Protect Lydia Branwell 2k16 | Shadowhunters 1.08 Review

Before I start this review I want to thank all of you for the lovely messages on my wrap up yesterday. You are the sweetest ❤ I’m feeling a bit better today and since I want to keep up with my Shadowhunters reviews (I’m so proud that I have reviewed every episode so far. I really thought that I would’ve at least missed one by now haha) and I love doing them I decided to go for it.

SPOILER WARNING: As always this is a pretty detailed review

We start with a pretty dramatic scene between Clary and Jace: ‘oh my god what if I didn’t have the cup I would’ve been dead’

Clary please. We went over this last week. You had a lightsaber* in your bag. You didn’t need the cup. Then Izzy enters the scene, being badass as usual: ‘There’s nothing a Shadowhunter can’t do in heels’. Alec points out how dangerous it is to keep the cup with them, but Jace and Clary disagree. Clary promises that she’ll keep the cup save blabla. ‘You have her word’ Jace says. This is how I expected Alec to respond (also how I responded)

sassy alec

* I’ve decided to call seraph blades lightsabers from now on because 1) that’s what they look like to me 2) I automatically call them that anyway (I kid you not) 

They hide the cup at the same place where they hid the necklace (anyone with a stele can open that hidden compartment thing, is this really such a great hiding place? I have a bad feeling about this) and then ALARM! There’s something coming towards the institute so naturally they grab their lightsabers and go out to investigate


Sorry not sorry

When I look at this screenshot they also sort of look like weird wands or flashlights. Interesting

Anyway, it’s Raphael carrying a dead/not dead Simon and they take him to some sketchy basement in the institute. I mean


Anyway, let’s get a bit more serious and fangirl (that is very serious business okay?) over Raphael because damn he’s perfect. He’s annoyed, sassy, looks 100% done with everyone shit like 99% of the time and I love that he undermined Camille once again. Speaking of Camille (whose portrayal I absolutely adore as well) what exactly happened to her at the end? The vampires closed in on her and then Raphael said ‘it’s done’ but um. What is? Did I miss something while I was writing down my notes?

Unfortunately things need to get a little bit negative again. I have mixed feelings about Clary in this episode. One moment she’s crying, frustrated, angry with herself etc. and then the next she’s sitting in Simon’s living room, about to tell his mom that he’s ‘not going to come home’ and she isn’t very emotional? I am glad that at the end when she was about to bury Simon she was too emotional to do it; at least that felt realistic to me (also Raphael awkwardly standing next to her bless. I just rewatched that scene and he kind of pulls her away from the grave in a comforting way?? STOP PLAYING WITH MY EMOTIONS)

I wasn’t too sure about Jace telling the falcon story at this point (Clary’s ‘are you seriously telling me this story right now’ was me), but I’m sorry writers for doubting you. I actually get where you were going with it and actually I like it more than the moment he told it in the book as a ‘bedside story’ for Clary. Now the message ‘to love is to destroy’ really means something, as Clary loves Simon so much that she’ll bring him back as a vampire, and probably destroy him. Kudos to you writers.

Now time to talk about the woman that this post is named after: Lydia Branwell. When I first heard of her character last year I wasn’t sure how I felt about her. I’m always a bit wary of original characters in adaptations, but damn I love Lydia. Sadly I’ve already seen quite a bit of hate towards her, and that makes me incredibly sad. Guys, Malec is canon in the books and going to be canon in the show. Please don’t hate Lydia for ‘standing in the way’. She’s an amazing, strong female character. The way she caught that arrow was awesome. She seems like a caring person, the way she comforted Alec. She treated Luke, a downworlder, as an equal. She can’t wait to meet Magnus (also a downworlder) and basically fangirled. Most importantly: DID YOU SEE THAT BIG GOOFY SMILE WHEN SHE MENTIONS HER ANCESTOR HENRY BRANWELL AND MAGNUS AND HOW THEY INVENTED THE PORTAL AND HOW PROUD SHE IS. Please don’t hate on Lydia because of Malec. If you don’t like her as a character, that’s fine! But remember: Alec and Magnus haven’t known each other for that long and Alec wants to save his family. He is following his heart. He heard his parents worrying about him, Izzy, Max and Jace and wanted to help and protect them. It’s very in character for Alec. Also I can see Allydia blossom into a great friendship that I’m down for. They better not kill her off. I will find you writers *whisper* I will.


I love this change so much. BLESS YOU WRITERS BLESS YOU AND DID I MENTION BLESS YOU. And the fact that she figured out why the ‘Forsaken’ had angel blood and what was going to happen. Hell yeah. I just want to fly to America and hug the writers for this change like seriously.

Also did I mention how much I love it that Magnus is actually a main character? (I mean I love how we see a lot of characters on a regular basis in general). And that he’s not just there as Alec’s love interest. Lydia called him to help them out, because he’s the High Warlock of Brooklyn and incredibly powerful. Also he listened to Alec and gave him advice.

And Alec stumbling over his words when Lydia mentions Magnus. So in character. ‘Magnus is quite magical. He’s very good at magic.’

Simon was mostly ‘dead’ this episode, but oh my god once again: give this guy all the awards. And if we don’t get a second season, give him the lead in something. He’s too talented to waste. Why though, does he still look handsome covered in dirt and blood like that. Alberto what’s your secret

Other things:

  • MAX IS SUCH A CUTIE PIE HE MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS – so basically we’re screwed
  • Alec immediately jumped into action when Lydia walked in disguised as Valentine and protecting Max
  • That rune she uses to disguise herself though – is that a rune made up by Cassandra Clare or the show? I find it a bit annoying since it would be really convenient if Shadowhunters could disguise themselves like that. I mean Valentine or his men could easily disguise themselves and walk into the institute like that, so why don’t they? Especially now they know Clary has the cup (though Lydia’s entrance was badass)
  • I’m so happy that Izzy’s jealousy of Lydia had nothing to do with appearances but with how she caught the arrow. I was so annoyed when they implied she was jealous, because I’m so used to the media throwing women being jealous of each other at us all the time
  • Clary threw a great punch and I loved that little smile when she turned around. She was so proud of herself
  • Fun fact: before I saw the episode I already saw a gif of Alec proposing, but since I didn’t hear any intonation it looked like Alec was proposing to himself (‘will you marry me, Alec Lightwood?’) I mean if this were coming from Jace that would be 100% in character but this is Alec
  • Take note Alec Baewood haters: when you hurt our bae, Hodge will take care of you
  • Please stop with the speed effects it looked ridiculous when Simon and Raphael ran away
  • All the Lightwood family moments give me so many feels
  • The ‘Forsaken’ looks like a lovechild of a zombie and a troll (mainly because of the way they walk and that they carry a bat or something which I always associate with trolls for some reason?)

So what did you think of this episode? Have you noticed that my reviews are getting less and less negative?! (as in I give what I like to call constructive criticism wrapped up in a joke). The first half of the season was a bit of a mess (though that doesn’t mean there weren’t things that I didn’t love!), but I really hope were getting a second season


32 thoughts on “Protect Lydia Branwell 2k16 | Shadowhunters 1.08 Review

  1. Great review! I thought I just didn’t remember Lydia from the books so I’m kind of glad you clarified she’s a new addition (I was seriously doubting myself when he proposed because I *know* I would’ve remembered that). And yes, she must be protected at all costs, precious cinnamon roll!
    I can’t wait for the moment Alec and Lydia announce the news, can you image Magnus’ s reaction?? I will be personally offended if he doesn’t say something along the lines of ‘ I meant do me!’

    • Thanks! Haha if I hadn’t known about her being an original character beforehand I would probably really confused and wonder how I couldn’t remember her (and that proposal!) as well. Haha yes I really want a sassy reaction from Magnus, though I think he’ll also be understanding about it.

  2. Yet again this review definitely made me chuckle! I actually like Lydia’s character too and think she is great addition to the show… I totally agree with the point you made on people hating on Lydia because of Malec.. I think the proposal is a good idea, in fact, it may just spin Magnus into action to tell Alec how he feels maybe? OH I DEFINITELY AGREE THAT RAPHAEL IS ON POINT! I’m really looking forward to seeing the relationship that Raphael and Simon have because I really enjoyed seeing their interactions in the books! I also think this episode was very strong as it did stick to the books well especially seeing Simon being turned into a vampire was actually done so well! Another great review on Shadowhunters Michelle! Also I LOVED THAT YOU USED A ONCE UPON A TIME GIF!!!!

    • I’m so happy I made you laugh :D Yes exactly! Plus Malec barely appears in City of Bones, so they needed a plot line. And if that means bringing an amazing character plus possible friendships (I can also see her becoming great friends with Magnus. She hasn’t even met him yet but she already admires him) then I’m definitely down for it. Yesss Raphael and Simon’s relationship is always so fun to read, so I really can’t wait to see more of it in the show :D Thank you Nisha! Haha I couldn’t help but think of ‘I will always find you’ when I said that I would find the writers 😂

  3. About the rune that Lydia used to disguise herself – I am pretty sure that it was not Clare’s idea! Otherwise the whole point of Tessa’s power in The Infernal Devices would be pointless …
    And about the Forsaken – we decided that the reason they look like zombies is because Valentine’s base is in Chernobyl and that’s the aftereffect of the radiation hahaha but the fact that they are able to enter the Institute … uhm, it sort of makes a lot of things that happen in the books later on pointless as well …
    But I actually really loved Lydia! I think she’s a great addition and I hate all the comments that suggest she’s a spy for Valentine or the female version of Sebastian or nonesense like that. She is a Magnus fangirl – she has to be good! And I loved our Alec Baewood again. He’s the highlight of every episode.

    • Ah yes of course! That makes sense. I didn’t even think about that. Haha that’s a great theory! Yeah I love that Izzy figured out what’s going to happen, but if those Forsaken can just enter the Institute that’s really convenient.. And why did they only send one to the Institute? Now that I think about it, it doesn’t make much sense. Yeah I read those theories as well and I really don’t like them (especially Sebastian in disguise – I think people came up with that one because they don’t want Alec to marry a woman, because that would ‘make him hetero’ *eye roll*) If Lydia turns out to be a spy or dies I’m going to be devastated. Bless Alec Baewood, though he’s probably already been blessed look at him he’s an angel.

      • I don’t get why people are so upset about Lydia. She has a great connection to Henry and therefore TID. She had her heart broken, is tough and all about work. Alec is being smart and this wouldn’t even be a marriage for love. They are being politically schemers right there. But even if he somehow turned out to be bi, I wouldn’t even be mad, because Malec would still be endgame.

      • Exactly! I mean if they hated her because she’s a horrible character, I’d completely get that. But so far everyone I’ve seen hating on her, hated on her because of Malec which is just really sad. She’s an amazing character. And yes that connection to TID! I love how many references they make to TID. Besides how can anyone hate her after that big goofy grin when she was talking about Henry and Magnus?

      • Right? She seems really great and Alec also gets the attention he deserves from her. She appreciates his skills and looks and he doesn’t have to be Jace’s shadow all day long. I love how they made all the Lightwoods more important in the show than in the first books.

  4. i’m not go judging stuff when i’m invested emotionally like with the show, but i wanna say that i’ totally enjoying how much of Alec we saw in this episode, like seriously, i’m so happy … i agree with you about Magnus, he is so much more than just Alec’s love interest, it’s great. I loved loved LOVED Lydia, i hope she sticks around for a while, she seems such a sweetheart. Also, the Lightwoods are great and i regret nothing :p

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