’re both on the same page that Chucky’s plan, whatever it may be, has to be stopped at all costs. The relationship is beginning to feel redundant to the incoming Alex and Kyle, whose goals are seemingly the same.
“Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” fumbles its use of legacy characters in both the present day and flashback. Like last week, Chucky checks in on Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and Kyle (Christine Elise)’s journey to Hackensack. While their undercover Chucky assassination mission last week was useful for getting newcomers oriented to what these characters are all about, their scene here felt far more like pure finale setup. Andy abandoning Kyle at this point in their trip is a choice that seems designed to give her a last-second heroic moment when she’s least expected next week, not a natural thing for someone to do to their foster sister.
The ‘80s flashbacks detailing Charles Lee Ray and Tiffany’s early days are starting to feel less exciting and more obligatory. While they’ve been smartly tied in to what’s going on in present day (Chucky’s first kill), this week’s flashback to Charles and Tiff’s first experience cohabitating felt inessential and distracting. Especially in a week where it felt like a main character was being robbed of time to process a pretty serious trauma, extraneous flashbacks felt like a bad investment of screen time.