Mundie Moms

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Shadowhunters TV: Episode 8: Bad Blood / Review #Shadowhunters

Hello Shadowhunters! Today we're sharing our thoughts for Episode 8 of Shadowhunters, which aired this past Tuesday. You can read our previous reviews here. What did you think of this week's episode? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave us a comment below and tell us what you thought. 

Katie's Thoughts

This week's title couldn't be more fitting, because there is definitely some bad blood — between the show and the audience! Let's start with what was good before I get into the failure of this week's episode. I went into this week's episode with an open mind. I even liked certain parts of the episode. I loved that we saw how quickly Alec was to defend his responsibilities when Lydia came in disguised as Valentine. I liked that we got more Clace, a brief Malec encounter, and I loved that Clary/Luke moment when he's comforting her. I also liked the Raphael scenes, and the options that Clary carefully weighed over Simon's death and how to save him. I loved that Clary followed her heart on the matter, vs what she was being told to do, and that both Luke and Raphael gave her the options and told her the consequences and let her decide, vs Jace telling her not to go through with it. 

I loved Izzy's comment about how Shadowhunters can do anything in heels (she's proof they can). I loved that Magnus makes a comment about following one's heart, while Jace tells Clary he does what he thinks is right vs following his heart. I loved that contrast between the two comments and the characters. I love that Clary was the one who said she could never ignore her heart. I liked that we got the Falcon Story (though was sad they did not include its most significant line and the one that means the most to fans) and that Alec finally learned about his parents' ties to Valentine, and his feelings towards them. I liked that we got to see Hodge in action, and we've learned more about Valentine (yep I'm still laughing about his hide out).

The best part about this week's episode was Simon's transformation! Oh my word, Alberto has proven time and time again that he is the best Simon! Everyone in this scene nailed it. Simon's coming out of the grave, Clary wanting to go him, Jace supporting her, and Raphael being there to help Simon. Well done! I totally felt the range of emotions in this scene, and got teary eyed watching. My heart broke for both Simon and Clary. I also loved that just like in the books, Simon also recognizes Clary. It proves that Simon is much stronger than anyone had given him credit for, because in his moment of weakness and his thirst for blood, he suppressed his natural vampire side and tried to hold onto something from his previous human life. I have always admired that about Simon, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next week. I thought the entire scene was a good adaptation from the book, and I especially loved Alberto's acting. Unfortunately not even this amazing ending could save the rest of the episode.

First let's talk about Lydia. Oh Lydia. Let me just say that her character by herself is good. I kind of liked her though I was really confused on why we have a Lydia, when there is no Lydia in the books, and no need for one. Yes, I get that new characters to a TV series are important, but none have really worked so far, and this was a huge disaster. While I liked that she shared more information about the Circle, and told Alec that his parents were part of Valentine's circle, what isn't clear, is why I should care about who she is. (Luke was in the Circle. In the books, he's the one who shares Circle information. It's ludicrous to imagine he didn't know about Maryse and Robert, so why didn't he mention it? And if for some reason he was keeping it back, it still could have been information that came from him. No need for Lydia.) Why was Lydia picked by the Clave to come and take over when she's so young and seems to have no special talents? Are the writers trying to make her the Inquisitor? If so, they failed to explain that. What also failed was her mentioning that she is the distant relative of Henry's who is someone that no one will know about unless they have read The Infernal Devices. So why mention names if we've been given no family tree? Another detail no one cares about unless you've read the books, and if you've read the books, you'll know there is no Lydia, and that no descendant of Henry's would be named Branwell! You can't please book fans by occasionally scattering tiny crumbs from the actual novels, and getting them wrong to boot. Maybe the biggest peeve I have about Lydia's character is she's the scapegoat the writers created to drag out their lack of "Malec magic" so to speak.

The biggest issue I have about tonight is what the writers did to Alec. I am genuinely disgusted with the writers of Shadowhunters right now. Forcing a gay character to propose to a straight character is not flying with me. I would have expected a lot more than this from Shadowhunters/Freeform. I get the whole Alec trying to restore his family name, and saving the Institute, however, this was not okay. It's offensive to who Alec really is, and his struggle with coming out and telling those closest to him that he's gay, even though they already know he is. This entire scene is an insult to Alec's character. Not only is this not something Alec would never do, I would have expected Freeform to be more supportive of a gay character. Yes, I get that Alec's the one who's been "saving" aka covering for Jace, Clary and all that's been going on, even when it goes against what he's thinks he should be doing, though it's a confusing mess since what Alec "thinks he should be doing" is being obedient to the Clave and his mother who are painted as totally evil. It is confusing again when he makes a comment about following his heart in this week's episode and then goes and proposes to Lydia, looking happier while doing it than he's ever looked talking to Magnus. So no, his proposal to Lydia not only goes against his sexuality, it goes against the theme of following your heart, and any good qualities he's been shown to have so far, like loyalty. What kind of person offers someone they seem to like an empty sham marriage? Why isn't he even honest with Lydia, much less himself? The Alec of the books is true to himself, loyal, empathic, and true to others. If the writers weren't going to have stayed faithful to Cassandra Clare's Alec, then why create this fan-fictional one? And why can't the writers even seem to notice they're contradicting their own themes? 

I have a feeling this week's episode was the beginning of the end....

Sophie's Thoughts

Maybe it's because I'm such a Swiftie, but last night's episode's title was spot-on perfect. Bad Blood, indeed. Sing with me, "Now we got problems, and I don't think we can solve them."

First let's start with the OBVIOUS issue -- WHO THE HECK is Lydia Branwell and why is she in the show in the first place? Okay, we know the Clave sent her to help the weirdly, suddenly outcast Lightwoods run the New York Institute. But, WHO IS SHE? And why should we care? Is she The Inquisitor? Is she a time traveler from the future? We don't know. SHE WASN'T IN THE BOOKS (so far, at least).

This brings me to the exact point I want to make. I realized something as I was watching the episode unfold. This is fanfiction. Truly, it is. I have read my share and while some of it is rather good, most of it is, at best, meh.  And as fanfiction, it should include that basic fanfic disclaimer saying something about while based on Cassie's series, it has original characters and elements which are the sole property of Freeform (and not Cassie). Maybe that way, I wouldn't find myself trying to look for elements of Cassie's story in something that is morphing away from the canon.

But, yes, I will say Simon's transformation was pretty true to the book. The falcon story seemed to survive the Freeform-ation editors. And then, we ended on a fanfic proposal to end all fanfic proposals. WTHECK.

I'll leave you with this: 

Best line: Isabelle saying, "There's nothing a Shadowhunter can't do in heels."

Goes out humming: "You know it used to be mad love. So, take a look what you've done. 'Cause now we've got bad blood. Hey!"

Em's Thoughts

This was a big episode, we got to see Simon's transformation, and the introduction of a new character. Lots of thinks were going on it this episode and 99% of it was really good.

Simon’s transformation was very good and very true to the book story we all love. I felt Clary’s emotions were spot on and the support she got from Jace was lovely. I don’t think they could have done it much better. I understand why they might be pushing this story forward a bit in the overall arc of the whole story. And I’m ok with that.

The introduction of Lydia Branwell is also ok with me. We know they were going to introduce new characters and make the story a bit different in spots. This way us dedicated fans will still be surprised. I just didn’t think I’d be that surprised.  The show was going so well if not for one line where Alec asked Lydia to marry him. I'm sorry but it goes against everything I have held dear about these characters. Yes he is gay, yes his family would love for him to marry a respectable shadowhunter women. But he never wants that it in the book and he would never let himself get into that position. Magnus or not. I know the TV show is going to be different from the books but I think this has overstepped the mark, even more than Izzy's revealing outfits

I’m not happy Freeform, nope nope nope. Lets hope this story line doesn’t ruin what is becoming a very good show.