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Locke & Key Season 3 - What We Know So Far

Netflix's "Locke & Key" is one of the numerous projects "Lost" co-showrunner Carlton Cuse has produced since that iconic ABC show ended in 2010, in addition to successful adaptations like "Bates Motel" and Amazon's "Jack Ryan." "Locke & Key" is based on comics of the same name written by Joe Hill. The story follows the Locke children after they move into the Keyhouse and discover magical keys that unlock both wonders and dangers.

"Locke & Key" has been a success for Netflix, evidenced by the fact that a Season 3 was ordered ahead of the Season 2 premiere last year. Both seasons of the series have been viewed by Netflix subscribers for over one billion minutes, so it should go without saying that more than a few fans are anticipating the return of the series (per Cheat Sheet). Here is everything we know so far about the confirmed Season 3 of "Locke & Key."

Locke & Key Season 3 filming has wrapped

Season 3 of "Locke & Key" has been in production for some time, with producer Carlton Cuse explaining to Collider that most of it had actually been written before Season 2 even premiered. "It was actually a really weird thing that I've never experienced in my career, to have written a full season of television that hadn't been made, and we had to go on to writing the next season of television," Cuse said, adding that it provided a lot of opportunities to revise some of the storylines as they went along. Season 3 was also filmed back to back with Season 2, which means the cast and crew started shooting this installment as soon as the second season went into post-production.

Filming for Season 3 wrapped in September 2021, a month before Season 2 was released on Netflix in October. Connor Jessup, who plays Tyler Locke, took to social media to celebrate the cast and crew's hard work. Alongside a series of behind-the-scenes snaps, he wrote, "that's a wrap on season 3 of locke & key. after a year of shooting, we're done. I'm a tangled mess ... I'm sleepy and happy and sad. but mostly, I'm grateful. it's been a weird, sh***y year and this show has been a refuge," per Instagram. Thankfully though, fans will wait less than a year to see their favorite character return to Keyhouse because Netflix has announced the show's release date.

What is the Season 3 release date?

Netflix has finally announced the release date for Season 3 of "Locke & Key." The streaming service has been teasing the show's third season on social media since the end of 2021 but has been cagey with release details until now. During Netflix's Geeked Week event — which is a series of behind-the-scenes special events for its original content — the streamer shared a trailer for Season 3 and made an important "Locke & Key" announcement. The series will return to Netflix on August 10.

With the third season in post-production since last fall, "Locke & Key" viewers haven't had as long to wait for the latest installment of the series as they did for the second season. "Locke & Key" Season 3 will air a mere 10 months after Season 2, compared to the 20-month wait fans endured between the first and second seasons. This highly anticipated season will reportedly consist of eight episodes (via Collider), which is a departure from the previous 10-episode format. Hopefully, this shorter season is still able to mirror the success of the previous season, which was streamed for more than 143.04 million hours globally during its first four weeks on Netflix.

Who is returning to Locke & Key?

Now that Netflix has announced the August 10 release date for Season 3, fans are clamoring to know if their favorite characters will return for the next installment of this fantasy drama. Thankfully, there's good news in the store as most of the show's main actors have confirmed they'll be returning. Connor Jessup was one of the first actors to reaffirm his place in the series, even though his character Tyler Locke leaves to go traveling at the end of Season 2 of "Locke & Key." "I don't think when he leaves at the end of Season 2 that his story is over," Jessup said to Decider back in October. "To me, it felt like a new chapter, but it didn't feel like a resolution. So, there's still more for Tyler."

Jessup will be joined by Emilia Jones and Jackson Robert Scott, who play his younger siblings, Kinsey and Bode (via Deadline). Darby Stanchfield will also be returning as their mom, Nina Locke, along with Aaron Ashmore, who plays Duncan, the Locke childrens' uncle. 

In terms of casting changes, there's been a bit of a shake-up for Season 3. Sherri Saum, who plays Ellie Whedon, has been promoted to series regular, which means we might also see more of Coby Bird, who plays her son Rufus. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" actor Kevin Durand will also be getting more screen time as the Revolutionary War soldier Captain Frederick Gideon.

When is Season 3 set?

The aftermath of the dramatic second season of "Locke & Key" came to a conclusion at the same time Matheson Academy's fall semester ended. At the end of the season finale, Nina's conversation with Josh explains that Tyler is going to go traveling over the winter break because he needs a fresh start and time away from Matheson after Jackie's death. However, the trailer for Season 3 places Tyler squarely in the middle of all the action alongside his family, so viewers can expect some time to have elapsed between the second and third seasons.

This means that the earliest the series could be set is the beginning of the spring semester, with Tyler returning to finish his education. However, it's also possible that more time has passed off-screen in order to tie in Season 3 with the end of the summer semester and Tyler's last few weeks at Matheson Academy. Alternatively, there could be less of a school focus this season and the show could be set entirely during the summer holidays, giving the Locke family plenty of time to deal with the show's latest villain.

Captain Frederick Gideon is the new antagonist of Locke & Key

For the last two seasons, "Locke & Key" has had a revolving door of villains and antagonists. From Dodge-slash-Gabe to Eden, to all the townspeople they turned into demons, there's never been a shortage of enemies for the Locke family. However, in Season 3, Tyler, Kinsey, Bode, Nina, and Duncan will be facing a new villain — Frederick Gideon.

This Revolutionary War captain played by Kevin Durand made his debut in flashbacks seen during "The Premiere," the first episode of Season 2. He appeared in a total of four episodes, which explain his backstory and how a demon took over his body when he found the Black Door in the sea caves. In the last episode of Season 2, the demon inhabiting Eden's body brought Captain Gideon back as an echo, initially unaware that a demon was also inhabiting his body. After throwing Eden into the well, Gideon left with the Anywhere Key.

So what has Gideon been up to since we last saw him? With the likelihood of a time jump, he will have had a few months to start enacting his undoubtedly evil plan. During a roundtable interview reported on by CBR, showrunner Carlton Cuse explained that Durand's character will be a deadly threat to the Locke family. Cuse said, "Meredith and I were faced with the challenge of how [do] we up the stakes post-Dodge and come up with a source of villainy that would feel like an escalation and also be compelling. That led us to create this character of Gideon and Kevin seemed like the perfect guy to play him."

Are Dodge and Eden really dead?

Speaking of antagonists, what happened to the Season 2 baddies Dodge and Eden? Are they really gone for good? Dodge's death at the end of Season 2 certainly seemed final. After Laysla De Oliveira's character plummeted into the sea and rocks below the cliff, Lucas (Felix Mallard) appeared, apparently separated and free from Dodge's control. Dodge's character was also played by Griffin Gluck under the alias Gabe for much of the season, and Gluck isn't slated to return to the series. However, De Oliveira makes a brief appearance in the trailer, so it's possible she didn't really fall to her death and she's back to cause drama in Season 3.

Meanwhile, the fate of Hallea Jones' character Eden was left hanging in the balance at the end of "Cliffhanger." Many viewers and critics have speculated that the character probably died after Captain Gideon threw her down the well, but it's taken a lot more than a little fall to stop villains in "Locke & Key" before, so viewers shouldn't count her out just let. She may still be alive but trapped in the well — she is a demon now, after all. If she is alive, it's possible Gideon — or Dodge — could need her help and create an opportunity for her to return at some point.

Will Tyler get his memories back?

One of the biggest changes going into Season 3 of "Locke & Key" is that Tyler, one of the show's major protagonists, has no memory of the magic he and his siblings discovered at Keyhouse. In "Cliffhanger," the final episode of Season 2, Tyler leaves to go traveling. He plans to return after his 18th birthday with no memory of magic, despite having spent most of the season searching for the Memory Key, which would allow him to remember magic as an adult. Instead, he explains to his siblings that he wants to live a "normal" life after his birthday and opts not to remember magic. After all, magic caused the death of his dad and his girlfriend, becoming a major source of emotional trauma for him.

"He loses her and he has this enormous wound, and this enormous pain that enters his life, which in a way is similar to the pain of losing his dad," actor Connor Jessup told Decider. "It's like it's a new wound, but it's also a reopening of an older, emotional wound, and... In that moment, he can't live with that, and that he can't bear the thought of that weighing on him forever."

However, it seems like a magic-free life might not be in the cards for Tyler. With Captain Gideon lurking in the shadows, it's possible the rest of the Locke clan will use the Memory Key on him so he can help them. Tyler certainly appears to have his memories back in the trailer.

Nina Locke is going to be more involved with magic this season

At the end of the second season finale, Bode, the youngest Locke sibling, used the Head Key and the Memory Key on his mom, Nina, meaning she now officially and permanently knows about magic. "It was really quite moving to see," Darby Stanchfield, who plays Nina, said of the scene, per Collider.

This marks a significant turning point for Stanchfield's character, and viewers can expect her to be much more involved with magic this season as a result. The trailer for Season 3 even teases her using one of the keys with Kinsey, as well as fighting Gideon alongside her children. Nina getting to grips with magic this season will certainly be an interesting character development, especially as this is something she's struggled with a lot during the past two seasons. It will also be a big adjustment for Kinsey and Bode, who've had to deal with all the previous magical events without her help.

Going forward, certain things about Nina's past, Rendell's death, and Keyhouse might start to make more sense now. We might also see Nina's friendship with Ellie develop more in Season 3 now that both characters can talk more openly about magic together, which means that Ellie can help guide Nina through this process.

Season 3 of Locke & Key focuses heavily on family

"Locke & Key" has always been a very family-orientated show. After all, its events revolve around the Locke family — Nina, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode — who moved to Matheson after Rendell's death. However, the events of the Season 2 finale have seen some significant changes that will affect their family dynamic. Tyler's bonds with his siblings will undoubtedly change after he forgets about magic. 

"That decision does have consequences and will change his relationship to his family. You'll see that play out," showrunner Meredith Averill teased to Collider. Meanwhile, Nina will probably grow closer to her children now that she knows about magic, as it has been a barrier between them in previous seasons.

Season 3 will focus on how the Lockes navigate these changes and come together to face Captain Gideon. "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," Averill added.

It might be a rocky road for Kinsey and Scot

Kinsey and Scot finally getting together is something viewers of the show had waited for ever since their budding romance was dashed after Gabe swooped in and grabbed Kinsey's attention. Of course, Gabe turned out to be the evil demon echo Dodge, so that was pretty much doomed from the start. As Kinsey started to uncover Gabe's true identity, she and Scot fell for each other again, but their timing could have been better. Season 2 concluded with the couple about to embark on a long-distance relationship as Scot chose to attend film school in London for a year before going to college.

However, Scot's nickname for Kinsey — rocky road — could be what the couple are in for in Season 3, as Netflix has yet to confirm if Petrice Jones, who plays Scot, is returning to the series. Jones also hasn't posted anything about "Locke and Key" on social media since a November 2021 Instagram post, which was in reference to Season 2. Similarly, other cast members like Emilia Jones and Connor Jessup have posted no behind-the-scenes shots that include him. That said, it's very possible Petrice Jones' return to the show is just being kept under wraps for dramatic effect, and Kinsey and Scot will end up back together in Season 3.

Romance is in the air for Nina

While Petrice Jones' return is up in the air, another Locke love interest is definitely due back in Matheson for Season 3. Brendan Hines will once again be featured as Nina's on-again-off-again partner Josh Bennett (via Deadline). 

The pair left their relationship up in the air last season. When Josh told Nina he finally felt able to move on from his wife's death and commit to her properly, she shut him down. In the season finale, Nina explained that she wasn't ready, despite previously thinking she was and told him she needed more time before they could be together.

However, they certainly left things open-ended, with the possibility for their relationship to blossom in Season 3 when Nina was in a better place. A behind-the-scenes still from Season 3 shows Nina and Josh looking cozy at an event, which suggests that they're dating again. However, if Nina and Josh do rekindle their romance, the fact that she knows about magic might make things a bit more difficult for them going forward.

There will be new keys in Season 3

It's always very exciting when a "Locke & Key" character reveals a new magical key to the audience, and thankfully there's more excitement to be had in Season 3. Duncan now has the ability to make keys, which, with a supervillain like Gideon on the loose, is certainly a good skill for the Locke's to have up their sleeves.

According to the comics created by Joe Hill, there are still plenty of keys left for the Locke's to find and the trailer introduces a pretty major one. It looks like Bode discovers the Timeshift Key, allowing users to see visions of the past when used in the Lockes' grandfather clock. This could certainly come in handy as the Locke family try to discover more about Captain Gideon's past to defeat him. It also might come into play for Tyler when he gets his memories back, as he could see visions of his past self using magic.

Season 2 also introduced a lot of new keys to the show, in addition to the ones established in the first season. Fans are certainly eager to see more keys like the Angel Key, which Kinsey used in the finale and was instrumental in helping to defeat Dodge. She's only scratched the surface with her ability to fly (without using the Ghost Key), so there's definitely room to see that again.

Season 3 will be the last season of Locke & Key

Season 3 will be the Locke family's last paranormal adventure on Netflix. The show hasn't been canceled, though — it was always the plan to end after three seasons. According to the co-showrunners, Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, "Locke & Key" will naturally reach its conclusion at the end of Season 3. "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," the duo said in a statement to Deadline.

They added, "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," before joking, "We're keeping the magical keys, though, for our own personal use."

Since Cuse and Averill have been planning the conclusion of "Locke & Key" since the end of Season 1, they should tie up all of the show's loose threads. Viewers are desperate to dive deeper into Ellie's story and see more of Duncan and Brian's relationship. So, here's hoping fans get everything they want to see and more in Season 3 of "Locke & Key."

What else do we know about the plot of Season 3?

The "Locke & Key" showrunners have been keeping quiet about a lot of the particulars in the upcoming season, but the trailer does reveal a few extra details for fans. It looks like Gideon is creating an army. We don't know much about his motives, but the trailer suggests he's coming for the keys — and possibly even Keyhouse itself.

However, as with all evil plans, Gideon's appears to culminate in a big battle between him and the Lockes. "This is our house. Those keys belong to us," Kinsey says in the trailer as they prepare for a fight against the soldiers. Viewers can definitely expect to see an epic showdown as Tyler, Kinsey, Bode, Nina, and Duncan defend their home and the keys in the battle to end all battles. This fight promises to be a satisfying and dramatic conclusion to the final season of "Locke & Key."