If you missed our review of the first three episodes, you can see that here!
Firstly, these episodes were a definite improvement on the last set. The character interactions were better, and more focus was placed on Simon and Alec, in general, who we think are the strongest characters in the show. Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t cringe at a thing or two, so without further ado, here’s our breakdown of episodes four to six!
Isabelle has become quite a prominent character, compared to her portrayal in the movie, and we think this does book Isabelle justice. She’s acting as Clary’s mentor when it comes to fashion, which is cute to see the girls bonding, but would they pass the Bechdel test? Hm.
The most prominent part of this episode is the meeting of Alec and Magnus. The gang do to a party at Pandemonium, and it’s unbelievable how obvious Magnus’ crush is. Literally, as soon as he claps eyes on Alec he says ‘Who is that?!’ in the exaggerated style of a cartoon character. We kind of loved it. I mean, it was cheesy, but at least their relationship isn’t a subtext. It’s really easy to see, Magnus practically had heart-eyes.
The crisis of the episode was trying to regain Clary’s memories from a demon, that results in a good old campfire hand-holding around a pentagram. This was kind of cringey, especially the strange sound effects when they held hands (BOOM), but we enjoyed the camaraderie. Alec’s actions didn’t really match his character. The demon asked for a memory of the person you love the most. Izzy’s was Alec, Clary’s was her mother, and Alec’s was Jace. He completely freaked out about this, but their parabatai?! It made sense that Alec loved him. Izzy just watched her brother’s turmoil with rolled eyes.
Maryse gets introduced, and finally we see some parental supervision. The casting here is good, she looks the Alec and Izzy’s mother, but the casting for Max? Yeah, he’s a cute kid, but was he adopted? He’s blonde, and doesn’t share the same Hispanic vibe they were going with for the Lightwoods. It was kind of jarring to see them together.
(Sidenote: The marriage plot? Really? This isn’t fourteenth century Europe!)
We also got introduced to the wolf lair, by a wolf walking into a Chinese restaurant full of human-wolf-guys. It was so unnecessary. We’re not stupid. We’ve linked the pack to the werewolves after Luke’s transformation. How is walking on the street like a wolf and then becoming human when they’re indoors incognito?? It’s like the show needs to be as obvious as possible, and doesn’t give its audience credit to piece things together.
Speaking of which, it’s obvious Simon is becoming a vampire. After the ridiculous shot we had of Simon looking at Clary’s pumping jugular, things have becoming more subtle. We really liked the bit where Simon’s bat hearing came into effect. It was cool to see the environment from his perspective, as well as Alec and Clary’s. Hopefully he’ll turn soon, because we don’t know how much longer they can drag this out. But, the teaming up was good.
Simon gets trapped in the restaurant jail (seriously, why does this exist?) and has to be rescued by Jace. He just so happens to find a menu to the restaurant in a locker (again, why?) so it’s menu ex machina. But, this episode was good, probably the best so far. Yay!
This episode should have been called ‘City of Flashbacks’. Good God, it was horrendous. It was so lazy and expositional, we wanted to fast forward through the whole thing. Especially because we’ve read the books, know the backstory, this was primarily for a new audience’s benefit. The worst part was that they cut the flashbacks in-between scenes with Clary and Luke, using how Clary progressed with a sketch to show how time had passed. They should have either had a full episode of flashback, or all the flashbacks at the beginning and the rest of the action at the end. Especially because the flashbacks weren’t always chronological, we got some repetition too. Lame.
But, Jace and Simon were paired together and this was an interesting dynamic. It was a little heightened and over the top: Jace was the douche-iest he’d ever been, suddenly becoming cruel and mean rather than charming. Some of his lines were actually funny, but others were just hurtful.
Now, while others are upset with the portrayal of Magnus, we don’t mind seeing his coy, sensitive side. He’s great in the book, but TV Magnus is equally as great, and we can imagine after centuries of being alive, he would get doubtful of himself once in a while. Also, in the books, Malec was our least favourite couple, but in this version, they’re the best and rightfully taking centre-stage. We got more Malec bonding, and we can’t wait to see how this develops.
An interesting thing about this episode is that we have the reveal of the Jonathan Christopher box. It’s a cliffhanger, because those of us that have read the books, have an idea of what’s coming next…oh no.