Locke & Key

‘Locke & Key’ Season 1 Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Locke & Key, a live action adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic by the same name, is Netflix’s next big hit and a show that you should definitely be watching. From the magical keys that change the lives of the Locke children to the villainous Dodge, there is a little bit for everyone in this family drama. And even when twists and turns take us down unexpected paths, some that leave us gobsmacked, this is a touching and heartfelt story about family, growing up, and the dangers that we face in this world together.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into Locke & Key in the good, the bad, and the ugly of this Netflix standout! 

The Good

Sibling Bonds Between the Locke Kids

The heart of Locke & Key is the relationship between Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler. They are the stand out bond that keeps getting tested over and over in Locke & Key. They’re also the family that you can’t help but cheer on because when it comes down to it, they have each other’s back to the moon and back.

Sure, they have their problems. What siblings don’t have an issue or two? And sure, sometimes they try to protect each to the detriment of the other. But that’s what siblings do, especially if there are younger ones in the mix like Bode. You want to protect them so in turn you end up hiding things from your siblings. Thank God that didn’t last long and they ended up working on it all together.

And each of them complimented each other. Not like actual compliments because these are siblings after all. We mean that their personalities fit well together. Tyler is the backbone of the family trying to fill in his dad’s shoes. Kinsey, too scared of her own shadow, struggles to find purpose in her life after her father’s death. And Bode is the linchpin that brings them together and reminds them how much they love each other and depend on the other.

All the Keys

Getting to know these keys and how they work was a magical experience that I think Locke & Key succeeded at. Design wise, every key was beautiful. Kudos to the design team who probably worked night and day to bring these to life. And hopefully some of the team actually got to keep some of the keys. We’re partial to the anywhere key. Now that one is beautiful and quite useful.

Special effects wise, every single key was stunningly beautiful. You can tell that the people behind the scenes put in time, blood, sweat, and tears into creating an experience with every key. And each one was more wonderful, more creative than the last. We literally were thinking about our world and how each and every key would change our lives.

Our next journey into the Locke & Key world is the comics until season 2 of the show is secured. We want to know what other keys are out there and what Dodge can be up to with said keys. Are there ones that can control the elements like water, wind, and earth? We saw the fire one so maybe there are. Or the show can deviate from the comics and present us with inventive new keys that will blow our minds.

We’re here for it all!

The Bad 

That Dodge Plot Twist

We can believe Dodge was five steps ahead of everyone. The final episode was proof of that. Hell, the last 20 minutes of the final episode was proof of that. And let us tell you, that final 20 was edge of your seat, terrified goodness. You know a show isn’t going to end well or that there is some huge twist when the bad guy has been defeated and there’s still plenty of time left in the episode.

We were right to be nervous. Dodge screwed Ellie over and secured herself a safe space in the town as she slowly but surely collects the keys needed to conquer it. She’s safe, for now, and I can see her revelling in it with her new friend from the black door realm. Her plan was truly something to be in awe of, even if we hate Dodge with a firey passion that could power a thousand suns.

This is also not to say that Dodge is 100% safe. The Locke family aren’t a bunch of fools. Sure, they’ve been fooled now but that doesn’t mean that they won’t figure it out in the long run. And I doubt that Dodge will be satisfied with just pulling the rug out from underneath them. She promised Bode that she was going to mess up their lives. There’s no doubt in our mind that she will brag when the time comes. She’s a villain after all. 

There is a required monologue!

Nina Locke and Her Small Town Life

It’s kind of sad and twisted that the only way that Nina could process the magic around her is if she was drunk. She wants to help her children. That was obviously evident. But at the cost of drinking and losing control of herself, it’s not worth it. Like, come on, she smashed her husband’s ashes while drunk because magic didn’t work on it.

That’s someone who is out of control. That’s someone who needs help. That’s someone who doesn’t have the support she needs. Personally, we’d love to see her taking those final and actual steps to join the local alcoholics anonymous. But we understand that small towns means everyone knows your business and maybe she doesn’t want them to know.

On a side note, we love that Nina was an active adult in the circumstances that were happening around her. She wasn’t just standing there and letting life happen to her. She was a willing and active participant in her life and she wasn’t going to let anyone, even herself, lead her down a path that she didn’t want. For that, kudos to the matriarch of the Locke family. 

The Ugly

Dodge Preying on Young Teenagers

We understand that Dodge is a demon/spirit from another realm hell bent on taking over our world via a set of keys. We get that. We also get that she has no age and can change her form to whatever form she wants. But the matter of the fact is that she spent most of her time as a young woman, definitely older than 18 years of age and pushing into her late 20’s/early 30’s.

So that means that when she came up to Tyler and flirted with him, she was a grown woman. It was skeevy, kind of gross, and all sorts of wrong. Especially so because we’re pretty sure that Tyler and Dodge had…relations in that truck/car. And that’s gross on so many levels. I blame the narrative that we cheer young men on for being with older women instead of pointing out that it’s gross because an adult has been with a teenager. 

For comparison’s sake let’s take a look at Kinsey and Dodge. Evil demon/spirit could’ve approached Kinsey as an adult man, if we’re sticking to the fact that she’s a demon/spirit with no age thing. But there was something in the writing that made it so that didn’t happen and Dodge transformed into a young teen boy to get Kinsey’s attention. Is it because outcry would’ve happened if Dodge were a man? Hell yes. 

So, the point of it all is that Dodge is gross on all fronts and is going to get what’s coming to her.

Kinsey’s Fear Not Being Addressed

We weren’t down for what happened to Kinsey and her fear. Ever since she got rid of it we’ve seen a Kinsey flying by the seat of her pants with no consequences in her thoughts. And frankly, that’s dangerous as hell and not what we want to see episode after episode. Where’s the part of her story where she confronts her fear and owns it?

Maybe this is me terrified that Locke & Key won’t get another season because Netflix is notorious for cancelling things I love. We’re looking at you Spinning Out. We’re invested in the lives of the Locke family and afraid that we’ll never see a Kinsey who owns her fear as a means of protecting the world from that scary monster that is wild and free in their town.

Which, why is no one that worried about a monster running around with no control except a mighty need to attack the things that Kinsey is scared of. We know that the Locke kids are busy with Dodge and all the keys but this seems like a really important aspect that needs to be taken care of instead of brushed aside as soon as Kinsey’s fear runs away.

Locke & Key is now available on Netflix.

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