It has been a long, pandemic-induced wait, but the official trailer for the second season of Locke and Key is finally here. This is Netflix’s adaptation of the award-winning comic book series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabe Rodriguez. In our 2020 year-end TV roundup, I wrote that the series successfully brought “the fabled Key House and the darkly fantastical world of the comics to vivid life.” I’ve been eager for more of the story—and we’ll be getting a lot more, since the series has already been renewed for a third season.
(Spoilers for the first season below.)
Following the brutal murder of their father, Rendell (Bill Heck, The Alienist), the surviving members of the Locke family—mom Nina (Darby Stanchfield, Scandal) and three children, Tyler (Connor Jessup, Falling Skies), Kinsey (Emilia Jones, Doctor Who), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott, IT and IT Chapter Two)—arrive at Keyhouse, Rendell’s Massachusetts ancestral home. Shortly after arrival, Bode, the youngest sibling, finds a magical key, and then another, and another, each with its own special power. The keys whisper to those who are sensitive to them—and of course, Bode, Tyler, and Kinsey can hear them.
The Anywhere Key, for instance, means the bearer can turn any door into a portal to any place he or she can visualize, while the Matchstick Key—exclusive to the Netflix series—creates fire (and self-immolation if one is foolish enough to insert it into one’s own body). The Ghost Key lets the holder’s soul leave the body, while the Head Key inserts into the back of someone’s head to reveal their thoughts and memories. But those keys also make the siblings the target of a mysterious being who goes by the name of Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira) and wants to possess all the keys—especially one known as the Omega Key, which opens a mysterious Black Door hidden deep in a nearby cave.
Over the course of the first season, we learned why Rendell Locke moved far away from his ancestral home: a high school tragedy that killed two of his friends. Let’s just say it wasn’t an “accidental drowning” that killed them but Dodge’s possession of Rendell’s best friend Lucas (Felix Mallard). Rendell and his surviving friends eventually imprisoned Dodge in the Well House—until Ellie (Sherri Saum), in a weak moment, tried to bring Lucas (her first love) back with the Echo Key and brought back Dodge instead.
Still, Rendell’s kids proved to be a formidable match against Dodge’s many machinations. And they thought they had successfully tossed Dodge back into the void behind the Black Door and locked it behind them. But above all else, Dodge is a trickster. The kids used the Identity Key to make Ellie look like Dodge. So it’s poor Ellie who finds herself trapped in the void, while Dodge has taken on the identity of high school nerd Gabe (Griffin Gluck), Scot’s (Petrice Jones) rival for Kinsey’s affections. (And can I just say—really, Kinsey? You’d trade Scot for Gabe?)
The 10 episodes of the first season covered most of the main narrative arc in the comics but left out quite a bit of the background lore. There is still so much of the world’s rich history and mythology to explore—where the keys came from, who made them, and who (or what) Dodge really is, for instance. Hill and Rodriguez are currently working on a new six-book series, World War Key, as well as a compendium of short stories set in the past—plus a planned Locke and Key/Sandman crossover comic centered on the Hell Key (the bearer is automatically the Lord of Hell).
So how much fodder will this new material provide for the second and third seasons of Locke and Key? The official premise is pretty vague: “With danger lurking closer than they know, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode unlock more family secrets as they dig deeper into the power and mystery of the keys.” But showrunner Meredith Averill told io9 last year that season 2 will incorporate some of the historical lore surrounding Key House and the forging of the magical keys, and it will explore what happens to the magic as the latest crop of Locke children approach adulthood. “What does it mean as they get closer to being 18 years old—the age when you age out of magic?” she said.
The trailer opens with Nina back in Alcoholics Anonymous after her sobriety lapsed during the traumatic events of last season. She’s struggling with “things that make no sense to me”—i.e., all of season 1’s supernatural happenings, which adults tend to forget pretty quickly. Nina apparently has some lingering fragments of memories, or at least a strong foreboding that perhaps the kids are not alright.
That foreboding is spot on. “Just because we figured out a few of the keys, we think we know everything,” Bode tells his siblings. Tyler assures him that at least they know that Dodge is gone—except Dodge is now Gabe, who is growing closer to Kinsey. “This world has so much potential to be reborn,” we hear Dodge/Gabe say. “To be ruled. It’s time to finish what I started.”
Their ploy appears to involve convincing Kinsey to help them forge a new magical key. Apparently, it’s the maker who decides if a key brings about “the greatest good or the greatest evil.” Three guesses as to which one Dodge/Gabe will choose. And we’ll definitely be getting some of the background lore, thanks to a glimpse of a figure in Revolutionary War captain’s regalia—most likely a newly announced character named Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), whom Deadline Hollywood describes as “a dangerous adversary for the Locke family.”
The second season of Locke and Key releases on Netflix on October 22, 2021.