Don Mancini Explains ‘Experimental’ Jennifer Tilly Murder Mystery Episode

This week’s episode of the horror series Chucky went in a wildly different direction. Jennifer Tilly (herself) hosted a party that became a real murder mystery with dead bodies and all. It is still Chucky Season 2, after all. The episode was more comical than even the more outrageous Chucky movies, and creator Don Mancini is here to explain the departure.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Chucky Season 2, Episode 4.]

Jennifer Tilly | SYFY

Mancini spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet before Chucky Season 2 began. We’ve both been waiting for you to see Tilly’s murder mystery so we can discuss what it means for the series. Chucky airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on SYFY and USA Network. 

What do Meg Tilly, Gina Gershon and Joe Pantoliano play in ‘Chucky’ Season 2?

Tiffany (Tilly) has been inhabiting the body of Jennifer Tilly since Seed of Chucky. Now she’s been living up the Tilly lifestyle and going broke. In episode 4 of Chucky Season 2, Jennifer invites her sister, Meg Tilly, and Bound costars Gina Gershon and Joe Pantoliano over. They play themselves. Jennifer is still keeping Nica (Fiona Dourif) prisoner, and her twins Glen and Glenda (Lachlan Watson) discover her. Also, Chucky himself hosts the episode. 

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“I wanted also to push the envelope with it, just get a little experimental,” Mancini told Cheat Sheet. “Because we had toyed with Chucky breaking the fourth wall at the end of the last season, I wanted to push that a little bit. So having episode 4 bookended in a Crypt Keeper type way, Chucky is sort of hosting the episode, that was just kind of a fun thing to do and then focus everything on Jennifer Tilly’s house and the events of a single night and bringing Glen and Glenda into this story, providing a new twist in what’s going on with Nica.”

The ‘Chucky’ TV series gave Don Mancini the freedom to get experimental

Mancini has always pushed the boundaries of the Chucky films, making Bride of Chucky a self-referential horror-comedy, and Seed even more comedic. Then he was able to bring the series back to more traditional horror, without losing Chucky’s sense of humor in Curse and Cult of Chucky. The TV series allowed Mancini to change tones from episode to episode. 

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“That’s one of the great things about having the TV show is we just have so much room in that we can sort of give full expression to different ideas and different tones,” Mancini said. “So much of what Chucky is, it was in the movies increasingly and now in the TV show, it’s a balancing act between all of these tones.”

The show returns to the kids next week 

The murder mystery episode was a departure, although it still continued the Tiffany/Nica storyline. Chucky can return to the storyline with the young cast coping with more Chuckys stalking them at Catholic school in the coming weeks. 

“You have, on one end, the sincerity and naturalism of the kids and their story and their acting style,” Mancini said. “And at the other end of the spectrum you have Tiffany and Jennifer Tilly and the character we call Nica Chucky which is Fiona channeling Chucky which is dialed up to 11. So it’s like accommodating all of that, juggling it and making it all work, having eight hours of storytelling at your disposal gives you greater opportunity for that.”

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