[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Locke & Key. Read at your own risk!]
If you just spent hours glued to your TV binge-watching Netflix's Locke & Key, you're no doubt feeling confused and anxious about what the hell is behind the Black Door and whether or not our beloved Locke children did, in fact, just murder their dad's only remaining friend. Never fear, we've got plenty of answers for you.
At the end of Season 1 of Locke & Key, Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), finally came up with a plan to get rid of Dodge (Ksenia Solo) after facing the fight of their life against her and her shadow monsters in Keyhouse. What seemed to be some long-awaited good luck allowed them to knock her out and throw her back where she came from through the Black Door. The only catch? It wasn't actually Dodge they threw into that magical abyss, it was their dad's old friend, Ellie (Sherri Saum), whom Dodge had disguised with the Identity Key to look like her.
Now Dodge, who has also actually been Gabe (Griffin Gluck) this whole time — damn that Identity Key! — is loose and the kids are none the wiser. Even worse, another one of her demonic siblings escaped the abyss while the kids were trying to close the Black Door and hit Eden (Hallea Jones). There's now officially two of these baddies, and we shudder to think what the poor town of Matheson is in for in Season 2!
Though the show hasn't been officially renewed by Netflix yet, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill told TV Guide they've already convened a writers' room to start breaking down all those cliffhangers and plotting out Season 2. Naturally, we asked them all our burning questions about the finale and where we go from here.
Is there any chance of seeing poor Ellie again or saving her? Or is she lost to us for good?
Cuse: I think that that's a question that will get answered in Season 2.
Averill: Stay tuned.
What can you say about Dodge's motives and what her master plan is?
Averill: Well, her motivations change. And also it's interesting to call her a her because it's actually just a demon spirit that has no gender except that we now associate that demon so specifically with what we call Well Lady.
Cuse: Let's just be straight — we haven't sorted out demons pronouns.
Averill: But, you know, her motivation for the first season is to open the Black Door so that she can let one of her siblings over to our world. And at the end of the first season, she is successful in doing that. So the fun tension of the second season now, for us, is now that this sort of unlikely alliance has formed between these two characters, there's a brand new plan at work that we're going to see them undertake in Season 2, which is fun.
When you guys started breaking this what this should would be, did you come up with any hard and fast rules for the keys and how their magic works?
Cuse: We definitely talked about the rules of the keys and we actually talked a lot with Joe Hill about the rules of the keys and what they could and couldn't do and we're actually working on, Season 2 scripts. Beth and I are co-writing the first episode of Season 2 — not that the show's been officially picked up, but we have a writers room going and stuff. There's definitely rules. We want the audience to understand what the rules of the keys are, so yeah it's important. They're only good if you really understand what you can do with them but what their limitations are as well.
Averill: This is clearly stated in the second season, but the rule of the Identity Key is that you cannot use the key to turn into someone who already existed. So, Gabe is a creation of Dodge, deciding that she wanted to turn into a teenage boy because that would allow her to better insinuate herself into Kinsey's world. The reason that she's able to turn back and forth into Lucas, who was a real person, is because technically Lucas is an echo, because, Ellie used the Echo Key to conjure Lucas in the Well House. So that's how Lucas actually came back into being and Lucas had been infected by Dodge when they opened the Black Door. That's the only reason that Dodge is able to go back and forth into being Lucas, but all of the other identities that we see her take on are inventions of her own.
Are there any keys you're excited to explore or create in Season 2?
Cuse: Oh, for sure.
Averill: Yes, I don't know if we can speak about them specifically, but yes.
Cuse: If you go through the comics, they're definitely ones, I think, that you will see that are not in the show yet, and you might hope that they will end up in the show and your hopes might be rewarded.
And as far as the adults not remembering or understanding magic, what can you say about that rule and also why Nina (Darby Stanchfield) seems to remember magic when she's drinking?
Cuse: There's a thing called the Riffel Rule, which is basically adults are not able to remember magic. It's this kind of poignant but wonderful thing, which is that they can experience it but then they immediately forget it. So really, it means that the magic is just something that our kids are experiencing and remembering, and it's a kind of cool metaphor for the difference between being a kid and being an adult. But what Nina does discover is that there is this exception to the rule; if you're drinking you can remember magic. So then she's caught in this horrible compromise between they don't want their mother drink, but they also realize that by her not drinking she's not going to have any real awareness of what they've been doing. So she's removed from a huge chunk of their life, but at the same point, it's more important that she doesn't fall off the wagon.
Do you guys plan to get more into the history of Keyhouse and previous family members who've used these keys over the years?
Averill: We have been talking a lot more in Season 2 about the Revolutionary War... Yeah, we love the stories in the comic when they flashback to Revolutionary War times. We think it just gives so much context to where the keys came from and their origins. So, in Season 2, those stories are something that we'd love to explore more of.
Cuse: Season 2 is fun because it's rooted in the comics, but a lot of it is really just pure invention and it really speaks to the kind of wonderful world that Joe and Gabe created. It just became such an effective springboard, so I think that as excited as we are about Season 1, the fact that we're deep into writing Season 2 it just goes to show this show has longevity and really interesting facets still to explore.
Do you look at the comics as something where you're headed towards the same ending point but you're just taking a different route to get there, or do you look at them as sort of a roadmap but not necessarily where you have to end up?
Averill: For me I would say a little bit more the latter. It's a, hopefully, multi-season show, and the comics are sort of finite. There's a clear ending to it, though Gabe and Joe are planning, new comics as well. But it's been a terrific roadmap for us and we hit a lot of the same plot points the big kind of bus stops throughout, but we get there in sort of different ways.
Cuse: We've been postulating new stuff even with Joe, and Joe actually like calls up and pitches us new ideas because he thinks about things in the world. So it's a living, breathing entity. The end point, I think, will be something different than what's in the comic, but we'll probably get there in concert with Joe, who, you know — this world is still very much alive for him, and we're very happy visitors to his world. It's really fantastic as a writer to be able to sort of play in his creation. I think between the three of us, we'll figure out where we land, and I think it will have echoes of the comic but it will be something different.
And given you're working with child actors who do tend to age rapidly, do you expect some kind of time jump to help deal with that?
Averill: I think we just have to hope and pray that on screen, it doesn't become this sort of jarring time jump. We're not writing towards it anyway.
Cuse: I mean, I think it's possible that we could also move the story forward. I mean, it's for sure a legitimate thing. You know, it's a good part of the reason that Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) went bye-bye on Lost. He was just aging at a rate faster than the rest of the characters. It becomes an issue but Jackson is really so wonderful, so we'll figure it out. I mean we'll figure out how to make it work.
Locke & Key Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.