Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Shadowhunters Season 2, Episode 4: Day of Wrath

Jace, our tragic traitor of treachery has now been locked up in the City of Bones – which contains lots of medieval decorating, some nice flickering torches (you know they’re gas and just pretending to be fire) and someone’s even pulled out their sound track of ominous screaming

Y’know, the Shadowhunters may actually have a better job of selling themselves as good guys if they don’t have a torture dungeon.

There we run into Hodge who is also imprisoned and tries to make common cause with Jace as they’re both evil traitors of treason-ness but Jace isn’t having that because Hodge is totally a worse traitor (and no, I’m not arguing Jace’s innocence. By all interpretations Jace has supported Valentine).

In between the spooky Silent Brothers torturing Jace while he sleeps (even before he’s been tried because these are the good guys, folks!) and him suffering still further when Clary visits and attempts to act. Jace would like her to stay away from him. I can understand that – the only thing worse than Clary’s acting if Jace and Clary trying to act together – please, please bring on Magnus. He’s been to drama school!

Anyway time for Jace’s trial where he holds the big scary sharp sword of please-don’t-murder-the-prosecution aka the-sword-of-my-gods-why-does-our-court-rely-on-violent-criminals-being-given-fucking-huge-weapons (deployed before the Hand Grenade of Plea Deals and the Bazooka of Self-Advocacy). This sword prevents him lying when Victor, incompetent and more than a little evil head of the Shadowhunters of New York (this character needs a moustache to twirl because he’s such a caricature of incompetent evil) starts questioning him. About wanting to fuck his sister

No, really, most of Victor’s questions are about how Jace totally gets all hot and bothered about Clary, his sister-but-he-didn’t-know it. Nice to see Victor has his priorities in order. He also asks whether Jace can fully pledge himself to the Clave… which Jace can’t. He can’t because he’s not sure whether the Clave is doing enough to take down dangerous Downworlders. He is sentenced to life imprisonment with lots of torture.

While I want to point to all the evil torture and killing is another good reason to not want to pledge. I’m picky like that.

While he’s being sentenced Valentine moves in to “rescue” him, in the process killing lots of the torturing Silent Brothers (should I be sad about this?). Hodge also dies but Jace refuses to leave with his evil daddy because, y’know evil. However when given a choice between stopping Valentine portalling out (he still has a pet enslaved Warlock) with the Special Sword or saving Cartoon-Villain Victor’s life he chooses the latter

Oh Jace, that was a bad decision on so very many levels. Even Clary would have difficulty beating that one and her decisions in the book were so poor that we named a trope after her.

Let’s drop in on the oh-so-hyped relationship of Alec and Magnus. They actually talk about Jace
About how important Jace is (but Alec kind of remembered you Magnus, sort of)
Yes Jace is very important
Shall we talk more about Jace?
Hey, how about we get coffee some time?
Yes. Then we can talk more about Jace.

It’s riveting stuff.

Vampire Camille is still running around killing people for funsies and Cartoon-Villain Vinc- waait a minute, was his name Victor or Victor? Bugger, Victor now I’ve got to find and replace this whole damn review.

Anyway, Cartoon Villain Victor decides the best way to deal with Camille killing people is to brutally torture Rafael. Because Victor is evil and incompetent and apparently there are laws about this but no-one actually cares

This ends up with Rafael and Simon snarling at each other over who should be hunting down Camille and so they turn to Magnus who has absolutely no life of his own and his entire purpose in existence is to be on call to help whichever straight person rocks up at his door demanding his services (which was the same in the books as well). We have a wonderfully convoluted reason for why Magnus is everyone’s uber-powerful errand boy (he can’t have a family of his own so he’s become like adoptive uncle to all waifs and strays which would be sweet if it weren’t also a deeply homophobic trope reducing LGBT people to peripheral servants in other people’s families. Especially since there has been zero effort to actually portray Magnus as having this kind of extended family network) so of course Magnus is happy to help them

As he uses his woo-woo to capture Camille we learn that she’s pretty much his one true love, the woman who has been there to support him through his period bouts of angst and generally that imprisoning her and handing her over is going to hurt him badly. Of course he does it anyway (and shows up everyone else’s acting in the process since, y’know, he can) because Magnus sacrificing and serving is what he does

Back to the Clave and we have Clary/Jocelyn drama. They’re still fighting but Jocelyn is being banished to Idris on account of not being trusted (because, y’know, the relationship with Valentine, hiding they had children and stealing one of the Clave’s most precious artefacts and hiding it for several years… actually far be it from me to defend Cartoon Villain Victor but she doesn’t actually look all that trustworthy. I think I’d ship her off to a different content as well). She wants Clary to come with. Clary is not a fan of that because different continent and all and she hasn’t finished pouting over her mother and Reasons.

Luckily a demon starts killing people so they can put that on the back burner for a while. Because of her complete lack of any kind of experience with demons, the supernatural et al, they decide to take Clary with them. Because of course you do. Who doesn’t want a complete rooky of dubious loyalty on a demon hunt? They find Luke covering the crime scene and generally being a useful little servant of the Clave. He also wants Jocelyn to know that despite him already spending the last couple of decades pining after her from afar and generally getting nowhere, he’s quite willing to abandon his life, his job and his pack to come with her to Idris

Luke, really, no. This lady’s not good for you Luke, and no amount of playing the Nice Guy is going to get you true love. And can we have one minority on this show who doesn’t exist to selflessly sacrifice and pledge their service to others? It’s tiresome and unpleasant.

The demon has killed people but is nowhere to be found – because it’s apparently a new Valentine demon which is capable of possessing people, even Shadowhunters. It’s also completely undetectable to wards, sigils and other defences so possessed Shadowhunters can just wander in without setting off an alarm, saying a password or anything. It’s a pretty major security flaw

Once in the Institute it starts getting the Shadowhunters to kill each other, cutting a nice swathe through the extras, injuring characters which are a bit more important before possessing Alec (the Shadowhunters respond to a monster that can possess them by wandering around alone. Of course they do.

Possessed Alec kills Jocelyn which nicely solves any more conflict from Clary over whether she has to go to Idris or not. It also spares us any more scenes of Clary trying to act with her mother because ye gods those are agonising. Now if something can eat Jace?

It also means Alec is going to have even more angst, think he’s even more ineffective and be even more of a trainwreck. It doesn’t help that Clary saves him from possessed Izzy so now he’s going to owe her and feel super guilty for not liking her and fawning at her feet like everyone else does

Oh joy.

I’m going to have to start drinking watching this show.