‘Shadowhunters’ 3×12 Review: ‘Original Sin’

Shadowhunters only has a few episodes to wrap up the entire series, and in typical Shadowhunters it is breezing through the last few books while attempting to answer all the questions they’ve left unanswered. Couples are getting together, convenient plot holes are appearing left and right, and a storyline I thought would last all season is kind of over? I think?

Let’s discuss everything that happened in episode 3×12.



This episode continues last week’s storyline about Jonathan kidnapping Clary and trying to convince her that they’re not so different after all. We get some answers about what the show plans to do with the main plot of City of Lost Souls, especially in regard to the relationship between Clary and her newfound brother Jonathan.

I wondered in my last review what this storyline would mean for Clary’s character – whether she would start to wonder if she’s not so different from Jonathan, as Jace does in the books, or essentially be kidnapped by her brother and retain her conviction that Jonathan is 100% evil and that she is 100% good.

Predictably, it’s the latter, as Clary spends the episode trying to escape Jonathan whilst pretending to go along with his plans so that he isn’t too suspicious of her. We don’t get any insight into Jonathan’s character. Clary doesn’t grow as a character. The clothes in the house belong to Lilith instead of Valentine, because of course they do. In the books, it’s significant that Valentine has an entire closet of clothes for Jocelyn, because it shows how convinced he was of his own righteousness, and how badly he wanted his wife to join him. He was so convinced that Jocelyn would come back to him if he found her that he had a closet full of clothes in her size. Wouldn’t that have been more significant? Especially with Jocelyn dead now? But no, of course it’s Lilith’s house and her clothes.

I didn’t hate this storyline, it just felt kind of boring? Like they could have done something really interesting, but instead they made Jonathan do generic evil things and Clary do everything she can to escape him.

The one thing that stood out to me, however, was Jonathan being CREEPY AS FUCK about Clary and saying weirdly sexual or romantic things that nobody should ever say to their sister. That stuff definitely made my skin crawl and made him seem a lot more convincing as a villain. You know what else grossed me out, though? The fact that there was romantic music playing while Jonathan was creepily staring at Clary.

I’m surprised that Clary’s time with Jonathan has been cut so short, but I’m very curious to see what the show does about this bond between them. Will a significant part of the Clave try to kill Clary in order to kill Jonathan? Will Clary agree with this sentiment? And what on earth will their solution be?

A black belt in name-dropping


Magnus not having his powers is, obviously, still a thing that’s happening, as sure as I had been after the midseason finale that it would be a temporary arrangement. I’m not sure what relevance this will have to the story or generally why this is happening when there are lots of other storylines they could have given this couple, but I’ve also been very pleasantly surprised by the way it’s played out so far. Magnus trying to live without magic is adorable, his insecurities make for some very heartwarming scenes, and that training scene with Alec was one of the best scenes this show has done in a long time.

Malec in this episode was hot, it was cute, it was emotional, and it worked so well.

I’ll admit I wasn’t sure if Magnus losing his powers would also mean the loss of his immortality, and I wish that had been more clear early on, because that’s a whole new thing that’s very closely related to a certain storyline that kind of happened last season and was never really fleshed out properly. In case anyone forgot, the last few episodes of season 3A introduced a bit of tension between Alec and Magnus when Alec started to feel insecure about Magnus’s immortality and what that means about Alec’s role in Magnus’s life, and their solution was to just… forget about it and move on. Without properly talking about it. Which doesn’t seem like a very good way to address a very real and very valid problem that isn’t going to destroy their relationship but that definitely needs to be talked about maturely if they’re going to take things to the next level. It wasn’t really a big deal, but it kind of irked me that the show just skipped over this really important part of Magnus and Alec’s development as a couple, and I really wish we’d been able to see them work through that obstacle.

It also seems weird to me that, after completely failing to deliver on that storyline last season, the writers have now presented us with a solution to that problem, which is Magnus no longer being immortal. He and Alec haven’t discussed what that means for their relationship yet, at least not on screen, and I wish they would because this is kind of a big deal. Alec is no longer facing a future where he’s just another object in Magnus’s box. He now knows that he is going to be Magnus’s last love. I don’t want to say that’s what he wanted, because I don’t think that’s entirely accurate, but it’s certainly a solution to a lot of his insecurities about his relationship with Magnus and I’d like to see that talked about more on screen.

Sizzy is here and it is wonderful


Hey, I was hoping Isabelle would join Simon on his little quest!

It’s very obvious that the show is pushing these two together right now, and so far I’m not hating it. I hope Isabelle has more to do this season that isn’t just furthering Simon’s storyline, though, because she’s such a great character and it’s so frustrating to see her only being used to prop up the men in her life. I think she could get a lot out of this relationship, just like Simon could, but I’m not particularly confident that that’s going to happen.

I’m also still really not feeling the storyline about the Mark of Cain, because it kind of feels like the writers just didn’t know what to do about the mark and decided they needed to find a quick solution, but I’m grateful at least that they didn’t drag this out like they do everything else. It’s gone. We can move on now. I don’t know what they’re going to do Clary and Jonathan’s bond now, because the mark is kind of important to that storyline, but whatever.

I couldn’t really bring myself to care about Cain, and I’m not particularly interested in the Seelies either, but I liked Simon and Isabelle together, so I’m cautiously optimistic (emphasis on cautiously) about where this is going.

Convenient writing


I’m still marveling at Luke and Jace’s storyline and how convenient and hard to believe the whole thing is. How did they figure everything out so quickly? How was Luke able to instantly identify Clary’s footprints as those of a woman? Of course they find a giant clump of Clary’s hair in a random branch…

Also, WHY HAVEN’T THEY TRIED TRACKING WITH RUNES? I know it won’t work. But they don’t! And besides, aren’t there a bunch of different ways to track people in this show? I’m pretty sure if they wanted to, they could do it.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that Shadowhunters apparently report missing steles? Instead of just shrugging and getting new ones? And the reports are easy enough to access all around the world that Jace can just find the report and immediately connect it to Clary?

Not to mention that Clary’s friends instantly understood what she meant when she said that she’d get hurt if Sebastian was hurt, and stopped trying to hurt their enemy? She didn’t exactly explain things very well.

The number of times I had to suspend my disbelief in this episode…

Odds and Ends

  • As you may have noticed, I have put an end to my “Things that do not make sense” list for this half season, and I am already starting to regret that decision.
  • One thing that doesn’t make sense: Clary changing her hair with a rune, but not bothering to change her entire appearance with the shapeshifting rune.
  • See? This is why the very existence of the shapeshifting rune is a massive plot hole!
  • Lol @ Raphael making Simon think he’s the oldest vampire in the world.
  • I know I used it as a heading, but I just need to give another shoutout to Alec’s line about Magnus having a “black belt in name dropping” because I am still laughing about this.
  • I like how Magnus says something kind of deep and Alec’s response is “that’s very well said.” Don’t toot your own horn, writers.
  • I laughed at the phrase “greater demon middle class”
  • “Frankly, I am beginning to question your motives” BEGINNING?
  • That iratze sure worked quickly at the end…

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm EST on Freeform.

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