Monday, November 13, 2017

Shadowhunters Review: 2x12 "You Are Not Your Own"

Pretend like it hasn't been a month since I last posted. Here's a Shadowhunters review that I actually wrote months ago. There's another one coming soon.

When we learned that Imogen Herondale would return in season 2b, I figured that Jace would learn he was a Herondale before the end of the season. I wasn't expecting it to happen this early in the second half though. I was thinking it would be more like season one when he was told he's a Morgenstern at the very end of the season.

I'm excited to see Jace deal with being a Herondale and suddenly having a last name that carries weight among Shadowhunters. It can't be easy to suddenly learn that you have a grandmother and she's actually one of the most important people in your society.

Which brings me to an interesting aspect of the show that differs from the books, Jace is getting to know his grandmother while knowing she's his grandmother. In the books, she dies before Jace figures it out. The fact that she's still alive opens up many interesting possibilities. Jace now has a grandmother that he never knew he had, but she's, to put it lightly, not the greatest person. While everyone's flawed, I'd be willing to wager that Imogen Herondale is one of the clearest examples of how corrupt the Clave is who we've encountered (though she has some peers). She's not just someone who trumpets what the Clave says, though. She's one of its two most important people. She's the one enforcing the Clave's laws, just or unjust.

Jace coming to terms with being a Herondale when all the other Herondales are dead is one thing. Him having to do so while his grandmother is alive and stressing the importance of the family name and loyalty to the Clave is something else, and I can't wait to see what the show does with that.

Moving on to the other huge part of this episode: Magnus and Valentine switching bodies.

I was quite nervous about how this would be handled, largely because Valentine being in Magnus' body and Magnus being forced to be in Valentine's body made me very uncomfortable (not in a "this is bad storytelling" way but in a way that I think was intended). Watching Magnus while imprisoned was heartbreaking, especially when he's trying to convince Alec that he's Magnus and Alec thinks Valentine is trying to manipulate him.

That scene almost broke me. I felt extremely frustrated that Alec didn't trust Magnus especially when he realized that "Magnus" had been acting strangely earlier. It was difficult to watch.

One moment to come out of that situation that I loved, though, came after Magnus was back in his own body when Alec asked him to tell him what to do because he didn't know how to help. That was such a nice, simple scene.

Of course, I can't not mention the Sizzy in this episode when it's been so long since we've gotten much (or any?) interaction between Simon and Isabelle. Even if there's not currently anything romantic happening between them, I greatly appreciate seeing their friendship, and I'm hoping we get more of it over the course of the season.

The fact that Simon is immediately worried over the fact that Jace isn't Clary's brother hints at a continuing problem in his and Clary's relationship, and while I don't ship Clary and Simon together, I do feel frustrated that this isn't something they're talking about when it seems critical that they do. I think it's clear that they're not because they both know what the result would be. I just wonder how long it will take us to get there. I have to admit that their relationship is lasting longer than I expected it to.

I'm not sure what the point was in having Clary lose her rune power except for it giving us a somewhat disturbing scene with Clary and Sebastian that hints that there's more to Sebastian than has been revealed.

Speaking of Sebastian, he asks Clary out in this episode. Since I don't want to give any spoilers, I won't say much else about that, but yep...

Their decision to have Izzy go to a mundane group for addicts was an interesting one, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with that in the future. I'm glad that she's getting better.

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