‘Shadowhunters’ 2×15 Review: ‘A Problem of Memory’

I kind of want every episode of Shadowhunters to be like A Problem of Memory. It was ridiculous and slightly cringey at times, but it was fun. I laughed almost the entire way through. It had all the fun of season 1, except it was actually good.

Granted, I don’t think all the jokes I was laughing at were meant to be jokes, but who cares? This episode made me happy. This show makes me happy. I don’t care if the jokes are intentional or not, as long as they’re funny.

Of course, it wasn’t all laughs. I was genuinely interested in the plot, I was surprised by the numerous twists, some of the cute moments were actually really touching, and I hope the rest of the season continues along at this pace.

ACCIDENTAL MURDERS AND FOOT FETISHES

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I didn’t love everything about Simon’s storyline in A Problem of Memory, but I’m so happy that he’s finally starting to lose control of his Vampire powers. This guy is in way over his head with the daylighter thing and all the vampire politics, and it’s so exciting that it’s finally getting the better of him. It’s kind of a combination of Simon’s state of mind in City of Ashes, City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels, and it works wonderfully.

Simon is a mess. He has no idea how to be a downworlder, he has no idea how to be a vampire and he has no idea how to be a daylighter. He’s been mildly successful and faking it so far, mostly because he has very influential friends, but it’s finally all spilling over and it’s wonderful.

This is the storyline I’ve wanted the writers to give Simon for a very long time, and I’m so glad it’s finally happening. I’m excited to see how it plays out.

THE BAD TEEN DRAMA PLOT

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I’m not even going to waste words on this Simon/Clary/Jace drama because I feel like I rant about it in every review. I thought it was handled okay in this episode and that all of the characters’ reactions were valid and well justified. It just really sucks to see Simon and Clary’s amazing friendship, which is arguably the best relationship in the entire show, split up by something so petty. I know they’re going to get back together and probably end up even stronger than they were before but it sucks that they’re fighting and I wish they’d just realize that they’re better off as friends. Again, that’s a realization that can come without Jace and adding this drama just cheapens everything.

THERE’S NOTHING UGLY ABOUT YOU

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I’m really happy with the way Malec is being written in season 2. There have definitely been a few hiccups, and I still want to see a lot more of them, but I definitely think the writers have put a lot of effort into making this a healthy, open relationship. In fiction, few things are more frustrating than couples who refuse to communicate and end up caught up in silly, pointless drama, and I’m so glad that Magnus and Alec have mostly avoided that.

A part of me will always be sad that all the Camille stuff was brushed aside, but I think that for this show, it was probably the right call. This version of Alec is a lot more sure of himself, a lot less insecure, closer to the Alec we see in The Dark Artifices than to the one in The Mortal Instruments. I don’t think that storyline would have made sense for him.

I’m really glad the show still found a way to address Magnus’ past, though. He’s so insecure about it, so afraid to open up, even to Alec, and I love that he’s finally ready to talk about it. This whole storyline provided great insight into Magnus’s character, as well as some wonderful development for his relationship with Alec.




POLYJUICE POTION

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By far, the scene that made me laugh the most was the one in which we found out that Sebastian was holding the real Sebastian Verlac hostage as he assumed his identity. It was perfect. I should have seen it coming, because it was exactly the sort of thing Shadowhunters would do, and yet it still caught me completely by surprise.

I really, truly despise that shapeshifting rune, and yet at this point, it’s kind of become a running joke. Of course they’re going to use the rune. They always use the rune. In fact, if they didn’t use the rune, everyone would be wondering why they weren’t using it when it could so easily solve all the characters’ problems.

And then… well, then Sebastian’s true form was revealed. And I laughed but also cried a little and facepalmed a lot. I don’t like this, at all, but I expected it after the interviews I’d heard with Matt Hastings at the beginning of the season. I’ll probably have some long rant about it some other day when I’m more worked up about it, but for now all I can say is that I think it’s cheap, and lazy, and unnecessary. I think Sebastian is a thousand times more interesting and terrifying as an evil human being than as a grotesque monster.

THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE SENSE, A LIST

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  1. How was Luke’s partner not suspicious about the girl being bitten and drained of blood through her foot? Is that even possible?
  2. Luke’s partner not even making a joke about vampires. Come on. She might not believe in them, but this entire situation screams “vampire.” Any normal person would have at least made a joke.
  3. If Sebastian’s family was looking for him, why didn’t anyone tell them he was in New York? There are so many important people at the Institute. Did none of them notice?
  4. Do people actually have to give fingerprints to coach Little League? I know very little about this stuff, but that seems excessive.
  5. Also, what exactly is the NYPD’s record on Simon? I distinctly remember him being accused of murder, killed, brought to the morgue, then calmly stepping out of a body bag. Anyone else remember that?
  6. Idris’ wards protecting against the Circle rune. I don’t know how that’s possible, but even if it is, why does Valentine still use it if it bans him from Idris?
  7. The guy who was supposed to escort Valentine to Idris actually letting himself be blackmailed by Sebastian. What happened to honour?

OTHER THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS


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  • Now, I’m going to be completely honest here: my enjoyment of this episode was probably largely affected by the fact that I’m a week into a long road trip and running on very little sleep as I write this.
  • We got the full “To love is to destroy, and to be loved it to be the one destroyed” quote!
  • I actually yelled when Aline first appeared on screen. I was not expecting her at all and I’m so happy she’s here.
  • I was also extremely confused when she recognized Sebastian, so I’m glad that was cleared up.
  • “I’m a good guy! I’m an organ donor!” Made me laugh so hard. I love Simon.
  • “There is nothing ugly about you”

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm on Freeform.



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