WARNING: If you haven’t seen the episode yet and don’t want any spoilers, don’t read this review. I’m going into details
TIME TO REVIEW SHADOWHUNTERS AGAIN! I really enjoyed doing this last year, as it made me love and analyse the show more. Plus it made me remember the previous episodes more which helped because usefully I have a terrible memory. Only a week has passed and I’m already like ‘who’s that’ ‘what’s that’ ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING’.
ANYWAY. The premiere was a solid start to what seems like a really good season. The first season only got better and better in my opinion and it looks like season 2 will continue that pattern. From the beginning on it already seemed that Dom’s acting only improved. So did Kat’s, but I feel like Dom had more opportunity to shine in this episode. I really liked the way he portrayed Jace’s hurt and omg can we just get him away from Valentine already? I mean just this one day is enough to mess him up. I really hope the writers and Dom will get the consequences of what Jace is going through right. So far I’m really impressed with his acting, especially compared to early last season. The way his eyes shifted when Valentine tells him Jocelyn left him was just really good.
Let’s talk about a few changes they made now that they have a bigger budget! I’m really happy with the new seraph blades (though sad to let the lightsaber jokes go) and runes. They’re small things but it just looks so much better. AND THAT OPENING. I had already seen it, but to see it during the episode itself made it even better. And no more weird slow motion effects bless. Look, I won’t criticise the special effects because honestly, I don’t really care that much and while their budget is bigger now, it still probably isn’t that big. As long as the effects make sense I won’t complain. The slow motion effects last season just didn’t, since sometimes they were used and sometimes they weren’t. And the vamps had a different slow motion effect that made them look really really slow instead of fast? It was weird so I’m glad to see them go.
‘Clary’ actually being Valentine didn’t surprise me at all, since I guessed that that would happen ever since we saw the first trailer and Jace threatens (what probably is the real) Clary and tells her he’s sick of her mindgames. So yeah, maybe the promotion team shouldn’t have added that scene lol. I wonder how often Valentine is going to use this trick. Right now it won’t surprise me if Jace will be leaning towards Valentine’s side, as Valentine is manipulating him through and through. He told him Jocelyn left him to die and then Jocelyn tries to kill him. To make things worse Valentine took the arrow for him. Also taking him to those vampires? Valentine knows exactly what he’s doing (and while I hate it I also love it because I love calculating, manipulative villains like this. AND ALAN VAN SPRANG). Anway, it won’t surprise me if Jace will be very conflicted on which side he should be on (also Valentine’s speech on how one blood of demon blood means you’re evil and you can’t control your urges? That’s going to mess him up badly) but in the trailer we saw him threaten who he thought was Valentine. So I’m really interested in seeing how things will play out.
Also when Valentine is like ‘it made you stronger’ when Jace tells him how much he screwed up, it really reminded me of the ‘you fucked up a perfectly good … is what you did. Look at it. It’s got anxiety’ meme.
What did bother me about these scenes was the flashback Valentine showing Jace of him experimenting on unborn Jace. Isn’t he supposed to look younger? I watched the flashbacks of episode 6 again and the experiments can’t have happened that much later that Valentine looks that old. I mean, after the Uprising Jocelyn ran away with the Cup, and they all looked really young then. I get that the actor they used last season may not have been available, but this was just Alan in a wig.
I’m also interested in seeing Clary and Jocelyn’s relationship. I’m still so happy that the show has chosen to show the adults and their relationship with the younger ones. Clary has all the right reasons to be upset with her mom, but Jocelyn isn’t wrong in wanting to protect her daughter as well. I mean, she thinks Jace is Valentine Junior and watched him break the Accords and then save Valentine. Can you blame her? Really interested in seeing how this will play out. And I hope we’ll get more Jocelyn and Luke soon! I pretty much melted when Luke refused to leave the Institute because he wanted to stay by Jocelyn’s side. They love each other so much and they have such a healthy relationship.
I’m really conflicted on Victor Aldertree. I absolutely LOVE the actor (did anyone see his Tuesday Takeover on Instagram? What a babe) but I’m not sure yet about Victor. I don’t blame him at all for not trusting Jace; he looks incredibly suspicious. And Jocelyn is not only Valentine’s ex-wife, she was an active member of The Circle and pretty much his second in command. So yeah, can’t blame him for that. But it looks like he doesn’t care much for Downworlders either. He has no sympathy for Simon when he says it’s almost dawn and he has nowhere to go. Also time to bring back my weekly appreciation for Alberto’s acting because he sounded so small and scared my poor son. AND HIS FACE WHEN THE WEREWOLVES KICK HIM OUT. WHY YOU DO THIS.
Speaking of good acting: Matthew! He captured Alec’s worry for Jace and the Parabatai bond so well. The hurt in everyone’s eyes in the first scene when Alec lets it out on them though. They’re such small things but it’s done so well. And we got so many great Malec scenes in which Alec knows he shouldn’t let it out on Magnus and apologises and they actually frickin’ communicate and just ajbfshgd. I love the Shadowhunters writers so much for writing them so well and for writing them as a healthy relationship. And Magnus pointing out that Alec shouldn’t have said that he ‘did so much for him’ because not marrying Lydia and coming out, that was all for him just carry me to my grave already will you. The way Matthew and Harry deliver these lines and look at each other and just act with each other. You can carry me off now.
I also really missed Clary and Simon’s friendship. They’re so cute together and so comfortable with each other. Also can you believe Simon cockblocked himself – iconic
- So glad to see my bae Lydia again I swear if she dies
- SO MANY ICONIC LINES ‘The Clave being unhelpful? Who’s shocked? Show of hands?’ ‘Get off my docks’ ‘I’m a vampire I’m running slow for you’ ‘First rule of Shadowhunting: don’t give anyone your phone or stele’
- Lydia and Izzy being smart and working together in the beginning of the episode hell yeah
- When Clary, Jocelyn and Luke are having a serious conversation and Simon just goes very cheerfully ‘hey guys!’
- Clary and Izzy silently communicating and Izzy comforting Clary and them training together seriously where is my grave I love these gals so much and their relationship
- ‘Encanto‘ Simon where did you learn that oh my god. Is that even a real thing?? I headcanon that Rafael thought him that just to mess with him
- Also when he went to sleep he put his arms like a vampire what a nerd
- ALEC CALLING MARYSE OUT ON HER BULLSHIT
- I aspire to be as dramatic as Magnus. When Alec asks him to stop his magic training thing and he just dramatically throws it backwards and hits the lamp so Extra™
How did you feel about this episode? Let me know in the comments!