An important relationship takes center stage in “Stay With Me” as Shadowhunters brings back a few characters and plods ever onwards through a convoluted plot that is past its sell-by date.
I’ve seen people express concern that Malec scenes detract from the plot – that they’re only there for fan service. I can see how some people might arrive at this conclusion, because Magnus and Alec often are in their own separate stories, especially in this season. However, their relationship is some of the best character development on the show, and I feel that is the important thing to focus on, particularly in an episode like “Stay With Me.” Alec’s growth is obvious – a repressed, by-the-book soldier with little to no sense of humor in the first episodes, he smiles and laughs and bends the rules now. But I’m also impressed with how nuanced they’ve written Magnus; the loss of his magic has brought forth his insecurities and highlighted Harry Shum Jr’s range quite nicely.
And come on, who didn’t squeal like a fool when Alec told Maryse he was going to propose?
Honestly, I’m kind of over this rune-bond between Clary and Jonathan. I feel that there are far more interesting mysteries that are languishing in the background while this amped-up sibling rivalry gets played out for what seems like the hundredth time. Perhaps it’s because we still know very little about the rune or the connection, and everybody they talk to knows just as little as we do. The whole storyline is starting to get boring, and unfortunately is not a very thrilling arc for the show’s final season. I know they didn’t have much control over that, but this plot is dragging and needs to die a fiery death. Unfortunately, we’re obviously not going to be finished with this until the end of the season.
On the plus side, we got another clue about that whole torturing downworlders thing, as it turns out that “Heavenly Fire” is related to Michael’s sword Glorious, the only way Clary can remove the rune. Which means that we’ll finally get some movement on that front, and this ridiculous plot has served a purpose.
I’m enjoying this budding relationship between Simon and Izzy far more than I thought I would. Knowing how few episodes we have left, I worried that there wouldn’t be sufficient development for a romance. But their interactions in “Stay With Me” showed me how wrong I was. These two are delightful together, and I can really feel the affection they have for each other. (Although at this point, I truly believe Alberto Rosende would have chemistry with a mop.) You can almost literally see their feelings growing.
I was surprised to see Lilith again so soon. I was expecting to see Cain again, but I certainly could not have anticipated he would side with Lilith, although I probably should have seen that coming. The foreshadowing about Lilith’s hold on him was pretty obvious.
Isaiah Mustafa continues to be painfully underutilized. I sort of understand why Luke felt he needed to take responsibility for the massacre of the pack over misplaced feelings of guilt for not being there to help, but him going to prison and essentially abandoning Clary never jived with that his attitude and behavior in “Lost Souls”. I’m intrigued by this new turn with the Praetor; I hope it leads to meatier storylines for him.
All in all, “Stay With Me” was a powerful episode that featured stellar performances able to shine through this painfully lackluster story arc. I’m very excited to finally move forward in the torture plot, and of course, I’m giggling at the idea of a Malec wedding.
Have you seen “Stay With Me”? 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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