SHADOWHUNTERS Recap and Review | Episode 1.01 “The Mortal Cup”

Read our recap and review of the premiere episode of Shadowhunters, “The Mortal Cup”

Recap of The Mortal Cup, episode 1.01 of Shadowhunters on Freeform.  We start off at Brooklyn Coal. We see an Asian walking along a busy area. A young dark-haired man in black, who we find out later is Alec Lightwood, follows him but jumps up out of view before the Asian man can see him. As he walks on, we find he’s also followed by a young lady in a white wig, who we learn is Isabelle Lightwood. The Asian man bumps shoulders with a passerby and the Asian suddenly transforms into the dark-skinned man he just bumped.

Another young man in black leather, who we also find out later is Jace Wayland, keeps his eye on the man from above. The darks-skinned man bumps into another person, another young lady in a sexy dress, and transforms into her.

The shapeshifter lady walks toward what looks like a club – Pandemonium – with the three following right behind her.

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No one seems to notice any of them at all until Jace bumps into a red-haired girl, who calls him out on his rudeness. He stops and turns to look at her in surprise because she can see him.

Flashback to 8 hours earlier.

We see the same red-haired girl, Clary Fray, entering the Brooklyn Academy of Art. It looks like she’s there for an interview.

She meets up with her friend, Simon, and we find that she’s been accepted into the academy’s advanced program. It’s also her 18th birthday, and her friend, Simon Lewis, says they are going to celebrate that night with their friend Maureen, and after their gig.

Clary asks what’s the deal between him and Maureen, and then reveals that Maureen has been “crushing” on him this whole time. She asks how he doesn’t see that, and he admits that he isn’t the only one not seeing things.

She notices that the biscotti she put down on top of her paper is no longer there, and we see that the biscotti is now a drawing on her page. She then notices the drawing, but doesn’t say anything.

Next scene shows us a crime scene, with a dead young lady’s body draped in a red sash covering her lady bits. The detective on the case, Luke Garroway, has seen this before. A K-9 is there and barking insistently until Luke’s eyes glare at the dog with a luminescent blue shine until the dog whines as if scared and stops. Luke apparently has some kind of power.

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The dead girl makes it the 7th death with the same MO – another body drained of blood.
Jocelyn tries to call him, but he doesn’t pick up. Luke’s boss notices and tells him he might as well marry her already, but he tells her he and Jocelyn are different. But then she calls again and he picks up, saying it’s about Clary’s birthday.

Clary arrives at her apartment building, and greets her mom’s employee, Dot, who’s looking at her tarot cards. Dot congratulates her on her entranceto the advanced program, which she found out about from Simon’s tweet, and her birthday.

She goes upstairs to her and her mom’s loft. Jocelyn congratulates Clary, indicating that she follows Simon on twitter as well, reasoning that Simon only has 92 followers and needs the retweets.

Her mom gifts Clary with a stele, but Clary doesn’t know what exactly it is, asking if it’s like a paperweight. Jocelyn says it’s very ancient and a family heirloom. Clary admits to doodling one of the designs that’s on the stele. Right when Jocelyn says that she needs to have a serious discussion with Clary about something, Simon texts her and she jumps up ready to go get ready to go see Champagne Enema, Simon’s band’s new name.

Jocelyn tells her it’s her 18th birthday and everything’s going to change for her now. Clary tells her they’ve had “the talk” already. Jocelyn says this is a different and more important talk, but Clary insists on having it the next morning. Jocelyn doesn’t argue about it, but we see the concern in her eyes.

Flashback to ten years earlier when Clary is 8. Clary is playing next to a little pond while her mother watches from a bench. Then a serpent-like monster jumps out of the pond, scaring Clary. The monster is about to attack Clary when Jocelyn appears behind Clary and kills the monster.

5514b156-61d0-4f40-a7cf-c9696560eaafWe see Jocelyn with 8-year-old Clary arriving at warlock Magnus Bane’s home. Jocelyn wants Magnus to take her memories of what she saw with the monster, but Magnus says she’s not protecting her, but deceiving her. He argues that she’s not going to stay young forever, basically saying she’s going to find out eventually, but Jocelyn says that she doesn’t want Clary part of their world, at least not for now.

Magnus reluctantly takes Clary’s memories.

Back to earlier that day and we see Luke arrive at the house. Jocelyn shows Luke what Clary’s drawn. He offers to have them both tell Clary together, but Jocelyn says that it was her choice so she’ll do it alone. He tells her she has to do it soon, since they’re lives could be in danger now that she’s 18.

Luke gives her spray paint for her birthday, and notices the stele in jacket. He’s about to tell her the importance of her turning 18, but Simon arrives, disrupting their conversation. Jocelyn suggests they come back to the house after the gig, but they already have plans.

Jocelyn knows it’s dangerous, but she decides to let Clary be a kid for one last day. Luke nods.

That night, we see Maureen, Clary, and Simon on top of Simon’s van talking about Jocelyn’s overprotectiveness. We find that Clary is the only child and it’s just her and Jocelyn. Maureen points out how odd that is that there’re no other family members for Clary and Jocelyn, but Clary says that her mom is incapable of keeping secrets, all the while we see that Jocelyn pulls something out from a locked chest and it looks to be a lighted sword, a seraph blade.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to Isabelle, who’s dressed up in a skimpy white leather top that shows off her midriff and matching short skirt. She’s holding a white short-haired wig that she plans on using to hide her naturally long, black hair.

Clearly, her big brother Alec, isn’t all that approving of her apparel, and she says that demons dig blondes. He points out her wig’s color is white, and she corrects him, saying it’s platinum. Jace, the actual blonde, approves Isabelle’s look, saying that demons dig blondes. Alec points out the wig is platinum.

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Jace briefs Alec and Isabelle on demons killing and draining the blood of mundanes, like the victim we saw earlier. They need to find out why and who the demons are working for. Jace shows them a picture of the Asian man we saw in the beginning. Their target.

Alec says he’ll put in a request for the mission, but Jace and Isabelle know that’s going to take too long and they plan on going immediately. Alec just follows along.

We see Simon and Maureen performing “Forever Young.” Simon is singing with his eyes looking towards Clary, but with Maureen (behind him on keyboard) looking toward Simon. Yeah, she really has a thing for Simon.

SHADOWHUNTERS - “The Mortal Cup” - One young woman realizes how dark the city can really be when she learns the truth about her past in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, "Shadowhunters" follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters - human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother. Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane who could hold the key to unlocking Clary's past. (ABC Family/John Medland) SHAILENE GARNETT, ALBERTO ROSENDE
SHAILENE GARNETT, ALBERTO ROSENDE

Afterwards, Simon and Maureen agree that the name Champagne Enema was not a good idea, so now they’re Rock Solid Panda. Clary takes her spray paint to put the new name on the van, and she also adds a symbol on the van that she didn’t even realize she was painting, and doesn’t even know what it means.

We see that they’re parked in front of the entrance to the club Pandemonium, the club we saw in the beginning. And we finally get to that point where Jace bumps into Clary.

Jace says that Clary has the sight, but she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. While they talk, Simon and Maureen are watching with perplexed looks on their faces. When Jace leaves after being called by Alec, Simon and Maureen confront Clary, asking who she was talking to since they couldn’t see Jace. Clary decides to follow Jace into the club to find out what’s going on, and Simon and Maureen follow.

In the club, the demon lady meets up with two men in black and shades on. She gives them mundane blood for their boss, and then walks on. Jace, Alec, and Izzy are still following, and Clary, Simon, and Maureen enter, obviously looking too casual for the club. We see Magnus is there also. The two men in shades see Clary pass by, curiosity in their faces. But Magnus confronts them and says that Circle members are not welcome in his club.

SHADOWHUNTERS - “The Mortal Cup” - One young woman realizes how dark the city can really be when she learns the truth about her past in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, "Shadowhunters" follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters - human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother. Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane who could hold the key to unlocking Clary's past. (ABC Family/John Medland) HARRY SHUM JR., CURTIS MORGAN
HARRY SHUM JR., CURTIS MORGAN

One of the Circle men tells him not to worry about it as the Circle is ancient history, but Magnus’s cat eyes shine through as he uses his powers to against the other man, inflicting some pain as a threat. He tells them to get out of his club. We see that the men have what looks to be a red circle on their necks, indicating their alliance.

Clary sees Jace go behind a curtained off area in the back of the club, following the demon lady there. She sneaks her way into the back area as well, and witnesses them attack and kill not only the demon lady, but the other human-looking demons that were there. She even involuntarily aids in killing one of the demons holding Jace’s seraph blade.

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After all the demons are dead, she runs, bumping in the Magnus on the way out. At the sight of him, a memory of him using his powers on her flashes in her mind, but she ignores it and takes off for a cab, leaving Simon and Maureen at the club.

The two Circle dudes see Clary take off in the cab.

We next see Clary tell her mother about what happened at the club, and Jocelyn reveals the rune on her arm. Clary is shocked to see it on her, and as Jocelyn tries to come clean, Clary is freaking out. But before Jocelyn can say more, Dot comes in and says Clary’s been followed and the Circle dudes have arrived at their place. Magnus called to warn them.

Jocelyn says it’s time, and tells Clary that she hid something from someone powerful. Jocelyn puts a necklace with a purple stone on it around Clary’s neck, and tells her that she needs to go find Luke. She says to keep the necklace with her, and let’s her know that she is more powerful than she knows.

Jocelyn tells Dot to “open it,” and we see that Dot is a warlock as creates a portal. Jocelyn puts Clary in front of the portal and tells her to trust Luke and no one else, that he will protect her from the Circle. Clary is then transported to the police station, where she goes to find Luke.

At the Fray house, the Circle break in and attack Dot, seemingly killing her by throwing her out the window, where she lands on the ground with a big thud. Jocelyn burns down Clary’s room and pulls out a seraph blade to fight against the Circle. There’s too many of them for her to escape, so she says they’ll never find the Mortal Cup, and she finds out that the leader of the Circle, Valentine, is still alive. She drinks the potion before they can overtake her, and promptly falls unconscious.

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Clary spies on Luke talking with some Circle members who apparently know about Jocelyn. They refer to Jocelyn with the surname Fairchild, not Fray. The man tells Luke that the Circle has Jocelyn now, and that they will catch Clary soon. They say they will bring both of them back if Luke reveals where the Mortal Cup is.

While Clary is still overhearing the conversation, Luke says that he doesn’t care about either of them and that his people wanted the cup and that’s the reason he’s been around them all these years. Clary is horrified. Luke says he plans on keeping the cup.

Oddly enough, the next scene takes place in Chernobyl (yes, in Ukraine), where Valentine has been hiding out all this time. He passes by some cages where some growling and monster-like noises are coming from. Three of his men appear from a portal with the unconscious Jocelyn in tow. One of the members talks of how Jocelyn is a coward, and Valentine injects him with something poisonous as we see the member’s face melt away as he dies writhing on the floor.

Clary sneaks away from the station and decides to run back home to her mother, but when she arrives there, she finds both the shop and her loft destroyed. She freaks out and finds Dot there. Dot asks Clary where the Mortal Cup is, but Clary has no idea what she’s talking about.

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Dot turns into another demon at the last moment to attack and Clary uses her stele to stab the demon in the stomach. The demon transforms back into its real body and attacks again, but before the demon can do major harm, Jace is suddenly there and kills the demon. Clary is hurt on the shoulder, and Jace explains it was a ravenor demon, a shapeshifter, before Clary passes out from the demon venom.

Clary is sleeping on a bed and is having a vision of her mother unconscious and with Valentine while the pendant on her necklace glows. In the vision, Valentine us putting a rune on Jocelyn’s neck, but she doesn’t wake from it. However, Clary does, sitting up on the bed she’s on. Isabelle is there and is curious about Clary, saying she’s never seen Jace so interested in a mundane before.

Alec and Jace enter and Alec is put out by Clary’s presence, stating that “the mundane” shouldn’t even be there. Jace states that Clary isn’t a mundane because the seraph blade lit up when she held it. Alec still doesn’t approve and talks about reporting this to the Clave, but Jace wants to talk to Clary alone and Isabelle leaves and brings Alec with her.

Isabelle wonders why Alec is so upset about this whole thing, but Alec just says that he’s pissed that Clary ruined their mission and they still don’t know who wants the mundane blood.
Jace tries to explain what happened to her and gives the briefest explanation he can about who they are -Shadowhunters – and what they do – kill demons. Clary doesn’t really care about any of that, but wants Jace’s help in finding her mom, and Jace knows he’s the best chance for that to happen.

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Simon calls her and used “Find My Friend” to find Clary at an abandoned church. He asks if Clary has a meth problem. Clary, in one of Isabelle’s black leathery skimpy outfits, goes to meet Simon at the front of the church, and Jace accompanies her, holding a seraph blade.

When they exit, Simon still can’t see Jace, only Clary and is appalled at what she’s wearing, giving her his jacket. Jace explains that the glamour rune he has is why Simon can’t see him, but he does so in his over-confident way, which is pretty funny.

Someone behind her who’s not Jace calls out her name, but says “Clary Fairchild.” When she turns around, it’s the guy who was talking to Luke at the police station. Jace is behind the man and they get into a fight while Clary watches. However, only she can see what’s happening and reacts to what Simon sees as nothing. Only when the guy is dead can Simon see the man. Clary tells Jace to take the glamour off, and Simon finally sees Jace.

Simon says they should call Luke, but Clary doesn’t trust Luke anymore. Jace says they have to get back inside but Simon wants to take her home.

And Valentine finds out that Jocelyn has a daughter and says that he must speak to the daughter.

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Review

Many Shadowhunter Chronicles’ fans have been waiting for this series for quite some time, both with excitement and trepidation, as these characters are well-loved around the world.

And while this premiere episode is certainly not perfect, there definitely is potential for some really great plotlines and character development. I knew not to get my hopes up, not to expect perfection, and tried to keep an open mind about how the showrunner, the director, and the actors interpreted the characters. And I found that they do have a good sense of who the characters are and what they can be in the future of the series.

When it comes to adaptations of books, there’s the frequent idea of changing the book’s plot or characters to make it flow in a way more fitting to the media being represented. This show is no exception. It should be a given that events and people will have at least some changes from the original source material. That doesn’t make it good or bad. It makes it different.

So, when I finally watched the episode, I can honestly say that I was entertained by what I saw and was generally pleased with the overall flow of what was introduced so far.

There are definitely some issues that need to be improved on as time goes by and some of the actors still need to get a better idea of how their character is. The actors playing off each other in certain scenes felt a bit awkward at times, but I’m chalking that up to them being newbies and still trying to get more comfortable with their characters. Though some were really comfortable with their characters (Dominic Sherwood and Alberto Rosende were pretty much on par), while others were still struggling finding their niche.

Regarding the changes from the book to the series, the way it goes about in the series is definitely different than in the books, but I can still see them coming up with the same end result in certain events, however, it’s probably too soon to tell since it’s just the first episode.

I found the episode to be fast-paced, however, not really rushed. A lot of things are explained, yes, but I felt the beginning of the City of Bones book to be fast-paced as well and filled with a lot of information, so this kind of felt somewhat the same in that manner.

I was pleased with some of the humor involved as well. Jace is quite the over-confident and conceited Shadowhunter we learn to love, and Dominic conveys that in how he delivers his lines. Simon is nerdy, yet still likeable, and Alberto does a fine job in being that type of guy. Considering many of the rest of the actors involved haven’t had much screen time, I was pretty pleased with how they portrayed their characters, even if they’re not the exact same characters we’ve imagined in our minds or how author Cassandra Clare has developed them. But considering she’s had hundreds of pages to develop said characters, whereas the series has only a fraction of that time to show us all the things we love about them, this is a step in the right direction.

Some other issues that were somewhat problematic for me seems to be in the editing process as the seguing from one scene to the next was a bit choppy, and thus didn’t flow as well as it should have. I’m hoping all these issues will be improved upon as we continue on through the series, which I absolutely intend to do.

One more thing I’d like to address, though.  Chernobyl?

Overall, I’d rate the series premiere a C+ on a letter grading scale.

Gifs courtesy of Shadowhunterstv.com

To watch Shadowhunters episode 1.01 “The Mortal Cup,” go to the Freeform site or get the Freeform app!

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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