‘Shadowhunters’ 3×06 Review: ‘A Window Into An Empty Room’
BY BEATA (Guest Contributor)
Up until this point, I have been strangely happy with Shadowhunters season 3. So happy, in fact, that I’ve started to wonder if the show is actually getting better, or if I’m just getting used to it. Was last week’s episode actually good? Or did I just no longer have the energy to care about any of the plotholes and inconsistencies?
After this episode, I can confirm that it was definitely the former.
Because A Window Into An Empty Room was not good. It was confusing, even infuriating at times. It was full of storylines I didn’t care about. There were very strange decisions made. The dialogue was still awful. I don’t get how this show can do things so well then turn around and mess everything up in this way.
This episode just didn’t do it for me, for so many reasons. I really hope this is just a blip on the radar and the show gets better again.
This episode gave us more of this new character, Heidi, who is apparently Book Maureen but older and more attractive, because apparently everyone in this show has to be the same age, and ridiculously attractive, and possibly in a relationship with someone else on the show.
Anyways, while I didn’t find her character particularly compelling, I did enjoy her storyline in this episode. She’s clearly completely off the rails, but I get why Simon sympathizes with her and wants to help her adjust to life as a vampire. I also get that he feels guilty about turning someone and wants to prevent her from messing up like he did.
What I don’t quite understand is why it was necessary to bring Heidi in to the show. Maureen would have been much more compelling since Simon already knows her and would have felt even worse about what he did to her. It also would have been a lot harder for Simon to watch her lose control like this and turn evil.
Alternately, the show could have made her more like Book Maureen, going for the “young, innocent fangirl who’s really obsessed with Simon and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time” angle. Making her a kid would have made her much creepier and would have made it much harder for Simon to come to terms with what he did to her. But no, we had to make her a random girl Simon’s age who suddenly thinks she’s in love with him and is trying to destroy every girl she thinks of as her competition. I just don’t care for this storyline and don’t really see why the writers went down this path with her character when it seems like the least interesting one they could have taken.
MARYSE HAS BEEN DE-RUNED????
Just like that, Maryse has been stripped of her runes.
Am I the only one who is confused about how the show world differs from the book world in this respect?
First of all, I’m still annoyed that Maryse’s past offenses were enough to get her de-runed, which is supposed to be a very serious punishment that is reserved only for the very worst of the Nephilim. Maryse did some awful things in the past, but it still doesn’t make sense to me that she’s being punished so severely now.
Also, how is this “exile”? Why is Maryse allowed to be at the institute? Why is she allowed to be around her family? Is this not strictly forbidden? Do shadowhunters not have to cut all ties to the Nephilim world, including their own families, once they give up their status as shadowhunters?
If they’re breaking the rules, how is it so easy? Is nobody questioning this? Is nobody watching over the Lightwoods to make sure they don’t reconnect? And the most infuriating part: why is Alec suddenly okay with breaking the rules? Why is he so selective about which ones don’t matter and which ones cannot be broken under any circumstances? And how on earth is he still the head of the Institute with this attitude?
Have Jace and Clary not spent the entire season up to this point moaning about how Alec can’t be trusted to know the truth about Jace because, being the head of the Institute, he’ll certainly turn his parabatai and one of his best friends in to the Clave? But he doesn’t think twice about hanging out with his exiled mother and offering to let her stay at the institute, two actions that are, as far as I know, extremely illegal?
In truth, if I put aside my confusion about Nephilim laws, I am mildly interested in this storyline. This is the most I’ve ever cared about Maryse, and it is cool to see what it’s like for someone who’s been raised as a shadowhunter to suddenly have all that ripped away from them.
I also don’t care for this romance with Luke, at all, but I admit that might be my love for the books speaking.
Still. Please give us clearer worldbuilding! We need to understand the rules!
ALEC AND THAT BLONDE GUY WHO IS NOT MAGNUS
The Malec relationship drama has continued in this episode, and I still find it… kind of out of character for the show versions of Alec and Magnus? I think this storyline could have been done well, but it ended up being rushed and underdeveloped and now I’m just frustrated with these characters.
When this happened in the books, I was mostly upset with Alec, because of how far he took things. But now I find myself much more angry at Magnus for how he’s been handling the whole situation.
It’s true that there’s nothing Magnus can do about his immortality and Alec has to come to terms with that if they’re going to be in a relationship. It’s also true that Magnus is under no obligation to tell Alec everything about his past. But at the same time, Alec has every right to be upset about the roadblocks in place in this relationship, and it’s perfectly understandable that he would want to reconsider whether this is really what he wants for himself. He and Magnus are clearly getting very serious now, and that means it’s time for Alec to ask himself if he really wants to spend the rest of his life with someone who A) has been with many people before him, and will surely be with many other people after him, B) is really reluctant to open up about his past, and C) will never grow old and die.
I understand why Magnus would be hurt by Alec’s comments, and why he would want to fight for this relationship, but he’s supposed to be the mature, experienced person in this situation. He’s the one who has lived for hundreds of years. He’s the one who has been with a lot of people before this, and has surely had similar conversations with those people. Surely he understands by now why it’s hard for mortals to be in relationships with immortals. There’s fighting for your relationship, and then there’s completely dismissing the other person’s concerns.
Anyways, it looks like there’s lots of angst in store for Magnus and Alec. There’s clearly something going on between Alec and the blonde shadowhunter whose name I don’t actually know (does anyone know his name? Have they even said it on the show yet?). It sucks, and I don’t really like that guy, but I guess this is what needs to happen. Alec needs some space to think about his relationship, and Magnus needs to decide if he’s willing to open up to Alec a bit more, maybe share a bit more of his past than he was initially willing to share.
Eventually, they will get back together, and they will be so much stronger for it.
But in the meantime, get ready for some angst.
Once again, I really did not care for the one storyline that involved the Big Bad and actually advanced the overall arc of this season.
Did anything interesting even happen in regards to this storyline, aside from Clary finding out that Jace is the Owl? Aside from that, it was just Jace acting weird and not in love with Clary, and Clary trying to figure out the reason.
This storyline is so boring and it’s being dragged out for way longer than necessary. Either make this interesting, or tie it in to the other storylines that are happening this season. Or just, I don’t know, cut to the chase and resurrect Sebastian already so that we can get an actual compelling villain.
Maybe there’s some potential for character development here, but it’s not being realized. I didn’t feel like we got a very good look into Jace’s feelings when he was first being possessed, and he doesn’t seem at all like himself right now. The anti-love potion removes a lot of the conflict we see in him in City of Lost Souls, so it feels like Jace has been fully possessed and not just changed slightly like he was in the books.
Also, like I’ve said before, Lilith is boring and one-dimensional. I’ve seen her type so many times before and they’re never interesting. Give us a better villain already, please.
PLEASE LEAVE THE INFERNAL DEVICES ALONE OKAY
This is what I mean when I talk about Shadowhunters’ confusing way of trying to cater to book fans without actually including that much book content.
Let’s be clear about this: there was no reason for Shadowhunters to bring in brother Zachariah, unless they intended it to be a nod to The Infernal Devices.
As far as I know, they have no intention of making an Infernal Devices TV show. So what is the point of bringing Brother Zachariah in so that he can look mysterious and say a few cryptic things about the Herondales, then say that his life’s story is “a story for another day,” implying that that story is going to be told at some point?
I can think of two answers to this question.
A) Shadowhunters is trying to make a nod to the Shadowhunter books, which is strange considering how much effort the show has clearly put into distancing itself from its source material. From what I understand, most show fans don’t care about the books, and most book fans would rather The Infernal Devices be left out of this show.
B) Shadowhunters is planning on bringing Brother Zachariah back in future episodes, and possibly giving him a completely different storyline than the one he had. They’re already completely changed Yin Fen, and mentioned Zachariah in relation to it, so his backstory has already been changed dramatically. His character isn’t nearly as interesting if you don’t know the full story, and if they wanted to tell that story, they would have to make a TID show. So are they changing his story? This one makes sense, but I still don’t understand why they’re calling him Brother Zachariah if he’s going to turn into a completely different character unless, once again, they’re trying to draw in book fans.
Honestly, I’d be much happier with this show if it would just do its own thing and stop constantly reminding me of the books I liked much better.
If you’re going to bring in book content, do it properly. And actually deliver on the book content instead of just teasing it. If you have no intention of doing either, maybe just drop it and do your own thing.
THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE SENSE, A LIST
- Why is everyone so obsessed with Isabelle’s new boyfriend? And why are we still pretending this is a thing that can actually happen?
- Maryse being so calm about finding a mundane job. She might be pretending but… don’t Shadowhunters look down on mundanes? And haven’t they spent their whole lives training for one job?
- The fact that basically everyone in the entire shadow world is hanging out at the same bar at the same time. I get that there aren’t many bars in the downworld, but it’s a little convenient.
- Also, do shadowhunters really go out this often? They don’t seem like the type.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Was that Simon singing in the background in the first scene? Again, I’m still waiting on that album.
- I still love Simon’s relationship with Jordan.
- “I’ll bring you back a doggie bag” Simon… I love you.
- I liked all the Sizzy scenes. I hope the show does justice to this couple eventually.
- I don’t know how much of it was the acting and how much was the script, but I found all of Clary’s scenes to be incredibly cringe-worthy.
Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on Freeform.
Well, Brother Zachariah is in the final 3 books, so it makes perfect sense for him to show up, and Will, also mentioned in the books, is Jace’s ancestor. Yep, Heidi had Simon’s music playing in the background in the first scene.
I know that there more perspectives and opinions about this show than about many others, mainly because of the depth of the book fan base. But, as a huge book fan, I can’t see why someone would ‘rather leave Infernal Devices out of it’. It brings me a huge smile to see a little reference here and there – the continuity and touch-points between the different series books are part of what makes them so enjoyable. A person who has only seen the show wouldn’t pick up on those little tidbits. A little bit about a potion to make someone fall out of love… It made me think of Will. A quick little glimpse of Jem, and a story for another ‘time’ – it was fun! For one vote anyway, I hope that they continue with those little Easter eggs.
I must say I enjoyed the latest episode and all the episodes this season so far. Sure there are little things I would change to be more similar to the books, but over all I can’t complain. This season has been light years better than previous seasons in terms of storylines making sense and being more like the books. I actually liked seeing Jem/Brother Zachariah in this week’s episode. I love the character and his love for his parabatai-Will. I thought it was cute when Clary kept repeating what she was hearing – Jem knowing Jace’s ancester and obviously being willing to do anything for Jace because of his connection to Will. I know Brother Zachariah does not belong in this series at this point anyway, but I still really liked being able to put a face to this beloved character especially since there has not been any talk for a long time about making TID into a tv show or movie. I might never have got to see him and now maybe I will even get to see him again.
I too don’t like where it looks like they are going with Alec and “the blonde guy”’s new friendship. If Alec cheats on Magnus, I will be so disappointed. It’s too soon for Alec and Magnus to break up isn’t it? And please don’t let it be that they broke up because one of them cheated. I am looking forward to seeing what they plan to do about Jace being the Owl and to them figuring out the mysterious woman is actually Lilith. I’m worried about how the whole meet up of Mayaand Jordon is going to be handled. Poor Simon he is going to lose another love and realize he has been lied to by Jordan/Kyle yet again. I hope there is going to be a review for episode 5 because I would sure like to read it if there is one. Thanks.
Review for episode 5: https://tmisource.com/2018/04/22/shadowhunters-3×05-review-stronger-than-heaven/ 🙂