The six-book graphic novel series Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez is an all-time favorite of mine, so I was thrilled when Netflix adapted the books into this three-season series. Season One was strong, with more emphasis on fantasy vs horror than the books, with Season Two starting to veer off the original storyline. Each season has consisted of ten episodes, and this final season continues to tell the tale of the Locke family who are fighting an otherworldly evil and has been doing so for generations.
The trio of Locke siblings- Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode- finally used magic to let their mother and uncle know about the supernatural happenings. In the past, once someone became an adult they forgot about the magic, which had been happening to Tyler as he neared eighteen. I liked this change from the graphic novels, as it was becoming more and more unsustainable to keep such shocking happenings from the adults, and as a mother myself, I appreciated this tweak. If my kids were facing supernatural horrors, I would want to help them!
This third season changed up the storyline significantly, with a villain from the past brought to the modern day. Both in the book and in this series, the Lockes were able to use a magic key that enabled them to visit their home during the Revolutionary War when much of the magical mayhem began. But in this adaptation, an evil soldier and his two sidekicks come into the Locke’s world and try to find all the keys and assure their domination. I was rather meh about this new direction, for while I wanted some changeup in the narration so I wasn’t bored, I missed the opportunity to get to know past Locke family members that the series (and now spin-offs) have featured.
Uncle Duncan wasn’t featured as much this season (I wondered if IRL the actor had other commitments) although there was a nice wedding to his boyfriend at the beginning of the episodes. The mother, Nina, got a boyfriend with minimal drama, as especially the two oldest kids recognized that she needed to move on after her husband’s death and be happy. There were several unjust deaths (Gordie deserved better!) and the kid’s friends took a backseat.
While I have to admit I wasn’t as invested in this season as the previous two, the last episode really brought it home. The family working together (love!) realized that although they defeated the evil soldier, they needed to dispose of all the keys. The keys had only brought misery upon the family for generations, and while tempted to keep them, they understood they needed to put a stop to the dark magic. But as a family, they used one last key to briefly reunite with their father and had an extremely touching reunion with him. Nina, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode were all given small happily-ever-after moments and the series came to an apt conclusion.
All in all, this three-season series did justice to Hill and Rodriguez’s graphic novel series. Due to excellent casting, viewers welcomed the Locke family into their homes, and some twists and turns away from the original storyline kept it fresh. I’ll miss this Netflix series, but I will keep on the lookout for more graphic novels in the Locke & Key universe, as it remains a favorite of mine!