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Locke & Key Recap 'Echoes'

Season 1 Episode 9

Image from Locke & Key, currently streaming on Netflix

In an episode that could have been titled ‘Everything is Ellie’s fault’, we finally found out how it came to be that the evil in the well house plagued the Lockes after all these years. Rendell’s death? Ellie’s fault. Mark’s fiery demise? Ellie’s fault. Sam’s attack of the Lockes? Still Ellie’s fault. As lovely as it is to have answers, ‘Echoes’, Locke & Key’s penultimate episode, showed weaknesses in the series that I hope will be addressed in the second season.

After Rufus convinced Ellie to come clean with the Lockes rather than run, Ellie finally told Tyler and Kinsey what really happened (Bode missed most of it because he stayed with Rufus guarding Ellie’s body whilst the three entered Ellie’s head using the head key). On the night of their high school graduation, Rendell convinced his friends to go down the sea cave to open the black door. As soon as they opened it, glowing bullets shot out. One of these bullets hit Lucas before they could close the door again. Back at the basement, Lucas started attacking the others, demanding the omega key.

It was Lucas who killed Kim, then Jeff. Rendell killed Lucas to save Erin. Unfortunately, young Duncan witnessed Rendell killing Lucas, so what was left of the group took Duncan’s memories away. They then concocted a story of their friends drowning in the sea caves.

The four left — Rendell, Erin, Mark, and Ellie — made a pact never to use the keys again. They divided some amongst themselves. Rendell kept the anywhere and omega keys. Erin had the head key. Mark had the fire key. Ellie had the identity and echo keys. The rest of the keys, Mark hid inside Key House. Mark was the only one who knew where all the keys were hidden; this was why he killed himself.

Some time the year before, Ellie’s loneliness hit a breaking point. She opened the well house with the echo key and called for Lucas. Lucas appeared in physical form. When Ellie mentioned that Lucas could not leave the well house, Lucas said he could, with the anywhere key. Ellie told him that Rendell had it. Ellie did not know at that time that what returned in the well house was not Lucas, but the demon who possessed Lucas before he died. Ellie also inexplicably gave Lucas the identity key.

Outside the memory, Bode, to whom Rufus had earlier shown the shadow crown Lucas wanted, finally remembered where he had seen similar markings. They were on a key in the key ring Duncan gave Nina on their first day at Key House. When Ellie, Tyler, and Kinsey rejoined them, a plan was formed. Ellie already tried shooting Lucas; it did not work. The shadow crown would allow the wearer to create and control powerful shadows, which they could then use to push Lucas/ Dodge back into the well and trap him there.

Okay, so I’ve given the basic information on what happened in this episode. Now comes not really a rant but my effort to understand what happened in this episode.

I don’t expect TV characters to act perfectly. It is often through poor choices that great stories are made. However, these choices have to make sense within the story.

Does it make sense for Ellie, a grown up with a special needs son and a job at the local high school, to bring back her high school boyfriend? There are people who seem stuck in high school. From what Ellie told Tyler and Kinsey, she felt that her world shrank as she grew older. Perhaps high school and her relationship with sweet Lucas was the high point of her life. Okay.

But Ellie knew that Lucas could not leave the well house. What, exactly, was her plan after she brought back Lucas? Was he suppose to just live inside the well house? Would he get hungry? Cold? Annoyed at the limited floor space? Did Ellie think the Lucas she was bringing back was only a spirit without human needs? Did she expect Lucas to have a physical form? How did Ellie even know how the echo key worked? Did Rendell and the original keepers of the keys bring someone back? Why did Ellie give Lucas the identity key? Lucas had to have gotten the identity key before he showed up at Ellie's door, because Bode met him as Dodge. Lucas couldn't have taken the identity key without Ellie knowing because those keys are pretty important and I assume Ellie knew all the time where they were.

Moving on, the one thing the Locke kids knew for certain was that Dodge could not take the keys from them, but she could take them from others. Yes, the shadow crown was at Ellie’s house. Yes, she was going to go and get it so they could use it to trap Lucas/ Dodge. So why, and I was mentally screaming at my screen whilst watching this, give her the key? Did they mean for Ellie, who displayed the worst judgment in the group, to use the shadow crown?

To be fair, from the point of view of the Locke kids, they must have felt so relieved that a grownup was finally able to help them. Maybe Tyler would not have objected to Ellie being in charge now; he has struggled with the weight of the responsibilities he found himself with. But, as was pointed out in this very episode, Bode was a smart kid. He was the sole keyholder before they keys started whispering to Tyler and Kinsey, too. Kinsey confronted Ellie, again, in this very episode. Ellie taking the key with her was consistent with her character; she would have wanted the weapon that could keep Rufus safe in her hands. Not saying anything was not consistent with Bode's and Kinsey's characters. Young Bode was sharp enough to know that the shadow key was safest in the hands of a Locke, and Kinsey would not have hesitated about speaking up to a grownup.

So, what happened before the episode ended was rather predictable. Lucas was waiting for Ellie and Rufus at Ellie's house. They struggled, Lucas won, and he used the shadow key to activate the crown, and its army of shadows.

'Echoes' showed that whilst Locke and Key got many things right, there is much work to be done for the writers for the second season. I'm certainly still very much looking forward to it. As for the finale, I have already seen it, but the recap will have to wait as I am rather unwell. Till next time, everyone!


🗝From now on, on these recaps, I will refer to Lucas when he is in Lucas form and Dodge when she is in Dodge form.

🗝Lucas killed Mr. Ridgeway because he saw him with Ellie and took a photograph of him.

🗝Bode found the matchstick key outside Key House; he figured Sam dropped it.

🗝Bode talked Tyler and Kinsey into showing him the memory jar. That was just as well, since Bode recognised Lucas as the guy staying with Ellie and Rufus.

🗝Kinsey's fear monster showed up at Eden's window. Later, the fear monster attacked Eden on school grounds. When Kinsey explained as much about the fear monster as she could to Eden, Eden was rather flattered that Kinsey was afraid of her.

🗝The ones at school in on the magic, apart from the Lockes, are the following: Scot, Gabe, Logan, Jackie, Eden

🗝Kinsey didn't want to choose between Scot and Gabe and thought about dating them both. Kinsey, maybe it's time to bring that fear monster back inside your head.

🗝Dodge was the nickname Ellie gave Lucas when they were kids.

🗝Nina thought of going to a meeting, but she went and had coffee with Detective Matuko instead. Detective Matuko seems like a nice man. I hope he's not evil because Nina badly needs support.

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Meredith Averill & Liz Phang

Original Release Date: 7 February 2020

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