Locke & Key has been one of Netflix’s best comic book adaptations, and season 3 is sure to be a hit, but there sadly won’t be a Locke & Key season 4.
This article contains spoilers for Locke & Key season 3.Netflix’s Locke & Key is a tremendous show, but there won’t be a season 4, and viewers may be wondering why it’s not happening. The success of the MCU has led to a boom in comic book adaptations, with every streaming service and network participating. Netflix’s comic adaptations are often better than Marvel’s, with a wave of magical and superhero shows unlike anything seen in the MCU to date. Locke & Key, inspired by the dark comic book stories of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, is a perfect example.
The series tells the story of a family who move into the Keyhouse, a home with a supernatural history they are entirely unprepared for. The Locke children discover they have inherited the role of the Keepers of the Keys, sworn to protect the world from terrible danger should magical keys ever fall into the wrong hands. There’s a wonderfully fantastical tone to Locke & Key, as childlike enthusiasm blends with horror in stunningly effective ways. Locke & Key season 3 is the most explosive yet, with the magic of the Keyhouse potentially threatening the entire world.
Locke & Key has been both popular and critically acclaimed — at the time of this writing, its critic score on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes stands at 74 percent. For all that’s the case, though, Locke & Key season 3 is the end of the road for the series. In an official statement, showrunners Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill explained, “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.” This means the story logically wraps up at the end of Locke & Key season 3.
Why Netflix Isn’t Releasing Locke & Key Season 4
Season 3 sees the new keys from Locke & Key season 2 destroyed, effectively meaning the story has come to a conclusion. It’s a satisfying ending, because the Lockes have learned once again just how dangerous these keys could be if they ever fell into the wrong hands, and destroying them is the only way to ensure reality is safe from demonic invasion. In truth, this was a story that could only ever last so long; part of Locke & Key‘s charm lies in its young cast, and the actors are aging. It’s something of a truism that every comic — and every comic book adaptation — has a core concept it must not deviate from. In the case of Locke & Key, the clock was always ticking because the innocence of youth is part of that core concept.
Netflix often cancels shows after three seasons, likely because the shows fail to perform against one of the streaming giant’s key metrics: bringing in new subscribers. While it’s doubtful Locke & Key season 3 brought in any new subscribers, viewership was clearly good enough for Netflix to agree to continue the show for one more season, allowing the story to come to an end. Comparatively, few Netflix Originals last beyond even three seasons, unless they are breakout hits like Stranger Things and The Crown. Locke & Key is one of Netflix’s best, but it doesn’t appeal to a wide enough audience to stand among those rare titles.