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Chucky - An Affair To Dismember - Review

The season finale of Chucky brought everything that a strong finale should to the table. It began to plant seeds for future storylines for the series to explore, as well as offering closure to some of its current characters who have been tortured by the killer doll. The young cast who has been involved throughout the series led the emotional finale, making their talent another huge takeaway. It all comes down to this; in “An Affair To Dismember,” the seven-episode journey Chucky has taken fans on came to a head. Along the way, viewers have seen everything from clever kills to emotional character moments that filled the series with plenty of unexpected heart. Last time around, we argued that the show has struggled to balance its focus on new characters and its utilization of the franchise’s past. It was fair to hope that the season finale would finally find a solid middle ground between the two, and in the end, it delivered the best compromise hardcore fans and casual viewers alike could hope for.

From start to finish, characters from the past and present play meaningful parts in the story, both to help Chucky’s evil plot and to hurt it. As seen in the previous episode, Charles Lee Ray’s mission is centered around his ability to splinter his soul into multiple bodies. In fact, he intends to branch out into dozens of Good Guy dolls in order to produce an army of evil killing machines. This time around, the viewer gets a much-needed explanation as to how Charles can do such a thing. (Nica Pierce is an exception to the rule; otherwise, his spirit can only enter identical Good Guy dolls.) For a franchise that’s admittedly based on a bizarre concept to begin with, lumping another method to the madness into the mix is not a big ask. Instead, giving fans a clearer picture of the mythos makes the show stronger as a whole.

One of the best aspects of the finale has nothing to do with the episode itself; the day before the show aired, Chucky was greenlit for a second season. So this eighth episode had the chance to plant some seeds for the future. Most notably, it establishes a new potential antagonist moving forward. When Andy Barclay first arrived in the series, it seemed like he was destined for one final showdown with Chucky, and he gets it here. Kind of. He helps save Devon from Chucky’s clutches before the franchise OG is seemingly killed off. Andy comes back near the end of the episode, and he initially helps Jake and his friends save the day. But the surprising return of another familiar face derails his intent to stop Chucky once and for all. With a gun pointed at him, Andy gets roped into the doll’s vile scheme against his will.

The last time we see Andy, he’s literally riding off into the sunset, not as a hero, but as an unwilling accomplice that might be forced to help Charles carry out his vision after all. This visual, along with previous teases that Andy might not purely be a good guy beneath the surface, leads the viewer to wonder if he might ultimately turn to the dark side. If so, he’d be a compelling villain for the second season, as he knows Chucky better than anybody. Jake and his friends barely stopped the doll this round; with Andy potentially on his side, Chucky might just be unstoppable. For now, let’s focus on the present and the way Chucky‘s season finale executed the specific story that kicked off in the pilot. In the first episode, the show set Jake up as a killer-to-be, as he was clearly ripe for the picking for someone like Chucky to give him one final push toward madness. Since then, viewers have seen Jake come frighteningly close to giving in and unleashing his inner monster. But eventually, he defied the killer doll’s manipulation; powered by his own desire to be a good person and aided by a budding friendship (and romance) with Devon, Jake finds the strength to do the right thing and fight Chucky.

Like Junior and Tiffany, Lexy, Devon, and Jake all have their own emotional struggles throughout the episode. After the Charles Lee Ray house is blown up following the arrival of Kyle and Andy, Jake and Lexy believe that Devon is one of the fatalities. Fortunately, he isn't, but that isn't revealed before Lexy and Jake are able to showcase their own emotional range. Jake has an intense scene wandering Devon's vacant room, clouded with guilt for bringing him into this danger. Devon makes his appearance soon after and the two share a heartfelt reunion. Lexy's own emotional battle begins with Devon but doesn't take its full form until the climactic event that is the charity screening of Frankenstein.

The charity event is the pinnacle of "An Affair to Dismember." For the event's celebrity guest, the Mayor introduces Jennifer Tilly, who announces that she will be giving Good Guy dolls away to sick children across the world. During her speech, Junior lures Lexy away by pretending to be in danger because of one of the dolls. This leads to an emotional exchange between the two, where Lexy reveals that she loved Junior because he was always innocent and good, the perfect contrast to her once horrid and cold behavior. This scene is arguably one of Lexy and Junior's best scenes throughout the entire series, as it feels incredibly raw and real. It also reminds viewers where these characters began and how they've developed over the series, which has been remarkable. Junior is then reminded of his parents and becoming the man that they would've wanted him to become. Once Chucky barks another order at Junior, telling him to kill Lexy, Junior stabs him instead. The moment is soon ruined by the shock that Chucky also managed to stab Junior, killing him.

This arc concludes in “Affair To Dismember,” both as it relates to Jake’s romance with Devon and his battle with Chucky. Jake and Devon finally kiss, and in the final showdown (for now) between the doll and his former owner, Jake ironically shows Chucky the killer he always thought the boy was. At the climax of a fight between the two, Jake brutally squeezes Chucky until his eyes pop out of his head. Here, it’s clear that Jake has embraced exactly who he is, warts and all, and that’s a powerful message to send. But any celebration of his victory over Chucky won’t last long; with the knowledge that the series will return for a second season, viewers know that it’s only a matter of time before Charles seeks revenge as he always does.

Junior's heartbreaking fate isn't the only awful thing that occurs at the charity event, as another Good Guy doll crawls beneath the seats of the Frankenstein screening, killing people through their seats. The first victim is Lexy's father, making the finale even heavier for Lexy emotionally. Jake and Devon soon arrive and Jake has his confrontation with Chucky. In this exchange, Jake is able to get closure about his father's death, revealing that even though his father was flawed and had harsh opinions about Jake, that the two never got the chance to work out their issues because of Chucky's choice to kill him. The confrontation ultimately ends with Jake strangling Chucky to the point in which his eyes pop from his head.

Following the climactic scene are the beautifully crafted clues for future storylines. Andy is also revealed to have survived the explosion at the house and hijacks the truck filled with Good Guys dolls. As he cruises down the road, he is then held at gunpoint by the Tiffany doll (marking her first appearance in the television series). Nica is shown to have suffered an unimaginable fate because of Tiffany and Chucky's battle over her body, as Tiffany has now amputated both of Nica's arms and legs. Perhaps the most mysterious piece of the finale is the owner of the gloved hand seen watching over Lexy, Devon, and Jake as they leave flowers on Junior's grave. While it could be Kyle who is thought to have died in the explosion, there is also a chance that this could be another character from Child's Play coming to join the fray.

All in all, “An Affair To Dismember” wraps up Chucky‘s first season. It doesn’t conclude the story in a neat little bow, but that’s most definitely a good thing. By leaving distinct loose threads at the end of this episode, the series leaves the fans eagerly waiting for the next adventures of Jake, Charles Lee Ray, and this colorful cast of characters. In the moment, this finale successfully closes up the opening season and sets the stage for what promises to be an equally captivating future. "An Affair to Dismember" ends with a scenic and incredibly comedic narration from Chucky where he recaps his 21-victim kill count. With all the events that take place within Chucky's finale, the development of Lexy, Jake, Devon, and Junior is the true highlight. None of these characters end in the same place that they began in, as Lexy has found a true sense of belonging with Devon and Jake. They have all experienced an insurmountable amount of loss in a short time period, making their fates in Chucky's second season an interesting point to uncover. Junior's own emotional journey has a tragic end, but it is a fitting end given the trajectory his character was headed toward following the loss of his mother. The trauma Chucky has put them through will bond them for the rest of their lives, and unfortunately, that trauma is just getting started.


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