Netflix’s ‘Lockwood and Co’ is a supernatural drama that is set in a world infested with ghosts. Here, hauntings are not like the things of stories told to children at night. In fact, there is a curfew in place that prohibits people from getting out and about after sundown. In this world, Lucy Carlyle operates as a ghost hunter with her team, which includes two boys, Lockwood and George. To establish a reputation for their newly made enterprise, they don’t hesitate to take on cases that not only test their skill and training but also their powers. There is a lot that is yet to be unveiled about ghosts, but the show remains rather vague about what really brought about all this. How did this happen? What is the Problem that everyone keeps referring to? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
What is the Problem?
The true origins of the Problem, the term used for the epidemic of ghosts, remain unknown to the general populace. While everyone knows how the world works now, they don’t know why this all happened in the first place. All they know is that fifty years ago, there was no such thing as ghosts. Or at least, it wasn’t common knowledge. Even if ghosts existed, they kept to themselves and rarely made contact with humans, so much so that many people didn’t even believe in their existence. But then, something changed.
No one knows what happened and how, but suddenly ghosts were everywhere, and they were deadly. The mere touch of a ghost would mean instant death. If not that, then one could get ghost-locked and spend the rest of their life in a coma, declared brain dead. This sudden emergence of ghosts led to a lot of deaths, as no one knew how to fight or stop the ghosts. Before it could be figured out, the world had changed radically, with millions dead and the economy down the drain. This called for a new world order, and that’s when ghost hunters started to pop up.
It was discovered that while adults couldn’t see ghosts, there were some kids who displayed a talent to sense them. These kids either had the gift of sight or touch or they were listeners. Marisa Fittes and Tom Rotwell became legends in the field by becoming the first people to remove a ghost by tracking down the source. They became pioneers in developing the methods of ghost-hunting and giving the world a much-needed handbook to fight ghosts. They also helped in the categorization of ghosts into Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3, with three being so rare that Marisa Fittes was the only known witness in the case. That is until Lucy Carlyle came along.
Fifty years on, people are still concocting theories about how the Problem started. One of Lucy’s friends, when she was in training, believed that the fact that Fittes and Rotwell magically appeared with a solution around the time when no one in the world had any idea what was going on is suspicious, to say the least. He insinuates that they had something to do with the origins of the Problem. The show further gives evidence, even if minuscule, towards this fact when Lockwood and Co end up discovering John Fairfax’s dark truth.
John Fairfax had explored many avenues in his life but the thing that he made the most profit from was Fairfax Iron. He made the chains used as protection against ghosts. Due to the nature of his business, he made a lot of money just when the world was going to hell. His wealth and reputation make him one of the most powerful men in the country. So, when he dies and the fact that he murdered Annabel Ward is about to come out, some mysterious people make all of it go away. It looks like they don’t want anyone looking into Fairfax and finding out more of his secrets.
There is a good possibility that Fittes, Rotwell, Fairfax, and a bunch of other people, who made a suspicious amount of money following the Problem, might have something to do with it. We also discover that the Skull, who is a Type 3 ghost had been at Fittes and Rotwell before George stole him. The Skull has a direct link to the occultist Edmund Bickerstaff who used the Bone Glass to create a window to another world. In fact, he even tried to make sources for visitors. It is possible that the likes of Fittes and Rotwell started looking into his work, and either intentionally or unintentionally ended up setting this evil loose on the world.
Read More: Who is the Skull in the Jar in Lockwood and Co? Theories