Shadowhunters (S03E05) "Stronger Than Heaven" Review

AAA: WEREWOLF GIRL MISSING. Where was Maia? No sign of her. Remember what I said the past three episodes about Maia and Isabelle not having scenes that did not pertain to men? Maia couldn’t interact with her boyfriend Simon in this ep, so why bother writing her scenes at all, right SH writers? Izzy thankfully had scenes, but they were all about a new love interest, and suddenly she gets screen time. When will all this end? And most importantly, when will everybody realize this hypocrisy and stop praising this as a great feminist show?

But moving on. Things developed in funny ways this episode.

Simon spoke a line to Jordan (I keep forgetting the viewers still know him as Kyle for now) that was perfectly applicable to everybody’s storylines: “Call me crazy but I tend to respect people who are honest with me!”

This line is applicable to Izzy and to Malec this episode. Izzy, who decided to give Charlie a chance so he would stop pestering her, goes to dinner with him with no cover story for who she is or what she does – which is weird and honestly only shows poor writing, we know she’s dated mundanes in the past, she would know she has to prepare a fake backstory, or she could’ve just used an old one instead of being caught off-guard. She obviously has to lie about herself because Charlie is a mundane, potentially starting a new relationship on untruths. It was just funny that Simon, Izzy’s endgame, was the one to lecture somebody else on being honest about who we are this very episode that Izzy lied about herself.

Malec go through some trouble in paradise. Alec tells Magnus of his intention to officially move into the loft, and Magnus kindly but firmly refuses. They have, after all, only been together for two months. (Thank Magnus for being the voice of reason here.) The short time does not mean they don’t love each other, it just means they should wait before rushing into huge steps like cohabitation.

Afterwards, Alec catches his boyfriend looking into an old box and is insanely curious about its contents. So much that when Magnus heads out, he has to look. What he finds isn’t pleasant, since it’s tokens from his past loves. To Alec’s credit, he does confess to Magnus about opening the box, even though Magnus had other ways of knowing, but still accepts the apology. The George they discuss about is not one of Magnus’s many lovers from the books – ironically, it’s Will Herondale that Alec is jealous of when he looks in the box in City of Lost Souls. But the much dreaded talk about immortality comes, and Alec is made very aware of his mad fear of being replaced. He unfairly snaps at Magnus that he’ll move on once Alec dies, and he’ll go on to love someone new. But Magnus snaps right back: what does Alec expect him to do? He’s immortal, he cannot mourn lost loves forever. The situation is far from being solved, but at least they both talked about their feelings instead of letting their anger and jealousy fester.

Clary, who’s been eaten by her own lies, decides to confess her big secret to Luke: Jace died at Lake Lyn and she asked the Angel Raziel to bring him back. She begs her dad – sorry, I’m never going to call Luke her stepdad, he’s just not – to take her to his sister, the ex Iron Sister Cleophas so that she can put Clary in contact with the Angel Ithuriel. Luke brings Clary to his farmhouse that she had never heard of, whereas in the books she and Simon spent half their blissful childhoods playing there, to meet Cleo.
Ithuriel answers her prayers and shows up, but just as he’s telling Clary what exactly is the matter with Jace, a winged creature that we know to be Lilith rips his heart into pieces. (RIP Ithuriel, thank you for always sticking up for the Shadowhunters! You were a better father to them than their creator Raziel, but don’t tell him I said that.) Lilith steals one piece of Clary’s soul that she needs to break Jace free of his love for her to be totally compliant to Lilith’s plan.

Meanwhile, Jace decides to seek help for his mental health, but before he goes to the City of Bones to be treated by the Silent Brothers, as he waits for Clary to get back with Ithuriel’s response, he decides to hang out with Simon instead (just like in the book!). He is really super suspicious of Kyle and soon realizes he is a werewolf. Jord—Kyle reveals he is with the Preator Lupus, sent to protect Simon and make sure he doesn’t harm anybody, and Jace stands down at that. Simon is hurt by the realization that this new friendship is built on a lie and leaves the apartment. Jace convinces him to accept whatever help he can get and Simon moves back in with Jordan before going to his gig, where he sings a new very cool song titled ‘Michelangelo’.

At the Jade Wolf though, Lilith has her chance to give Jace her potion to make him truly hers. It was adorable how Jace refused to get her a drink because “my girlfriend wouldn’t appreciate it.” It’s the first time we heard him refer to Clary with such a mundane title… too bad it’s not going to last now that Lilith has had her way. Which brings me to another point: how in Edom did Magnus not realize he was selling magic to Lilith herself???

Other comments: the Jimon bromance was very much appreciated, I hope they keep it up, I want to see the three of them play with Jordan’s videogames.

Want to know how this episode could’ve easily been better by giving its female protagonists space? Instead of going on a date with a stranger who pestered her, Izzy could’ve run into Maia – who would’ve at least been in the episode – and they could’ve had a nice adventure tracking down Lilith: it would’ve passed the Bechdel test and they would’ve brought the general plot forward by discovering some information about the enemy they’re facing. But it wasn’t the case, because this show is becoming more about unnecessary teen drama and hookups than about saving the world from demons.

Hopefully the situation will get better soon, because season 3 has been kind of a disappointment on many levels. But do tune in next episode because we’ll finally get something we haven’t seen in months: Izzy and Simon, duo extraordinaire, breathing the same air! And more Malec drama, obviously.

Next time, Shadowhunters! Find me and give me your comments on @ladymultifandom.