Shadowhunters S01E09 “Rise Up” REVIEW

Shadowhunters S01E09 “Rise Up” REVIEW

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stars 3

Airing in the UK on Netflix, new episodes each week on Wednesdays
Writer: Hollie Overton
Director: J Miller Tobin

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • On behalf of the Clave, Lydia arrests Izzy’s Seelie casual sex partner, Meliorn, on suspicion that he’s been leaking secrets to Valentine.
  • Under questioning he reveals that Clary has found the Cup.
  • Lydia thinks he has more information (he ex was killed because she once didn’t interrogate a warlock enough so now she’s overcompensating) so she sends Meliorn to the Silent Brothers, putting her new fiancé Alec in charge of the team taking him to them.
  • Meanwhile Clary finds Simon and tries to convince him that being a vampire isn’t all bad. He’s not convinced and nearly feasts on him mum.
  • Jace warns Clary that Lydia knows about the Cup. Worried that Lydia will come looking for her, Clary and Simon hide out at the Hotel DuMort.
  • Raphael, who’s proving to be the worst vampire sire and mentor ever, locks Clary and Simon in a cage for “their own safety”. They don’t appear to find anything strange about this situation…
  • Simon begins to come to terms with his new state of being when Clary says, “Hey, welcome to my world,” and he realises that being a vampire gives him a new excuse to hang around her.
  • On being released by Raphael, Clary brokers an uneasy alliance between the vampires, seelies, werewolves and rogue Shadowhunters with a “let’s face the common enemy” argument that, bizarrely, no one else has ever thought of before.
  • The new alliance intercepts Alec’s team and – vastly outnumering them (by about four to one it looks) – they rescue Meliorn.
  • The ego known as Jace manages to make it all about him by telling Alec he knows Alec’s only acting like a git because Alec loves him and is jealous that he loves Clary (this from the man who pulls the expression below when Clary gives an old mate a hug…)

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  •  Jace and Alec have a bitch fight. But Alec remains resolute that he wants to remain a git.
  • A thankful Meliorn tell Clary he’ll help her find her father.

 

Review:

While not as actively irritating as last week’s instalment, there’s very little to get excited about in the latest episode of  YA Supernarural Template… sorry, Shadowhunters. Okay, there’s the epic spat between Alec and Jace – a kind of testosterone-fuelled lovers’s tiff with added leather. It’s both immensely silly and yet completely on point for this series at the same time; and once again the show proves to refreshingly matter-of-fact about homosexuality. When Jace blurts out that he knows Alec loves him, its not sensationalist; Jace clearly has no problem with the idea a guy could love him. Instead the real jawdropping element of the fight is how Jace manages to make it all about him. To be fair, he’s probably right – Alec is obsessing – but there’s still an annoying smugness to the way he announces it.

There’s also some fun to be had with Simon accepting his vampire nature (“Let’s work up to hugging, because I haven’t had dinner yet”) and the way he annoys his new bloodsucking buddies by fistbumping a werewolf. Also, Magnus gets to pout amusingly at Alec acting like a prat. Other than that, though, this is another exposition-heavy episode full of sketchy characters who frown and cross their arms a lot.

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Clary somehow manages to unite supernatural factions who’ve been warring for centuries by whining, “Were better together” and looking really, really concerned. Lydia reveals why she’s such a hard-ass with a piece of cheesy backstory delivered with all the emotion of automated phone message. The Clave make major decision off-stage, revealed in “by the way…” dialogue. Valentine fails to turn up at all; after nine episodes he’s been in the show so little it’s difficult to imagine why everyone seems so worried about him. He’ll die of radiation poisoning from his base in Chernobyl before he gets to do anything really evil.

We’re on episode nine now, more than two thirds of the way through the series, and it still seems to be meandering aimlessly. We keep hearing tales of the larger “Shadowhunter” universe, but aside from brief flashback glimpses the show seems to be 50% the Institute, 40% wandering around streets and 10% bedrooms. Let’s hope that as the first season enters the home strait it picks up some momentum.

 

 

The Good:

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  • The exchange of insults between Raphael and Luke (“Stay. Good dog.” “Bite me.” “Roll over.” “Play dead.”)
  • The Alec/Jace lovers’ tiff.

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  • This shot may have all sorts of dodgy oedipal undercurrents, but it’s still a classic, excellently framed and lit vampire shot.
  • Although Simon is whiny and whingy for the first half the episode once he accepts his fate, the old spark is back.
  • Izzy and the vampires’ attack on Team Alec’s men may be brief but it is fun.

The Bad:

  • Raphael’s characterisation is all over the place.
  • Jace thinks everything has to be about him!
  • Simon and Clary don’t thinking that Raphel locking them in a cage together is weird.

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  • This werewolf’s bendy leg.
  • Valentine still not showing us why he should be so feared.
  • Lydia is stultifyingly two-dimensional and her back story about how her ex died was cheesier than a slab of gorgonzola.
  • Are we supposed to have any empathy for Alec? He’s just stroppy git.
  • The ease with which Clary unites factions that have been warring for centuries.

 

And The Random:

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  • Considering a big deal has been made of Simon being Jewish surely the fact that this little altercation takes place next to a kosher food van can be no coincidence; now that Simon’s a vampire he’s certainly not going to the eating kosher.

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  • Here are a few shots of that epic lovers’ tiff that pop up larger if you click on them. Why? Call it a pubic service.

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  • God knows how Alec got that injury. We just rewatched the fight at the end of last week’s episode and, yes, he was hit on the arm but his shirt sleeve wasn’t torn or bloody which you would expect with a wound that deep.

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  • Magnus decides that stealing Alec’s stele does have fringe benefits.

 

Review by Dave Golder


Read our other Shadowhunter reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

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