Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 2: “The Descent Into Hell Isn’t Easy”

Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 2: “The Descent Into Hell Isn’t Easy”
Grade: C-

Shadowhuners’ second episode didn’t really improve on anything specific, but it did work a little more than the first. The pace of the show is good, but the first seemed a bit rushed compared to the second, which was a nice change for people who haven’t read the books to catch their breaths.

Again, I like that Dorthea, or “Dot,” has more to do here on the show. She’s more a part of the story than in the book, and that works well because Jocelyn is basically in a coma. It connects Clary’s old world with her mother to the Shadow world that she’s in now a little more. I especially enjoyed the scene in which she’s captured by Valentine and tortured (and eventually killed) since it made for a great chance to show how ruthless Valentine is. The only thing I didn’t think worked were the visions Clary gets when touching her necklace of Dot. That entire thing seemed unimportant (and led them nowhere, anyway) and doesn’t give anything to the story. The audience is shown scenes of Valentine—Clary doesn’t need to see random flashes that are unhelpful and that lead them to chasing after Dot, who’s been captured anyway.

The City of Bones scene was interesting. I don’t really remember that scene in the book (though, obviously I know it’s in there) so I’m not sure if it was the same. But I think that scene worked well and was a highlight, revealing that Clary’s father is Valentine is an important part of the story, so that had to be done well and I think it was. The Silent Brothers look a little more deformed than I thought they would, but creepy is their thing so it worked.  Having Simon be kidnapped by the vampires was interesting (I miss the idea of Rat Simon, but whatever) especially because I didn’t know the vampires wanted the Mortal Cup, too? Like, is that in the book? I don’t think it is, I was sure it was only Valentine who wanted it. Either way, I think that was a great end to the episode.

The acting is still subpar and the effects aren’t the best, but I think the show is, overall, improving to a degree. Everything seems to be meshing together more and I’m sure by the end of the season it will be highly improved (or at least I’m hoping for it.) I’ll continue to watch until the end, even if it’s to see where they take the story.


HIGHLIGHTS

City of Bones looked great
and the scene worked well. Having Simon kidnapped by vampires was a nice cliffhanger for the next episode to pick back up on.

The show is starting to mesh
well with the cast, the writing and the acting is improving slightly, and the pacing is good.

LOWLIGHTS

Unnecessary plot devices
like the necklace visions might be the downfall of the show. If it isn’t needed, don’t put it in! Sometimes less is more and forcing things into the story to bulk up the episode will only make the show feel bulky and awkward. Stick to the good parts, smoothening the rough patches with slower pacing.

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