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Anytime Chucky is onscreen, we must ponder not if people are going to die, but how many. With the first season of SYFY & USA’s Chucky wrapped after eight horrific, hilarious episodes, it feels appropriate to look back on the lives that were — and rank their endings.
The first question we must ponder when reminiscing on the many, many deaths in Chucky Season 1 is this: What entails a Chucky kill? Does it have to be the doll doing the deed? Can the doll be used as a weapon? Does Nica, while possessed by Chucky, count as a perpetrator of said kills? We’re trying not to get too existential here, so we’re just gonna follow in our pal Chucky’s little footsteps and be blunt: We’re looking at the ones that matter here.
The second question is this: What metric do we rank these kills by? General brutality seems to be the way to go — both in the way they were executed and how they shifted the plot. One death may have been bloodier than another, but what really makes a kill brutal is how much it changes the course of our young heroes’ lives in this series. The Child’s Play franchise started when creator Don Mancini made a film about how the world (and advertising) around children was hurting them, so the environment and consequences are just as important to Chucky as the deed itself.
With all that in mind, let’s take a stroll down this blood-soaked memory road and count down Chucky’s 10 most vicious, brutal kills of the season.
10. "Young Man,” Episode 5, “Little Little Lies”
No disrespect to the “Young Man” (Eric Tzogas) Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and a Chucky-possessed Nica (Fiona Dourif) have tied to a chair and ball-gagged in their first big scene in Chucky, but his death is nonessential compared to most others in the series. Yes, getting your throat slit doesn’t exactly seem to be a pleasant experience, but as far as the impact this guy’s death has on the series… kinda negligible, wouldn’t you say?
9. Oliver Hayden, Episode 3, “I Like to Be Hugged”
Oliver's (Avery Esteves) death by Chucky's stabby little hand in Episode 3, "I Like to Be Hugged," was an unnecessary tragedy. He wasn't perfect by any means, but he was a teen boy who didn't exactly deserve to die.
Chucky was just bored.
This death ranks so low on the list, however, because it's pretty par for the course in Chucky's book, and doesn’t personally affect our heroes too much outside of furthering their entanglement with Chucky. Not that it makes this death any less horrifying.
8. Detective Peyton, Episode 4, “Just Let Go”
In Episode 4, "Just Let Go," we get our fifth kill of the season. Detective Peyton (Travis Milne) has been sniffing around Jake as a suspect in the recent slew of murders ever since Luke Wheeler died, which hasn't exactly made him a fan favorite. But that doesn't mean he deserved to be stabbed with so many syringes that he resembles a modern art interpretation of a porcupine by the time they find his body.
This death has some seriously bloody results and, let's be honest, it pins more suspicion on poor Jake. With Chucky leaving the body in little Caroline's hospital room, and Jake being so close to said body, it was only a matter of time before Detective Evans started digging deeper.
7. Principal McVey, Episode 5, “Little Little Lies”
Good ol’ Principal McVey certainly wasn’t the main part of school for our young heroes, but they’ll remember her death forever. To strike further fear into his victims, Chucky beheads the principal and, to the tune of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll,” lets her head, well, roll out onto the stage and pulls the curtain back to reveal her body sitting there all regal like.
Points for creativity and that close-up (literal) head shot.
6. Annie the Housekeeper, Episode 2, “Give Me Something Good to Eat”
The Wheeler family's long-time housekeeper Annie (Erica Wood) definitely did not see her death coming until it was too late. When Chucky's looking to cause a little chaos in his new home, he takes some pent-up rage out on the housekeeper by pushing her into a dishwasher full of knives.
We will be the first to admit that pointing knives blade side-up in a dishwasher is, um, maybe not advisable? But that's not the point here.
It's not so much her brutal, totally avoidable death that ranks it so high on this list: It's the Wheeler family's reaction after. They reveal themselves to authorities to be far less caring for Annie than they thought themselves to be, once again showing how distant they are from reality. They didn't deserve Annie.
5. Luke Wheeler, Episode 1, “Death by Misadventure”
We’ll be honest: Luke’s death held the top spot in our ranking for a while. Jake's dad Luke Wheeler (Devon Sawa) is Chucky's first (human) victim, and his death is a doozy. Not only is it exceptionally violent — Chucky uses the man's own whiskey as a conductor to fry him while he's messing with the circuit breaker — but it kicks off Jake's spiral. Just before he died, Luke and Jake got into a gangbusters fight, with Luke proving once again how emotionally and physically abusive he is to his son, and how broken their relationship is. After his death, Jake moves in with his aunt, uncle, and cousin, and everything unravels from there.
Losing a parent is obviously tragic, but there's an argument to be made for Jake being better off without his father, who was clearly never going to accept Jake for who he is. Even with Chucky at his side and causing havoc, there are already so many more opportunities in Jake's life. However, that doesn't lessen the horror of this death.
4. Bree Wheeler, Episode 6, “Cape Queer”
Chucky’s got a real thing against parents in this series. As we eventually learn, it’s all part of his plan to isolate the kids and corrupt them over to his way of doing things.
Bree Wheeler’s (Lexa Doig) death is a straight-up homage to the first film when Chucky pushes another woman out a window to her death. This death is made all the more tragic by her loved ones thinking she’d committed suicide rather than being killed; she had just revealed how sick she was with Stage 4 cancer, and falling onto her car where her son was sitting seemed reasonable to so many because of that. This is arguably a huge turning point in the series, as it leads to the corruption of the innocent Chucky so desperately needs…
3. Detective Evans, Episode 6, “Cape Queer”
Now, as far as viscera goes, Bree’s death was certainly bloodier, but there’s something about the fact that the good Detective Evans (Rachelle Casseus) and her son Devon had just begun to really understand one another, and that she was on her way to help the kids, that makes this death hurt a lot. The impact of this death is huge. While Detective Evans was originally suspicious of Jake, she could have ultimately been a huge ally for the kids, which made her death a dark necessity for Chucky’s plan to really work.
The tackle-down-the-stairs-and-twist-your-head-around bit is also more than a little disturbing, especially when you realize that her death leaves Devon an orphan. Taking out the kids’ auhority figures is a smart move on Chucky’s part, but damn, does it hurt.
2. Junior Wheeler, Episode 8, “An Affair to Dismember”
For a moment there in the finale, you think Junior’s (Teo Briones) going to be okay, only for him to lean back from stabbing Chucky and the audience seeing that Chucky managed to stab him in return. He dies in his first love’s arms, and then we all cried.
While Junior wasn’t Chucky’s first choice to take up his violent mantle, he does end up being the easiest. Poor Junior is beaten down on the downlow by Chucky’s doings thus far, and his mother’s death — and Tiffany’s interference with his grieving father — is the final straw. The only good thing to come out of his passing is the bond formed by Jake, Devon, and Lexy — they’ll never forget him, and despite his mistakes, they’ll always love him, too.
1. Logan Wheeler, Episode 7, “Twice the Grieving, Double the Loss”
Oh, Logan. The Wheeler twins were a complicated pair. While at first Logan seemed to be the one with his shit together, as the series went on, he slowly unraveled. His wife’s death pushes him over the edge, and when he disappears so far into himself that he can’t be there for his grieving son, that’s when Junior takes everything he’s been feeling out on his father, who he hasn’t exactly had the best relationship with lately.
This death ranks No. 1 because it is arguably the most brutal, physically, since Junior literally beats his father to death using the Chucky doll (officially placing this in the “Chucky kills” category), and has a huge impact. Junior’s patricide triggers Chucky’s spell, allowing his soul to take over 72 other Good Guy dolls. It’s all one big domino effect. One very bloody domino effect.
Before we say goodbye, we must tip our hats (and Chucky's severed head) to the following deaths who didn't make the list, but deserve a nod anyway.
Kyle via explosion (MAYBE), Episode 8, “An Affair to Dismember”
Alrighty. We’re all thinking it right? The black-gloved hand at the end of Episode 8 has to be Kyle (Christine Elise), right? We can’t know for certain, but we saw her wear the same gloves earlier in the series, and if Andy managed to get away from the explosion scott-free, then his sister probably did too. Right?
Movie theater victims via stabbing, Episode 8, “An Affair to Dismember"
There were a lot of these folks. In one final cackle-ridden, slow-mo scene of mayhem, Chucky crawls under the seats of the local movie theater and stabs people through the seats, killing a couple handfuls of folks, including Lexy’s dad. It’s efficient, it’s brutal, and none of us will sit down in a theater again without checking the seat.
Binx the cat via... a mystery, Episode 1, “Death by Misadventure”
Technically, Jake's cat is Chucky's first victim of the series if the bloody tuft of hair Jake finds in Episode 1 is any indication. We've yet to figure out what, exactly, Chucky did with Binx's body, and we're kind of too afraid to ask at this point... Which makes the death potentially more brutal, depending on your imagination.
Binx deserved better, but his immediate hatred for Chucky made him an easy mark. Sorry, Binxy. You'll be missed.