If we took out all the flashback scenes, this episode would’ve been another strong improvement over the week before. Unfortunately, the flashbacks kept throwing me out of the episode and detracted from my overall enjoyment of it.
First, what worked…
Loved everything Magnus and Alec – I love the way the series is developing their relationship (much better than in the books in my opinion). We finally got to see more of Harry Shum Jr and he did well. Magnus is a larger than life character so bringing him to the screen was always going to be a challenge but he excelled in the intimate moments with Clary and Alec. I hope we get to see the Magnus/Alec relationship develop on screen throughout the rest of the season and that is isn’t lost in the shuffle to develop Jace and Clary.
I’ve said before that I’m not a kid person but I can see how the youngest Lightwood could worm his way into my heart. He is a hoot and to see him with Izzy was so sweet. I don’t remember Izzy’s mom being so hard on her in the books but I really hope she doesn’t turn into Maryse 2.0. Part of why I love her is because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Simon. Oh Simon, you are adorable. I am very much enjoying his transformation to a vampire. Once again, I like his storyline better on screen than I did in the books. I’m very glad that Jace noticed something was up with him just like Alec did last week. I hope his transformation is completed soon as I think it will result in some great character interactions.
…and what didn’t…
I appreciate the writers trying to show us events in the past instead of just dropping a ton of exposition on us but it just didn’t work. The acting wasn’t great and they reused the same footage in several places. Normally, reusing footage wouldn’t be a big deal, it can be used effectively, but here…it wasn’t just a few seconds so it stood out as filler and completely threw me out of the episode. Hopefully, now that Clary knows where the cup is, flashbacks will be limited.
Overall, a solid episode for our main characters even if the flashbacks felt more like filler than useful narrative. I really liked the division of teams again this week. Simon and Jace was a great pair up – they provided some comedy and aired out some of their issues. The Clary and Jace scenes were minimal again this week but the ones they were in together felt more natural. I see more chemistry between the actors when they aren’t trying to act like they are the “love at first sight” couple they were in the books. Now that they’ve mentioned Clary’s brother, I hope they get the incest storyline out of the way in the next episode or two, and then wrap it up in another episode or two after that (or my personal preference, just skip it all together and continue the slow progression of their relationship). My biggest complaint with the books is not that the storyline existed; it’s that it went on for FAR too long. Since the series is moving thru the material rather quickly, I hope this is not the storyline they decide to slow down on. I’m having a hard time buying Clary and Jace chemistry as it is, so if I have to sit thru a “I love him/her but he/she is my brother/sister” storyline for more than one or two episodes, I will drop the show.