Mundie Moms

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shadowhunters TV: Episode 4: Raising Hell / Review

Hello Shadowhunter fans! This week we're sharing our reviews for Shadowhunters TV series, Episode 4, Raising Hell. You can read our previous reviews here. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week's episode below in our comments. 

Katie's Thoughts

In all honesty, I'm a little surprised by this week's episode. Last week was a huge disaster, and the only reason why I watched this week was because of Magnus! I love Harry Shum Jr as Magnus. His portrayal of him was awesome. Some of the lines he delivered were great. I like that he tells Clary, "You always have a choice", and "Only trust yourself". The memory demon thing was something I actually laughed at, at first, especially since Magnus is the most powerful Warlock, and I wouldn't think he'd need a demon to get rid of Clary's memories. However, his answer to why he fed them to the memory demon made sense, at least for the TV series. 

I like that the ruby necklace showed Magnus's flashy side, and his love of pretty things. It allowed viewers to know there's a past intimate relationship between Camille and Magnus. However, the scene in which it pulses was laughable. Aside from that, I really like that they used the 'pretty boy' comment, something Magnus says to Alec in the film (which is adapted from a similar conversation in the books). I loved Magnus, however I've always pictured Magnus's movements being similar to a felines, graceful and refined. I thought the twitchiness that Magnus had in some of the scenes was awkward. It reminded me of Johnny Depp playing Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean (whom I love), which worked for that character, but not for Magnus. Magnus has a somber, grave and wise side, which is not shown here.

We finally get a little bit of MALEC! I liked how they kept things between Alec and Magnus. It's some what similar to the books in the sense that you don't know Alec is gay (which isn't confirmed in this episode either), however Magnus makes comments to him that indicate Magnus knows he is. I loved that those comments also throw Jace off, which in turn have him giving Alec looks like "what the heck", and Alec just shrugs them off. When Alec breaks his hold, during the Greater Demon scene, because he's embarrassed that his one memory taken of the person he loves the most, was Jace, Magnus tells him there's nothing to be ashamed of, which is a setup for hopefully good things to come between them later. I liked that it was reiterated that Izzy knows Alec is gay, something that was known in episode 1, though he's not come out and told her. I love the portrayal that she's supportive of him, and that we got to see that in the same scene with the Greater Demon. Alec begins to freak out, and she tells him it's okay, and he yells back that it's not. One of the things I've always admired about Izzy is that she loves her brother no matter what, and could care less if he's gay or not, she loves him just the same. 

While Simon and Alec continue to be two of my favorite characters, I loved that we got more Magnus, and Valentine this time around. I also really like Izzy and her scenes with Alec, and Clary. The Simon / Clary moments were great. I love that similar to book Simon, Simon just wants to protect Clary. His jealousy of Jace was great! I also liked that scene were Jace was outside of Clary's room overhearing what she was telling Simon. I'm really interested to see the Simon's journey into becoming a vampire. I like that the last scene for this episode shows him outside of the hotel. I was totally shocked to see Simon's mom in this episode, though I love that she cared so much about him. I wasn't a big fan of the Maureen scene. Her jealousy over Clary doesn't seem justifiable, especially if she knows she and Simon are best friends. I continue to love Alec's attitude and his indifference to Simon and Clary. Matthew and Alberto have brought their book characters to life perfectly for the TV series. 

What didn't work

If this was a silent TV series, I'd most likely love it. I get that this isn't an award winning show, but I except better of the writing. Yes, it's far better than episode one, but there continues to be so many cringe worthy lines, and too many awkward scenes in this episode. For example, when Clary tells Simon about her dreams aka memory fragments, and she's talking about Magnus taking her memories. She says, "He reached his hand inside my head and ripped out my brain." Really? Last time I checked it was memory he was taking. Also not working, Simon's vampire hallucinations. Those were just as bad as Clary's memory fragments. I get what they're trying to do with these two things, but it's poorly done. 

Can we please put Valentine anywhere else in the world other than Chernobyl. I can't take him seriously there. I'm a bit shocked about his killing Panghorn, considering Valentine uses his two henchmen all the time. Why is it that Valentine is this feared character, and yet we've seen very little of him. He's not someone we're going to fear when he's hiding out in Chernobyl! Sure he's killed a couple Shadowhunters and what not, but get him out of hiding, and allow him to do what his book character does so that we can take him seriously. Talking about him does nothing. Show us!

Not surprising in this episode was the confirmation of Dot's death, which we already knew happened. I was a little shocked that Magnus was the one that confirmed that to Clary, vs Clary not realizing it since she hasn't been able to use her necklace to locate her, like she did in episode one. It was also shocking how little anyone seemed to care. While I love that Jace has some of that snarkiness I love about him in the books, he's still not book Jace, and I desperately want to love him and Clary like I do in the books, but I am not feeling anything between them. That is hard to admit, considering I want nothing more than for there to be something. I feel like their moments together are just awkward, the product of writers trying to hard to shove romance into our faces. Especially in the scene before they go to the club to meet Magnus, and they stand there checking each other out, and then Jace just leaves. 
Speaking of the club scene with Magnus, how many times can the word lair be used in one scene. What's with the word lair. Are we going to the vampire lair, the bat lair, the or the rat lair? The high Warlock of Brooklyn doesn't live in a lair. They should have used penthouse, condo, apartment, or anything other the word lair. 

Over all, I liked this episode better than last week's epic disaster, but I'm still not loving this series. The writing continues to show how juvenile it is, when it could be so much better. Yes there were better lines in this episode, two even had lines FROM THE BOOK, and it's way better than last week's episode, but there's still so much missing from the series, that I excepted to be there. The writing for me is what's killing my love of this series. However it's not just the writers, the executives and producers are also at fault. There is so much material they have to work with from Cassie's books, and they don't. Now that Magnus is in the series, I am going to have to watch next week just to see what transpires with him and the Shadowhunters. We definitely need more Malec and Valentine in this series. 

Sophie's Thoughts

This episode should have been called "Obi-wan Magnus, You're My Only Hope".

Just a quick aside regarding these particular producers using iconic Star Wars lines in TMI movies. Let's remember the not awesome moment when HipPirateValentine uttered, "Jace, I am your Father" in the City of Bones movie. Why, oh why, do they insist on doing that?

The bizarreness of what the producers/director/screenwriters choose to highlight from Cassie's books continues to puzzle me. Both Simon and Clary have bizarre dream visions. Clary sees Jace and Simon sees Camille. I get the foreshadowing, but both of them using this plot device is bizarre.

The heavy-handed delivery of the reminder that Clary's "memory fragments" are important to the plot was delivered in the most yawn-worthy way. I am pretty sure no one in the audience has forgotten that: "finding your memories is the only way to get the Mortal Cup back". We couldn't forget if we tried.

Adding to the bizarre, Camille's necklace is important, but at the same time not important to Magnus, because he gives it back. And what the heck is "Shadowhunter GPS"? Wait, I've seen this in an old cartoon -- Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

With the unnecessary highlighted details that don't exist in the book, and the badly written lines, I found myself trying to guess at which episode will most of the fans just stop watching. Epi 5, perhaps?

I'm going to add just one more nonsense quote uttered again by our brave hero, Jace:

"Blend in, but keep your weapons ready." If you need me, I'll be at Magnus' lair (how many times did he say "lair" in that one scene? I stopped counting at 3.) waiting for my only hope.

Emmaly's Thoughts

This was definitely better than last week but I still had some issues with it. I feel it started out slow but defiantly improved in the last half.

Again very dialogue heavy, to quote husband again "I have to leave the room and have another heartfelt discussion with someone else" The script is defiantly loosing me, we all burst out laughing at "The locket! It's pulsing!" Yeah we can see that thanks. It moves very quickly too, one minute they are looking for Magnus' lair, the next second there it is! gee that wasn't hard was it.

But the cast defiantly kept this episodes head above water. All of the main cast tonight were amazing. Then we have Magnus, he was just perfect. Funny, charming and very naughty. I hope he keeps up being a main presence on the show.

I'll keep watching for more Magnus.


  1. I couldn't get past the middle of last week's episode before I turned it off and stopped recording it. Between that hideous haircut on "Jace", Clary's ridiculous running in spike heels, and the disgusting sex scene between Isobel and the Islamic terrorist looking guy (do they not know that faeries are ALL beautiful) I turned it off during the second disgusting make out scene between Camille and Simon. Simon is the only good actor in the show -kudos to him. It's overall trashy. I have a friend whose daughter is 12 who watched the first two episodes. I told her mom about the third and she decided to screen it first and thanked me. They won't watch any more. I didn't expect a series to closely follow the books but did not expect this - too bad CW couldn't have done it. They do know how to do casting.

    1. I think, overall, the cast has chemistry, but they can't deliver the badly written lines. Who can? As Katie pointed out, we adore Harry Shum Jr, but even he can't act out those ridiculous lines and the stage direction to deliver them in a twitchy way.