‘Shadowhunters’ Review: Behind These Owl Eyes

(Freeform/John Medland)

Shadowhunters continued its rapid descent into convoluted territory with “What Lies Beneath.”

To be fair, the show’s always been on the messy side. Stories are rarely linear. Plots are dropped for multiple episodes and then picked up again without giving the audience any reminder as to why we should care about that particular beat.

Basically, we knew what we signed up for and we love it anyway. Or we tolerate it because we love Malec. Either way, we’re all still here to witness whatever crazy the show throws our way.

The reveal of Jace behind the owl glamour fell somewhere between “duh, of course it’s him” and “are you freaking kidding me with this nonsense?” (Side note: the latter describes the feeling I had while reading books four and five so the reaction feels right on schedule for me).

(Freeform/John Medland)

What’s frustrating is Jace spelled out the why for Clary early in the episode when she reminded him that Jonathan was dead. Jace responded with, “So was I until you brought me back.” That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

The universe needs balance. The light side (Jace’s return) comes with a price on the dark side (Jonathan’s return). Whether or not the angel knew it would happen or Lilith’s magic hijacked Clary’s wish is irrelevant. What’s done is done and now the question becomes what the Shadowhunters are going to do about it.

Specifically, how long will it take them to figure out the truth? Clary and Izzy know it’s not Jonathan behind the glamour since Izzy hit him with her whip. And Clary definitely felt a spark of something when she came face to mask with him. Alec’s been largely excluded from this plot, but he’ll probably get pulled in at some point with a reminder that he knew Jace and Clary were lying about the angel.

In the meantime, Jace is helping Lilith kill Mundanes. And while we know it’s not really Jace because he’s connected to Jonathan and possessed or whatever, it’s still another season of Jace doing dark things so eventually he’ll have to come to terms with it and sulk and push Clary away and lather, rinse, repeat.

(Freeform/John Medland)

Elsewhere, Magnus and Alec continued starring in their own romantic comedy (aka the highlight of the show again). This week’s hijinks included making dinner for Alec’s mom (with a touch of magically infused ingredients) and Maryse more or less welcoming Magnus to the family when she thanked him for loving her boy.

(Let’s take a moment to pause for squealing because the adorableness is so perfect it hurts).

We’ve all watched enough TV and movies and consumed enough books to know that domestic bliss cannot last for fictional characters. But I hope the show continues to let Magnus and Alec exist in their couple cocoon until it’s absolutely necessary to add angst. Their scenes are a joy to watch in an otherwise bleak show.

Well, to be fair, Simon and Maia are also a shining example of what’s good in the couples’ department.

(Freeform/John Medland)

As Simon struggled to get answers and was blocked at every turn by grieving vampires and closed realms, Maia stuck by his side. She also wisely pointed out that Simon’s only hurting people who are trying to hurt him.

Like Jace’s storyline, Simon’s mark is a book plot twisted slightly for TV. And the differences between the two make me question where this story is going. The mark is for protection, which seems like a nice gesture from the Seelie Queen, right?

Except why would she do anything nice for Simon? The one thing we know about the Seelie Queen above all else is that she does what’s best for herself and her people. So Simon, the only Daylighter currently in existence (as far as we know), must be of value to her alive for some reason.

And that seems dangerous for Simon’s health.

Top it off with Luke reluctantly forcing him to leave the werewolf home base, Raphael’s refusal to give him the time of day, and the Shadowhunters’ distraction due to an influx of murder, and Simon’s week is starting to look almost as bad as Jace’s.

(Thank goodness he has Maia).

Miscellaneous Musings

-Raphael’s scenes with his sister who didn’t remember him broke my heart. I don’t blame him for lashing out at Simon. As much as I love Simon, he should have listened to what Raphael was saying or at the very least noticed the vampire was in pain.

-I’m still not sure if we’re supposed to be rooting for Raphael and Izzy. They’re problematic as hell, but most characters are on a supernatural show, right? Whatever. I love that she came to his side and offered to attend Rosa’s funeral. Izzy is the best.

-Does anyone know what’s going on with the vampire (Heidi) that Raphael was keeping tranquilized? She said she wanted to meet her sire. Do we know who that is? Do we know who she is? This is one of those stories that make me feel like I should know what’s going on, but I have no clue.

-Izzy’s doctor friend returned. Again, he showed up while the Shadowhunters were working a case. Obviously he can’t be trusted. Or he’s a nice guy and he will end up dead because he gets caught up in the Shadow World. But we know Izzy isn’t going to find happiness any time soon (unfortunately).

-I take back what I said about Ollie having more potential now that she’s in the know. She’s still annoying. Should we take bets on how long it takes before her partner is murdered? Or kidnapped? The anvils were falling way too fast to end in anything other than disaster.

-Werewolves, other than Luke and Maia, continue to suck. None of the Downworlders are super great about being inclusive, but the pack is by far the worst.

-Alec’s overprotective reaction to his mother being stripped of her runes was the best. I’m curious whether this will lead to a separate plot or if the point was just to have Maryse bond with Magnus.

-Speaking of, was anyone surprised Maryse was the one who organized the circle rebellion and made all the plans? Of course she was. BAMF is a family trait.

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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