‘Shadowhunters’ season three wish-list

Well, we made it. We survived the emotional roller coaster that was season two and now we have to buckle in for a long hiatus till early January filled with theorizing, most of which will end up wrong, and dreaming. The finale definitely set up some things to come for Luke, Simon, Jace, Magnus and Alec and Jonathan. Plus with Alisha Wainwright officially becoming a series regular, we’re sure to have more Maia coming our way.

We’ve all got dream scenes, moments and character introductions we desire, so here are some of the things I hope we all get to see come to life this year.

Keep up the damn good work with Malec: Emotionally Magnus and Alec have always been respectfully and properly developed, intimacy is where the show hit a snag, but that was beyond remedied in the latter half of the season. The final left them in a good place, acknowledging the struggles they’re still bound to face and talking it out. In season three all I can hope is this all continues. They’re embarking on a new, defining chapter of their relationship placing them in the most stable and honest place they’ve been to date. Essentially my season three dream is that they simply keep up the beauty and respect this couple deserves with superb emotional development, intimacy and domesticity all around.

Luke/Maryse rise up baby!: This is pretty simple, there is absolutely a connection and chemistry there that needs to be explored. Luke deserves some love, Maryse deserves some love so let them find it together. Plus the Lightwood kids deserve a cool new dad who respects them.

Catarina and Madzie: It’s already been confirmed they’ll be back and I can’t wait for that. A dream scenario for their return has to be a dinner gathering of some sort with Magnus and Alec.

Maryse and Magnus interaction: I know I never thought I’d be asking for this, but here we are. Her development has been lovely to watch, and she clearly has grown a respect for the man her son is in love with. I want to see them interact next season in a way they never have before, as people who still have their bad blood, but also are essentially family now.

Simon solo storylines: Simon is a fantastic character and the last five episodes of the season showed he can carry his own without the chains of a love triangle. The cliffhanger definitely left a nice window for a solo Simon arc that’s bound to get interesting.

Independent Izzy storylines: It looks like they mostly have, but it’s time to drop the Raphael/Izzy arc for good. Had it not started in such a messy manner it could have been something great, but alas. Izzy was fantastic in 2B so keeping up the trend of her being on her own for a while is the best choice for her.

Politics me to death please: Things are better, but obviously nowhere near perfect between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. The politics this season were so intriguing to watch play out and I hope to see that continue.

Flashbacks: I’m talking Maia pre-Luke flashbacks and Magnus, Ragnor (BRING HIM BACK) and Catarina old adventures flashbacks. Maybe even some hints to Magnus’ parentage could come around with all this Edom talk. Also if they ever can find some excuse to bring in a flashback to that Malec Tokyo date you’ll never hear a complaint from me.

Alliance Rune: Please god let me have this. Let me have battle couple Malec and Luke/Maryse with an Alliance Rune. Also imagine with me for a moment, Izzy and Maia alliance rune.

ONSCREEN PARABATRI DAMMIT: Much in the way that this all Harry Shum Jr, Matthew Daddario and Isaiah Mustafa dream of I too spend my days hoping for that beautiful onscreen parabatri. We got a small taste of it this season in the cabinet meetings and in getting to see Luke interact with Alec and Magnus individually, so the next only natural step is putting them all together for scenes.

Jonathan: Don’t stop framing him to be the villainous, irredeemable bastard he is, Will Tudor is so good at it and I hope they won’t waste it.

Overall I hope the show just continues the fantastic storytelling, balance and pacing that the second half of season two especially established.

Tune in this January on Freeform for what’s bound to be an epic third season!

‘Shadowhunters’ 2×20 review: death, love and everything in between

Here we are, we made it, we survived all 20 emotionally gripping and satisfying episodes of season two. A lot happened tonight, and a lot was set up for next season. So let’s talk ‘Beside Still Water.’

It was all hands on deck (minus Raphael yet again weirdly missing) as the battle to end Valentine came to a close. In the Seelie court, Maia was held captive by a vengeful and betraying queen. I’ve said it all season long, and I’ll say all next season as well when she becomes a series regular, Alisha Wainwright has been an incredible addition to this cast. She was tough in her talk with the queen, but also soft and caring in her moments with Simon and Luke.

Luke also has finally been getting his dues of late, and with Ollie wandering into the shadow world that’s bound to continue next season, he was strong and resilient in his distrust of the queen and in his search for his beta wolf. Isaiah Mustafa absolutely nails it when he’s given the material to work with and this episode yet again proved that.

While the wolfpack and Simon took on the queen Izzy, Alec and Magnus faced down demons in the streets of New York. I’m always a sucker for the return of archer Alec and watching him and his sister fight side by side is always amazing. But of course Malec managed to take center stage for me as they tend to. Separately, Alec was halfway towards giving up and knowing it was because of mistake he made, while Magnus was being the leader and high warlock he has to be. When they’re together it’s always incredible and they’ve gotten to show a different side of them recently, a side that Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr have done absolute justice to. Bitter, somewhat salty, boyfriends who can barely deem to make eye contact is tough to watch but also realistic to the situation. Magnus is trying to do right by his people, so avoiding Alec is what he feels he has to do. It also speaks volumes that Alec went to first warn Magnus about the Seelie Queen betraying them, he’s clearly determined to never lie to Magnus again no matter what the status of their relationship may be.

Then there’s the beach scene. Anyone who’s ever heard me talk about this show knows the thing I want most from it is battle couple. And tonight we got the first true taste of it and it was glorious. Magnus asserting his power and ability as high warlock while archer Alec worried for him was perfect. All that raw power and emotional worry mixed with a kick ass dragon was a highlight of the episode. They can both feign indifference as much as they like but in the moments where either was in danger that indifference cracked. You could tell from the second they stepped on that beach that well, as Magnus said ‘you can’t get rid of me that easily.’ These two were gonna be okay.

And okay they were. Placing their final scene in the alleyway behind the bar where they had their first date was oddly symbolic. That night in Hunter’s Moon back in 2×06 was the start of their relationship in an official capacity and this conversation was the start of new chapter in their relationship. The moment was perfect, laced with a little timidness, but mostly just pure undeniable love. The way they both admitted they can’t do this without each other; can’t live without each other. It’s beautiful and loving and it’s one of the million reasons I love them so much. Sometimes they’re messy, but they always find a way back to each other. They’re going to fight together, side by side for as long as there is a fight and beyond. There are many hurdles and conversations they are both bound to face in the future and those things are these beautiful and tough moments we have to look forward to in the next season and beyond.

I’d also like to give huge credit to the writers for not once in dialogue referring to the separation Magnus and Alec had as a ‘break-up.’ Something about that just felt right, because that’s truly not what it was. It was a difficult separation caused by an even more difficult situation.

Finally there was Idris. First let me say the forest areas they found in Toronto to film all these Idris scenes are gorgeous. Then let me say Dominic Sherwood and Kat McNamara were genuinely heartbreaking in these scenes. I expected to not feel the emotional impact of Jace’s “death” all that much simply because I knew it wouldn’t last more than ten minutes. That was surprisingly not the case, both of them managed to sell the moment well enough that for a second I actually thought he might not be coming back. Alan Van Sprang was also fantastic in these scenes. It is a damn shame to see him go from a performance perspective. He’s brought a lot to the table and he’s played the villain he was tasked with bringing to life so very well every week. Valentine couldn’t last forever, but I’m glad we got Van Sprang to play him while he did.

Clary just brutally stabbing Valentine much in the way that she straight up stabbed Jonathan a few episodes back just shows how damn done that girl is with her blood related family and I’m proud of her for that.

Big shout out to the show using the talented voice of Anthony Stewart Head as Raziel; he’s got a voice that commands respect and the presence of an angel, it was such a good casting choice.

Overall the entire episode just looked good. I’ll be honest I’ve never been overwhelmingly impressed with Matt Hastings directing before tonight. It was never bad, just nothing epically stood out. Tonight though there were moments where everything just looked right. Malec’s alleyway scene lit up by neon lights, the battle scenes, Valentine’s final menacing moments and that soft dark glow that the Seelie Court maintains were all pleasant to the eye. It was also fantastic that it seemed the show had held out a nice portion of the VFX budge till the finale which was absolutely worth it.

Other bits to love: Tipsy ‘I want to hug everyone’ Luke is a damn delight, kinda obsessed with the fact that moments after his parabatai “died” Alec was quick to ensure Magnus’ safety (he’d lost a brother and he sure as hell wasn’t losing the man he loves as well), Izzy is a sneaky keeper of Malec, and do Valentine’s sons come back from the dead because of all the spaghetti he fed them?

All in all this was a nice cap off to a season that got shaky in the middle but came back in 2b with 10 incredibly strong episodes. So that’s all for reviews this year, though I’ll be back later in the week with a little season three wishlist to look out for. See you all in January!

NEXT SEASON: Lilith has arrived, Jace and Jonathan may very well be tethered together and god what did Simon do?

Ladies it’s time to stop sleeping on ‘The Bold Type’

Summer’s best show for women is barely scraping by in the ratings and it’s because for someone unknown reason every woman in her 20’s, and hell maybe just every woman out there in general, isn’t tuning in. “The Bold Type” follows the lives of three young women living in New York City working at the women’s interest publication Scarlet.

At first glance “The Bold Type” is another cheesy, girly show. I know I was guilty of taking this assumption at first, but it’s so much more than that. The series leaves every female centric show you’ve ever seen that felt overdramatized (“Sex and the City”) or just plain un-relatable and unlikable (“Girls”) in the dust.

“The Bold Type” feels real, relatable and honest in every sense of the words for many reasons. It should be essential viewing for any woman looking for a show about women that feels like the life they’re living and here are some reasons why:

  1. Women supporting women

So very often with female-centric shows the leading ladies end up being in competition or consistently catty towards one another despite supposedly being BFF’s. This is absolutely not the case with this series. Jane, Kat and Sutton are true best friends who no matter what the situation is, be it related to careers, love lives or anything in between, support the hell out of one another. Even when they do have a disagreement they solve it like adults and genuinely apologize instead of making snide, sarcastic remarks that an audience is supposed to just accept as reconciliation.

  1. No ‘bitch boss’ stereotype

The Editor-in-Chief of Scarlet magazine, Jacqueline, is at first glance another copy of Meryl Steep’s “Devil Wears Prada” character. Quickly though it’s proven she’s not just some powerful, non-feeling boss who terrorizes her employees. Jacqueline is understanding and compassionate while also being a powerful, in-charge force of nature that takes no shit. She supports the women who work for her, even when they mess up, and cares about their well-being because she was once just like them. She’s not afraid to call someone out, but she’s also going to stop and lend a helping hand if she can.

  1. LGBT+ rep (that also happens to be interracial)

The show unexpectedly threw in a lovely, and so far nicely handled, coming out storylines of sorts. Kat, who is African American, meets Adena, who is a Muslin lesbian, and an attraction is sparked between the two. Kat, up until this point has always considered herself straight, but when she realizes that maybe she isn’t so straight and tells her friends there’s no weirdness between them. Just because Kat has now expressed an attraction towards a woman her friends don’t start treating her differently, she’s not suddenly oversexualized nor do her friends suddenly feel uncomfortable being just as freely open about their bodies and compliments towards one another around her as before. Kat and Adena’s relationship is discussed just as normally as the other two girls, but also tackles interesting subjects like being in an interracial relationship and what it’s like for a Muslim woman to be out and proud in America.

  1. Accurate and honest depiction of women’s issues and topics

“The Bold Type” doesn’t skirt around women’s issues that are serious, it’s not all love triangles and bad hair days here. So far they’ve tackled sexuality, the inability to have an orgasm, the BRCA breast cancer gene and women’s underappreciated position in many workplaces. Truth be told that’s not even all of it and we’re only six episodes in. They don’t just look at these issues though; they take them seriously and look at them in modern and intelligent ways that both make them accessible and informative.

  1. Male characters who aren’t dicks

The women of this show aren’t the only thing to admire; the male characters are actually quite interesting as well. We aren’t handed male characters that need to be ‘fixed’ or who behave like jackasses and are instantly forgiven. We’re given genuinely good guys, especially the possibly perfect human man Alex. Even Jane’s love interest, Pinstripe, who at first seems like a brash dude-bro is quite understanding and far more than meets the eye.

  1. Realistic romances

Kat and Adena are complicated and real to a striking degree. Jane and Pinstripe are very uncomplicated to a perfect point. Sutton and Richard seem like a perfect, pretty couple, but as we’re now seeing might not actually be so suited for one another with a love triangle that’s actually not nonsensical or about bitter jealousy rising up with Alex being thrown into the mix. The romances don’t feel forced or overdramatized they just feel like real romances you’ve either seen or experienced yourself before.

 

All in all “The Bold Type” is the incredibly bold, pun intended, relatable show that women deserve to have in their lives and need to be watching, men could probably stand to learn a thing or two by watching it as well. Ladies let’s not let this show that finally seems to understand the realities of being a woman in the modern age slip through our fingers.

“The Bold Type” airs Tuesdays @ 9/8c on Freeform and is available on iTunes & Hulu the next day.

A farewell to ‘Orphan Black’

In 2013 Sarah Manning entered a Canadian train station and witnessed the suicide of woman who had the exact same face as her. Her entire world would be upended and for the first time I found myself completely hooked by nothing but the opening scene of a television series.

This Saturday “Orphan Black” will air its final episode ever, it’s cheesy to say but it’s truly the end of an era.  For five glorious seasons “Orphan Black” will have churned out 50 episodes of non-stop, thought provoking, well-written, brilliantly acted, somehow scientifically sense-making television.

For five fantastic years Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany (does anyone else still get ridiculously giddy when saying that phrase?), has played countless character ranging from countless women, one incredible man and even a scorpion. She’s been surrounded by an incredible supporting cast, most notably Jordan Gavaris’ sorely underrated Felix, Kevin Hanchard’s all-around good man Art, Kristian Bruun’s ridiculous yet somehow brave Donnie and Ari Millen’s many castor clones who carried the heavy weight of living up to the standard expertly set by Maslany.

For five brilliant years the talented people behind this show have brought a fandom, lovingly known as the Clone Club, together. We’ve experienced every emotion, every laugh, every heartbreak, every loss and every creepy thing Kira has said side by side.

And to all that and the many other things this show has given us I simply say, thank you. Thank you for the inspiration, for these incredible, dynamic characters, for the representation and for what has probably been the most overall well done and consistent television series I’ve ever seen. Not even boring old Paul brought down the long time high quality this show has always churned out.

It’s gonna be hard to say goodbye. It’s gonna be hard to let go of these beautiful characters I’ve grown so attached to. But even though it’ll be difficult it’s also a welcomed thing, because I feel confident that this finale will be amazing, satisfying and completely fit of what these characters all deserve.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the finale, much like always I’m sure this show will do something incredibly smart and unexpected. All I do know for sure is I’m gonna take it all in and love every final second we’re given just as I’ve loved and felt every second they’ve given us before.

We’ll always have these five seasons and the amazing things the Clone Club experienced together, so let’s buckle up for what’s bound to be one outstanding final ride.

Welcome to the final trip, man.

UPDATED: A fangirl’s definitive ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become known for their amazing films since 2008’s “Iron Man.” But we all know that some have been better than others and some have just fallen flat. So let’s rank the movies so far from worst to best.

Now updated to include this weekend’s latest Marvel release, which nearly drops all the films in the MCU down a notch.

*Authors note: in complete honesty I never could be bothered to even watch ‘Doctor Strange’ hence it’s absence from this list.

15. ‘Iron Man 3’

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I know people love this movie and it made all the money but the third Iron Man stand-alone tried a lot of things and most of them didn’t work. The film’s villains fell flat compared to the first two films and it didn’t seem to know just how to handle Tony’s world post “Avengers.” The biggest problem was the new director; Jon Favreau was sorely missed behind the camera.

14. ‘The Incredible Hulk’

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While Mark Ruffalo has mastered the character, Edward Norton’s turn as Bruce Banner was enjoyable. The story was solid and didn’t try to simply redo the first film, which we should never ever speak of. The film successfully redeemed the Hulk name in the MCU, but wasn’t a stand out worthy of a higher spot.

13. ‘Thor: The Dark World’

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This sequel wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as its predecessor either. Loki yet again stole the show, but supporting characters like Lady Sif and Fandral deserved more screen time than they were allotted. Jane could have used more to do than damsel it for the better part of the movie as well.

12. ‘Iron Man’

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The movie that started it all started it all with a bang. Tony’s enigmatic personality was brilliantly played with the utmost perfect casting decision of Robert Downy Jr. Because of the incredible director/actor duo of Downey and Favreau Marvel’s new era was reigned in pretty perfectly.

11. ‘Ant-Man’

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“Ant-Man” could have been a trainwreck. When the longtime connected director and screenwriter dropped out of the film fans were worried, but the tiny hero rose above the negativity. Paul Rudd perfectly combines humor and hero as Scott Lang and the movie proved itself to be a standout in the MCU. Ant-Man is a lesser known Marvel hero and the movie gave the character a well-deserved spotlight.

10. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

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While not everyone loved the Avengers follow up you can’t deny its awesome villain and witty dialogue. Also for those long suffering Hawkeye fans like me this movie finally gave him some well-deserved screen time. Not a perfect film, but a solid ending to Joss Whedon’s time with the MCU.

9. ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’

It took a long time but Marvel finally got Spiderman right. Tom Holland is a perfect fit for the role, playing the fact that Spidey really is just a kid at the end of the day fantastically. Plus that plot twist was the first time I was genuinely shocked by something in a Marvel film. The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because it could have been better with a lot less or no Tony Stark at all.

8. ‘Thor’

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Chris Hemsworth was another perfect casting choice by Marvel and no one expected this film to be as good as it was. “Thor” could have been ridiculous, draped in too much out of this world mythology, but it wasn’t. And of course we can’t overlook the fact that this movie graced the world with the rise of Tom Hiddleston who stole every scene he was in as Loki, Thor’s mischievous little brother.

7. ‘Iron Man 2’

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Easily the best of the Iron Man stand-alone films, this one brought us a new side to Tony and the romance we all saw coming. The introduction of Black Widow was in its own way overdue since she should be in everything since the beginning of the creation of all things Marvel. Sam Rockwell, while a ridiculous villain, was brilliant as he tends to be in every role he tackles. The return of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson also made this movie the finest of the Iron Man films.

6. ‘ Captain America: Civil War’

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“Civil War” isn’t a great Captain America movie but it is a well done Avengers movie if we’re being honest. While Steve and Bucky’s relationship still takes center stage in the film, it could have been focused on even more. Because of that it’s amazing. The Steve/Bucky dynamic is one of the most intriguing and deeply emotional connections in the whole of the Marvel Universe and Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans continued to portray it perfectly in this film. Black Panther’s introduction also set’s up for what is hopefully an incredible future onscreen for the character.

5. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

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He’s the first Avenger for a reason, because he’s awesome. Steve Rogers is the everyman, nice guy that everyone can get behind. You root for him at every turn and his first major movie is an excellent portrayal of the hero origin story. With a supporting cast comprised of brilliant actors, like the most kick ass woman in the MCU, Hayley Atwell nothing about this movie falls short. Captain America’s first major on-screen appearance proved why he is the man known to always lead the Avengers.

4. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Let’s be honest, you put Andy Dwyer in space with a talking tree and a gun toting raccoon you expect it to turn out as a cheesy laugh-riot comedy. That wasn’t the case, though the film is definitely funny it’s also a surprising space epic for the ages. “Guardians” was an unexpected hit with an amazing ensemble cast and a story that was oddly relatable. No one expected to shed tears over a tree and a raccoon, but this movie made us all do that.

3. ‘The Avengers’

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No matter how many Avengers movies they make the first one will always be the best one. It was the first time a superhero team-up had been successfully done in a major film and it was executed brilliantly. Whedon perfectly encapsulated the struggle of bringing together a team of unlikely heroes with a great story and script that was portrayed with the stellar performances from the entire cast. The reality is every Avengers movie will have to live in the shadow of the original triumph.

2. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2’

The second installment of the “Guardians” franchise isn’t just amazing because of the cutest dancing tree in the universe, much like it’s predecessor it maintains humor throughout but also brought new depth to the beloved crew of characters. It also continues to benefit from it’s separation from the rest of the MCU, no pop up appearances of Tony Stark taking over or anything of the like allow the film to just be about this ragtag group of heroes we’ve grown to love. Great music, witty dialogue, excellent performances all around and an unexpectedly poignant commentary of what it means to be family all made up for not only an incredible Marvel film, but just an incredible film overall.

1. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

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The second stand-alone film for Cap very nearly put every prior MCU movie to shame. Winter Soldier gets everything right. Every actor is perfect, especially Sebastian Stan who gives an incredibly emotional performance without saying a word for the better part of the movie. The action is thrilling, the story takes the superhero movie to new political thriller heights and the direction from the Russo brothers is compelling and holds your attention from start to finish. Just as every future Avengers film will live in the shadow of the original, it’s safe to say that every stand-alone Marvel film will have to live in the shadow of “The Winter Soldier.”

‘Shadowhunters’ 2×19 review: a royal betrayal

After last week, which was possibly the best episode of the series to date, “Shadowhunters” welcomed the true beginning of a war, but the sides are turning out different than anyone expected. Let’s talk ‘Hail and Farewell.’

The episode could be described with one word: tension.

The intense meeting between the Downworld leaders and Shadowhunters was a fantastic scene to watch. In any other circumstances the Downworlders would be making the right call. This isn’t personal, if it was Magnus, Luke and Raphael would be finding another way, it’s about the Clave who’ve proven no loyalty to anyone but themselves. However this time around it’s the wrong call because as suspected the Seelie queen has been playing everyone the entire time.

The most poignant tension in the room came between Magnus and Alec. Both are clearly heartbroken and attempting to hold together any resolve they have just barely. Alec’s looking at the Seelie queen when he talks but his words are most definitely meant for a certain other man in the room.

After an intense meeting we were FINALLY introduced to Catarina Loss and got to see the world’s cutest warlock, Madzie, again. Catarina is an absolute delight, she’s simultaneously comforting and cool as hell. It’s fantastic to see Magnus get such a comfortable friendship like this onscreen; I look forward to there being so much more of her next season.

Meanwhile, Jonathan continues to lose his damn mind. Will Tudor manages to get creepier and creepier every week. And no I don’t for a second think he’s actually dead, that reveal is likely to be the cliffhanger this season. He was at his finest this week however in his literal drag and fight with Jace. Overall the action in this episode was fantastic, though I could have used a little bit more for Alec and Izzy.

Simon continues to be a nearly constant ray of hope in all the heaviness. He’s not buying what the Seelie queen is selling and bless the boy for it. Speaking of the Seelie queen she took on a new form tonight all grown up and portrayed by Sarah Hyland. Hyland is a fantastic comedian so it was interesting to see her tackle something a little more serious, she wasn’t bad but there’s just something much more threating about Lola Flanery’s portrayal.

In the end though she definitely nailed that betrayal however; it’s not unexpected that the queen has had ulterior power play moves this entire time, but seeing Meliorn on her side stung a bit (*insert Tyra Banks ‘I was rooting for you’ gif*).

And here’s my controversial opinion: Jace and Clary just really don’t do much for me. I’ve come to accept that their romance will generally be a weak point. But we’ve reached a place with the series where the episodes are so strong that if there’s going to be a weak point I’m fine with it being the overdone white straight tragic romance.

Other bits: those photo booth pictures of Magnus and Alec were the cutest and I want 100 more of them, I’ve said it before and I’ll say again if everyone just listened to Luke Garroway before things exploded they’d all have a lot less troubles, Simon talking to the river lmao, it was nice to see Clary remembering that Luke is basically her dad, and Luke telling Alec over the phone to give Maryse his best?? Let my Luke/Maryse romance rise!

Also any guesses on who that Alicante mole is? My money’s on world’s worst grandmother Imogen Herondale.

NEXT WEEK: it’s season finale time and dammit we’re getting battle couple Malec (will my dreams of a battlefield come true?!)

‘Shadowhunters’ 2×18 review: a beautiful roller coaster of emotion (and don’t worry Malec fans)

In this week’s episode ‘Awake, Arise or Be Forever Fallen’ quite literally everyone was at the top of their game. It’s no secret my favorite things about this show are Magnus, Alec, Luke and Maia, so tonight’s episode may have just become my favorite of the series. I usually close with Malec, but I’m bursting with emotion about them so let’s start there.

Through a series of flashbacks and in the current day we got a look at the epic love that is that between Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood in a way we never quite have. Even the little things, like Magnus carrying the omamori that Alec gave him everywhere he goes, went straight to your heart.

I’ve never actively seen a show not only make the effort, but actually fix a mistake they made in the past. The end of 2×07 was widely, and rightly, criticized and the writers took the opportunity of Magnus’ reflection to listen to their LGBTQ+ fans and fix those mistakes. Seeing tenderness between two men and having it be seen and shown with the care it deserves is so important. Tonight Magnus and Alec finally got that. The soft playfulness, desire and genuine love and affection that came pouring through the two in the 2×07 flashbacks was all so beautiful.

Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr. have always had the best romantic onscreen chemistry on the show and tonight that chemistry was taken to new gorgeous heights. From the way they laughed and smiled to the unending and endearing softness in their voices when they talked about fears and Alec looked into Magnus’ warlock mark and saw only beauty, every second you could feel the emotion flowing deep and vast.

The season one flashback was unexpected, but it was so very welcomed. It showed the great progress that these two have made. They’ve gone from guarded borderline hostility out of the fear of what they could be to being so in love it physically aches to be apart.

In the present day they’re still reeling from the aftermath of their fight last week, but for a moment that’s pushed aside when Max is injured. The fact that Alec knows he has no right to be asking for help right now and is so desperately sorry for keeping a secret from Magnus is another example of his growth since the start of the show.

Their final scene together this week was heart wrenching. There’s no way to ever get over the strain in Magnus’ voice or Alec’s tears. These are two people so wildly and endlessly in love with each other and this isn’t an easy moment for them. Daddario and Shum Jr. manage to break your heart while also making you know with full certainty that these two will be okay. This love runs too deep and they will always find their way back to each other. This is not a breakup. This is not what a breakup looks like. This is however two people being forced to make some choices that they can’t necessarily make together. Magnus has to think of his people, turning against the Clave doesn’t equal turning against Alec but for the moment he needs to take that step back and make the choice without Alec. These two are getting a nuanced, political, raw and realistic for their situation heartache. This isn’t some excessive miscommunication or sneaky behind their back action (*cough, cough* the books), it’s a real terrifying aspect of their relationship that will always exist. Magnus said it himself this is what he’s afraid of. The fact of the matter is they’ll find a way through this; they’ll be fighting side by side before the season ends. These two are forever.

While Shum Jr. and Daddario were stealing every second, Alisha Wainwright and Isaiah Mustafa were also working on owning your soul. Wainwright has been such an incredible addition to this cast and this week we saw Maia the future leader, while also shedding a few tears to hear her talk about how she came to be a werewolf. Luke has been widely underserviced this season, but this episode showed the Luke we need to see every single week; the level headed leader and badass alpha that thinks first but also takes action when he needs to. Mustafa is just so damn good in this role and that absolutely needs to be utilized more. The Seelie court scene yet again displayed perfectly the way he thinks and leads as well as his friendship with Magnus. Shum Jr. killed it in this scene as well, showing his professionalism and hesitance.

Meanwhile while Max fought for his life the Lightwood family all brought raw emotion to the screen. Daddario wasn’t just killing us slowly with Malec, but also with Alec the protective big brother, Emeraude Toubia almost sent me into tears while talking to an unconscious Max and I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved for Maryse and Robert to walk into a room than when they did.

Lastly Will Tudor finally got to drop all facades and truly become Jonathan, no longer Sebastian. He was genuinely terrifying with his creepy smiles and effective brutality. The fact that he’ll no longer be putting on a show to convince them all he’s someone else is something I’m looking forward to.

Other bits to appreciate: Jace is a Lightwood dammit just look at those moments when they were waiting to find out about Max, Bat Valasquez welcome to the show I fully plan to love you, Isabelle is such a beautifully loving and supportive sister with all of her brothers, bless Clary for knowing that her homicidal brother is irredeemable, Ollie girl I definitely understand why at San Diego they said Luke’s story isn’t resolved there’s no way it could be with what we have left and is anyone else questioning why a certain Downworld leader has been totally out of the loop these past few episodes? Where you at Raphael?

Next Week: we all know everything’s going to keep going to hell and Sarah Hyland guest stars as an equally as deceiving older edition of the Seelie queen!