So I’ll start this off by apologizing to all you guys because I told you that I would be recapping ‘Shadowhunters’ starting this season. Unfortunately for me, I really, REALLY suck at summarizing anything. My summaries tend to be mini novels they are so long. The recap was frustrating and stressing me out and it was just taking way too long for me to finish. So, I just had to throw in the towel and call it quits. So instead of the promised recap, I will give you guys an overall review of every episode of ‘Shadowhunters’. And to appease the people who came here for the recap, I will be posting a link to a very good recap at the end of this review.
Before we start, I want to give you guys a few warnings here so we can further avoid any unnecessary drama! First of all, I am not Clary Fray fan in the slightest. Although I do ship Clary and Isabelle together, I am not at all blind or quick to excuse Clary’s many flaws as a character. I’m also not a huge fan of Clary and Jace’s romantic relationship, and I despise the current love triangle between Simon, Clary, and Jace. So don’t be surprised if I say more than a few disparaging comments on that triangle or Clary and Jace’s romantic relationship, or even Clary Fray herself.
I also believe in calling out characters when they fuck up, even though they might be my favorite characters. So if you can’t handle me talking shit about your favorite characters or ships, you need to use the back button right now. Again, I’m open to civil debate, but I will not tolerate any trolling in the comments. So you guys have now been warned!
Now with that out of the way, I want to start off this review as always with talking about the good things that happened in this episode.
Trigger warnings: Discussion of a rape of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Also warnings for mentions of domestic abuse.
Screencaps used in this post are courtesy of Screencapped.net
What I Love about This Episode
First of all, the aesthetics of not only this entire episode but the season as well is gorgeous to look at. Due to their minuscule budget last season, everything looked really cheap and not all well done. As much as I love the show, from the set designs to the special effects were downright awful. I know that I’m not the only person who watched the show who cut the producers and the cast and crew a hell of a lot of slack because we all knew that the cast and crew were doing the best they could with they had.
Fortunately, this year FreeForm TV decided to not only renew them for a second season but the network upgraded ‘Shadowhunters’ in both status and in its budget as well. For example, the seraph swords no longer look like glorified glow sticks. The seraph swords actually look like real angelic swords this season! Also, I don’t think it really talked about a lot but for a lot of the transitions throughout the show, we get to how the mundane view a building or object, and then we get to see how it really looks like. Which, I think it’s a nice effort on the writer’s part to further integrate their audience into the show’s world.
We also got to see the full Institute for the first time, last season we only got to see bits and pieces of how the Institute looked. This season we got to see the entire building. Also, a lot of the old sets from last season were expanded. And speaking of the show’s aesthetics, a lot of the characters looks so much better this season than they did last season. Kat (Clary Fray) for example, no longer looks like she has an orange wig on her head. Kat McNamara looks so much better this season, and are acting so on point throughout the entire episode. Her acting has improved so much, and despite the fact that I still have many issues with Kat’s character Clary; I’m just so proud of how much Kat has improved and actress in the last year.
Also, Magnus look this season is everything that I wanted last season and more! Despite it being a little more than ridiculous that Magnus would suddenly grow a mustache and some muscles in the span of four hours that had passed in the timeline between this episode and last season’s finale. Harry Shum Jr. looks fantastic and I knew that I wasn’t the only one who drooled during the tai chi scene.
I also really loved the scenes with Jace (Dominic Sherwood) and Valentine ( Alan Van Sprang). I think for me personally, those scenes were the most emotional scenes to watch the entire episode. I have to give a nod to Sherwood for his fantastic acting. Jace was beaten and tortured, and he had his mind messed with by Valentine over and over again throughout this episode. And I just couldn’t help but feel sympathy for him. I just wanted to for a moment, especially when it was revealed that Valentine experimented on Jace while he was still in the womb, to just go into the television and just hold him and protect him. This was a big change for me, who really at the best of times just barely tolerate Jace.