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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Queer Horror of “Chucky”: Episode 6 – “Cape Queer”

Each week Joe Lipsett will highlight a key scene or interaction in Don Mancini’s Chucky series to consider how the show is engaging with and contributing to queer horror.

Chucky continues to be a wild ride from week to week. As Meagan noted in last week’s review, the series does seem to be shifting (alternating?) between Jake (Zackary Arthur) and Chucky (Brad Dourif) as protagonists, and overall the series is only getting busier this week as Andy (Alex Wheeler) and Kyle (Christine Elise) join the fray.

What I’m appreciating about the series, though, is that time is still being dedicated to the small emotional beats of the core pre-teen cast. Chucky began as a queer teen’s story and while the story is obviously getting bigger and more sensational, the character moments that land the best in “Cape Queer” are centered in this queer coming of age tale. Not that seeing Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) scaring a realtor off or Andy and Kyle re-enacting Pulp Fiction isn’t great, but it has a completely different vibe and impact.

“Cape Queer” is pretty obviously centered around a pair of mothers and the relationship they share with their son. After last week’s reveal that Bree (Lexa Doig) has terminal cancer, this week we get to see her come clean to Junior (Teo Briones) in a tearful moment…and then get brutally dispatched by Chucky in a nice callback to both Bride of Chucky and Cult of Chucky.

CHUCKY — “Cape Queer” Episode 106 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Lexa Doig as Bree Wheeler, Teo Briones as Junior Wheeler — (Photo by: SYFY/USA Network)

The other mother/son pair is the one I’ll focus the rest of this editorial on, because although Devon (Björgvin Arnarson)’s detective mother (played by Rachelle Casseus) is terrible at her job, she’s a pretty great mother to a LGBT kid.

In earlier episodes, we’ve seen Devon dance around his sexuality with his mom. Back in episode two, there’s a pretty clear indication that Detective Evans knows about her son’s queer status, but she doesn’t force the issue or prompt Devon to come out. While her concerns about Jake negatively impact her relationship with Devon for the next few episodes, it’s pretty great to see Detective Evans and Devon have a heart to heart in this episode about his feelings for Jake.

One of the most modern elements of this particular scene is how Devon doesn’t ever actually come out. He never actually self-identifies his sexual orientation and Detective Evans doesn’t press the issue; she merely inquires if Jake is the one that Devon has feelings for. It’s a very contemporary approach to coming out: some queer youth opt not to label themselves at all, while others don’t feel the need to “make a big deal” out of declaring who they are and who they’re attracted to. The days of taking over the cover of People to declare your sexuality are long gone; now it’s just a normal conversation.

Alas just like with Bree, this bonding moment is merely a precursor to Detective Evans getting killed off later in the episode, which puts a capper on any kind of emotional growth the pair could have had. But as an anti-thesis to the traditional “coming out” scene we’ve seen (and in contrast by Jake’s own experience back in episode one when his father literally beat him for being queer), this is quietly powerful and compelling. 

RIP Detective Evans: at least you got to know who your son really is before you took that fatal tumble down the stairs.


Chucky airs Tuesdays on Syfy and USA Network. For more coverage, see Meagan’s review of episode six.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3692279/queer-horror-chucky-episode-6-cape-queer/

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