‘Shadowhunters’ 3×16 Review: ‘Stay With Me’

We’re more than halfway through the final half season of Shadowhunters and finally, finally, the main plot seems to be going somewhere. Is it going where I want it to? I’m not sure. Big changes are being made, seemingly just for the sake of making changes. I’m still not impressed with the way things are going this season, but at least stuff actually happened in this episode.

Everything I need


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Magnus and Alec were the biggest storyline of this episode, which was nice. After Magnus collapsed at the end of last week’s episode, it was obvious that the issue of Magnus’s magic is much more complex than we thought.




As it turns out, Magnus still has his magic, but he can’t use it or he might die. I’m done trying to figure out the magic in this show, so whatever. What we learn in this episode is that Magnus really, really doesn’t want to get rid of his powers. To the point where he’s willing to die if it means keeping them. And he’s also convinced that Alec is going to fall out of love with him if he doesn’t have his magic, and I know this is supposed to be a very personal and irrational insecurity that’s very much about Magnus’s self-image, but I’m pretty shocked that he actually believes that.

Alec has made it very clear that Magnus’s powers are a barrier in their relationship, not the reason he loves him. Also, they’ve been through a lot of shit and their relationship is pretty steady. You’d think Magnus would be confident enough in their love at this point that he’s past thinking Alec will leave him if he loses his magic. Come on.

(I’m also still extremely confused about the immortality thing. How is it possible that when Magnus lost his immortality, he still looked the same age? And how was it not a bigger deal? How was it so easy to restore? And if he just doesn’t ever use his magic, I’m assuming he still gets to be immortal?)

I feel similarly about this storyline as I did about the immortality issue, in that I’m very frustrated with Magnus’s unwillingness to trust Alec, or to communicate with him properly. It’s always Alec who has to work his shit out and make allowances so that their relationship can continue. At a certain point, Magnus is going to have to start putting in the work too. Alec has a right to be upset about Magnus living forever without him and never opening up about his past, and Alec has a right to be hurt that Magnus seems to be choosing his magic over him.

At the very least, Magnus should be willing to talk things out with Alec and be completely honest about his feelings instead of always going behind his boyfriend’s back and making big decisions without him. I know that’s hard for him, but my dude, do you not realize how much you’re demanding of Alec? The least you could do is try to open up a little bit more to the person who’s clearly head-over-heels in love with you.

Magnus eventually tells Alec that he won’t use his magic, but looking at his face, I’m not sure he plans to honour that promise. And now Alec is going to propose to him, which is fantastic, but I also don’t know if this is the best time. I know it’s a way for Alec to prove to Magnus that he loves him, with or without magic, but I still feel like they have so many issues to work out before they get married.

Lilith again?

Anyone who’s read the book series knows that the solution to the bond with Jonathan, and to Simon’s Mark of Cain, is supposed to be the angel Raziel. In City of Lost Souls, Simon summons Raziel and asks him for a way to kill Jonathan without killing Jace. Raziel is extremely offended that a vampire is wearing the Mark of Cain, and removes it, but also offers Simon a sword that could do the job. For reasons that remain extremely unclear to me, the show has made the decision to cut out Raziel entirely. Simon has already gotten rid of the rune, and our main characters have decided that the solution to their problems is to summon… Lilith.

Why did you bring back Lilith? She’s a terrible villain! Nobody liked her when she was here the first time!

I must say that my favourite thing about this storyline is how it proves how little planning must go in to this show. Does anyone involved have any idea where the plot is going? Why on earth would you have Simon finally lose the Mark of Cain right before you actually need him to use it? Now they brought Cain into it and it just didn’t have the same emotional resonance.

Lilith does give them the information they need, which is nice, but only after they literally tortured her, and I know she’s the queen of hell and all but can we not normalize torture? It’s not something our main characters should be engaging in so casually.

I guess since “Heavenly Fire” is now an off-the-books Clave program, we’re going to spend an episode or two trying to figure out what it is and I’m just so tired of the dumb pacing of this show.

Role Reversal

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Clary and Jace’s little role reversal, in regards to their characters in the books, continued in this episode, as Clary admitted for the first time that she’s felt pulled to Jonathan, and to the darkness he represents, ever since getting the rune. We also saw Jace reassuring her that she’s actually a good person, something that Clary does for Jace at many points in the books.

It’s nice to see that this storyline is actually doing stuff for Clary’s character, but I still think it would have been a lot more powerful if we’d gotten any reason to believe that this was an insecurity of hers beforehand.

Overall, I thought the Clary/Jace dynamic worked pretty well, but I’m also so confused about how this rune even works.

I’m pretty sure the rune is creating some kind of emotional bond between Clary and Jonathan, so that she’s starting to feel sympathetic toward him. I’m assuming this is why she hasn’t been able to turn him in, although that definitely wasn’t clear earlier on.

I get that it’s harder to explain things on TV, but you’ve got to be kidding me.

Sizzy

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I doubt that Simon and Isabelle will get together before the series ended, but they had some cute scenes in this episode. They made a pact to stay single forever, which was cheesy, but they’re obviously not going to stick to it.

It was nice to see them opening up and supporting each other. They’ve got a strong friendship going.

The show has been teasing their relationship for a long time, so it’s kind of disappointing that they won’t get a chance to explore it, but I’m hoping we can at least get an open ending for them. They don’t need to get together, but if we leave with a sense that, eventually, Sizzy will happen, I’ll be happy. That way we can imagine them together, but the show doesn’t get a chance to mess everything up.

Well that was easy

Once again, I ask: what relevance does Luke’s 3B storyline have to this show? Why did he have to go to jail and get bailed out by the Praetor?

I guess it might be interesting to see Luke working with the Praetor Lupus going forward, because I think this version of him might be a good fit for the job, but I still don’t understand why this storyline is happening at all.

Odds and Ends:

  • That opening scene with Alec and Magnus was very cute even if it did end up being a dream
  • You know what else was cute? Alec being super protective of Magnus
  • What do you mean, Jonathan has no loyalty to Lilith? Where did this come from?
  • I do think it was interesting to get some insight into Jonathan’s motivations, though.
  • Why did Jace think Simon needed to leave, or that he’d succeed in convincing Simon to leave? I feel like they should be way past that.
  • Wow imagine trying to separate Simon and Clary.
  • This is my weekly plea to please give Izzy an actual storyline!
  • Since when can Clary throw portals at people? How has she never used this power before?
  • also, LOL @ Jonathan being sent to Shadowhunter jail

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm EST on Freeform.





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