Dark • Season 3 Review • “The End is the Beginning – Unspoiled Explainer”

Dark • Season 3 Review
“The End is the Beginning" – Unspoiled Explainer

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What I think the series finale means to the future of the franchise. The clues lie within one character, and an oft repeated phrase.

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All videos and photos courtesy Netflix.

The Series Finale Promised To Answer Our Questions. Did Netflix Deliver?

I've watched the entire series; all 26 episodes. This review is based on season 3 of Dark.

One of the best Original Series to come out of Netflix is the German-made "Dark". If you donate only a few moments of your time to reading reviews, then this is all you need to know:

It's brilliant.

Want to learn more? Read on.

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An extraordinary feat!

Released in 2017 with little fanfare in North America (but garnered a huge following in Deutschland), this brilliant series recently hit number one on IMDb's most popular pages.

Let me say that again. "Dark", a foreign-language TV show, was number one on IMDb's most popular pages.

A German-language, supernatural, time-travel show, with a complicated storyline, featuring little-known actors, trending on an an American US entertainment website.

That's pretty extraordinary.

But why, tho?

Thousands of blockbuster movies and television series have held this spot before - some for weeks at a time. But very few were made in a language other than English. (Don't worry, Netflix offers language dubbing for "Dark" so there's no need to read subtitles.)

As I write this article, "Dark" is still the the most popular page on IMDb. Overall, it's the 71st most popular TV show - ever.

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Full Disclosure.

I am a German-language Beta Tester for IMDb. So I write and translate a lot of German plot summaries. And this sometimes requires my watching a lot of original German-made TV and movies. "Dark" is my all-time favourite. So I may be a little biased.

Do they explain everything?

With the 3rd and final season now streaming on Netflix, the series promises answers for many of our questions. And they do deliver. But not all of our questions are answered.

For example, Officer Torben Wöller's right eye was bandaged throughout the first season. In the second season, Wöller was sporting an uber cool black eyepatch - denoting that his injury was healing. But the third season? No bandage, no eyepatch, but now he's missing his left arm! No explanation for this sudden disappearance of a rather important appendage for a cop. But, I think this props up my theory about the series ending (keep reading).

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There will be blood.

Season three is violent. There will be blood. And a lot of literal head-smashing. Lots of killings, suicides, and some nudity and sex scenes. There's also an attempted rape scene which ends very badly for one person. So, yeah, send the kiddos away because "Dark" is very dark, and not "Stranger Things".

Is Dark really over?

Is the series really over? Perhaps. But I sense something may be in the works. Let me explain.

Throughout the 26-episode series, you often hear the phrase, "The end is the beginning." That's a pretty big clue suggesting how it's going to end. With the "it" being both the endless cycle of time travel in Winden, and the series itself.

So although many of our questions are answered, especially during the final four episodes, there is this one thing that bothers me. Well, not really bothers me so much as it makes me think.

Well, what's this, then?

A major character, whom I shall not name, but is able to travel between time and space freely, is pregnant. It's subtle, and may have been overlooked by viewers. But there is so much going on, and so many storylines to follow. So, I don't blame anyone if they missed it.

But, watch this particular character's scenes again. Closely. You'll notice that no matter the year - she is pregnant! Always. You'll learn whom the real father is if you follow her character right through to the end.

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Is the beginning the end, or is the end just the beginning?

She appears in the final scene, of the final act, in the final episode. And once we get passed a minor, but important distraction, we notice that the woman is (still) pregnant.

Then director Baran bo Odar lets us have it. Our answer.

I believe I gasped something like, "Wait, what? WTF. OMG!"

To summarize.

"Dark" is worth your time, over and over again.

 

Yes, pretty much everything is explained. We learn where everyone comes from, who they are connected to and why they are where they are, when they are.

 

Yes, the series is over. No more seasons are planned.

 

But, there's a stunning revelation in the final scene.

 

The end is the beginning?

I'm not a critic, and I barely qualify as a journalist. In fact, I wouldn't even call myself a writer, lest I insult actual wordsmiths! So, if I take the time to binge a series and then write about it, I do it because I'm a fan.

Unless the apocalypse is imminent, you can watch all episodes of "Dark" on Netflix.

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Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Dark (2017)
Starring: Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel, Louis Hofmann, Maja Schöne, Stephan Kampwirth, Daan Lennard Liebrenz, Andreas Pietschmann, Deborah Kaufmann, Tatja Seibt, Walter Kreye, Lisa Vicari, Paul Lux, Hermann Beyer, Moritz Jahn.

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Inside Noah Schnapp’s Bizarre Night on Instagram & Trolling Omegle

Noah Schnapp's Bizarre Night on Instagram & Trolling Omegle. This Latest Video is Just One in a Number Unusual Posts on Social Media Recently.

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By: Nick Runyeard - His online behaviour of late is alarming. I'll say it, because no one in Noah Schnapp's inner-circle has. Perhaps they haven't noticed it? Or maybe they have, but brush it off as "Noah being Noah." Or am I just over-thinking it?

On April 2, late into the night, this recent train wreck began. What was supposed to be a "super quick" thank-you to his fans, ended up being 45-minutes of "WTF is he on?" It was awkward, it was weird and it proved two things: 1) Noah Schnapp needs his social media accounts monitored; and 2) He needs a break from social media.

We have all the details, and the video, of his bizzare night on Instagram, trolling Omegle strangers and unsuspecting fans alike.

First, I need to qualify this.

I generally stay away from shit like this. I don't like gossip and I don't follow the tabloids.

I laugh when people call me a 'journalist', and I barely even qualify as writer. Believe it or not, I've actually been paid for doing both. Apparently that makes me a 'professional' member of the media. LOL, I know right. My reaction exactly.

I prefer doing what I do now. This website, and contributing to iMDB's vast database. Neither of which require any valuable skillset. That being said, I don't mean to impugn others' work.

About a year ago I started drafting a much larger freelance article on young actors and how they use social media. Although I'm not finished the piece, I will include some of the relevant research in this article.

Noah Schnapp attends the Stranger Things Season 3 World Premiere on June 28, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Source: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)
Noah Schnapp attends the Stranger Things Season 3 World Premiere on June 28, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Source: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

Noah Schnapp's Bizarre Night on Instagram; Trolling Omegle; And the Dangers of Unmonitored Social Media.

Super quick, super quick, super quick.

If you were one of the 40,000 or so people who tuned in to Noah Schnapp's Instagram Live last night (April 2), you likely witnessed one of the most bizarre, if not awkward, appearances he's made on social media (so far).

I didn't watch it live, but I saw the video which he later posted on Instagram (and you can still see on YouTube). And it was strange, even by Schnapp's standards.

Late last night, the Stranger Things actor took to Instagram for what he said was going to be a "...super, super, super quick live...super quick live...super quick live...," (while snapping his fingers and rapping the words).

Waiting a few moments until more fans to joined his live stream, Schnapp continued, "So I can say what I gotta say. So let's go, join the live," now tapping his chest, and singing while doing it. I don't think I've ever seen a more clear display of someone needing a dose of Biphentin.

5 Million Followers is "a milestone."

Schnapp wanted to thank his fans for following him on TikTok. He had just reached 5 million followers, and began by saying, "Tik Tok has kind of become my favourite app recently...."

He then stopped, mid-sentence to fix his hair - which he did incessantly throughout the stream, along with other OCD-like behaviours.

Then, after incoherently mumbling a few words, Schnapp continued his statement briefly before again stopping. This time to sarcastically answer a random fan's comment about getting a hair cut.

...I'm on this little show called Stranger Things and I'd probably get fired.

Say that again?

In a 45-minute awkward, and sometimes unintelligible stream, a shirtless Schnapp talked about everything from shaving his head and going completely bald to posting an 'April Fools' joke about quitting Stranger Things. Neither of which he did, thankfully. I'm almost certain he was teasing. Right, Noah?

Are you're about to witness me shave my head right now?

At one point he started to say his password out loud, before stopping himself and telling his audience that was his password. And later, he briefly turned the camera on his iPad screen partially revealing private text messages and the associated phone numbers of those who messaged him.

Schnapp did something similar last year, briefly showing a text message between he and another cast member. The text discussed the names of possible moles on the Stranger Things 3 set. Information was getting leaked, and producers were trying to find the source.

I've seen some of Noah Schnapp's live streams before, and they are a little weird. Nonetheless, they're amusing and fun to watch if not immature. However, this time I felt genuine worry for the 15-year-old when he decided to troll strangers on Omegle.

"Not to be creepy...I'm not a pedophole, or anything."

You're pretty. Where do you live?

Yes, he said that. Even I felt embarrassed for him - and for the girl he was chatting to.

For those who don't know, Omegle is a free online webcam and chat service that allows virtually anyone to connect with random strangers. There is no registration required. The company's homepage clearly says that it is prohibited for minors below the age of 13 to use their service. However, teens are fair game provided they have permission from their parents.

Seriously? Like that's going to happen. I was a teenage boy once, and I shiver at the thought of how disturbingly different my life would be if I had access to camera and a site like Omegle. I won't go into details, but Google 'what is Omegle' and you'll see pages and pages of why children, and especially teens, should not be using this service.

I have no idea who you are, but come on in!

When I was a teenager, the worst thing a kid could do is talk to a stranger. With Omegle, teens are not only talking to strangers, but they're letting them right into their home and bedroom.

Using free software widely available on the internet, anyone can record a webcam session on Omegle. And, recorded sessions can even be played back as 'live' - tricking the other user into believing they are talking to a real person.

During Noah's April 2nd stream, Schnapp, himself, acknowledged the dangers of Omegle. "If you filter it the right way, you'll avoid all those questionable situations...if you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, maybe you're a little too young."

You look like the Stranger Things guy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not snapping on Schnapp. I'm a huge fan of his and Stranger Things. I dedicate gigabytes of my site paying homage to the series. My Stranger Things Standom page is this site's most popular page and has been since July 4, 2019.

And, Noah's idea of surprising people on Omegle by visiting their channel unannounced is a good concept. But one that should be supervised and monitored by Schnapp's 'people' and Omegle.

It was fun seeing the (mostly teen girls') reactions when they realized Noah Schnapp was talking to them. His interactions lasted anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Many of the strangers he trolled were shocked and thrilled to see him. Others didn't believe what they were seeing.

"You look like that guy from Stranger Things," a few girls said.

"Is this really real or a video?" one girl asked. "Tap your head like this," demanded another - trying to get Schnapp to prove he was real (he did).

"I get that all the time," Schnapp would sometimes respond, with a hint of charming shyness in his voice, before abruptly hanging up and continuing to troll.

Schnapp told one viewer, "I'm Noah Centineo." To which the teenage girl answered, "Who's that?"

Schnapp's impromptu Omegle troll was all in good fun. And for those he trolled, they'll likely be talking about it for a long time. In a good way.

There's never a publicist around when you need one.

BUT, I've said before, and I'll say it again. If anyone needs a full time publicist, it's Noah Schnapp.

This kid is famously known for accidentally giving out Stranger Things spoilers. I've met journalists who have specifically asked for an interview with Noah because there was always good chance of him blurting out a secret.

And, when Schnapp was last visiting Toronto to see a basketball game, he let it slip to a Raptor player that production on Stranger Things 4 was "about a few months" away. Video was recorded and posted online. That was at a time when fans were still guessing and speculating on a start date. And, as it turned out, it was accurate. About 6 weeks later, production began.

Knock, knock! I see you.

Famous people, especially child actors - and even more so, ridiculously famous child actors like Schnapp - need to have their social media accounts monitored. Whether it's a parent, or a publicist.

I once found myself so horrified at one posting I saw on a young actor's Instagram page, that I contacted the star's management team. The posting was innocent enough, but clearly revealed the actor's home address. The photo, which had already been up for several months, was immediately deleted after I reached out to their publicist.

In my research for an article this story is referencing, I was able to find the home address of two other well known child actors. Neither of whom had parent-monitored social media accounts. What's frightening, is that it took less than 5 minutes of looking through their postings and connecting the dots. No hacking required.

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer (I am, after all, a nincompoop). So if I can do it, others can as well with very little effort.

You can't unring that bell.

Last month, actor Finn Wolfhard opened up about a scary encounter he had with adult fans.

In an interview with Mastermind Magazine, Finn said, "When I was 13, some adults followed me back to my condo when I was shooting 'It'."

Wolfhard goes on to say: "I was by myself. As I walked faster, they walked faster, and I was getting a bit antsy by the time I got to the door. Suddenly, they were like, 'Hey, dude, can we get a selfie?' And I was like, 'No you can’t have a selfie! How about don’t follow children?'"

Many adult actors have private social media accounts - for family and friends - and public ones for fans. Why haven't child actors adopted this?

Schnapp had a PR nightmare in January when a revealing selfie was quietly leaked on Twitter and Facebook. Clearly it was a private photo meant for a friend - someone he perhaps trusted. The digital Snapchat text across the photo warned the intended receiver, "Don't show anyone."

Twitter and Facebook (finally) deleted the postings, but not before it was seen by many - perhaps even thousands of people. In addition, he was mocked mercilessly on Twitter by those who I assume knew him personally.  In a sense, Noah Schnapp is not only the victim of a crime, but also the prime suspect.

We can't unring that bell. Noah, can't unring that bell.

Noah, if you're reading this, please take a break from social media. I understand the desire to connect with your fans, but you are allowed to take a break.

Stop. Breathe.

 

Don't let your online life destroy your life. It's so not worth it.

 

Nick Runyeard

 

Ed: Someone on Noah Schnapp's management team was contacted for comment on this article. But alas, I'm not a 'real' journalist. Thus, I wait.
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Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Stranger Things (2016)
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Noah Schnapp, and Joe Keery.

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Locke & Key • Fandom Review • “Unlocke a Worthy Binge”

Locke & Key review

Unlocke a worthy binge this weekend. 'Locke & Key' premieres February 7 on Netflix.

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Welcome to the Locke & Key spoiler free fandom review! Netflix's latest comic book adaptation only just begins to tell the complex and magical story of the Locke family. Is it worth the binge? The short answer is yes!

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The decade-long wait is finally over! 'Locke & Key' has likely found a forever home.

First, a little background info.

Locke & Key is based on the comic book series (by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez) of the same name. If you're wondering, having knowledge of the comics before watching the series isn't necessary.

So, in short, Nina and her three kids - two teens (Tyler and Kinsey) and a precocious 11 year old (Bode) - move to the family's estate, 'Key House', on the other side of the country. The reason for the move? Rendell Locke, loving husband and father, was brutally murdered. The motive behind his killing becomes clear as the series moves forward.

What trauma looks like.

Nina, who was injured in the attack, is a recovering alcoholic. Tyler, who witnessed with murder, feels partially responsible and Kinsey is also filled with guilt. She too was at home when the murder took place and had the means to stop it. However, Kinsey was so overcome with fear that she just froze. But, to her credit, she was also protecting Bode.

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That kind of baggage would be difficult for anyone to carry around. So it's only natural that one would feel compelled to get as far away as possible. Nina's choice was to leave Seattle and move to the Locke ancestral home on the east coast. As an added incentive, Rendell's brother, Duncan, lives in nearby Boston and remains a close and trusted uncle to the kids. And that's where our story begins.

Welcome to Key House.

Key House, located in the small town of Matheson, Massachusetts, sits on a massive plot of land. The property comes complete with a cemetery, a lush forest, a wellhouse, and a lovely ocean view. Although unoccupied for a number of years, the property is maintained by Rendell's school friend, Ellie, and her teenage son, Rufus (marvellously played by autistic actor Coby Bird). The land, and the mansion that sits on it, has a mysterious and sordid narrative. It's apparent that all the kids in Matheson have heard about it, and refer to the mansion as 'the most haunted house in Matheson.'

The creepy Key House is a major character in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

It's bigger than the pictures. Also, a little more Norman Bates. ~ Tyler Locke

Where there's a Locke, there's a key.

Hidden around the house are magical keys - each with its own incantation. And it's what that charm can do that can be both extraordinary and frightening. The fascinating history of the keys and the Locke family is complex. Although only briefly explained in the series, we learn that the keys were forged from 'whispering iron.' So, when a demon attempts to crossover from their dimension to this one without a host (a human to possess), it becomes a lump of iron - whispering iron. The portal to this demonic dimension is on the Locke property. And the keys were forged by a young blacksmith, Benjamin Locke, during the late 1700's.

Just a little turn of the Omega Key and you'll open the door to another dimension in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

The last time that door was opened, dad's friend got possessed by a demon. ~ Tyler Locke

What the heck is 'whispering iron' you ask? Well, when a demon attempts to crossover from their dimension to this one without a host (a human to possess), it becomes a lump of iron - whispering iron. The portal to this demonic dimension is on the Locke property. And the keys were forged by a young blacksmith, Benjamin Locke, during the late 1700's.

The portal to another dimension is beneath the Locke property in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

So many keys, so little time.

According to lore, many keys were forged. However, in season 1 of Locke & Key we see only a fraction of what's out there and what they can do. Young Bode (the memorable Jackson Robert Scott of 'It' fame) is the first one to find a key. Naturally, as the youngest member of the Locke family, he can hear the whispering of the keys.

Jackson Robert Scott is Bode Locke in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

They'll only call to people who are very special. Like you, Bode. ~ Dodge

What do they say? We don't exactly know. The whispering is incomprehensible, but the closer we get to the key the louder the murmur becomes. It's important to note that adults can neither hear the whispers nor remember anything that happens when a key is used. But, as we find out later, the memory lapse can be avoided.

Whoops! My bad.

Soon enough, more keys are discovered and Bode lets Tyler and Kinsey in on the fun. But, as the old saying goes, 'It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.' Or, in this scenario, 'It's all fun and games until someone releases a demon!' As the Locke siblings have fun with the different keys they find (they're magic, who wouldn't play with them!?), Bode inadvertently releases a demon.

Jackson Robert Scott is Bode Locke and Laysla De Oliveira is Dodge in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

I'll help you, Bode...but I need you to give me the Anywhere Key. ~ Dodge

Dodge (Canadian actress Laysla De Oliveira) tricks Bode into handing over a very important key. The 'Anywhere Key' allows the bearer to open any door and go anywhere they visualize.

Bode's little mistake becomes a major problem. With the help of the 'Anywhere Key', Dodge will do what she wants, when she wants, to whomever she wants to get the remaining keys. There's nothing more dangerous than a Demon who wants what you have, but can't just take it from you.

Not Narnia, and so not Disney.

Ok, so this is not a cute Disney tale about a magical wardrobe and talking animals. Locke & Key is dark. Very dark. Underage drinking, bloody murder, violence. Pretty much everything Disney+ doesn't have. Neither is Locke & Key just another 'haunted house' time-waster. Certainly, most of the 'magic' happens within the confines of Keyhouse but series is so much more.

Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Hallea Jones, Petrice Jones, Griffin Gluck, Genevieve Kang in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

Netflix can keep the interest of the mid-teen demo and stay ahead of Disney+ with more shows like Locke & Key, Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy. But it won't be easy. Certainly, both companies have a bottomless pit of cash available to make blockbuster movies and TV shows. But Disney is still the go-to choice for family entertainment.

Connor Jessup is Tyler Locke and Darby Stanchfield is Nina Locke in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

Season 2.

The 10-episode series only just begins to tell the Locke story. The family tree is huge (considering the size of the cemetery), so there are are more characters (and keys!) to explore. The Locke estate is like a massive evil amusement park. And the discovery of the portal to the plains of Leng is certainly an idea that we'd like to see explored in greater detail.

Unconfirmed, yet reliable sources, say that producers are already working on a second season. As I write this, Locke & Key's inaugural season is still a week away from release. However, there is already an established fanbase that seems to grow by the day. I'm confident that Netflix has done the right thing and fans will likely embrace Locke & Key. So, I see no reason why there won't be at least 3 more seasons.

Was it worth the wait?

I think so, yes. Even though the show isn't exactly like the beloved comic book series, Locke & Key is a worthy binge. It's violent, but not as bloody and graphic as the comics. There's also little humour - dare I say 'playfulness' - that isn't of the eye-rolling type.

I'm not a critic, and I barely qualify as a journalist. In fact, I wouldn't even call myself a writer, lest I insult actual wordsmiths! So, if I take the time to binge a series and then write about it, I do it because I'm a fan. And now, I'm Locke & Key's newest devotee.

The magical keys.

Benjamin Locke forged a lot of keys. Here's a list of the best keys to have, and what they can do for you. Oh, I should add that not all of these keys are used in the first season of Lock & Key.

Omega Key.

Opens the lock on the demonic door (aka: the Black Door). The first key created.

Echo Key.

Allows entry to the Keyhouse well house, and with the Echo Key in hand, allows a person to return a spirit from the dead to the world of the living. Leaving through the well house door, however, banishes the spirit back to wherever it came from.

Anywhere Key.

Opens a door to anywhere the bearer can visualize in their mind.

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Music Box Key.

Inserted into a magical music box, it will cause the music box to play a song that compels whomever is listening to it to obey its lyrics. Whomever turns the key can supply the command to be carried out by the listener. Commands are carried out so long as the music is playing and the listener can hear it.

Gender Key.

Opens a door that swaps the user's biological gender (males transform to females, females transform to males).

Head Key.

Inserted into the base of someone's head, it allows one to peer inside the mind of a person, where memories and mental concepts (even "sanity" itself) are represented as tiny beings. The memories can be removed, and even swapped between people. Books inserted into a head with the Head Key transfer their contents to the bearer of the key, though in such a situation the knowledge of the text is accurate but superficial.

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Shadow Key.

Allows its wearer to control shadow creatures, and even the shadows of other people, which are themselves capable of interacting with the material world (often violently). Embedded in a crown, it is a tremendous source of power for whomever is wearing it, though the shadows can themselves be rendered immaterial by bright light.

Giant Key.

This physically large key, once inserted into a keyhole-shaped window in Keyhouse, transforms the bearer into a massive giant.

Mending Key.

Opens a magical cabinet in Keyhouse into which a broken object can be placed (the cabinet can resize itself to the size of the object). Once the object is locked inside the cabinet, it is repaired. While it can heal even severely wounded people, it cannot apparently resurrect the dead.

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Angel Key.

Inserted into a harness with large feathered wings, it grants a person the power of winged flight.

Hurcules Key.

Embedded in a necklace, it grants the bearer considerable additional strength and bulk.

Ghost Key.

When used in the right door in Keyhouse, it separates the soul of whomever travels through the door from their body. Their body crumples dead, while their ghost is free to roam the Keyhouse grounds. Ghost souls can inhabit any other bodies nearby, and clash with other ghosts.

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Animal Key.

Used on the right door in Keyhouse, it allows anyone who travels through the door to transform into an animal. (It is unclear whether they have choice in the matter; it appears that they are assigned the animal by the key, according to some sort of spiritual affinity.) An animal with a human soul that travels back through the door (from outside to inside) turns into the human whose soul is in the animal, apparently.

Timeshift Key.

Operates a grandfather clock that allows a user to observe (but not interact with) past events. However the clock is limited to a specific time period. The earliest date one can visit is January 13, 1775 & the latest date is December 31, 1999.

Alpha Key.

Removes demons from possessed people; inserts into their chests. Because it turns the demons instantly into whispering iron while it is still inside the host, it is fatal.

Philosophoscope Key.

Gives access to a device that provides viewing access to various people and places.

(source: Wikipedia [based on the comic book version])

Locke & Key sneak-peek photo gallery.

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This page is a part of my 8FLiX Standom. For more "Locke & Key" fandom-standom awesomeness, check back throughout the week. I'll be adding loads of content to get you ready for Friday's premiere on Netflix. Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Locke & Key (2020)
Starring: Darby Stanchfield, Emilia Jones, Connor Jessup, Jackson Robert Scott, Petrice Jones, Griffin Gluck, Laysla De Oliveira and Sherri Saum.

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Lost in Space • Season 2 • “Bigger, Better, Braver”

Sometimes we all need a second chance. Lost in Space 2 is bigger, better, braver.

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It's going to be a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. The Netflix series, starring Toby Stephens, Molly Parker and Maxwell Jenkins, gives us its second season on Christmas Eve. I am Nick, welcome to my home.

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Strap yourself in because "Lost in Space 2" launches December 24 on Netflix. And it's quite a ride!

Though Netflix rarely (if ever) releases series budgets, one can make an educated guess. It's not rocket science, either. Thankfully, because I'm an idiot.

So, based on similar shows and movies and knowing what they cost, I came up with a rough estimate. I believe "Lost in Space 2" cost the producers around $7,000,000 to $9,000,000 (USD) per episode.

For a Netflix series, that’s near the top of the pay scale. And, it's money well spent for "Lost in Space" season 2. This season, we're getting a lot of bang for that buck. Or rather, 'bucks'. Millions of them.

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Bigger.

The sets are huge. Epic shots with a large Depth of Field (everything in focus) showcase the vast interiors of the Resolute. If it’s all green-screen CGI, like the awesome exteriors of the space station, then it certainly fooled me.

Location shooting in Iceland and the immense Badlands of Alberta also make for stunning visuals. But location shooting is costly. When you’re on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic, add 50%. A dozen eggs will cost you about $5.25 US. So, get to work, Debbiei!

An Ocean Planet has been home to the Robinsons for 7 months. Much of episode 1, "Shipwrecked", was filmed in Iceland. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)
An Ocean Planet has been home to the Robinsons for 7 months. Much of episode 1, "Shipwrecked", was filmed in Iceland. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)

And I’ve been to the Badlands (aka: Drumheller, Alberta - dinosaur land in Canada!) and they look stunning. But to get to the really beautiful spots, almost like what we see in "Lost in Space 2", it’s a hike.

A little CGI added to the beauty of Drumheller, Alberta. (Source: Netflix)
A little CGI added to the beauty of Drumheller, Alberta. (Source: Netflix)

I’ve never been to Iceland, but "Lost in Space" DP Sam McCurdy’s lens shows it off quite well. It’s basically 'BCC Earth', and the next best thing to being stranded there.

Great VFX in Lost in Space 2. Here's a shot of the Jupiter 2 docking the Resolute. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)
Great VFX in Lost in Space 2. Here's a shot of the Jupiter 2 docking the Resolute. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)

The "Lost in Space 2" VFX and CGI rival that of any sci-fi blockbuster like 'Star Wars'. Seamless. Likely realistic, but I cannot confirm the accuracy until I actually get to space.

The Robinson Family aboard the Jupiter 2 dock at the Resolute. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)
The Robinson Family aboard the Jupiter 2 dock at the Resolute. (Source: Netflix/8FLiX)

While I'm thinking of it.

Maxwell Jenkins, the 14-year-old Chicago native who plays Will Robinson, grew like weed since season 1. He’s at least a foot taller (30cm). He likely grew another half-foot since you started reading this. The photos below show Jenkins in 2018 vs 2019. Max is standing beside the 'original' Will Robinson, Bill Mumy.

Maxwell Jenkins and Bill Mumy. 2018 Lost in Space premiere.
Lost in Space's Maxwell Jenkins and the other Will Robinson, Bill Mumy. Seen at the premiere of season 1 in 2018. (Source: Maxwell Jenkins/Instagram)
Maxwell Jenkins and Bill Mumy. December, 2019.
In less than two-years, Maxwell Jenkins exploded. Here he is again, in late 2019, with Bill Mumy. Now they're the same height. (Source: Maxwell Jenkins/Instagram)

At this rate, by the time season 3 is ready to film, Max should be roughly the height of your average NBA basketball player.

Along with physical maturity, Max has grown as an actor. The fact that Netflix has invested heavily in this young man already is proof enough. Maxwell Jenkins’ screen time increases dramatically in "Lost in Space 2."

The streaming service is pouring massive amounts of cash into family and children’s programming to compete with juggernaut 'Disney+'. And "Lost in Space" is a serious part of that Netflix spending spree. So, that's alright by us.

Better.

What makes "Lost in Space 2" better than the first season is all of the above. Plus, there’s more action, more music (with a brassy, bold score), and a lot more actors.

Nearly every major role is reprised. Also, some new characters are introduced. We meet more members of the '24th Colony' - both good, and bad.

Smith, or Jessica Harris if you prefer, retains her 'Queen Bitch of Space' title this year. But, maybe there is the potential of possibility a slight chance of her feeling regret and remorse. Or not? Either way, it’s great to see Parker Posey get more screen time to develop Smith.

Braver.

What makes "Lost in Space 2" braver is the acting. The show digs deep into John and Judy’s rocky relationship. It’s both eye-opening, and touching. There’s a fine line between heartfelt and melodramatic. Thankfully, the former takes precedence here. The bold move to have the characters display more emotion pays dividends.

Will, the robot didn't make you brave. You did that all by yourself. ~ Maureen Robinson

For example, braver are Will and Penny. I’ve talked a lot about Will already (you really need to watch this season!), so let’s talk about Mina Sundwall’s Penny Robinson.

She never really felt comfortable in space to begin with. On top of that, she’s dealing with the trauma of being 'lost in space'. Plus, Penny has nothing in common with her parents or siblings.

Judy and John have running. Max and Maureen have science. Even Don West has Debbie (the chicken/hen - who he talks to regularly). But what about Penny?

She expresses her feelings, thoughts and fears to a trusted friend - her diary. It’s an important part of show right from the beginning.

Second chances.

If I can sum up season 2 in two words, it is 'second chances.'

The first season apparently had a lukewarm debut. I enjoyed it, but many were sort of, like, 'Meh.' However, luckily for us, "Lost in Space" was given a second chance by way of second season. It's a fitting theme. Every once in a while someone, or something, comes along that is deserving. Worthy of being given our time, worthy of our help, worthy of another chance.

Family.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a quote becuase "Lost in Space 2" has many memorable lines. But the one that stands out the most is the following. Spoken by Will Robinson, as written by Penny Robinson.

This is the story of discovery. But not about strange new worlds. It’s about discovering what’s in the places you thought were empty. Sometimes it’s the invisible force of my family. Pulling at me, even when I can’t see them. Reminding me that I’m never really alone. ~ Will Robinson, as written by Penny

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This page is a part of my 8FLiX Standom. For more "Lost in Space" fandom-standom awesomeness, check out our main page HERE. Or, try any of the links below. Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Lost in Space (2018)
Starring: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey, and Brian Steele.

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Dark • Season 2 Review • “It Keeps Getting Batter and Better”

Dark • Season 2 Review
“It Keeps Getting Better and Better"

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All videos and photos courtesy Netflix.

The REAL Question is: Why Aren't You Watching "Dark"?

This is my original review for "Dark", season 2 - reposted and edited for aesthetics on June 29, 2020

Read the season 1 review before continuing. Otherwise, this won't make any sense!

Things to know, before you begin your binge.

"Dark" is an 18-episode Netflix Original Series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese.

Season 2 has 8 episodes. Season 1 has 10 episodes.

The focus of the series is mystery and time travel. In season 2, the 'God Particle', aka Higgs boson (or Higgs particle) is seriously 'toyed' with as well.

This series will have 3 seasons. The third and final season is (now showing).

Episodes vary in length - 48 minutes to about 61 minutes each.

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The original spoken language in "Dark" is German, with alternate audio-dubbing and subtitle languages available in English, French, Spanish and Italian. It may be a good idea to check local listings for more available language options (there are many).

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So where were we? Oh yes...

"Dark", season 2, picks up 6 months after the first season left off. While Mikkel (Daan Lennard Liebrenz) is settling in to his new surroundings, Jonas (Louis Hofmann) remains stuck in his.

A few new characters are introduced. Adam (Dietrich Hollinderbäumer) is one. He's the leader of a group of 'Travelers' trying to 'restart the world'. Adam has a seriously scarred face thanks to constant time travel.

Time travel is the main focus of season 2. A lot more attention is given to the different time periods (1921, 1953, 1954, 1986, 1987, 2019, 2020, 2053). Believe it or not, this helps the viewer understand more about what's happening in Winden.

And what else...

As more residents go missing, the police bring in a special investigator - a man called Clausen (played by the great Sylvester Groth) - to help solve the mystery. He has a very peculiar interest in the case. Rather, I should say connection.

Also, The Stranger's (German hottie, Andreas Pietschmann) motives for coming from the future take on a life of their own. We learn his true identity. And he ties up some loose ends and plot holes.

This season is a lot easier to follow than the first one. There's less confusion about who is who. And character backgrounds are explained in greater detail. It's to be expected, I guess. Likely because all three seasons of "Dark" have already been written. And, like any story, the closer we get to the end, the more we know.

Wöller (Leopold Hornung) still has an eye injury. But, why is what we want to know

Thing to look for in "Dark" season 2.

Pay close attention to 3 things in particular.

1) The dialogue, especially Adam's. He's sort of playing 'God' here. His words and actions are so important.

2) Subtle facial features (like, one blue eye one brown eye) and body features. This, too, will help you piece together this massive puzzle.

3) The names of the characters. Some are closely similar for a reason.

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Moving the spotlight.

Most of the characters from last season are back. But, many of the main characters from season 1 have more supporting roles this season. And last season's mostly supporting characters are now in the spotlight.

Why aren't you watching this series?

I've said in the past that this series is the best thing to come out of Germany since BMW. I still feel that way. "Dark" is so underrated and so good.

Please, watch "Dark" despite the original language (German). There's no shame in reading subtitles, or using the numerous language-dubbed soundtracks. The English language dubbing is considerably better than it was for season 1.

To summarize.

"Dark" is one of the best binges you'll have this year.

 

I don't like putting numbers on shows, but if I had to I'd give Dark a 9 out of 10.

 

Did I mention that you should really watch this series?

 

Three seasons of "Dark" were written back-to-back. Expect all of your questions answered by the end of the series (expected in 2020).

I'm not a critic, and I barely qualify as a journalist. In fact, I wouldn't even call myself a writer, lest I insult actual wordsmiths! So, if I take the time to binge a series and then write about it, I do it because I'm a fan.

Unless the apocalypse is imminent, you can watch all episodes of "Dark" on Netflix.

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Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Dark (2017)
Starring: Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel, Louis Hofmann, Maja Schöne, Stephan Kampwirth, Daan Lennard Liebrenz, Andreas Pietschmann, Deborah Kaufmann, Tatja Seibt, Walter Kreye, Lisa Vicari, Paul Lux, Hermann Beyer, Moritz Jahn.

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