This recap of Locke & Key contains spoilers, so reader discretion is advised. Welcome back to another season of Locke & Key, the show based on the comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. We left off last season with the Locke family thinking they’d won against Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira). Meanwhile, we viewers learned they really, really had not.
“I wish that you could remember magic.”
We open in 1775 to a bunch of British soldiers in the dratted sea cave. They discover the Omega Door, except it’s just an oozing bluish-black abyss that’s shooting bullets. And turning the Brits demon. Evil colonizers? That tracks …
Back in present-day Matheson, Eden, aka Evil-den (Hallea Jones), and Gabe, aka Godge (Griffin Gluck), are in said cave of wonders, searching for some of that sweet, sweet lead. They’re interrupted by the Coast Guard, but the Coast Guard is no match for Evil-den.
Next, Kinsey’s (Emilia Jones) on a swan boat, doing some art in the middle of a giant lake, and there’s something about this that doesn’t seem … oh. She just magically refilled her drink. There’s some Key magic going on here. Then she has a
come to Jesus moment and walks across the lake and out of her own mind.
Tyler (Connor Jessup) comes into her room and asks to borrow the Head Key. She’ll trade him for the Mending Key — she needs to fix her dress for the premiere of that weird lobster movie she shot last season.
Meanwhile, Bode (Jackson Robert Scott ) is in his room, throwing furniture around. He’s using the newly-discovered Hercules Key. And, of course, their Mom, Nina (Darby Stanchfield) still has no clue about magic.
I like this, the Locke kiddos having fun with the keys. If you had magic keys, wouldn’t you be playing around with them? It’s not like they’ve been busy fighting demons or anything.
“You’re supposed to enjoy the process of reading.”
Next, Kinsey’s littering the town with movie flyers when Godge jumps up behind her in full lobster regalia (hawt). He suggests they hit the streets together. Unfortunately, the townsfolk are only interested in what they have to sell when they think they’re advertising a new seafood restaurant.
Godge gets weirdly jealous for a demon when Kinsey suggests putting up some flyers in the ice cream shop where Scot (Petrice Jones) works. Godge ominously tells her that Scot no longer works there (Why? did you eat him, Godge?).
Let’s check in with our other teen couple. Jackie (Genevieve Kang) stresses college apps and summer reading, but Tyler just wants to go outside and play. So, Tyler seductively proposes using the Head Key to implant their summer reading in Jackie’s head. She coyly says, “all right.” Now they can frolic the rest of the summer, and Jackie can have an epic eighteenth birthday!
“Oh, crap. What is all this stuff?”
Over at Keyhouse, Nina’s chopping enough carrots to feed an army of pet rabbits. She’s interrupted by Detective Daniel Mutuku (Martin Roach), who’s there to cushion a big blow with some homegrown tomatoes. Ellie’s (Sherri Saum) missing person’s case has officially gone cold. And in five years, she’ll be declared dead! Hope you like those tomatoes, Nina!
A very upset Bode has been eavesdropping. Right … Ellie’s gone, so Rufus (Coby Bird) has been sent away to live with distant relatives. Bode puts on the Hercules Key-belt and smashes his feelings. After he comes to his senses, he realizes this spare room that he’s been cleaning is filled with a lot of random things. Including a giant rat skull!
Over in the school dorms, Evil-den and Godge are playing with fire and melting down the lead they found back near the Omega Door. It’s not really clear what’s going on, but it makes Godge happy.
Back at Keyhouse, Bode shows his sibs the ginormous rat skull. They don’t believe him that a giant rodent once lived in their humble abode. But, he’s all; my dudes, my bros, we live in a magical house full of magic keys, so, don’t lecture me on credibility.
But Tyler still makes light of it all, which throws Bode into a tailspin of questions. What’s with the rat? What happened to Ellie? We don’t know anything!!! Tyler goes into damage-control mode and comforts his lil bro with the knowledge that whatever they don’t know, they can at least rest easy knowing Dodge is gone. Oh Tyler, don’t you know you’re in a horror drama?
So, apparently, Uncle Duncan (Aaron Ashmore) is gonna be temporarily moving in with the rest of the Lockes for a wee-bit because the show needs him at Key House this season. The plot-reason is paper-thin. Dunc’s fiancé Brian (Milton Barnes) is relocating to Tokyo for six months. Hmm. So, if Duncan can relocate to Matheson for the six months, why wouldn’t he just go with Brian to Japan? C’mon, show, you coulda come up with a better flimsy excuse.
At family dinner, we also learn that Kinsey visits Erin Voss (Joy Tanner) weekly and that Dunc does not remember her like one iota. But he side-steps that to talk about the car that he’s bringing to restore with Tyler.
ALSO. It was SO cute to see how excited the family was when Duncan and Brian announced their engagement. ❤️
“What about you? Seeing anybody?”
All right. I’m gonna touch on something right now that will come up more and more through the season, and that’s the treatment of BIPOC characters on Locke & Key. Representation is a great thing, but just having marginalized characters isn’t enough (anymore). For instance, Brian is Black, and every other Locke family member has had a love interest who is a BIPOC. And nearly every supporting player is a BIPOC. Notice every supporting character.
The show suffers from the fact that, by and large, its marginalized characters are either underdeveloped, evil or dead. What does it say when your central good guys are white and then practically everyone who’s BIPOC is evil, dead or underwritten?
/end rant … for now.
So, Brian is asking Nina if she’s got a special someone in her life. I honestly can’t even imagine what it must be like to try to date again after losing your spouse. Brian notices Nina’s still wearing her wedding ring, and I think he’s trying to be gentle, but it embarrasses her.
Also, like, this family is way too impressed with Japanese phrases that are literally in pop songs.
“Bury him. I’m gonna get the crates.”
Over in demon-land, Godge and Evil-den straight-up murder a dude so they can build a
meth lab blacksmithery in his cabin. Man alive, this evil duo is perfect campy horror-dramedy fun.
Evil-den wants to know why the now-dead owner of the cabin didn’t just leave when he was given the chance. Godge responds that “Meat World” is full of a “bunch of idiots.”
Evil-den insists there must be a workaround to the whole “demons can’t take keys from the Lockes” thang (which, like, convenient caveat). She wants to know if she can turn into Kinsey. Godge tells her to have at it. But of course, she can’t. You can only create a new identity with the Identity Key. He morphs into Original Flavor Dodge (De Oliveira) to prove his point. Dodge could turn into Lucas (Felix Mallard) because he already was Lucas (which, coupled with the fact that he’s presenting as Godge, is why I am using he/him pronouns).
Dodge picked the identity of Godge because he thought the love-sick teenager thing would be a good disguise. Evil-den thinks he’s selling it too well. Speaking of which, they gots to go because the premiere of the lobster movie is about to start.
“You’re a lobster. No ones gonna recognize you anyway.”
We’re now at the premiere. The place is popping (Fair. I guess there’s not much going on Matheson, but the step and repeat was a bit excessive). Scot and Kinsey see each other in the first time in forever, and it’s charged. Godge interrupts their sexy reunion and marks his territory all over Kinsey. It’s yucky.
Inside the movie theatre, the Locke clan (sans Tyler) greet Kinsey and Godge. Karl, the concessions dude (Brett Houghton), pays way too much attention to Nina for him to not have some sort of role later.
After some awkward chitchat between Bode, Kinsey and Godge, Kinsey meets her fangirl, Abby (Leishe Meyboom). Abby composed film’s music and spent the entire summer with Scot in the editing bay. Cue: jealousy.
Inside the theatre, everyone’s throwing popcorn at each other for some reason. The film opens and it’s seriously high quality for supposedly being zero-budget. You know who’s not impressed, though? Evil-den. She excuses herself because she’s famished.
“Oh, sorry. I forgot that I’m not allowed to compliment a girl’s a** anymore.”
So, Evil-den orders three hotdogs, nachos with extra cheese, a refill on her large popcorn and a pervy concessions guy to wash it all down. Karl is super skeevy and Evil-den plays into it, leaning into him and using a kiss as an opportunity to bite his face off. Hawt.
Back in the theatre, Godge is getting worried ’cause Evil-den’s been gone too long. He tells Kinsey he’s gotta pee, and he’ll brb. In what may be my favorite single image of the season, Godge finds a bloody-faced Evil-den sitting on the floor, munching on blood-seasoned popcorn, a dead Karl by her side. Godge is not as impressed as I am.
While Godge and Evil-den are hurriedly dumping Karl’s body, there’s a scene in the film so funny, Bode knocks his soda into Nina’s lap, so she heads out to the lobby in search of napkins. Oh, noes!
Nina catches Godge and Evil-den dragging Karl’s body through a door. When she goes to investigate, the door just leads into the theatre. Because, of course, our two favorite demons Anywhere Keyed themselves who knows where. Godge exits the bathroom and gaslights Nina, who quickly forgets what she saw anyway.
“You could say Nephropida is a tragic hero.”
Dunc is super impressed with the SFX (he even does a chef’s kiss, lol). He wants to know the Savini Squad’s secret ingredient. Magic Keys, it’s Magic Keys …
Meanwhile, Bode tells Godge that he’s his new favorite monster. Bode even wants Godge to kill him in the sequel. Foreshadowing? Or misdirect? Time will tell.
At the after-party on the beach, the teens are impressing each other with their film knowledge. But Kinsey is distracted by Abby and Scot and their hot, hot chemistry. Zadie (Asha Bromfield) wants to let Abby in on the secret of the Keys ’cause it’s getting awkward hiding it from her, which like, did Kinsey not see any of her friends this summer?
Speaking of people who spent all summer with Godge, Evil-den shows up at the party. And UGH, TV SHOWS, ENOUGH WITH THE FLASHING LIGHTS. Do you not care about your epileptic viewers? Anyway, Godge threatens Evil-den with death over her shenanigans at the movie theatre. Her reminds her that as an Echo, he, himself, is immune to death. Godge bounces.
“They had some Key contributors.”
Outside, Tyler uses the Matchstick Key to light a bonfire. Jackie is gushing over the SFX in the zero-budget film. Tyler’s like, Umm duh, obvi they used our magic Keys? Jackie has no idea what he’s talking about. Even though she literally just watched him use a Key to light their fire. Jackie shakes her head and is all, Oh, right.
Back inside, Scot finds Kinsey so they can have a lil’ chitchat. Before he can open his mouth to say what he wants to, Kinsey congratulates him on his new girlfriend. He’s all like, umm, nah, Abby’s got a girlfriend. Always love me some bi erasure (The implication here being that Abby’s gay, and therefore, not even an option for Scot, whereas, if Abby had a boyfriend, there might still be some tension there. Down with the patriarchy.)
What Scot actually wanted to talk about is that he applied to some film boarding school in England, and he’s got a 50/50 shot of getting in. If Scot gets in, he’ll be hopping back across the pond in a matter of mere weeks. They compliment each other and almost kiss but are interrupted by Javi (Kevin Alves) and Brinker (Kolton Stewart).
“The look in her eyes. It was the same Mom gets.”
Later that night, Kinsey withdraws to her Head to mope. A fictitious Scot intrudes upon said moping. She doesn’t want him there, she says. Faux-Scot calls her out on the fact that she can’t stop thinking about him. And Kinsey pushes him into the lake.
Tyler comes to talk to Kinsey about the fact that Jackie’s starting to forget magic because she’s soon becoming an adult by turning 18. OK. I’ma pick some nits here. There is biological adulthood and there is legal adulthood. The show has chosen legal adulthood. But. As we can see in the opening of this episode, the keys probably came into existence during the American Revolutionary War. Prior to 1969, the age of majority in the UK was 21. And we’re looking at a similar time frame in the US. Do these keys update with time? Just sayin’ …
Tyler is also turning 18 soon, which is more relevant than my quibbles.
Meanwhile, at the evil blacksmithery, Godge is making a mold while Evil-den melts some iron. Hawt. Oooo, Godge made a key with a cute lil gremlin face.
Woo! What a season opener. In essence, it was everything I’ve come to expect from this show. Lotsa good and lotsa ridiculous. Did you enjoy it? What’s up with Godge’s Key? Will Tyler forget magic? 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 yearly revenue of $25 billion. Their behavior toward 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