Netflix Series Review: Locke & Key (Episodes 1-5)

March 01, 2020

This post will be updated as I watch each episode of  this show. For context, I made this rule for myself that for every title that I will be watching on Netflix (or on any medium I guess), I need to create a post about it, so here it is!

I gave in to the curiosity to watch this series through a colleague's recommendation. Since the title was always popping up on my recommendations, I thought well let's give this a try. 

Episode 1 - Welcome to Matheson
The premise of the story is kinda clichΓ© for me (well for a horror story I guess?) -- a family is moving to a new neighborhood and we see here the adjustments that they are going through to cope up with the new environment. There's these teenagers being the talk of the town because they are the fresh faces in school, and the parent who is struggling to make ends meet. There were flashbacks to when the father was killed, and it has something to do with the mansion and its secrets. I think establishing the backstory about the reason the father was shot by that kid was kinda weak for me. All the scenes involving the well was kind of uncomfortable for me. We all know what resided in a well in other movies. I was always on guard in case something crawls up the walls. πŸ˜…

I'm kind of fond of keys nowadays (heh and that's because I'm currently reading The Starless Sea). The power of the "anywhere" key is kinda cool for me. I always daydreamed of having that power actually. At the end of the first episode, I have a lot of questions (I guess this is the goal for the audience anyway, to make them curious about the story) -- who is that girl in the well? Why was she there? How is she related to the kid that killed the father? Why did the mother react that way? Does the uncle know about the keys too? Where are the other keys and what are their powers? I guess as the story progresses, I'll look back to these questions and see if all of them have been answered. And looking back at the prologue scene, I think we just saw the power of one of the keys. Who that person was and what exactly the key did to him, we'll have to know soon in the story.

Episode Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
It was okay, but the premise did not hook me enough to want me to watch the next episode immediately. 

Episode 2 - Trapper / Keeper
It's the second day for the Locke teenage kids in their new school -- more awkward moments for them, continuing their struggles to fit in. Meanwhile at home, Bode Locke, the youngest kid, has found another key.

Bode is becoming my favorite character in this series. He's such a free-spirited kid. Plus, we both write on a bullet journal. 😊 He believes in that kind of magic that only kids recognize, relating it to the given fact that only the young ones can return to Narnia.

I feel for the tension between the brother and the sister Lockes (I still have not absorbed their names lol). I'm happy they mentioned about having mental health leaves, because I heavily subscribe to that. And speaking of mental, I think their dad is some kind of psycho. Something eerie has happened with father Locke's past, and selected people surrounding him don't remember the events about the death of his friends. Meanwhile, Miss villain-from-the-well is having the time of her life going around places using the "anywhere" key. Her encounter with Bode is kind of lame -- I expected something of a darker aura from her. I guess I'm just glad to see the actor in Tall Girl make his appearance in this episode, though in the most unfashionable way possible (wearing a monster lobster suit).

Episode Rating: ★★★☆ ☆ 
Well, with this episode's cliffhanger, I'm now curious to see what Bode found in that chest bearing his name.

Episode 3 - Head Games
Yes, we find out what that new key's power is: it enables the person to enter into his own head. This is very much like the metaphor shown in the movie Inside Out wherein areas of the brain are represented as rooms and specific memories as shelves, and you can access it and relive its contents by picking one out, like a book. Bode's mind was shown like a play room, while Kinsey's was a large mall. It got me curious -- what would my own mind look like? Also, would I be brave enough to enter and explore it? I think if I did, I would have the same experience as Kinsey, wherein her own fears and nightmares start chasing her and I might not be able to escape my own mind.

Again, I really think their dad is a psycho. Why would he tell different endings of a bedtime story to his children? I really don't like that dad. 😐 In a more lighter note, I'm really getting entertained with Bode discovering more keys. With the new one he discovered (I'm calling it the ghost key), it enables him to be a ghost and fly (although he leaves behind his physical body which I think shouldn't be the case coz what if he couldn't go back). The next scenes that followed exactly encapsulates a recurring dream -- just freely flying across the sky and enjoying the view. 

Episode Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
This one goes a dark turn as Kinsey goes back to her own brain to kill her Fear.

Episode 4 - The Keepers of the Keys
A huge change has happened to Kinsey. After removing Fear out of her mind and actually killing and burying it, she transformed to this cheerful and confident girl. It seems to be a positive transition, but I have a feeling that this unnatural change will have an effect later (which is also Tyler's gut feel). Kinsey is so confident now that she even invites Scot (I like him and his English accent πŸ’—) over at the Keyhouse mansion and even into her own mind using the head key. It's so cute watching Scot babble around awkwardly when they were in Kinsey's bedroom.

We see again this woman, named Ellie, who now regularly meets with Nina (the Locke mother... I'm slowly trying to memorize their names lol). What's up with her? The way she was searching for something when they were in the hidden room in the basement is so suspicious. I think she's a villain who works with the evil-well-lady (named Dodge). She mentioned a friend in the father's old clique photo that recently died in a house fire. I think that's the guy in the prologue, and he used that key to kill himself! Hah! I've connected the dots! Dodge travels to the burned house to find the key, and she finds out that it was not there anymore. She finds the key in the possession of a kid, whom she unfortunately kills by pushing him through the door that led to a subway station (so evil! 😠).

Anyway, some random comments that I have for this episode -- Tyler's English teacher really reminds me of that attic ghost in Big Mouth (which is another great Netflix show!). Also, I like how Tyler is progressing with his love interest, Jackie. Tyler was smart to experiment with the head key. If I had that key, I will place all the books, that I still yet to read, straight through my mind's door! And ooh that subtle arm touch from Jackie (I'm taking down notes, girl!). 😍

Unfortunately, Dodge appears again to demand the keys from Bode. She's a coward because she only bullies Bode and not the other Locke children. I loved that rule that she can't just take the keys from Bode -- he has to willingly give it to her.

And then Dodge visits the father-murderer kid in his prison and gives him the "fire" key. Hmm so what evil things are they plotting this time?

Episode Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Things are getting interesting now!

Episode 5 - Family Tree
Another key was discovered in this episode and this time it's Kinsey who unearths it. Yep, the other Locke siblings can now hear the whispers. This really made Bode feel relieved -- he's not alone now. The three of them have been made keeper of the keys.

The new key has this (dangerous) power of allowing a person to command another human being to do anything by stating his/her name and saying the order. It's reminiscent to the Imperius Curse in the Harry Potter universe. It's kind of predictable that Kinsey chose to use the key's power against a person she hated the most in school. I kind of respect that girl though. Yes she's a bully, but the way she handled the shame from what Kinsey's magic made her do was commendable. She just owned it so people would think she really did put a show for them.

One thing that I found really surprising about Kinsey's behavior is that she freely told the secret of the keys to two of her friends in school. I know she already eradicated Fear from her system, but isn't she being too carefree and careless? Tyler tried to pull her back to her senses but fails miserably and they end up with a nasty argument.

I'm really liking this Scot guy. He's really logical and ground-minded. He witnessed Kinsey do a terrible thing to another person, but he still saw the best in her. I think he really likes Kinsey a lot. Meanwhile Tyler is also having the greatest time with Jackie. I like that girl too. I wanna be like her when it comes to approaching a guy that she likes (again I am taking down notes πŸ˜‚). She's not being too aggressive, just being very suggestive. She maintains that eye contact and delivers sentences with subtle meanings. πŸ˜‰

On the other side of things, we see Nina being restless and paranoid. It's a good thing that she has people to talk to like that English teacher. Often times, it really helps to have a listening ear. I actually liked how the English teacher (sorry I didn't get his name πŸ˜…) led the conversation with Nina -- he wasn't really giving any advice, he just kept asking questions back to Nina, which allowed her to reflect further with her thoughts and emotions.

Yet again later that day, Kinsey and Tyler discover another key. It allowed them to see memories of their dad with his high school friends. But another disturbing information has been discovered. Did those people really drown... or were they all murdered? 😨

Episode Rating: ★★★
The ending scene has so much gripping tension that I had to squint my eyes at the screen. But this had little effect because the sounds were on full volume in my headphones anyway. Having such great background music really transformed that scene. I held my breath until the revelation was unveiled in the end.

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