(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s “Locke & Key.”)
The long-awaited TV adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s beloved IDW comic “Locke & Key” launched on Netflix Friday and if you’re reading this story it’s because you’ve already reached the ending of the show’s 10-episode first season and are looking for someone to unpack that big finale twist and unlock the secrets of what’s to come for Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), Tyler (Connor Jessup) and Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones)
Well, you’ve definitely come to the right place, as TheWrap picked “Locke & Key” showrunners Meredith Averill and Carlton Cuse’s brains on these matters, and we didn’t even have to use the Head Key to get some helpful answers, starting with a breakdown of the ending’s shocking reveal: Gabe is actually the demon Dodge, a.k.a. Lucas’ echo, and has teamed up with the now-possessed Eden.
“The idea that Gabe (Griffin Gluck) is Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira) and has been Dodge the entire time is very much inspired by a story that’s in Joe and Gabe’s comics, but the difference is the audience is in on it in the comics,” Averill told us. “The audience knows that Kinsey’s new boyfriend Zack Wells, who just showed up at their high school, is actually Dodge. We wanted to do a twist on that so that it would be a big bombshell at the end of the season for the audience — that you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that her new beau was Dodge. So it’s very much inspired by a story that’s already in the comic, we just kind of made our own little twist on it.”
Averill says the reason the Gabe-Dodge reveal — which Cuse says is the show’s “biggest change” from the comics — came at the end of finale was because they “wanted something that would also propel us into Season 2 and have this new dynamic of what our villain/villains would look like.”
“That’s when we came up with the idea that when they open the Black Door at the end of the finale, that one of those demon bullets would hit the most unlikely of villains in our show — though she certainly is a very good mean girl — Eden (Hallea Jones),” she said. “And we just loved the idea of the pairing of these two characters, Gabe and Eden, who really didn’t have any scenes together throughout the season, and setting the stage for the fact that these two are going to be conspiring for the second season, which is something that now that we’re in the writers’ room on Season 2, we’re having way, way, way too much fun with.”
OK, here’s where we interject to remind you that Netflix has not yet renewed “Locke & Key” for a second season — but Averill and Cuse have confirmed to us they are already mapping it out. Though they’re not ready to dish out that may details about what they’re planning, including the fate of Ellie (Sherri Saum), who the Locke kids and their friends threw through the Black Door because Dodge used the Identity Key to trick them into thinking Ellie was her. (You know, when Dodge was standing right there in Gabe form and Eden was getting hit by that demon bullet.)
“It would not be prudent for us to say too much about Ellie, other than to say in Season 2 you will learn more about that storyline,” Cuse told us. “We felt that Ellie was a character that people would really care about. So there’s more to come on the whole storyline of her and Rufus (Coby Bird) and her fate.”
So those are some of the problems the Lockes will be dealing with in the future, but what is happening with their keys? And how many more can we expect to see in a Season 2?
“Less than 5,000,” Cuse said, laughing. “There are more keys to come. I think the way to think about it is the keys are a metaphor for this coming-of-age story of kids working out issues that kind of relate to the idea that the past is traumatic into adulthood. So I think there is just a myriad of things that people face and there are other keys that will arise that will be part of their journey. There are a number that are in the comics that we haven’t used yet, and then there are a few others that we are creating in consultation with Joe Hill and Gabriel.”
(Readers can find an explainer on the 12 keys featured in Season 1 here.)
As for revealing where the keys came from and how they came to be in the Lockes family’s possession — all in good time, friends. But if you’ve read the comics, you have a bit of a leg up on where Averill and Cuse plan to take things.
“I really love those elements of the comic when they go back to Revolutionary War times,” Averill told TheWrap. “It’s such a rich mythology that Joe has written, so we are definitely excited to find these flashback moments and tell stories that are also related to our present and revealing how the keys got made and how the Black Door came to be. All of those stories in the comic are so rich and so fun and inform so much of the present-day stories that we are excited to be able to tell more of it in the future. And [Cuse and I] both love doing flashbacks. So that’s something I would love to see more of in our show.”
Another piece of the puzzle that will be unraveled if “Locke & Key” gets renewed is why adults — including the Locke children’s mother, Nina (Darby Stanchfield) — are unable to retain their memories of experiencing magic.
“There’s definitely more to the story,” Cuse said. “The fact that there’s this big communication gap between our kids and our adults is one of the big central metaphors of our show. The idea of being a kid and not being able to communicate effectively with your parents is metaphorically dramatized by the fact that the kids experience magic and Nina, their mother, can’t. But there is definitely more to the story and in the comics there is more to the story, and that’s something which we’re for sure exploring in great detail in Season 2 — presuming that we get picked up.”
So cross your fingers and keep them locked in place until that pick up comes.
Readers can check out our interview with De Oliveira about Dodge’s big identity reveals here.