‘Shadowhunters’ Review: Memory Manipulation

(Freeform/John Medland)

Let’s all take a moment to collect our jaws from the floor after that massive Shadowhunters reveal, shall we?

Not the part about Sebastian being a fraud; we all saw that one coming a mile away from the moment he popped up to save Izzy.

(And then again when he started randomly burning himself and again when he had a prisoner, who turned out to be the real Sebastian, in his closet…)

(Freeform/Ian Watson)

It’s not even a little surprising that he’s Valentine’s true son. No, the shocking thing was what Jonathan Christopher looked like beneath his Sebastian glamour.

Basically, he looks like the literal monster he is. Frankly, it’s shocking Valentine didn’t fall down screaming on the spot.

In addition to the big reveal, “A Problem of Memory” also dealt with the fallout from the Seelie Court field trip, Magnus’ lingering demons, and things took an odd turn with Luke’s mysterious partner.

Starting with Simon and Clary, can we talk about how heartbreaking their scenes were? I feel terrible for Simon, but I feel awful for Clary, too. Because she never meant to hurt him and she doesn’t want to hurt him now. Of course we can argue that wanting to continue the relationship despite her feelings for Jace would have hurt him in the long run, but I don’t think Clary meant to do that, either.

(Freeform/John Medland)

She stuffed her feelings down when she thought Jace was her brother. Understandable. But stuffing them down did not erase them, as the Seelie Queen made clear to all involved. Props to Izzy for being a shoulder to cry on AND a voice of reason. I do not think Clary, or Simon, could have dealt with Jace’s two cents on the matter. Not at this point. While it was weird not to have Jace and Clary share a single scene, it was for the best (for now).

As for Simon, he turned to the vamps for a wild night, and ended up wanted for murder. Once again, he went to Raphael for help only for the leader of the clan to want something in return: the truth beyond Simon’s Daylighther-ness. And Simon being Simon kept it to himself even though it’s likely protecting Jace isn’t high on his priority list. But Simon’s the best so no one should be surprised he did the right thing.

(Freeform/John Medland)

Nor should anyone be surprised that he wasn’t the killer. Although, he did end up killing Quinn, the real killer, in self-defense. Afterward, he told Clary he would keep his promise and they could remain friends. But he needed time. Totally fair request, Simon. I do hope these two get their friendship back on track so they can put this relationship nonsense behind them (sorry, Team Clace forever).

Raphael did step in to help Luke with his partner problem. While he still doesn’t know that she’s suspicious of him, he did convince her not to mention the part where Simon escaped using his vampire tricks. And then Raphael compelled her to forget all about it. I watch a lot of vampire shows, but I was wondering if compulsion would ever become a thing on this one. Now the question: will it keep? Or will the partner (I should learn her name) continue to stalk Luke’s supernatural business?

(Freeform/John Medland)

After deciding to keep Luke’s secret, Alec found himself waking up alone in Magnus’ bed on multiple mornings. Magnus continued to be haunted by the images he saw under torture. Alec didn’t want to push, but he also didn’t want Magnus to suffer alone (their love is beautiful, you guys). So eventually he did push, and Magnus revealed the truth. After his mother’s suicide, he used his magic to kill his stepfather.

Truthfully, the guy had it coming. He was being cruel to Magnus and blaming him for his mother’s death. He was just a kid! And sure, as Magnus told Alec, he did have control over his magic, but I stand by my statement. The stepfather seemed awful (side note: real life violence is never okay—be nice to each other). Magnus and Alec remain stronger than ever, and Magnus arrived at the Institute to help transport Valentine to the Clave.

(Freeform/Ian Watson)

I love that Izzy is super strong and in charge again. It’s good to have her back to her awesome self. She let Jace de-rune Valentine of his circle, which led to Valentine trying to get into his non-son’s head over his love for Clary. He keeps insisting that it’s going to be his downfall. Wrong. It’s going to be his strength (clearly Valentine’s never watched Once Upon A Time).

Before he managed to kidnap his father, not-Sebastian had a close call with real Sebastian’s cousin. It turns out the real version is the straight-laced, follow the rules type; not the kind of person who would get addicted to drugs and run away from home. Not-Sebastian forced real Sebastian to give him the goods on Aline. He did, and then he escaped. Unfortunately, not-Sebastian (is it time to start calling him Jonathan?) found him, and killed him.

He also killed the guard who helped with Valentine’s escape. And most likely that poor guy’s family, too. But Aline was able to leave, none the wiser, at least for now. Perhaps we’ll see her again. Now, back to that ending: where do we go from here?

Will Valentine team up with his son? Or will he freak out over his less than ideal physical (and mental) state? How long will it take everyone else to put the pieces together? Things seem to be moving pretty fast…

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.

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