Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shadowhunters, Season 2, Episode 13: Those of Demon Blood

Side plot I’m supposed to care about - Simon has groupies now because of his whole daylighter thing (like this wasn’t predictable? Well to anyone who isn’t a character on this show since all of them are so monumentally bizarrely foolish). They want to join his “clan” which Simon would rather not because Raphael already has plenty of reason to want to kill and eat him and he’d rather not add this. Clary also decides to get Simon’s band (which doesn’t even exist since the other members left) but having daylighter groupies helps with that.

The main plot this episode is that someone is murdering shadowhunters and carving out their runes (since Shadowhunters are an amazing source of evil this probably makes the world a whole lot nicer). The bodies appear to have been killed by Seelie, werewolves and vampires.

Time for Inquisitor Herondale to look at all of her terrible bad decisions everyone else has made and yell “hold my beer” and go in!

Bad idea the first, since she’s decided that since Jace is her grandson he’s the best thing ever, offers the confused guy the joy of family (hey he does point out that he has had 3 surnames this year so it’s quite understandable) and declares him the new head of the institute when she leaves. Because she’s not even subtle about her nepotism. No, really, she outright says he has the right surname so he gets to lead. Jace protests that Alec is more qualified since he does, y’know, lead rather than just kill stuff and mope

While I ask do you actually have anyone in the Institute over the age of 25 to lead this place? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Oh and she urges Jace to ignore, y’know, logic and just focus on his gut. Which to me sounds absolutely the worst advice from anyone with the title “Inquisitor”

But this is her less awful decision. Because confronted by murdered Shadowhunters she decides to a) lock up Simon after he saves Clary after an attack (she lives, alas), b) block all Downworlder’s from the Institue, c) drag in Luke because he’s a werewolf and then subject Downworlders in general to DNA testing and finally, d) order all Shadowhunters in New York to be TAGGED WITH TRACKING CHIPS.

Seriously Valentine would be a better Clave leader at this point.

Needless to say many people are just not that thrilled with this. Magnus is riotously pissed that Alec, the man who supposedly loves him decides to ask for a DNA test on the basis of his species. Magnus. Is. Not. Amused and kicks Alec out of his house

Magnus is actually the least pissed of everyone - as Simon rejects Clary, Maia beats heavily on Jace (and they sent 2 Shadowhunters to a bar full of Shadowhunters to tag them all) before the Inquisitor throws her in a cell as well for being a werewolf in the wrong place and warlock Dot has harsh words while she and Magnus get drunk and have a dance party.

And i want to be super clear I love that ALL of these people are standing up and, for once, these Downworlders aren’t crawling and bowing before their Shadowhunter betters. I love their resistance. And Simon’s speech and Maia’s anger were both powerful and on point. Extremely so.

Simon, a Jewish man, talks about his uncle, a holocaust survivor and how he absolutely will not, cannot tolerate the idea of being DNA tested/tagged because of what he is. Maia, a Black woman, talks about being persecuted by the police for her skin colour, denounces the same for being a werewolf. Dot adds that she lived in Salem and knows a witch hunt when she sees one

Ok, all of these are good points. They’re even powerful points. They’re even - and this may be the first time I’ve ever ever ever said this about Shadowhunters well acted. These are extremely well made points about discrimination, bigotry and out right genocide

But I will never be comfortable comparing the holocaust or murder of Black people or torture and killing of women to… vampires and werewolves. These points are excellently made. The fuckery of the Inquisitor most definitely need to be called out and the resistance was excellent. But the combination? Not comfortable.

It all feels very clumsy as well. Rather than actually stretch this out into a decent story of Shadowhunter oppression of the Downworld, it’s a single episode which ends because blondie says sorry. YAY DISCRIMINATION IS OVER GUYS! Especially when drawing on these many examples of oppression that are both very and didn’t end because some guy said sorry.

And why even have Inquisitor Herondale deciding to play Torquemada and Hitler’s bizarre love child when we’ve ALREADY seen more than enough storylines to justify the need for Downworlders to be outraged by their treatment. We have the Seelies, vampires and werewolves all being massacred in the Clave’s own civil war. The Clav harbouring an entire movement of genocidal monsters. The Clave having an anti-downworlder nuke. Raphael, Luke and Magnus all being dismissed by their own people for being Clave sympathises. Or the fact Shadowhunters feel they can sit in judgement without any Shadowhunter representation. There is reason enough here to be mightily pissed already.

We didn’t need one of the writers to start goose-stepping all over the script. We had material here and not only was this so hellishly clumsy that it was beyond belief but it downplays the previous bullshit the Clave has pulled - like that’s not motivation enough

That is how it ends, by the way. After the serial killer is found and killed by Raphael Meliorn the Seelie and Izzie the killings top (The killer is a seelie who is furious at the massacre but hey no-one cares about that any more)  Inquisitor leaves her grandson in charge and he realises that he’s completely alienated everyone who can tolerate his smug presence and rescinds all the orders, de-chips Maia, releases Simon and Maia, says sorry and yay. Magnus also forgives Alec his attempt to genetically test him because Alec says sorry.

Jace also makes Alec leader because he’s marginally more capable than his incapable self withe the nazi grandma.

I think this is setting Alec up EVEN MORE To try and make rules for Clary and Jace to completely ignore them

In storylines absolutely no-one asked for - Maia and Jace have sex. Ok… when did Maia stop hating Jace? Did that actually happen? Ever?

Also Izzy has told everyone she’s a yin fen addict but she’s better now and everyone kind of deals with this like she just said she ate a whole pizza. Also she’s training her little brother who promises to be the most annoying character yet.