‘Shadowhunters’ Roundtable: “Of Men and Angels”

We’re headed back into the shadow world tonight and we’re revisiting last weeks episode, “Of Men and Angels” to prepare. Last weeks episode seemed that the show was finding it’s footing. Read what we had to say below!

What were your overall thoughts on “Of Men and Angels?”

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]I will say that Shadowhunters is showing signs of improvement, and this episode was one that I enjoyed mostly because of the Circle flashbacks. That was always a storyline that I was thoroughly intrigued by but never thought we’d see explored on the show, so that was a nice surprise. There were good and bad things about this episode, as there is with any show. While I enjoyed the Circle story, the Lightwoods, and Malec, I continued to be deterred by the fast-paced storytelling. I wasn’t a fan of how – already – Clary knows that she has a brother with the initials J.C., but that’s just my preference. The one thing that continues to irk me are those decisions in regards to pacing and when to tell certain storylines.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight] Still thought it was really boring. There was so much exposition! It was crazy. The episode was 10% Luke making pained groaning sounds, 10% Simon and Jace jostling, and 80% expository dialogue. There’s got to be a better way to impart all of this backstory. I get that there’s a lot to find out, but the presentation of it is very clunky and un-engaging.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]Underwhelming. The little irregularities weighed the episode down. Mundane vs. Shadowhunter driving, infectious Alpha bites on Luke who’s already a werewolf, and how Luke became a werewolf (wasn’t aware that they’re rabid dogs not werewolves). It just didn’t add up for me.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] Shadowhunters is showing signs that it’s finding it’s ground, but this episode didn’t do it for me. It kinda bored me and at the same time I loved the fact that we got more of a Circle backstory. I think that was important. I still feel that there is an information dump going on and it’s frustrating. Let us learn things over time – stop making me feel like you are reciting the lexicon. It’s the fast pace of the story – the lack of good pacing that keeps throwing me off. Give it time and let people evolve. Stop trying to shove everything down our throat so fast. Please?

This week we got some flashbacks into the story of Valentine, Jocelyn, and Luke. What were your thoughts on the Circle backstory?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]The Circle story has always been something that I’ve enjoyed in Cassandra Clare’s books because it showed us what led to Valentine’s rise and threat in the present day. I was glad that we got to delve a little bit into that on the show. I’ve always loved the adults in this story, and the story about the rise and fall of Valentine’s Circle has always been intriguing to me. I appreciated that we got to see flashbacks of Valentine, Jocelyn, and Luke at different points from when Valentine was an honorable man to his jealousy over Jocelyn and Luke’s relationship and how that drove him to insanity. But my favorite flashback scene came when we saw Valentine take Luke on what he intended to be a suicide mission that ultimately turned Luke into the werewolf he is today. It was a nod to the books and that scene later – “You should have killed yourself” – put me right back in the book.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]It was fairly predictable. We knew, right off the bat, from the very first episode, that Luke loved Jocelyn. They had that whole weird extended sequence where his colleague took it upon her self to start badgering him about marrying Jocelyn while they were standing over a dead body. It was a bit interesting to find out that Valentine was experimenting with Downworlder blood. I’m intrigued to find out the implications of that. Clearly, it made him nuts, but I’m wondering how else it affected his abilities. The actors who played the younger versions of Valentine, Jocelyn, and Luke were awful, too. And did Clary seriously start to ask Luke if he was her father?!?

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]The story itself worked well in explaining why Valentine became the hateful, destructive person that he is. What didn’t work was the cheap way it was filled (seemed like a major step down from the present day storyline), the lacking acting, and exposition heavy dialogue.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]Where I was happy to get more of the backstory, I was bored by some of it. I just felt like there was this quick – “here you go, stop bitching” storyline because the fandom had asked for more backstory. However, I admire the fact that they are willing to go there, because I do believe that these stories are important. I hope that we see more flashbacks over time that tell us more about the Circle backstory.

So we got a little more flirtation between Magnus and Alec in this episode. What were your thoughts on the pair and what would you like to see moving forward?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]I continue to love the Magnus and Alec dynamic on this show, and I have high hopes for where the show will take them if only because so far it’s proved to be pacing itself while giving us the teases that we need. It wasn’t really the date it was touted to be, but it was nice to see the two continue to interact with that flirtation that neither one of them is acting on just yet. It’s exciting to just watch the chemistry between Matt and Harry light up the screen. I’d like to see their relationship treated with the care that it was in the books. This couple’s story is incredibly important to fans of the books, and it’s important in our world. All I ask is that the show take its time and give it the love and care it deserves.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]Cute! So cute. Magnus is still a little bit over the top and hammy, but I thought his admission to Alec that Alec had opened up something in Magnus that he’d locked away for a long time was really touching. I realize that Alec still has a ways to go before he can really open up with Magnus, but I want to see them get to that point. Full-fledged relationship, asap, would be ideal. I also love that it was his interactions with Magnus that finally got Alec to stop being so uptight about Clary and finally appear to make peace with her.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]So sweet! Their pairing is so subtle, living in the looks between the two and their small moments alone together. The minimal dialogue and the natural chemistry between the two makes Magnus and Alec a duo I can root for. If it continues to progress in the charming and slow fashion that it currently is, I’ll be happy.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] I am here for Malec – I love them. Maybe it’s because I love them so much in the books. I am glad that they are getting attention and that Harry and Matt have such great chemistry. But I am hoping that their relationship is treated with care and understanding. I am hoping that we get to feel the buildup of their relationship like we do in the books. I don’t want that to be part of the information dump. I want to see Magnus and Alec grow.

The Lightwood family name is in jeopardy and in order to restore the family name it appears as if Alec is being forced to get married. What do you think about that?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]I really hope that this whole forcing Alec to marry what I’m assuming is to be a female Shadowhunter thing is something that is mentioned but not followed through on because I find it to be insulting. I’ve seen it on other shows, where this woman was forced to marry a man by her father, and it was just wrong. It’s disrespectful to the character and the audience. It’s one thing to mention it, but it’s another thing to force this unnecessary and insulting storyline on this audience and Alec, who we know is not interested in women. Alec has already voiced his displeasure at it, and if he ends up going through with it because he feels obligated to do so I’m going to be disappointed in this storytelling.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]Nope. Nope, I do not accept that. It’s not happening. Malec needs to happen! I don’t understand why Alec wasn’t more freaked out by that news, but I’m confident that Alec and Izzy will find a way to get Alec out of that situation. I really can’t stand Maryse. I think the show did a poor job of deepening her character.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]Considering that the Lightwoods were also members of the Circle, I can’t think that their family’s reputation was thought of as pristine to begin with. As for Alec, maybe he will eventually reject their arranged marriage, which might allow him to come out to his parents. Alec’s been questioning the rules of the Clave more and more, so if that’s taken one step further and he finally says no to this assignment it’ll really work well for his character development and self-acceptance.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] I think it’s bullshit. I also think it’s a cheap way to write Alec’s storyline and I think it’s disrespectful to the characters. I am disappointed with it – though I know people will tell me that it’s creating romantic tension. It’s not. It’s disrespect to the character that Cassie created.

Also speaking of redeeming the Lightwood family name, Isabelle decided that she needed to heed her mother’s advice and be more professional under the watchful eye of the Clave. What were your thoughts on that?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]While I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this, I’m so relieved that Isabelle is finally being treated with the respect of the character in the book. Everything from her dress to her professional demeanor in that one shot we saw had me going, “Yes, that’s the Isabelle Lightwood I know from the books.” While I didn’t enjoy how how Maryse was putting Isabelle down, I am appreciative of how the show looks to now be treating Isabelle. Let her be the badass she’s already shown she is and be looked upon as respected; a force to be reckoned with.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]It was a little bit on the nose, given that Isabelle immediately changed and did her hair to look exactly like her mother, but it was definitely an interesting character development. I’m curious to see how this decision will affect her relationships with the rest of the team.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]Izzy’s fulfilling her need to please Maryse by changing herself to help her family. I wish that if Izzy was going to alter herself, that she would actually be doing it for herself, not for the sake of others. It’s clear to Izzy that Maryse isn’t telling the entire truth about what’s happening in Idris and in her marriage. Knowing that, it’s surprising that Izzy goes through with it anyways.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] Maryse makes me want to slap her. Like – can you be so cold? How Maryse put her daughter down was not okay. She’s forcing her daughter to be cold and that’s hard to watch. I feel like they need to find the balance with Isabelle’s character and haven’t been able to do that yet. I am hoping that they do.

We saw Jace and Simon spend some time together in tracking down an antidote for Luke, and we saw the tension fly between them. What were your thoughts on that dynamic?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]Despite the fact that Jace is coming off as a total dick, by episode’s end I liked where their relationship ended up. The episode started off with them feuding for Clary’s affections and they made it personal as they tried to demean one another. But the fact of the matter is these two characters have one thing in common: they care about Clary. So we saw that come to a head near the end of the episode where – after Jace told Simon that all Simon would ever be to Clary was a friend – Clary confirmed as much. But Jace didn’t mock him or take joy in that fact. For the first time you saw the real Jace – that strong yet caring warrior – briefly make himself known. And finally I’m starting to feel more encouraged about where Jace’s character is headed. But I absolutely love the dynamic between Dominic Sherwood and Alberto Rosende. They naturally play so well off of one another, and it’s always a joy to watch.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]It seemed a little bit pointless. We already knew that these two hate each other and we’ve already seen them bicker. It’s not like they came to some kind of understanding after spending that time together, so what was the use of it? It was just an exercise in watching them be bitchy to one another. Jace seemed close to figuring out that something weird was up with Simon after his vampire hiatus but he didn’t quite make the connection. Which is baffling and annoying! These characters are not very bright.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]I want to like their dynamic more than I actually do. They say it themselves: Jace relies on his good looks and Simon is more compassionate and caring. Since they’ve left out the majority of book Jace’s charm and wit, he’s just a cocky jerk, instead of being a charming, cocky jerk. What does Clary even see in Jace at this point? While Simon doesn’t have it all, he’s definitely more accessible. Maybe it’s the mystery of Jace that intrigues Clary more than anything else. It’s hard to grasp this dynamic when it’s clear that it’s imbalanced, with Jace’s ego taking the place of where his heart should be.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] I love Simon trying to act all tough. It’s cute. I want to like the two of them together – but I can’t stand Jace’s ego/attitude so much that it makes it hard for me to want to deal with him. It just seems – again – like they are trying to create drama. That being said – I don’t always hate the two of them together. I really feel like Alberto is the perfect Simon and that Dom is a great Jace. It’s hard – I can see both sides to this relationship.

After learning her mother was an artist and had the same ability that she had too – with putting objects in paper – Clary said that she has a guess as to where her mother hid the Mortal Cup. Where do you think it is?

[highlight]TMI Source: [/highlight]It has to be the tarot card decorated with a Mortal Cup, right? I mean there’s a big problem if that isn’t it. One of the things that I wondering about in this show was why Jocelyn hid her artistic ability from Clary. Jocelyn’s and Clary’s love for art served as another reminder of how similar mother and daughter are. But now I see why the show chose to keep that hidden: to serve as a “aha” moment for Clary as she realizes the significance of both of their artistic abilities and power to put things literally to paper. As long as changes make sense to the story then I’m willing to accept them, like this one.

[highlight]TellTaleTV: [/highlight]This is such a silly power. It made me laugh in the premiere, when Clary turned her biscotti into a drawing on paper, but at least that scene makes sense now (since it seemed so weird and random at the time). I’m guessing it’s in a drawing somewhere, a specific drawing in Clary’s old apartment. Probably hidden in plain sight.

[highlight]Fan Representative, Katherine:[/highlight]I’m guessing that it’s in Dot’s stack of hand painted cards from the first episode…wherever those may be.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] It’s in the cards. Yes, I believe int’s in the cards.

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