Is there more to Shadowhunters than its lacklustre premiere or is the show doomed to suffer the same fate as the cancelled movie franchise?
It’s getting better. While it would’ve been hard to get worse, the second episode of Shadowhunters is better in almost every aspect. Having said that, the show is still full of problems. The most glaring is the fatal flaw regarding the mortal cup.
Shadowhunters kill demons and the cup makes shadowhunters, but apparently the cup can be used to control demons. You probably know where this is going, but if you can control demons then you don’t need to hunt them. Either make them kill themselves or just stop them from killing humans. The entire plot is invalidated. The internal logic of the story makes it so shadowhunters are actually unnecessary. Hopefully, there’s a reason why this isn’t the case that will be revealed later on in the series.
What about the characters? Clary is a Mary Sue. She’s all good all the time and it’s boring, but that’s the character. Jace opened up about his parents and got some much needed character development, but in all types of storytelling it’s more interesting to explore a character through their actions. This means that seeing Jace messing with Simon was actually more telling about his character than explaining his history to the robotic Clary, making Jace the most endearing character on the show.
Isabelle and Alec have different accents and it’s very annoying. They seem to want to make Isabelle the nice, social one and Alec the mysterious, brooding one, but she’s coming across like a cat playing with mice, especially with Simon, and Alec might just be constipated. Okay, he’s in the closet and he loves Jace, but he’s not acting like someone dealing with unrequited love he seems like a terrible person who wants Clary and Simon to die. He is also in love with rule following though has yet to successfully follow a single one.
How do warlocks work in this universe? Are they immortal or invulnerable, because if Dot was immortal then being thrown out the window would have killed her. If she’s invulnerable then Valentine is wasting his time stabbing her and Dot has quickly become the Kenny of the show. Though it’s nice to see some grown ups trying to handle the situation, Luke isn’t as concerned with finding Clary as he should be. This was probably done just so Dot could get kidnapped alone, so expect him to get more interested in tracking his, almost, step daughter down in the next episode.
The City of Bones was a really nice touch. They didn’t waste time dragging out the obvious plot twist that Valentine is Clary’s father, though the particular flashback that revealed it was a little sloppy. Then there’s poor Simon who had to wait outside and couldn’t stay alone for ten seconds without being kidnapped and used as leverage. It’s a pretty weird deal that the vampires and shadowhunters have. Surely they can still beat the crap out of each other and are just forbidden from killing or why not just kidnap someone they care about since kidnapping doesn’t break any rules. Ask Alec.
For all its problems, Shadowhunters is improving and might soon have enough interesting ideas to outweigh the poorly thought out plot and dull characters.