The first few episodes of Chucky firmly established the series’ original story, but with “Cape Queer,” the show continues its deviation from this path. Hardcore fans will likely enjoy this switch; for the second episode in a row, Chucky doesn’t just take a trip down memory lane. It takes a full detour and picks up some passengers along the way. By the time we reach the ending credits of this chapter, the series has practically morphed into a microcosm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the way it incorporates characters from other movies and leans on the franchise’s previously established mythos.
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Admittedly, this writer approached the privilege of reviewing this show cold, with no knowledge of the cast aside from Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky. That being said, as a passionate fan of the franchise, seeing Alex Vincent show up and reprise his classic role as Andy Barclay in this episode was a wonderfully fun surprise. But he’s not alone; he’s accompanied by Kyle (Christine Elise), his foster sister from Child’s Play 2. All this time later, the duo is on a quest to exterminate Chucky once and for all, and they’re fueled by a righteous quest for revenge. (Chucky killed their foster parents and endured the then-kids’ attempt to destroy him.) With the combination of Dourif, Barclay, and Elise, combined with Fiona Dourif’s Nica Pierce and Jennifer Tilly’s Tiffany, who arrived in last week’s episode, the gang’s all here.
This class reunion of Chucky University, if you will, both gives fans plenty of nostalgia and starts to deliver a crossover with the new kids in town. Jake, Lexy, and Devon are still trying (and failing) to stop Chucky’s reign of terror, and they realize they need help. The trio’s decision to connect with Andy sets up an inevitable collision course between Andy and Jake, as the duo shares a mission to permanently put Charles Lee Ray down. Though Andy was seen in Cult of Chucky, it’s fair to wonder how much he’s changed since we last saw him. Kyle herself points out that his method of keeping Chucky contained — locking his live disembodied head in a safe — isn’t exactly a sign of a “normal” person. Have the years of torment from Chucky finally pushed Andy over the edge? Only time will tell, and that’s just one of the many questions “Cape Queer” sets up for the next episode and beyond.
This week’s outing also sets up a compelling dynamic between Nica and Tiffany. Nica has part of Chucky’s soul, but whereas the killer had previously been in control, she fully takes the wheel this time around. The sight of Nica internally battling Chucky control of her own body is captivating, and it’s augmented by Tiffany’s contribution to the matter. When Nica wins one round, she tries to fool the bride of Chucky into thinking that her lover is still at the driver’s seat. But Tiffany is too smart for this trick, as she knows Charles better than anyone.
When Nica knows the jig is up, she clearly worries that Tiffany will kill her. Instead, Chucky’s beloved reveals that she prefers when Nica is in control. She even states that she wants to figure how to make this outcome permanent. This development firmly plants the seed for a potential love triangle between Chucky, Nica, and Tiffany, and with all these moving parts, “Cape Queer” delivers one of the series’ strongest episodes yet.
With so much emphasis on characters from the past, it may seem like Jake, Lexy and Devon are doomed to get overlooked in this phase of the series. While they’re not forgotten whatsoever, their respective plots in this episode and the whole series, to an extent, aren’t as interesting. The budding romance between Jake and Devon is an exception, but for hardcore fans of the franchise, it isn’t nearly as gripping as the thought of Andy and Kyle going on a Supernatural-like hunt for Chucky.
For new fans, the way Chucky is leaning on the past to this degree might make it difficult to get into the story. Admittedly, the lore is comprehensive, so plenty of these references and tie-ins won’t land for those who haven’t seen the other films. It’s fair to hope that the rest of the series will strike a better balance so that old and new fans alike will fully enjoy a narrative that builds off the past chapters and adds a worthwhile cotinuation. Still, if the worst-case scenario is a show that’s like Avengers: Endgame with its extensive usage of the franchise, would that be such a bad thing after all?
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.