FULL SPOILERS FOR THE CHUCKY SEASON 1 FINALE FOLLOW
A ton happened in the Chucky Season 1 finale, including deaths, escapes, explosions, reveals, and more.
I spoke to Chucky creator Don Mancini, who has been guiding the franchise for its entire 33 years history, about the big events in the finale and how it sets up Season 2, on the heels of the show having just been renewed earlier this week.
Read on for what Mancini had to say, including the possibility of multiple characters from the past returning. And here’s your one last spoiler warning for that finale!
NICA NEEDS A HAND
It has been a rough, rough road for poor Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) since Chucky (Brad Dourif) came into her life in 2013’s Curse of Chucky — though as we know, his obsession with her mother, Sarah, had ramifications on Nica even before she was born — with one calamity after another befalling her. Things certainly didn’t let up when she returned on the Chucky series, as she found herself possessed by Chucky half the time and held prisoner by Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) the rest of the time. Things took a decidedly macabre turn in the season finale though when Tiffany, now herself dangerously attracted to Nica, cut off all of Nica’s arms and legs, in order to ensure she would go nowhere.
Asked about this turn of events, Mancini darkly laughs, “We’ve left Nica in yet another very precarious position in which the odds are stacked against her. But really, the motivation for this, continuously, is that I want to give Fiona more cool stuff to do. When I pitched this to her, she was like ‘OMG… Like… what!?’”
Mancini noted this turn of events, “Is obviously somewhat inspired by Boxing Helena,” referring to the 1993 movie directed by Jennifer Lynch, in which a man amputates the limbs of a women he’s obsessed with. However, Mancini adds he felt this story progression, “Was also logical. I didn’t go into the season thinking ‘One of the things I want to do is a nod to Boxing Helena!’ It was really part of the organic process when I was working on the bible for the season and wanting to set up yet another cliffhanger. ‘What would Tiffany do at that point?’ And it made total sense that she would do that. And I also knew that I was extending or offering Fiona yet another major acting challenge.”
Mancini added, “What was also really funny is that at one point, somebody from the studio called me, from physical production and said, ‘Um, we just have a question… Is Nica going to be a major character in Season 2?’” Mancini recalled how he told them yes, she would be, “And they went ‘…Okay. Noted!’ Because, you know, they’re just like thinking of the budgetary ramifications of what that entails.”
KYLE, WHERE ART THOU?
In the finale, with Devon her captive, Tiffany sets an explosive trap, inadvertently set off by Andy and Kyle, as they arrive to rescue Devon. By the end of the finale, we know Devon and Andy escaped, but Kyle is left unaccounted for. Should we presume this was the end for her? The answer may be found in that mysterious person in a later scene.
Said Mancini, “When the kids are at the cemetery at the end, you clocked that gloved hand, right? That could be either Andy or Kyle, because we saw in episode six or seven where Kyle buys them the driving gloves and says, ‘Oh, look what I got us!’ and we see them both put them on.” Mancini added, with a grin, “I’m no fool. I leave my options open!”
I mentioned that until the moment with that gloved hand, it almost felt like the storyline for Jake, Devon, and Lexy might be wrapped up, at least for the time being. Mancini couldn’t get into specifics yet about how much these characters would continue to intersect with Chucky just yet, simply saying “stay tuned.”
Though Tiffany is the one who sets the bomb, Mancini notes it was Chucky’s plan — referenced earlier after Andy stops by Junior’s house but lets him go — with his hope being that all of his enemies, or “good guys” as he sarcastically refers to them, would try to rescue Devon and be killed in the process.
Adds Mancini, “We cut one line of dialogue that was really funny, though, when Tiffany, who of course is inhabiting the body and life of Jennifer Tilly, pulls out this bomb. At one point, Chucky-Nica says, ‘But you just bought this place!’ She goes, ‘Yes, and Jennifer Tilly is gonna make a killing on the insurance!’”
TIFFANY, THE DOLL, NOT THE PERSON
In the busy closing moments of the season finale, Andy, escaping with the truck full of Chucky dolls, is confronted by a gun-wielding Tiffany – a second Tiffany that is, in her doll form.
This actually is a payoff of sorts, because we had seen this doll before – the human Tiffany had her in her car at the end of Cult of Chucky.
Mancini said he did always consider that something that should be circled back to, explaining, “I knew I wanted to bring the Tiffany doll into it at some point but I actually think it was Tony Gardner’s idea to do it in that scene ultimately, so I should give credit where credit is due. I think he was the one who suggested that we do it at the very end in that scene. I said, ‘Yep! That’s correct!’ I knew I always wanted to feature her lightly somewhere in the finale and Tony was right, that was an ideal place.”
The meta aspect of Tiffany now possessing the body of the actress Jennifer Tilly is a plot point that goes back to 2003’s Seed of Chucky, and Mancini revealed, “I think we’ll probably delve even more into that in Season 2, about what that’s like on a more practical level.”
Tiffany mentions Glenda in the season finale, the second reference to Chucky and Tiffany’s child from Seed of Chucky during the season – or children, if you consider the Glen and Glenda personas were last seen inhabiting separate human bodies at the end of Seed. While Mancini couldn’t get specific, when asked about Glen and Glenda’s whereabouts, he replied, “This is probably one where I’m not allowed to say too much, but I love those characters. I think it’s probably safe for me to say that you have’t seen the last of them.”
As the season progressed, Chucky — both the show and the character — was brutal with the parents of the main characters, killing nearly every one of them, one by one, by the end. Except, that is, Lexy’s mother, Mayor Michelle Cross (Barbara Alyn Woods ), who Mancini acknowledged, from an audience perspective, “Was probably the only one that everyone really wanted to die!”
When it came to all those parental deaths, Mancini said, “One of the aspects of this show that we’ve really enjoyed doing is plugging Chucky into a kind of YA, young adult, teenage realm. And I think that one of the big parts of a teenager’s life is their relationship to their parents. If you’re dealing with any kind of YA material you’re going to get into that. This is a horror show and even though there’s a lot of humor in it, I wanted it to be horrific. And one of the ways that we accomplished that is by killing off parents, some of whom deserve it, but then some of whom don’t.”
Mancini added, “One of my favorite death scenes of the entire franchise is Bree‘s death. And I think that our director of that episode, Samir Rehem, did such an amazing job shooting that. And I wanted it to be operatic because it’s a horrible, genuinely shocking, terrible moment, because it’s part of Chucky’s plan. He’s trying specifically to traumatize this kid, Junior, so badly to push him over the edge to become a killer. And so the death needed to really accommodate that and to really sting. But yeah, it was always part of the plan to kill a bunch of parents.”
Chucky fans love that this is a franchise with 33 years of canon behind it, where every sequel — and now the TV series — has continued plot threads from before and added to them.
While it was expected that the show would eventually continue plot threads from Cult of Chucky, one surprising revelation was that rather than picking up years later, it was picking up right after – or, arguably, right beforehand or simultaneously.
As Mancini acknowledged, “There is a bit of an overlap, because in episode five, Nica says it’s been two weeks [since Cult of Chucky].”
Observed Mancini, “You know, when you do any kind of sequel, a little bit of retconning — hopefully minor retconning — is often necessary. Some fans have said, ‘Well, this doesn’t make any sense because Cult of Chucky was in the winter.’ But, you know, but that’s Rhode Island and they’re having a really, inclement, snowy October, apparently, in Rhode Island. Hey, climate change! Global warming, man… It’s real!”
Chuckling about those timeline complications, Mancini added, “We retcon, well it’s not even a retcon, really, but we’re just kind of vague about the specific year. And you kind of have to be a bit vague about it. Because it’s like, do you take Cult of Chucky to have occurred in 2017, the year that that movie came out? Is it 2017 now [on the show], or does Cult of Chucky take place in 2021? It could have. And also, we’re living in a world where there’s a pandemic and we’re two years into that and clearly the world in the events on screen is not going through a pandemic. So in that way, I guess you could say it’s like a slightly alternate reality.”
BACK TO FLASHBACKS
Chucky utilized flashbacks throughout the season, filling in gaps in Charles Lee Ray’s life, from his childhood up through the day he was destined to be killed and put his soul inside a doll in 1988’s Child’s Play, with Fiona Dourif wearing prosthetics to play the role her father, Brad Dourif, originated.
Though the flashbacks have caught up to Chucky’s cinematic origins, Mancini said that moving forward, “I think that you maybe haven’t seen the last of them. I think that that stuff was very gratifying for all of us that it landed as well as it did. People seem to really like it. Of course, Fiona Dourif is phenomenal, and I think Blaise Crocker [as young Tiffany] is amazing. I think people really like them. There’s probably more we can see.”
That being said, Mancini said in the future, with any flashbacks, “It may take a different form. For example, and this is just off the top of my head, but whereas this season we threaded it throughout the whole season, maybe in Season 2, there will just be specifically one episode that has a [flashback] focus. But I really enjoy those characters now and I think of them almost as different characters, young Charles Lee Ray and young Tiffany. The actors are so great, and that’s so much really my motivation with all of this stuff over the decades is I love actors. I love working with actors, and I love writing stuff for actors that I know and giving them new s*** to do.”
THE BALLAD OF EDDIE CAPUTO
One notably fun reveal during the flashbacks was that the teenage Charles’ orphanage friend was Eddie Caputo, Chucky’s partner from the original Child’s Play. While Mancini wrote Child’s Play, it was the one film in the series that was given substantial rewrites without his involvement, and he noted, “That character was actually created by [Child’s Play Director] Tom Holland for the first movie, but it was a sort of tantalizing opportunity. And it’s such a distinct name! It’s a name that people in the first movie, they say it a few times, like Chris Sarandon’s partner [Santos, played by Tommy Swerdlow], he’s like, ‘Did Chucky want you to see Eddie Caputo?!’ talking to Alex Vincent in this little childish voice. So I just think over the decades, I would just often idly think to myself ‘Eddie Caputo! Eddie Caputo!’
The more that has been added to Chucky lore, the more complicated Charles Lee Ray’s final night as a human has become, which Mancini laughed about, admitting, “It is a busy night. There’s a lot going on that night!”
In the Chucky season finale, we see Charles and Tiffany have a fight, and he angrily leaves, but as we saw in Curse of Chucky, he’s heading, in Mancini’s words, “To go over to this woman that he’s obsessed with and stab her in the stomach and cause Nica to be paralyzed. But then, as we find out [in the Chucky season finale], it was Tiffany who called [Detective Mike Norris].”
On top of that, Child’s Play showed that Eddie was waiting nearby in a car for Charles, which must mean he was going to help him get away after he held Nica’s mother as his prisoner, with Mancini mentioning, “Then, a few weeks later, in 1988, he’s going to get blown up on a house on the south side of Chicago.” Mancini couldn’t resist adding, jokingly (I think!), of Eddie, “But did he die? Do we know that he died?”
MIKE AND KAREN… AND DE SILVA?
With so much attention to continuity and characters from the past, there are a couple of Child’s Play franchise alums who have been notably absent for 33 years – Andy’s mother, Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks), and the cop who killed Charles Lee Ray, Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon). Both have been mentioned but haven’t been seen since that original film.
When I asked Mancini if the time may be approaching for Karen and Mike’s return, he replied, “There is some possibility. Do you want to see them?”
I let Mancini know that I would very much like to see them return and his response to that was certainly encouraging. “For the Chucky fandom, I like to take the temperature of these things. So it’s like, ‘Do you want to see these characters again? Well, perhaps you should tune in next year…’”
Going even deeper into the franchise, there have been several references to Andy’s time at Kent Military Academy in Child’s Play 3, but we’ve never seen folks like Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers) or De Silva (Perrey Reeves) again.
While it doesn’t sound like anything is planned with these characters at the moment, Mancini did point out, “Perrey Reeves is down for coming back! I haven’t talked to Perry Reeves in a long time but I really liked her. She was cool back in the day and she just seems super nice. And I saw she recently posted something where fans were asking her ‘Would you want to be on the show?’ and she was incredibly gracious and enthusiastic, saying, ‘Hell yeah I’d like to!’”
Reeves is perhaps best known now for her role on Entourage as Ari’s wife, Melissa, and Mancini added, “Even though I don’t really know Perry and I haven’t talked to her a long time, I was weirdly, inordinately proud when she was Mrs. Ari.”
Chucky will return for Season 2 in 2022.