episode three isn’t my favourite episode of the season but I did enjoy this episode a lot more than episode two. However, this episode did have some very strong moments which were done very well, in my opinion.
this discussion will contain spoilers for not only this episode but the whole Mortal Instruments series.
The first thing I’d like to discuss is the plot line of each of these episodes. I didn’t really know how to put this into words until I heard someone else say it, but I feel like everything that happens in previous episodes is kind of ignored or just not mentioned in the next episode. For example, in the last two episodes, Jace was with Valentine on the boat and we find out that Dot is alive, yet the only thing from the previous episode that was mentioned was Gretel’s death. I feel like each episode has it own small plot and that there isn’t one clear plot line for this season. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but Emma, from emmmabooks on YouTube, discussed this in her Shadowhunter Snaps on Snapchat and I agreed with her.
One of the things I really enjoyed in this episode was when we got to see some of Alec’s memories, in previous episodes when they’ve done flashbacks to me they felt awkward and like they didn’t fit properly. I felt that they had done the flashbacks really nicely. We got to see Alec and Jace at two different ages which was really nice. The only thing I would’ve changed about them, in the flashback, is where they’re slightly older I would’ve used Mat and Dom and used makeup to make them look younger just because their faces wouldn’t have changed that much in five(ish) years.
During one of these flashbacks we get to see Alec and Isabelle talking before the parabati ceremony and we get to find out more about Alec’s feeling for Jace. In the last season, I felt that the way Alec felt about Jace was ignored so that Malec could get together as quickly as possible, the only time I felt it was really made clear that Alec had romantic feelings for Jace was in episodes four and five of season two. They mentioned the fact that shadowhunters cannot have romantic feelings for their parabati, which I really appreciated as it hadn’t been talked about in the show yet.
we also get to see the parabati ceremony, which is something I wasn’t expecting us to get to see, so I thought it was pretty cool to see the ceremony. Even though there weren’t three rings of fire, we did get to see them standing in the ring of fire together. Cassandra Clare did make a Tumblr post about what the parabati ceremony looks like if you don’t really understand what I mean.
We got to see Isabelle when she was younger as well which was also really nice. I did have more of a problem with the actor for the younger Isabelle. Young Izzy for some reason has brown hair and was played by a white actor. This made no sense to me, throughout the book series it is made very clear that Isabelle has black hair and I personally don’t see anyone’s hair colour changing like that naturally. I do understand that people with blonde hair can have their hair change to a more brownish blonde as they get older and vice versa but I don’t think your hair can naturally change from brown to black.
We got introduced to Maia in this episode and I really liked how they did that. When I found out who they cast for Maia I was really happy because she looked just like I imagined her to. I think Alisha Wainwright’s acting was good and I liked the way she played Maia. The only thing I didn’t like about what they did with her character is that she started to change into a werewolf inside the hospital, I did like the way they showed that because they haven’t really done that previously, but it felt wrong just because they are inside a hospital and there are mundanes everywhere.
something that didn’t make sense to me is the fact that mundanes could suddenly see Jace. He gets injured after the bar fight and some mundanes see him and call an ambulance so he ends up in the hospital. Mundanes can’t see shadowhunters, this was made very clear in the first season, yet somehow in this episode, everyone sees him. Honestly this just really bugged me.
something I really appreciated in this episode was that we got to see Simon actually talk to his mum! We haven’t seen her since last season and I was wondering when she was going to come up again. When Simon and Clary are looking for Elaine, we have a really nice scene between the two of them, Clary tells him that he needs to tell his mother that he’s a vampire, that no matter what she’ll accept him because he’s still Simon. I think the Simon and Clary moments feel a lot more authentic this season.
In City of Ashes, we get this scene where Simon is practising coming out as a vampire to his mum, by using a leaflet about coming out as LGBT+.When Simon’s mother finds out he is a vampire she’s afraid of him and refuses to accept him as her own son. In the show when we saw them together in the cafe I was preparing myself for this yet it never came. In the show, Raphael tells his mother that their band has been away on tour which is why they haven’t been in contact. In the books Elaine decorates the house with Jewish signs and symbols so that Simon cannot come back, it was such a heartbreaking scenes and I hope they include it in the show.
One of the things I really liked is how they did all the emotional scenes. At the end of the episode, we all think Alec is going to die, I think this scene was done very well, nothing felt forced or unrealistic, to me it felt authentic. I think the only reason why I wasn’t as emotional as I would’ve been is because I knew he wasn’t going to die, we constantly see these characters put into situations where they almost die, for example, in the first season Alec, Luke and Dot have near death experiences. Because they are constantly almost killing off characters it takes away from these emotional scenes when I should feel a lot more emotional than I do.
overall I think this episode was done really well, the pacing was really good, the acting and the script have improved (as usual) and I hope that they continue to keep making the show better.
let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I said here in the comments!