Shadowhunters Review: What Makes Us Better?

(Freeform/John Medland)

Shadowhunters gave us a lot to think about this week.

It’s easy to get lost in the moral gray area between television and reality.

When we’re watching TV, we might cheer for the villain—or the antihero—and it’s often easier to support their redemption than a real life murderer.

Other times, we want to see the villain beaten down—or straight up killed—and we call this justice.

Because they definitely had it coming…and it’s fine to have this attitude because it’s fiction and no living person is being harmed, right?

“To the Night Children” rolled out a counter argument that’s hard to ignore: if the heroes kill the villain, are they really any better?

Welcome to the gray area; it’s murky here.

(Freeform/John Medland)

I’ve hated everything about the Heidi storyline from Day 1.

There’s no real explanation for the how’s and why’s and everyone’s motivation is questionable at best and a huge stretch at worst.

Last week, Heidi manipulated the vampires into killing the wolves. This week, she tried to manipulate the Shadowhunters, too.

She tortured Simon’s family. She nearly killed Nora. She started trouble between Alec and Izzy.

I cheered when Maia baited her into biting her so she would ingest the holy water. It was brilliant to see Maia get her revenge and beat Heidi at her own game.

But then Simon—someone who has all the reason in the world to hate Heidi—scored his valid points. Is it justice to be judge, jury, and executioner?


(Freeform/John Medland)

Just as it was not justice for Izzy to decide to banish Raphael rather than turn him in for his crimes.

This is the flipside of the same coin. Raphael was offered compassion—and I cheered that at the time, too—but Alec was right.

Heidi might not be a sympathetic victim now that she’s been murdering and manipulating everyone, but would she be this awful if Raphael hadn’t experimented on her?

We don’t know. But it wasn’t Izzy’s choice to make.

Now, there’s a third argument we as viewers can make: The Clave is corrupt AF and who knows what’s going to happen to Raphael and the other prisoners in their custody.

(But that’s probably a story for another episode—like the barely mentioned chip Izzy discovered in the dead Shadowhunter).

(Freeform/John Medland)

The Jace/Clary/Jonathan story seems like it should fall into a morally gray area as well since it was another big part of the hour.

Aline wants to see the man who killed her cousin (the real Sebastian) brought to justice. Even if it means killing Clary in order to kill Jonathan.

Jace, understandably, has a problem with that. And he helped bring Aline around to his way of thinking.

And clearly that’s what we all want—for Clary to live and Jonathan to be defeated—but Aline might have a point.

Not that Clary needs to die; nor should she be locked up, but maybe Jace and Clary shouldn’t be the ones in charge of making those decisions.

It’s like they learned nothing from Jace’s time as the owl. Their love for each other and desire to put the other one first blinds them.

Romantic, sure, but maybe it’s not the best thing for the world as a whole.

(Freeform/John Medland)

Speaking of irrationality: WTF is up with Luke and his bad decisions?

First and foremost: he’s a detective. He knows damn well that room is bugged and yet he still sat there talking about vamps and wolves and cover-ups.

Come on, Luke. You’re better than that.

And I know he feels guilty about his pack dying because he chose Clary over them. But isn’t choosing to abandon Clary now an even worse decision?

If his logic is they died because of him, how is his choosing to go to prison honoring them? If Clary dies or, goes evil and starts killing everybody, isn’t that a bigger disservice to the pack?

Then they truly died for nothing.

(Freeform/John Medland)

On a lighter note, how cute was it when Alec realized Magnus was jealous? For the first time ever?

(Go ahead and admit it—you smiled through that whole scene and cursed the interruption).

Between the awkwardness at breakfast and Magnus’ interactions with the Shadowhunter whose name I still don’t know, we were once again living in a Malec romantic comedy.

(And I love it).

The best part came at the end of the hour when Alec, who once again dominated in his role as leader (forever proud of him), realized he couldn’t break the rules.

(A+ for not being a hypocrite).

Magnus understood and was ready to find his own place—except Alec wanted to come, too. Because there’s no law that the Head of the Institute has to live at the Institute.

(Heart eyes).

Naturally, the show ruined the moment when Magnus began to have another seizure.

Seriously, is this his father? Is it Lorenzo? Is it something else? I need answers, people.

And Magnus needs to get better ASAP so Malec can get back to the business of being in love—and searching for closet space in NYC.

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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