‘Shadowhunters’ 2×06 Review: ‘Iron Sisters’

I didn’t have high expectations for Iron Sisters, the sixth episode of Shadowhunters season 2. But as I’ve learned over my one year of watching and writing about this show, the lower my expectations, the better the show is probably going to be.

It’s the way of Shadowhunters, you see. It gets your hopes up, then it lets you down. Once you’re almost ready to give up on the show, it picks itself back up again. It’s a rollercoaster. I tend to go into these episodes with high expectations, which means I’m usually pretty disappointed. Maybe low expectations is the way to go from here on out, then. I don’t know. Low expectations are boring. I’d much prefer eternal and irrational optimism. That’s my philosophy when it comes to sports, anyway. Maybe I should rethink it just for this one show.

I thought this episode, though a tad boring, was pretty good. There were some great character moments, some amazing couple moments, and the changes to the books didn’t make me want to throw anything at my TV.

That last part could change with time, though. I might have just gone numb to that stuff by this point. Try me again next week and we’ll see if I’ve gotten worked up about it by then.

IRON SISTERS

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I’ll admit that I wasn’t impressed with the look of the Iron Sisters, or the Citadel, from the promos, but the real thing wasn’t quite as bad as I expected. Despite their underwhelming aesthetics, the Iron Sisters are pretty badass warriors, and that’s something I’ll always appreciate.

That said, I do think they were a little too calm about Valentine’s daughter coming to see them alongside someone with demon blood. Considering how well fortified the Citadel is, I have a really hard time believing they’d just tell the girls to leave, and then let Isabelle walk around unsupervised. Wouldn’t they view this as a huge threat? And at the very least immediately send the girls back through a portal? It was weird.

Of course, I can’t talk about the Iron Sisters without mentioning the huge bombshell they dropped when talking to Clary: that the Mortal Instruments don’t give their user the power to summon the angel, but rather the power to destroy all demons and downworlders. Honestly, I can’t even summon the energy to care about this. It’s a really boring change that I think will only make the show worse, but I’m not even surprised that Shadowhunters did this. I’m just disappointed.

MALEC

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My opinions about Malec seem to fluctuate with my feelings about Shadowhunters. There are some episodes in which I’m really angry about the writing and just don’t feel like the couple is being done justice, and others in which I’m practically on the floor dying of feels because they’re so damn cute.

Like I said, it’s a rollercoaster.

This isn’t book Malec at all, but I still love it. I think that’s been the theme of my Shadowhunters reviews lately. This version of Magnus and Alec have really good chemistry, and when they’re allowed to shine, they can easily steal the show. In Iron Sisters, they finally got what I’ve wanted for this couple since the beginning: screen time. They were an actual B plot, not just a scene thrown in at the last minute to satisfy the fans. That’s what Malec deserves.

I’m kind of glad that Shadowhunters jumped right into the conversation about exes, because that’s kind of an elephant in the room for these two characters. Alec can’t help but wonder if he’s even important to Magnus given how many people the warlock has dated, and Magnus is thrown off by Alec’s inexperience. These are two wildly different people, with completely different life experiences, and it’s going to take them awhile to figure out how to be together. But that’s why we’re here. That’s why we watch this show, why we’re invested in these characters. We want to see the journey. I’m not entirely confident that the show will do justice to this couple, but this episode definitely gave me a hope. 

Then again, this is Shadowhunters. I’ve been let down many, many times before. So I am expecting nothing from this (but lets hope and pray that they dive into the Malec relationship and continue to show us, instead of telling us about it). 

MAIA

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Maia is another character that I’ve really come to like in the TV show despite the fact that she is absolutely nothing like her book counterpart. This version is fierce, she’s funny, and she has amazing chemistry with Simon.

I’m glad Jordan still hasn’t come into play, because like I said a few episodes back, he’s not necessary yet. Right now, we’re focusing on Maia as an individual, as well as her relationships with Luke and Simon. I thought that worked really well in this episode and I’m glad Shadowhunters isn’t rushing that plotline like it tends to rush pretty much everything else. See? Progress.




I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks to Luke being a wonderful and caring father figure, as well as the emphasis on his relationship with Maia. That’s something that I hoped would be explored in depth in the show, because it really showcases the bond between pack members, especially those who came across the pack through particularly horrifying circumstances like these two did.

As for a potential romance between Maia and Simon, I’m okay with it. She can clearly see that Simon is in love with Clary, so it might have to wait awhile, and it’s sure that the cheating plot line won’t work with Maia and Clary. Maybe Maia will make her move as soon as she’s sure Clary isn’t a threat, or maybe she’ll wait like she did in the books. There are a lot of possibilities, and I’m excited to see where the show takes things from here.

THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE SENSE, A LIST

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Not much happened in this episode, but since this is Shadowhunters, that definitely doesn’t mean everything made sense.

  1. Isabelle giving in so easily to the Yin Fen. I know the stuff is addictive, but I just can’t see Izzy agreeing to have Aldertree hold so much leverage over her without at least trying to fight it.
  2. Isabelle saying she’s going to “join” the mission to the Citadel when she’s the only person on the mission. Who were they planning on sending in the first place, then?
  3. Why would the Clave send Izzy and Clary to the Citadel anyway? I thought we’d already established that the Clave doesn’t trust them anymore. Also, again, look at how many shadowhunters there are at the institute!
  4. The Clave not knowing why Valentine wants the Soul Sword. You’re trying to tell me they don’t actually know what its uses are?
  5. If they think the sword is just for interrogation, why do they think Valentine wants it for something else? That seems like a perfectly useful thing to have.
  6. The fact that nobody in Luke’s pack wanted to go looking for him. Nope, I don’t buy it. Pack members stick up for each other, no matter what.
  7. How does Aldertree know about Clary and Jace studying runes? You know what, forget I asked. The real question is how he doesn’t know every single thing that goes on in this show.
  8. Jace saying he was teaching Clary about “history of runes” in the Gray Book. Wait, the history of runes is written in the Gray Book? It’s not just a book full of runes.
  9. Alec being able to drink at the bar. Preeetty sure he’s 20. I could be wrong though.
  10. Maia not knowing that Jace is Valentine’s son and Clary’s brother. I’m really confused about who knows what in this show.
  11. How did the entire institute know about Jace’s demon blood? And you’re telling me the Institute doesn’t have a Twitter feed.
  12. The Iron Sisters not investigating the fact that someone with demon blood tried to enter the Citadel.
  13. The fact that no shadowhunters have ever tried to use the Mortal Instruments to destroy demons and downworlders. Come on. I know shadowhunters.
  14. Maia believing Luke so quickly when he tells her she’s a werewolf in the flashbacks. I at least expected a “but werewolves don’t exist!”
  15. The random mundanes thinking Luke is “just a deer” after hearing a literal roar from outside their tent.
  16. That whole marshmallow story. First of all, I’ve gotten roasted marshmallow in my hair plenty of times before, and that never warranted cutting off my hair. Second, how much hair did Jocelyn cut off if Clary thought she looked like a boy?
  17. Aldertree apparently not knowing about the purity trial. I mean, this is probably going to be revealed later on in the season, but I’m pretty sure we’ve established by now that Aldertree knows everything.
  18. Sister Cleophas being able to hide her circle rune. Wait, since when is that a thing? Why has nobody done it yet?

OTHER THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

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  • There was definitely not much to talk about in this episode because not much happened.
  • But you know what? I’m okay with that. Sure, the ridiculousness of the show has become endearing to me at this point, but it’s also… you know… bad.
  • Can I once again say how glad I am that we’re still feeling the repercussions of Jocelyn’s death? Clary is looking for her, Luke is wolfing out. It wasn’t for nothing. I actually served a purpose.
  • Raphael telling  – “There will be consequences, amigo” – was laughable.
  • The reverence with which Isabelle talks about the Iron Sisters is so true to her character.
  • Oh look, Yin Fen isn’t actually Yin Fen at all. They just used the name to attract book fans. Anyone surprised? Show of hands?
  • Clace is still fantastic. I’m now considering this a permanent change and I am so happy with it.
  • I loved Magnus’ speech about making time for the things you love. I’m sure it’s something he’s had to learn over the years. It was very true to his character.
  • Alec’s face when he realized Magnus had 17 thousand exes was so funny.
  • Oh look, Shadowhunters having its girls bathe in white, already see-through dresses. Not aimed at a certain audience at all.
  • Jace crashing with Magnus is my favourite thing that has happened this whole season.
  • Please, please, please give Jace some snarky lines now. There are too many good opportunities and you are missing them Shadowhunters writers. 

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm on Freeform.



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