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ByHannah Wylie/Aug. 10, 2022 7:08 am EST
Season 3 contains several Easter eggs, fun references, and important callbacks to previous seasons, adding to the show's already rich mythology. Season 3 is the series conclusion for the Netflix show (which is based on the comic of the same name by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez), so it also ties up a lot of the little threads that have been dangling from the beginning. Ever since it premiered in 2020, "Locke & Key" has been a source of wonder, excitement, and excruciating dramatic irony for viewers — both those who came to the show as fans of the comic book series and folks who found it on their own. Many characters come full circle throughout the third season, and the little details are often what make those moments so satisfying.
We're just as sad as everyone else to see the show end, but it's a great ending — and a very satisfying one for eagle-eyed fans. Here are some small details you may have missed in "Locke & Key" Season 3.
Nina comes full circle
Season 3 sees a huge amount of growth for matriarch Nina Locke, given that she only just recovered her memories of magic at the very end of Season 2. In Season 1, Dodge tricked Bode into getting his mother to use the mirror key, telling him that it would give him and his mother an opportunity to speak to the late patriarch of their family, Rendell Locke. In reality, the mirror key presents you with an insidious version of yourself which beckons you into the mirror with a smirk and a crooked finger.
Thanks to the ingenuity of her kids, Nina escapes the mirror after following herself inside, but, unfortunately, she soon forgets the entire incident, not being able to remember magic because she's an adult. Now that Nina can remember the magic (thanks to the memory key), she uses the mirror to trap the demonic snow globe sisters who are antagonizing her family in the first episode of "Locke & Key" Season 3. Nina is confronted with her smirking, beckoning mirror-self once again after trapping the sisters — but this time she knows better.
Tyler, Jackie, and Jane Austen
In Season 3 Episode 2, Tyler makes the difficult decision to return home for Duncan's wedding to support his family despite the fact that it will also force him to confront the pain of Jackie's death. Tyler, having now turned 18, cannot remember magic, and so many of the details from his relationship with Jackie are fuzzy. He finds a copy of the Jane Austen book "Sanditon and Other Stories" on his nightstand with a strip of pictures from a photo booth depicting Jackie and him.
In Season 1, Tyler has a pretty immediate crush on Jackie when his family arrives in Matheson. When he learns about the mind key he decides to put "Sanditon" — one of Jackie's favorite Jane Austen books — in his head so that he can talk about it with her. Of course, Tyler can't remember that he put the book inside his head, but he can remember that it was important to Jackie and to their relationship.
When audiences met Kinsey Locke in Season 1, she was filled with grief and fear after the traumatic loss of her father and her family's subsequent move to Matheson. Kinsey had stopped engaging in her hobbies, especially singing and acting. Through her relationships with Scott and the Savini Squad, as well as her strengthened bond with Tyler, Bode, and Nina, Kinsey found her way back to her passions in Season 3, conquering her once debilitating fear.
At Duncan's wedding in Season 3 Episode 2, Kinsey sings Ellie Goulding's arrangement of the classic love song "How Long Will I Love You," originally recorded by The Waterboys. The melody is simple and the lyrics are rooted in romantic, natural language, even appropriately mentioning the ocean in one verse ("How long will I be with you/As long as the sea is bound to wash upon the sand"). It's a beautiful choice of song for Duncan's wedding. It's also a marker of growth for Kinsey, going from extreme internalization in Season 1 to performing a song that showcases her beautiful singing voice in front of lots of people.
Benjamin and Miranda Locke
In Season 3 Episode 2, Bode is preparing for his role as best man at Duncan's wedding when he once again hears the whispers of a hidden key. Bode follows the voices until he finds a new key in the grandfather clock, which we later learn is called the timeshift key. He uses the key to interact with the clock and finds himself thrown back in time to Key House in the 1700s. He comes upon Benjamin and Miranda Locke, two characters who had both appeared in flashbacks prior to this point and who are incredibly important to the history of the Locke family and their magical keys.
In Season 2, audiences saw Benjamin and other Massachusetts militiamen chase British Army captain Frederick Gideon and his company into the sea caves below Key House, where Gideon activates what we now know is the door to a demonic world. After Benjamin and the militia defeat the British soldiers, he returns to the sea cave to find a way to shut the portal, only to find that he can hear whispering from the iron that traveled through the door. He builds a lock and a key to keep the portal sealed, but he doesn't stop there — he's the creator of most of the magical Locke family keys, a process he wasn't able to completely figure out until receiving input from Miranda.
Bode gives a beautiful and heartwarming speech at the wedding reception in Season 3 Episode 2. The miniature best man talks a lot about how important Uncle Duncan has been to all of the kids (, but he played a much larger role in Season 2) and to the family in general. It's a touching moment, especially when one considers the trauma that Duncan went through before earning his happy ending with Brian. The end of Bode's speech is a hilarious callback to the beginning of Season 1.
In the scene being referenced, Duncan stands outside Key House and gives it the middle finger, happy to be rid of the place (or so he thinks). What he doesn't know is that Bode is watching him. When Bode asks Duncan if he just flipped a house the bird, Duncan panics and tells Bode that the middle finger has two meanings, one very negative and one positive. "Like aloha?" Bode asks. Duncan says yes, and so Bode bids him goodbye with a middle finger and an aloha. The joke is repeated throughout the show (at one point he cheerily flips off the very unlikeable Eden), and it's how Bode ends his speech at the wedding, making his family laugh and confusing the heck out of everyone else.
Alcohol helps you remember
The same local brand of gin that Ellie gifted to Nina when she first moved in is highlighted in a quick shot of the bar as folks prepare for Duncan's wedding reception. Not only is it the exact same gin, it's also the gin with which Nina relapsed back into her alcoholism. It was heartbreaking to watch Nina drink in Season 1, not only because she relapsed, but also because it actually allowed her to remember the magic of the keys, despite the fact that she's an adult. Her kids had to choose between having their mother understand the danger they were in and encouraging her to get sober again, and it was one of the most emotionally resonant arcs in Season 1.
After Tyler — who opted not to use the memory key in order to remember the magic of Key House — recognizes the chain key around Kinsey's neck, she notices that he has been drinking that same gin. She realizes that this is an opportunity for her to ask him once again if he wants to remember. Tyler has the same painful and confusing flashbacks that Nina experienced in her own drunken haze, and decides not to get his memories back in that moment.
Eden's sad ending echoes Rendell Locke's past
Kinsey finds Eden's body at the bottom of Key House's well at the beginning of Season 3 Episode 3, and — despite the fact that Eden was a pretty awful person and became even more horrific when possessed — it's a really sad moment. She calls her friends, the Savini Squad, and asks them to help her deal with Eden's body. After they pull Eden from the well, Kinsey realizes that they must do exactly what her father did over 20 years prior and drop the body into the ocean from the cliff at the edge of the Locke property.
Rendell Locke and his friends had to drop several of their close friends over the cliff. Kinsey never really considered Eden a friend, but the scene still provides a lot of emotional tension and gives Eden a proper send-off. They even intersperse scenes of Kinsey and her friends dropping Eden with scenes of Rendell and his friends doing the same.
Tyler's history aptitude
In Season 3 Episode 3, Tyler runs into Nina's boyfriend Josh, his old history teacher. Despite their rocky past (Josh was not Tyler's biggest fan at the academy and vice versa) he agrees to go with him for a tour of historical artifacts at the Matheson meetinghouse. Both Tyler and Josh make an effort to be cordial, and Tyler even spouts out a verbatim history fact from his old textbook.
Both Tyler and Josh are confused by his aptitude — Josh because Tyler was not his best student, and Tyler because he no longer remembers that he hacked his class by putting his entire history textbook inside his mind with the head key. Tyler also spots the regimental badge on one of the uniforms in the meetinghouse and immediately recognizes that it's the same one he saw on the lapel of one of the men who broke into Key House, even matching the regiment number: 23.
Captain Frederick Gideon
Many people probably saw Captain Frederick Gideon and asked themselves, "Where have I seen him before?" Gideon is played by Kevin Durand, an actor's actor who has been steadily appearing in film and television for several decades. While he's never quite had a prestigious leading role, he's been part of many exciting franchises and popular TV shows. Durand has guest-starred on shows like "ER," "Stargate," "Vikings," "Ballers," and "CSI: Miami," but TV buffs probably know him best as Martin Keamy, the aggressive and standoffish Other from "Lost."
Durand isn't actually British (he's from Canada) but his accent in "Locke & Key" is very convincing, as is his ruthless, demonic demeanor. Gideon's daredevil drive with Ellie in Episode 7 is a big highlight of his performance, especially because the 300+ year old Revolutionary War captain is completely awed and delighted by the marvels of the automobile. It's pretty funny, and Ellie immediately tries to use his distraction to her advantage. It doesn't work out for her, but his obsession with slamming the gas pedal ends up saving Kinsey and Tyler later on in Episode 8.
Sam Lesser's ghost
Because so much happened in the first two seasons of "Locke & Key," it's easy to forget about Sam Lesser. Sam was the young man who was manipulated by Dodge into shooting and killing Rendell Locke in order to pursue the keys. Sam is broken out of jail by Dodge in Season 1 and he goes after the Lockes again at Key House, but is soon betrayed by her and pushed through the ghost door permanently. Sam observes Dodge's machinations, almost entirely powerless to stop her from terrorizing the Lockes — until he is able to direct Kinsey to the angel key at the end of Season 2 by controlling the local sparrows.
, and it came to pass. He actually manages to save all the Lockes a few times over before his eventual demise inside the passing mind of Gordie Shaw. Sam was a troubled young man, and even though he caused the Lockes a great deal of sorrow and trauma, he also did everything he could to make up for it before reaching the end of his life. He dies in Gordie's head with a smile on his face.
All the Shakespeare nods
The last two episodes of "Locke & Key" Season 3 are filled to the brim with references to Shakespeare, mostly thanks to the theatrical passions of Matheson Mayor Gordie Shaw. Most of the memories that Kinsey, Tyler, and Sam explore in Gordie's mind revolve around the production of The Tempest in which he and the keepers of the keys participated when they were in high school together.
A young Rendell uses the newly found creation key to bring a drawing of the monster Caliban to life, and both Rendell and Gordie try out for the part of Prospero, a man who found great strength, magic, and wisdom after being abandoned by his own kin. A young Gordie even performs Prospero's most famous soliloquy as Ellie, Kinsey, and Tyler are rushing through Gordie's mind looking for the exit. "We are such stuff as dreams are made of," his voice echoes as they are running up and down endless stairs. "The Tempest" is a beautiful, ocean-set fantasy and the perfect Shakespeare play to reference in a fantasy show set in a dreamy, misty, oceanside Massachusetts town.
The pub wall
In Season 3 Episode 8, the "Locke & Key" series finale, Tyler and Kinsey are chased through downtown Matheson by the demonically possessed Captain Frederick Gideon. When they come to a dead end, Tyler uses their newly acquired creation key to draw a door on a wall, enter a bar, and latch it shut. This only creates a temporary setback for Gideon: Just minutes after Tyler and Kinsey have left the bar, he comes crashing through the drywall. Before he does, there's a clear shot of the ephemera that hangs on the wall.
A large wooden sign that says "Every rooster crows for a good beer" can be seen. There's also a smaller wooden sign that says "Trust me, you're a great dancer — Beer," a flier for a dance class, another flier for an Irish pub night, an old-fashioned dartboard, and (quite ironically given the fact that Gideon was a British captain in the Revolutionary War) a poster of Benjamin Franklin with the quote "Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy." It's small touches like this that help the show capture the New England spirit of Matheson.
The Gordie Shaw Theater
Episode 7 and Episode 8 are full of fun little Easter eggs to remind viewers of 1990s Matheson. Gordie Shaw was a classmate of the Keepers of the Keys who often hung out with them but who was never included in their secret magic. We see many marquees in Gordie's mind, including ones titled "College Flings and White Lies I Told My Mom," "Are they my Friends?," "Childhood: the Musical," and "High School Horror Show." In one of the memories that Tyler and Kinsey witness, Gordie is seen talking to a young Mr. Ridgeway, who was an important character to Nina and Ellie in Season 1.
Mr. Ridgeway seemed to favor Rendell Locke and his friends even then, casting Rendell as Prospero in "The Tempest" over Gordie despite Gordie's dedication to theater. We see memories in Gordie's head of his first girlfriend and kiss, as well as the moment when he came out to her. We also see the moment when he tried to come out to his mother and get her to accept him and the young man he was dating. In the end, Gordie dies bravely, telling Gideon that he's not afraid of him before being fatally wounded. Gordie's love of theater and performance is honored by Matheson Academy: In one of the last scenes of the whole show, Ellie walks past the Gordie Shaw Theater.