BY BEATA (Guest Contributor)
I’m not ready to give up on Shadowhunters. I probably never will, to be honest. I mean, I sat through all of season 1 and did not for one second lose hope that it would one day blossom into a decent TV show. That said… these last few episodes have been tough.
I wrote a few weeks back about how the show is a bit of a rollercoaster, in the sense that it continuously gets your hopes up and then lets you down again. We’re in one of those downward slopes right now, and though I don’t doubt that Shadowhunters will manage to pick itself back up again, it’s been hard to watch such mediocre episodes from a show that has proven before that it can do way better than this.
Here’s the thing: I enjoyed season 1. I know I made fun of it, I know I complained louder than just about anyone in this fandom, but it was fun. I liked laughing at it and reviewing it, I recommended it to plenty of people as a lighthearted, enjoyable binge-watch. No, that’s not the show I wanted for this book series, nor the show the producers seemed to think it was, but it was something. I think what’s bothering me the most about these last few episodes is that they’ve been boring. A few times, the writers have managed to pique my interest and keep me entertained, but lately I haven’t been interested in the show at all. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just mediocre.
I’ve seen a lot of improvement in many areas this season. Some episodes have left me positively giddy, they were so good and so full of potential. But now that I know what Shadowhunters can be, I’m so disheartened every time the writers fall back into the same patterns I thought they’d left behind.
CLIMON IS STILL A THING
I think I like where Clary and Simon’s relationship is going. It’s awkward, and weird, and kind of cute at times but mostly weird. That’s how it’s supposed to work, and I’m glad it’s happening even though I don’t ship them long-term. Simon and Clary will always work best as friends, and this dating thing will only strengthen that relationship. I’m also glad they can wrap up this whole “Simon is in love with Clary” storyline because it went on way too long and I’m ready for them to move on.
I also thought Jace’s reaction to the pairing was very true to his character. Even though he was kind of pushing the two of them together a few episodes ago, now that he has to see them as a couple he’s both jealous and disgusted at his own jealousy. I thought Dom Sherwood portrayed that really well.
SOME SORT OF LOVE GEOMETRY
I’m still not sure what’s happening with Isabelle, and I’m still not a huge fan of it. I wish we could get a little bit more focus on her feelings regarding the Yin Fen, and her struggle with drug addiction, because I think it’s a really interesting topic for the show to explore and one that could potentially lead to a lot of character development for Izzy. She always struck me as the kind of person who would be really upset about losing control and feeling weak in that way, so the fact that’s she’s immediately decided to hook up with Raphael and give in to the drug confuses me a bit.
I can understand Isabelle wanting to do everything on her own and immediately find solutions for her problem, but I feel like there’s a step missing there. If someone got Book Izzy hooked on a drug, she would immediately kick their ass and try to wean herself off it before looking for more. In general, I think there are a lot of paths Shadowhunters could have taken with this storyline, and they chose the least interesting one.
Finally, I don’t know where Raphael’s sudden feelings for Isabelle came from, but I sure hope he was lying or under the effects of her blood, because there was definitely no buildup for it. I’m generally not a fan of all the Raphael/Aldertree/Meliorn stuff that went on.
Maybe it was because I wasn’t paying enough attention to the episode, but I had a lot of trouble understanding Maia’s storyline. This whole episode felt very disjointed, with plots seemingly thrown in at random and with no regard for continuity, but Maia’s in particular felt very out of place.
I felt like that was very much a symptom of an A plot being turned into a C or even D plot. Maia feeling abandoned by Luke and wanting to protect her pack by killing Clary is something that I could have understood if it had been developed properly, but because there was no lead up to it and no significant screen time dedicated to Maia’s journey, I was very confused when it happened.
That’s one of the biggest recurring issues I have with Shadowhunters. Too many underdeveloped side plots that should be main plots.
VALENTINE AND MADZIE
Okay, can anyone explain to me why Valentine was casually wandering around talking to his children? Anyone? Please? No?
Where did that come from? Why are the characters constantly looking for Valentine, and then not taking advantage of all those times he randomly decides to pop up and say hi? This show’s plot and world building is so selective, it’s driving me nuts.
Also, doesn’t Valentine have some sort of agenda for these kids? Why is he just waiting for them to comply? I’m sure he has plenty of ways of forcing them to join him, between all his downworlder experiments.
I did enjoy the plot with Madzie, though. The girl is an interesting character and Clary’s near-death made for some pretty good moments.
THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE SENSE, A LIST
- Jace asking Clary and Simon what they’re doing in the canoe. I thought it was pretty obvious.
- Iris almost killing Clary when she was specifically instructed not to hurt her in the last episode.
- Why is Aldertree asking Isabelle out?
- Clary saying she learned her fighting skills at camp. Wait, THAT’S where she learned to fight? Why didn’t she mention it before?
- HOW is the Clave possibly so incompetent that they can’t find Valentine when their kids don’t seem to have any trouble?
- I refuse to believe that not one of these kids’ missions have warranted help from the Clave. There have been a lot of them.
- Actually, how are our main characters still allowed at the Institute? We’ve heard about all the punishments they face for minor infractions.
- Maia going against Luke to kill Clary. Werewolves don’t go against their pack leaders. Nope.
- The fact that the first person they come across happens to have Madzie’s scarf.
- Valentine just casually talking to Jace at a restaurant.
- How did they find Valentine in the first place? Was it the scarf? In that case…
- Why didn’t Valentine take precautions to keep Madzie from being tracked via scarf?
- Valentine actually believing that Jace would kill Clary. Oh come on.
- How did all the downworlders know what the Soul Sword did when the Shadowhunters didn’t?
- How did Meliorn know about Malec?
- The shadowhunters all listening to Alec’s orders and getting ready to go on the mission. Are they all robots that do as the main characters command? I wouldn’t be surprised.
- Are we just going to pretend Alec has leverage over Aldertree when he’s committed way more punishable offences?
- Alec talking back to the head of the Institute. I thought that was grounds for de-runing.
OTHER THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- The lines were so bad in this episode. Like, so bad. The worst I’ve seen in awhile.
- If I wasn’t so lazy I’d revive the “worst quotes of the episode” section for this week only.
- The scene where Jace walked in no Clary and Simon in the canoe and got hit by an article of clothing was pretty great.
- I hate everything about this Aldertree/Isabelle stuff. Ew ew ew get away from her.
- I legit forgot that Simon couldn’t go into the sunlight. That’s how little attention Shadowhunters has paid to that effect of his transformation.
- I almost went back to previous episodes to see if he had been in sunlight before, because I was sure he had. There just hasn’t been a conscious effort to emphasise the fact that he can’t go outside during the day.
- I laugh at every Falcon reference. Just… no.
- I kind of wish Alec had found out about Izzy’s addiction from Isabelle, not Magnus.
- Wrangel Island reference!
Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm on Freeform.