Shadowhunters – S01E03 – Dead Man’s Party

We’re back. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. How long do you think this will survive until it’s canceled? I’m already shocked that it’s not.

In this episode, we start with the Rescue Rangers regrouping at the Institute after Simon has been kidnapped by some vampires. Clary is somehow managing to act in charge while also clueless. She pulls out her teen snark, which is sadly some of her most authentic acting; even that is strained.

Clary: I still don’t understand. How can Shadowhunters be better than […] mundanes?
Isabelle: Because we protect humans.
Clary: You’re right. Humans.

Clary has so much attitude. Hello! Simon is human! Maybe get your head out of your asses and do your damn jobs. Alec of course is standing around like he’s trying to put up with a room full of screaming toddlers and he’s the only mature 12 year old in sight. Jace looks constipated, quickly becoming what I consider his standard look, and Isabelle is trying, but I really think her costumer hates her.


Though, I’m not sure what is up with Alec’s jacket either. Are those plastic buckles for attaching things? A diaper bag maybe?

Clary: Why do they think that? Why does anyone think that? What, my mom lies to me my entire life except, “Oh, by the way, there’s this magic cup I hid on, like, the planet Bongo, but don’t tell anyone.”

There’s that snark I mentioned. It’s almost funny even.

Clary: Listen… when you saved my life… I put my trust in you. And now I need you to put your trust in me. I can’t turn into what you are overnight. [which part of that are we supposed to trust? you make no sense lady!]
Isabelle: It’s true. She was raised as a mundane. [stating the obvious there.. super helpful, thanks.]
Alec: What are you, her spokesman now? [Alec, what is your problem dude.]
Clary: I don’t need a spokesman, I need a plan.

And then she storms off while the rest of them are looking like they were just called out for acting like big bad superheroes when really they’re just sulky teenagers who like to sneak out and can’t even protect a single human without bickering and losing him. Duh guys! Trust her! She’s new and terrible at this! She’ll fix it!

Meanwhile, Simon is screaming through a bronze door with a cross shaped window cut into it. He’s saying every cliche thing you can imagine a nerd would say about how he’s not worth it, he’s nobody, he didn’t even see you, surely you can let him go. It’s terrible. And then a vampire shows up and the show makes you think Simon is getting eaten.

Clary: Look at all this stuff, these screens. I mean, can any of this help me find Simon?

Or, I don’t know, the 20 people standing around that none of you will even visually acknowledge much less ask for help. The other three spend some time joking about how Isabelle likes to make out with fairies. Suddenly, they need permission to leave, and permission to have weapons, even though they’ve been running around willy nilly in the weapons shelf since the show started. But it’s okay, Jace has a plan for getting them that is apparently easier than continuing to pretend the other people in the building don’t exist.

Simon is with the vampire in a room full antiquities. He bumps into a marble statue that bongs like a bell. Simon is a hostage, and the vampires can’t sell her their old stuff because they can’t explain where it came from. Their leader is a lady with absurdly long nails who walks like her hips are attached by rubber bands and impossible to keep in line. All of it is ridiculous.

The Rescue Rangers are digging up the grave of a dead Shadowhunter, because apparently they’re buried with a stash of weapons. Alec continues to try to convince Jace this is a bad idea. They attempt a joke when Jace says “Abracadbra” before opening the above ground tomb, basically the only one you can see in the graveyard, and Clary thinks that it’s something they actually say for their “magic”.  Alec can only use a bow I guess, and there isn’t one there, so he runs back to the Institute to get one. Because now he can? Jace stays behind to teach Clary how to use a light sword in the graveyard, and they play this off as a sexy flirt scene.

He tries to explain why he knows Alec will come back to help. “We’re parabatai.” Let me just throw that out there and expect you to understand! Then he tries to explain, and I *think* he’s supposed to be getting choked up with emotion about how close he is with Alec? But he looks like he’s trying not to throw up. Maybe he was really really sick when he filmed this episode.


The vampires can snap their fingers and freeze humans. That’s neat.

Isabelle is having sex with a fairie to learn how to get into the vampires’ lair. They apparently can’t lie. I am again reminded why Disney realized they needed to change the name of this channel from ABC Family to Freeform. They just can’t make a teen show anymore without copious amounts of bedroom time.

Jace and Clary go to some kind of biker bar, and just walk right in because 17 year olds can do that. He teaches Clary to see through some kind of glamour thing so she can tell who the Downworlders are. He challenges her to compliment a guy on his motorcycle and resist his charms, without telling her that he has the power to mess with her brain. Jace is watching this vampire seduce her, and he looks… excited about it. This show is weird.


Simon is making out with the head vampire lady, and she’s trying to get information out of him. Obviously, the only way to question someone in this world is to sex them up. Everyone is doing it. Most of it is not consensual. The vampire finds out that Magnus Bane took Clary’s memories and is angry. She offers Simon a Bloody Mary, which I guess is a vampire joke.

Isabelle’s fairie knows how to get into the vampire lair because he’s been having sex with the head lady.  I’m not sure how her really obvious and over the top questioning session actually got that information out of him. Even he didn’t look like he was falling for it, and he made it clear he doesn’t trust her.

Alec is using his stele, their little LED wands, to look at his arrow shaft. He had mentioned something about runed arrows before, but I guess the special effects people forgot to add them in here. He’s caught by Hodge. “Don’t tell me. I don’t wanna have to report you.” Because that’s not weird. You’re on probation for some really terrible traitor stuff, but sure, let’s encourage the teenagers to continue to break rules. That won’t look weird. He tries to say Clary is Valentine’s daughter, but even that makes his rune burn. He slaps it very dramatically, turning his head so you see it lighting up clearly, just in case you forgot his excellent overacting skills from the last episode. He can say “the monster’s daughter” though, because somehow that’s different.

Hodge: You remind of me of me, Alec. A loyal friend standing in the shadow of the chosen one. Hey.. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Look where it got me.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t this sound like he’s antagonizing Alec into defying Jace and risking everyone?

The vampire and Clary look like they’re about to have sex on the motorcycle, which, if I didn’t mention it, is parked inside the bar. Jace finally decides to intervene. We get a glimpse of how cool the fight scenes in the show could be if they weren’t so incredibly inept at writing it. There are some fun noises when they move supersonic fast. All of this was just to steal the keys for the motorcycle, which runs on demon energy and can fly.  The music swells as they lift off, and she giggles and holds him.  I got a sick feeling in my stomach as I had a flashback to Edward calling Bella his little spider monkey…

Simon and his vampire are still making out. Is it supposed to be hot? It’s really not. So much so that it’s uncomfortable to watch. But they are drawing blood, which is going to work out great for him, I can tell.

Alec and Isabelle are in the basement I guess?

Alec: Okay.
Isabelle: Okay? It was hard work interrogating Meliorn (MEE’-lee-orn) to get this intel.
Alec: Great job Izzy. You have faerie dust on your dress. And I hate being the distraction.
Isabelle: I don’t.


He’s being sarcastic here, but I have to admit, I think he’s rather nice looking when he smiles.

She's very proud of herself.

She’s very proud of herself. Own it.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why are the runes red and black? Why do they look like marker? Why aren’t they all varying shades of burn scars? Why do they have to be HUGE? Why did her makeup artist do such a lazy job with her fairie dust? I have so many questions.

Simon and the vampire are still making out, until she does a really horribly stupid-looking thing where she smells the Shadowhunters.

Seriously, I think one of the biggest problems this show is that it took cues from the first Twilight movie. That really wasn’t something anyone should aspire toward. Though even if they were, at least Twilight is amusingly terrible. Usually this show is not even that. This is where vampire-lady’s acting skills start falling apart. She sounds really silly bossing everyone around. I’m still reminded of bad high school plays. I think Simon is pretending to be drunk now that he realizes Clary is there to get him? Though I don’t think he was pretending to suck face.

It burrrns.

It burrrns.

Jace and Clary are on the roof, where he’s giving her two new runes: one to protect her from the “encanto” the biker vampire was doing, and one to make her silent when she moves. These are actually pretty good looking. Clary must have a better makeup artist. Well, for the new ones. The one on her neck still looks like lip gloss.

Jace decides now would be a good time to chitchat about the human fascination with vampires.

Jace: The mundane world is all into vampires. I don’t get it. They see everyone else as an animated sack of meat.
Clary: Yeah, I certainly don’t see the romance.
Jace: That’s ’cause now you know it’s all real. [Dude. You JUST said you didn’t get it. And now you’re explaining to her why she doesn’t?]
Jace: Still, you gotta hand it to them, though. They know how to frame a narrative.

I swear, this is the funniest thing this show has ever done. I’m certain they were not attempting to make fun of themselves, and yet…

Clary asks about the chances of Simon becoming a vampire, and we learn that you have to drink vampire blood, and… other stuff. He doesn’t specify. Don’t be too vague in your foreshadowing now, you wouldn’t want us to miss it. Vampire bites make the victim feel high, “like they’re in love.” Clary says that’s awful, and instead of agreeing that yes, having your emotions stolen from you and controlled is a horrible kind of coercion, Jace decides now is a good time to lay on the “woe is me” shtick because he’s never been in love. Oh boo hoo. Jace seems to believe that love is something that wears off, and then deflects his baby feelings by insulting Simon.

Isabelle is accusing Alec of hiding his feelings from himself, and he wisely points out that maybe it’s not such a good idea to have some kind of deep conversation about our feels while we’re walking into a lair of vampires who want to kill us. “I don’t know, it looks pretty smooth so far.” And so now we know it won’t be any longer.

They open a door and find a clump of vampires standing there that look surprised to see them. It’s like they weren’t even down there looking for intruders. Alec tries to put a rune on the door, but it doesn’t take, so Izzy uses his light sword to cut off a pipe and stick it through the door handle as a kind of lock. Then she makes a stupid joke about the pen not being mightier than the sword. Who writes this? I need to make a list so I never watch anything else they make.


Alec and Izzy are enjoying taking the vampires out one by one. The bow is pretty cool. The vampires explode into what looks like the embers that float into the air when you burn paper. Izzy is using her snake bracelet-turned-whip to drag them to her before she stabs them with the light sword. Her moves are a series of step, pose, special effect. It’s very blocky and boring. This is a good example of how most of the fight scenes are NOT cool.

The four of them meet up, and Clary has to fight the biker dude whose bike she stole. There are more bad jokes, and she kills her first vampire and everyone is proud that she “did awesome”. It’s a bit of an overstatement really, but I guess she’s new. Their expectations might be low. At one point she’s held hostage, and Alec decides to just shoot a hole in the wall so that sunlight will pour in and burn up the vampire holding her. Alec could be so cool if he wanted to be.

Simon is trying to get away when the lackey vampire grabs him. That guy convinces the head vampire, I’ve just realized her name is Camille, she needs to escape while she can. She nearly dislocates her hip as she storms off.

We get a slow-mo shot of the Rescue Rangers walking through the building, flicking their swords, trying to look badass. It’s pretty funny. They come into the room where Simon has a knife to his throat, and now suddenly Alec can’t shoot a hole in the wall and they all put their weapons away. The vampire forces them all out of the building, Clary puts up her best “let me at him!” front, but in the end everyone gets out safely. The vampire asks Jace to remember who his friends are; he’s worried about Valentine and wants to stay on the Shadowhunters’ good side.

Jace is very rude to Simon, who is terrified and thinks they still need to run. But it’s daylight, and Jace points out it means they’re safe. Very rudely. Clary looks like she finally realizes Simon is there, and runs to him.

Clary: I couldn’t live without you.
Simon: Say that again. [He’s very hopeful and excited looking.]
Clary: I couldn’t live without you Simon. You’re all I have left. […] You’re my best friend. *cheek kiss*

Simon is, of course, brokenhearted. Izzy thinks now is a good time to apply lip gloss on her definitely still fully lipsticked lips.

Isabelle: Well… No accounting for taste.
Alec: Yeah, you should talk.

Alec and Jace argue about Clary again, but Jace yells for him to stop, catching everyone’s attention. Alec points out that he’s older, and not in Jace’s shadow. Obviously, Hodge’s little seeds of resentment are sprouting. Jace asks why he bothered to help, but Alec just walks off.

Clary stares at Jace. Jace stares at Clary. Simon stares at Clary’s heartbeat in the vein in her neck. Didn’t expect that at all.

The crafty Sleep Goblin is our resident Reign recapper and maker of great things.

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