Shadowhunters: season 1 recap (part 2) // Adaptation Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve wanted to talk about this TV show for such a long time, but it never felt right until now. If you don’t know, season 2 of the Shadowhunters AKA Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments TV show is premiering today, so II give you part 2 of my recap of the first season.

If you want to read my thoughts on episodes 1 to 6, you can find part 1 HERE.

If you love the TV show and can’t stand anything negative about it, it might be a good idea for you to not read this post. I’m not a proper TV show reviewer so these are just my honest thoughts and feelings on the show. I was very excited when the book series was given another opportunity to be adapted and I really want it to work.

WARNING: this post will contain spoilers of season 1 of the show and The Mortal Instruments (book) series by Cassandra Clare which I recommend you read if you have not.

Episode 7: almost Jace & the CLACE kiss

I really wished they didn’t include the “other 10%” scene in the books because it was done so out of context in the show and it’s such an iconic scene in the books. The slap’s there are some of the words but it just felt really out of place. But besides that little exchange, the most of scene was pretty funny.

I have rights.

This is Jace – that was a Jace line. Trust me, it was funny.

We then get to the scene where Simon is trying to figure out whether he’s turning into a vampire and is making lists. This was such a great scene and it felt so Simon. I keep saying but Alberto is doing a great job with Simon. On a sidenote, Clary is such a bad best friend in this episode and I get that she has problems of her own, but she’s constantly ignoring Simon when he asks her help, and it feels inconsistent with previous episodes where she’s completely worried and concerned about him.

Another great line from Simon when Clary asks if he’s okay on the phone:

I don’t know. I haven’t been kidnapped today.

Classic.

So now Izzy and Alec are at the precinct and the gang’s all ready to get the cup back with a brilliant plan and I think this might be one of my favourite scenes. Alec awkwardly flirting with the security (?) was so adorably hilarious. And then he flicks the security pass to Izzy and this part’s in slow mo, sort of cheesy but at the same time you’re like YES!

We get another of those potentially great scenes ruined by Jace’s dialogue where Clary’s like “what’s the unlock rune again?” and Jace just kicks it open. It’s epic and I was like Jace is back. But then he says;

Open sesame

Again with the unnecessary dialogue. Why writers?

Clary finally gets the Mortal Cup from the card and it didn’t feel as big of a plot point as it should. Then we get to a super weird scene where Clary stabs “Jace” who is actually a demon and I get it was supposed to be shocking and intense, but it just gets awkward (and inconsistent) as they stand in that position for almost 30 seconds before the demon bursts and disappears.

The Clace kiss.

Did not like. It was so anticlimactic and wrong and it felt random. I’m not upset because purely because it wasn’t in the greenhouse like the books. I don’t think there were enough moments in the show to build up this relationship and this scene is so meaningful in the book and ughhh. All or at least almost all the Clace scene in this show have been awkward and weird to me and I just don’t feel the chemistry between them so my reaction was like: oh what no stop. Show Clace just doesn’t feel there yet and the kiss made me uncomfortable. If you liked it, good for you. I didn’t.

The episode ends and it suggests that Simon finally dies. I feel so bad for him.

Episode 8: cop show & emotions

We finally get to meet this new character that the show has created: Lydia Branwell. I’m actually liking her so far. Her entry is pretty cool but apparently now in the show, shadowhunters have a rune that can glamour themselves to look like others. I feel massive plot holes sinking the foundation of this show.This would have been perfect for the many occasions where they needed to disguise themselves. I hope they’ve thought this through.

This is such an emotional episode and it actually made me feel for the characters. The scenes between Jace and Clary have improved and they’re not as uncomfortable and awkward as they usually are. I think their dynamic is better together when the show isn’t trying to push all the romantic stuff on the audience. I fact, I think everyone did pretty well in conveying emotions and it didn’t feel melodramatic.

This episode had a strange tone to it. I saw someone somewhere comment that it was like “CSI: The Shadow World” and I completely agree.

We’ll take the body back to the Institute. do a full autopsy.

Can I say that stuttering Alec is hilariously adorable. Him talking about Magnus:

Magnus is, um, quite magical. He’s uh, very… very good at magic.

I actually didn’t realise until this episode that Izzy and Alec didn’t know that their parents were ex-Circle members and this is such a heavy weight to have. I really feel sorry for them.

Clary punching Camille was completely random and illogical. Camille just stands there and Clary then she turns her back. I think the show wanted this to be a power moment for Clary, but instead of being like go girl, I was so scared for Clary and like you just hit one of most oldest and powerful vampires – run bro.

Something I didn’t understand was why Alec gave this speech to Magnus about “following his heart” and then goes to proposes to Lydia because that’s the way he’s following his heart???

Alberto’s performance at the end when Simon can’t come to terms with being a vampire is amazing. I really felt for him. All the emotions were conveyed really well and I just love it. We’re left with a lot of cliffhangers at the end.

Episode 9: just stop & yep that’s all

This episode was titled Rise Up and all Hamilton fans raise your hand if you sang that.

I really like Alec in this episode – not necessarily the choices he makes but I feel that book Alec has kind of returned. I think this is a lot to do with him now knowing that his parents are ex-Circle members. We get to see how much of an impact this information has affected him. He’s hurt, much more brooding and standoffish.

Magnus on the other hand feels really immature. He acts jealous about Alec’s engagement with Lydia and it really affects him. This might be in character for show Magnus but this is not Magnus. He just feels very desperate for a centuries old warlock who’s very comfortable with himself and is experienced in the romantic relationship department. Yeah blah blah Alec is different and stuff and I can’t really word it properly. It’s just something.

Clace kiss: round 2

Noooo. Pointless, unnecessary and why?!? I could be bias because I’m not really a fan of TV show Clace because it’s so awkward and cringeworthy.

Jace & Alec’s fight.

Just stop. Parabatai would never raise a weapon upon each other. NEVER. This just demonstrated how messed up their relationship is and especially for new viewers who haven’t read the books, their parabatai bond seems like nonsense and plays no role.  They’ve said over and over again that being parabatai means fighting together, hearts beat as one and being closer than brothers etc., it’s verbally put up on a pedestal as a special part of the shadow world, but we have never seen it. Perhaps a scene or 2 but this is messed up. Empty words. The only purpose this scene was to demonstrate a cool fight scene and for us to go ooh stunts. And contributing to the confusing dysfunctional parabatai bond that they supposed have. Also since when is Jace aware of Alec’s feelings for him? Did I miss something?

There are so many plotlines and subplots throughout the show that are introduced especially in times of connivence but then never mentioned again which is making it difficult to follow. Even me as a reader of the books. I’ve completely blanked on why Clary needs to Moral Cup now. Also why would she go looking for Valentine with the cup. That cup needs to be on a different planet to him.

Episode 10: alternate realities & all the squeals

This is a strange little episode and definitely strays far from the books but I kind of liked it. So Clary travels to a parallel universe and all the personalities of the characters have changed. It was different and funny and I enjoyed it! We switch back and forth between the “reality” and the fake alternate dimension and I didn’t care too much for the real world scenes. It was the alternate dimension that greatly amused me.

I know they had to differentiate between the worlds, but the filter in the alternate dimension was weird. I loved the opening scene when Clary enters the other dimension with normal parents. The interactions felt natural and it was funny. All the scenes with Alan Van Sprang are just great – so talented.

Alternate Luke owns a bookstore and although it’s a tiny detail, it made me so happy. Jace is this hippy Alternate Izzy was so nerdy and adorable – I loved her! So much Sizzy feels in this episode. We get this switch of personalities between Alec and Magnus which was really fun. It’s nice to see Alec with all this confidence.

We get another Clace make out session which I did not like. Can we talk about alternate Jace’s hair just flipping around in the wind. I found that mildly hilarious with no basis.

In the “real world”, we get this string of Jace lines that trying really hard to be snarky and funny and they just fall flat.

On a scale of one to namaste how screwed are we?

Attempting to be funny doesn’t take away the need for logic in dialogue.

I know Clary is a good artist but now there have been several occasions where she does hours worth of art in seconds.

Magnus trying to get his magic to work again in the alternate dimension had a great line.

Usually have a bit more of a… flourish to it.

Did Shadowhunters freak us out with those Clace make-out scenes for nothing?

We have a strange Simon scene where he’s pretending to be the maniac demonic killer. I don’t have much to say except that it was strange.

This line from reality Alec really struck me:

Jace is dead to me.

I just can’t deal with this parabatai relationship anymore. It seems meaningless.

The demons in this episode look like men in suits. They don’t look scary or intimidating. I know low budget but I can’t take it seriously because it looks so fake. Also can we backtrack to how it takes an actual fight and Jace doesn’t even kill the demon whereas as hardly a shadowhunter Clary in one of the first few episodes killing a greater demon by poking it? Inconsistencies. I feel that after every plotline is created in this show, they need to sit down and discuss is it out of character, does it comply with the rules of the world to patch up these plotholes.

Since I found the episode really entertaining, I didn’t really notice all the plot holes that were created with this plotline until reflecting back to it. I was really excited about all the accurate aspects to the books in the alternate reality but now I think back, I’m pretty frustrated as to why they think it’s okay to squash its content in 1 episode to satisfy book fans.

The episode ends with Jace and Clary going back to their dimension through the portal and finding Michael Wayland instead of Valentine. This is going to be messy.

Episode 11: convenient plot holes & random plotlines

If Valentine wanted Michael Wayland dead, he would be dead. Ugh these holes. I did not think for a second that was actually him. The shapeshifting rune comes in play and I just dislike its creation.

This is something that really bothered me watching this episode. When Clave guards walked in, their uniforms looked so much like Nazi uniforms and I just can’t deal. Very disturbed. Isabelle’s trial felt melodramatic – the monologues and inspirational speeches just felt… you know. Ultimately, it felt silly to me and just a way to create another “original plotline”.

Can we talk about Clary’s accent when she’s commanding the demons with the cup. Haha… ha. Then surprise, Michael is actually Valentine using that stupid rune and the cup he’s holding is actually a glamour on a “world’s best dad” mug. I admit that was funny. Alan Van Sprang comes on scene who’s always brilliant but I don’t understand the end of that scene where he just leaves through a portal: no cup, no Jocelyn and no Clary and once again I don’t understand the logic.

I like the sibling relationship between Alec and Isabelle for the most part. I felt like they cared for each other and would do anything to protect one another. Their interactions felt genuine. I liked this side of Izzy that was portrayed in this episode. We got to see her mental strength and as a person who fiercely protects those who she cares about.

Other relationships: Malec. I felt really uncomfortable in the Malec scenes and the way Magnus talks about them together. THEY’RE NOT TOGETHER. THE RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT EXIST. No development in their relationship whatsoever – it just happened with no foundation. Yes fans love this relationship and want to see it but we just went from 0 to 46% completion. There’s no growth and it just feels weak.

Most of the decisions felt illogical in this episode. The blood transfusion – did not understand. I dislike how competent Clary seems in this show because she’s an untrained shadowhunter. There is no evidence of her learning any shadowhunter skills besides that 30 second seraph blade class with Jace. Just any shadowhunter related stuff she does never feels believable.

Episode 12: plot twists & more

Why would they title this episode Malec? There’s been so much importance placed on plot twists so why would you name an episode after a potential ship?

Tessa is there (I’m not going to say where because TID spoilers) and at this point, the show better not touch her.

It’s taken me this long to realise that something off thing I have with Clary. I think her fieriness and stubbornness I translated from the books is being misrepresented as an abrasive approach to situations and Clary just comes out as disrespectful and brash. Like when she first meets Magnus and when she meets Ragnor Fell in this episode. Is this just me?

Ragnor gets killed by a shax demon so we have a mole in the Institute. Firstly, Ragnor Fell an old and powerful warlock gets killed be a shax demon in his own home. I find that difficult to believe even if it was an ambush. Okay I do not understand the scene afterwards. Jace is convinced it’s Lydia by Clary says that she’ll talk to her because he’s too worked up and shouldn’t accuse people straightaway. Izzy adds to the conversation that she might also let her guard down around Clary. Fair enough. But then Clary goes to “talk” to Lydia basically accusing her of working for Valentine, no details left out or reworded. What was the point of that? I need logic.

Speaking of Lydia, I haven’t talked much about her but I really like her. I think the show has done well characterising her, we hate her decisions sometimes but we can also sympathise. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have expectations for her as she isn’t in the books. I really admire the way she responded to Alec calling the marriage off and I respect he dignity.

I’m glad that Alec and Jace talked about their relationship and finally stop blaming and fighting and arguing about everything. I don’t think it should have taken this long but I’m glad this happened and I hope that the weird parabatai bond no longer exists.

THE MALEC kiss.

I did not expect this at all. I expected that the wedding was going to be called off but 1 moment Alec’s getting married, then next he’s kissing Magnus with all his family, friends and important Clave members. Don’t get me wrong, the kiss itself was great but it felt out of place and out of character. At this point, it’s been continuous one-sided flirting from Magnus and absolutely no response and continuous rejection from Alec. His reasons are arguable, however I don’t think that this show has given enough development to the relationship to reach that level of intensity. What is with this show needing heaps of prop people watching all the make out sessions. The marriage itself was already a lot for Alec to process. I personally think at that point he would be overwhelmed with everything and wouldn’t do something that impulsive and public. I think it would be super dramatic if Alec looked as though he was heading towards Magnus but then walked out. Then they had a proper conversation about their feelings for one another because they haven’t. ‘Tis instalovey. Yes I have a lot of thoughts on this.

I’m actually liking the dynamic between Clary and Jace now that it’s revealed that they’re siblings. Especially Jace as a character – I can feel his emotional turmoil and emphasise with his identity crisis. A lot of things happen in this episode.

Episode 13: fandom mixup & sibling Clace

I really liked the first scene in the episode where we continue on with Clary and Jace talking and Jace finding if very difficult to come to terms with the person he is. I thought this was done well and I liked the lines in this scene. We was real emotion attached to them.

I finding it difficult to believe that Camille hasn’t escaped: she’s an old, wise and powerful vampire who doesn’t seem like there’s anything holding her back except shadow world newbies. Another thing I noticed are the numerous occassions where Clary threatens to kill someone and most of the time it’s some powerful person and she most definitely can’t. Sit down hun.

A random thought: I honestly think the modern upgrade to the show and shadowhunters is fine by now but I’m just thinking of all the funny scenes and lines there could have been if it wasn’t *sigh*.

Great fight scene between Hodge and Jace although what was that double-sided-light-sabre-seraph-blade? Reminded me so much of Star Wars.

Okay but at Camille’s apartment when Valentine arrives and everyone is being held with a seraph blade to the throat while he talks to Jace. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie vibes? Lucius Malfoy and HP with the prophecy? I’m glad you agree. That was a little anticlimatic but then it’s okay because then Alan Van Sprang was speaking. He has such a commanding presence and I love him as Valentine!

This episode actually had purpose and the characters had a clear cut goal. The amount of cheesy lines was significantly decreased and I’m so happy. I think this finale sets up a good place for season 2 to begin and it feels as though they’re heading back towards the plot of the books. I’m actually excited for the second season and I really hope it improves!

Emily x

DISCUSSION TIME

How did you like season 1 of Shadowhunters? Favourite scenes or lines? Do you think it has improved? Comment below!

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