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Locke & Key Recap 'Crown of Shadows'

Season 1 Episode 10

Image from Locke & Key, currently streaming on Netflix

There is much to like about Locke & Key. I appreciate its commitment, especially in the early episodes, to show a family in grief. The magical keys are brilliant hooks. Even to my novice eyes, the production values are excellent. The performances are solid, especially Laysla De Oliveira as Dodge, Darby Stanchfield as Nina, and Jackson Robert Scott as Bode, the irreplaceable light of this show. This is a show that, from the first episode, I knew I’d want a second season of. Locke & Key is a great addition to Netflix’s stable of original content.

That being said, I am just forcing myself to write this recap of the season finale, and not just because I am still unwell. As I wrote in my previous recap, I don’t expect characters to act perfectly. I do expect their decisions, no matter how poor they may be, to make sense within the context of the show.

I suppose the counterpoint to being annoyed at Tyler and Kinsey’s decision making in this episode is that both of them have been making rather boneheaded decisions through the season. So, in that context, their decision to open the black door and toss a person they thought was Dodge made sense. But Tyler and Kinsey were very much there when Ellie became part of their plan to get rid of Dodge. Why not call Ellie when she didn’t show up? Why not search 'Dodge' for the anywhere key when they found her unconscious with the goal that if they found it, they could check on Ellie and Rufus? Why on earth would Tyler say, 'Hope this'll all be over by then’, when Kinsey asked what would happen if Nina came home, as though there was a rough timetable on how long it would take to get rid of an unkillable magical demon?

Bode should totally be the head keeper of the keys, with Scot as his second. It was Bode who thought to turn on the lights when Dodge’s shadow army invaded Key House. It was Bode who had a cool light sword. It was Bode who attached the matchstick key to his cool light sword, and got rid of scary shadow Dodge (the shadow special effects in this episode were really good). It was Bode and only Bode who thought it might be a good idea to head over to Ellie’s house and check on Rufus. Instead of joining their little brother to make sure he was okay (because he’s a kid, they were just attacked by a shadow army, and it was night time), Tyler and Kinsey called their friends over to their house to help them enact their inane plan.

To be fair, it wasn’t just Scot whose instincts were screaming that what they were doing did not feel right. Eden asked the very reasonable question of what they were going to do if ‘Dodge’ woke up before they got to the sea cave. Tyler’s ‘I brought a knife’ is stressing me, because they knew that could not stop her (Kinsey pointed out the same thing in the same scene). If Tyler genuinely thought a knife would slow Dodge down, why not guard her body with a knife whilst they did their very best to reach Ellie so they could enact their reasonable plan of trapping Dodge inside the well house?

Kinsey changed her mind on the plan when they were already in front of the black door, but Tyler talked her out of her qualms. Are we sure Tyler is really Tyler and not someone whose appearance Dodge changed using the identity key? Or maybe Tyler just really wanted to open the black door, the way Rendell was obsessed with it way back when?

‘Dodge’ woke up just before she got thrown inside the black door. She tried to hold on to Tyler, but was unsuccessful. As expected, bullet like things shot out of the door before they could close it. One of them hit Eden, which was a shame. I was just starting to like Eden, and now she was on the evil corner, along with Gabe.

There was a reason Gabe has been pinging all my alarm bells for several episodes now, including earlier in this episode when he was very much into the plan of opening the black door. Gabe was Dodge all along. It was interesting that Dodge, who could look like anyone, targeted Tyler and Kinsey to fool, but not Bode. Even Dodge knew that Bode was the brains in the Lockes’s magical operation.

In the end, Kinsey was dating Gabe/ Dodge, Tyler was going strong with Jackie, Nina was helping the police look for Ellie, and Rufus had moved with his Uncle in Nebraska. Ellie was trapped behind the black door, because it was Ellie, made to look like Dodge using the identity key, whom the kids found unconscious in Key House that night. Bode was adorably writing a letter to his buddy Rufus. Nina had thought of selling Key House, but the kids all declared they liked it there.

I like them there, too. I really like Locke & Key, despite not loving a few episodes. Here’s to a hopefully short wait for the second season!


🗝Scot was not okay with Kinsey dating both him and Gabe, and just wanted to be friends. I like Scot. I hope he won't turn out to be evil.

🗝Eden: ‘Oh, you’re going to have a knife fight with a demon.’

🗝That the Locke kids weren't even shown searching for the anywhere key on the unconscious 'Dodge' bugs, because they must have known she kept it with her at all times. How else could she travel from one place to another so effortlessly?

🗝Bode asked Tyler and Kinsey if they were certain the lady they threw through the black door was really Dodge.

🗝Near the end, there was a quick shot of Kinsey with the music box and some keys -- the omega key, the ghost key, the head key, and the matchstick key. We can also assume that one of the Locke kids has the mending key.

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Carlton Cuse & Meredith Averill

Original Release Date: 7 February 2020

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