The most recent addition to Netflix’s library of teenage supernatural dramas, “Lockwood and Co.,” is an adaptation of the book series of the same name, written by Jonathan Stroud. The series is set in an alternate history Britain in the real-world timeline, which has been plagued by spirits commonly referred to as “visitors” for the last five decades—leading to the death of millions caused by haunting. To avert the crisis, some exceptional youth who were specially gifted to sense the spirits by using their respective talents of “touch,” “see,” and “listen” were employed as spirit exterminators by corporate “agencies.” The narrative of the series follows the adventures of teen-trio paranormal investigators of the titular agency—Lucy Carlyle, Anthony Lockwood, and George Karim—as they uncover murder mysteries, secret societies, and cursed conduits in their quest to become the best agency in the country. The distinctive characterization of the leads and the camaraderie among them, although they somewhat adhere to the basic tropes of young-adult supernatural media, is also what makes the series unique. We will try to shed some light on the gloomy neighborhood of “Lockwood and Co” to get familiarized with the trio and share our expectations regarding the next season.
The protagonist of the series, Lucy Carlyle, is a talented paranormal communicator and possesses an enhanced ability to “listen” to the spirits. Carlyle was gifted with extreme sensitivity to supernatural lingering. So much so that, according to Lockwood, Lucy is only the second person in history to be able to converse with a type three spirit (strongest of the kind and sentient). Born and brought up in a rural town in Northern England, Lucy had a troubled childhood. Something which was the result of her alcoholic father’s early demise leaving the family drowned in debts, and her abusive mother’s carelessness. At a very young age, Lucy was forced by her mother to join a local agency against her own wishes. Although she could sense the spirits since her childhood, her fear of them hindered her potential. Upon joining the agency, however, she got a chance to prove her talent by rising through the ranks and solving cases. She found Norrie, another fellow trainee, and they became best friends, and for the first time in her life, she had someone to share her feelings with. Unfortunately, after a confrontation with a type two spirit goes horribly wrong, most of Lucy’s batchmates die, Norrie is left comatose, and only Lucy returns unscathed—an incident that marked her with survivor guilt for a lifetime.
In the aftermath of the incident, Lucy feels lonelier than ever as the supervisor in charge, who deserted the hapless students in their time of need, evaded prosecution, and her mother starts acting even more vindictive after she was wrongfully suspended. She leaves for London to get into a prestigious agency, and after getting rejected by all of them due to her lack of personal ID or parental supervision, she seeks out a small-time company named Lockwood and Co. operated by Anthony Lockwood and George Casper Karim, teenagers the same age as her. After some initial unrest from both sides, Lockwood Manor became Lucy’s new home. Lucy unlocked her potential during Annabel Ward’s murder investigation case. She discovered that she could communicate with spirits and sense their feelings—something that helped the agency in their cases immensely. She, however, hates being in the limelight and reprimands Anthony when he highlights her name in the media against her will. She also acts stubborn and curious at times, something which leads the team to dangerous situations. However, she is extremely loyal to the group, as she rejects the offer to join the prestigious Fittes agency multiple times and later goes on to consider George and Anthony as her family. Lucy is a brave and reserved girl who trusts her inner instincts more than bookish reasoning. Unlike most people, however, she has a slightly sympathetic outlook toward the spirits and wishes to help and investigate them instead of terminating them. As an empathetic teammate, she grows out of her initial dislike of George through the season and assures him of his importance to the team during the climactic moment of the final episode.
If the surname oft used in gothic fiction was not suggestive enough, or the Constantine-like appearance wasn’t a giveaway, Anthony Lockwood is the suave, charismatic, mysterious teen who is the founder and leader of Lockwood and Co.—a character who really fits in the mix of supernatural fantasy trope characters. Extremely skilled with the rapier, Anthony has proved himself to be better than topmost fencers by beating the likes of Fittes top Quill Kipps and holding his own against veterans like Goldenblade. Anthony keeps his childhood and past lives secret, but we get to know that the demise of his parents led to his inheriting Lockwood Manor, the office and armory of the agency Lockwood and Co. A particular room of his house is kept off-limits by him, a place with which he shares personal history – presumably of his parents. Lockwood is the youngest agent in the country to operate his own agency and prioritizes the betterment of his agency at any cost. Occasionally acting like a detached and apathetic individual, Anthony still clings to his past and struggles to open up to his close ones regarding his feelings. At times, his overly optimistic, reckless, driven, and competitive attitude leads to him going over his head and putting the team in jeopardy. At the same time, he is passionate about his agency and extremely protective of his fellow agents/friends. Opposed to George’s calculative approach, Anthony adopts a more devil-may-care demeanor in tackling them. By his own admission, he loves attention and likes to drag his friends into the limelight—something that caused a dispute between Lucy and him. He gradually learns to reel in his competitive nature and ends the rivalry with Kipps. By the end of the season, Anthony comes to term with his past trauma with the help of his friends and learns to trust them more by making a gesture of revealing the secret of the aforementioned closed door.
At first glance, George Karim might seem like the token nerd of the trio, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Initially coming off as paranoid, irritable, and downbeat in his behavior toward Lucy, Karim gradually opens up as he mingles with others. Not much about his background is known except the fact that he stole the “skull in a jar” from Fittes’ inventory during his tenure in the prestigious agency and uncovered multiple suspicious activities regarding “the problem” and its inception. George joined Lockwood and Co a year before Lucy and is very possessive of his friendship with Lockwood. Ever the obsessive researcher, George likes to study and prepare for the cases they receive beforehand and is well-versed in the language, terminologies, and problems regarding the supernatural. He is not as talented in sensing spiritual afflictions; however, at the same time, George is equally capable of holding his own during an encounter. Despite being a genius in his field, George feels left out by the duo, who get to tackle the lion’s share of the action while he has to castle books around himself. The insecurity he suffers from—feeling inferior to his friends—makes it an easy opportunity for Joplin to manipulate him, also with the fact George feels confident in sharing his knowledge with someone as learned as himself. Later, Lucy’s assurance calms his agonized self, and he learns to unwind.
The young British occult-investigating trio exploring the murky depths of dungeons, mansions, and graveyards bring the adventures of Ghostbusters across the sea, and their bonding-bickering is bound to remind viewers of the best bits of another fan-favorite teen trio of British origin – “Harry Potter.” The lead actors do a great job of capturing the individuality of the characters they were assigned to portray. It’ll be really interesting to see more of the backstory of Lockwood and George once the next season is released.
Expectations From Season Two
The first season of the series has put enough questions scattered throughout the narrative, some of which will be answered in the next season. Going by the progression of the timeline, the first question is obviously the origin of “the problem,” which led to the supernatural plague and deaths of millions. What exactly happened with Norrie, and can she be reverted to normalcy? Lucy felt Norrie’s presence in tackling Annabel Ward’s ghost, but the reason was not specified. The role of the prestigious Fittes family also seems significant, as their rise began in conjunction with supernatural occurrences; therefore, Penelope Fittes’ involvement with dangerous cases and her ulterior motives might provide a direction to the history of the entirety of the situation. The bone glass of the Bickerstaff case hinted at a sight of the unknown beyond – we wish season two reflected on that. We don’t know what happened with the skull in the jar after the sight of bone glass, and Lucy acting slightly sympathetic toward it might suggest a bigger role in the next season. Lastly, the season ends with unraveling the mystery of closed doors; season two will definitely expand upon that, connecting the past of Anthony Lockwood along with it.