Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 11: “Blood Calls to Blood”
I have conflicted feelings about the eleventh episode of Shadowhunters. This episode wasn’t terrible for the show, but as a fan of the books, I didn’t really like the direction they went in. I’m sort of over it now, but while watching I was getting frustrated. Mostly the Michael Wayland/Valentine “reveal” and changes to the book. And the big reveal, which I’ve been waiting for, that Jace and Clary are actually siblings felt rushed and misplaced. I think a ten episode season would have worked better. They could have took out an episode and condensed a few, leaving out some made up storylines for the show, and it would have been paced perfectly. Now with the end of the book’s twist revealed in the third-to-last episode? Didn’t work for me.
In the previous episode, Jace and Clary find Michael Wayland, Jace’s thought-to-be-dead father. Because Jace’s still been injured by the demon that attacked them, he’s dying. Michael helps Clary get him to the werewolves—because they can’t return to the Institute and Magnus isn’t an option for no apparent reason—and the need blood. While Clary and Simon go to the Hotel Dumort for blood, Jace and his father reconnect. But something is off, and Clary knows it. And the audience knows it. Because it’s obviously Valentine. Anyway, Simon stays at the Hotel Dumort and Clary gives the blood to Jace, who survives. Michael, being captured by Valentine, supposedly, knows that Valentine mentioned Renwick’s, an abandoned hospital in New York on an island with Jocelyn, and since they can’t track over water, it makes sense why they couldn’t find her. Clary, Jace, Luke, and Michael go to Renwick’s, but it’s swarmed with demons and Valentine’s cohorts. Clary can command them to leave with the Cup, but that’s what Valentine would want—if she takes it out of the tarot card, he can take it from her.
Clary finds Jocelyn in a large room, and once Jace and Valentine—I mean Michael Wayland—run in, they’re surrounded by demons. Clary goes to use the Cup, but it doesn’t work. Michael says that he’ll try, he commands them to attack Jace and Clary, revealing himself to be Valentine, but it doesn’t work for him either. Clary then tells the demons to leave, revealing that she has the real Cup and that she gave Valentine a “World’s Best Dad” mug with a glamor. He goes to attack for the Cup, but Jace stops him and attempts to kill him but Valentine reveals that he’s his son, too, and Clary is his sister. Jace let’s him go and Valentine leaves through a portal.
Back at the Institute, Isabelle’s trial happens once Inquisitor Imogen Herondale arrives. Alec asks Magnus to defend Isabelle in the trial and he agrees for a price: Alec, or his bow and quiver, something precious to him. He agrees. Isabelle gives a speech during her trial, defending herself, then Lydia does the same, withdrawing the charges. After the excitement of winning, Inquisitor Herondale tells them that it doesn’t matter: they have twenty four hours to bring them the Cup or Isabelle will be exiled, stripped of runes forever. Fortunately, Clary and Jace return with the Cup at the Institute with Jocelyn and give Lydia the Cup, freeing Isabelle. Magnus takes the bow and quiver from Alec, but after talking to him, gives it back only wanting to prove a point that he shouldn’t marry Lydia. Luke tells Simon that Jace and Clary are brother and sister, giving him hope that he can be with Clary. Jace, extremely distraught, and Clary don’t speak about what had happened.
For the most part, it wasn’t a terrible episode. But I can’t take anymore of the writing, it’s just driving me insane. They’re doing things because it’s convenient for an individual episode, even if it doesn’t make sense within the books, or even the rest of the show for that matter, instead of following what has already been laid out for them in a series of six books. It’s not a hard thing to do. I’m more annoyed with changes than additions. Lydia Branwell? Cool, I like her. Adding a subplot of Alec needing to marry Lydia, having him struggle with choosing his happiness/sexuality over family? Into it, sure. Don’t love it, but sure. Isabelle being arrested for saving Meliorn? That’s fine, giving something for everyone to do while the rest of the plot moves forward with Jace and Clary. But small changes that cause plot holes and complications, forcing them to contradict what they’ve already done in a previous episodes? It’s not needed. It’s just annoying. Following closer to the book, making the season three episodes shorter, would’ve been better. If they’d cut an episode and didn’t drag out Alec and Lydia’s wedding/Malec getting together, “This World Inverted” and “Blood Calls to Blood” could’ve been the last two episodes and it would’ve been a fine finale.
is a great character, and I liked her in the books, and am thrilled with the actress they chose for her.
If they’d done a better job,
I would’ve liked the Michael Wayland set up. It worked for the show, but I knew the entire time it was Valentine. If they’d done it slightly differently, I would have enjoyed it more. It was a nice twist for fans of the books, keeping it interesting for the show, but not changing too much. I just hope it doesn’t screw anything up for the future.