Netflix is bidding farewell to another of its shows this month, but fantasy drama Locke and Key is at least ending on its own terms, rather than being unceremoniously cancelled like so many others.
Based on the graphic novels by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), the series follows a family who move across the country to their ancestral home following a violent personal tragedy.
As they get settled into the grand old Keyhouse, siblings Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones) and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) begin discovering magical keys that grant their user incredible abilities.
However, the enormous power in these objects attracts the attention of some malicious entities, forcing the Locke children to become an essential line of defence against the evil they would unleash upon the world.
In season 3, they'll be facing off primarily against Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), a British Army captain from the days of the American Revolution, whose already cruel soul was corrupted further by a demon from behind the Black Door.
Now wandering around in the present day as an Echo, he will stop at nothing to achieve his sinister goals, proving to be an even greater threat than the defeated Dodge (played by various actors across the first two seasons).
If you're itching to get back to Matheson for more magical mayhem, read on for everything we know so far about Locke and Key season 3 on Netflix.
Locke and Key season 3 release date
Locke & Key season 3 will be available to stream on Netflix from Wednesday 10th August 2022, with all eight episodes dropping at once as a binge-watch launch.
The fantasy series earned an advance renewal in December 2020 (via Deadline), allowing the second and third seasons to be filmed back-to-back, making up for time lost in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
In August 2021, Locke and Key star Darby Stanchfield confirmed in an Instagram post that filming had wrapped on season 3, while also giving us a glimpse at some of the keys we can expect to see in the final instalment.
Season 2 dropped two months later in October 2021, with the cliffhanger ending setting the stage for this climactic chapter, introducing a fearsome new foe for the Locke family to contend with.
Is Locke and Key ending with season 3?
Unfortunately, it's true – Locke and Key is ending with its third season on Netflix.
However, while this run is relatively short by US drama standards, fans can take comfort in how the show is ending on its own terms with a pre-planned conclusion, which should help viewers come away with some closure.
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Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill said in a statement: “Once we began working on the series, we felt three seasons was the ideal length to bring the story of the Locke family and their Keyhouse adventures to a satisfying conclusion.
“As storytellers, we are grateful that we had the opportunity to tell our version of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s incredible story exactly the way we wanted. We’re keeping the magical keys, though, for our own personal use.”
Locke and Key season 3 cast
Locke and Key's season two finale saw the eponymous family bid farewell to one of their own, Tyler (Connor Jessup), as he prepared to start a new life in Boston for university.
However, fans will be pleased to hear that Jessup – recently named one of RadioTimes.com's LGBTQ+ rising stars – isn't leaving the show altogether, with the eldest Locke sibling confirmed to be returning in the upcoming third season.
"I don’t think when he leaves at the end of season two that his story is over," the Falling Skies actor told Decider. "To me, it felt like a new chapter, but it didn’t feel like a resolution. So, there’s still more for Tyler."
Jessup can also be spotted in Darby Stanchfield's aforementioned Instagram photo from the set of the third season, suggesting his character returns to Matheson at some stage.
In addition, we can expect more from the other two Locke siblings Kinsey and Bode, played by Emilia Jones and Jackson Robert Scott, as they settle into their roles as Keepers of the Keys.
The Locke kids aren't entirely on their own this time around as Aaron Ashmore's Uncle Duncan has finally had his memories restored, while Stanchfield's Nina Locke has also had her eyes opened to the world of magic around her.
They'll certainly need all the help they can get with Kevin Durand's menacing villain Frederick Gideon looking to cause major drama, having already killed possessed high school student Eden (Hallea Jones) in the season 2 finale.
Locke and Key fans can also expect to see more from Sherri Saum and Coby Bird in the final chapter, playing mother-son duo Ellie and Rufus Whedon, who are now free of the terrifying demonic entity Dodge.
There's no word yet on whether Petrice Jones will return, after his character Scot Cavendish left Matheson to study at a British university, but Kinsey's other film nerd friends Zadie (Asha Bromfield), Doug (Jesse Camacho) and Logan (Eric Graise) are likely to reappear.
It also seems that Griffin Gluck and Laysla De Oliveira won't be back in season 3, given that Dodge has now been defeated, while Genevieve Kang is also unlikely to return as Matheson Academy pupil Jackie Veda, who was tragically killed off.
Locke and Key season 3 plot theories: What will happen next?
The Locke and Key season 2 ending introduced an Echo of barbaric revolutionary war soldier Frederick Gideon, who is possessed by what could well be The Black Door's most formidable demon.
Demonic student Eden Hawkins expressed surprise when she discovered exactly which of her brethren was latched onto Gideon's soul, but that shock turned to terror when he picked her up by her ankles and dropped her down a well.
Needless to say, it appears that this new foe won't be taking any prisoners, in stark contrast to previous baddie Dodge, who developed a soft spot for Kinsey Locke over the course of the second season.
The Locke and Key comic books, upon which the show is based, will seemingly be less of a guide in season 3, as Gideon is a character who has never appeared in the source material.
While some purists might be concerned about major changes being made to the original story, this does lend the next season a sense of complete unpredictability which should make for edge-of-your-seat viewing.
Talking about what fans can expect, showrunner Meredith Averill told Collider: "The third season focuses much more heavily on the family. They’re gonna face the greatest threat they’ve had to face yet.
"That really bonds them in a way that we’ve never seen before. I can’t say more than that. Part of our challenge, that we happily take on, is that every season we need to outdo the season before it."
She added: "It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun one, and I think we’ve been able to do that."
Read more: Where is Locke and Key filmed?
Is there a trailer for Locke and Key season 3?
Netflix unveiled the first full-length trailer for Locke and Key season 3 in July 2022, just a fortnight out from the show's premiere date. Watch below.
Previously, the streaming service had released a brief teaser, giving a taste of what the final chapter has in store for viewers. Check that one out right here:
Locke and Key seasons 1-2 are available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage, read our guides to the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.
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