Who Ya Gonna Call?
A six-pronged electric lamp flickers overhead as episode 1 of Lockwood and Co begins. A teenage boy and girl step out of a cab and make their way to a house. Holding rapiers by their side, armed with what looks like bombs and ammunition, they talk about various contingency plans for their night ahead — they range from Plan A to Plan E.
They knock on the door and see someone moving inside but then a woman meets them outside the house itself. She is Mrs. Hope, the owner of the house who has hired them to get rid of the ghost haunting it. They introduce themselves, Anthony Lockwood and Lucy Carlyle, agents of Lockwood & Co. She hands them a file with information on the house and the recent death of her husband. Before leaving, she laments the fact that their generation must spend their youth in this way.
Inside the house, it’s freezing. Lucy and Lockwood use their extra senses. Lockwood sees the husband’s death glow at the bottom of the stairs, where he died. Lucy hears the sound of some tapping and then hears the impact of the man falling down the stairs.
As they make tea in the kitchen, they discuss the husband’s death and wonder if it was the wife that pushed him. The woman described the ghostly presence as something looking for her, so they know that it’s a Type Two ghost.
They explore the house, go up the stairs and into a room at the far end. Lucy feels the source of the ghost in the room and Lockwood suggests they go down to bring iron filings. Turns out, he forgot to get the iron chains (a much stronger counterpart to the filings). Lucy admonishes him but heads down to get them anyway. When she returns to the landing, she sees a glimmer of light in the room.
The glimmer comes towards her, taking the form of a woman. Lockwood talks about another death glow he found and comes out to see the ghost in front of Lucy. Lucy tries to use her Listening sense and feels a sense of pain, hearing the woman say the words “let go of me”. The ghost then rushes towards her and Lucy is pushed through the bannisters, hanging over the edge of the stairs.
After the show’s intro, the scene switches to Lucy’s hometown in North England, three years ago. Lucy’s mother talks to an agent known as Jacobs about her talent and persuades him to hire her. When they leave, Lucy insists she is scared and doesn’t want to do it. Her mother says that Lucy’s father left them in debt and Lucy has to do it lest she want to face her mother’s wrath instead.
Lucy joins the agency, learns the ropes and becomes friends with the others, particularly a girl named Norrie. Over time, Lucy saves her friends’ lives multiple times through her Listening skills and gets her third grade.
One day, Norrie talks to Penelope about how they should just leave and go to London, where they can join a real academy like Fittes or Rotwell. Lucy convinces her to wait a year, till she gets her fourth grade. In the Fittes’ manual, Norrie writes “This will be us” and the two girls sign it.
Jacobs takes the group on an assignment at Moorgate Mill. He talks about how Marissa Fittes and Tom Rotwell changed everything about the Problem (the ghost epidemic) by figuring out about ghost sources. One of the boys from the group hints that it’s all a conspiracy and Fittes and Rotwell were in on it.
At the mill, Lucy hears the sounds of sobbing and sees a shadow of a child down the hall. The others follow it and tell her to go report to Jacobs. She tells Jacobs to get the others out because she has a feeling that the ghost is something worse. He dismisses her worries. She goes back in to find chaos. A boy screams out at her to leave. Lucy grabs a ghost-locked Norrie and gets them out, she screams at Jacobs for help but he is too scared and stays outside the building.
At court, Jacobs goes scot free and the fatalities are declared death by misadventure. After a few days, Lucy’s mother tells her to apologise to Jacobs and get back to work. Lucy claims that she never cared about her at all. Her mother slaps her and tells her to do as she says.
In the morning, Lucy sneaks out of the house and leaves on a train to London. She tried getting a job at London agencies but is rejected for her lack of paperwork. She finally sees a clipping of a vacancy at Lockwood & co.
She reaches the house where the door is opened by a boy named George. A previous applicant screams from inside and runs out of the house. Lucy is then introduced to Anthony Lockwood. He shows a jar with a skull and asks her what she thinks of it. She realises it is silver glass and has a ghost in it, the skull is the source. He then tests her abilities by giving her a knife, a watch and a cup. She correctly identifies the sensations related to the knife (it belonged to Lockwood’s uncle) and the watch (it belonged to a murderer from one of Lockwood’s first cases). She feels nothing from the cup. Lockwood reveals it’s an ordinary one. Lucy gets annoyed and gets up to leave but the boys reveal that she has the job, if she wants it. She also lies about having completed her fourth grade.
Lockwood gives Lucy a tour of the house including his room, George’s room, the bathrooms and a door that must always stay locked. He says it’s private. He then shows her the kitchen and the basement where their casework, training area and secure storage is. When Lucy asks about the ghost jar, he admits it was stolen by George.
He then shows her the attic room where she will be staying. Lucy likes it. She asks Lockwood who he really is, wanting to know more about him. He avoids answering and instead welcomes her to Lockwood and co.
Lucy unpacks in her new room and then looks at the page where she and Norrie had signed their promise to each other. On the way to get a glass of water, she comes across George. He tells her the house belonged to Lockwood’s parents. He directs her to the library where she finds Lockwood reading a gossip magazine. They talk about parties held by the rich. Lucy remarks that Lockwood’s agency isn’t as prestigious as he made it out to be. He, in turn, confronts her for lying about having her fourth grade. When she begins to apologise he says he wants to leave the past in the past and has faith in her abilities. He believes they’ll be one of the most successful agencies in London.
Back to the present, Lockwood manages to fend the ghost off and pull Lucy back to safety. She says it was different this time as she could feel exactly what the woman was feeling. They realise the woman was murdered and her body is probably hidden in the chimney breast of the room. They use iron filings to make a circle around them and begin breaking the wall. As it falls apart the force throws them backwards, outside the iron.
The ghost hovers over Lockwood and Lucy uses a bomb to drive it off, in turn setting the house on fire. Before the ghost can come for her, Lucy throws an iron net over the exposed corpse in the wall. The ghost winks out. Lucy notices a ring glimmering on the corpse’s finger and, on instinct, takes it. As the fire gets worse, Lucy and Lockwood are forced to jump out the window of the burning house.
The Episode Review
It’s always lovely to see a book being brought to life and Netflix’s version of Lockwood & Co. seems to have done a great job of it. From the very first scene, old fans of the book will feel a warm nostalgia for this ghost-ridden world while new viewers are bound to be sucked in by it. It’s nice to see Lockwood’s 1000-Watt smile on screen.
While there’s a lot more to Lucy’s backstory here than was in the books, it fits in with the rest of her story and also increases the emotional stakes.
Information is doled out through conversation, action, dialogue and even through newspaper clippings in the intro. Which is far better than a long voice-over or a full five minutes devoted to the history of this world.
The main three actors of the cast have so far established their characters pretty solidly, with each one having a distinct set of quirks. Watching them work together should be the highlight of the coming episodes. So despite the awkward CGI ghost, this was overall a fantastic first episode!
You can read our full season review for Lockwood & Co season 1 here!