Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments Series, Season one, Episode Twelve: Malec

Obviously, the name of this episode is based on the ship between Alec and Magnus.  LGBT people are sorely underrepresented on television and therefore, I must say that I am irritated that such a reductive name was chosen to represent Alec and Magnus affirming publicly their feelings for each other.  I think that they deserved better, particularly given that they are the only two LGBT people on Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments Series.

Clary is still very concerned about the fact that not only is Jocelyn still not awake, Jace has shut down on her since finding out that they are siblings.  Clary seems to take it all in stride while Jace is having real problems with this.  For Jace, it's not only that he cannot be with the girl he loves but that if Jocelyn is really and truly his mother, then she abandoned him.  Jace also cannot let go of the idea that Valentine is his father and very much wonders if this explains the darkness inside of him.  I really would have liked it better if the television show had dropped all of the angst that Clare had introduced into this part of the story.

Isabelle is knee deep in wedding plans though she doesn't think that Alec is making the right decision. In the end, Isabelle does decide to support her brother's decision because he stayed by her side while she was on trial.  Magnus makes his play for Alec and is soundly rejected because Alec feels that he has a duty to his family to marry Lydia.

Unable to get through to Alec, Magnus decides to busy himself with helping Clary wake her mother. To that end, Magnus accompanies Jace and Clary to visit Ragnor Fell, the warlock who created the sleeping potion for Jocelyn.  Fell reveals that he needs a special book to be able to break the spell. They don't get far into the conversation because Fell is promptly killed by a demon. Now would have been the time for Clary to show that she can care about someone other than herself, but she barely spends a moment to acknowledge Magnus's grief.  Clary and Jace head back to the institute and promptly decide that Lydia must have told Valentine about their trip. Jace decides to confront Lydia and Isabelle suggests that this wouldn't be a good idea because things are already strained between him and Alec.

Clary goes to question Lydia about her involvement in setting up Ragnor Fell.  Lydia is adamant about her innocence and so Clary questions how she can possibly trust her. Lydia points out that she learned to trust the daughter of Valentine.  Yeah, I would say that this is a point for Lydia. They then talk about Lydia's upcoming nuptials to Alec and Lydia actually admits that she knows about Alec's feelings for Magnus.  It seems that Lydia is not concerned because she is convinced being raised in a society where self sacrifice is pushed will be enough to ensure that she and Alec have a successful marriage. In a word, DENIAL.

Isabelle's version of a bachelor party for her brother is arranging for Alec to have some alone time with Jace.  At first, both young men are unwilling to talk and Jace actually starts to walk away. Finally, Alec concedes they have things to discuss. The two quickly make up and go on to discuss Jace's confusion about falling in love with Clary and the fact that he wanted to be intimate with her. Jace is rightfully confused and grossed out about having sexual/romantic feelings for his sister but Alec is there to support him saying that things are complicated. As much as Alec is giving Jace advise, he is also clearly thinking about his own situation.

Ragnor may me dead but that doesn't mean that he cannot find a way to advise Magnus about his love life.  It seems that Camille once broke Magnus's heart and Ragnor is convinced that this is why Magnus is unwilling to give his heart and take the leap. This is just the pep talk that Magnus needs.

It's the big day and Lydia is about to place the wedding rune on Alec when Magnus walks in.  Maryse is beside herself and immediately demands that Magnus leave.  Magnus has eyes only for Alec and makes it clear to Maryse that this is not her business and that Alec can tell him to leave if he wants to. Alec takes a deep breath, apologises to Lydia and walks towards Magnus.  The two kiss and for once, we have a same sex kiss between two men that doesn't quickly fade to black, nor is it done in the shadows as though it's something dirty which needs to be hidden.  This by far is the best thing that Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments Series has done to date. Jace takes the time to thank Lydia for letting go of Alec so gracefully.

Things have started to wind down and Lydia is packing up to go home when she is attacked and left unconscious.  Readers of the books already know who the guilty culprit is.

With the guests gone, Maryse decides to confront Alec.  It seems that she cannot see her child's happiness at all and is instead only concerned with the fact that she feels Alec embarrassed her in front of important members of the Clave.  Alec tries to explain that all he did was show the world who he always has been.  Maryse still cannot except her son and storms out. Yeah, this one isn't getting any mother of the year awards. Robert does a little bit better than his wife and questions whether or not Alec is in love. Alec stumbles over his words and Magnus explains that things are still new between them.  Robert advises Alec to give his mother a little bit of time but comes off a little non committal.

Hodge puts on a ring and contacts Valentine to inform him that he has the Mortal Cup now and wants to exchange the cup for his freedom. Valentine promises that a deal is a deal.

This pretty much sums up the penultimate episode for season one.  The acting has still not improved and the actors are still being given ridiculous things to say. This episode turned up the angst and the emo, at times ruining the relationship building between Alec and Magnus.  I am very glad that the show followed through with Alec and Magnus's relationship, particularly given that we have seen a few LGBT characters who were made straight for television.  It will be nice to see the relationship grow between these two and perhaps distract me from just how irritating Clary is.