It all comes down to this; in “An Affair To Dismember,” the seven-episode journey Chucky has taken fans on came to a head. Along the way, viewers have seen everything from clever kills to emotional character moments that filled the series with plenty of unexpected heart. Last time around, we argued that the show has struggled to balance its focus on new characters and its utilization of the franchise’s past. It was fair to hope that the season finale would finally find a solid middle ground between the two, and in the end, it delivered the best compromise hardcore fans and casual viewers alike could hope for.

From start to finish, characters from the past and present play meaningful parts in the story, both to help Chucky’s evil plot and to hurt it. As seen in the previous episode, Charles Lee Ray’s mission is centered around his ability to splinter his soul into multiple bodies. In fact, he intends to branch out into dozens of Good Guy dolls in order to produce an army of evil killing machines. This time around, the viewer gets a much-needed explanation as to how Charles can do such a thing. (Nica Pierce is an exception to the rule; otherwise, his spirit can only enter identical Good Guy dolls.) For a franchise that’s admittedly based on a bizarre concept to begin with, lumping another method to the madness into the mix is not a big ask. Instead, giving fans a clearer picture of the mythos makes the show stronger as a whole.

One of the best aspects of the finale has nothing to do with the episode itself; the day before the show aired, Chucky was greenlit for a second season. So this eighth episode had the chance to plant some seeds for the future. Most notably, it establishes a new potential antagonist moving forward. When Andy Barclay first arrived in the series, it seemed like he was destined for one final showdown with Chucky, and he gets it here. Kind of. He helps save Devon from Chucky’s clutches before the franchise OG is seemingly killed off. Andy comes back near the end of the episode, and he initially helps Jake and his friends save the day. But the surprising return of another familiar face derails his intent to stop Chucky once and for all. With a gun pointed at him, Andy gets roped into the doll’s vile scheme against his will.

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The last time we see Andy, he’s literally riding off into the sunset, not as a hero, but as an unwilling accomplice that might be forced to help Charles carry out his vision after all. This visual, along with previous teases that Andy might not purely be a good guy beneath the surface, leads the viewer to wonder if he might ultimately turn to the dark side. If so, he’d be a compelling villain for the second season, as he knows Chucky better than anybody. Jake and his friends barely stopped the doll this round; with Andy potentially on his side, Chucky might just be unstoppable.

For now, let’s focus on the present and the way Chucky‘s season finale executed the specific story that kicked off in the pilot. In the first episode, the show set Jake up as a killer-to-be, as he was clearly ripe for the picking for someone like Chucky to give him one final push toward madness. Since then, viewers have seen Jake come frighteningly close to giving in and unleashing his inner monster. But eventually, he defied the killer doll’s manipulation; powered by his own desire to be a good person and aided by a budding friendship (and romance) with Devon, Jake finds the strength to do the right thing and fight Chucky.

This arc concludes in “Affair To Dismember,” both as it relates to Jake’s romance with Devon and his battle with Chucky. Jake and Devon finally kiss, and in the final showdown (for now) between the doll and his former owner, Jake ironically shows Chucky the killer he always thought the boy was. At the climax of a fight between the two, Jake brutally squeezes Chucky until his eyes pop out of his head. Here, it’s clear that Jake has embraced exactly who he is, warts and all, and that’s a powerful message to send. But any celebration of his victory over Chucky won’t last long; with the knowledge that the series will return for a second season, viewers know that it’s only a matter of time before Charles seeks revenge as he always does.

All in all, “An Affair To Dismember” wraps up Chucky‘s first season. It doesn’t conclude the story in a neat little bow, but that’s most definitely a good thing. By leaving distinct loose threads at the end of this episode, the series leaves the fans eagerly waiting for the next adventures of Jake, Charles Lee Ray, and this colorful cast of characters. In the moment, this finale successfully closes up the opening season and sets the stage for what promises to be an equally captivating future.