Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Season One: Episode Thirteen: Morning Star

Morning Star is the season finale of Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.  The race is on to wake Jocelyn in the hope of stopping Valentine from getting the mortal cup and failing that at the very least stopping Valentine.  Although Alec and Magnus had their big epic kiss, that doesn't mean that there won't be fall out to follow. Alec is also cluing into the fact that he might very well be in love with an immortal which means that they cannot grow old together.  Finally, Jace now has daddy issues having accepted that Valentine is his father.  Jace wonders if he is the spawn of evil.There's enough drama an angst for everyone

Alec goes to see his parents and Maryse is hella pissed about the wedding.  Alec assumes that Maryse is pissed because he kissed a gay but Maryse clarifies the issue isn't so much that he kissed a guy but that guy is Magnus Bane. Maryse is embarrassed because her son kissed a downworlder in front of important members of the clave. Here's the question: is shadowhunter society homophobic or not? In the books, Clare claims that it is, until of course it magically disappears.  It's clear that Alec's first assumption is homophobia and since he believes that this is the case, Shadowhunters must be homophobic.  Clearly, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments is trying to dance around the issue, even as it throws meat to fetishists.

Since Camille is in possession of the book which contains the spell to wake Jocelynn, it's off to the Hotel du Mort for Clary, Simon and Izzy while Jace and Alec hunt down Hodge.  Raphael is willing to hand over Camille's possessions but is unwilling to wake Camille. Clary cannot take no for an answer, so Izzy distracts Raphael while Clary and Simon break Camille out of the hotel. So much for the vaunted alliance between shadohunters and downworlders. Raphael catches them red handed and declares that Simon is a traitor just like Camille.  Clary, Izzy, Simon and Camille manage to escape Raphael but Camille plays her trump card - she wants a pardon from Simon for turning him into a vampire, thus ending her problems with the Clave.  Clary for once doesn't think of herself and offers to hold Camille down so that Simon can stake her but like a good little servant, Simon agrees to give a pardon to the woman who murdered him.

Jace is busy tracking down Valentine and he uses the ring to contact him.  The conversation is loaded with Daddy angst and reminds just how bad of an actor that Dominic Sherwood is.  Hodge leads him to the place where he last saw Valentine and predictably, Valentine has already moved on.  Did Jace really think that Valentine would just sit there waiting for him?  He's really not that smart is he?

Izzy, Clary and Simon head back to Mangus's so that he can write up the pardon.  Because this episode doesn't already have enough angst and over dramatization we are treated to Magnus's reunion with Camille.  Yes, these two have some history and so Camille decides to taunt Magnus with the fact that eventually, Alec is going to age.  It seems that Camille doesn't believe in true love and has no problem taunting Magnus.  Camille leans in for a kiss just as Alec arrives.  Yeah! More drama!

So they all head to Camille's and find that she has a huge collection of books. Unfortunately for Clary, Camille has no idea which book they are looking for but does however want her pardon right now.  Simon signs the contract with a little hesitation and it seems that more than being concerned about Camille receiving no punishment, he is concerned about the fact that she is leaving. It seems that sire bond is kicking in.

Frustrated in his attempts to locate Valentine, Jace tries again and this time agrees to join Daddy for the wild ride.  Valentine fully aware that in a heads up battle, Jace's youth might well mean he would lose the fight, has decided to go for a softer target and attack Clary.  Jace gets a hold of Clary and warns her to leave but of course, once set on a course Clary refuses to deviate.

Cue the arrival of Valentine's men who he has turned into Shadowhunters.  Jace arrives just in time to find all of his friends easily vanquished.  It's now officially time for Jace to pull his white knight routine and sacrifice himself for the good of all.  Clary tries to offer up the book but it seems that Valentine wants her to wake Jocelynn anyway so she's got zero leverage.  Clary then tries to convince Jace that he's not like Valentine but Jace refuses to be swayed. Valentine opens a portal and guides Jace (who keeps looking at Clary like a wounded basset hound) through it.  Clary moves to follow but Alec grabs her around her waste to stop her, explaining that if she followed without knowing where she was going, she'd be stuck in no man's land. Damn it Alec, why did you have to stop her?

It's back to the institute.  Clary uses her magical spell to wake Jocelyn who is quickly cradled lovingly by Luke and then finally, mother and daughter are reunited.

It's finally over.  I really didn't expect this show to be renewed given how poor the ratings for the first few episodes were but more fool me - the torture will continue to season two.  I hope that in the break, Dominic Sherwood takes some acting lessons because he was absolutely painful to watch.  I hope that they get around to hiring writers who won't pen the most ridiculous lines ever for the characters to say. How exactly did Clary ask the very Black Luke if he is her father?  I don't even know how it is that Katherine McNamara managed to say that line with a straight face because I couldn't have done it.

Alec and Clary have moved from enemies to friends in a blink of an eye.  This naturally means that Alec and Magnus will come running whenever Clary needs them. Every girl should have two GBFF's am I right?  My biggest problem with Alec's portrayal this season is that he raised some very good reasons why just following Clary's lead and throwing caution to the wind was not a good idea but the writers decided to boil all of Alec's objections down to jealousy.  Thanks for that really.

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments: does have pretty good inclusion in terms of casting and what more, they all survived. That doesn't happen very often on television, so I will give the show some praise for this.  A lot of representation doesn't mean good representation however and that becomes clear when we look at the character of Maureen.  Maureen clearly has a thing for Simon, who is too busy mooning over Clary to pay much attention to her. When Simon does finally see Maureen, they have sex, he fantasizes about Clary and then quickly blows her off.  Look, I know that this a teen drama and that love triangles will win out but the racial optics on this are not at all good, especially given that socially, Black women are who you turn to as a second or third choice. It's awful that Maureen is treated as disposable and is quickly forgotten.  It's awful that Clary is placed above Maureen in the pecking order. It's awful that even though Maureen stands up for herself, it doesn't really get her anywhere.

In summation, the acting is bad, the writing is bad and the angst is ridiculous.  I don't like any of the characters nor am I invested in the story.