Based on the Graphic Novels by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. All Season One episodes available now, on Netflix.
Locke & Key's three episode improvement streak comes crashing to a halt, with a very average episode, saved by one very intriguing, if under-utilised concept.
Well, we all knew it was coming. After a rough start, this show had improved with every episode, delivering a season best in last week's "Head Games." Sadly, after a season best episode, there's only one way to go.
Episode 4 'Keepers of the Keys' starts with Kinsey updating her look, and her outlook on life, after brutally murdering her own fear, at the end of episode 3.
Sadly, her positive new attitude seems to have come with a major lapse in common sense. As she decides that the best thing to do, to fix things with 'so British, he probably wears a Tea-cosy as a hat' boyfriend-in-waiting Scot, is to show him the Head Key and let him take a trip inside her mind.
This whole plot feels vaguely pointless, and is only really used to further the other plots, that run alongside it. I have to wonder if this part was only in the episode because they wanted to give Kinsey something to do...
However, while Kinsey's plot was largely pointless, it did set up a very interesting concept, which was explored in Tyler's arc.
Let me ask you a question.
If Kinsey can take out her own fear, and come out a whole new person after, is it possible to use the Head Key to add things, to your mind?
The answer, it seems, is a resounding yes!
Tyler, still trying to break the ice with his special lady, decides that if he can just know a little more about her interests, he'd have something to talk to her about.
Which, honestly, doesn't seem like something he should need a heart to heart with his English teacher and a sudden revelation to work out... but hey, he's a teenager. We can cut him some slack.
It seems that, just like removing things from your "Head Space" takes them out of your mind, putting anything new in there will add it to what you know. So if you, for instance, wanted to impress an Anglophile, you could put in a book on the history of the United Kingdom, and you'd know it all (although, I would suggest adding Season 1 & 2 of the Inbetweeners, and a big book on Sarcasm instead).
Personally, the idea that you can alter your Head Space in this way was by far the most interesting aspect of the episode. Which, sadly, gets almost no exploration, except for Tyler using it to cheat at dating... I'm really hoping that they circle back to this later, though, as I need to know more.
More specifically, could I use this concept to become a Master Martial Artist? Because that would be freakin' sweet.
Mama Locke continues her investigation into her deceased husband's murky freakin' past. This is another plot that I feel really deserves more screen time. As fun as it isn't, watching the Locke kids mess up their future relationships, it feels like the mystery surrounding the departed Locke Daddy is the most interesting plot in the series, but also gets the least screen time. We find out a few new pieces of information this week, but nothing earth shattering. I really hope, after how slow this plot is burning, that the end explosion is HUGE.
Lastly, Bode's Cold War with the mysterious Echo heats up! As her plan begins to take shape, and more of Bode's measures to stop her fail spectacularly, the question becomes: Is it even possible to stop her? And just what is her connection to Rendell Locke?
Overall, this was a spectacularly average episode. Evenly balanced between filler and build up, it felt like the whole episode was holding its breath, waiting for something to happen. The only problem is, the thing that's going to happen (known to readers of the graphic novel) is coming in a future episode. And while some interesting concepts were introduced, they felt sidelined, and lacked any real depth.
As we approach the midway point of the season, I have to hope that this episode is laying the foundations for huge events to come, because otherwise it all feels a little pointless.