‘Locke & Key’ Season 2 Review: Forgetting Grief

Locke and Key Season 2

Spoilers Below 

Locke & Key Season 2, developed by Carlton Cuse, Meredith Averill, and Aron Eli Coleite, weaves a suspenseful, fantastic story about growing up and grief. For those who do not know, Locke & Key is an adaptation of a comic book series of the same name written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. The special and practical effects are top-notch. And during this season, Tyler Locke (Connor Jessup) faces growing up and forgetting all aspects of magic. In addition, the whole Locke family wrestles with grieve.

Locke & Key Season 2: Special and Practical Effects

The special and practical effects in Locke & Key sell the fantastical world of Keyhouse. For example, in “The Head and the Heart,” Bode Locke (Jackson Robert Scott) wears a belt that the Hercules Key unlocks, giving him super strength. The fireplace poker that Bode bends with his bare hands looks too heavy for an ordinary young boy to contort.

During “Past is Prologue,” Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones) breaks into demon-possessed Eden Hawkins’ (Hallea Jones) head after she passes out during a party. A keyhole pops up on the back of Eden’s neck the minute that Kinsey holds the Head Key next to her head. Kinsey unlocks Eden’s neck with the Head Key. The camera pans up, then suddenly there is another Eden lying on the ground. It pans further up, revealing a giant pink makeup box where the teenager’s memories live.

The combination of special and practical effects brings the viewers into a world where magical keys can allow entry into other people’s minds.

Locke & Key Season 2: Growing Up & Forgetting Magic

Tyler and his girlfriend Jackie Veda (Genevieve Kang) debate keeping their imagination alive or becoming ordinary sensible adults. In the world of Locke & Key, the minute a person turns eighteen, they can no longer remember or grasp magic. One of the ways the television show represents adults’ inability to conceive the mystical keys visually is by showing a close-up of the character’s face going in and out of focus as they try to remember the magical event that just happened to them.

During the second season, Jackie starts to struggle to remember or understand her fun adventures with Tyler. Tyler is so afraid of her and him forgetting the keys’ magical abilities entirely that he spends the season tracking down the Memory Key that allows adults to unlock their memories of the supernatural. In this world, children’s imaginations enable them to experience delightful things like using keys to fly, entering the spirit realm, or using a cupboard to mend broken items.

On the other hand, children’s open minds attract dangerous figures into their lives. The villainous Echo Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira) uses the Identity Key to transform into Gabe (Griffin Gluck). Gabe dates Kinsey to manipulate her into teaching him how to create new magic keys.

Kinsey or her siblings would never be in danger from demons or Echoes if they did not know about the keys. The Locke children balance the fun they have with the keys with the horrific events that happen to them because of magic.

Tyler finds the Memory Key that unlocks his Uncle Duncan Locke’s (Aaron Ashmore) memories of Keyhouse. In “The Maze,” he offers the key to his now eighteen-year-old girlfriend, Jackie. Tyler tells her magic can be beautiful and dangerous. Jackie refuses because she doesn’t want to be stuck with horrific memories. Tyler wants to remember because adulthood changes so many aspects of your life, but if he can keep ahold of magic, he can protect his family and control the mysteries of life.

The Dangers of Magic

Sadly, knowledge of keys comes with a cost because Gabe turns Jackie into a demon with the Demon Key to hurt Tyler. Tyler forges the Alpha Key with his Locke blood to unlock the demon infesting Jackie’s soul. Shockingly the Alpha Key kills Jackie and the monster, revealing that Tyler can’t control magic after all.

In “Cliffhanger,” Tyler decides to let go of his memories of magic. He wants an ordinary boring life separate from his unique family. After Kinsey leads the attack against Gabe, Tyler feels comfortable knowing that she is brave enough to be the next guardian of the keys. Bodie grieves the version of Tyler, who embraces his imagination.


Grief is a central theme in Locke & Key. The first season starts with Rendell Locke’s (Bill Heck) murder causing Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield) to move the family back to Keyhouse.

The second season is full of deaths from teacher Josh Bennett (Brendan Hines) losing his wife back in Chicago to Rendall’s childhood girlfriend, Erin Voss (Joy Tanner), dying after being freed from her mind. Gabe kills Erin after she learns his real identity. Protecting and exploring the magical keys distracts the children from dealing with their grief.

The Locke siblings can’t help but deal with their loss of “magical” Tyler. Teenage Kinsey embraces her role as guardian to the magical Keys, understanding that he can’t stand the memory of accidentally killing Jackie. He wants a change of scenery and a new life without scary things outside of his control. Young Bode panics at losing a significant part of his support system because Tyer is choosing to forget. He can’t understand people naturally maturing and forgetting about the world’s magic.

Without considering the consequences, Bode uses the Head Key to show his mother Nina the inside of her mind. She delights in watching memories of her early life with Rendall. Bode takes this moment of joy to convince Nina to accept the Memory Key unlocking magic for her. But, unlike Tyler, Bode doesn’t tell his mother about the dangers of the mystical keys.

Last Thoughts

How will Nina knowing the truth affect the family dynamics? Let us know what you think of Locke & Key Season 2 in the comments below!


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