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THE EXORCISM OF CHARLES LEE RAY: Chucky Season 2 Episode 7 “Goin’ to the Chapel” Recap & Review

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Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another world, and in it…lies another perfect hour of television, and another excessively long recap!

The episode opens in a flashback stylized after Curse of Chucky, with Jake (and other key players throughout the episode) in a monochrome confessional booth opposite Father Bryce. While Jake and Nica wallow in self-hatred over being unable to stop Chucky, Andy confesses he’s worried he might lose all purpose if he destroys the doll and isn’t sure who he would be without the little redheaded menace. Glenda confesses that all they wanted was to know who their father was, and now that that trail has gone cold, they feel completely lost.

In the present, Mixter holds a gun on the kids in exchange for Good Chucky. Kyle arrives to stop Mixter, and the two have a standoff. Outnumbered, Mixter makes a deal with the crew: Bryce gets to destroy “Good” Chucky’s spirit in an exorcism, Nica gets to put Nica-Chucky into the doll, and Mixter walks free with this final iteration of Chucky, aka Chucky Prime.

On the road to the exorcism, Tiffany is caught at a diner by her own vanity and flees after being recognized by stray fans. She insists on taking control of the original Tiffany doll body and swapping with Tilly…but not before the car engine burns out, leaving Team Glen stranded in a parking lot. Soon after, a botched escape attempt by Tilly results in the actual real-life Jennifer Tilly dying, getting splattered in doll form by a truck, sending Tiffany into tears.

How many people with the voice of an angel do we have to lose this season?

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As everyone prepares for Hurricane Divine Intervention, Lexy is at the end of her rope and has completely lost all her faith in Jake and Devon’s reassurances. She confronts them with the hard question of whether misery and death are the only things keeping the crew in one piece, and it’s not only an impressive performance by Alyvia Alyn-Lind, but it also brings into question the nature of their relationships in a significant way.

Lexy relapses and takes the temptation of Good Chucky fully, hearing Nadine’s voice before tearing down all her posters and seeing a hallucination of Nadine as an angel. In her last appearance of the season (maybe, there’s still a Christmas episode!) Nadine reassures Lexy that she and everyone else will be okay, and convinces her not to commit suicide by overdose. Sister Ruth, however, wakes the sleeping Lexy and takes her hostage.

Downstairs, Team Glenda officially expands to Team Incarnate Lord (including Jake, Devon, Dr. Mixter, Andy, Kyle, Nica Pierce, Glenda, Father Bryce, Sister Catherine, and DEAR LORD what is this, an Avenger’s line-up?), with all the characters finally united and playing off each other wonderfully. Father Bryce settles on going rogue following his excommunication from the church, you know, on account of telling the Vatican there’s a possessed doll running around. He even gets a cute suiting-up montage, so that’s how you know he’s serious.

It’s then that we get the biggest of all the flashback confessions, surprisingly coming from Father Bryce to Sister Ruth. He confesses that he’s struggled with his sexuality his entire life and has been externalizing some seriously internalized homophobia. Father Bryce made such a standout heel-face turn in such a short time, and it hurts that he really started to grow on me here. Why did it have to be so close to his inevitable death?!

Father Bryce begins the exorcism with the whole Chucky Survivor Support Group at his back, and following a chorus of “the power of Christ compels you” Father Karras style, Charles Lee Ray’s spirit is sent back to Hell!

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…Sorry, did I say Hell? I meant directly into Father Bryce’s body, who he makes violently explode all over the chapel and its inhabitants.

What did we say? It was inevitable!

Following that grisly demise, Nica unveils a new, uncut Damballa chant, and finally rids herself of her father’s presence in her body and mind. A vengeful Jake begins drowning Chucky Prime in burning holy water, but Sister Ruth comes in with Lexy at gunpoint and forces him to give the doll up. Mixter runs, and before Ruth can turn this church to Jonestown, Glenda throw’s Chucky’s very own bowie knife into her eye and kills her. Andy catches up and blow’s Chucky’s jaw off with a few expertly placed shots, forcing Mixter to retreat. Andy finally gets to finish off his long-time nemesis. Temporarily at least, this little rascal will never die.

As Chucky’s final(-ish) doll body burns, the kids watch with worry. Andy and Kyle walk off into an uncertain future together, and we get a heartwarming flashback to the ending of Child’s Play 2. Nica shares a cigarette with Glenda and thanks them for the second chance at life. Tiffany and Glen arrive at the showdown late, and while the twins reunite, a wrathful Nica pulls a gun on Tiffany. Though Valentine begs her to spare the kids from having to see this, Nica takes the shot anyways, and Glen jumps in front of the bullet, trying to save their mother. Tiffany and Glenda drive off with Glen in hopes of saving them while Mixter rides off into the night.

Oh, and we see one last off-screen confession…at some point in the exorcism, Mixter became the true host of Chucky’s spirit, and everything went exactly according to her plan. So much for ending the season on a win.

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PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHT: If Father Bryce had been played by anyone else this season (including Michael Theriault), I don’t think they could have pulled off the challenge Devon Sawa did in this episode. His confessional was heartfelt, and painfully explains so much about his character, granting magnitudes of unexpected depth. Though part of me wished this wasn’t all crammed into one episode, the emotional whammy his performance delivers is undeniable.

VISUAL HIGHLIGHT:  All of the special effects in this episode stunned me. From Glenda’s insane knife throw to Father Bryce exploding out of nowhere, to Tilly getting turned into a jelly donut getting smashed at high speeds, this episode was a crunchy, wet, gore-filled special effects fest that would make Childs Play’s 1 through 3 blush with how wild we’ve gotten. But of course, the love has to go to the incredibly lifelike severed, post-explosion Bryce head.

QUOTE OF THE EPISODE:

“You think I’m scared to go to hell?! I’m from Jersey!”
– Chucky, on state pride

OVERALL RATING: 10 (Ooey Gooey Person/Doll Explosions)/10. With a classic scenario as the central set piece of the episode, homage’s-a-plenty to the most legendary horror film of all time, as well as an incredible closer for several characters, “Goin’ To The Chapel” is as close to a perfect episode as can be. From Father Bryce, to Lexy, to Nica, the episode is as much of an emotional thrill ride as it was a visual one. The only question left: how we’re going to top this level of quality, let alone insanity, in the finale?

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Luis Pomales-Diaz is a freelance writer and lover of fantasy, sci-fi, and of course, horror. When he isn't working on a new article or short story, he can usually be found watching schlocky movies and forgotten television shows.

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A VERY HACKENSACK CHRISTMAS: Chucky Season 2 Episode 8 “Chucky Actually” Recap & Review

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He’ll be back. They always come back. And when this show comes back next year…man, I’m getting a serious case of déjà vu!

Jokes aside, I want to thank all my recap readers out there and hope you enjoy this last one until next October rolls around; if you like them, try out the other assorted horror morsels here on Horror Press. But in the meanwhile, let’s get this final festive R&R going!

Following Andy’s execution of the final Chucky, her life flashes before her eyes…yes, HER, because it’s Mixter who’s trapped in there. It’s revealed Charles knocked Dr. Mixter out while Glenda was taking care of Sister Ruth in the Chapel, and that’s when he got his Ade Due Damballa switch in. Chucky’s early Christmas present is a clean slate, with nobody’s knowledge of his continued survival.

Three days before Christmas, Lexy visits N.A. and drops the truth about her addiction to an audience, in which Jake is sitting as her sponsor. It’s revealed everyone ended up getting their 100 hours of community service in following the Incarnate Lord chaos that got the school closed permanently, and Jake is crashing at Chez Cross with Lexy and her family for the holidays (namely so the former Mayor Michelle Cross can exploit the good PR of taking in two orphans at Christmastime; I mean, come on, that’s publicity gold!). I also should have been more suspicious of getting the holiday gift of more Barbara Alyn-Lind in this episode because she is at her peak of playing a perfectly preened and focus test polished scumbag.

Elsewhere, Glenda keeps vigil over a comatose Glen in the hospital, reporting to Tiffany that their condition is only worsening. A desperate Glenda asks her to pull out her Jennifer Tilly persona one last time to smuggle in the Glen/da doll so they can save Glen with another soul transfer. A cop catches them red-handed and Tiff hulk smashes a vase over his head before Glenda gives into the intrusive thoughts and electrocutes the cop’s face into bursting into flames (a tribute to their first flaming kill in Seed of Chucky).

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Question: Is it still a yule log if it’s made of pork?

Unimportant.

What matters is that the transfer goes off without a hitch. Good news: Glen and Glenda are back into one doll, voiced once more by the beloved Billy Boyd! Bad news, both of Lachlan Watson’s physical incarnations in the series are now dead, so we probably won’t get them again unless it’s through flashback. Better news: the new Glen-Glenda composite, now going by G.G., looks so glam! G.G. tells Tiffany they plan to travel the world, mentioning a visit to England before mother and child part ways tearfully.

Jake gifts Devon some podcasting equipment (awkward gift choice), and Devon splashes the cold water on him when he reveals he hasn’t been into it for a while (awkward-er way to receive a gift). As everybody digs into Christmas dinner, the argument over the gift reignites, and they end up addressing their broken relationship. I love that Don Mancini took the season finale to effectively make the show a family drama where a killer doll is running around in the background.

Lexy apologizes to her mother for seeing her as the sole source of her problems, and the two have a surprisingly tender moment where they both admit they made mistakes. At night, the Hackensack Gang also reconcile for letting themselves get lost in the Chucky sauce and, do I even have to say Jake and Devon reconcile again? This is like the tenth time this season.

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Chucky, transferred into you-already-know-its-not-the-last Chucky doll, drops down the chimney with a Santa cap and the world’s quietest chainsaw. Riffing on “Twas the Night Before Christmas” inside as he munches on some cookies and milk as murder fuel, Tiffany arrives outside to get that Belle doll so she can finally transfer back into a plastic soul shell. When she breaks in, Mayor Cross catches a large Jennifer Tilly-shaped mouse stirring, and is enchanted by Tiffany long enough for Chucky to float down from the stairs like a Christmas fairy, bisecting Mayor Cross in the goriest kill of the season, and taking her off the naughty list permanently. Saving the best for last Mancini, I see you!

Tiffany and Chucky get into a verbal spat where he threatens G.G. for “misbehaving,” and Tiffany poises herself to protect the children upstairs. This leaves Chucky open for Lexy to jump down from the top rope—sorry, top of the stairs, and pin the doll. Fueled with rage, Lexy revs up the power tool and chops up seemingly the last Chucky with his chainsaw, while Tiffany runs upstairs and attempts a transfer into Belle. This only gets her a slash to the shoulder and back from Jake and Devon.

For a minute it seems like this is the end of Tiffany as the trio corners her, but if you noticed that I hadn’t mentioned Lexy’s little sister Caroline much in this episode, it’s because she only steps out here. Caroline then forces herself into a hostage situation with Tiffany holding a knife to her throat. She reveals that she’s been Chucky and Tiffany’s real daughter this whole time and has been stringing everyone along, a thought planted into her head by Chucky. Despite the trio’s protests, the sociopath in training flees with Tiffany and the Belle doll, leaving behind a heartbroken Lexy. The kids get taken into their former science teacher Ms. Fairchild’s care, which is good since she immediately believes them about Chucky. Time to get back to hunting Hackensack Gang!

In a 3-week flash forward, Tiffany hides in New York City wearing a very Selene Gallio outfit and being stared at by creepy Caroline. She gets a threatening call from Nica, who expresses her condolences but mentions that the hunt to torture her for everything she did is still on. Which doesn’t threaten Tiff much…until Nica mentions she can see her through a window. Panicking and trying to finalize the ritual to transfer her soul into the Belle doll, Voodoo for Dummies fails her. After all, we all know you can’t transfer your soul into a doll that already has one.

Standing up and wiping off his makeup, Chucky confirms that HE WAS IN THE BELLE DOLL THIS ENTIRE TIME, IN DISGUISE! He approaches Tiffany, ready for vengeance, as she screams. While we’re left to process our emotions, Chucky closes off with a song for the 22 deadly days of Christmas that confirms every kill in the season.

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We’ve been playing checkers.

Chucky has been playing chess.

And Don Mancini has been playing fifth-dimensional mind games with everyone since 1988.

VISUAL HIGHLIGHTS: I wasn’t kidding when I said the big boss saved the best for last with the death of Mayor Michelle Cross. This is potentially the gnarliest kill of the franchise, just for how it’s framed and the absurd levels of gore involved. The fact that it’s followed up with Lexy turning Chucky’s face into cubed cheese with the same chainsaw shows that no matter what threshold you have in mind for how nasty you think Chucky can be as a slasher, chances are it’s not high enough.

PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHT: It’s not that I forgot to get everyone on the show presents this year, I just genuinely must give this to the whole ensemble of the Chucky cast. The tonal pivot of this episode and the way many of these characters’ storylines end up, both permanently and temporarily, just forced the whole cast to bring their A-game. From the sweet but not maudlin reunion of Jake and Devon to the parting of Tiffany and GG, down to even the simplest interactions between the entire gang, I don’t think there was an episode with better overall performances.

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QUOTE OF THE EPISODE.

“I feel like…if the public were just reminded of all my charitable endeavors, that, perhaps, they would just make that silly murder charge go away!”

– Tiffany Valentine, on making the most of your charity this holiday season

OVERALL RATING: 9 (Chainsaw Induced Christmas Cleanups)/10. I’d say this is the overall score for the season. Was I less critical of this season in general than my season 1 reviews? Yes, most likely. When you serve up nothing but good television, I just have less to complain about. Learning from all of the mistakes of its previous season, the pacing was tightened up to perfection, and all the intrigue we got was given satisfying payoffs; “Chucky Actually” is the embodiment of all those improvements and the promises of another great season, wrapped up and set under the tree just in time for the holidays.

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Edging Tomorrow: The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans Ep 3 “Science-Fiction (Horror) Double Feature” Recap

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In space, no one can hear you flush. And since the coven is doing some post-Spooky Season cleaning, it was pronounced “Ovska for Miss Yovska” last week and their swamp was drained. Now, our precious little witch bitches are trading in their muddy stilettos for a pair of space booties and continuing their journey to slay them all and reign supreme. It’s time to see who can best channel their inner Event Horizon fantasy and make Astrud’s Season 4 Xenomorph look so last season. Rita Repulsa, eat your heart out.

The Challenge
While they await the go-ahead from Miss Houston of the Haus of Mission Control, the Titans convene in the Boudoir to discuss last week’s witchy wonders and who’s probably gotten the chop. Everyone agrees that Erika’s Curse of Baldness was more of a blessing for Abhora, who had a great week with their wild spiral lewk. It appears Erika was the unlucky soul who endured a less desirable candy-coated night. Always one to dabble in the dramatic arts, Abhora claims it was hurtful for Erika to be so petty toward her frenemy. Erika insists petty is not in her vocabulary, but as we continue to see with our Uglies this season, prosthetic queen Victoria isn’t the only one with two faces. Once Kendra makes her grand return to the Boudoir – to no one’s surprise – she calls out Astrud and Evah for their alleged duplicitous commentary before last week’s elimination. The great chanteuse Paris Hilton once told us stars are blind, but perhaps these ghouls should pluck a few more eyeballs to keep watch for an attempted backstabbing, or two.

Back at the launch pad, the Boulets appear via satellite to inform their Titans of this week’s challenge: Science-Fiction Horror. They must conceptualize, design, and create a look to fit this theme, and while it can range from terrifying to retro-futuristic, it must reflect their drag above all else. However, before they can prepare for blast-off and figure out a way to strap Koco’s curvy figure into a spacecraft, the Fright Feat awaits.

Fright Feat
While these Titans are technically undead and could probably survive a few minutes with no oxygen and zero gravity, the Boulets would never send their Uglies to explore deep space unprepared. The underworldly explorers enter a dingy hallway shrouded in misty green light in a fun Saw-like segue reminiscent of the cold opens from regular seasons. They meet their hunky alien drill sergeants and come face to face with the Gravitron Vomitorium. Locked inside claustrophobic boxes, they must avoid using their faces as barf bags and endure heavy g-forces while the contraption spins for three minutes. Kendra admits something like this is her worst fear, and after watching the Titans swirl and twirl for a bit, they all seemingly make it out with their stomachs intact. Surprisingly, HoSo admits this to be the worst experience they’ve ever had on the show thus far, which is quite the feat.

The Real HouseUglies of the Underworld
It wouldn’t be Titans without a disproportional amount of interpersonal drama oozing its way through the Boudoir, and this week, the chaos reaches head-spinning levels of melodrama – Andy Cohen, are you watching? Melissa stirs the pot first by exhuming the lone Yovska vote from week one and asks HoSo if they’ll always be out to protect Abhora. HoSo gives a politically correct answer and states that they love Abhora as an artist and would not want to see them go so soon. Girl, you can try and be Switzerland all you want, but as Kendra lovingly puts it, getting “hugged the fuck up” with Astrud during filming is both somewhat unprofessional and hurtful toward Abhora. HoSo uses their idolization of Abhora as an excuse to avoid confronting the problem but isn’t letting such a volatile situation go nuclear as you look the other way just as problematic? Ideally, Abhora will focus on the $100,000 prize and compartmentalize the heartbreak for another time, but this is the agent of chaos we’re talking about.

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Astrud is likewise bothered by the situation despite actively taking part and attempts to hash it out with Abhora. As expected, nothing is solved and everyone – including Abhora’s bestie Evah – is becoming increasingly tormented by this love triangle from Hell.

In a moment that is all things cringe, enlightening, and heartwarming, Evah attempts to sort things through with Abhora despite her frustrations. Melissa sees this as an example of two-faced behavior, but true friends can be compassionate and express their frustrations, no? Abhora is so upset that they stand facing the wall and away from the camera’s gaze. In the end, it seems they realize that anger and resentment are not healthy coping mechanisms. Progress? Stay tuned!

Kendra beckons Melissa to the cauldron to take some shots and spill the tea away from prying eyes. Koco soon joins them, and KoMelDra is back in action, plotting against the Love Triangle Thotties. Koco suggests letting the others be their own undoing, as they should focus on being at the top. They can prance over the corpses of their self-destructive enemies in the finale. It’s here that Melissa also reveals some troubles from home that have been affecting her time on the show, and suddenly her annoyance with the love triangle makes more sense. In an especially cruel brand of spite, her husband left her a week before filming Titans, which has left her at an emotional disadvantage heading into the competition. Kendra and Koco tell her to use the pain as fuel, and she says that’s exactly what she’ll do.

The following day, Kendra and Evah squash their beef from the week prior while Abhora remains unfocused and bothered that no one cares. I feel for you, beaked icon, but ultimately everyone is there to compete for fame and fortune rather than play nice. Some residual drama continues, and Koco calls it back to Blue’s Clues by requesting a handy dandy notebook to keep track of the theatrics. And speaking of theatrics, the Titans give us another silly montage as they make tin foil hats out of Koco’s leftover costume materials. Comedic relief: We love to see it.

Floor Show & Judgment
Our deep space deities, the Boulet Brothers, enter the main stage serving dainty galactic bug. I’d never thought I’d use that word to describe them, but watching them flutter their capes and traipse around the stage in delicate movements is the biggest gag of the episode. I guess evil does have a cutesy side! The duo then introduce guest judges, actor David Dastmalchian – who gives Crispin Glover a run for his oddball money – and their favorite martian, drag superstar Alaska Thunderfuck 5000. A vintage intro that looks like a cross between the video game series Mass Effect and the V/H/S films plays, and the floor show begins.

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Astrud starts it off by serving Ivan Primordial Ooze realness. She’s taken all the eyeballs her fellow competitors need to watch their backs and transformed into a bio-goop beast, slinking around like M3GAN in the apocalypse. Koco follows, commanding the stage like Mega-Man’s horny younger sister. She looks absolutely sickening as she makes love to her oversized blaster cannon. It’s even adorned with a small mirror so that she can take in all her beauty as she rides that retro rocket to completion and decimates her foes. Erika, looking the most horrific she’s ever managed as a neon Day Glo Ghidorah is next. Taking a page from Victoria, she uses heavy prosthetics for the first time, and it works, despite a body suit that’s a bit too frumpy.

Abhora then materializes on stage in a typically polarizing lewk. Governed by a sphere around her head and chained into couture, she bites a pigeon’s head off and gives us angel-eater end-of-the-universe perfection. It’s very final boss of a JRPG, but considering the theme, it’s a bit too out there for most. Kendra seeks to one-up Abhora with a performance that’s simultaneously hilarious and baffling. Looking like a character from the 90s Nickelodeon show Doug, she sports a British accent and screams the following into a Nintendo Switch controller:

“BITCH! Grandmother bitch! What do you want?! I’m out with the girls! I’m going to the Protozoa concert later. Grandmother bitch said it was fine! It’s her fucking money! You know she’s your fucking mother! Bitch! Bitch! Grandmother bitch!”

She then poops out some sort of egg and eats it. I have no idea who/what/where/when/why this happened, but it was certainly a choice. HoSo, ironically, makes things sane again as a cyborg schoolgirl with swordplay skills. Going on two seasons in a row of their usual smorgasbord of the senses visual style is becoming a bit too expected, but as usual, it’s presented in detailed perfection.

Evah, Melissa, and Victoria are left to finish the show. Evah, doing her best Biqtch Puddin’ janitor, is a murderous robo-maid with a deadly mop. She nails the movements and has some great props, but the outfit needed a bit more work to make it stand out. Melissa enters as a glamorous Predator who dazzles the stage in a sparkling bejeweled custom bodysuit. It’s a bit on the nose (this isn’t the Horror Icons challenge), but she looks stunning. And finally, Victoria ends the night with a breathtaking display of grotesque horror. In homage to The Thing, she’s under head-to-toe prosthetics as a gnarly monster with an explosive and spikey chest piece. If Abhora was the final boss of a JRPG, Victoria is that of a Resident Evil game.

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The Boulets are impressed, stating that it’s the best floor show of the season. Melissa and Erika are safe and excused from the stage, and it’s clear Erika is a bit taken aback as she went all-in this time and hoped to be at the top. Astrud is praised for her complex work this week, but the judges were left a bit unimpressed by her hectic performance. Koco is congratulated for bringing her sexy, unique drag to the challenge, but it wasn’t enough to snatch the crown. It’s left to HoSo and Victoria, who each wowed the judges, and since this is a sci-fi horror double feature, both Titans win!

Evah, Abhora, and Kendra remain in the bottom and are appropriately chewed out. Evah is scolded for bringing store-bought items to the main stage, but the Boulets give her another chance and allow her sanctuary. Dracmorda loved Abhora’s look, going so far as to suggest a career in fashion design, but it did not fit the challenge for them. And finally, despite the hilarity of her batshit performance, Kendra was wearing the most basic outfit imaginable. The pair head into the Cauldron to await their fate.

Last Rites
Kendra understands she and Abhora have a similar track record, but defends her position by stating that, once again, it is unclear what Abhora is supposed to be. Abhora finally realizes that she’s trying to stand out a bit too much, sabotaging herself as a result, and everyone expectedly agrees that Abhora will be the one to go. If you thought this moment of self-realization would be left unscathed, you’re in for a shock. Abhora throws all caution to the wind as they curse out everyone in the room for thinking so poorly of them. They burn every bridge imaginable, and even HoSo thinks it may be their time to go.

Each Titan heads up the Staircase of Souls for the second time this season, and the tension is thick. Somewhat surprisingly, “KENDRA” called, and she plunges into darkness. Two Titans down.

Quote of the Episode
“Oh come on. So we’re supposed to compete with Universal Studios?” -Abhora, on special effects wizard Victoria

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Honorable Mention
Koco’s outfits are always skimpy, and sometimes that can be a detriment, but tonight she was the epitome of Koco Caine. The competition is fierce, but Koco is fiercer, and it was fitting to see her at the top despite not being as heavily detailed as some others.

Rating
The triangle of sadness drama is wearing thin, but at least for now, it remains entertaining. Add to this a cosmic floor show for the ages and a bottom two where either one could drop, and episode 3 made for some great TV. (9/10 missed voicemails from Grandmother Bitch)

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