[Review] “Locke & Key” Raises the Stakes in Darker But Uneven & Rushed Second Season

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With introductions and setup out of the way, our favorite Good Guy doll can cut loose. Literally. Episode two of “Chucky”, “Give Me Something Good to Eat, deepens character dynamics, unleashes Chucky’s personality in full force, sharpens its narrative, and gives the pint-sized murderer a loathsome target.

More importantly, Chucky infectiously embraces the Halloween spirit.

In the immediate aftermath of the premiere episode’s major death, Bree (Lexa Doig) and Logan Wheeler (Devon Sawa) have taken in their nephew, Jake (Zackary Arthur), with Chucky in tow. Jake’s cousin, Junior (Teo Briones), isn’t too thrilled about the new living situation, especially as his girlfriend Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) continues her merciless bullying. Through Lexy, Chucky deepens his abusive bond with Jake, grooming the young teen for murder.

CHUCKY — “Give Me Something Good to Eat” Episode 102 — Pictured: Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler — (Photo by: USA Network)

“Give Me Something Good to Eat” sets up an interesting parallel between cousins. Lead protagonist Jake finds himself more isolated than ever, outside of kind crush Devon (Björgvin Arnarson), leaving him susceptible to Chucky’s promises of being his friend till the end. That Chucky turns his homicidal rage toward anyone that would dare hurt Jake, with Lexy at the top of his hit list, gives Jake a false sense of allyship that leaves him morally confused.

Opposite him in this episode is Junior and the pressures placed on him by dad Logan. Logan seems determined to raise his son in his image, so proud of his athletic past that he’s unable to see how his strict regimen affects Junior in the present. The episode even gives a glimpse into Lexy’s home life, yet another example of the overarching nurture versus nature theme. Lexy is already a monster, but Jake is directly on the path to disturbing darkness.

As for Chucky, well, a flashback to Halloween in 1965 gives another telling look that Charles Lee Ray was born bad. In the present, Chucky uses Halloween to cut loose, offering a franchise highlight as the doll openly embraces the holiday festivity in a way that only he could. The killer keeps his murder streak alive and well, of course, satiating the bloodhounds, but keeps one coveted kill just out of the knife’s edge.

Chucky hits his stride in episode two, bringing all the attitude and one-liners you’d expect. In one meaningful conversation with Jake that sees Chucky attempt to manipulate the teen further, the franchise mythology gets a nod when Chucky shares with Jake that he has a genderfluid son (Seed of Chucky).

CHUCKY — “Give Me Something Good to Eat” Episode 102 — Pictured: Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler — (Photo by: USA Network)

“Give Me Something Good to Eat” expands on character relationships and arcs, further setting Jake up to become a tragic player in his own story. Chucky freed him from one abusive father figure last episode, only to fill that void this episode. How that will play out offers the most fascinating facet of the series, even as Lexy continues to be the absolute worst.

Chucky’s goal in returning home remains to be seen, as do the franchise players teased to make an appearance. But with gleeful moments of Chucky playing video games or roaming the streets on Halloween night, it’s easy to get lost in the present.

“Chucky” airs on USA and Syfy on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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