Shadowhunters 3×12 Review: “Original Sin”

Original Sin Shadowhunters

While “Lost Souls” meandered a bit as we reestablished where everyone is, “Original Sin” gave us more hints as to what the major arc for these last episodes will be.

Our first hint of the season’s arc was last week, when we learned that the someone was torturing downworlders. In “Original Sin”, we discover that Jonathan is searching for the Morningstar sword, the ancestral sword of the Morgenstern family. Apparently, the sword has abilities not unlike those of the Soul Sword. I believe ripping open the borders of Hell was mentioned. While Jonathan’s motive was hidden for most of “Lost Souls”, this episode indicates that he does have a greater plan that seems to involve demons rising up.

Whether or not Clary is important for this plan remains to be seen. He is still weirdly attached to her (and I really could have done without that awkward semi-sexy changing scene), so much so that her betrayal at the end seemingly drives him to madness. But is she necessary to whatever he is trying to do, or does he honestly just want to have a relationship with his sister? He tells Clary that she makes him want to be “good”, yet he says this after killing a Shadowhunter and saying that it felt good. When she tells him that murder isn’t supposed to feel good, he equates his killing that Shadowhunter to her killing Valentine, because she must have felt good when she did that. That is hardly the same situation; Valentine was actively threatening the whole of existence, and had just killed Jace. It’s not like she killed him for fun.

The title of “Original Sin” references Simon’s search for the world’s oldest vampire, who turns out to be Cain. (I’m unsure as to why the world’s oldest vampire is living in New York and not, like, in the middle of the woods somewhere – seriously, how did he even get there? – but plot, I guess.) The original sin of the Bible is disobeying God, but this episode obviously refers to the sin of Cain killing his brother Abel. This act is mirrored near the end when Clary betrays Jonathan in order to escape.

Original Sin Shadowhunters

I wonder if Cain is going to come back. To be frank, for a moment I worried that he would either try to take Simon or lie to him about how to remove the Mark. When Cain realized that Simon could truly understand what he was going through, there was a brief instant where I worried for Simon’s safety. I am a little surprised he gave up the information so easily, along with parting with the only artifact that could free him from the same curse, but you know, there are only 10 episodes left, so we’ve got to get this moving.

The Simon and Izzy scenes, while long-awaited by some people in fandom, are kind of abrupt. One of the trailers has a scene with them almost kissing, and I mentioned that I was worried that their relationship would be rushed. As it stands, right now Simon is still sort of dating Maia, and neither he nor Izzy have really shown any romantic inclinations towards each other. Which is why Izzy’s reactions in “Original Sin” are so odd. Her emphasis to Meliorn that they are “good friends”, her caginess when Meliorn asked her out, and her begging Simon “come back to me” all point to her having feelings for him, which has yet to be explored or even hinted. My guess is that they will use the fact that Simon was forced to feed from her (it was bad enough that Izzy got the addict storyline in the first place, please don’t have her relapse) as a way of having them grow closer.

Original Sin Shadowhunters

By extension, Magnus and Alec existed almost entirely on their own during this episode. Their scenes were mostly separated from both the A and B plots but added greatly to both the development of their relationship and Magnus as a character. I mentioned last week that I wanted to see Magnus dealing with the loss of his magic in more mundane ways, and “Original Sin” delivered in a big way. Almost all of Magnus and Alec’s scenes revolved around Magnus trying to accept that he is mortal now (also, we have confirmation that he is, indeed, fully mortal). While this led to a really great intimate scene that Malec hasn’t really gotten compared to other couples (that training sequence – UNF), it also led to some amazing conversations about living for the moment while also appreciating what you have.

While I am extremely appreciative of scenes that flesh out characters (especially when they are my favorites and I literally watch the show for them), I’m still glad that by the end of the episode, Magnus and Alec had been drawn into the main plot of rescuing Clary. Now that Clary is back and Simon no longer has the Mark of Cain, I’m looking forward to diving into the main arc of this final season.

In short, “Original Sin” did a good job of fully transitioning us from the first half of season 3 to the second. It featured some great character moments as well as giving us a few teasers of what we can expect from these precious last episodes.

Have you seen “Original Sin”? What did you think?

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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