‘Shadowhunters’ 1×08 Roundtable: Discussing ‘Bad Blood’
Every week we’re teaming up with fellow fansites and fans to share our thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the latest episode of Shadowhunters.
This week we’re talking about “Bad Blood,” including our thoughts on Simon’s vampire transformation, the introduction of Lydia Branwell, and that proposal.
What were your overall thoughts on “Bad Blood?”
TMI Source: Overall it had the potential to be an infuriating letdown – I’m looking at that forced Alec/Lydia engagement – but the only thing that saved it in my opinion was the focus on Simon’s transition into a vampire. It’s ironic that the storyline that I’ve been critical of for its rushed nature is the thing that actually made me like this episode the bit that I did. And the show owes that all to Alberto Rosende, who gave an inspired, emotional performance that was powerful and moving. But I also enjoyed how Clary was tied into that storyline with the decision she had to make and a beautiful, honest performance by Katherine McNamara. I finally felt like Shadowhunters was hitting its stride until the introduction of this Alec/Lydia storyline, which has the potential to serve as a setback for the show.
We So Nerdy: “Bad Blood” for me was enjoyable, especially since we are getting to the final arc of the season. Plus, many aspects of the book I enjoyed are now being presented. And as much as I like Clary’s story, it was nice getting more time with Simon and his family.
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.jsKatherine: Great! The dialogue was more authentic, chemistry was believable, and there’s far less exposition, thankfully. The rules of being a Shadowhunter storyline allowed for one of my favorite scenes thus far: Jace and Clary talking about the first rule of being a Mundane by Simon’s grave.
Fangirlish: Well, when I think about this episode I get angry. Like really angry. Because I feel like there was a dart board in the writing room and the writers were like “How can we do something that will piss everyone off?”. They landed on that engagement. I will tell you that Alberto Rosende once again gave a fantastic performance and I loved how raw Clary was having to make the decisions about her best friends life. It was a great performance on both their parts. However, just when I felt that the show was finding it’s way – this episode happened and unless there is something that fixes it really quick – it just feels like we are back at the pilot and it’s a clusterfuck.
Tell Tale TV: It was not the best episode, but definitely one of the better ones we’ve seen so far. It was a good mix of all the different characters and all the different storylines converging, as opposed to the separated storylines we’ve seen in the past few weeks with Simon struggling on his own. It also set up the show for some interesting developments, what with Simon’s new vamp status and all.
We saw Simon’s transformation into a vampire come full circle in this episode. What did you think of that graveyard scene and Alberto Rosende’s performance?
TMI Source: Like I said, this was the storyline that saved this episode for me. This was always a storyline that I yearned to see portrayed on screen because it was one of the key emotional parts of this series as it was a defining change for Simon in this series. So while I’ve always believed that they rushed into this storyline given that it happens later in the story, I have to admit I am content with how it was fully handled when it came to Simon dying and coming back to life as a vampire. It really drove home the emotional significance of the storyline, and Alberto Rosende’s performance was everything I wanted. While his resurrection moment might’ve had me terrified, it was the moment that came after when he came to and realized what he was that was emotionally powerful. Alberto delivered an inspired performance as he felt that he’d become a monster, someone that Clary should not be around. It was the first time in the series that I felt incredibly impacted emotionally by a storyline.
We So Nerdy: Once I knew that Simon’s transformation was going to come into play, I was ready for to see how they were going to make this happen. And I’ve been quite impressed with Rosende’s portrayal. The graveyard sequence hit me in the gut because you truly see Simon’s angst over becoming a vampire.
Katherine: Week to week Alberto keeps breaking my heart. Usually it’s because he’s so electric and genuine, but this week Alberto stripped himself down and was raw as can be. Simon’s no longer a Mundane, one of his defining features, and with that he feels like he’s truly lost himself. I felt every painful moment of the scene and it’s one of the best of the series so far.
Fangirlish: I hope Hollywood is watching. Alberto is magnificent – that boy is a star. He needs to ride that star all the way. He gave a performance that was moving, gripping and reminded me what I loved in the books – the undying friendship between Clary and Simon. It was SO SO good.
Tell Tale TV: By far the highlight of the episode. Alberto Rosende can run rings around the rest of the cast, in terms of acting skill. It was believable and legitimately moving.
Clary was faced with a difficult decision: let Simon die as a human or have him live as a vampire. What did you think of how Clary grappled with making the decision in the end?
TMI Source: One of the things I really enjoyed about this episode was that it made Clary a significant part of the decision as it did in the books. In City of Ashes, Clary was an important, emotional part of Simon’s resurrection and transformation because, as we saw, he’s essentially dead for most of the episode until that final graveyard scene. But I liked how the show honed in on the decision that Clary had to make for Simon. The way it was approached – how Clary saw both sides and how she initially wanted to choose for her and was then reminded by Luke to choose not her own selfish reasons but for Simon, it brought a sense of groundness to the decision. I mean obviously we don’t live in a world where vampires live among us (I mean, I don’t think we do), but in a supernatural world the most important thing you can do is try to make this world as realistic as possible, and that comes from introducing emotional aspects like Clary’s decision. It had the same weight that perhaps someone making a decision whether or not to leave a loved one on life support or let them pass. While we all knew what Clary was ultimately going to decide, it was nice to see her journey in making that decision.
We So Nerdy: I’ll be honest, I can’t recall the full details of Simon’s transformation in the book. Regardless, seeing Clary and Luke discuss what was happening to Simon in relation to how Luke became a werewolf was done quite well. Clary was under a lot of pressure to make the right decision for Simon, and due to her conversations with Luke and Raphael she was mentally prepared to deal with the consequences, no matter how it played out. Due to these interactions, the gravity of the decision wasn’t made light of, and I enjoyed watching how everything played out.
Katherine: Clary managed to both mourn Simon and remain hopeful that becoming a vampire would return her best friend to her. She remained vulnerable and logical in attempting to weigh out her options. Who’s to say if her decision was really to hers and Simon’s benefit, but no one can say that Clary didn’t struggle with this decision.
Fangirlish: I mean here’s the thing – I wouldn’t want to make that decision. No offense to my best friend, but I wouldn’t want them a vampire – so I would have to let go. But the way that they show explored the gravity of the situation – that was important and it also changed the name of the game. I felt like Kat’s performance was something everyone could relate to. But I loved how we got to see what she was going through, how she thought it out. I loved how we got to see Simon change. I enjoyed Alberto’s performance so much.
Tell Tale TV: I mean, her decision was purely selfish. That much was obvious. I can’t really blame her for making the selfish decision; she’d just lost her mother, discovered her father was an evil mastermind, and obviously couldn’t bear losing her best friend on top of it. It’s also clear that she felt really guilty and responsible for Simon’s death, so she chose to rectify that the only way she knew how—turning him into a vampire.
This episode introduced a new TV character to the story with Lydia Branwell. What are your thoughts on Lydia.
TMI Source: I mean other than the last name “Branwell,” she really doesn’t fit into this story at all. That’s my initial reaction. She’s been brought aboard as a way to progress a certain storyline (discussed below), and I feel like that will be her defining moment. And that’s a shame because from what we saw in this episode when Lydia opened up about the kind of person she is – how marriage isn’t about love, it’s about business, essentially – I feel like there’s a certain way her character could be explored without subjecting her to some hate from the fandom because of how she’s an antagonist to Malec. I just don’t know what direction they plan on taking her character other than this whole Alec storyline. And a character needs to be more than just a romantic foil otherwise they’re simply one-dimensional.
We So Nerdy: I don’t see the need for Lydia and I wish the showrunners would focus more on the existing characters vs. brining new ones into play (especially in the 8th episode of a 13 episode season) to supposedly add more layers to the plot. It’s unnecessary and most importantly (for me) it might interfere with the Malec ship.
Katherine: Another strong female character! Lydia is smart, witty, and understanding. You want to dislike her for stepping in with Alec, but you really can’t. Lydia is just trying to abide by the law and do what’s best for the sake of the Institute.
Fangirlish: I want to hate her, because I don’t understand her. And unfortunately for her character – she was written in to a story line that really makes me dislike her, through no fault of her own. I feel like when you add characters – they need to add substance. But unfortunately for Lydia – like Captain Vargas – it seems to be a filler character because someone wanted to follow what they deemed to be necessary to add angst to the show. I would have wanted to see her be strong, independent, and define her role more before their was the idea of marriage. Now I feel like she’s just a person there to add angst. And guys, if you wanted to add angst between Alec and Magnus – there was a road map in the books. Just saying.
Tell Tale TV: I like her! At first, she seemed like a stuck up, by-the-book, no-nonsense type but they gave her interesting layers pretty quickly through her chats with Alec and the backstory about her dead husband and her ambitions of running her own Institute.
One of the episode’s most shocking moments came when Alec proposed to Lydia. What do you think about this arranged marriage between Alec and Lydia?
TMI Source: How many ways can you say, “not a fan”? No bueno. No me gusta. Make it stop. Those pretty much cover the bases for me. I understand that there’s a certain level of personal drama that the producers want to introduce as a foil for Alec and Magnus – because let’s be honest, it’s the ups and downs that forge the strong connection between those epic couples. But essentially forcing a gay character to marry a straight character is still all kinds of wrong to me. Now, I don’t know if they’ll actually go through the wedding (my gut is telling me no, but my fear is still bracing for potential impact), but the whole storyline has just sort of soured a part of this show for me. Here’s hoping that the storyline is handled with as much grace as it can be and the show can find new obstacles to throw Alec and Magnus’ way that are organic in nature (also, there are some books out there with some already written. Just saying *wink*)
We So Nerdy: The moment Alec came to Lydia to discuss his plan, I knew he was going to propose. My eyeballs began the most EPIC of eye rolls and continued to do so throughout the scene. I can see why Alec would want to do anything necessary to help his family, but I didn’t want it to be a marriage of convenience. So I’m not happy, not happy at all.
Katherine: Alec lives and breathes his Lightwood name, so I believe that he’s doing it for the sake of his family’s legacy. Do I think it’ll stick longterm? No, definitely not, but in the meantime I’m not hating their business relationship.
Fangirlish: I’ve been staring at this question for 10 minutes, cause there is so much I want to say. So many things go through my head. I’m sorry, but this is case of really poor writing. I get it – on the road to any relationship there are ups and downs and we know that Malec is end game. I get it – introduce the love triangle, the third person and you automatically have those feelings of “will they or won’t they” and “is his sense of duty stronger than the love in his heart.” That being said – this whole storyline makes me want to vomit. There are other ways to make Malec more dramatic and this isn’t it. Do I think they will get married? No. But who knows with this show.
Tell Tale TV: It’s ridiculous. Alec is very obviously gay (and into both Jace and Magnus) so this is not at all a good plan. It was also strangely juxtaposed to Alec’s conversation with Magnus, where Magnus basically told him to follow his heart…which Alec then did the exact opposite of. It was weird because he seemed to be registering with/agreeing with what Magnus was saying, and then he went and did this and didn’t even look particularly pained or stressed about it….?
What are your thoughts on Valentine’s new look Forsaken?
TMI Source: They’re terrifying. It’s one thing to catch a glimpse of these Forsaken that have been mentioned in Cassie Clare’s books, but it’s another thing to get a look at Valentine’s sick creations that actually gave me a Walker (ala Walking Dead) on steroids vibe. But at the same time what Valentine has done once again shows just how intelligent he is. He may be a despicable human being, but he is one hell of a mind. He knew the only way to get inside the Institute was to infuse these humans with the one thing that would get them inside: Angel blood. And now that Valentine has accomplished that I find myself worried about how they can keep them out. But I’m sure they’ll find a way.
We So Nerdy: These zombie-like creatures weren’t all that interesting until they were able to waltz into the Institute due to the angel blood in them. Regardless, I’m just waiting for the day when Valentine will meet his foes face-to-face versus sending others in his place.
Katherine: Logistically they’re a nightmare. Valentine’s able to create an army of these new angel blooded Forsaken, then that would make his master plan super easy to execute. Visually, the new-look Forsaken look like part zombie, part caveman, which oddly works for me.
Fangirlish: I thought I was watching The Walking Dead.
Tell Tale TV: They’re definitely cool-looking! This show does a lot better with its baddies when they rely on good old fashioned hair and makeup based FX as opposed to computer FX (like that ridiculous memory-eating smoke monster… how embarrassing). I like the idea that Valentine is basically genetically engineering his own species, it’s interesting and very villainous.
What are your thoughts on Shadowhunters? Sound off in the comments!
I am not sure if it is really the best show so far. I am really not sure.
Some things were disturbing, like
1. “No downworlder can enter the institute” and then there is Magnus waltzing around? He is a warlock, and therefore a downworldler. That he possibly can enter the institute because of his paternal heritage is something that would strain the writing of the series too much. An I think it is just wrong and proof of the bad writing. They do not care about the Shadowworld and its rules. Not really.
2. Why are Magnus and Isabelle (of all people!) are doing the autopsy? Where the hell are the Silent Brothers? First we hear “The Shadowhunters have the best pathologists in the city.” and then there is only Magnus and Isabelle? And why would Magnus do such a thing. He is no minion of the Shadowhunters. He is high warlock of Brooklyn, for god’s sake. And in case someone says, because he wants to meet Alex. *Snort* He may like the boy but he is not desperate. Let him have some dignity.
Simon: Sure Alberto is doing very good. He is by far the best actor in the show, but he has also the best role. But the end ” I am a monsterrrr!” was a little bit too much. And I missed a little bit of the creepy athmosphere of the scene in the book and Simon’s attack on Clary in his rush for blood. The scene in the book was made also to bind the others closer together (Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Clary, Magnus and Raphael). Shame, opportunity passed.
The appearance of Camille at the scene was disputable. The Camille of the book is one of the oldest and strongest Vampires in the world, creepy, manipulative and intelligent. The character portraied in the show is everything else. Never would Camille let Clary punch her. And is she now overpowered by Raphael and the others? What’s with her now? The next dead character? Strange storyline.
Clary: No I don’t get her. Either Katherine plays her awfully or the writing/directing is so bad. I don’t get any feeling from her. For me she is a dumb, whining bitch, tumbling through the story depending on all people around her in order to accomplish anything. That’s definitely not the Clary we learned to appreciate and to love. Sorry, she does nothing for me. Bad Clary. (Just like Jace. He is always on the side of Clary, nothing to do as to be her lapdog? He should be one of the best Shadowhunter warriors with pride and confidence.)
Lydria Branwell: Not sure, what her part will be further in the show. I hope they don’t kill her, because she sure is an interesting character, even when she has no back-up story from the books. I am curious what’s the purpose of her character. I do like her – so far.
Marriage proposal: It is contrary to the discussion with Magnus before. I do not like it. No not at all. And I hope that is doesn’t come to it. Not sure what to make of it. Think it has nothing to do with homophobic tendencies or whatever. It is just a crap idea of the writer. But maybe…big MAYBE….hopefully they find a way to drive the drama further and use it as something important and actually nice – don’t know what, but a girl can hope 🙂
The forsaken: No furhter comment. Walking dead. No new idea here. They are OK, but I find them a little bit clumpsy, kind of mummy like. And funny, it took 5 werewolves to best one forsaken, but Alec and Hodge did it very unspectacularily, short and merciless. Hoped they would do better with the monsters and creatures in the show.