REVIEW: ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 Bids Farewell to a Beloved Netflix Series

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Locke and Key Season 3 - But Why Tho

Locke and Key Season 3 returns to Netflix for the final time as the show leads up to its eventual series finale. When last we were at Key House, Eden (Hallea Jones) had released the echo of former British Captain Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), the first human to discover the black door and the first human to be possessed by a demon from the unknown. Now that he has been freed, his rage has been untethered and he’s turned his malevolent intentions upon this mortal realm and the Locke family.

Written and developed by Carlton Cuse, and Meredith Averill, based upon the IDW comic from Joe Hill and Gabriel RodriguezLocke and Key is a coming-of-age story about the Locke family who, after their father’s murder, moves back to his ancestral home in Matheson, Massachusetts. Key House is a lot more than it appears and siblings Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Tyler Locke (Connor Jessup) begin to locate various magical keys with unique and distinct powers hidden in their new home. The keys attract a monster in hiding as the family discovers the keys are made from demonic parasites with the ability to latch on to human hosts. Their goal is to rule our dimension and subjugate humanity.

In Season 2, Dodge (Griffin Gluck, Laysla De Oliveira, Felix Mallard) raised an army using his newly forged demon key crafted under duress by Duncan Locke (Aaron Ashmore) whose memories had been restored, and the age restriction of being able to recall magical events was removed with the help of the memory key. With the knowledge of how to create new keys, Tyler was able to remove the demonic possession with the use of the alpha key, but with devastating effects that kill both the host and the invading organism. The Locke’s finally remove the demon leaching on the soul of Lucas/Dodge and the remaining invaders, but Eden escapes. She enacts one final destructive plan, to free the echo of Captain Gideon, who is the host of one of the most powerful demon entities from their realm.

Locke and Key Season 3 picks up a lot of the threads that have been laid down in the previous stories which deal with the grappling of loss and the grieving process. The loss of a loved one is such a deeply personal and potent emotion, and in every season so far we’ve seen that these characters, at their foundation, are dealing with a variety of forms of grief. For their mother Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield), she’s struggled to come to terms with the loss of her husband while battling her alcoholism. For Kinsey, her loss is tethered to the manner in which her father died, which results in an overwhelming sense of depression and being engulfed by fear. And even Duncan battles with his return to Key House, his lack of memories, and the pain it causes.

Locke & Key Season 3 was definitely an enjoyable story with its focus on what appears to be a more pleasant experience for the characters given the tragic events they’ve all suffered through. The tone is significantly more jolly, even with the lack of Tyler around the house. That being said, it does fall short overall in comparison to the prior two seasons. The first two seasons were ambitiously funded and had plot points that were nicely fleshed out and played to the character’s strengths, creating great tension and emotive performances.

Whereas the current season is flooded with the feeling of finality to the point of corner cutting. There were several moments where the story begins to ignore its own rules regarding the magic plot points previously established with more focus on the larger narrative. Another element where the show fell short was its ability to create thrilling and tense moments. In previous seasons I’ve lavished praise on the writing of Locke and Key for this exact thing. For Season 3 though, these moments were obvious and predictable as characters made poor decisions leading to the villains gaining an upper hand, or hesitating over clear decisions that needed to be made. It was sad to witness because it comes across as quite lazy in an effort to move the story along.

Thankfully the decision was made to keep the season quantity at 8 episodes rather than 10, with some of the episodic lengths also running shorter than normal. This avoids the need for too much plot filler or dragging out the conclusion. This does wonders for the pace of the story as it transitions well.

Regardless of the story, a lot has to be said for the cast who, above all, have been stellar. The core cast of the Locke family was what drew me in, and in Season 3 they continue to hold the show up on their shoulders. The relationships they form onscreen give tangibility to the emotion that is the foundation of the show. Even while the quality of the story has slipped, I couldn’t help but want to keep binging to see how they overcame their newest obstacles.

Overall, Locke and Key Season 3 does a pretty decent job of wrapping up the overarching narrative in a clean and crisp fashion. While it wasn’t an explosive ending, it does a great job of coming full circle and tapping into a therapeutic feeling of finality through closure. Even though the ending of the show didn’t quite live up to my expectations for a final season, I’m still so appreciative for what this cast has created. I’ll happily enjoy reliving the moments of fantastical low fantasy visuals. I’ve been a fan of the comics for a while and this adaptation was a bloody great showing by all involved and I will miss it.

All episodes of Locke and Key Season 3 will be available exclusively on Netflix on Wednesday, August 10th.


Locke & Key Season 3
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, Locke and Key Season 3 does a pretty decent job of wrapping up the overarching narrative in a clean and crisp fashion. While it wasn’t an explosive ending, it does a great job of coming full circle and tapping into a therapeutic feeling of finality through closure. Even though the ending of the show didn’t quite live up to my expectations for a final season, I’m still so appreciative for what this cast has created. I’ll happily enjoy reliving the moments of fantastical low fantasy visuals. I’ve been a fan of the comics for a while and this adaptation was a bloody great showing by all involved and I will miss it.

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