Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Season One, Episode Ten: This World Inverted

Meliorn is unhappy owing a life debt to Clary, so he guides Jace and Clary into seelie land to open up a portal, so that they can find Valentine.  Watching Meliorn open the portal is like watching some really bad tai chi and cheap pajamas.  Meliorn warns Clary that when she crosses over to the alternate dimension, she will be in a world where there are no shadowhunters or demons.  If Clary stays in the alternate dimension for too long, she will forget her real identity.  Hearing that, I kind of wanted Clary to just stay forever because I find her annoying as all get out.

Clary walks into the portal and enters the body of that Clary.  The first thing that Clary notices is that her mother and father are happily married.  She freaks out a bit but after watching a commercial which advertises the services of Magnus Bane as a psychic, Clary knows where she must head for help.  Wow, can you believe how subtle the writers were at putting Clary and Magnus together in this dimension?

In the real dimension, at the institute, Shadowhunters are being questioned about what happened at the Silent Brothers.  Alec pulls Izzy aside, afraid that it won't be long until the investigation focuses in on her.  Naturally he's right, and it's a New York minute before Lydia decides that she needs to arrest Izzy because everyone knows she was sleeping with Meliorn.  How's that for evidence; your sex like makes you guilty?  Alec comes up with a compromise and decides to offer Lydia the Mortal Cup in exchange for Izzy's freedom.  Unfortunately for Alec, he finds that the Mortal Cup is missing. So much for plan one.

Meliorn continues to meditate in front of the portal and an irritated Jace looks on.  In the alternate dimension, Simon is dating Izzy and naturally Jace and Clary are still a couple. Clary tracks down Magnus and he does a tarot card reading, informing Clary that  she is in love (yeah tell us something we don't know). Magnus continues the reading and says that Clary's relationship will be threatened by a revelation (readers of the books totally know what that means). Clary is not content with the reading and informs Magnus that she knows that he is a warlock and needs his help. Unfortunately, Magnus's magic has gone dormant. Magnus makes a potion but still cannot get his magic to work, even when Clary tells him that his spell casting isn't nearly as flamboyant as she has seen him do. In desperation, Clary shows Magnus the shard and when he touches it, it reinvigorates his magic allowing him to see that the portal is in the institute.  Fortunately for Clary, Valentine is holding an Alice in Wonderland party at the institute tonight so they will be able to get in.  Quick question, if there are no Shadowhunters, why does the institute still exist? I guess we won't quibble with common sense and just go ahead with it.

Back in the real dimension, Simon goes to Jade to say that Raphael has made him the vampire ambassador to the werewolves. Now that he is undead, the werewolves don't exactly warm to Simon but thankfully, Luke is the Alpha so Simon is safe.  The two sit and share a few secrets and though Luke is a werewolf, he is able to empathise with Simon's plot because a fledgling vampire goes through the same problems as a newbie wolf.  Aww look, they're building bridges. Simon and Luke head outside and Luke warns Simon not to think about going home until he has his urges under control.  The two are confronted by an internal affairs officer and having a gun pointed at him, is enough to get Simon to attack. Thankfully, Luke's werewolf reflexes stop Simon from killing the cop. The two then set Simon up to play the role of the serial killer that the cops have been looking for and Luke shows up to play hero, shooting Simon dead.  In the morgue, Luke is hailed as a hero for rescuing a fellow cop and closing the case. Wow, I guess internal affairs is about as competent as Barney Fife.  Alone again, Simon opens the body bag and when he is informed that he saved the alpha from a police problem, Simon requests free food for life.  See, that's how alliances are made.

Back at the institute, a pissed off Alec is determined that his sister won't suffer for Jace's girlfriend. With the aid of Hodge, Alec decides to trace Jace through their parabatai bond.  This is huge because it could either weaken or break the bond altogether.  Izzy is particularly concerned but Alec claims he no longer gives a damn about Jace. Oh Alec, thou thus protestest too much. Alec begins the process despite all of the warnings.  Jace and Meliorn are busy fighting off demons but when Alec reaches out to Jace through the bond, the pain becomes unbearable and Jace falls to the ground in pain.  The absence of a foe is enough for a demon to launch itself through the portal.

In the alternate dimension, Jace approaches Clary for a dance and is disturbed that she seems not to be doting on him.  That's some relationship Clary.  If dude cannot handle that you didn't immediately respond to his text and cannot stand the idea that you might not have the time to dance with him, it's time to institute a catch and release policy.  At any rate, Magnus is outside but he cannot get into the party because Clary hasn't gotten around to putting his name on the list (way to go with priorities Clary. ) It's Alec to the rescue and he takes responsibility for Magnus. This is a total role reversal because this time, it's Alec who is doing the pursuing.  He even repeats Magnus words from a previous episode claiming that Magnus is playing hard to get and that he likes a challenge.  I kind of like this self assured Alec, even if he comes across as slightly sleazy.

Magnus excuses himself, catches up with Clary and the two go through a secret doorway in search of the portal.  Unbeknownst to them however, Jace saw them and decides to follow.  When Jace catches up, he is quick to accuse Clary of cheating on him and declares the relationship over without giving her a chance to explain (in my head I started screaming just let him and his controlling ways walk the hell out) Before Jace can leave however, they are attacked by a demon and Clary is forced to kick some ass. It's about time we see Clary be proactive in her own defense given the fact that she has put so many at risk.

In the real dimension, Jace wakes up and is alarmed when he realises that the demon went through the portal. Meliorn agrees to let Jace follow Clary but warns that if they cannot find the portal in the other dimension, he and Clary will be stuck there.  Jace dives through the portal and takes over the body of his alternate self, just in time to help Clary fight off the demon; however, in the process, he gets stung by the demon.

In the real dimension, Alec shows up with the shadowhunters to find that Jace is gone.

Back in the other dimension, Jace is suffering from the sting and Magnus informs them that he needs to go to the institute to heal.  Jace however says that this might be their only chance to find Valentine. Clary and Jace walk through the portal and instruct Magnus to make sure that he closes the portal to keep his dimension demon free.  The moment Clary and Jace walk through the portal, Jace uses his stele to give some relief to his wound.  They follow a sound to what appears to be a closet and find Jace's father inside.  Jace is shocked because he thought his father had died.

After everything that Clary has put people through, she is finally in Valentine's dimension.  I hope that she at least pauses to think about the sacrifices others have made for her but Clary being Clary, we know she is far from the introspective type.

The other dimension was meant to give us a different view of the characters.  Izzy played the part of the nerd quite well and I actually like the smooth Alec on the move.  Magnus turned down his eccentricities and Jace, well Jace remained the same controlling prick that he has always been. The look at the alternate universe gave us a taste of what could be, but it certainly didn't make me want to embrace the characters anymore than I already have.  If anything, it cemented my belief that Dominic Sherwood is in desperate need of an acting class to learn to emote and simply accept the idea that more can be done with the body than crossing one's arms while trying to look authoritative.

I very much liked watching Alec fight for his sister.  I am absolutely team Alec because he's right, no one should have to suffer this much for Jace's girlfriend.  I do however wish that his motivations weren't framed around jealousy because it undermines his very genuine position. As for his beard, I don't understand why Alec is still so committed to marriage, given the fact that Lydia arrested Izzy, thus putting her into a position of jeopardy without any real evidence.  That's a lot of commitment to staying closeted.

Finally, Luke and Simon as buddy cops was actually a little bit engaging. For most of this season, Isaiah Mustafa really gave the impression that he would rather be doing anything than saying the corny lines he has been paid to say.  If a little bubble were to appear over his head, it probably would've read, "how did I let my agent talk me into this bullshit". In This World Inverted, Isaiah Mustafa didn't really look like he was angling for an escape and that's probably because they didn't get him a lot of ridiculous things to do this episode. Simon and Luke work together very well and I hope to see more of this team up.