Locke and Key Season 3 Review – The key to stupidity

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 2.5/5

 

One of the most frustrating tropes in TV and film comes from stupid characters. Horror films have been notoriously bad for this over the years, eventually leading to infamous parodies like Scary Movie. Likewise, comedies use this as a parodical tool with classics like Dumb and Dumber.

But then you get stories like season 3 of Locke and Key, which essentially takes the characters of Dumb and Dumber but plops them into a serious fantasy drama. This lack of logic and reason is ultimately the bread and butter of every issue and problem our characters face.

The ensuing result makes for a tough watch at times, was you’ll be rolling your eyes and shouting at your telly, wondering just what these people are doing. It soon becomes clear that whatever magic this show had is long gone with this third season.

Now, stupid characters acting erratically can be fun to watch as a “so bad it’s actually good” sort of watch but Locke and Key doesn’t even have that going for it.

Instead, most of the season is full of contradictions, huge plot holes, contrivances and characters that never grow or learn anything across the run-time. I’m being careful not to spoil anything here but if I’d have to point to one of the worst culprits for this, it would have to be Bode. What a journey this kid has had.

From the cute, smart and inquisitive kid in season 1 to one of the most annoying and grating players in the whole show; expect plenty of boasting, arrogance, pouting and gaslighting. And just like the moral ambiguity in Hollywood, you’ll be struggling to work out whether this guy is a villain or a hero.

“So what’s the story in all this?” I hear you say. Well, after Netflix’s handy recap to the events in season 2, the new chapter of Locke and Key picks up with the Locke family ready to get their lives back on track. Tyler is out of town with no knowledge of the keys, Nina is still in a will they/won’t they relationship with Josh while Kinsey and Bode are still mulling about Locke house, waiting for the main plot to kick in again. And kick in it does as episode 1 rolls round.

The main antagonistic threat this year comes from Captain Gideon, who’s hellbent on getting his hands on every single key from inside the house. In order to do that, he uses the power of the Well to conjure up several of his lackeys to do his bidding and invade Locke House.

Along the way, Bode and the gang stumble over numerous problems, most of which issues they’ve caused themselves. In episode 1, Nina almost kills Bode by abandoning him while using a new key. He ends up trapped in the cold in a snow globe. Now, back in season 1 we’ve learned that these keys are pretty dangerous and should be handled with care.

In season 3, all of that is out the window as the aforementioned scenario I just mentioned is a recurring trope throughout the series, as Bode finds several new keys that completely change the dynamic of the whole show… and he dives in headfirst without a regard for the consequences of his actions.

There are a couple of world-changing additions late on that are handled with about as much care as a baby with a shotgun. It’s actually quite impressive how badly these destroy the integrity of the story.

Despite how exciting the keys are, season 3 is actually rather bland and moves at a pretty poor pace. We get a whole episode dedicated to Duncan’s wedding and then he disappears from the plot completely, save for a conveniently expository voicemail late on in the game.

Meanwhile, there’s a last minute plot twist that comes out of nowhere, a distinct lack of action in the middle portion of chapters, and then, to top it all off, the final episode rockets through its antagonistic threat with such velocity that it feels like riding a gentle ride at a theme park before the hydraulics are slammed on and you rocket round the final curve back to the station.

Locke and Key is one of those shows that’s actually not too bad to binge in the moment. Sure, the characters are still incredibly stupid and make dumb decisions right the way through, but the keys are such a unique and interesting concept that you’ll stick with this in the hope that it gets better. With the exception of a few aesthetically pleasing moments late on, it doesn’t. When you finish this season and take a step back, you really do come to realize just how shockingly poor this final season is. And it pains me to write this because I actually enjoyed the first two seasons.

Now these were not without their problems but they could be overlooked by the imagination and visual flair on offer. Season 3 waits until its penultimate episode before giving us a taster of that same flair. I can’t help but feel that if this series dabbled a bit more with its visual design, it may have worked to paper over the nonsensically stupid and erratic characters at the forefront of this.

Ultimately, Locke and Key bows out its third season by burning everything behind it. This a story riddled with problems, from the worldbuilding and narrative structure through to its characters and contrivances. There are a few stand out moments but judging as a full season, this is miles below par.


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  • Verdict - 3/10
    3/10
3/10

30 thoughts on “Locke and Key Season 3 Review – The key to stupidity”

  1. God!!!!
    Season 3 sucked!
    I came to this site with the sole purpose of seeing the frustration of others like me who were let down by season 3. Season 1 & 2 had me hooked and I was really looking forward to the next one. The whole thing with Gideon was utter disappointment. Everything seemed ridiculous and pointless. It was like the writers didn’t even try to bring anything to the table. Sheer waste of time. The part where Bode said, “Ha, you lose Dodge!” had me going🤢🤮 If only I could get back those time and watch much better series like “The Boys”, speaking of which, might’ve been that since the last thing I saw was a masterpiece like “The Boys” that I just couldn’t bear the stupid plot of season 3. Ugh!

  2. Is Dodge still under Bode’s bed??? I hope so……
    And is one of Gideon’s lackies still in the basement?!! Possibly
    There definitely is 2 trapped witches in the mirror door!!!
    So many holes, let’s hope they don’t bring a season 4 back…….they might!!!

  3. I google “Locke and Key stupid” and there were many sites. I quit after Season 3, Ep 3. After investing time into season 1&2, I still think abandoning season 3 is the best use of any bodies time. My kids couldn’t even watch the terribleness. The only good news is that these writers and producers shouldn’t be making any new series anytime soon. Nobody will hire them.

  4. As many have already posted, seasons one and two were decent In spite of some illogical script writing as well as some less than stellar acting. Season three however took a decided turn for the worse.
    The production company must not have been paying their script writers during season three. How else can one explain The cockamamie plot lines that ignored logic. For instance, Why in the name of reason didn’t the Locke kids grab all the key when they fell to the floor in ep. 6 of season 3? Why is Nina always preoccupied with nonsensical trivial matters instead of focusing on the threat right in front of her. I don’t even need to go on about Bodie’s flawed character as previous commentators have already noted his whiny and asinine behavior throughout the series. Frankly, the family would’ve been better off shipping that kid off to boarding school during season 1!
    Needless to say, I give this series a thumbs down.

  5. @Zodiac and CougarLand

    Both of your comments are SPOT ON!
    SEASON 3 was absolutely diabolical and almost quit watching by episode 4 because of HOW blood boiling Bode was being such an arrogant dumbo for stubbornly insisiting on trying the TIME shift key 🗝️ alone.
    As a result of his stupidity by allowing Dodge to hitchhike back to current time and GET soul shifted and almost put everybody lives in jeopardy teaming up with Gideon and his two honchos echoes and wreck chaos.

    IF not for wanting to know which magical keys the LOCKE family members would discover I may not had forced to binged watch for 3days straight to end the agony of horrible plot lines.

    Other than Rendall Locke, Tyler Locke and Uncle Duncan actings that were watchable to say the least.
    Since Season 1, I dislike the actors who played Nina, Kinsey and Bode.
    Truly annoying to the core.

    Overall, it was a unique series.
    Absolutely loved those magical keys and the adventures they went on discovering their main purpose.
    Just wished a much better castings were made.

  6. Howwwww did Rendell Locke not travel back with them while hugging with the timeshift key? And whyyyy didn’t they just pick up all the spilled keys. Aaaah so frustrating and not in a good way. Like scary movie stupid!

  7. It took all of my willpower to finish this season. They first season was awesome, which lead me to the comics. They were outstanding!! I wasn’t expecting the same feeling from season 2, since the comics are definitely way darker, but still, I was happy with the conclusion. I was really upset they decided to milk the show for a third season. It was terrible… It’s like everyone went stupid like you said, and there are lots of useless little plots that basically lead nowhere, and lose ends (spoiler alert: when gordie dies with the mind key on his key, should his body on the ambulance vanish? And the police decided not to investigate on a homicide (possible multiple homicide of other officers?) anyway, this is just to name a few issues. Thank God season 4 won’t see the light of day

  8. The first season was really intriguing and I quite enjoyed it. The soundtrack was awesome and the characters were really written well.
    But holy cow!! The last season was absolute shit. I have never in my life seen something as horribly written and stupid. I have never watch something that literally made me want to cry from frustration. There is no storyline and Gideon is a stupid villain. Even Disney writes better villains than this guy. Dodge was a cool villain and I enjoyed her, but Gideon suck. He is just irritating.

  9. This show had so much promise the writers totally ruined season 3 i cant even get past 3 episodes the characters all seemed mentally challenged … there r bad guys out there trying to get them and they still all live in their own world … its like they r inviting bad things to happen to them… so dumb

  10. I was looking forward to season 3 because I liked the first two seasons so much. Because I was so let down by this season, I looked up fan reactions online and stumbled onto your assessment, which, I’m sorry to say, I completely agree with. There were numerous examples of awful writing and incredibly foolish decisions made by the characters. To give just one illustration. When Bode clearly didn’t know what he was doing, why did he try to utilize the Time Shift key? The introduction of a new potential romantic interest for Tyler felt off to me. How did she know how to find him, and why would someone drive all the way to a person’s house after only one night of conversation? I don’t see why, given how creepy she is, he would want to have her stay with him. Another thing that just seemed not well thought out. Wouldn’t it had made sense in making the key to the chest if the creation key could make anything? Wasn’t Kinsey like an art major? Bode sketched all the keys in his journal, and I am sure Kinsey undoubtedly could have done a better job. And why when she does get the chest open only grab one key? Come to think out it, this wasn’t the only time they had a chance to retrieve all the keys but stupidly grabbed only one. Last thought. If Jamie’s dad was trying to help the Lockes by hitting Gideon with his car, then why would he hit Gideon and then just stare at him, allowing Gideon to steal the car and nearly run him over? Had they not forewarned him that he was a bad guy? In any case, I’m really bummed out by how many more incredibly stupid things happened in this most recent season. A fantastic outcome could have been possible.

  11. I actually enjoyed it heaps and heaps. Laughed a lot. Loved the relentlessness of Gideon. Yeah sure, mum is drippy but she always was. Loved Kinsey and Tyler. And Bode with Dodge in him was brilliant. What an actor! What happened to Dodgers body and if she got stuck in Ghost dimension he Dr got resolved though. Overall, a laugh out loud rollicking rollercoaster ride which I binged in 3 sessions. And an ending that needed to happen. Well done to all. Fabulous production, now resolved.

  12. Got to episode three and had to stop watching. It’s diabolical . The acting the plot, everything. Bode was pretty irritating in the first two seasons but this is on a whole new level . I want him to get shoved into the demon portal as well as his drippy mum , but I doubt that’s the happy ending they will ge going for !

  13. I couldn’t agree more with this – I don’t have much to add. Overall, the concept of the show is entertaining; I think the acting and production are both great. The writing went downhill. The flat out stupidity of the characters throughout the entire series pisses me off as a viewer. The fact the Locke’s do not learn from their experiences is so irritating. Being on their side, I feel I can hardly ever get a win with the show. The Locke’s do one thing right out of every ten; and only win once for every 5 times the villains win. Dodge and Gideon run circles around the Locke’s while half the time they’re just standing there not doing anything when action is going on. At points it just had me yelling at the Locke’s, “you deserved that you fucking idiots!”

  14. Season 3 is bullshit. Imagine dumb Nina almost killed her son. Stupid kid knowing it is his uncle Duncan’s wedding but still insisted to try the fucking time key. Absolutely dumb!!!!

  15. I completely agree. So many things done so stupidly. Like Tyler’s Girlfriend, Dodge being brought back and Kenzie still making dumb decisions left and right. My biggest issues were that inside The Drama Guys head they lock Gideon away and instead of continuing to run out the damn head and take the key, they stop, have an unnecessary convo and stare longingly at the blood running down the walls. The second is how Bode’s dumbass literally sets himself up to be thrown through the ghost door lol. If you’re gonna smirk because you think you’re so smart at least do it after the plan worked. Third thing is I predicted they’d get rid of all the keys in the end midway through the season but what I didn’t realize is that they’d tie it to a dumb reason. If the keys being returned to the abyss of demons closed the portal then how did the portal first come to be in the beginning if no one was making keys lol. This season was a wash and very disappointing.

  16. I enjoyed season 1 and 2. 3 fell really flat to me. Season was shorter which is a recurring mistake when a show is on it’s final season. The story is meh… Locke & Key. What key? Where do you see these magical keys? You barely see any and when you see them they really suck…

    Also, let’s talk about the useless character of Carly. She doesn’t exist for squat other than giving a new GF to Tyler. Nothing else to say, that’s how empty she is. And then we come to my least favorite part… how stupid everyone is :
    1. We have two witches seeking the keys? Let’s throw a wedding without having any thoughts that there may be more.
    2. We know that keys can be taken from mom? Let’s give her keys so she can be an easy prey.
    3. We need to hide the keys? Let’s put them all in the same place where anyone can find them instead of putting them somewhere the vilains can’t go. Like I don’t know, the well house perhaps?
    4. Speaking of such… We want to push the vilain inside the well house? Let’s make sure he has something to hold on so we can’t do it and also leave half our crew on the bench just watching.
    5. Bode? Love him instead of disowning him and be done with it.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that the writers just almost take pleasure in writing rules and just ignoring them… Like Dodge grabbing Bode just before the time shift end and warping with him to the present, but it doesn’t work the same with Rendall. Or the fact they have 3 minutes with the time shift and they just have a whole nice afternoon with Rendall. Or the fact that while Dodge is in the present the hourglass is running, a few days to half empty it and the last half takes like 1 hour at most.

    Ok I’m done for now…

  17. Let’s see how can I say this without being brutal.. My boyfriend & I enjoy the magical plot of season 1 & 2.. The 3rd season my boyfriend and I caught each other nodding off to several episodes.When we were actually wide eyed we were frustrated where the writers of the show were going. Now all the magical powerful keys were pathetically weak against the vilians with no rhythm or reason.. Please don’t add another season. The 3rd season fell off in a bad way. I don’t know where the 4th season is going to bring back their audience..

  18. The whole season felt rushed. Only 8 episodes compared to 10 for the previous seasons. The logical contradictions in the plot and the stupidity of the characters is astounding as you say. Things introduced in the beginning of the season that you would expect to play a role towards the end of the season end up not. Those two witches? Expected them to return in some form towards the end of the season…. They dont. The snow globe? Expected them to trap gideon in there towards the end…. They dont….. Tylers girlfriend? She just comes from montana and spends the night. Youre expecting her to play some role in the plot, then she just drives back to montana the next day….. its like…. Where are the final two episodes where they tie everything together? Super weird and disappointing.

  19. 1st and 2nd season of Locke and Key made me want to know what the next episode offers. But, the 3rd season was just making me not want to continue watching it. There were just so many annoying and unnecessary scenes. The pace was much slower and sometimes I don’t understand where the hell such scenes come from like sometimes the end of one scene doesn’t make sense with the next one. Wish they could have just focused more on Gideon, and not tried bringing Dodge back because that are two entirely different arcs they can cover, and since Dodge’s story is over, they should’ve focused with Gideon. I’m utterly disappointed. The third season could’ve been done within 5 episodes or so, covering Gideon’s story, yet they dragged it much longer making some of the audience (including me) confused. smh

  20. I came across your review after searching for Locke and key bad acting 3 season. I enjoyed the first 2 seasons, however season 3 is mired by bad acting bad characters and bad direction. Mother’s character is irksome. I mean, Nina discusses how well Bode likes Josh when her friend is kidnapped by Gideon and when they have to really find a way out. There are so many such scenes where you will wonder whether the scenes are even continuous as it’s like they don’t care what happens to their family members or that a demon is trying to kill them. So cringe.

  21. I really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2. But season 3 was kind of boring and seemed like they rushed to put something together to end the series. Not horrible but still felt disappointed.

  22. Who are you people. I thought season 3 one of the best. Stop being so picky and negative.

  23. Well and we find out those keys are not keys but those demons and those keys actually do not belong to the lockes they belong to the demons in their dimensions in the first place the thing about human vanity is true but what I do not understand is why is it that the demons are so darn weak we don’t even get to see the keys and locked used much it’s only concept of Locke and key that was good

  24. Was a huge fan, but in season 3 I ended up googeling for “Locke & key family stupid clumsy.“ which brought me to your review and I just have to agree. Very painful to watch and a shame what the writers did to the show. I even have pity for the actors, having to play this stupid and clumsy.

  25. No what’s more was dodge actually she tried to help them. Why couldn’t she just let the sister die? What was even going on honestly I didn’t even like the 2nd season first episode of 2nd were fine I just completed it because I liked the 1st but this one I watched a few I can’t even complete it.

  26. I was happy it was over. Terrible acting, especially the Bode character, so many plot holes that they all should have fallen with Gideon into the other side. I want the keys back to start over with better characters and plot lines.

  27. Your review is on point. It was the stupidest season I’ve seen and the entire season pointed towards dumbness. What a way to ruin a final season indeed. Season 1 and 2 were so good, but definitely not Season 3.

  28. What Nina did in episode one doesn’t compare to what Bode did in the third episode with the time key. 1. Stupid little moron can’t even get the date right on when to go see a living Daddy and ends up at the exact moment their nemesis is in the house. 2. Stupid little moron already knows how the interactions work with those in the past and yet he STILL decides to open his stupid mouth and talk to Dodge just seconds before Dodge was bout to leave said house…then when his uncle tells him to STFU, he STILL keeps talking to Dodge. I just can’t believe how stupid that kid still is.

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