Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 8: “Bad Blood”

Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 8: “Bad Blood”
Grade: B-

With the eighth episode of Shadowhunters, there were some moments I really enjoyed and there were moments I really didn’t enjoy, but for the most part it was a solid episode! Most of my criticism comes from certain scenes/choices, but overall the entire episode was fairly good.

Simon is dead! Or, he’s transitioning. Either way, Raphael brings his body to the Institute and Clary must decide to either stake him through the heart to kill him or bury him so he’ll become a vampire. It all rests on her shoulders and she has a hard time deciding. Luckily, Jace isn’t helping. He’s telling her to just let him go. They go to Simon’s mother’s house to tell her that Simon is gone and won’t be coming back—would that actually work? Like what was the plan, here? Anyway, she can’t tell her anything because it’s too hard. Clary and Jace end up in Simon’s room and Jace tells her the falcon story from the book! It had a different meaning in this situation, but it ended up working well—and acted well, too, which was a nice surprise.

After talking to Luke, who tells her that after he was turning into a werewolf, Jocelyn never left his side, which gave Clary a good insight into what to do. There was also a nice flashback there that made sense and it worked well within the scene. Eventually, they head to a graveyard and Raphael hands her a shovel and a stake. Before she can make a decision, however, Camille arrives in one of the most pointless scenes in the entire episode—the entire season. She wants Simon back, they say no, Raphael tells the other vampires who show up all about Camille’s wrongdoings, and Clary straight up slaps her. And walks away. As if she hadn’t just slapped one of the most powerful vampires in the world. And then all the vampires rush at Camille and—nothing. We come back to just Clary digging a hole, all the vampires are gone. It was completely unneeded. Anyway, they bury Simon and later he digs himself out. And he’s a vampire! This has happened a lot sooner in the story than in the books, but I think it can work well to the show’s advantage, giving Simon something to do while other stuff is happening throughout the show.

The episode ends in one of the most heartbreaking, emotional scenes of the show thus far. Simon is horrified that he’s a vampire, not being able to say “God” and Clary desperately tries to tell him that he’s still him. But Simon is repulsed and runs away, leaving Clary devastated that she might have chosen wrong.

Meanwhile, at the Institute, Lydia Branwell (a new character for just the show; distant relative to Clary) shows up and informs the Lightwoods that the Clave has put her in charge of the Institute temporarily. I really like Lydia as a character and I’m not even mad that she’s been included, because the actress playing her does a great job and the inclusion of her character and the potential there for a deviation in story is interesting—though I don’t like Alec’s idea of proposing to her. He believes that marrying her will both cover up his sexuality, restore their family’s honor, and keep the Lightwoods running the Institute. But, like, how about he’s just with Magnus already? That would be great. I do like that they referenced The Infernal Devices by Lydia mentioning her ancestor, Henry Branwell, who invented the Portal with Magnus Bane.

And, the episode had a good moment with Valentine! His scene was quick and it included him sending the Forsaken to the Institute and the wolf pack’s hideout, seeking out past Circle members (which, Lydia reveals to Alec, includes his parents). One of the Forsaken attacks the wolves, but they take it down. Lydia and Alex bring the dead Forsaken to the Institute for “forensic analysis” (another weird choice) and Magnus and Isabelle, who’s all of a sudden a scientist—which I didn’t hate—make sure the Forsaken didn’t have any magic within it. Thought, Isabella learns that it had angel blood—which would allow it into the Institute. The Forsaken attacks Hodge and there’s a nice fight scene before he kills it. Though I don’t remember a lot from the books (it’s been a while) it’s been pointed out that this is potentially leaving a plot hole for the future, since just having angel blood would cause problems for people getting through wards (mainly, Valentine). Not sure where they’re going with that.

Overall, a good episode. But I fear they are making a lot of strange choices for the show that don’t make sense within the books and are potentially creating plot holes. Which is bad. I wish the writers paid more attention and I wish they’d brought on Cassandra Clare for more of a consultant, or like, a producer to help make decisions.


HIGHLIGHTS

Simon’s transformation
was heartbreaking and emotional. One of the best scenes of the entire show so far.

Lydia Branwell
is an interesting character, and I actually like her and the actress playing her. I hope they keep her but in a smaller role, not screwing up too much of the plot.

LOWLIGHTS

That awful, stupid Camille scene
was completely unneeded, didn’t make sense, and messed up the flow of the episode’s most pivotal moments. I like Camille in the books (well, like to hate her) but her inclusion this early is irritating. Not to mention the actress isn’t the best choice for her. I honestly wouldn’t mind if they killed her off and introduced a new character in her place for future storylines.

Alec proposing
didn’t work. I don’t want it to work. I think it’s a terrible decision and I hope Lydia turns him down and that goes nowhere. Because nooooope.

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