‘Shadowhunters’ 3×15 Review: ‘To the Night Children’

Another week, another Shadowhunters episode with little to no direction or connection to the overall arc of the season.

Did anything really happen in this episode? Not really. Could you have skipped it without missing anything? Probably. Did I expect anything else? Absolutely not.

Why is Heidi here again?

Once again, Heidi took over as the main villain in this episode and I don’t understand why? It feels like we keep putting the real story on pause so that she can have her fun and then disappear again.

I still don’t understand what happened to Maureen. They’ve definitely given her storyline to Heidi, complete with her death, and I’m not sure why. As I said when this character was first introduced, these characters have no emotional attachment to Heidi. Book Maureen was an innocent little girl, and show Maureen was Simon’s friend. There’s no reason for them to invent this new character.

Moving Forward


By far the most ridiculous scene of this episode, and the one that best summed up this entire storyline about the massacre at the Jade Wolf, was when Maia showed up at the Institute and Alec said “Oh, you’re alive!” in the most nonchalant voice that was definitely not appropriate for the situation.

He said that the way someone would say “Oh, you’re here!” or “Oh, you brought me coffee!” Not “oh, you survived a mass murder and didn’t tell me about it.” HOW IS THIS NOT A BIGGER DEAL?

Also, why did Luke not think it was important to mention to Clary that Maia was alive? Why didn’t Simon? Why did Maia just not have the time to mention to the others that she had survived the massacre? I feel like this should have been a priority.

It was nice to see Maia take centre stage in this episode, and I especially enjoyed watching her get revenge on Heidi, though I doubt the massacre will have much impact on the show in the long run.

I understand why Luke wanted

Still no communication


Magnus has moved into the Institute with Alec, and if you thought this would finally mean some good old fashioned character development for our most beloved couple, you thought wrong. Their situation did serve to highlight the bigotry of the Clave, though, as the other Shadowhunters at the Institute made Magnus feel very unwelcome in their home. They mostly talked about the fact that Magnus is a warlock, but you have to think there was an undercurrent of homophobia that made them even more strongly opposed to this situation.

Magnus and Alec kind of have a conversation when one of the other Shadowhunters at the institute mentions the problems they’ve been having to Magnus and Magnus gets upset that Alec is talking about these problems with other people and not with him. At this point, I expected the two of them to finally talk through the very issues Alec was telling his colleagues about, since that seems like the logical reaction to finding out that your boyfriend has been complaining about your issues to other people, but instead they turned it into a jealousy thing and Magnus gave Alec permission to talk about their relationship with other people as much as he wants? This doesn’t seem like the solution to their problem.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that they’re happy together. But they can be happy together and also having healthy discussions about their problems.

The Law is the Law

A big theme in this episode was whether or not it’s okay for our main characters to occasionally bend the rules when they’re so hellbent on following them, and I’ll admit this is something I’ve been wanting to address for a while. Alec especially has been a huge hypocrite, constantly flip-flopping between having to do everything totally by the book and looking out for his friends. This is why it doesn’t work to have our main characters in such important positions.

They eventually come to the conclusion that they need to follow the rules at all times, which… doesn’t make sense? Didn’t we establish in earlier seasons that the Clave is bad and has bad laws? Isn’t Jia awful, and hasn’t the Clave been torturing seelies just this season? A bad law is no law, guys.

Following the law doesn’t automatically make you a good person, and if our heroes are trying to do everything within its limits, they’re going to have a lot of trouble. Their belief in The System shouldn’t eclipse their belief in what is wrong and what is right.

Of course, now we go back to the problems with Alec being the head of the institute, because you can’t just say that someone with his power can choose to obey the law or not, or you open the door for bad people to take advantage. Clave law needs to be changed, yes, but Alec still has to obey it, and while everything our main characters have done outside of the law has been justified, Alec shouldn’t have been complicit in it. Again, why was it a good idea to put Alec in this position so early on?

Now, why Simon thinks he needs to go by-the-book is beyond me, because surely he of all people understands that the Clave isn’t great. Of all of them, he is also the person least bound to Clave laws. The line “there’s a system for a reason, and if we keep breaking the rules, what makes us better than her?” was hilariously out of character for Simon. My dude, you are smart enough to understand that the system is bad, and you are definitely smart enough to understand the difference between going outside the law for bad reasons and doing it for good reasons.

How did we not know this stuff about the Institute?


I’m not even surprised at this point. I’m just amused. Of course we’ve gone through almost 3 seasons without ever realizing that the shadowhunters at the Institute all eat together in a sort of cafeteria. I guess important conversations never happened there before? It’s not like meals are a great chance for all of our main characters to get together and talk, or anything. It’s so obvious that the writers just came up with this out of nowhere and decided to throw it in because it would make for one good scene.

Also, since when does the institute have this super scary mundane-like prison system? Again, I’m not surprised. I’m just not sure why we’ve never seen this before

The Rune

Once again, the main storyline of this season took a backseat to… whatever else was happening… and we only got a few scenes with Clary or Jonathan.

We did learn that there are people in the Clave who want to kill or at least hurt Clary in order to get to Jonathan, and frankly I’m glad because it would’ve been dumb if there hadn’t been. I liked that we got to see Aline, even though I’m still protective of her and don’t trust the show to do right by her.

I’m still surprised, frankly, that Clary is so well protected within the Clave, because even though she has done good things, Jonathan is a really big threat right now and the shadowhunters of this show seem to be very much in favour of the greater good over personal relationships.

Jonathan finally appears at the very end of the episode to talk about the rune and taunt Clary about her inability to do anything to hurt him. I still don’t understand why Clary is so sympathetic to Jonathan right now, but hopefully the next episode will be more interesting with the main villain back in the picture.

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm on Freeform.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.