Shadowhunters: Racial Profiling 101

Please note: the following article may contain spoilers for those who haven’t seen the show or read the series.

Shadowhunters gets political.

Last week brought us the Freaky Friday version of Shadowhunters when Magnus and Valentine switched bodies.  It felt like a toss away episode with the redeeming feature that Valentine is out of the picture for the moment, and we got to see Alan Van Sprang play a victim versus the ever evil Chernobyl zombie leader.  (No, I won’t let that go.)

SH ALEC CHERNOBYL

This week we’re back on track with a mysterious cloaked figure trying to start a Downworld uprising.  Anyone else think the cloaked figure was Sebastian?  Where was he?  Don’t introduce adorable Will Tudor and then take him away from me!  I just want to curl up in his wool sweater with a cup of tea and …

Sorry.  Where were we?  Ah, yes, Shadowhunters gets political.  Cassandra Clare definitely touched on race relations, acceptance, and equality in her books, so this isn’t new to The Mortal Instruments world.  With tensions high in the U.S. thanks to a president who claims he despises hate but is trying to ban Muslims from countries with which he doesn’t have financial ties and wants to erect a wall to keep out immigrants, it’s no surprise Shadowhunters made their own statement.

There was no masking it either.  Religion.  Simon dropped the H-bomb when he brought up his relative’s bakery and how a simple act of putting a star in one’s window turned into stripped freedoms and death camps.  Race.  Maia directly addressed racial profiling when she mentioned she’s been stopped by police simply due to the fact that she’s black. And this episode aired the day after a 30-year-old black woman was shot by police officers in Seattle after she called them for help.  This is an issue that isn’t going to vanish.  It needs to be addressed.  A Freeform TV show won’t change the world, but at least it is bringing it to viewers’ attention.

I applaud both Clare and the Shadowhunters writers room for not shying away from this topic.  In the Shadowhunter‘s world the issue is Shadowhunters versus Downworlders, who the Shadowhunters view as lesser beings, evil with demon blood.  As Clary pointed out to Jace tonight, a few weeks ago everyone thought Jace had demon blood – so he would’ve been locked up with Simon and Maia.

Can we talk Maia for a minute?  Alisha Wainwright came into her own tonight.  Perhaps it was the writing.  Her character’s arc seemed to be a bit all over the place previously. But I did believe Maia and Simon had great chemistry and wished that relationship played out over more than an episode.  That being said, Alisha and Dominic were rockin’ it at the beginning.  Again, the writing was on track.  Fun jokes about royalty and free drinks and 3 names in one summer, but the actors had great chemistry on screen, so I wasn’t surprised when they went at it in the alley.  However, I was stressing because there was an entire bar of patrons in there.  The Hunter’s Moon has never been so crowded, and from what I can tell Maia is the only person tending bar there – ever.

Also, she had a really cool necklace.

One major issue I had with this episode is why in the world does Jace go to Maia about the tracking chips?  He should go to Luke.  He’s the pack leader.  That felt forced just to get Jace and Maia in a love/hate relationship.  But I’ll over look it.

sh luke crop dad

What I won’t overlook is the amount of beer Clary left on the table after she made eye contact with Jace and then said, “Let’s get out of here,” pulling Simon out of the bar.  Her glass was more that half full!  Someone paid good money for that ale.  The least you can do is chug it.

SH MAIA BEER

JACE BEER 2

 

SH JACE FART

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.On Twitter follow Chris @ACCooksonWriter and Rebecca @DownWorldNovel.

Like our Facebook page Novel2Screen for more updates on your favorite novel-to-screen adaptations, including weekly recaps of The Handmaid’s Tale and Shadowhunters and interviews!  

Or just follow this blog.

Photos courtesy of Freeform

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