Shadowhunters – Season 2, Episode 1: “This Guilty Blood”

Shadowhunters – Season 2, Episode 1: “This Guilty Blood”
Grade: B-

Season two of Shadowhunters has aired and I have mixed feelings. But I have more positive thoughts on the show than I did last season. I gave the premiere episode a B for three reasons: the look of the show has improved; the effects look incredible compared to last season; the acting is more solid. The writing is still not great and the differences from the books are still bothering me mostly because they seem to be changing things for no reason. However, I’m still holding out because I’ve heard the writers will be different (starting around episode four?), so we’re still working with the season one writers. This means: the decisions they are making right now are still going with season one and if they are planning to go along with the books more this season, there will need to be a transition period to do so. There is still time to change course to follow the books more closely. (But I also realize that they’re creating a TV show, which will have twenty episodes this season, and it will likely not follow the books perfectly, adding stories and such, however the way they’re going is drastically different and conflicting with plot lines in the books. Which is a problem.)

The episode follows Jace trying to escape/kill Valentine on the ship while Clary and the others at the Institute try to find him, though a new Institute leader comes in and halts the search in order to investigate what had happened. Afterward, the rescue mission turns into a man hunt for Jace as the new leader, Aldertree, declares him a traitor and wants him dead or alive. Clary and the others do their best to prevent it.

Overall the episode was good, mostly because of the improvements in comparison to last season, however the show still has its issues of subpar dialogue and weird changes in plot and rules of the magic that made much more sense in the books.


HIGHLIGHTS

The visual effects
had me screaming with joy. The fight scenes were great and no longer had those weird fast motion blurs, the seraph blades look more like blades now that light up and not like lightsabers, the portals look incredible and are no longer purple, and the vampires dying still look similar but are more well done. All around, visually the show looks much better.

Simon
is still a great character, the actor is amazing, and he usually has incredible lines (with the exception of this episode, which had few). In this episode, he had hands down, the best line of the show so far: when Simon and Clary are running to find Jocelyn by tracking her by cell phone, Simon says that they’re close, and Clary says “Then run faster!” and Simon replies with, “I’m a vampire. I’m running slow for you.”

LOWLIGHTS

Shapeshifting rune
still exists and it’s stupid and it’s causing so many plot holes. They should just pretend it never existed and move on and ignore continuity issues later because IT ALREADY HAS CONTINUITY ISSUES.

Dialogue
is still kind of awful and amateur sounding and cliche and obvious and annoying. Like, at times, worse than last season. Hoping in a few episodes when they change writers it will get way way way better because right now it’s one of the things keeping me from LOVING the show instead of just liking/tolerating it.

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