Shadowhunters – Season 2, Episode 10: “By the Light of Dawn”
The mid-season finale of Shadowhunters season two surpassed most of its preceding episodes and becoming the highest graded episode from me thus far. As an episode of a television show, it was great; but from a fan of the books, it was less great. With major changes in the way things unfolded in the second book, the midseason finale focused entirely on the “activation” of the Soul Sword (not in the books) but gave a lot of familiar moments from the book that made the episode work really well.
There was only one thing, one major thing, that bothered me. I believe it to be a plot hole (though some have argued that it’s not, which I’ll get into) that Jace is thought to be able to destroy the sword by touching it. Or at least, a strange oversight that no one remembered Jace already having touched the sword during his interrogation with Aldertree. Some have pointed out that it needed to be activated for Jace to destroy it (which wouldn’t make any sense because Clary (or Jace because he has angel blood, not demon blood, it turns out) would’ve had to touch it first, and Jace didn’t have her touch it first) or that Jace would need the same power to activate it as he would to destroy it, a lightning bolt or the Institute’s angelic power. That is a possibility, however it’s never stated in the show? And if it was, a whole lot of people missed it since at the end, we see a possible Sebastian having taken the sword and many pointed out he was wearing gloves to prove that he could touch it without destroying it. The whole thing is a mess, either way. The show either confused its audience with too many “rules” to a show-based device or it made a large mistake—it distracted me the whole episode because it didn’t make any sense for Jace to believe he could destroy it.
Other than that, the episode was the best of the show. Even with the disaster of the sword plot that wasn’t in the books, all the pieces and characters worked well and I was genuinely invested in the downworlders and the potential of them all being killed. Most importantly, there were moments from the book that remained and it made the show feel more like the story so many love.
tells Isabelle that he isn’t interested in having sex with her, or anyone, and has always been that way. If that’s Raphael coming out as asexual, I’m thrilled to have some inclusion on the show for asexual people, because that’s super rare. I’ve heard that it’s sort of hinted at in the books and I’m excited that they’ve decided to include it in the show. I’m not asexual myself, so I don’t know how well they are handling it so far, but I hope they’re able to make the character a good representation of the ace community.
The moment with Simon and Jace
is a big part of the book. It’s one of the moments I was looking forward to. Simon is dying and he drinks Jace’s blood to survive, tackles him and drinks from his neck and then they continue to go find Clary. But in the show, it’s Jace using that damn shapeshifting rune to look like Clary to have Simon feed from his arm. Apparently, too homoerotic for the show—Magnus and Alec are enough. But this was one of many moments from the books that made it in, even if slightly warped, and that made the episode feel more like the books even if the overall plot of the episode was nothing like the book.
The end of book two,
besides the epilogue, ends with the characters in the back of a truck on its way back to land from the ship that was destroyed by Clary (don’t even get me started, they easily could’ve put all this in the show) and Simon needs to get back before the sun rises. It’s an intense end, the clock ticking and the sun rising and Simon could die. But he doesn’t! Because he drank Jace’s blood and he now has some angel in him and can now step into the sunlight. This moment was dropped for Simon being in the Institute and forgetting that it was morning and he jumps back from the light coming in through the window but he isn’t burned. Simon and Clary go outside and are all excited, Jace is jealous, and that’s how they ended the episode. It just so underwhelming, that moment they realize he’s the Daylighter is big in the books. And it didn’t seem like that big of a deal in the show. However, most of these moments that they’re bringing into the show have to be changed slightly because of the plot changes, which are understandable, just disappointing.
Too much tech
is destroying the story. I don’t know how much any of the technology used in the show is in the books, but I’m just getting tired of it. The story is fantasy based, the books are so much more intricate with magic and the show is being bogged down by technology. All the computers of the Institute, Aldertree turning into a hacker at a random to get into the wherever the “angelic power” was located for the Institute. It’s all too much.