Every week Joe Lipsett will spotlight a key scene or interplay in Don Mancini’s Chucky collection to think about how the present is partaking with and contributing to queer horror.
We’re into the homestretch now. This penultimate episode of Chucky’s first season* actually kicks the plot into overdrive as everybody descends upon Hackensack and the present units the literal stage for a giant finale at a charity screening of Frankenstein.
*USA Community and SYFY higher renew this present. We’ve all seen the numbers!
Combined in among the many legion of Chucky dolls at 987 Sherwood Lane, Jennifer Tilly vamping it up in a near-literal Black Widow gown, and Junior (Teo Briones) murdering his father Logan (Devon Sawa), there’s additionally a very essential character second to debate.
Clearly “Twice The Grieving, Double The Loss” is hard for Junior and Devon (Björgvin Arnarson), who each misplaced their moms final week. They cope with the grief in several methods: Junior succumbs to devilish temptation and kills his father at Chucky (Brad Dourif)’s behest (there’s a dialog about cyclical violence available right here, however that’s for one more piece). Devon, in the meantime, pushes Jake (Zackary Arthur) away, retreating into the consolation of his true crime obsession.
The one factor that each boys do is blame Jake. Junior lashes out at him for being a curse (heh), whereas Devon pulls away, arguing that “being round you hurts.” Jake, in return, opts to pack a bag, steal money from his drunk uncle and head for the bus station. And that’s the place the queer horror of this episode is situated: homelessness and Chosen Household.
It’s important that when the pair skilled trauma prior to now, they turned to one another and (finally) Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind) for assist. Whereas we noticed within the final episode that Devon’s mom was supportive of his queerness, she nonetheless wasn’t the one he confided in or relied upon when he was in bother. Jake, in the meantime, has by no means had a dad or mum that he might flip to, which continues on this episode as Logan drinks away his grief and passes out on the sofa. Each of those storylines align with the experiences of the characters all through the season, which has repeatedly been outlined by a divide between teenagers and adults (a typical YA trope, which Chucky completely is).
The truth that Jake practically winds up homeless and Devon expresses issues about being put into foster care are each extremely professional issues for queer youth. In line with Youth.Gov:
LGBT youth expertise homelessness at greater charges than non-LGBT youth for a spread of causes. A current examine of greater than 350 runaway and homeless suppliers all through the USA recognized 4 prime causes for homelessness amongst LGBT youth: (1) household rejection ensuing from sexual orientation or gender id; (2) bodily, emotional, or sexual abuse; (3) ageing out of the foster care system; and (4) monetary and emotional neglect.
Considerably, when Jake returns from the bus station, he doesn’t go to his blood kin. As an alternative he goes to Lexy, who remarks that his determination to desert his Chosen household – that means her and Devon – is egocentric. Whereas her phrase selection is a contact merciless, the sentiment is highly effective. Going again to episode one when Jake’s father did not assist his sexual orientation, Chucky has been partaking in a dialogue in regards to the worth of discovering your Chosen – or Discovered – Household, which, in accordance with GLAAD, is “a gaggle of supportive folks offering unconditional assist.”
Chosen household will not be an solely queer idea, nevertheless it tends to be extra related to our lived experiences, notably the 39% of queer adults who’ve confronted rejection from their start households. Lexy’s use of the time period is a mirrored image of two issues: 1) it’s emblematic of simply how far the character has come from these early episodes, but additionally 2) how she – and by extension the present – views her friendship with Jake and Devon. The phrases are additionally a sign to queer audiences who will acknowledge and perceive the depth and significance of the time period, which explains why Lexy and Jake are keen to put their lives on the road to rescue Devon heading into the finale.
In spite of everything, these three actually solely have one another now and nothing is extra essential than (Chosen) household. We’ll see if it’s sufficient to get them by means of the battle to come back.
Chucky airs Tuesdays on Syfy and USA Community. For extra protection, see Meagan’s evaluation of episode seven.