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Shadowhunters ‘Major Arcana’ Review

Shadowhunters ‘Major Arcana’ Review


Directed By: Jeremiah S. Chehik
Written By: Allison Rymer

There is finally a story brewing among the characters in the series now and the interactions between them all are really bringing each aspect of the story together. The only problem is, bar the obvious relationships between Magnus, Alec and Isabelle, on top of their family drama and Simon’s relationship with his sanity, everything else is dull as dishwater. The only relationships worth mentioning (that are entirely relevant here aka Jace and Alec) are those that involve Clary’s character, these have become the relationships we want to see developed properly. There is one thing standing in the way of this and that is McNamara’s performance –  she just is not emoting like a normal human.

It is sad, as the other performances are actually well done, with each developing the characters in their own ways, but McNamara just seems to be following a check list in her head to play her character that is in no way developing the character. There’s a hallucination sequence where Simon imagines Clary in a very NSFW scenario, but even in that sultry performance she comes off like an awkward tween playing matchmaker with her school crush. Simon, on the other hand, is taking a now quickly deteriorating character who is slowly going out of his mind and making it his own. Each and every time he is on screen you really see the panic and madness that is creeping in on him. And while you know exactly what is happening to him, he is only guessing, which really ups the tension.

This series is getting a bad rap for not having an actual story to it, but there is an honestly good narrative going on in the background of these somewhat bad performances. This episode could have actually been a lot better than it was and that is solely down to the lacklustre acting of McNamara.Yes, I have been harping on for weeks about this woman’s acting but it really is bringing the entire cast down because you can feel their performances being dumbed down for her to keep up. This is especially evident in a scene where she has to be over the top, but it comes off as more amateur than she already comes off as. That said, the inside turmoils of the two families do leave something to be desired. What’s happening within the Lightwood family is more interesting than that of the Fairchild one – the conflict of the Lightwoods is both more realistic and they come off as a typical political family who are fighting not only against these demons but also against who they are meant to be.


If you’ve been watching then you know what is going on within the Lightwoods but in case you haven’t I’ll keep all the juicy spoilers under wraps. Sometimes parents put a lot of pressure on their offspring but the Lightwoods are taking it to a whole new level! Not only are they trying to marry Alec off to a well-to-do fellow shadowhunter family but they’re trying to have Isabelle change who she is down to her very core. What is interesting is that Isabelle is trying to constantly get her mother’s approval while Alec is beginning to pull away from his family to try and discover who he is. Thankfully this all involves Magnus, the only true reason I come back to this series every week. Another week of more stunted performances but at least the story is moving, albeit slowly.