So… I fell behind. Can you guess why? Obviously, for those who haven’t caught on, I am very much unimpressed with this show as a whole. I literally have no excuse for missing a week of watching/reviewing other than I just really wasn’t looking forward to another episode. It’s unfortunate, too, because I have always tried to keep my hopes high that the show would improve. It has improved to an extent, but it’s also not the most exciting show I have to watch right now.
Jace and Clary went on a mission (unsupervised) to Idris and almost died trying to find Valentine because Clary started hallucinating after drinking some of the water from Lake Lyn. Izzy saved the day, but either way they got to the cottage too late and Valentine and Sebastian were already gone. On top of this, Clary finds out that her brother, Jonathan Christopher, is still alive. However, she has no idea that he has been disguised as Sebastian this whole time… yet.
Episode 17: A Dark Reflection
Clary is havign Lake Lyn nightmares so naturally a shirtless jace has to run in and comfort her. She soon realizes that they can use her mother’s box of JC’s keepsakes to track him. But when she opens the box, it’s empty.
Valentine is still holding onto hope that Clary will accept him as a father and live happily ever after with himself and JC.
Luke’s Iron Sister sister comes back for a brief and confusing appearance in this episode. I know she’s helping Valentine and all that, but her existence is a pretty unimportant to the overall plot. She’s not the only one like that. Remember glasses girl at the institute? She had one line and is now no where in sight? Why introduce a character at all if they aren’t essential to at least one plot line? It’s just another sloppy element of this show. We, as viewers or many a great television program and readers of Cassie’s complex books, are looking at every detail and expecting it to be important at some point. The show writers, on the other hand, are just haphazardly throwing things in and then forgetting about them,
I’m starting to agree with people who say Malec is the only reason they still care enough to watch the show. I like them, I’ve just never favored them over the main plot… Until now. They are the only things that make sense most of the time when everything else seems all jumbled up. However, Magnus’ individual story line is a bit jumbled up for me sometimes.
Oof Maia is the one friend zoning Simon now. Harsh. Does this mean Jordan is going to come back into the picture eventually? it seemed like she was the one initiating the whole date vibe before so it’s pretty mean of her to shoot simon down now.
The whole mark-on-the-arm thing is so lame to me. I complain about this a lot but this show cannot draw out a problem. “Oh, we need to find the Mortal Mirror now? Let’s make that happen in one hour or less so that the problem is solved right away. We’ll put a mark on the arm of the one person who knows the Mirror’s location, but then we’ll kill him off because he doesn’t matter and then make Dot the confidant because we have to make her useful since she still isn’t dead.” I imagine that’s a little like what happened while the script was being written for this episode. It’s sad really that the show has no complexities that last more than one episode.
Will Tudor’s Sebastian is definitely one of the best sociopaths out there. I mean I know it’s all acting anyways because this is a TV show but at least Will Tudor is doing a good job with the role. If anything, he might be the reason I watch because while everyone else comes across as a lame excuse for their characters most of the time, Will is really selling Sebastian for me.
Wait a sec WHAT. The big bad mortal mirror is a little compact mirror that can fit in a purse or a pocket? Please tell me this is a decoy. My exact thoughts when Dot pulled a compact mirror out from the statue in the park. I was about to be real mad if they made the mirror that simple. But either way Clary figures out that the real Mortal Mirror is Lake Lyn in about one second flat after the compact is destroyed, but I’m getting ahead of myself because that’s in the next episode.
This episode ends with an obvious set up for Sebastian to kill Max. So, on to the next one I guess.
Episode Grade: it just dragged on and on and on for no reason… so C-
Episode 18: Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen
Alright so cliffhanger ended quickly for me because I watched these two episodes back-to-back. I assumed Max was dead right away, because that would be on par with the books. But I know by now not to trust these writers to follow the book plot and keep certain people alive and kill off others. Maybe I should make a running tally of who should/shouldn’t have died.
Shouldn’t have died: Jocelyn Fray, Brother Zachariah
Should have died but is still alive: Dot, Max
Comment below if I’m missing anyone because I probably am.
As an example of a complicated character introduction, Bartholomew “Bat” Velasquez arrives. He’s scratched by Russel (a new character), which is interesting because in the books, Bat was already a wolf who had a complicated relationship with Maia. I’m hoping the Bat story line goes somewhere useful and isn’t pointless like most of the show’s other side plots. As of right now, it really only gave an opportunity to explain Maia’s back story with her ex boyfriend, Jordan, and how she was turned. I’m glad they explained this in the show, but does this mean that they are planning to introduce Jordan before this season ends?
I liked seeing Sebastian squirm and panic in this episode. They have him figured out in the sense that they know he has infiltrated the institute. It just takes a while for Clary to realize that Sebastian is actually her evil brother and then try to stop him, unsuccessfully of course.
As I stated above, Magnus’ plot in this episode confused me a bit. I get that he’s torn after he and Luke visited the Seelie Queen early in the episode. Magnus doesn’t want to join forces with the fae if it means being placed directly against Alec, but the placement of the flashbacks confused me at first. Once I caught on, I could kind of figure out which scenes were flashbacks and which were in the present, but it was just not as easy to understand as I would have hoped. This probably could have been avoided if the editing was more clever.
Side note: it seems a bit weird to me that they’re actually using the Jade Wolf as a real restaurant. So now Maia works there too? As well as at the Hunter’s Moon? That girl works hard for her education I guess, but why would bunch of wolves bother running a restaurant in their den? That’s a bit tricky considering a mundane cop brought her girlfriend there to eat. Like if mundanes sit down and eat there that’s definitely a safety hazard. In the books, no one actually eats there, they just answer take away calls occasionally to keep up the cover. The more I look things up and remember them, the more I think that the show runners just didn’t do thorough research when creating the show’s key components for the screen and their plots.
Lot’s of soul bearing in this episode. pretty intense stuff.
They’re doing some kind of scary operation on max that he has little chance of surviving. Are they going to throw more plot to the wind and take the easy way out YET AGAIN by making Max live and figuring to who JC is super-duper easy? Maybe. There’s still 20 minutes left of the episode so all the problems can soon be solved shortly if we keep following the usual pattern here.
I know they thought using slow motion on the scene where Sebastian gets the mirror was going to look all intense and cool, but it was just lame. I feel like I use that adjective way too much in these reviews but I don’t know how else to express it. It was pretty stupid of Jace to leave his post, and for a fake text. Though I’ll admit the fake text was a great idea on Sebastian’s part. I know Jace was an emotional wreck and all because Max is like a brother to him, but come on Jace of course something bad is going to happen if you leave the mirror! That’s why it was being guarded in the first place!
Oh dear Clary thinks she’s destroyed the Mortal mirror… *facepalm* obviously that puny thing wasn’t the actual mirror!
And the Mirror mystery is solved. Wow see? This is what I’m saying. We wrap up this episode with every single problem solved. We have Max safe and sound, and he had figured out that Sebastian was Jonathan Christopher’s disguise (although Clary figured it out on her own too so his revelation was pointless aside from causing a brief death scare). Clary has figured out the mirror mystery. Malec is still in love and happy. The only cliffhanger we have is that Sebastian got away, but without the little mirror thingy that wasn’t the real mirror anyways. Phew.
All in all, this was a standard Shadowhunters episode in which a problem is introduced and solved right away with as much convenience as possible. It’s honestly like these characters don’t even have to do anything. Things just turn out fine no matter what. Why can’t we get some real drama and have more organized plot lines that last longer than one episode? Is that really too much to ask? If anything, it should make writing easier! You can draw out one plot line and really get into the details instead of being sloppy, which is how the show has been (and still is).
How do you think this season will be wrapped up over the next too weeks? Sunshine and rainbows? Me too, anything is possible at this point. I hope this post wasn’t too ranty for you, but maybe you feel the same way I do. I am getting more and more cynical as the show progresses.
Episode Grade: C; not terrible, but still pretty bad
A very bitter Katie x
For the record: I do pretty much all of my fact-checking on the shadowhunters wiki.