Time to start the marathon! Season 3 of “Locke & Key” has finally come out on Netflix.
For those who’ve never seen it, the premise of the show is about three siblings who move into their ancestral estate after their father’s gruesome murder where they discover the home’s magical keys. They must learn how to use the keys to stand against a malevolent creature who wants the keys to exploit their powers for evil.
With its unpredictability and keen sense of wonder, we highly recommend you watch all seasons for the full experience of fantasy and horror, but for those of you strapped for time, we’ve put together a recap of seasons 1 and 2 so you can go into season 3 with all the essential details. Let’s take a look back at everything that’s happened so far. That’s right, spoilers ahead.
Locke & Key Season 1 Recap
Season 1 opens with the Locke family moving from Seattle to their ancestral estate, called Keyhouse, in the small town of Matheson, Massachusetts after the gruesome murder of patriarch, Rendell. The kids, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode must adapt to this new life while still grieving their recent traumas.
When the family arrives at Matheson, Rendell’s brother, Duncan, greets the Lockes at Keyhouse and gives them a tour. It’s obvious early on that Duncan has bitter feelings toward Keyhouse and doesn’t remember much about his upbringing there. He doesn’t stick around much in season 1. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in season 2.
Bode, excited about the mansion they now live in, starts exploring the grounds. He stumbles upon the well house where he meets a woman named Dodge living inside the well. Dodge discloses that there are magical keys with unique powers scattered around Keyhouse, urging him to go find them by listening to the key’s whispers. During the course of exploring the powers of the keys, Bode accidentally unleashes Dodge from the well house, who, as the kids discover, is actually a deceiving demon from another realm. Throughout the season, Dodge frequently returns to Keyhouse to threaten the children into giving her the magic keys, where they eventually learn she can only possess keys that are offered to her.
Amid run-ins with Dodge, the Locke kids start introducing the magic to their newly-made friends. Tyler uses the keys to impress his crush, Jackie, while Kinsey uses them for a movie she’s making with her film friends, who call themselves “The Savinis”. As the season progresses, Kinsey becomes drawn to two boys in the group, Gabe and Scot, where somewhat of a love triangle ensues.
Through a series of flashbacks, it’s revealed that Tyler’s friend and Rendell’s student, Sam Lesser, was responsible for Rendell’s murder. He had shown up at their home in Seattle, demanding answers about Keyhouse. When Rendell refused to talk, Sam shot and killed him.
It’s eventually revealed that Dodge was searching for the Omega Key, which unlocks a door (known as the Black Door) to her realm. In order to get the key, she had manipulated Sam into helping her find it, which ultimately led to Rendell’s demise.
Still in search of the Omega Key, Dodge assists in breaking Sam out of prison so he can go to Keyhouse and terrorize the Locke family for the second time. Sam’s endeavor is unsuccessful and he accidentally gets trapped as a ghost at Keyhouse. Even with Sam’s death, the Lockes are on edge knowing that Dodge is still out there plotting against them.
Burdened with guilt, Ellie, one of Rendell’s old friends, unveils the truth about the dark past of Keyhouse. She divulges that Rendell had shared the magic of the keys with her and the rest of their friends in high school. Soon after, Rendell became obsessed with unlocking the Black Door they had stumbled upon while exploring the sea caves located near Keyhouse Manor. When they finally found the Omega Key and opened it, a demon escaped and attached to Lucas, Ellie’s high school sweetheart. Now possessed by evil, Lucas would kill two of their friends before being killed by Rendell. With a newfound understanding of the key’s sinister powers, the remaining friends split the keys and made a pact not to use them. However, years later, a lonely Ellie used the Echo Key to summon Lucas’s spirit, not realizing she was really awakening the demon who’d possessed him. The demon manipulated Ellie into giving it the Identity Key, which it uses to switch between the appearances of Dodge and Lucas.
With Ellie as an ally, the Lockes hatch a plan to use the Crown of Shadows, which allows the wearer to create and control powerful shadows, to defeat Dodge. Ellie returns home to get the crown when she’s interrupted by Dodge. Dodge knocks Ellie unconscious and steals the crown for herself.
Chaos arises when Dodge turns up at Keyhouse with the Crown of Shadows in hand. The kids, who recently found the Omega Key in Rendell’s urn, fight to protect it against the demon. Bode stabs (who he believes to be) Dodge and she disappears. Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode find her passed out, where they then plan to send her back to her realm behind the Black Door. Enlisting the help of their friends, they trap Dodge into the demon realm, not realizing that Dodge used the Identity Key to make Ellie look like her. Ellie was mistakenly thrown into the demon realm and locked in. While shutting the door, another demon escapes the realm and latches onto one of the friends, Eden. The season ends with the reveal that Gabe, Kinsey’s boyfriend, was actually Dodge all along. Gabe/Dodge and Eden meet up and start planning their next attack on the Locke family.
Locke & Key Season 2 Recap
Season 2 starts off with the Locke siblings favoring their new lives in Matheson now that, as they believe, they’ve defeated the evil demon, Dodge. They continue to discover more keys around the Keyhouse property and enjoy using their powers with their friends. Tyler and his new girlfriend, Jackie use the keys to goof off all summer while Kinsey and “The Savinis” use them to make their film more realistic. Everything seems peachy for the Locke family but, in reality, the threat is closer than ever as Dodge masquerades as Kinsey’s boyfriend, Gabe.
Gabe has recruited a newly-turned demon, Eden, in an evil plan to create a dangerous new key. After a couple of failed attempts at creating a key, they discover, through Kinsey, that Duncan Locke has successfully crafted a key before. They then plan how to force him to make a key that will do what they want it to. The struggle for power makes things rocky between the pair throughout the entire second season.
Meanwhile, using the Head Key, the Locke children are able to free Erin, one of Rendell’s high school friends who accidentally trapped herself inside her own head, causing her to be in a comatic state for 23 years. Erin stays with the Locke family at Keyhouse and helps them understand more about the keys.
It was revealed in season 1 that Rendell and his friends removed Duncan’s memories of magic to protect him from the dangers of the keys. Ridden with guilt, Erin insists they find the Memory Key to help Duncan remember again. With the Head Key, she enters her mind to figure out where Rendell would’ve hidden it. She recruits Tyler to investigate Matheson Academy where he finds it in a bench donated by the Locke family. He and Erin then use the Memory Key on Duncan, who can now remember everything from his past, including magic and how to forge new keys.
Woven throughout the season is Nina’s relationship with new history teacher, Josh, who recently moved to Matheson to research his ancestor’s connection to Keyhouse. It’s revealed that his ancestor, Frederick Gideon discovered the portal to the other realm in the sea caves. During his discovery, a demon soul shot through the portal and turned Frederick into a demon. The Locke ancestors then built the Black Door to prevent any other demons from entering Matheson.
As time goes on, Kinsey notices that Gabe is spending too much time with Eden, suspecting he is hiding something from her. At a party, she secretly uses the Head Key on Eden only to find the horrifying truth that both Gabe and Eden are demons.
The Lockes begin devising how they will take on Gabe and Eden. However, when Erin hears about the discovery, she takes it upon herself to kill Gabe unaccompanied. With only the Chain Key in hand, Erin confronts Gabe but is recklessly underprepared. Gabe strangles Erin to death and takes the Chain Key for himself.
After learning about what happened to Erin, the Lockes put their plan in motion. They want to trap Gabe and Eden in the well house where demons can’t escape. They manage to get Gabe and Eden to Keyhouse, but their scheme goes awry and Gabe kidnaps Bode and Duncan with the Anywhere Key. Gabe then forces Duncan to make the Demon Key, which can turn anybody into a demon.
Gabe uses the Demon Key on some of the citizens of Matheson to build a demon army. Eden is pushing for more control, which Gabe doesn’t like. He casts her out of the demon army, where she then tries to manipulate Josh into using his research to find the key to the Black Door so she can build a demon army of her own.
Tyler soon finds out his girlfriend, Jackie, was turned with the Demon Key. Determined to get her back, he asks Duncan to teach him how to make a new key, the Alpha Key. He fills the key with the intent to remove the demon from the soul. Tyler seeks out Jackie so he can use it on her. It works, but only briefly. Tyler watches as Jackie’s eyes bleed and she dies tragically in his arms.
Furious about what happened to Jackie, the Lockes are ready to end it so they conjure up a new plan to eliminate Gabe/Dodge and his army once and for all. Kinsey meets with Gabe and the demon army to distract them so Tyler, Duncan, and Scot can steal the Demon Key, which is stowed away in a vault.
Eventually, Gabe and his army figure it out and go after Duncan, Tyler, and Scot, who are just about to seize the Demon Key. Duncan starts screaming for the demons to get away from him and, shockingly, they listen. They discover, as the creator of the key that turned them, Duncan can control the demons. He commands them to attack Gabe/Dodge and they do. Tyler sneaks up behind Dodge and uses the Alpha Key, finally killing the demon.
The last episode in season 2 wraps up a few loose ends:
Bode finds Ellie who managed to escape from the Black Door. She goes to Nebraska to reunite with her son, Rufus.
Tyler is reeling from Jackie’s death and leaves for a lengthy road trip. He’s about to turn eighteen and decides not to use the Memory Key, meaning he won’t remember the magic when he returns.
Because she’s an adult, Nina can’t remember the magic keys, causing her to feel left out and distant from her children. Bode sees this and decides to use the Memory Key on Nina.
And, finally, a desperate Eden enters the well house to bring Frederick Gideon back into the world as her minion, but Frederick takes the Anywhere Key and traps Eden inside the well house, creating the perfect cliffhanger for season 3.
Should You Watch Locke & Key Season 3?
Locke & Key seasons 1 and 2 were promising with the right amount of horror, fantasy, and uncertainty. The many twists and turns had us wondering who we could trust or what was even real. It’s no wonder it landed on Netflix’s Top 10 on the first day of release. Season 3 marks its last for Locke & Key so we think it’s worth riding this last wave, or rather tsunami, to see how it all ends.
Want to watch it without all the violence, language, and gore? Locke & Key seasons 1, 2, and 3 are all available to stream with VidAngel!