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Locke and Key season 3 ending explained: Is there another key?

The dramatic saga is over... or is it? **WARNING: Contains spoilers for Locke and Key season3**

Locke and Key cast (L-R) Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones and Darby Stanchfield
Netflix
Published: Wednesday, 10th August 2022 at 4:00 pm
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Locke and Key certainly has gone out with a bang, dropping a high-stakes third season on Netflix which sees the very existence of humankind threatened by a relentless demonic entity.

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Once again, the Locke family are at the centre of everything, as their connection to a set of mysterious magic keys continues to be the only line of defence against the otherworldly beings.

The final entry builds up to a confrontation between the Lockes and their new nemesis, possessed Revolutionary War captain Frederick Gideon, who was brought to the present day as an Echo in the shocking season 2 ending.

He quickly gets one step ahead of the besieged family, who spend the first half of the season one member down following Tyler's decision to forget his experiences with the keys after turning 18 years old.

The closer we get to the finale, the more it seems that all hope is lost – so, how does Locke and Key end? Read on for a complete rundown of the key events in the last episode (spoilers ahead).

Locke and Key season 3 ending explained

The season finale begins with our heroes in a dire position, as Tyler, Kinsey and Ellie are trapped inside the collapsing mind of dying man Gordie Shaw. They are desperately hoping to find the Creation Key before Gideon, who plans to use the collective power of all the artefacts to tear down the barrier between our world and the demons beyond. Fortunately, they discover it under a piano key and narrowly escape before Gordie succumbs to his injuries. The soul of Sam Lesser dies with him after Gideon traps him underneath the very same grand instrument, preventing his return to the real world.

Tyler and Kinsey race back to Keyhouse using the Creation Key, which has the power to bring illustrations to life, so naturally they award themselves with a slick motorbike to ride home on. Gaining a lead on 18th century foe Gideon, whose motoring skills are considerably less developed, they hatch a plan with mother Nina and brother Bode to put an end to their shared nightmare. When Gideon finally arrives at Keyhouse in the dead of night, Tyler greets him at the Well House with a smirk on his face and the villain instantly senses trickery afoot.

However, even he is caught off-guard when Bode emerges behind him driving a digger with an industrial claw, which very nearly forces Gideon over the threshold – a move which would destroy him. Alas, things don't go so smoothly, as the possessed soldier is able to use his demonic force to resist the machinery before destroying the Well House altogether. Uh oh. The Lockes scramble to come up with a plan B, with Kinsey having the eureka moment that the Creation Key could be used to gain access to the magical chest holding the Alpha Key (how they didn't realise this sooner is beyond me).

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Gideon confronts the Locke siblings at the centre of Gordie's psyche.
Gideon (Kevin Durand) confronts the Locke siblings at the centre of Gordie's psyche. Netflix

She snatches the MacGuffin just as Gideon bursts through the front door. He grabs her as she attempts to attack and very nearly throws her into the abyss that leads into his own nightmarish realm, but Kinsey is able to slow him by driving the Alpha Key into his chest. The family leap into action, with Tyler pulling his sister out of harm's way and Nina delivering the final blow that sends Gideon himself back through the portal from whence he came. He takes several keys with him and the gateway becomes slightly smaller, prompting Tyler's realisation they could close it completely if they part with all of them.

Nina and Kinsey agree that it's the only course of action, although Bode has one condition before supporting the plan: using the Timeshift Key to go back to when his father, Rendell, is still alive, for one last goodbye. Travelling back to a moment when the late patriarch was left alone in their old home, Nina and the Locke children suddenly appear from the future to tell him all about their adventures with his ancestral magic. He encourages them to send the keys back and close the portal, saying that the love of his family was far more important than any ability they could bestow.

They have one last farewell before being sent back to their own time, lamenting that Rendell won't remember this surprise meeting, as is the nature of the Timeshift Key, but all feel ready to move on with their next chapters. Returning home, Kinsey and Bode are "unlocked" with the Memory Key, meaning they will remember their magical youth even after they turn 18, before all of the enchanted tools are thrown into the portal one-by-one. By the end, there's no trace that it ever existed.

Locke and Key cast (L-R) Darby Stanchfield, Jackson Robert Scott, Connor Jessup and Emilia Jones
Darby Stanchfield, Jackson Robert Scott, Connor Jessup and Emilia Jones in Locke and Key. Netflix

A short time-jump now as we prepare to say our own goodbyes to the characters we've come to know over the past three seasons. Fortunately, the future is looking rosey for all of them. Tyler is heading back to Montana with new girlfriend Carly, Kinsey celebrates the launch of her new amateur horror movie and shares a belated smooch with Scot Cavendish who she may join in the UK as part of a study abroad scheme, and Nina continues her relationship with Josh (which Bode shows more support for now that he has received closure for his father's sudden passing). Duncan moves away with new husband Brian, while Ellie goes back to teaching gym at Matheson Academy.

Everything has worked out swimmingly. After helping Tyler pack his bags, Bode remarks to his siblings and mother that he hears "absolutely nothing", in reference to how the magical keys would whisper to him when they were near. The family chuckle and head inside for what is sure to be a much more relaxing life together.

Or is it? In the final moments, the soundtrack cuts out as the camera zooms into the Keyhouse front doors and we hear that eerie whispering once more, suggesting that there are yet more keys still knocking around the property somewhere. Alas, this is most definitely the final season, so we can interpret this as a fun closing gag rather than a concrete tease of anything more to come, but it might be pleasing for viewers to know that magic still exists out there somewhere – it's just waiting to be found.

Locke and Key future: Are there any more keys?

Gideon finds thee Head Key in Locke and Key season 3
Gideon (Kevin Durand) finds the Head Key in Locke and Key season 3. Netflix

If you're not satisfied with the ambiguity of the Locke and Key finale, then we can look to the source material to answer definitively whether more keys are hidden around this family's historic Matheson estate. The short answer is yes.

In the graphic novel series, there are several keys that never appear in the Netflix adaptation, including one that turns the user into a giant and another that opens the moon, allowing an individual to pass peacefully into the afterlife.

Notably, there are also a number of keys that appear in the comics but are never actually used by any of the characters, leaving it up to readers to deduce what they might be capable of.

If the Netflix universe matches that of the printed page, then there are almost certainly more magical artefacts on the Keyhouse grounds – as the whispering in the finale suggests – but whether the Lockes will ever find them is another matter entirely.

Locke and Key is available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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