This recap of Locke & Key contains spoilers, so reader discretion is advised. Welcome back to another recap of season two of Locke & Key, the show based on the comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. Last episode, Tyler (Connor Jessup) was dealing with his girlfriend’s memory loss. But, he and Kinsey (Emilia Jones) may have found a way to solve that.
“Come on, wake up!”
Our episode begins at Keyhouse, 23 years ago. The furniture is all covered up, but the housekeeper is vacuuming. For some reason, Young Erin (Nicole James ) is just chilling in the house, having a Head Key party. In trying to shake Erin awake, the Head Key falls out of her neck. And so, that’s how Erin ended up stuck inside her own mind.
Back to the present, a very much awake Adult Erin (Joy Tanner) and Kinsey pull up to Keyhouse. Erin’s gonna be staying with the Locke’s for a bit while she waits for her trust fund to unfreeze.
Tyler wants to immediately pounce on Erin to learn how she remembers magic, but Kinsey’s like Dude, hold your horses.
As if shacking up with your high school boyfriend’s family after essentially waking up from a coma weren’t strange enough, things get real awkward with Erin crosses paths with Duncan (Aaron Ashmore). She’s so surprised at how old he’s gotten, and he’s like, Do I know you?
“Then you are not gonna survive.”
Then, Erin turns around and demands Kinsey give her all the Keys. No, she’s not a demon. She just thinks the Keys are evil and should be destroyed. Tyler insists they’re using responsibly. Besides, they’ve gotten rid of Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira).
Erin insists that the Keys themselves are problematic, in that that much power is too seductive. But Kinsey tells her to sit back down because she and Tyler are the Lockes here (respectfully, of course). Erin tells them to have fun digging their own graves.
Downstairs, Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) very deliberately walks into the kitchen, grabs a banana and starts eating. He pauses when he hears some whispering. He finds a small Key in a desk in the study It’s got a little house on its bow. But, Bode cannot find a key hole for it in the house.
Next, Bode and Nina (Darby Stanchfield) are on a playdate at Jamie’s (Liyou Abere), which means her dad, Mansplaining Weasel (Brendan Hines) is there. And, doing as Mansplaining Weasels do, he’s giving Nina a hard time about the Erin Voss situation. He gives her his permission to feel weird about her husband’s high school sweetheart in the house. Sadly, his behavior does not stop Nina from asking him out.
More tolerably, elsewhere, Bode is getting his butt handed to him in Monopoly. Also, like, a rather large spider has decided to join their game. Bode knocks the spider off the board with his game piece. Then, he shows Jamie his newly acquired key. The tiny house on the bow looks familiar to her …
“Woah. This is freaky.”
Bode is maybe less freaked out by the dollhouse of his own house than he should be? Like, one) why does it exist, and two) why does your friend’s dad own it? By the way, Jamie did not know that this house was Bode’s, so it’s not like she was just sitting on this info.
So, they stick the small Key into the door of the dollhouse, and the miniature lights up. The roof to the dollhouse comes off. And wouldn’t you know it, the little replica shows you exactly what’s going on in the house at this exact moment. Bode picks up his bed, and it snaps in his hand … that’s probably not gonna be good.
It’s time to go home, and though the Mansplaining Weasel tries to keep Nina from seeing the dollhouse, see it she does. He says that he can explain. You see, he bought it at an antique store. And, he’d just been trying to find the right time to tell her about it. He tries to gift it to her, which is maybe the first thing he’s done that I approve of. But, she declines. Bode tries to get her to reconsider. No dice.
“Is someone catching feelings?”
Over at their blacksmithery in the woods, Godge (Griffin Gluck) is stirring some molten Whispering Iron while Evil-den (Hallea Jones) sucks at the dregs of a soda. Godge leaves Evil-den to do the stirring while he goes to salvage the dregs of his relationship with Kinsey.
Cut to: Scot’s (Petrice Jones) epic sequel script. The Savinis are brainstorming how to make this film even better than the first. Doug (Jesse Camacho) shoots down Kinsey’s suggestion to film in the maritime museum. OK. I like Doug, but he is such a trope on a show that already isn’t doing great with marginalized representation, and it’s just rubbing me the wrong way.
I’m going to keep harping on this because I see that Locke & Key is trying. Few main characters outside of the Locke family are white. They have queer representation and disabled representation as well. However, again, just having characters who tick off diversity checkmarks isn’t enough. From what I can find on Google, it seems that the Locke & Key writers room isn’t totally white, which is a good place to start. But, like, it’s not enough to populate your world with color if you’re not going to develop them into fully realized people.
“Just in case of emergency.”
Back at Keyhouse, Tyler’s chilling on his bed, right where Bode saw him hours ago. Erin creepily stands in his doorway. Tyler lives in his dad’s old room, so maybe she’s reminiscing? Erin finds Rendell’s (Bill Heck) baseball cap that is decked out with a fishing lure. What a trip down memory lane …
Tyler takes this moment to ask Erin how they all remember the magic. Turns out, they made a Key. He didn’t know you could do that! Erin says it doesn’t matter because they never should have done it, and she doesn’t even know where the Key is anymore. And that’s the truth! The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.
Bode is surprised to see that the furniture he played around with within the dollhouse has moved places in his room. He FaceTimes Jamie. Bode asks her to test their theory and place something small in the dollhouse (but not before once again checking whether he can trust her). Surprise! Now Bode has a giant gummy bear.
“If you have complete confidence in your art all the time, you’re probably a sociopath.”
Back at Doug’s, Kinsey gives Scot a pep talk because he’s spiraling about his lack of progress on the sequel. Sweet Kinsey’s all, Great. You’ve written a scene! Scot is not pepped. Aww, Kins, please come be my cheerleader.
But, Kinsey’s not deterred by Scot’s negativity and offers to help him write the script. They’re vibing now, which Godge walks in on. Godge doesn’t like.
At the blacksmithery, Evil-den’s still stirring, poor demon. When Godge bursts in, he takes over for her, but not out of kindness. He’s sending Evil-den to Keyhouse …
But first, we’re treated to another awkward scene between Erin and Duncan. She offers him some cereal, by pointing to the open box on the counter. Then, she watches him pour his coffee. Finally, Erin rhetorically asks if Duncan even remembers her. He doesn’t because his whole childhood is blank for him. She says “I’m sorry,” you know as people do. And he’s all, Why are you sorry? Yikes.
At school, the Savinis are still talking about their movie, but now they’re fawning over Scot’s amazing script. But, then
the greedy studio execs his friends are peeved that he hasn’t written more, as he’s been working for weeks. It all devolves into a fight about who will take over for Scot when he’s gone. Watching Godge stir the proverbial pot here is *chef’s kiss*. The Savinis don’t even see how they’re being manipulated.
But Godge’s manipulation is quite devious. He calls Scot selfish, and Scot practically flies to his feet. Then, he shoves Godge. Of course, Scot’s not doing this of his own volition. Evil-den’s just outside the room using the Music Box Key to manipulate Scot. And she stole this from Kinsey’s room when?
Scot punches Godge. And as Scot’s being dragged out of the room by Mansplaining Weasel, he keeps repeating “Kinsey, I didn’t do that, I didn’t do that.” To her credit, Kinsey immediately guesses that there’s a high chance Scot was being controlled. She calls Duncan to check whether the Music Box is still in her room.
“The one with the creepy, headless ballerina?”
Godge, meanwhile, flips out and sends Evil-den back to Keyhouse to replace the Music Box. In her haste to destroy the evidence, Evil-den leaves the Anywhere Key on Kinsey’s dresser. Duncan finds it and pockets it.
So, Kinsey has to reconcile with the fact that maybe Scot did punch her boyfriend. Again, as with last episode, Godge was dropping truth bombs, and I’d have sympathy if they weren’t being dropped for the sake of evil. Scot was being a wee selfish, trying to have his cake and eat it too (not that I really blame him for that … ).
Without the Anywhere Key, Evil-den has to sneak out of Keyhouse the old-fashioned way — through the window.
Barf. Nina and Mansplaining Weasel are on their date, at a bowling alley. He tells her that some of his ancestors spent time in Matheson, which she finds very interesting for some reason. They start talking about his late wife, who sounds wonderful, by the way. What was she doing with this clown? (Apologies to all clowns, for the comparison.)
Date’s over. They flirt. They kiss. Thanks, I hate it.
Meanwhile, Jamie’s back home, working on some geometry homework. Unfortunately, she never took the Key out of the dollhouse, and that already ginormous spider from earlier creeps into one of its windows.
“I tried to call an Uber, but no one would pick me up because I have a 1.3-star rating.”
In the life-sized world, Duncan’s listening to classical music and cooking his famous cacio e pepe, you know, as The Gays™ do. Bode texts him from upstairs to find out when it’s gonna be ready, you know, as the Gen Alphas™ do.
Over at the blacksmithery, Evil-den comes in after walking 15 miles! Ooof, the fear on Evil-den’s face when she admits she lost the Anywhere Key. She coils back, like she knows she’s about to get stricken. But it doesn’t come.
Next, Bode’s in lounging on his broken bed, eating off pieces of his gummy bear, watching what looks like a truly terrifying show with gremlin-troll puppet things. He receives a text from “Uncle Dunc 🥳” that dinner is ready. Bode thanks God and tries to open his door to head downstairs. It’s stuck! No matter, someone’s got a Hercules Key to help him out.
And, there are webs all over the place. That’s why his door was stuck. Tyler sees the mess and immediately asks Bode what he did. El oh el.
The brothers walk downstairs and see the spider, which starts chasing them. But like, why? Did it turn evil? Erin sees the spider and immediately gets it: Someone’s been playing with the Small World Key.
How do they stop it? Well, Duncan throwing boiling pasta on it does not work. But, it does lead to one of the best line deliveries of the season: Aaron Ashmore screaming, “Why is there a giant spider in the house!?”
Bode’s too busy to answer, since he’s frantically calling Jamie. He starts barking orders at her. That poor girl. Jamie smashes the spider, which leads to spider juice squirting all over Tyler’s beautiful face. Even with Jamie disposing of the spider carcass on her side of things, that is gonna be a lot of cleanup in Keyhouse.
“What happened to my cacio e pepe?”
Of course, Duncan cannot remember what just happened within seconds of it being over. And, is v concerned about his pasta dish being destroyed. Like, more concerned with that than the state of the rest of the kitchen.
Erin tries to remind him by bringing up his old dollhouse. And with the ire of a thousand bullied gay men, he barks back that he never had a dollhouse. Erin persists, as is her way. When she puts a hand on his arm to comfort him, Duncan flips out. SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE!
Kinsey comes home at this exact moment. They fill her in on the happs, and she deduces that the Small World Key must have something to do with the giant rat skull they found two episodes ago.
Then, Erin tells Tyler and Kinsey that, jay-kay, let’s not throw the keys away. And could you lend me the Plant Key? Too bad, so sad, that’s one the kids lost to Dodge. It’s not important, though, because Tyler knows she’s searching for Duncan’s memories, which he’s already got hidden in a duffle in his room.
“He wasn’t wrong.”
So, back in the day, Rendell thought the Black Door in the sea cave was the key to all magic, and they could open it to get more stuff to make more keys.
So, the OG Keepers of the Keys went to the caves, opened the door and Lucas (Felix Mallard ) got shot with a Whispering Iron bullet, and became L/D/Godge. But, the other bullets, that didn’t find a “host,” Erin says, were able to be used to make keys. So, like, are the Keys demons? Is that why they’re like semi-sentient?
Meanwhile, Godge is working on his key. He borrows a bit of Evil-den’s blood (non-consensually) to finish it off. Boom! So, umm, that didn’t work. Amidst the rubble of the explosion, Godge screams about Chamberlain lying to him. But his face and voice gets all demonic. Why, Grandma, what sharp teeth you have!
Back at storytime, Erin tells Tyler and Kinsey that Rendell was unable to make keys. It was, in fact, Duncan who made the Memory Key. And then the OG Keepers (non-consensually) took away all his memories of magic. Goodness. At least Erin sees the error of her ways?
“Of course. You’re family.”
Tyler and Kinsey insist they should be the ones to (non-consensually) replace Duncan’s memories, not Erin. Kinsey asks Duncan to trust her and Tyler. So, she inserts the Head Key into his neck. It’s really uncomfortable to watch the confusion and panic on Duncan’s face here, this whole episode. Kinsey assures him everything’s gonna be OK as Tyler walks into the door of Duncan’s mind with the duffel full of memories.
So much of this season so far has been about consent, and I wasn’t really expecting that? Yes, this show is really silly, but some of this is hitting really hard. How do y’all feel about it? Click below for the next recap.
Both seasons of Locke & Key are available now on Netflix.
My recaps for season two of Locke & Key were nearly complete by the time that Netflix leadership’s transphobia came to light. While it is absolutely true that all corporations are evil to varying degrees and that everyone has their “problematic faves,” in my opinion, this situation is quite different. Netflix is an international company with a yearly revenue of $25 billion. Their behavior towards marginalized communities matters.
I am a nonbinary person. It was not an easy decision for me to post these recaps. I have canceled my personal Netflix subscription and following this season of Locke & Key recaps, will no longer be covering Netflix content, unless they change their ways. However, I believe that rather than staying silent, the most productive way to help my community at large is to publish these recaps and provide resources at the bottom of each article.
Thank you for reading.
More about the Netflix controversy:
- “Netflix trans employees and allies release a list of demands ahead of the walkout”
- “Netflix’s CEO Is Wrong. Transphobic Media Causes Real Harm“
Help save trans lives:
- Glaad’s trans resource page
- The Trevor Project
- National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition
- Transgender Law Center
- The Okra Project
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