‘Shadowhunters’ 3×11 Review: ‘Lost Souls’

After almost a year off, Shadowhunters is back with the second half of its third and final season, and it’s as fun, as confusing, and as busy as always. This midseason premiere was… an episode of Shadowhunters, and I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. It was pretty much what I expected, and it was nice to see some of these characters again.

I’m also interested in some of these storyline, and curious to see what this show does with the book content, especially since they’re trying to wrap things up in ten episodes.

Siblings


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We find out pretty quickly what happened to Clary, and what the show plans to do with their twist on City of Lost Souls, and honestly, I’m not hating it so far.

I was surprised and, yeah, apprehensive when they mixed things up by having Jonathan kidnap Clary instead of Jace, but I’m starting to think this might have been the right call for this show.

This storyline in the books was important for two main reasons: one, because it gave us insight into Jonathan’s character and generally helped us understand him a lot better, and two, because it played into Jace’s insecurities about not being a good person or all that different from Valentine and Jonathan. Neither of those things are going to happen on Shadowhunters.

For one, if this show actually decides to give Jonathan a personality and demonstrate some kind of moral complexity – not excuse his actions, but explain them in a way that makes him seem even scarier – I will be thrilled, but very surprised. Shadowhunters has made it very clear that they want their villains to be caricatures, and their portrayal of Jonathan has reflected that. So far, they’ve shown him literally as a monster, who was sent to hell and tortured for years and doesn’t seem to have goals beyond destroying things.

Furthermore, Jace’s insecurities about being like Valentine and Jonathan aren’t really a thing in the show, and certainly haven’t been in the last season. This clearly isn’t the direction they want to take his character, and besides, SHTV Jace is a pretty bland character so I’m not sure I’d even care about a storyline with him and Jonathan. This role reversal could be good for his character.

 

So now the question that remains is this: will the show take Clary’s character down that same route? They haven’t exactly given her any of those insecurities either, but it could be interesting to see her grapple with her ideas of good and evil and frankly this show could do with some moral complexity.

Based on what we saw in this episode, I’m not totally sure where the writers are going with this storyline, but I’m intrigued. I liked the interactions between Clary and Jonathan, I liked what Jonathan said about them not being all that different, and I think this situation has potential.

The revelation that they’re tied together the way Jace and Jonathan are in the books is definitely interesting, and I hope it forces the two characters to get to know each other a bit better. However, I do think it’s worth pointing out that one major element of the bond has been eliminated, and that’s the fact that Jace’s personality actually changed, as did his memories, so that he genuinely liked Sebastian and wanted to work with him. That was more horrifying, especially to our main characters, as it was painful to see him like that and it wasn’t entirely clear if they’d ever get the real him back. They also knew how much the real Jace would hate to see himself like that. If the bond between Clary and Jonathan is strictly physical, a lot of its meaning is lost. Still, I can see why the show might want to change that up if they’re swapping out a man for a woman, and a secondary character for the protagonist, as turning Clary into a mindless follower of Jonathan’s with no agency whatsoever might not be the best move.

I’m not quite sure where this storyline is going, or what it’s supposed to accomplish, but I’m interested. I’ll give it that.

Isabelle Lightwood is a gem

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I really hope we get to see more of Isabelle this season than we did in 3A. I feel like the writers weren’t really sure what to do with her last season, and ended up either focusing on her love life or using her to prop up other characters, and while I loved her scenes in this episode, I also felt like she was playing the same role.

Izzy spends most of this episode solving everyone else’s problems, and doing an incredibly good job of it, at that. This girl is wise beyond her years. She isn’t really given the chance to mourn Clary on her own, as she goes around preventing Jace from hurting himself, advising Maia on how to deal with Simon, and trying to get the Clave to take the torture of Seelies seriously. I really enjoyed her scenes, and I know she’s not the protagonist of this story, but I wish we could finally see a bit of vulnerability from her. I want to know how she’s dealing with Clary’s “death.” Is focusing on everyone else and throwing herself into work her coping mechanism? Her line about wanting to be around people when she’s upset was very telling, but I wanted more! Please let her be a human with emotions!

I can’t tell where Shadowhunters plans to take her character this season, but I hope they have plans, because she’s awesome and I don’t want them to waste her.

Simon and the Mark of Cain

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Simon’s storyline in this episode centred on the Mark of Cain, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I really liked that we got to see what the mark, combined with the loss of Clary, was doing to him. This is rock bottom for Simon. He is completely alone, he’s hurt a lot of people, and he has absolutely no faith that he will ever be able to be around people again. He’s also still immortal and newly invulnerable, so he is looking at a very long and very painful existence.

I understand why Simon wants to get rid of the Mark, but I’m also very bored with this storyline. It feels like the show is spinning its tires about regarding Simon’s situation, and has been for awhile. He tried to get rid of it last season, he didn’t succeed, now he’s trying again, going all around chasing down powerful vampires instead of going back to the person who gave him the Mark, when anyone who’s read the books knows how he can get rid of it. This storyline just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and I’m much more interested in Simon’s life as an outcast.

Also, I know this may appear to go against what I just said about Isabelle, but I’d really like to see the two of them get together this season. I think they’re both at a place in their lives right now where they’re kind of lonely and could help each other out a lot. It could be a good situation for the both of them.

I also really like both of these characters, so I’m cautiously optimistic that they could work well together. It’s time for Sizzy, I think.

Magnus and his powers

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I’ll admit I didn’t think much of Magnus giving up his powers when it was casually mentioned in the midseason finale, because the reveal was so anticlimactic and random that I didn’t really care and didn’t expect it to last, but apparently this is actually a thing?

I’m still confused about this whole thing, and I don’t really understand why it’s happening, but I guess it’s a good storyline for Magnus? It was cute to see him struggle to do basic tasks without his magic, and Alec being a wonderful supportive boyfriend was also adorable, and I’m actually pretty excited to see him train as a shadowhunter.

Also, a question I have after this episode: if all of Magnus’s spells have been undone, shouldn’t that be a big deal? Magnus has done a lot of magic in his lifetime. He’s put up a lot of wards. And once word gets out, I’m assuming old enemies of his will take advantage and go after him

Odds and Ends

  • I’ve watched this episode four times and I still can’t figure out how much time has passed since the last episode???
  • That fight scene at the beginning was actually pretty cool
  • I also really enjoyed the soundtrack in this episode!
  • The number of times I cringed at the dialogue in this episode. Yup, this show hasn’t changed.
  • I hope we get to see more of Maia this season! She seems to be going through a lot right now.
  • I laughed so hard at Magnus saying he and Alec shouldn’t kiss because “you know how we get”
  • The scene where Alec tried to make Jace understand what an idiot he was being about Clary was so damn good. You tell him, Alec!
  • I cannot believe Isabelle told Maia about what happened with Simon’s family. Why would she tell her that? That is so not her secret to tell. She doesn’t know if Simon wants Maia to know that.
  • “Why should I trust you?” “Because I’m your brother” Jonathan, in a nutshell
  • Once again, I’m left wondering why the show didn’t kill of Max when it had the chance. Jonathan hasn’t exactly done much to prove how evil he is. Max was the thing that made him completely unredeemable.
  • Luke figuring out what happened to Clary seemed a little convenient and hard to believe, but if it helps us find her, whatever.
  • It was so nice to see Raphael again!
  • I still don’t understand Alec’s position here. How is he still the head of the institute if the Clave trusts him so little? Jia literally says he deserves to be punished, but she doesn’t even strip him of his title? I just don’t buy the excuse that he has fans in Alicante who would be that mad if he was no longer the head of the Institute.

Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on Freeform.




Reader, fangirl and aspiring writer. Obsessed with horses, hockey and Herondales. Frequently has her heart broken by fictional characters and terrible hockey teams. Contact: beata@fangirlish.com.