‘Locke & Key’ Season 3: What Is an Echo? The Echo Key, Explained

Locke & Key Season 3 has finally dropped on Netflix, and the final episodes see the Locke family facing new threats — namely, Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand) and his minions, all of whom are Echoes. In fact, many of the Lockes’ problems throughout the Netflix series can be attributed to the Echo Key. But what exactly is an Echo, and how does the Echo Key factor into Locke & Key Season 3?

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Locke & Key Season 3.]

What is an Echo? ‘Locke & Key’s Echo Key, explained

All of the Keys, including the Echo Key, in 'Locke & Key' Season 3. Someone is holding them in their hands, and there's blue light in the background.
The Keys in ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 | Netflix

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Locke & Key introduced the concept of an Echo all the way back during season 1, revealing that the Echo Key can be used to resurrect the spirit of someone who is already deceased. That’s precisely what Ellie (Sherri Saum) does so that she can see Lucas (Felix Mallard) again. However, as Distractify notes, Echoes are vulnerable to possession by demons. And Lucas’ Echo brings Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira) into the human world, prompting two seasons’ worth of problems for the Lockes.

Echoes play a prominent role in Locke & Key Season 3 as well, as its main villains are introduced using the Echo Key. At the end of season 2, Eden (Hallea Jones) calls forth an Echo of Frederick Gideon, hoping to ally with him. Instead, he kills her — and sets out on a mission to combine the human and demon realms.

Season 3’s antagonists are all Echoes

Ian Lake as Bolton, Jeff Lillico as Coffey, and Kevin Durand as Gideon in 'Locke & Key' Season 3 for our article about who dies. They're standing in a cave with blue light pouring out of the gateway to their world.
Ian Lake, Jeff Lillico, and Kevin Durand in ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 | Netflix

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Keeping in line with the first two seasons of Locke & Key, season 3 introduces three major antagonists, all of whom are Echoes. Just like Dodge, Frederick Gideon is an Echo possessed by a demon. The former Revolutionary War hero plays host to a being far stronger than Dodge, and it uses his body to wreak havoc at Keyhouse.

Gideon isn’t the only Echo causing problems in Locke & Key Season 3, either. To help him with his mission, he uses the Echo Key to bring back two of his former comrades: Bolton (Ian Lake) and Coffey (Jeff Lillico). They both loyally aid his cause — at least until the Lockes find a way to get rid of the wicked trio.

What happens to the Echo Key in ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3?

So, after all the trouble the Echo Key causes, what happens to it at the end of Locke & Key Season 3? Like the other Keys, it winds up back in the demon realm.

After the Lockes realize that sending the Keys through the portal to the demon world will close it for good, they decide to bid farewell to Keyhouse’s magic. Sadly, that means no more fantastical adventures. But it also means no more demons entering their sphere because of the Echo Key.

That will no doubt be a relief for the Lockes, even if it comes as a disappointment to fans. It looks like they’ve put the issue of demons to rest once and for all. And with Locke & Key not getting a season 4, that’s probably for the best.

Locke & Key Season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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