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‘Shadowhunters’ 3×04 Review: ‘Thy Soul Instructed’

BY BEATA (Guest Contributor)

Shadowhunters season 3 has gotten off to a decent start so far. It’s far from perfect, but at this point the show knows what it is, and the episodes have been enjoyable, if a bit ridiculous. It’s one of those shows that’s fun as long as you can turn off your brain while you’re watching it. And maybe have a few drinks beforehand. That helps too.

I don’t know exactly what it was about Thy Soul Instructed, but it didn’t quite do it for me. It kind of felt like a filler episode. It set up a few new storylines and continued with a few others, but I didn’t feel like there was anything particularly exciting going on. Mostly, the show was setting up some storylines that will supposedly pan out in the next few episodes.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a decent episode. It just wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. And my expectations are already pretty low when it comes to this show.



I’ll admit that I was a bit dismissive of this whole “Owl” storyline in my last review. In my defense, I didn’t really care about the Owl, and I assumed it was someone impersonating Jace because, well, this is Shadowhunters. Why wouldn’t it be someone impersonating another character?


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Forgive me for not trusting the writers of this show.

Now that it has been revealed that Jace is, in fact, the Owl, it makes a lot of sense. Jace’s possession storyline is advancing a little bit faster than expected, but it works for Shadowhunters.

I still found myself cringing a lot at Jace’s love for Clary being the only thing that can stop the demon possession, because as I explained in my last review, I really don’t see the chemistry between those two right now and it definitely feels too early for them to talk about being that in love. Again, I know it’s in line with the books, but the show has not taken their relationship in the same direction the books did, and it seems very weird that they’re suddenly trying to get us to believe that Clary and Jace’s relationship in Shadowhunters is exactly like it was in City of Fallen Angels. It’s not.

Still, I’m interested to see what this does for Jace’s character. We saw a lot of Angsty Jace in this episode, and I’m glad we’re at least getting him even though we’re not getting to see Snarky Jace.



And now we get to my favourite part of this episode.

Surprise: it’s the part with Alberto Rosende in it.

Yes, Simon’s quest to find a new place to live finally began, after he was kicked out of the Jade Wolf for being a vampire, and for having the Mark of Cain. Mostly for being a vampire.

I am amused that Simon actually thinks he can afford his own apartment anywhere, let alone in New York.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Jordan right now, but I think I like him. He has a nice dynamic with Simon and I’m excited to see that play out in future episodes. I am slightly wary about how his storyline with Maia is going to be handled because I don’t exactly trust this show to do it properly, but that’s something we don’t need to think about just yet.

The one thing I wish we could have seen more of in regards to Simon is his loneliness, and the utter hopelessness he feels in the face of the task of being a vampire. Yes, he can walk in the sunlight, but that doesn’t change the fact that his mother has kicked him out, he can’t figure out how to manage his new blood-only diet, and most of his relationships are a complete mess. The Mark of Cain makes you an outcast, and when Simon moves in with Jordan, he’s supposed to be at a really bad place in his life. That’s what the Praetor Lupus does for people. At this moment, I’m not sure enough airtime is being dedicated to Simon’s journey.

Simon seems to have everything mostly figured out at this moment, and I find it makes this storyline a lot less compelling.



What is there left to say about Malec? Shadowhunters has opted to do away with the drama and instead portray a healthy, supportive relationship.

I’ve said before that sometimes this show does right by Malec, and sometimes it really doesn’t, but this episode was an example of it doing things right. Would I like to see this couple get more screen time and a more significant storyline than the ones they’ve been given so far? Absolutely. Do I think that – *gasp* – it’s possible to do that without bringing in unnecessary drama or splitting up the couple? Definitely. But for now, I also appreciate that they’re doing so well.

I wanted to give Alec a huge hug all throughout this episode. The poor guy knows something is up with Jace, and he’s worried sick about his parabatai but he feels so helpless because he doesn’t know how to help.

I’m honestly offended on Alec’s behalf that Jace thinks he would turn his parabatai in to the Clave. I don’t care what Alec’s position is; family always comes first, and parabatai comes before everyone else. Shadowhunters are expected to be fiercely loyal to their parabatai. It shouldn’t ever even cross Alec’s mind to throw Jace under the bus, and Jace should be able to trust Alec at all costs. I don’t understand why Shadowhunters is continuing with this storyline when it just doesn’t work with these characters. You can have Jace and Clary be embarrassed about what happened with Raziel, but making them afraid to tell their closest friends, including someone who is bound by law to protect Jace at all costs, when Jace is clearly in serious danger, seems quite weird to me.




I’m not entirely sure why Raphael’s storyline was thrown into this episode. It probably should have been added to an earlier episode so that it could actually be properly fleshed out, because in this one it seemed to have been added in at the last minute.

This Heidi girl seems a lot like Maureen from the books: she was just Turned, and now she’s gone completely off the rails. She also seems slightly obsessed with Simon.

In this episode, she helped us see how shady Raphael really is. Apparently, he has been doing experiments on vampires to try to figure out how to become a daylighter, specifically because he wanted to have a normal life.

I thought his reasoning for these horrible experiments made sense, and gave us a good idea of who he is as a person. I also think Isabelle was perfectly justified in wanting him to leave the city forever.

However, I really hope Raphael doesn’t actually leave, because he’s one of my favourite characters on this show.



  1. The fact that Lilith still feels the need to tell her life’s story to everyone she meets.
  2. Jace not trusting Alec.
  3. The fact that Jace apparently didn’t believe Jonathan was dead until Clary told him.
  4. Heidi being able to just take bags of blood without anyone asking questions. I’m not very familiar with the American health care system, but that seems fake?
  5. Clary caring about that random guy who’s been texting Isabelle, and pushing her to go out with him.
  6. Isabelle thinking she knew Raphael so well, but being shocked that he would do something like this. He’s a pretty shady character.
  7. Magnus not being suspicious of Lilith. You’d think he’d be able to at least recognize that she’s a demon.



  • Again, the real world connections in the vampire/werewolf rivalry are very obvious, and very good. Maia and Luke’s conversation at the beginning of this episode was pretty relevant.
  • I’m annoyed that Clary kept pestering Isabelle about the random mundane she met at the club, but I do like what Izzy said about relationships. It’s cool that her relationship with Raphael made her realize that she wants more than sex.
  • I still can’t bring myself to care about Lilith. Just… resurrect Jonathan already, okay?
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Luke being in on this whole thing with Jordan. But whatever.
  • I do appreciate that Luke cares so much about Simon.

Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on Freeform.

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

4 Comments on ‘Shadowhunters’ 3×04 Review: ‘Thy Soul Instructed’

  1. Great review Alyssa! I started watching Shadowhunters after reading the books and honestly, I was finished with it within the first half an hour. I absolutely adored the books but I couldn’t handle the plot and character changes the show made. I have a friend that is forever telling me the storyline of the show and now that she’s reading the books and she is beginning to see the obvious plot changes. I think it is one of those shows that can only be watched before reading the books or the story is wasted? I also adore Malec and anything with them in it I must read but I don’t know if I could suffer through the show just to get another version of their story. Do you think I should watch it? I have been questioning it for a while. Great review!

    • Warlock Bane // April 17, 2018 at 11:51 PM // Reply

      Although I am not Alyssa, I have read your comment. And, in all honesty, it’s up to you as to whether or not you want to watch the show. I honestly enjoy both the books and the show because, when I watch the show, I separate it from the books so that I can enjoy it and see actors who are actually really great at playing the characters as close as possible to Cassie’s books given the material they are handed. That being said, of course the books are always going to be better and amazing, but if you don’t compare and have an open mind, the show is pretty great in its own way.


      • Thank you WB. I had a feeling that would be the case. I guess part of me feels I might forget the storyline of the books if I watch it? I don’t know. Maybe I will give the TV show another try.

  2. Yes this is a brilliant review! I personally, love the books to death, and all the Shadowhunter books (tid,tda,tmi etc.) but I’ve always disliked what the show does to the characters? I think jace and clary have no chemistry at all, and jace lacks all of his actual personality, isabelle Is partnered with so many different guys it’s ridiculous, I mean, she kisses less people in the books than clary does anyway? I don’t know why they killed off clarys mother and why clary suddenly forgot ab her after 1 episode after her death. Climon was dragged on for way too long and I think a lot of the characters they’ve added that haven’t been apart of the books is just over complicating the plot. I do enjoy malec in the show, though I don’t feel it’s an accurate adaptation from the books. However, I think Luke,jocelyn,maryse and magnus all look like their characters and were featured quite well. And while I understand they can’t get everything right, I think the show could be improved dramatically and does have the potential to.

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