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How Women’s Suffering Drives the Plot of ‘Locke and Key’ Season 2

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the second season of ‘Locke and Key.’

The second season of Locke and Key premiered on Netflix on Oct. 22, and right out of the gate it packed a punch, picking up right where the first season left off. I finished the entire show in about two days and can safely say that it was amazing.

The plot revolves around the Locke family as they try to recover from the losses and traumas they’ve already experienced, while at the same time they realize that the battle against evil isn’t over yet. The show was heart wrenching, and the actors really brought the story to life. 

Kinsey Locke in particular went through hell this season. Starting off in a happy relationship with her boyfriend Gabe, the audience quickly finds out his real motives. A demon in disguise, he uses Kinsey to get close to the family, trying to trick her into helping him take over the town (and eventually the world). We watch as he manipulates her and are unable to do anything to help.

When Kinsey learns of his betrayal, she is heartbroken. Her pain is palpable through the screen, as we watch a young woman realize that someone she trusted and loved did not feel the same. In a world where women are always on guard, seeing her suffering hit close to home.

Kinsey took back her narrative throughout the second half of the season and fought back against Gabe to successfully defeat him. She finished the season scarred, but standing strong.

She was lucky.

The season was characterized by women suffering emotionally and physically, most often furthering the plot or a specific character’s arc. One such character was Jackie, Tyler Locke’s girlfriend. Throughout the season, we watch as she begins to lose her memory of anything related to magic. She is turned into a demon and forced to work against the Locke family. And just when we think Tyler can save her with a newly created key, she dies slowly and painfully.

That’s not all. Nina Locke continues to struggle with her memory and is placed in danger, unknowingly used by Gabe to further harm Kinsey. Eden, another demon in the body of a teenage girl, is physically abused by Gabe in order to keep her in line. Erin Voss is brought back from her comatose state, only to be killed and dragged away by the Earth in a horrifying maze scene.

Locke and Key is an amazing show that brought together a diverse cast to create a plot so poignant that it left me laughing and crying along with the characters. It does a good job portraying the actual effects that the trauma would have on the characters. But much of this plot relies on harm being done to the women within the show.

Jackie and Erin’s characters were both killed off, and Kinsey and Nina had to put their lives back together. In a scene at the end, Tyler decides to allow himself to forget everything related to magic when he turns 18 so he doesn’t have to live with the horror of Jackie’s death.

Kinsey does not have that option. Tyler passes the ‘oldest child’ title to her, leaving her to handle things on her own, while still supporting their younger brother. 

I’m looking forward to the third season of Locke and Key. I hope to see characters, such as Kinsey, get a bit of a break and a chance to finally heal.

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Elizabeth began writing for HerCampus in Spring 2021 and is currently a Sophomore Political Science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of HerCampus, Elizabeth is a member of the Delta Mu Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and an intern with MASSPIRG. She is interested in foreign policy and the world at large.