Locke & Key season 1, episode 7 recap – “Dissection”

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 7, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Netflix Series Locke & Key Season 1, Episode 7 - Dissection


Locke & Key Season 1, Episode 7, “Dissection” is the best chapter of the series so far, locking down the Matheson house in a Sam Lesser-centric episode.

This recap of Netflix Series Locke & Key Season 1, Episode 7, “Dissection” contains significant spoilers.

After a few poor chapters, Episode 7, “Dissection” raises the stakes. It opens up with a flashback of Sam Lesser in school in a fetal pig dissection class. When the teacher leaves he makes the class laugh by playing with the fetal pig, making oinking noises repeatedly. He enjoys brief attention before the teacher catches him and sends him to Rendell’s office. Rendell warns him of his behavior and gives him hope of progressing. Dodge whispers to Sam from a painting of the Matheson house. In the present day, he’s at the house with a gun and he enters.

And then from here on, the Matheson house is in lockdown mode; Nina hears the floorboards creak and finds Sam Lesser who immediately points a gun at her. Kinsel and Bode overhear Sam threatening their mother. Bode uses the Ghost Key to spy on the conversation while trying to communicate with Nina. Sam wants the Head Key. Bode tells Kinsey that the person threatening their mother is Sam Lesser and Kinsey hides the Head Key.

I found it quite irritating that Bode was using the Ghost Key to try to communicate with his mother, knowing full well it doesn’t work.

Anyway, we are served with another flashback of Sam. He is making toast, presumably for his young sister but it is not clear. A man walks in, presumably his father and he asks if Sam had permission to eat and drink. Tyler visits to hang out with Sam.

Back in the present day, Sam tells Nina, Kinsey, and Bode that this is all Rendell’s fault but he does not elaborate. He claims Dodge cares about him that she needs the keys. Meanwhile, after sleeping with Dodge, Tyler finds a key that is in Dodge’s possession. Figuring out who she is, he asks her to take it from him before running back to the key house using the Anywhere Key.

Tyler is back at the house and he immediately tackles Sam to the floor and starts strangling him. Sam uses the Flame Key to distract him. Sam now has the gun pointed at Nina and Kinsey admits that Tyler does not have it and that she’s buried it in the woods. Sam takes Kinsey and Bode outside to dig it up. Kinsey gives Tyler a cryptic message — “If something happens to me, remember to take care of Sally.” She’s evidently giving Tyler a clue to where the Head Key is.

We are then served another flashback in Episode 7, “Dissection”, with Locke & Key determined to give a further background of Sam. He is having another session with Rendell and he is happy with his progress; he also reveals he has hung out with Tyler several times. As Rendell leaves the room, Dodge talks to Sam again from the Matheson painting. She asks him to open a report on Rendell’s desk — it states that Sam has Borderline Personality Disorder and it reveals that Rendell is unstable and that Tyler befriended him on purpose. Dodge tells Sam that Rendell and Tyler have lied to him.

Back to the present day and Kinsey starts digging while Tyler breaks away from his chair in the kitchen. Kinsey finds a knife and tries to stab Sam but is unsuccessful. The monster she had buried earlier in the series comes out of the ground and attacks Sam. Tyler finds the Head Key. Sam returns to the house and realizes that Tyler and Nina are not tied up. Nina attacks Sam and she pulls a gun on her again. Tyler uses the Head Key on Sam. Sam suddenly becomes emotional, admitting he screwed everything up. This was a big moment for Tyler as he asks Sam if he killed his father Rendell because he asked him too. Sam denies that is the case.

Now before we recap the next part, a slight observation; the reason why Dodge is effective in the story is that she’s striking and magnetic — she lures men with her beauty to achieve what she wants. She’s made Sam feel special and loved, which is why he wants to do everything for her. The next part is a huge blow from Sam.

Dodge shows up at the Matheson house and Sam takes the Head Key out of himself. Dodge easily slaps Nina and Tyler to the ground and Tyler tells Sam not to willingly give the key to Dodge. Sam wonders if he is being used and asks Dodge if she thinks he is special and he keeps repeating the question, refusing to hand over the Head Key. Dodge stabs Sam and takes the key from him — she can’t take keys from the Lockes but she can from anyone else. Sam asks Dodge why she stabbed and betrayed him and she responds cruelly — “There’s a reason why no-one loved you, Sam, because there’s nothing special about you at all”.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

With Dodge disappearing again, Tyler and Nina depart the house to reunite with Kinsey and Bode. Sam uses the Ghost Key for the first time and leaves his wounded body. The police find Sam on the ground and assume he’s dead. Sam panics and tries to return to his body but the police shut the door.

Locke & Key Season 1, Episode 7, “Dissection” closes with Nina breaking her sobriety.

I’m not surprised she did, to be honest — that was a stressful evening.

Additional Notes:

  • Kinsey lost her phone at the sea caves.
  • Sam Lesser is wearing Tyler’s clothes.
  • Tyler tells Nina that she knows about the magic keys but she doesn’t remember.

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