It’s the second-to-last episode of the season, I am still so confused about so many things, and I have no idea how this show is going to wrap things up in one episode. Let’s discuss season three episode nineteen, Aku Cinta Kamu.
Unsurprisingly, the episode opens with Magnus being sad after his shocking (and still pointless) breakup with Alec. Asmodeus shows up to spout some bullshit about how he loves Magnus and wants what’s best for him and just wants to be a father to him. You’re several centuries too late, my dude. Magnus, of course, doesn’t listen to anything his father says, but also doesn’t seem particularly concerned that Asmodeus is in this dimension? Is this not a big deal? Shouldn’t we be concerned about this? Also, Alec, WHAT DID YOU DO?
Asmodeus’s confusing presence aside, most of Magnus’s scenes are flashbacks to his time with Alec. He’s clearly in extreme pain right now, haunted by memories of happier times. Eventually, the memories become too much to bear, and he seeks out Brother Zachariah, begging the silent brother to erase his memories for him. Obviously, Jem won’t do it, so Magnus attempts it himself, and only stops because Asmodeus appears.
May I just say that this is absolute bullshit.
I’ve seen this show make a lot of nonsensical decisions in regard to its characters and plot, but I am still shocked that they would actually betray Magnus’s character in this way. I cannot imagine any scenario in which Magnus Bane – book or TV show version – would actually try to erase his memories of anyone, let alone Alec.
I know that Magnus says in this episode that Alec is “different” from all of his other exes. And while I don’t love the idea that Alec is somehow in competition with all of Magnus’s past lovers, as if Magnus is only allowed to have one great love in his life, that’s not even the biggest problem I have with Magnus’s decision. Even if Magnus does love Alec more than he has ever loved anyone, it doesn’t change the fact that Magnus has been alive long enough to know the value of memories. He has lost many partners. He has had his heart broken many times. I know that Alec broke up with him, he didn’t die, but Magnus of all people should know that it’s worth it to hold on to happy memories, even if they do hurt.
Give Magnus another storyline. Give him another way to grieve. There is absolutely no way this man actually wants to erase all his memories of the person he loves the most in the world.
Once again, I feel like this show is falling into clichés instead of being true to its characters.
This show often leaves me with a lot of questions, and I feel like I should point out the rare occasions when it provides answers to some of those questions. This happened in this week’s episode, as my question of “what even happened to Clary to make her evil all of a sudden?” Was essentially answered with “Jace is magic.”
Yes, Clary’s connection to Jace is so strong that as soon as he left her, the rune got too strong and Jonathan took control of her. Very interesting. Great worldbuilding. Much feminist. While Isabelle keeps working on a way to break the bond between Clary and Jonathan, Jace goes off to join them and keep an eye on them.
In all honestly, I did enjoy some aspects of this storyline, notably the subtle reversal of gender roles. It’s pretty common to see storylines where a man is turning into a monster or becoming evil, and the female love interest is the only person capable of seeing the good in him, or of keeping him sane. I’m thinking of Black Widow and the Hulk, or even Clary and Jace in COLS. It was actually really interesting to see that role filled by a man instead. I don’t think the show has done much right by Jace, but to their credit, they have used his character to challenge stereotypes of masculinity and subvert gender roles.
That said, this clear attempt to adapt the main storyline of City of Lost Souls fell flat for a number of reasons. For one, Jace only has a connection to Clary, not to Jonathan, so the dynamic of the trio just didn’t work. In the books, Jonathan cares about both of them, because he’s bound to Jace and has these creepy incestual desires for Clary. The show is making it pretty clear that Jonathan doesn’t give a shit about Jace, so of course Jace isn’t able to stay undercover for very long.
But also, WHY COULDN’T WE HAVE JUST STARTED AT THIS POINT? Why did we have to run in circles bringing Clary back only to put her right back with Jonathan?
As previously mentioned, Isabelle is hard at work at the Institute trying to find a way to break the bond between Clary and Jonathan. She eventually comes up with a serum that’s essentially Glorious melted down. She tries to get Luke’s sister, Cleophas, to help her re-forge Glorious, but the former Iron Sister has a sense of self-preservation and refuses to do the job.
She does, however, give Izzy her tools, because apparently that’s a thing you can do? I’m sure any shadowhunter can forge a sword if given the tools. It’s not like there are also special runes that only Iron Sisters can use, or top-secret knowledge they can’t share with anyone else.
So yeah. Isabelle forges Glorious. Because that’s a thing she can do, apparently.
This little project does give us a cute scene between Isabelle and Simon, when Izzy draws Simon’s blood to use in the serum. Simon is kind of nervous, and she distracts him by making comic book references, which is SO CUTE. Isabelle’s interest in Simon’s interests and her steady transformation into a total geek is one of the cutests aspects of their relationship in the books, so I’m glad it got included in the show.
Speaking of Isabelle’s science experiments, Maia and Jordan find out about Aldertree’s plan and the single remaining vial of the serum that can transform downworlders into mundanes.
Curiously, they both want the cure. The reason for this is because they want to be together, but Maia says that can’t happen because of their history. Somehow, the solution to this is to both become mundanes? Because being “normal” will just erase all the stuff they’ve been through. Newsflash: the reason they can’t be together is because Jordan was an abusive asshole. Not because they’re werewolves.
The episode does bring up a question about ethics, though. Was it okay for our main characters to destroy the other vials of this life-changing serum? And how are we going to decide which downworlder is deserving of this cure? I have a pretty good idea who’s going to get it, but I’m not sure how that will be decided.
Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8pm EST on Freeform.