Locke & Key

Locke & Key s3

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Following the tragic murder of their dad Rendell Locke, the Locke children (along with their mom, Nina) move back to Rendell’s hometown of Matheson, Massachusetts to live in the Locke family ancestral home: Key House.

Nobody knows the exact reason why Rendell left Matheson to begin with—not even Nina—but when the Locke children start finding keys around the house, the mystery begins to unravel.

IF THERE’S A KEY…

Each key has a magical power. One allows them to go anywhere in the world, another opens their minds to explore long-forgotten memories, and still another turns them into ghosts.

With each key that Bode, Kinsey and Tyler find, another piece of their dad’s past is unlocked. But unfortunately, the keys aren’t from here. They’re from an entirely different dimension—one inhabited by demons.

The Lockes aren’t sure what the keys have to do with their dad’s death or why the demons want them so badly, but they do know this: The keys are their legacy, and they have to protect them.

…THEN THERE MUST BE A LOCKE

Don’t judge a lock or this show by its key. Netflix seems to be aiming Locke & Key at teens and perhaps even children, but it’s a bad fit indeed.

Despite some fun fantastical elements that amaze the Locke children, Locke & Key is surprisingly dark and scary. The magic that often leaves them in wonder also involves demonic possession and contributes to several violent deaths.

Language can be pretty harsh from both the adults and the kids. Teens engage in sexual activities and get drunk at parties. There’s some LGBT characters. And there’s a plot point that centers around a recovering alcoholic.

As the Locke family eventually learns, sometimes it’s better to keep things under lock and key. The same could be said of this show.

Episode Reviews

Aug. 10, 2022 – S3, Ep1: “The Snow Globe”

Bode gets trapped in a snow globe when he and his mom use a new key. Tyler tries to forget about his family and the magic of the keys by leaving town.

Gideon, a god-like demon, draws other demons to himself with his power. A flashback shows that he was the original opener of the demon portal. He uses the keys to start opening another portal to the demon dimension.

The Lockes use their keys to transform into animals. (And Bode, who turns into a sparrow, claims he’ll get his bird friends to defecate on his sister’s car.) Magical whispers lead Bode to a new key which transports Key House into a snow globe and back. A woman traumatized by being transported to the demon dimension slowly recovers.

Two demons who have taken the forms of women fight Nina and Kinsey with axes and super strength. The Locke women defeat them by trapping them in a mirror using one of the keys. Bode nearly freezes to death when he gets trapped in the magical snow globe (his family eventually rescues him). A man kills a sparrow using his bare hands. We see the body of a dead girl at the bottom of a well (and later hear her parents suspect she ran away and are still searching for her). A woman sacrifices her sister’s safety for her own selfish desire for power. There are some jokes about death.

A teen girl wears a top that exposes her midriff. A pride flag flies in town square. The Lockes prepare for their uncle’s wedding to another man. An underage couple drinks at a bar that doesn’t card. Tyler ignores texts from his family. There is a use of “a–.”

Aug. 10, 2022 – S3, Ep8: “Farewell”

The entire Locke family seeks to defeat Gideon and close the portal to the demon dimension forever.

A key is used to bring sketches to life (it forms doors where there are none and creates a working motorcycle). After a couple of keys fall through a portal to the demon dimension, the portal shrinks, indicating that if the Lockes return all the keys back to the dimension they came from, the portal will close forever. The Locke family uses a time travel key to go back and visit their dad one last time.

The Lockes and their friends nearly die when they get trapped in the mind of a dying man—and one guy doesn’t escape in time. (When they used the keys to enter the man’s mind, he was alive and well. But then Gideon attacked him and followed the Lockes into his mind.) We see the man receiving treatment from EMTs and later see his bloody corpse.

Gideon kills one police officer by breaking the man’s neck. The officer’s partner shoots Gideon multiple times, but Gideon survives and slits the man’s throat. Gideon attacks several people in a bar, smashing a glass against one man’s head and shoving another down a flight of stairs. A man purposely hits Gideon with his car (and Gideon survives). Gideon smashes the man’s face onto another car, steals the guy’s car and then nearly runs him over driving away. He eventually wrecks the car, flipping it while taking a turn too fast, and it explodes (again, which he survives).

Gideon breaks a construction crane and then uses the broken arm to destroy a well house (the only place where demons can be imprisoned). Gideon threatens to throw Kinsey into the demon portal, but her family rescues her and shoves him in instead. We hear some death threats.

Several couples kiss. A same-sex couple reminisces about their honeymoon trip. A teenage boy makes plans to go on a road trip alone with his girlfriend. A girl wears a shirt that exposes her midriff.

We hear a single use of the f-word, as well as singular uses of the s-word and “d–n.” God’s name is also abused a few times.

Feb. 7, 2020 – S1, Ep1: “Welcome to Matheson”

A grieving Locke family moves back to Rendell’s ancestral home after his death. A mysterious woman trapped in a well tells the Locke’s youngest son Bode about the keys. He finds two of them, but quickly learns that the keys are dangerous after the well woman betrays him and nearly gets his mom killed.

A man stabs himself in the chest with a key that sets him on fire and destroys his house in an explosion. A teenager shoots a woman in the leg and kills her husband when he tries to disarm the boy. Tyler witnesses his dad’s murder. Kinsey and Bode hide from the murderer. Tyler threatens to “beat” his brother if he disobeys a rule.

Two people get trapped in a “prison of the mind” with the skeletons of other people who died after getting lost there. Creepy reflections move on their own. Magical keys “whisper” to Bode so he can find them.

A teenage couple makes out and they take off their shirts (we see the girl’s bra). A man kisses his wife on the cheek. Women and teenage girls wear tops with cleavage showing. A girl exits a bathroom wrapped in a towel. Teenage boys talk about sex. A boy tells his sister that her conservative outfit is very “saving it for Jesus.”

Teenagers drink at a party. A teenage boy tries and fails to light a marijuana joint. Someone describes a drawing room as a place to drink and smoke cigars. Someone talks about drunk women.

We hear several uses of the s-word, “h—,” “a–” and the British expletive “bloody.” God’s and Jesus’ names are both misused several times as well. A child uses his middle finger to say goodbye to people after his uncle tells him it has multiple meanings.

We see a taxidermized fawn. A girl is unsympathetic to the death of Mr. Locke.

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Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her fiancé indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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