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Locke And Key Season 2 Main

Locke & Key: Season Two TV Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Premiered on Netflix

locke and key season 2 poster large

Directed by Mark Tonderai (Ep. 1, 2, 9, and 10), Mairzee Almas (Ep. 3, 4, and 6), Carlton Cuse (Ep. 5), Millicent Shelton (Ep. 7 and 8)
Written by Meredith Averill (Ep. 1, 5, 9, and 10), Carlton Cuse (Ep. 1 and 10), Liz Phang (Ep. 2 and 9), Mackenzie Dohr (Ep. 3), Vanessa Rojas (Ep. 4), Kimi Howl Lee (Ep. 6), Michael D. Fuller (Ep. 7), Jordan Riggs (Ep. 8)
2021, Episodes run between 43 and 53 minutes, Not Rated
Premiered on Netflix on October 22nd, 2021

Emilia Jones as Kinsey Locke
Connor Jessup as Tyler Locke
Jackson Robert Scott as Bode Locke
Darby Stanchfield as Nina Locke
Bill Heck as Rendell Locke
Aaron Ashmore as Duncan Locke
Chris Britton as Chamberlin Locke
Petrice Jones as Scot Cavendish
Genevieve Kang as Jackie Veda
Hallea Jones as Eden Hawkins
Griffin Gluck as Gabe
Laysla De Oliveira as Dodge
Coby Bird as Rufus Whedon
Kevin Durand as Frederick Gideon
Joy Tanner as Erin Voss

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The last time I went to Keyhouse and got lost in some otherworldly shit was just as the calendar rolled over to February of 2020. I sat mesmerized at seeing one of my favorite comics come to glorious life with a note-perfect cast and metric tons of heart, a series that was truly deserving of the source material. It also proved to be able to take the story in a new direction.

I mention the time frame because most of us had no idea at that time of what an abject dumpster fire the next year-and-a-half would be. I remember the first season of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key as basically the last cool thing I absorbed before Covid hit and screwed up a bunch of great entertainment, thereby shelving numerous projects in both film and television that we were all clamoring for.

So, it’s only fitting now that we’re coming out of the funk somewhat (knock on wood) we get to return to Matheson to dive further into the mythology of Keyhouse, the making of the keys themselves, the history of the Black Door, and of course the fate of the Locke family following the “defeat” of Dodge in the Sea Caves.

This is Carlton Cuse (LOST) and Meredith Averill (The Haunting of Hill House) running the show, so you know the characters will be the beating heart of the story as opposed to just the magic and horror that surround them…though the magic and horror are equally front and center in a harmonious second season of Locke & Key. The source material is still Joe Hill, after all, and that man loves to take you to dark and deeply disturbing places.

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The first episode cold opens in the year 1775 with a British soldier and his troops finding the Black Door before there was even a door there, and you immediately know you’re in for a bit of a different animal this season. That history and deepening mythology are interwoven with a family trying to recover from the loss of dear friends while protecting what keys they have left after the fight with Dodge. They think they’ve won, but they’ve only survived. The anchor of Locke & Key remains the Locke family, specifically the children. Their plight and danger is like a fishhook in the mouth, but that fishhook (like the keys) is made of Whispering Iron and is full of power.

Again, it’s Nina (Darby Stanchfield; Mad Men) who gets to do the most dramatic heavy lifting by tearing your heart out with her confusion in the middle of her children’s fight for their very lives, a fight which she can’t remember. That magical forgetfulness also takes a starring role as the bigger real-life problem for the Locke family, as Tyler (Connor Jessup; American Crime) is nearing his eighteenth birthday and the inability to remember magic. Memory loss remains an underlying theme, and that’s a wonderful thing – the universal fears are the scariest.

locke and key season 02 05 locke and key season 02 06

The new keys introduced in this season are frankly amazing. I’m literally not allowed to say anything about so many points in the second season, so it’s difficult to review in the traditional fashion. Still, I wouldn’t ruin them anyway. If you’re reading this, then you understand what a bang-up job was done with the first season. The second season irons out the minor pacing issues in the mid-point of the first season by utilizing a slew of talented writers and a well-designed batting order, if you will, to tell the story. The whole season runs a bit like a play done in two oversized acts. The pacing is damn near perfect. The fantasy is a little more fantastic, and the peril is much more real. The music is even better than before, with timely cues and pitch-perfect playfulness.

In other words, Season 2 of Locke & Key does exactly what it’s supposed to do and then some.

locke and key season 02 07 locke and key season 02 08

And that finale? When you title the episode “Cliffhanger”, you good and well better deliver. Put it this way: I’m a meticulous note-taker as I watch, and the only note I took for the finale episode (as the credits rolled) was “I didn’t take a single note during that. It was that good.” That’s no bullshit – the setup for the next season is a cool new angle that I cannot wait to see, and the final showdown is tense as hell and extremely visceral with a deeply satisfying denouement. Also, Rufus (Coby Bird) had me crying, y’all. I don’t mind saying that at all; between his handful of scenes and Nina’s confession at the AA Meeting, I wore out a tissue or twelve. No shame.

Much like the best novellas on the printed page (something Joe Hill knows a thing or two about all the way down to his bones, you might say), Locke & Key hits the sweet spot for telling a full story that expands the already rich universe of the source material without sacrificing tension, fear, or raw human emotion. That’s thanks to that aforementioned slew of talented writers batting in just the right order, but it’s just as much the ludicrously talented cast and their obvious chemistry. Killer source material doesn’t hurt, either.

Now that you mention it, Season 2 of Locke & Key is downright Spielbergian.

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Episode: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK

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About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer - USA
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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