Shadowhunters: Episode 4 and 5
Hate to say it but I’m kind of getting into this programme. It has its flaws, a lot of them, but I can’t help but like it, sort of my guilty pleasure. My thoughts keep going back and forth. As I mentioned in my review, episode 3 was ok from a TV POV – not a book fans’- but episode 4 went back to being bad then 5 was back to ok again. It’s very confusing.
Episode 4 – Raising Hell – is about the group finding Magnus Bane and trying to get Clary’s memories back. Moo Shu to Go – episode 5- is about the werewolves and finding clues to Valentine’s lair.
I’ll start with the acting/ writing again. It was a bit over the top and off in places in Raising Hell but evened out- some of it was even good at the beginning- by Moo Shu to go. I love Magnus, he’s my favourite character of the books, but the acting is a bit over exaggerated, leaning towards cringe worthy at times. That being said I couldn’t help but smile whenever Magnus was on the screen especially when talking to Alec.
Luke and Valentine make an appearance again, which I’m glad for. I’m still not sure what I think about Valentine, I think I need to see a bit more of him. There was one thing that confused me about him. At one point he gives a little speech but he kept switching languages. Why?
Luke though I think was good, what we saw of him. He made the most of his lines, he even looked scary saving Clary. Looking forward to next week since I think we see flashbacks of both of these characters with Jocelyn.
Simon and Isabelle were as great as usual. Love both of them. Simon especially has some great lines. Mainly in the fifth episode. Love his room. A whole wall is a picture of a bridge scene. Very cool. Speaking of Isabelle. One, I love all her outfits. Two, her mum is a bitch. Very strict and disapproving of everything Isabelle, and to a lesser extent Alec, does. She’s very affectionate to Jace. I felt really bad for Isabelle, they made a point of the fact that her mum hugged Alec and Jace but not Isa, she even started blaming Isa for things that were not her fault. I’m not sure what happened to her actually. I thought she was with Jace and Isa but she never turned up after she left the room with them. Never mind.
Clary. What to say about Clary? I liked her in the fifth episode. Greatly improved, good even at the beginning. But there are two moments in Raising Hell that I have to mention. You do not have to flail your arms about and wiggle around from side to side to show you are in a nightmare. It’s just weird and kind of embarising to watch. The other moment was her attempt at a scream later. She should try not scream again, I had to bite my lip to stop from laughing. Also heeled boots are not appropriate for training.
Keeping in line with that scream the whole scene after that is just embarrassing and awkward to watch. Magnus, Isa, Clary, Jace and Alec perform a ritual to summon the deamon who has Clary’s memories. Everything about the scene was wrong. Starting with the scream. She does it because Jace burns a rune on her, but I have no idea what the rune does. For the ritual everyone goes to stand on a point of a pentacle but poor Clary can’t work that out so looks to Jace to tell her what to do … all he does is push her an inch to the right, it wasn’t hard to work out. Isa says that they’re all pathetic but I’m not sure what she was talking about… hesitance to hold hands? The demon demands a payment of a memory of a loved one which leads to the downfall of the ritual. For Alec a memory of Jace is shown which freaks him out… badly. The effects for the demon were just weird. Like a cheap cloud effect which Clary is able to kill easily when three other shadowhunters and a warlock can do nothing about. This whole scene was just terrible and there was really no need for it.
What else is terrible… action scenes. There is no need for the blur/wind effect. Slowing down the action and adding the effect does not make it look fast. It makes is look odd. So please stop doing the weird effect. Also stop using parabati to show a relationship between Alec and Jace. It’s not working. Just repeating “we’re parabati” does not show their relationship and the weird tracking thing just looks like they’re about to kiss, but without the chemistry.
After watching the fifth episode I have a few questions -they could have been answered and I missed them so if someone knows please tell me. It’s annoying as hell not knowing:
- Did they use spears in the books? Random but seeing Jace holding one reminded me of the cover for Shadowhunters Academy
- Why does Isa’s mum look to Jace as the leader of the institute? Alec is older and more responsible of her ‘children’ and there are loads of other people in the institute, including Hodge, who are older, look like they know what they are doing and take orders correctly.
- Have they mentioned that Shadowhunters have angel blood before this episode?
- Why are the runes different colours? Alec’s are black while the others have pink/red ones.
- Why is Jocelyn’s secret box in Clary’s room?
Now that’s out of the way. Lets talk about this from a book lover’s POV. There are a lot of differences. That’s not always a bad thing, Game of Thrones and The Vampire Diaries are a good examples of that but I’m still not sure about it here… I’m mostly thinking stop changing it. There’s no point listing the differences again so I’ll just mention a couple:
I liked how they mentioned Tessa and had some call backs to The Infernal Devices. That was fine with me, they can do that but the others…
The major difference in these episodes – that hasn’t been discussed in previous reviews- is how Magnus takes Clary’s memories. In the books it seems he just places a block on them so she can’t access them. Here it seems he’s actually taken them away and given them to a demon. This leads to them having to do the ridiculous demon summoning in fourth episode, which I could have done without. Something similar does happen in the books but not until later ones and not like this.
The other –not main- one is, and I’m not sure, it’s been years since I read the book, but I don’t remember Isa’s mum being in the first book, so it was a bit strange seeing her. I’m not sure how I imagined her but show her was not it. I think she was a bit warmer in the books and how she looked seemed wrong but I’m not sure how.
As a book lover, I’m hating these episodes on principle. Just on its own, I don’t mind the show. It’s not brilliant but its not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I’m even like the music better… not how its used in the show but I’m listening to the soundtrack as I’m typing and there’s a couple I like. The programme is getting better so I’m being rewarded for my faith in it. What did you think?