Home Reviews Review: Shadowhunters, Ep. 3 – ‘Dead Man’s Party’
Review: Shadowhunters, Ep. 3 – ‘Dead Man’s Party’

Review: Shadowhunters, Ep. 3 – ‘Dead Man’s Party’



No time is lost in this series as we jump into the aftermath of Simon’s abduction by the Vampires. The vampires think that Clary has or knows the whereabouts of the mortal cup and would love nothing more than to take it for themselves so they take what is clearly close to her, Simon. Clary is left reeling having lost her best friend and finding out a truth about herself she cannot even process.

SHADOWHUNTERS - "Dead Man's Party" - Clary, Jace, Alec and Isabelle must hatch a rescue plan that takes them into the heart of a vampire lair in “Dead Man’s Party,” an all-new episode of “Shadowhunters,” airing Tuesday, January 26th at 9:00 – 10:00 p.m., EST/PST on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. ABC Family is becoming Freeform on January 12, 2016. (ABC Family/John Medland) DAVID CASTRO, ALBERTO ROSENDE

Directed By: Andy Wolk

Written By: Marjorie David

First off, something positive about this series is its sense of continuation; where some series jump from story to story as the episode goes on, this one likes to keep a linear story picking straight up where the last episode left off. So typically it is easier to keep up with what is going on. This episode, in terms of the three that have actually been aired, is the best of the bunch, which is not really a compliment.

bf0e4498-c1b3-48ff-93a3-d763a19c792a.pngSomething I missed in the last episode was Hodge and it is actually a positive in the series as he is an exceptionally well developed character. He’s nothing like I imagined but I enjoy the direction they are taking. He still has the issue of not being able to leave the institute but, in this rendition, we have an added detail. For his years with the circle he is branded with a circle by the Clave, which burns and pains him if details about Valentine or the circle leave his lips or enter his mind. Although we only get glimpses of him here and there, Jon Cor manages to put across a very convincing rendition of the Hodge Starkweather character as you just know you cannot trust him. And yet, he makes you feel empathy for him as he is trapped within the walls of the institute with his brand.

The premise of this episode is that Clary and her shadowhunter buddies Jace, Isabelle and Alec need to rescue Simon from the clutches of the vampires, who we find out are called Raphael and Camille, but first they need to arm up and find a way to sneak into the Hotel Dumort, the vampire stronghold. Let us discuss what is really wrong with this episode as a whole: the relationships between characters. We all know sex sells but the scene between Isabelle and Meliorn was so awkward from finish to end it was almost unbearable to watch. I get the entire reason she was there with him (apart from the fact that she fancies the pants off him), but the entire scene is laughably forced. The book version of Isabelle has so much sex appeal she barely needed to remove any of her clothes (the little she wore) to get men to tell her exactly what she wanted to hear. Here, however, although Emeraude Toubia does a fantastic job bringing Isabelle to life, this scene made her come across as an amateur as it was clear both actors were uncomfortable.


Speaking of uncomfortable, is anyone else getting sick of the way this show is portraying Alec? Again, it doesn’t appear to be the fault of Matthew Daddario who plays him, but the series as a whole and its writing. They aren’t doing his personality any favours. However, it is clear that he hates Clary and has a very close relationship with Jace and his feelings about him are also clear. Isabelle even makes a comment of how repressed he is. Anyone who has read the books knows Alec’s timeline and where his character arc should go but, alas, there was no sign of a certain warlock in this episode which means they are going to make us wait to see that story arc. Or could they be planning to dilute that particular story? Needless to say, there will be war if they do.

Physical relationships were a big part of this episode with Isabelle’s awkward love making to Simon, which was even more awkward than the vampire make out sessions. It was a nice surprise that the least awkward part of the episode was some development between Clary and Jace, which was actually quite well done, McNamara even managed to make it seem natural, until she had to flirt with a vampire on a motorcycle which was so incredibly unnatural it was killer. However, it is clear that the chemistry is slowly brewing between Clary and Jace. Let us just hope that ,with more and more free reign in episodes, the story and acting will gain more confidence and become a little less awkward.

All in all, it was not a terrible episode but it also was not amazing, I am still waiting for this series to wow me into saying great things about it but, so far, it is stunted by awkward scenes with awkward actors. I am hopeful, however, following the subtle reveal at the end of this episode for better things to come!