Oh boy. It’s a risky thing to make such a proclamation, especially considering the fandom’s love for Dean Winchester and the man who plays him. But as someone who has thoroughly enjoyed Supernatural’s burdened big brother for the last eleven years, I couldn’t help but watch Freeform’s newest offering with a sense of nostalgia. As a veteran Supernatural fan, Dominic Sherwood’s Jace Wayland gave me serious pangs – painful pangs that ultimately mean good things to be expected. Jace Wayland harkens back to a much simpler, dearly missed version of an early Dean Winchester, and here are some reasons why.
Jace’s charm rests in what he knows. He’s one of the strongest, brightest stars in the greater Shadowhunter universe, known for his exceptional talent as a soldier, and he doesn’t need to boast about it. Like Dean, he simply knows he’s good, and he doesn’t need to explain it to anyone – his actions speak for him. He also makes you grin. Someone who can pull a grin and a laugh out of you is always charming (unless you’re laughing at them).
“This is a glamour, a rune that makes me invisible to Mundanes. It’s a shame really, ‘cause I’m denying him all of this.”
Jace is known for his defense-mechanism wit and sarcasm, and the show so far has showcased this with natural, fitting touches. Jace, as he is now, is young and fresh, and while there are hints of a damaged childhood, he’s yet to be burdened by the curveballs his story will throw at him, and seeing it again makes me grieve for the young Dean Winchester we were first introduced to so many years ago. It also makes me a little sad to think of what Jace may look like after a few emotional beatings.
He’s a Brawler
Like his adopted siblings, Jace has a specific type of fight prowess. While Isabelle slays easy as you please like a woman who is waiting for her nail polish to dry and Alec’s hand-to-hand skill is largely distracted by his concern for his siblings, Jace is a ground-and-pound scrapper who fights almost by the seat of his pants while taking any opportunity to wrench someone down and make it hurt. Like Dean, the guy runs on instinct and has some deep-seated aggression that will probably become a little clearer in future episodes as his back-story drips through.
He Also Has Daddy Issues
Like Dean, Jace has his fair share of childhood angst. He never knew his mother, and he’s of the opinion that you can’t miss something you’ve never had. But Jace also lost his father when he was ten years old and that loss – and the questions surrounding it – is part of what drives him in his mission.
He’s Got a Sense of Righteousness
As a guy on the Shadowhunter side of the law, he’s fighting the good fight of his people. While Dean wasn’t exactly born into the life quite like Jace was, both have been bred into the mission and the dealing of justice that goes with it. Will Jace hit some grey areas like Dean, too? I hope so. All of the best heroes do.
Dominic Sherwood has been blessed with a multi-faceted character to work with, and just like Jensen Ackles 11 years ago, he’s got the drive, the passion, the sexy, sly gaze and the acting chops to really crank Jace Wayland into next gear. And as someone who enjoyed the paperback version of Jace Wayland just fine, Dominic Sherwood is already well on his way to setting a new bar. I’m excited to see where he goes. Are you?