Locke & Key Season 2 does a good job fleshing out Dodge’s characterization.
In Season 2, instead of taking the form of a female in her late twenties, Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira)—the demon threat of the previous season—poses discreetly as a teenage boy named Gabe (Griffin Gluck), the sweet and charming boyfriend of Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones).
Gabe is the highlight of the season. Despite his malicious intent, he manages to put on an affectionate front without anyone batting an eye. Kinsey and the other characters who know about Dodge and all of the magical keys at Keyhouse remain clueless about Gabe’s real identity. Gabe’s not a black-and-white villain, the kind who kills all and shows zero emotion other than anger, though that does ring true to some extent. The vicious Gabe will kill for no rhyme or reason, but he has one weak spot: Kinsey. The love he has for her blinds him, letting us see a new, more vulnerable side to Dodge we have never seen before.
To clarify, Gabe or Dodge (referred to by both names) is still all-powerful. He has more strength than your average demon as an echo demon cannot die from brutal force. Except his love for Kinsey impairs his decisions, going so far as hurting the people closest to Kinsey so he can avoid harming Kinsey directly and still manipulate and persuade by violence.
Griffin Gluck plays the role of Gabe well. When Gabe hangs out with Kinsey, he has those convincing, please-trust-me eyes and an innocent “good guy” look that makes even myself question Gabe’s loyalty: is he only out for himself or does he really truly love Kinsey? Gabe’s feelings for Kinsey make his next moves suspenseful: will he ever be redeemed, or is he the same old evil Dodge?
The second season of Locke & Key is more intense than season one—and not solely because of Gabe. While Season 1 introduces us to the Anywhere Key, the Identity Key, the Music Box Key among others, all unleashing a unique power. In total, Season 2 presents six new keys, all intriguing and mesmerizing.
For spoiler-sake, I will not go into the depth of each key since discovering the key’s intent alongside the characters makes the show enjoyable. I will say this: the new magical keys are nothing like the ones seen before.
As the characters discover keys and adjust to demons living in their backyard, they also have to deal with the stress of trying to figure out an already-established issue: adults not remembering magic. The memory issue escalates when a character close to the Locke siblings, who’s just about to turn eighteen, starts blacking out and forgetting about the magic they just witnessed two seconds ago.
While having adults not remembering magic in Season 1 is intriguing, having someone seventeen, almost eighteen, start to lose their memories of magic, brings a more unsettling outlook to the memory loss concept. Further exploring the memory loss—and at what age the memory loss begins to manifest—brings depth to the show by showing characters growing up and leaving behind their childhood.
Not only do adults lose memories of magic, but any surrounding memories from the day magic was used becomes vague. All of the character’s adventures and the foundation of how their bonds with others grew will begin crumbling. Once adulthood comes, there’s no turning back; childhood already lies behind them. The idea of leaving behind magic and leaving behind your past is eerily explored in Season 2.
The season may have high-stress moments, but the lighthearted scenes break away from all of the seriousness. The comic relief adds to the season. Whether it’s the one-liners, the character’s unfortunate memory loss which leads to some unconventional situations, or a giant gummy bear that is almost as tall as the ceiling, the humor’s there. The characters may be facing demons and investigating the keys with dark magic, but the show at times might make you crack a smile.
Season 2 also gives us an insight into the history of Keyhouse in the fictional town of Matheson, Massachusetts, and how the magical keys are made. The season starts with a fascinating flashback from the 1700s and Locke’s ancestors who are fighting in the Revolutionary War. The flashback is a little jarring for a total of two seconds, mainly because of the different era and lack of the main characters, but helps to deliver background on the keys without bombarding the viewer.
Locke & Key’s plot structure is designed to binge-watched. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger, making you itch to click continue. Locke & Key has all the elements a show should have: suspense, comic relief, well-developed characters. Some shows out there you may like but not love because the content misses a special quality, a special charm. Locke and Key Season 2 has that special charm, with enough entrancing magic to lure you in.
All episodes of Locke and Key Season 2 will be available to stream Oct. 22 on Netflix.