Please note, the following article may contain spoilers for those not familiar with the books or haven’t watched the show.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think the writers of Shadowhunters were getting political. But tonight’s episode was written weeks, if not months, ago – long before the POTUS Donny tossed out the U.S. government’s system of checks and balances and decided to ban those he deemed unworthy from entering the country. Perhaps it is simply the nature of living in this moment in the United States, a time when you can’t get away from politics because it is no longer just news, it’s also comedy. It’s thrown at us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – all the place we use to check out from work during work. It’s on our screens. It’s in our streets, protesting peacefully chanting “This is what democracy looks like” as signs are raised for women’s equality, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, and understanding that just because we are different doesn’t mean we aren’t the same.
Tonight’s episode felt political because it was political. Izzy explains to Clary how dangerous the Clave is: “The Clave is quick to persecute anyone or anything they don’t understand.”
Later Clary rants: “[The Clave] and its stupid ban on Downworlders.”
Beginning to sound familiar? Persecution. Bans. And this is all from the “good guys.” The Shadowhunters’ ruling body. Let’s not forget that Valentine’s mission is to destroy all Downworlders.
But it isn’t the Shadowhunters writer room that predicted the future. It was Cassandra Clare who pulled from the past, primarily Hitler and his rise to power, to construct Valentine’s story – a man who believes he is above the law and holds convictions that those not like him should be wiped off the world.
Maybe I’ve been too engrossed in the debacle that’s become The White House and I’m reading into it. Fortunately, there was plenty in tonight’s episode that allowed me to escape reality.
Corruption from within seems to be Aldertree’s M.O. He supplied Isabelle with yin fen under the pretense that it will cure her, but an Iron Sister told her it will not heal her. And I swear he noticed Izzy’s shake when she entered his office early in the evening, then he uses her addiction to rope her into spying on Clary. Fortunately, she proves her loyalty when she denies knowing any new knowledge about Clary.
Malec fans were treated to an episode long date full of Alec’s potentially first drinks, pool, martinis, a kiss, and a discussion of numbers – proof how little dating experience Alec has. Seventeen. Ha! We all saw it coming from miles away, but it was still enjoyable to watch unfold.
And the start of Saint Magnus’s Home for Wayward Shadowhunters has begun with Jace showing up at the worst possible moment for Alec. Some parabatai. If you’re linked so deeply, you shouldn’t need a sock on the door to know when it is bad timing.
I wasn’t impressed by the Iron Sisters. They looked more like a group of women on a week detox retreat. Tossing in dated Matrix moves doesn’t make them “badass warriors” as Izzy described them. The show nailed the City of Bones, in my opinion. The Amadant Citadel didn’t have the impressive, edgy quality I remember from the books.
The most memorable scene for me tonight was Simon and Maia’s exchange in the van. After my less than favorable review of Alisha Wainwright’s performace a few reviews ago, I was surprised to have been taken by such a simple scene. Simon and Maia driving into the woods, sharing their most embarrassing Downworlder experiences. Maia: buck naked at college until she can find a band uniform. Simon: depleting the rodent population at the Lewis household. It was sweet to see them sharing a laugh without any high intensity Shadowhunters around needing to get their weapons glowing. It’s about time Simon had a true Downworld friend. But does anyone else think that Raphael is getting way too Stifler with Simon’s mom?
Watch Shadowhunters Monday nights at 8pm/7pm on Freeform, and join me each week for Shadowhunters recaps. Special thanks to TMI fan groups for their support, like The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Mortal Instruments Fangirl!, and Thank You Cassandra Clare on Facebook.
Or just follow this blog.
Photos courtesy of Freeform