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The Kinsey Detail From Locke & Key Season 1 That Everyone Ignores

Contains spoilers for the Netflix original series Locke & Key

Fans of Netflix's Locke & Key know the series is full of dangerous threats, but there's one major monster they can't quite get out of their heads — even if the Locke siblings literally can. 

Based on Joe Hill (NOS4A2) and Gabriel Rodriguez's comic of the same name, Locke & Key follows siblings Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) to the fictional Matheson, Massachusetts, where the trio discover that their father's childhood home holds a number of haunting secrets. Among them are a set of magical keys created by Benjamin Locke — the original owner of family manor "Keyhouse" — during the Revolutionary War out of the metal he recovered from an interdimensional portal in the nearby sea caves. The keys unlock various abilities and magical powers, and they can only be perceived by kids.

Among these magical colonial relics is the powerful Head Key, which allows the user and "open" their mind by way of a little keyhole in their neck. The youngest of the trio, Bode, is the one to find the key and shows off its eye-popping powers to his two elder siblings. But when Kinsey, Bode's older sister, gets hold of it in episode 3, "Head Games," and uses it on herself, the Locke middle child then literally drags the fear from her mind and buries it in the backyard. The next day Kinsey is more confident and bold, but that fearlessness has a number of consequences. 

The personification of this emotion ultimately unearths itself, and roams around town unleashing its terrors on anyone it runs across. The siblings become aware of this monstrous manifestation of Kinsey's emotional baggage when that fear attacks her brother, Tyler, as well as Eden, a mean girl who was working on a horror film with Kinsey's friends from high school. That's the last time the children or viewers see the monster in season 1, as the Lockes find themselves increasingly occupied with much bigger baddies.  

Kinsey's fear monster is on the loose

With no resolution, the open-ended fate of Kinsey's manifested fear has some fans confused, dubbing the loose thread another one of the show's major plot holes.

Reddit user u/cosmicphoneix asks if the fear monster is "just roaming around Matheson now, attacking whatever it's scared of" while u/2_Fingers_of_Whiskey notes that "everyone is horrified ... and they just kind of forget about it again." 

Redditor u/momosaurx noted that while several other questions about Locke & Key's first season have been answered, no one has been able to sort out the fear issue. "I have so many questions after finishing the season that have already been asked on Reddit but I couldn't find my main one: Where did Kinsey's fear go?" they wrote

It could be that the monster actually goes somewhere when she's not around and isn't just flitting about town. Some fans have noted that when the monster comes around, it seems to "appear" out of nowhere, much like a ghost. Others have pointed to the fact that it can be seen running away after being overtaken by the siblings. Because the show has yet to explain the whereabouts of Kinsey's fear, or even how it navigates the on-screen world, it's become the topic of much speculation.

It makes more sense in the comics

In the comics, the fear monster manifests differently, making it easier to explain where exactly it goes. Instead of being a human-sized Kinsey look-a-like, the fear monster is actually a tiny figurine-sized personification, one that easily fits inside her head and the prison bottle where she keeps it for much of the series. At one point, comic-Kinsey is even able to reconcile with her fears and ultimately put them back inside her head. 

When adapting the comic for TV, showrunner Carlton Cuse made the fear monster human-sized and gave it the power to attack anything — or anyone — the young teen is afraid of, completely changing how it would have to navigate the Locke & Key universe. But that doesn't mean the rule of proximity has necessarily changed. It could be that Kinsey's "Fear" is metaphorically close to her at all times, instead of simply hovering around town waiting for something else to threaten the girl's feelings. 

The lone issue with this argument is how it complicates the storyline around Kinsey's fears, considering it didn't attack Dodge when the siblings were going head-to-head with the demon. So with no clear answers from the comics or the show, it seems like fans will have to wait until Locke & Key season 2 drops to find out what exactly Kinsey's fear monster has been up to.