Review: Locke & Key “Family Tree” S1E5

In “Family Tree” we see a bit of a shift and everything we thought we knew about the characters and situation gets flipped on its head. Kinsey uses her newly found key to control her new schools mean girl Eden and embarrass her in front of everybody at Gabe’s urging which leads to Scot’s disappointment. Tyler is feeling the pressure of protecting his family from a new type of danger which weighs heavy on him because of his guilt about not being able to save his dad or protect them from Sam when they were back in Seattle. Nina does a little investigation into her husband’s past and the death of Joe Ridgeway and we all know something hinky is up when she comes home and finds Ellie in her house.


WHAT WORKED: The show seems to be continuing down the path of kids will be kids and with the new key, Kinsey takes that to brutal extremes. With her fear dead and buried she’s up to all the no good without being scared of any consequences which we all know is going to spell trouble. The story moves along in a very organic way that seems effortless and keeps you interested in the lives of the Locke family members. There’s something about seeing all the ways that things could go wrong and having to hold your breath with every move the kids make, you feel like you have a stake in their lives and well being which keeps the viewer on their toes and glued to the screen.

HOT TAKE: “Hurt people, hurt people” is a saying for a reason and Kinsey is hurting but, that doesn’t give her the right to do remove Eden’s body autonomy with her puppet box and key. The way that scene was written and directed started off as simple pranking and escalated to next level creepiness, viewers were forced into a situation that we couldn’t escape from and it made us feel like participants. It was supposed to make us feel uneasy and it was shot and directed in a way that made us feel trapped in a situation that we couldn’t escape from, not as bad as Eden was but, just enough to freak us out. I commend the director, writer and DP for creating such a well thought out scene that served so many purposes.


BEST MOMENT: When Kinsey uses the Puppetmaster Key on Eden and Scot tries to call her off. Everything about Kinsey upping the ante on Eden making her do more and more outrageously humiliating things was cringe-worthy and wrong and we all wanted to stop it but, being outside the fourth wall we couldn’t but, Scot was every one of us when he urged her to stop and walked away when she wouldn’t. We all understand as outsiders looking in, knowing that she is using this newfound control as a trauma response from feeling powerless and small when her father was murdered but, there is a healthy response and a not so healthy response and her response is downright toxic. Scot choosing to walk away and remove himself from a toxic person was the best moment because he forced Kinsey, even if she was too blind to see it at the time, to deal with real-world consequences of her crappy behavior.