Finally, Locke & Key gives Laysla De Oliveira more room to play than she’s had since the first season. Well, sort of. It’s mostly Jackson Robert Scott’s episode as Bode has been “possessed” by the eternal demon as she searches for the keys to give her world domination. For the sake of clarity, we’ll stick to using the name Dodge in this recap even when she’s in Bode’s form — the real Bode is a ghost in the cemetery, after all. Whatever the form, with Dodge back and with Connor Jessup getting some significant screen time (he remains the most interesting regular on the show), Locke & Key has what it takes to deliver an effective episode even if you can’t help but want the explosions to start a little sooner.
Gideon, who seems more and more destined to be relegated to a minor baddie instead of the big bad the start of the season promised (which is fine with LDO back), is in the woods with his buddies, making s’mores and planning the end of the world. He growls, “Another is here.” He senses Dodge’s return from, well, the past … don’t ask how that works as it will hurt your brain. Okay, one question: If Bode went back to the same incident again, as in the last episode, could another Dodge come through to the present day again? And again? Couldn’t you create an army of yourself this way? My head hurts. Anyway, Gideon can tell Dodge is nearby. Time for a team up!
As that’s happening, Dodge is getting used to her new skin even as ghost Bode is trying to pass messages to the family via mom’s coffee mug. Dodge marches to the graveyard and threatens to kill his whole family if he keeps it up. A large portion of this episode is Dodge trying, and mostly failing, to realistically act like an ordinary kid. Tyler takes the reins for the rest of the narrative as he reluctantly finds love again with Carly (the charming Oriana Leman), the girl from Montana who drove all the way to Massachusetts to make sure he was safe when he stopped answering her texts. They’re going to Phil’s for chowder. This one’s a keeper, Tyler.
Dodge is being snotty to both Carly and Josh in her kid form. “He’s not usually like that,” says Tyler, but it makes more sense in the context of the dinner with Josh as it’s been set up that Bode doesn’t want someone new replacing his dad. He’s just a super-passive-aggressive kid. Then the sound drops out as Dodge senses something. It’s Gideon, who’s outside waiting for her. Introductions aside, Gideon suggests that Dodge could be useful in obtaining the keys from the Lockes — it turns out that even a possessed Locke can take the keys, which is a nice loophole for Dodge and Gideon. And Gideon’s plan is revealed when he squeezes the keys he has already and a portal starts to open in the ground. With all the keys, it will be big enough to open forever. Gideon tells Dodge about the key cabinet and the kid goes home with no tres leches cake.
Scot! Kinsey’s absent boyfriend gets a little screen time via FaceTime as she gets in her feelings a little. If there’s a theme in this final season, it’s that division naturally comes with age. Scot is gone at his film program. Tyler wants to leave and start his own life. Bode literally isn’t himself anymore. Kinsey is feeling distant from the people around her, which is making her lonely. It feels likely that this is setup for a “Lockes United” final showdown, followed by the realization that families can be strong on their own without losing the power they have together.
Carly goes to kiss Tyler and he pulls away. Girl drives literally across the country and can’t get a kiss? Tyler tells her about Jackie — it’s not her, it’s the trauma. Meanwhile, Dodge discovers that the keys have been moved but also finds the book explaining that they used the Alpha Key in the past, making that her new target. Bode pressures “Savini” Doug to give up the location of the keys they used to make their movies, but he has no idea. (Ask him about Eden! And Jimmy Eat World!)
After a few scenes between Kinsey and Carly and Ellie and Rufus (she wants out of Matheson), Dodge gets to Kinsey in her pursuit of the keys. She’s not getting anywhere. She snaps at Kinsey that Tyler did a better job managing things, and it looks like big sis is starting to get suspicious. So is Rufus, who has come over to visit. Dodge is really barely trying to maintain this prepubescent façade. (The episode really should have been called “Shallow Cover.”) Rufus sees right through it. “You’re not Bode,” he says. Bode grabs him and throws Rufus across the room. “If you say anything,” he snarls. “I’ll kill them both.” Why would Rufus be scared of the kid, physically? Pin him down and call Ellie and Kinsey in? Anyway, it could just be panic, which makes sense. Remember that Rufus has seen the impact of shapeshifting — after all, the last time that Dodge played this game it led to Ellie disappearing for months. The important thing is now Rufus knows and Dodge knows that Rufus knows. He keeps the secret. For now.
At least Carly and Tyler finally have their romantic moment! She worked hard for that and didn’t get it until she was on her way back out the door. It’s a good kiss, too, with real chemistry. And yet, Tyler won’t go back with her. He tells Kinsey that he wants to be there for them, and that means knowing everything. “I’m not happy with it,” he says. “I’m changing my mind.” Kinsey gets a key from the chest and shows it to Tyler, the device that will give everything back to her brother, including the dark memories of what happened to Jackie. Importantly, Dodge now sees where the keys are hiding.
Before she can really do anything, Nina makes a shocking discovery — the body of Dodge Prime under Bode’s bed! “Mom? What are you doing in my room?” It sure looks like Nina can tell that the form she’s looking at is not her son.
• The last season is almost half over! And it feels like the pieces are in place for a final showdown now that Tyler is back and willing to remember the keys and the magic. The Lockes versus Gideon/Dodge. Let’s go.
• Have we seen the last of Carly? Probably not. But what kind of role will she play in the endgame? If there were more than six episodes left, it could be easy to see her playing a bigger role, but given that she’s off to Montana again with only a few chapters left, it’s less likely. However, she may turn that car right around and start using keys in the next episode. You never know.
• It’s interesting how much they keep beating the drum that Ellie wants out. It’s been a part of every episode. It almost makes it feel like she could be sacrificed in the final scenes — the death of the character who wanted to leave but couldn’t make it out.
• On that note, who do you think dies in the end? Probably only Gideon/Dodge, right? Could they kill a secondary character? Certainly not a Locke but maybe Josh, Ellie, or one of the Savinis? For sure.