Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 10: “This World Inverted”

Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 10: “This World Inverted”
Grade: B

The tenth episode of Shadowhunter was ridiculous and a bunch of fun. “This World Inverted” strangely had the perfect amount of everything I’d been hoping for the show. It made me realize how intense and dramatic everyone is acting in the real world. There were genuine funny moments, the acting across the board worked with everyone, and I thought the chemistry between certain characters *cough* Jace and Clary *cough* was far better in the alternate timeline than in the real world. I hope that carries over somehow. It’s a good, fun episode that I wish could be the entire show. The only real problem I had: it felt like one giant promotion for Tim Burton’s new Through the Looking Glass, which made me so uncomfortable—but if I’d just watched the episode on its own, not seeing it on Freeform but online somewhere without the first trailer of the movie shown, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

The episode begins with Clary and Jace being led by Meliorn to a portal that would take them to an alternate timeline to fit the portal shard she’s been wearing on her neck into the portal it’s missing from—this will get them to go directly to Valentine, somehow for some reason they made up just for the show. (There is a lot of PORTAL stuff in this episode, apparently.) Only Clary goes, leaving Meliorn and Jace to guard the portal from demons. She has to go fast to find the broken portal, keeping herself grounded She takes on the body of her other self once there, arriving in her and her mom’s loft, only Valentine is there, as her warm, not-sociopathic father. In this alternate timeline, demons cease to be a problem and Shadowhunters aren’t needed, therefore Valentine never became who he is.

Clary meets up with the gang, her friends hipster-Simon, nerd-Isabelle, out-of-the-closet-Alec, and super-chill-Jace. This is where my love for this episode came. Seeing these characters as something completely different made me enjoy it much more than the actual characters—them interacting was funny, the chemistry with all of them together worked, and most of all both Matthew Daddario and Kat McNamara (who have several moments of iffy acting) did really great in this episode—Matthew acting less robotic and intense made me realize, oh, that’s on purpose? He could act this whole time?! The chemistry between Clary and the alternate Jace felt way more realistic than in the real world—I kind of didn’t want to leave the alternate timeline.

Clary goes to Magnus, who’s a clean-cut tarot card reader whose magic has gone dormant without the need for it, all Downworlders having normal mundane lives. After convincing him that she is a Shadowhunter, he works to get his magic back (the push coming from touching the portal shard) and agrees to help Clary find the portal at Valentine’s Mad Hatter party, a launch for some technology thing he invented and nerd-Isabelle has been developing. While at the party, Clary forgets who she is after dancing with Jace and once Magnus refocuses her, they head to the basement to find the portal.

Meanwhile, Meliorn and Jace are attacked by a demon and the demon gets through the portal—thanks to Alec attempting to track Jace to fund where they are using their parabatai bond, a dangerous, pain-inducing process that weakens their bond further, leaving Jace nearly killed by the demon. Jace enters the alternate timeline to go after the demon with Clary, both fighting it and killing it—in a fantastic fight scene using mop handles, since they don’t have seraph blades, but Jace is injured, demon poison in his blood. Magnus finds the portal, sending off Clary and the injured Jace to Valentine.

Once they arrive in Chernobyl, Valentine and Clary’s mother are nowhere to be found. A man locked up catches their attention, and once freed, Jace is shocked to find that it’s his father. Who is supposed to be dead. I’ve heard several theories that it may be Valentine in disguise, it may be his actual father, or it may be the man who was thought to be his father—either way, I’m intrigued that they’ve added this, and I’m curious to know where they are going with it.

In the real world, Simon and Luke hang out, Simon being the new werewolf/vampire go-between because of his relationship with Luke. They’re found by the internal affairs detective who’d been investigating Luke for the demonic murders, but after Simon attacks him, he and Luke stage a kidnapping. Simon pretends to be the demonic killer, then Luke “saves” the detective by shooting Simon (though he’s unharmed since he’s a vampire), proving that Luke isn’t the killer. The detective says he’ll stay off of Luke’s back. At the Institute, Lydia arrests Isabelle for helping Meliorn, possibly having her banished, stripped of her runes to live like a mundane, but Alec attempts to help her be freed by going to offer up the cup to the Clave—but he learns that Jace has it, hence the tracking mentioned earlier.

In all honesty, I didn’t care for the real world storyline. I just wanted more time in the alternate timeline because of how much fun it was. Overall, I liked the episode and am excited to keep watching—especially because we only have three episodes left and I’m hoping they’ll finish the season off strong. It’s been announced that the show is definitely coming back for a second season. I’m hoping that the show will just continue to improve, have an incredible finale, and come back strong with season two.


HIGHLIGHTS

Alternate timeline
was so much fun in a ridiculous, amazing way. The acting seemed way better and the storyline itself was fun. All the alternate versions of the characters were hilarious and worked so well—nerd-Isabelle and out-of-the-closet-Alec were just so so so good. There were genuinely hilarious moments and I loved all of it.

Jace had more humor and sass
in this episode, and his chemistry with Clary in the alternate timeline was so different, way more believable, and I hope that carries over in future episodes.

LOWLIGHTS

Tim Burton’s Through the Looking Glass
promo made me feel so uncomfortable. It felt almost like the episode was manufactured just for this partnership promoting the film and I didn’t like that—but obviously, it probably just worked out because the story was similar, but still. I didn’t like that they actually had an Alice in Wonderland theme/references in the episode.

The real world
storylines (Isabelle getting arrested; Simon and Luke) didn’t hold my interest as much as the alternate timeline story did. I didn’t care for it at all and hope that there will be more keeping to the book in the last three episodes, since we’re close to the end, not needing unnecessary drama and stories working themselves in (like this whole Alex and Lydia engagement.)

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