When Netflix’s live-action adaptation debuted in 2020 Locke and Key it began off fairly properly. Based mostly on the good comedian e book sequence from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, the present tells the story of the Locke household and their sprawling ancestral residence in Massachusetts, which additionally occurs to be residence to some very attention-grabbing magical keys. The present’s first season blended the comedian’s darkish household drama and fantasy premise with some highschool shenanigans ripped proper out of Riverdale. However with season two, the shortage of an ideal villain and an accelerated tempo took away from what made the present so attention-grabbing — particularly the magic and thriller. Now, the sequence returns with a 3rd and remaining season that tries to wrap issues up as soon as and for all. However regardless of some good concepts, it’s not course correction Locke and Key actually wanted.
This assessment incorporates spoilers for the third season of Locke and Key.
Season three picks up proper the place the earlier one left off, which signifies that – not less than initially – the Locke household lives life as if all the pieces is regular. However there are some essential adjustments. Older brother Tyler (Connor Jessup) is constructing homes in Montana after an aimless highway journey, and extra importantly, residing a easy life after voluntarily deciding to purge any magical recollections from his mind. On the opposite finish of the spectrum, Locke’s mom Nina (Darby Stanchfield) used the keys to revive her magical reminiscence so she would not really feel so separated from the remainder of her household. (Within the Locke and Key universe, everybody naturally forgets the existence of magic as soon as they attain maturity, except you employ a particular key.)
Early on, Tyler returns residence for his uncle’s wedding ceremony and issues get fairly awkward as he cannot bear in mind any of the large life occasions which have occurred over the previous two seasons. He would not have a lot to say to his youthful brother Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) and sister Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and he turns into fairly suspicious that everybody is hiding one thing from him. He is pressured again into all of it once more, although, as a result of – because the season 2 finale teased – we now have a brand new villain within the type of Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), a British soldier from colonial Massachusetts who, within the current day , was possessed by a robust demon. The principle factor it’s good to know is that Gideon desires to make use of the keys to tear down the wall between our world and the brilliant blue realm of demons – for causes which are by no means solely clear.
There are some things within the new season. For starters, there’s the introduction of latest keys which are stuffed with prospects; identical to within the early days of Locke and Key, it is a whole lot of enjoyable studying about keys and what they will do. In Season three, we’re launched to a time journey key with some crucial limitations and a key-powered snow globe with the potential to entice victims indefinitely. As at all times, these keys “whisper” to the Locke household every time the time is correct to seem. I additionally actually loved a number of the extra imaginative scenes the place the top key – which accurately permits you to enterprise into somebody’s thoughts – is used. A lot of the climax of the present takes place within the mind of a hardcore theater child, which makes it additional, properly, additional. There are some nice performances right here too, particularly from Scott as Bode; he is as badass as ever, but additionally takes a detour as a surprisingly efficient villain, giving off some sturdy Chucky vibes.
However all of that’s largely undone by the remainder of the present. First, regardless of the seemingly easy premise, issues are far too difficult. At this level within the story, you want a spreadsheet to maintain monitor of what is going on on with everybody. You must fear in regards to the powers and places of the assorted keys and who remembers and who would not bear in mind magic, in addition to sure characters altering their our bodies or look. I typically needed to pause the present to attempt to bear in mind a number of the logistical particulars.
Extra importantly, nonetheless, is the truth that, identical to in season 2, the brand new villain is badass. Gideon is not as unhealthy because the extraordinarily fearless Gabe (Griffin Gluck), however that is not saying a lot. When the large villain appears to be like and sounds badass, it is laborious to ever really feel too involved in regards to the security of the Locke household. It is particularly disappointing as a result of Season 1 had an unbelievable villain in Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira) who was equal components menacing and manipulative; sadly, she solely makes a quick look within the remaining chapter of the story.
Perhaps it is a good factor that Season three is fortunately quick. It solely has eight episodes, in comparison with the earlier seasons’ 10, and a few episodes are solely about half an hour lengthy. The present would not take lengthy to succeed in its conclusion, which wraps issues up somewhat too properly for my liking. Like season 2, it isn’t like the brand new episodes of Locke and Key they’re unhealthy, in themselves; they’re simply okay – which, given the supply materials and its fascinating premise, means they’re fairly disappointing.
Season three of Locke and Key begins streaming on Netflix on August 9.
Disclosure: The Verge lately produced a sequence with Netflix.