Friday, March 4, 2016

Shadowhunters Review: 1x08: "Bad Blood"

This episode definitely felt like a big episode full of important stuff, but when I look back on it, there really only seems to have been two big things that the episode built up. Even though Simon was unconscious for most of this episode, I think the plot of this episode revolved primarily and him and Alec. And kind of Lydia I suppose, but really, she plays a big role of advancing Alec's storyline.

I honestly don't even know where to start. I guess I'll start with Lydia. It's funny because the second she walks in she's abrasive and not all that friendly, yet I sensed that I would like her right away. After seeing one whole episode with her in it, I can tell that I was right. Back in my review for the first episode where the arranged marriage was first mentioned, I said that I wanted Alec's fiancee to be someone the audience could like. I didn't want her to be someone easily hated because that felt too easy. I said I'd much prefer being able to like her and for her and Alec to have the potential to be friends. From what I can tell, that's definitely what we're getting, so I feel very satisfied about that.

I'm going to step away from the arranged marriage stuff for a minute though. I feel like I need to save that for last considering.

First for a few smaller things: I loved Alec's and Jace's mentions of having the best forensic pathologist and then realizing that they were talking about Izzy. That was wonderful.

Also, I can't remember if Alec and Izzy know that their parents were Circle members in the first book or not, but I kind of forgot that that tidbit was even going to be a reveal in the TV show. I was taking the knowledge for granted.

The Malec in the show continues to be excellent. Magnus' face when Isabelle mentions the arranged marriage was great, and in the scene between Magnus and Alec, they continue to have great chemistry and have conversations that seem to perfectly encapsulate how their relationship should be at this point.

I'm still going to avoid going into too much detail about Alec though because I want to talk about vampire Simon first. I don't think I realized until I was watching the end of last episode how excited I was for vampire Simon, but seeing him dig his way out of the grave was excellent. And Alberto Rosende's performance continues to be amazing. He did such a great job portraying the emotions that Simon was feeling once he's awake and realizes that he's now a vampire. I am incredibly excited for Simon's story in the future episodes.

Now, finally getting back to Alec's proposal, which...okay. There are a number of things I could say. I wasn't expecting Alec to propose, but I figured Lydia would wind up being his fiancee one way or another from her first appearance when Alec shot an arrow at her. I just didn't think it was going to be Alec who decided she would be his fiancee until the scene itself. That being said, as soon as he came in to talk to her in that scene, I knew where it was going, and I didn't feel surprised so much as it happened.

And the thing is, I ship Malec obviously. Not only are Magnus and Alec two of my favorite fictional characters, they're also one of my favorite fictional couples. Never doubt for a second that I want anything more than them being together. That being said, I actually like what they've done with this storyline so far, and I look forward to seeing where they're going with this. Each decision they've made so far is something that I could say I approve of, even if part of me wishes Alec could just be himself and not get backed into an arranged marriage.

However, I've seen some people talking like they assume an actual marriage will happen, and I don't see that. I don't think this storyline will go that far. My guess is that they will be engaged, but someway or another, an actual marriage won't happen, whether that's from Lydia figuring out the truth and deciding not to go through with it, Alec admitting the truth and deciding not to go through with it, or something else. I just can't see them actually being married. (I mean, we have three episodes before an episode called "Malec" so...) Best friends forever though? I would be all for that. I'm seriously loving how Alec and Lydia's relationship has been handled so far.

Like I said before, I like that Lydia isn't being made out as a villain or some terrible person trying to force Alec into marriage (actually, I read a fanfiction with that exact scenario about a month ago that really didn't work well for me). I like that they're friends, and I like that Alec at least got to choose to become engaged to someone who's decent and had some level of autonomy in the decision. Based on what I've seen so far, I think Lydia is going to have a huge influence on Alec finally coming to terms with himself. Despite the advice she gives him to only fall in love with the work in this episode, I think that, some way or another, she's going to help him see that he needs to be himself and accept himself. Obviously, Magnus is already doing that too, and I think the two of them together are going to have the biggest influence on Alec in the coming episodes (which I guess would be kind of obvious all things considered).

So, while it would have been easy for me to be displeased with this storyline if I didn't like how it was being handled, I happen to really love how it's being handled. While it kind of is an attempt on Alec's part to keep himself in the closet, I actually think it will become an important step in his character development, and I'm looking forward to that.

To be fair, it's kind of hard for me to not be excited about having any Alec-centric storyline. Between that and now having vampire Simon, I am extremely excited for the next episode.

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