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The killer doll Chucky, created by Don Mancini, has haunted the dreams of countless children and adults for years since his initial debut in the late ’80s with Child’s Play. Horror genre fans only got a small taste of Charles Lee Ray’s (David Kohlsmith) backstory starting with how he became a doll. Episode 3 of the new TV series Chucky unveiled a layer of the serial killer never before explained to fans.

The SyFy series, also created by Mancini, finally gave the answer to one of the questions fans have always had: was Charles Lee Ray born a killer, or was he created? The new series was the perfect setting to reveal how Charles Lee Ray the serial killer came to be and his murderous, swearing killer doll.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers about Chucky.]

Chucky doll and character from SyFy's 'Chucky' series in dark school hallway.
Chucky doll and character from ‘Chucky’ series | via SyFy

‘Chucky’ Episode 3 takes viewers to Charles Lee Ray’s tragic childhood

In Episode 3 of the series, “I Like to Be Hugged,” Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur) and Chucky have developed a protege and teacher bond. Jake knows how evil Chucky (Brad Dourif) can be but asks how he became a killer. For the first time, Chucky delves deep into his past. The episode flashes back to the ’60s at Charles Lee Ray’s birthday party. Everything seems normal and the epitome of the American white picket fence dream.

New reports warn the public of a heinous serial killer terrorizing Hackensack, New Jersey. Charles and his parents listen in shock. But, Charles’ morbid fascination with the cake knife alludes to a darker side of him. Late at night, Charles witnesses the serial killer murder his father.

He and his mother hide in her bedroom closet with Charles clutching into his pocket knife. His mother would have never suspected the real evil to be her son. When the Hackensack serial killer opens the closet doors, he is stunned — Charles had already stabbed and murdered his mother with his knife.

Charles says the line, “I helped.” The killer is shocked but applauds the young boy on his first kill. But, the killer gives Charles some advice on covering his tracks like wiping the knife to get rid of fingerprints. The story of Charles Lee Ray reveals he was born to be a killer.

What did horror fans originally know about Charles Lee Ray before ‘Chucky’?

Understanding the Chucky franchise gives more insight as to why the series’s grand reveal was important. Child’s Play gets right into how Charles ends up living an immortal life as a doll. The 1988 movie begins with a homicide detective chasing him through the streets of Chicago.

To escape arrest, Charles tries to find refuge in a toy store. The serial killer already had a fascination with voodoo and the macabre. He uses a Good Guy doll to perform a Haitian voodoo spell to transfer his soul into the inanimate object.

As he recites the spell, the store is struck by a bolt of lightning. His body is dead, but his soul lives on in the doll. Throughout the Chucky franchise, Mancini focused more on the evolving story of Chucky the doll than the real man’s past. According to SyFy, “Fans for decades have been wanting to know more about the origins of Chucky. This television show was the perfect opportunity to get into that,” said Mancini.

‘Chucky’ series has other ‘firsts’ for the frachise


‘Chucky’ Creator Don Mancini Says If You’re Worried the TV Show Won’t Be Gory, ‘Wait’

Chucky is the first time Mancini reveals more about his infamous killer doll. Throughout the movie franchise, fans were left in the dark about Charles Lee Ray before becoming a doll. All fans knew was his relationship with Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly) from when he was human. The series has other firsts for the franchise.

In the other movie installments, Chucky always focused on killing and finding a suitable human host for his soul. Chucky focuses on training Jake to become a killer and make him his protege. The series also delved into something never done before by Mancini. The horror creator made Jake the ‘final boy’ and an LGTBQ character. The short 10-episode series is already a hit as it gives horror fans something new to cling to.