Monday, August 5, 2019

Shadowhunters Talk: 3x10 "Erchomai

Another episode full of some heavy stuff.

Jonathan and Lilith

This episode starts with a flashback to Jonathan arriving in Edom and the first time she burns him. I appreciate getting that scene because it helps us understand Jonathan better. Before, we'd gotten bits and pieces of information about what happened to Jonathan, but with something as messed up as this, it's more powerful to see it. The scene also gave us a better idea of what Jonathan and Lilith's dynamics are like, since we hadn't see them actually interact much before, and it shows that Lilith isn't really a mother to Jonathan despite both of them using that word.

Simon and His Mom

While that scene made me feel bad for Jonathan, Simon's storyline in this episode was the most upsetting because I'm more attached to him. Watching him wipe his mom's memory was heartbreaking. While it's understandable that she's better off not knowing (look what happened to Ollie after learning about the Shadow World), I'm sad that Simon couldn't maintain any kind of relationship with her, even one where she doesn't know the full truth.

Special Effects

My least favorite part of this episode has to be the CGI fire they used when Magnus sent himself to Edom. I don't expect Shadowhunters to have blockbuster movie special effects, but that one did make me cringe, I'll admit it.

Magnus and Asmodeus

We get a better sense of what Asmodeus and Magnus' relationship has been like in this episode too, and I liked seeing them interact, especially when it being in Edom meant that it mirrored Jonathan and Lilith even more closely. That being said, some of the lines in the scene confused me. Magnus refers to himself as Asmodeus's "chosen son", and it's not entirely clear what he means by that. If the show is following the books in this respect, Asmodeus is Magnus' biological father, but the wording on top of the given backstory of him picking Magnus up off the streets kind of imply that he just adopted Magnus.

Considering they did give Asmodeus cat eyes like Magnus, it's more likely that "chosen son" was only meant to imply that Asmodeus had more biological children and Magnus was the one he chose to raise. If I didn't know from the books that he was Magnus' biological father, though, I don't think that's how I'd have interpreted that scene.


Maryse tells Luke that the Owl broke Clary out of the Gard, and they track Lilith down together. I'm really impressed with Maryse's commitment to remaining part of everything despite losing her runes. It's also impressive how much information she's able to get when she's supposed to be completely cut off from the Clave. While it undoubtedly had some major connections before, I think it's interesting how many people are apparently willing to help her despite her crimes.

The Ending

The episode ends with Magnus giving up his powers, something I'll talk more about when I discuss the following episodes and the aftermath of it.

The biggest cliffhanger here is that Clary and Jonathan both seem to be dead. Again, since I know what comes next, I won't talk about that much in this post, but I did enjoy both Jace's and Simon's reactions to thinking she's dead. They were powerful.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Shadowhunters Talk: 3x09 "Familia Ante Omnia"

In this episode, we learn that the Clave executes death row prisoners by burning them alive. Clary describes the practice as barbaric, and I definitely agree that it's messed up. The idea that they put a large number of people to death in one go and that the consul stands there and coldly watches the whole thing with no concerns blows my mind. Honestly, I know the show has been canceled, but if it had gone on longer, this is something I'd want the show to come back to and make the Clave improve on.

Simon learns that it's the Mark of Cain on his forehead in this episode. That isn't news to anyone who's read the book, but since he knows exactly what the mark is when he receives it in the books, it's interesting to watch him figure it out in the show.

Lilith seeking Heidi's help was a good idea, but it's frustrating to watch Heidi fall so easily for Lilith's manipulation while thinking she's empowering herself. Watching Heidi threaten Simon's family was particularly difficult. Both because the blood made me squeamish and because it's just sad to watch, especially when Simon's mom begins yelling at him that he's a monster.

Clary uses a rune to bring Valentine back to life, which is kind of terrifying as well. That's the kind of power that no one should have, and as far as I can remember, it's not mentioned again after this episode, which is kind of wild if you think about it. It's something I'd imagine becoming extremely classified, with Clary being forbidden to share the rune with anyone in the future. If I were part of the Clave, I'd certainly be worried about her being capable of such a thing.

Between bringing back the dead and Simon's family calling him a monster, this was an intense episode, but I really like how they did it.

Race to the Edge Talk: 5x06 "Return of Thor Bonecrusher"

This episode opens with Snotlout sees some women in wigs, and when he finds out they're women, he says it's "false advertising". Ugh. Snotlout is always portrayed as a misogynistic jerk, but even for him, that joke went way too far. It shouldn't have been in the episode for a long list of reasons that I just don't want to list, and I felt sour towards the whole episode after that start.

Snotlout also proves how stupid he is in this episode by hypnotizing Fishlegs into Thor Bonecrusher again and making him an antihero instead of a hero. I totally buy that Snotlout wouldn't know what that term meant, but it was a strange phrase for him to choose given the circumstances. It felt out of place.

Fishlegs snaps out of being Thor Bonecrusher when Snotlout claps, but he continues to pretend in order to keep his cover from being blown. I liked seeing Fishlegs act bravely. It was nice for him.

The end of the episode features Kronan and Viggo, and we learn that they're working together. It's an effective cliffhanger I think, leaving us wondering just what it is they're up to.

All in all, I realize that this is shorter than my usual Race to the Edge posts. I couldn't get into this episode at all after the beginning with Snotlout, and it left me pretty angry with the show for a while. I'm still uncomfortable about it, and to be honest, it's left me feeling uneasy whenever I watch Race to the Edge since.