If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The adage thematically sums up the penultimate episode of “Chucky” season one. The last episode offered up a whirlwind of reveals, converging paths, and a meanspirited death to boot. “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” slows everything down to meticulously place the players on the game board, setting the stage for what could only be a wild finale.
Just as Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) finally found happiness, Chucky rips it away. The death of Detective Evans (Rachelle Casseus) leaves Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson) an orphan without a stable home. Logan (Devon Sawa), reeling from his wife’s passing, follows in his twin brother’s footsteps by turning to the bottle in his grief, further alienating a furious Junior (Teo Briones). Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and Kyle (Christine Elise McCarthy) still haven’t made it to Hackensack yet, leaving plenty of room for Chucky and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) to stir up trouble and set plans in motion.
Episode seven brings “Chucky” full circle in a specific way. Chucky preyed upon Jake’s grief and isolation, attempting to groom a young killer in his image. Then Jake lost his abusive dad and found genuine friendships through Devon and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), who held him to task for his role in her attempted murder. No longer an easy mark for Chucky’s manipulations, Jake and his friends set about trying to stop the murderer. Now, Junior finds himself in Jake’s shoes; he’s left alone with a dad he’s unable to communicate with and deep in the throes of loss. Unlike Jake, Junior must deal with both Chucky and Tiffany’s meddling.
That symmetry between Jake and Junior’s past and present doesn’t just close the gap between two cousins that couldn’t be further apart in class or personality; it brings the entire season into focus. Why has Chucky returned to his hometown, and what has been his end game? The penultimate episode lays the groundwork in finally answering those questions. Just enough to tease what’s ahead without showing its hand.
The flashbacks continue to flesh out more of Tiffany and Charles Lee Ray’s past, without much in the way of surprises in terms of backstory. The point instead offers up a clue for the future. Episode six already established this more effectively, though.
This episode also serves as a shining example of how the season underutilized Sawa. Once Lucas was out of the way, Logan was relegated to the background with most of Hackensack’s adults, save for crucial relationship-building when necessary. “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” sees the character struggling to maintain control despite the crushing wave of loss, giving Sawa plenty to do.
More successfully, the episode highlights just how far Lexy has come as a character. She skyrocketed from the most loathsome example of privilege to a grounded ally holding Team Good together at the very moment they threatened to unravel completely. Lind transforms Lexy from the character you wish would die to one you’re actively rooting for in such swift and authentic order.
With just one episode left this season, “Chucky” still has so many loose ends and dangling plot threads left to address. It’s hard to fathom how it’ll be able to cover it all. “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss” lives up to its title, driving emotional wedges left and right as it begins a steady ramp up for the madness ahead. Despite some fantastic momentum for its characters, the episode works more as a means of catching your breath before the all-out war. It’s also a solid example that Don Mancini and the crew consistently deliver the unexpected.
“Chucky” airs on USA and Syfy on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.