Vampires, Forsaken and….wedding bells?! These are just a few of the surprises contained in the eighth episode of Freeform’s hit show Shadowhunters, which features two of our favorite characters making choices that will drastically affect their futures. The first is Clary, who discovers, to her horror, that Simon has been killed by Camille and now has to choose whether to allow him to become a vampire or kill him. This ultimatum causes Clary an immense amount of internal and external conflict—and kudos to Katherine McNamara for showcasing Clary’s diverse emotions so brilliantly—and dominates the episode as a whole. After being urged by Luke to make sure that she chooses for Simon and not for herself, Clary comes to the only decision that she could possibly come to: allow Simon to be turned and try to help him adjust to his new condition.
And then we have Alec, who is caught between increasing his family’s honor and following his own heart. It’s clear throughout this episode that while Alec is drawn to Magnus, he is also dedicated to his family and eager to do anything in his power to help their faltering reputation in the Shadow World. After learning that his parents were members of the Circle during Valentine’s first revolt against the Clave, Alec is dumbfounded and betrayed. However, instead of driving him away from his family, this discovery validates his decision to put their needs above his own. It provides the final incentive for Alec to go through with his parents’ plan to marry him off to the most eligible maiden in the realm, which turns out to be Lydia Brownwell, the emissary from the Clave.
I can’t pretend to not be disappointed by this turn of events, especially since I’m a huge fan of Magnus and Alec’s relationship. As someone who wants to see a major fantasy show move forward with making Malec canon, I see this development as an unnecessary and obnoxious wrench designed to slow the ship down. Nevertheless, I have confidence that the Malec relationship will continue to be a main feature on the show and that Alec’s proposal to Lydia Brownwell will be nothing but a bump in the road.
Altogether, this was one of the tensest episodes of the season so far, littered with memorable, nail-biting moments. It was an episode of heightened emotion coupled by bursts of action that were both stunning and exhilarating. It was clear from start to finish that the writers, actors, and production crew brought their A-game to this one. So, without further ado, here are the best five moments of Shadowhunters episode eight, “Bad Blood”:
Izzy Snags the Mortal Cup (And Clary and Jace Stare Soulfully into Each Other’s Eyes)
Although this wasn’t a major scene in this episode, it still ended up being one of my favorites for several reasons. For starters, I loved how badass and confident Izzy (Emeraude Toubia) was as she flicked her whip, snagged the Cup away from Clary and then proceeded to slink her way down the stairs and proclaim that “There’s nothing a Shadowhunter can’t do in heels.” That moment was so Izzy, which made me very happy given that she’s been trying to change who she is in order to make her mother proud. I also liked this scene because it demonstrated that while Clary has only been a part of their group for a short time, Jace and Izzy support her and are willing to back her decisions (and even go toe-to-toe with Alec to do it). Finally, I liked that the writers made it clear that despite the events of the last episode, Clary and Alec aren’t friends; they still have issues to work through before they can ever get to that place.
Raphael, Clary and the Gang Discuss Simon’s Future (And Raphael Clears Up a Misconception)
I enjoy David Castro as Raphael so much, and in this scene in particular, he was absolutely fantastic. Watching him match Jace snark-for-snark was a hoot (I really want to see those 14-k gold caskets now, Raphael), but it was his sensitivity to Clary’s distress that made his presence in this scene especially memorable. He was honest with her without being callous, giving her all of the facts so that she can make her decision. It makes me wonder if he will continue to be an ally to the Shadowhunters for the rest of the season. One thing is for sure though: with Raphael on his side, Simon has a shot at becoming a pretty kickass vampire.
Lydia Branwell Makes Her Debut (And Tests the Institute’s Reflexes)
And here I thought that Maryse Lightwood was going to keep that award for “most dramatic entrance of all time!” With one rune and one arrow, Lydia Branwell (Stephanie Bennet) bumped Maryse Lightwood off of her pedestal and demonstrated that she’s not there to make friends; she’s there to lay down the law. Disguising herself as Valentine to test the Institute’s reflexes was ingenious, and also disheartening, since Alec was the only one who didn’t stare, dumbfounded, as she strolled in the door (are we sure those people are Shadowhunters? They seem a little slow on the uptake). In addition to making a great first impression, this scene also served as a great starting point for Lydia and Alec’s relationship, which hopefully stays platonic.
Camille Comes For Simon (And Gets Punched in the Face)
Things aren’t looking good for Camille (Kaitlyn Leeb). In one fell swoop, she went from being a vampire baroness to being Raphael’s prisoner (since we didn’t see her die, I’m going to assume that she’s being held prisoner somewhere, which also means that she could escape and get revenge). In addition, she also got punched in the face by a red-headed, fledgling Shadowhunter—our very own Clary Fray—which can’t be good for her reputation. What’s going to happen to Camille now? Suffice it to say that people shouldn’t count her out of the equation just yet!
Hodge Faces Off Against a Forsaken (And Kicks Ass)
So, we need to talk about Jon Cor’s fight scene, because it was seriously the best part about this episode. After the cameras cut away from Luke’s fight with the Forsaken, I was afraid that the same thing would happen in this case. Luckily, we weren’t deprived of Hodge’s stellar fighting skills and rippling back muscles like we were Isaiah Mustafa’s (and just for the record, I’m expecting a shirtless fight scene with Isaiah Mustafa in the future, Shadowhunters writers. Get on it!). Hodge kicked serious Forsaken-booty in this scene, which was the perfect end to an already fantastic episode.
Jace Tells Clary “The Falcon Story” (And Freaks Clary Out)
Any fan of The Mortal Instruments worth his or her salt remembers Jace’s falcon story—and I’d like to point out that the show version is a summary of the book version, so if you want the full impact of the story, please read the books or look it up! Anyway, this story was a great way for the writers to provide insight into both Jace’s character and his relationship with his father. It was also a great way for Clary to begin to understand why Jace is the way that he is. I’m not really sure what Jace was trying to get across via this story regarding Simon, however. In the books, the moral of the story is “to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed,” so perhaps Jace was trying to say that Clary’s love for Simon, and Simon’s love for Clary, led Simon down this path…
Magnus and Izzy Do an Autopsy (And Chat about Alec)
I’m always happy when Magnus is included in an episode and even happier when both Alec and Izzy get to interact with him. In all honesty, I enjoy Magnus and Izzy’s relationship as much as I enjoy Magnus and Alec’s, and this scene accentuated why. Their dialogue is easy, light-hearted and fun with that sassy sparkle that I’ve learned to expect from both of them. Hopefully, the two of them can work together to convince Alec not to marry Lydia and to pursue a relationship with Magnus!