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‘Shadowhunters’ Review: Stormy Skies and Scattered Stories

(Freeform/John Medland)

Valentine reached a new low on Shadowhunters when he kept an angel as a hostage.

That same angel has been communicating with Clary through telepathic screaming. That’s how she’s able to draw new runes.

Confused? Me too.

“How Are Thou Fallen” was a messy episode. A lot of big stories happened at once, and none of them received the justice they deserved.

Starting with the angel, we learned of his existence when Luke’s sister, Cleophas, attempted to rejoin Valentine’s Circle. He wanted proof of her loyalty so she pretended he was the one who attacked the citadel. She headed to Brooklyn to get sympathy from her brother.

(Freeform/John Medland)

Luke wasn’t buying it. I can’t blame him for that considering she disowned him when he became a wolf. Clary wanted to believe in her, but Cleophas slipped up and called her “Clarissa”, something only Valentine does.

I love that the show is writing Clary as a smart woman, who can put the pieces together on her own without someone (read: a man) explaining every detail to her. Book Clary was more reckless than clever.

Of course this Clary can be reckless, too. She made the decision to cut Luke out (by tasering him), and rush into danger with Cleophas. But it’s hard to fault her for that when she went into BAMF mode and showed off her Shadowhunter training. Watching Clary and Jace fight together was awesome.

But it still felt like we’re rushing through the mythology. I don’t think the show needs to follow the books to the letter. I don’t mind mixing and matching and moving things up—it adds intrigue and makes the story its own.

I just wish they’d do more than throw mythology at us in giant bursts of information, and then move on to the next thing. We’re still absorbing the power of the soul sword from last week’s conversation, and now we have the mystery of what the angel showed Jace and Clary.

Then, there’s Izzy’s drug addiction. She’s lashing out at her friends, lying to her family, and putting herself in danger to get a fix. Classic signs of an addict, yes, but it’s hard to invest in the story when most of her scenes were with no-name guest stars.

I assume the point is to show that the people closest to her are too involved in their own lives to notice that she’s falling apart. Izzy’s always the strong one, the one who comes to everyone else’s rescue.

But all I keep wondering is why Aldertree did this to her in the first place. What does he want? What does he gain? Is he in league with Valentine, too? I’m all for Izzy having more screen time. I just hope this story starts to play out on a bigger level rather than as a subplot of a subplot.

(Freeform/John Medland)

On the romance front, Simon attempted to impress Maia by letting Jace give him romance advice. These scenes were comedy gold. I’ve missed the Jace/Simon interactions over the past few episodes, and watching Jace teach him to act more like him made up for their scene drought.

I’m still not on board with Simon and Clary happening. For one thing, I don’t buy Clary having an interest in Simon just because she’s distracted by his abs. More importantly, Maia is amazing and awesome and wonderful and Simon needs to wake up and realize that.

Finally, we have to talk about Alec and Magnus. Not only are they the best love story on the show, they’re one of the best love stories happening on any TV show. And like the mythology and Izzy, they’re not getting enough screen time.

(Freeform/John Medland)

I know how ensemble shows work. Stories need to balance. And I appreciate the writers trying to give everyone a little screen time each week rather than alternating stories. But I still think there could be better balance so we’re not missing big moments.

Although, I’m not convinced Alec and Magnus had sex once the door shut. I’m hoping next week will pick up where this one left off. The writers (and the actors) have done an amazing job showing what a big deal this is for Alec. And even with his newfound confidence (which I love), he might not be as ready as he thinks he is.

That being said, how amazing was it when he gave Magnus a gift? And then Magnus told Maia he couldn’t remember the last time someone had done that? My heart, you guys. I love these glimpses into Magnus’ vulnerability. Alec may be inexperienced, but he’s generous and loyal, and knows how to treat someone who matters to him.

Heart eyes forever.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.