Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 12: “Malec”

Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 12: “Malec”
Grade: B

The penultimate episode of the first season of Shadowhunters did a great job of blending all the storylines and ending some things that I had an issue with, making my feelings do a 180 from the previous episode. I have to say, I enjoyed episode twelve, “Malec,” quite a lot, mostly because of the titular romantic pairing of Alec and Magnus (my favorite couple in the books) and the introduction—and quick demise—of Ragnor Fell.

At the start of the episode, the gang is looking for warlocks who are more powerful than Magnus to have whomever had placed Jocelyn in such a magical coma to reverse it—as only a powerful warlock, like Magnus, could’ve done it. Meanwhile, Isabelle is busy planning Alec and Lydia’s wedding, and trying to put together a bachelor party for her brother. Alec and Magnus have another fight over the wedding, Magnus wanting him to call it off—and when Alec becomes upset, he tells Alec that he won’t bring it up again.

The warlock that had put Jocelyn in the coma was Ragnor Fell—an un-green friend of Magnus’s. Together, he, Clary, and Jace set off to find him in an English countryside, and are confronted with a barrier of green magical fire to get to him. (I was reminded that this scene takes place in City of Glass, the third book in the series, with other characters, and I’m concerned they’re doing too much in the first season. However, I feel like they’re trying to condense Jocelyn’s coma storyline so that she’s not in it for as long as she is in the books, which might be a good thing.) Clary makes it through separately than Magnus and Jace, and she finds Ragnor inside a painting, pulling him out—a great moment I enjoyed. He agrees to help after she offers him anything, to which he requests the Book of the White, a spell book that he once had and needs to have in order to take Jocelyn out of the coma. But before he can retrieve what he’d need to find it, a demon that had followed them kills Ragnor in much to quick a scene. Magnus stays behind to find what they need and to care for his dead friend.

Jace and Clary, who’ve fight throughout the episode about their relation to each other, return and set out to find whomever had betrayed them from inside the Institute and sent the demon to Ragnor’s. Jace and Clary assume it’s Lydia and Clary goes to confront her—though it’s later revealed to have been Hodge (which I’m glad they had his betrayal still in there, even though it was in a different part of the story). Lydia tells Clary that if she’d been working for Valentine, she would’ve given him the Cup already and after discussing her wedding with Alec, she tells Clary that she knows about Alec’s feelings for Magnus, but wants to marry him because of his honorable ways and knows that he’ll care for her anyway.

Isabelle asks Simon about how a bachelor party works while he’s picking out suits for the wedding—Clary having asked him to go with her—and he tells her that it’s a party for best friends to commemorate their friendship, giving Isabelle and idea to get Alec and Jace talking again. She invites only Jace and closes them in a room together, having told Jace that Alec wanted to talk. They do, forgiving each other, and Jace agrees to be his best friend. Alec comforts him about Clary, knowing all too well that he has been in love with Jace, his adoptive brother, all along.

Before the wedding, Magnus grieves his friend and thinks about his life, talking to Ragnor whom he sees in his apartment. He arrives during Alec and Lydia’s wedding—Isabelle having invited him, knowing Alec and Magnus’s feelings for each other—standing in the aisle. Alec’s mother Maryse is appalled, telling him to leave, but Magnus says that he’ll only leave if Alec tells him to. Alec, struggling to decide, says that he’s sorry to Lydia, who’s understanding and incredible about it, letting him go. Alec goes to Magnus and they kiss in front of everyone. (I may have screamed with delight, no big deal. To be honest, if the episode had only been this scene alone, it would have received an A.)

Afterward, Maryse is furious with Alec, while Robert is more kind, not understanding why their son would be with a man who’s a Downworlder. Magnus had also come to show them all the items he’d taken from Ragnor’s to find the Book of the White. Clary recognizes the bookmark from the alternate dimension, the book Magnus had shown her had been the Book of the White. Magnus tracks the owner using the bookmark and learns that it’s Camille, locked up in the Hotel Dumort. Later, Clary and Jace—who have much better chemistry as siblings than being forced to act like they love each other in episode two—talk about Jocelyn and Clary shows him the box she’d kept with JC on it, proving to Jace that Jocelyn didn’t abandon him, but thought her son was dead. Jace recognizes that JC stands for Jonathan Christopher, his name. He’s still struggling with it all, believing that as Michael Wayland, Valentine has raised him to be evil.

Lydia goes to take the Cup but someone—Hodge—attacks her and takes it. Luke let’s Hodge watch over Jocelyn, giving him a break, and he immediately uses a ring to communicate with Valentine, telling him that he has the Cup and will trade it with him for Hodge’s Circle rune to be gone—Valentine agrees to the deal.


HIGHLIGHTS

Ragnor Fell
is a great character, though he’s not really in the books, (he’s featured more in the Bane Chronicles) and he was portrayed well, here. Though he’s not green like he is in the book-world, the actor playing him with the horns did an incredible job. My only issue was his death, which seemed rushed and gave little time for any emotion for the audience or even his friend Magnus to feel for him. It just felt too quick, though the scenes with Magnus talking to him in his head helped give us more time with him, which helped that.

Malec
has finally happened, and I’m more than thrilled. Since reading the books (the first three in my sophomore year of high school, almost seven years ago) Malec has been incredibly important to me. Finally having them together is great, even though I wish their relationship would have organically formed like in the books instead of in a ultimatum during the wedding, I’m glad it finally happened and they can start dating properly.

Lydia and the end of the wedding,
were both things that I enjoyed. Though I loved Lydia as a character and hope she stays as a recurring character throughout the show (if Hodge didn’t kill her in this episode), I didn’t like the entire storyline with the wedding, but now that it’s over, I guess it wasn’t that bad. Either way, I loved that Lydia showed kindness to Alec and let him go, being completely understanding—I almost wanted Alec to choose her for that, since Magnus had been so obnoxious trying to get Alec to end the wedding…almost.

Hodge’s betrayal
in this episode is different from in the book. He originally takes the Cup from Clary immediately after she retrieves it from the tarot card and there’s the whole bird scene and Valentine showing up—I really loved that scene in the book because I didn’t expect it, and I was disappointed that wasn’t in the previous episode leading up to Renwick’s. However, having his betrayal be shown here, attacking Lydia for the Cup, works for the show’s version of the story and I can’t wait for the finale.

Overall story direction
is starting to work for me. I know it’s different from the book, and sometimes that’s okay. It just depends on where they are planning to head next. Since they’re using storylines from the first three books all over the place, it seems like a bit of a mess, but I’m starting to get the big picture here in this episode. I’m hoping the finale is incredible and will lead to a great season two. Though I’m a little worried about what the finale will have to offer, since the end of the book is the reveal that Clary and Jace are siblings, and the showdown with Valentine, and I’m not sure what they’re planning for a reveal or some twist to make the finale more intense.

LOWLIGHTS

The death of Ragnor Fell
felt too quick. I know he wasn’t a character that was even in the books much, only mentioned character in the main series and made an appearance in the Infernal Devices book Clockwork Prince, but they easily could’ve given him some more time within the series. But because of the direction they’re going, I understand. Even still, his death was quick, and even the scene felt rushed.

(NOTE: If I get anything wrong from the books, forgive me. It’s been a while since I last read them.)

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