'Locke & Key' Episode 8: 'Ray of F***ing Sunshine' brings up a uniquely fascinating conundrum

Being an alcoholic is never easy, but when you're living in a magical house, things can get even more complicated

'Locke & Key' Episode 8: 'Ray of F***ing Sunshine' brings up a uniquely fascinating conundrum
(Netflix)
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Spoiler alert for 'Ray of F***ing Sunshine' - Episode 8 of 'Locke & Key' 

Nina Locke's (Darby Stanchfield) biggest problem on the show is how distant she is from its events. Despite being intimately tied to everything that's going on, all her digging and mystery solving will ultimately amount to nothing, given that no matter how much she finds out, at the heart of it all is a seemingly arbritary rule that keeps her from finding any true answers.

Adults, like Nina Locke, can't see magic - or, at least, if they do, can't remember it afterwards. It's a magical rule that plays off a narrative trope, but puts a rather significant barrier between Nina and the rest of her family. 

This episode shows us that there's a way around it - but it comes at a steep price. After the stress of having to deal with her husband's killer in the last episode, Nina fell off the wagon and is drinking again. Her kids are savvy enough to know the signs, but one unexpected consequence is that she can now retain memories of magic that she witnesses. Whatever it is about alcohol that leaves you with a hangover and no memories of the previous night apparently has an opposite effect when it comes to seeing magic.

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What does that mean, exactly? It seems to imply that one of the reasons adults forget magic they see is that they rationalize it away, enough to forget they ever saw it in the first place. This would fit in with the forgetfulness rule growing out of the trope of adults never seeing magic at all. For the first time, Kinsey (Emilia Jones) is able to talk to her mom about the things she's been going through. The Lockes have always been a tough family, and though they've never talked about how they feel about keeping secrets, it's obvious that Kinsey hasn't liked having to. 

Nina's an alcoholic, though. As wonderful as it might be to have an adult on the team, encouraging Nina's drinking habit would be a cruel, and selfish thing to do. It's obvious what choice the Locke kids need to make - and having to make it might just be one of the hardest things they've had to do all season.

All episodes of Season 1 of 'Locke & Key' are now available to stream on Netflix

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