If you passed on Season 1 of Netflix’s Locke & Key, largely characterized under the “young adult” genre, Season 2 will change your mind as it gets darker, creepier, more evil and more binge-worthy (streaming on Friday, Oct. 22).
Based on the comics by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones), Tyler Locke (Connor Jessup), Bode Locke (Jackson Robert Scott), along with their mother Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield), move to their father’s childhood Massachusetts home, called “Keyhouse,” after the patriarch Rendell Locke (Bill Heck) is murdered.
It’s there that the children discover these magical keys in the ancestral home and while they may lead to some fun activities, they also awaken the evil Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira), a mysterious demon whose goal to claim all the keys, particularly the Omega Key, which opens the Black Door and would result in demonic creatures being released on humans.
While the Locke kids thought they got rid of Dodge at the end of Season 1, as we enter Season 2, Dodge has now taken on the form Gabe (Griffin Gluck), now Kinsey’s boyfriend, who has high school mean girl Eden (Hallea Jones) as a possessed sidekick.
Yes, the story can sound a little convoluted in a short description but Locke & Key, guided by executive producers/writers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Meredith Averill (The Haunting of Hill House), is a captivating journey through fantasy, horror and mystery, so much so that we may have watched Season 2 in one sitting.
While we can’t reveal too much about the evolution of the story, we can tease that uncle Duncan Locke (Aaron Ashmore) is a lot more present in Season 2 and is an important character that connects the history of the keys with the present day, a core aspect of the new season’s plot.
Most exciting parts of ‘Locke & Key’ Season 2
For Averill, diving deeper into the character of Duncan was one of the highlights of working on the second season of the show.
“One of the stories I was really excited to be able to get to tell in Season 2 was the story for Duncan Locke, who we didn’t get to see much of in Season 1,” she said.
“Being able to tell the story of how he lost his memories and...his way back from that in Season 2, and being able to just have more Aaron Ashmore in our show, who is so incredible as Duncan, I think was one of the stories that I was most excited to be able to tell the season.”
Cuse also highlighted that we get to see more of Ashmore, a Canadian, in addition to getting back to Canada to film the show, and diving into the Season 2 villains.
“Hallea Jones, another Canadian, in concert with Griffin Gluck, as our villains, was something that was super delightful for me,” he said. “The two of them teamed up and their banter and their kind of combination of humour and evilness was so fun to write and to watch unfold on screen.”
Villains who 'can't be tamed'
Cuse calling out Gluck and Jones as the evil duo is definitely deserved. The pair are really instrumental in pushing the story forward as the villains battle (sometimes in secret) the Locke family throughout Season 2. Gluck and Jones both play these nasty characters with perfection, adding a sprinkling of humour to keep us amused, truly making them a highlight of the series.
Even more impressive on Gluck’s end, he never even showed his evil side in his audition to play Gabe.
“When I auditioned, we didn't do any evil scenes, they didn't know that I could be evil,” he told Yahoo Canada. “It was a lot of fun for me to explore this new territory in acting that I don't get to explore very often.”
“I'm a small man, in stature and size and strength, so I'm not the most threatening of people or menacing. So I had to really challenge myself and find ways to be threatening and scary and menacing, without the easy thing, which is being massive.”
For the character of Eden in particular, she’s certainly a menacing character in Season 2 but we also get to see some of her fragility. Gluck describes the character as a kind of “beaten dog” who eventually “bites back.”
“It was a lot of fun diving into a heightened version of the bitch of Season 1 because we see the redemption arc with Eden in the first season,” Jones explained. “And then something happens and she's like, ‘joke's on you, I get to be my horrible self, but worse.’”
“It was a lot of fun playing a character that just like let loose and was chaotic and problematic and just can't be tamed, but wildly underestimated as well, in certain aspects.”
The fear of becoming an adult
While we certainly have the evil-ness down, this new season of Locke & Key also steps it up from the emotional side as well, particularly through the character of Tyler, the oldest Locke child.
“I was really excited by the idea of this character getting to branch out in more directions,” Canadian Connor Jessup told Yahoo Canada. “In season one, he's so monomaniacally focused on this grief that he carries and this heaviness, and it really colours everything that he does.”
“Now that his shoulders are a bit lighter, he's able to just be more himself and because of that, you see more colours, and he's able to react to different things in different ways without that one thing hanging over everything.”
One thing to remember is that adults can’t remember magic in this world and Tyler is very close to his 18th birthday.
“Tyler's big fear this season is that all that he's gained over the course of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2, all this comfort and sense of solidity that he's found, is going to vanish when he forgets magic, because he's standing right at the edge of being an adult,” Jessup explained.
“He becomes increasingly scared about what that means and what he'll lose, and who he'll lose, and he does not want to let that go.”
Without spoiling any pivotal moments in the second season of the show, the character of Nina does not have that much of a connection to the magic at Key House, because she is an adult, but she does get to explore it in one particularly poignant scene near the end of Season 2, as she also moves past the death of her husband with a possible new love interest on the horizon.
“I had a really good time in that sequence in the storyline,” Darby Stanchfield told Yahoo Canada.
“One thing I can say about it is working with these actors who play the Locke kids, I just have such a nice connection to them and so, to get to sort of dabble in that for a little bit with them was really fun.”
What we know about Season 3 of ‘Locke & Key’
While we might seem a little too excited by bringing up Season 3 already, it was actually filmed back-to-back with the second season.
“We [have] a young cast that is rapidly aging so it was helpful to not have such a big break in between the two seasons,” Averill said. “We knew what story it was that we were going to tell, so we had all the scripts ready to go, so in a way, it was nice to be able to have that seamless transition.”
Cuse said it was a “relief” to be able to film the two seasons back-to-back, specifically because teen actor Jackson Robert Scott, who plays the youngest Locke child Bode, is “aging quicker than our timeline.”
“There was something that was really great about just staying in the headspace of the show, I think, for all the characters, all the actors,” Cuse said. “I think it really made the show richer, deeper, the off-screen relationships inform the onscreen relationships.”
“You don't make a show divorced from what's going on behind the show and the kind of deep connectivity, particularly during COVID when you couldn't see anybody outside of the realm of the show, I think really made everybody closer and I think that, that closeness is felt in the way the show unfolds on screen.”
Cuse did tease that a theme in Season 2 that is explored “even more” in Season 3 is, “what are the costs and consequences of using the keys?” We’ll have to keep watching to find out.