Shadowhunters Recap: Heavenly Fire, Simon Goes Undercover, Raphael is Faced With an Abrupt Change and We Meet Helen Blackthorn

9:03 PM

Shadowhunters 3x17 was mostly fun, if not a little slow. 

Tonight's Shadowhunters episode begins with Magnus in bed and Alec deep in thought as he gets ready for the day. He is planning a romantic night out for the two; planning to pop the question at some point during their date. Swoon. It's officially MALEC week and I'm emotional. Alas, not all things go according to plan--but we'll get to that later.

Jonathan, of course, continues his fixation on Clary. While in custody, he refuses to speak to anyone. Well. Anyone but Clary. He just wants the Morgenstern sword, damn it! What's rightfully his! Er, ah, well, that, and Clary, and world domination, and a lot of hellfire most likely. 

Cue the backstory for Jonathan in Edom. He may or may not have had a pet demon. Kidding. Mostly. Lilith, being the Mother of the Year, tells Jonathan of her sister, discovering that he and Jace weren't Valentine's only experiments. This was where his obsession with his sister seemingly begins: in the fiery pits of hell. The demon motherland. Rather fitting, no?

He is quite good at attempting to act human as he tells that story. I'll give him that. I'd question it all, too, and maybe even feel pity for him. The sibling "bonding" continues for Clary and Jonathan, as he tells his sister of his life in Edom. I like that we get to know Jonathan a bit more because I find him to be an interesting villain. Seeing the dynamic between him and Lilith, in flashbacks, as demonic mother and son, is fascinating and creepy.

I really do almost feel pity for him. 


Clary doesn't react well to his stories; feeling guilt for the way he grew up and hunts through her old sketch books to try to find illustrations of recurring nightmares she had as a kid. Which sound like his actual life. Something about this is bittersweet because it solidifies a couple of things for us as the episode goes: the connection is deeper than we thought.

Meanwhile, Simon and Izzy are set for another team-up. Bring on the Sizzy! Also, Simon is shirtless for a hot minute. When he agrees to Isabelle's plan, things are set into motion. Placing him under arrest will give them an advantage--Simon will be on the inside and THIS CAN'T POSSIBLY GO WRONG, RIGHT? Right?! Alec's reaction to the entire plan is mine.

Finally, the SEELIE RINGS are here. You know, the ones that Clary and Simon use to communicate while she stays with Jonathan and Jace. I'm not sure how I feel about them changing the plotline on this one, too, but I am glad to see one of my favourite magical book items even if only very briefly. 

With Simon effectively planted in this prison, with a false identity, we soon get to see an absolutely welcome familiar face: Raphael! But, shh, RAPHAEL, his name's not Simon on the inside!

Another book nod: 

What I've been waiting for all season! Helen Blackthorn makes her first appearance. I'll admit that it's unexpected. When she first was on screen, I was excited but confused. The Helen I know wouldn't be working where she is--and she certainly wouldn't be too far from her siblings. Eventually, we see she seems to want to put Simon at ease by telling him she is half Seelie.

The bad news is they've kind of butchered Helen's character to a degree. She's not the villain she may look like at first and as the episode goes, we grow to admire her, but it's still all very out of character for her. I'm on the fence about this plotline including her in the way that it did.

Random attacks of mundane normalcy:

Perhaps, the biggest revelation of the week is Raphael's proclamation: "I'm human." When we see him taken out of the cell that the Downworlder's are kept in, we are under the impression that this is the last time we might see Raphael Santiago. 

Then, it is revealed, that Iris (ugh) is in custody at the same place, too, and everyone's getting their mundane on. Except not willingly. Uh-oh. I never thought I'd feel bad for Iris about something but, let's face it, I would feel bad for almost anyone in this situation.

Old foes, new woes:

Aldertree returns! Looking just as dashing, evil and smug as ever. I love to hate him. Of course he's involved in whatever has been cooking up. Isn't he always? I feel like he's one of those characters that automatically comes with a disclaimer, ala Pretty Little Liars: "Never trust a pretty girl boy with an ugly secret."

He's always got something up his sleeve. Not worry: Isabelle is hot on his trail, once again putting herself at risk in so many ways. The fact that she had to face the man who got her hooked on yin fen.

If one thing is clear this week, it's this: Aldertree himself is a particular brand of poison.  

Turns out, his plan is to change the Downworlder's into mundanes. The next phase in his plan is to pollute New York's water supply, so that it will reach all Downworlder's in the city and effectively wipe out their powers. It's so very cruel because these things are what make them themselves.

The good news? Helen's got the prisoner's covered--she is ready to bust them all out.

Shadowhunters ends this week on a slight cliffhanger. It's nowhere near the level of fast paced, action packed, 'WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?' goodness that is the usual. It's an exceptionally emotional scene between Alec and Magnus.

One that left me wanting a bottle of wine to myself!  

What I liked this week:
  • Iris is dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oddly, I felt a little bad that she died the way she did. Guess I do have a heart after all. Kinda weird.
  • Helen, Simon and Raphael blowup Aldertree's plans. Literally. Was I screaming in excitement? ABSOLUTELY. Should I have some shame about it? Probably, but, why have shame when you can be shameless OVER FICTIONAL CHARACTERS?!
  • Aldertree is arrested, thanks to both Isabelle and Aline.  
  • GUYS IT'S HAPPENING, HELEN AND ALINE MET. THEY MET. THEY MET. AND DID I MENTION THEY MET? It's happening, it's happening, it's happening! Rise up, ship! That chemistry is already there and I'm... I NEED THEM NOW. 
  • The scene with Raphael and Simon pushing something against the door. Mundane Raphael is so endearing and I already loved him to begin with so I'm in all kinds of 'aw, my son is precious' over him. 
  • Raphael's sentence might be downgraded for the way he helped stop Aldertree's plan from going into motion. I'm so happy. I hope we get more of him before the show ends and that he doesn't die. 
  • Really sweet Simon and Isabelle scene at the end. We love badasses appreciating other badasses! 
  • This childlike voice Jonathan takes on. It's... scary in a different way than usual. Oddly, it hurts. I just like the petulance of his character being locked up. It's different but it's fitting. 
  • "I feel nothing towards you." Jace to Jonathan. No explanation needed. 
  • Okay, I ALREADY SAID SOMETHING SIMILAR BUT: Isabelle and Aldertree's scenes. I've been rooting for Isabelle to knock Aldertree down for a while now and while it wasn't exactly how I imagined it, we do get to see him get taken away because of her and Aline's work. It's worth noting again. 
  • Drunk Magnus. It is sad and at the heart of it, not a good thing. It's a cause of concern. Magnus is so lost. His magic is gone, his hair is greying, he can't seem to do the things he used to be able to do and it's all so much. Suddenly, everything that made Magnus Bane, Magnus Bane, is gone. Except for the man himself. I'm excited to see how Harry portrays this plotline further, he truly was tugging at my heartstrings when he went into his babble fit during what was meant to be a romantic night out with Alec. They really, really broke my heart this week. Although it hurts, that scene where Magnus starts to cry as Alec holds him? Magnus literally collapses into Alec's arms, shattered, and I felt his pain. One of the best acted scenes of the entire series.


What I didn't like this week:
  • The fact that Helen worked at this facility for Aldertree. It still seems out of character for her. I will say that the longer she was on screen, the more I liked her--I still think they could have introduced her in a better and more coherent way. Further, I don't like that we're not getting much in terms of the Blackthorn family. At the same time, I'm glad we're not since they got really close to butchering Helen this week. 
  • Not enough Aline. 
  • No Maia. Seriously? We're so close to the series ending and you guys keep not including Maia in episodes? Honestly, it's sad. Also missing: Luke, Jordan and Maryse. I feel like we've been building up so much for their characters all season long and the show-runners are just letting them go to waste. 
  • The entire Aldertree plot. While it lead to some good moments, it fell flat for me as a whole and seemed rather pointless. At the rate it was unraveling, it felt like we were standing still. This was by far one of my least favourite plotlines of the series run and I feel like the time could have been devoted to so many different things. Magnus' magic. Maia and the aftermath of the attack on the Jade Wolf. Luke working for the Praetor. Clary and Jonathan's weird connection. I could go on. 
While this weeks episode was okay, it was far from my favourite. It left something to be desired for both book and show plots and really, it was kind of blah a good chunk of the time. You can definitely tell that this episode was done before the cancellation announcement; it felt like a bit of a filler episode.

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