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‘Shadowhunters’ Recap: Rise Up

Episode 8 may have lined up
all the dominos, but episode 9 drops a
nuclear bomb on them. This is the
most gut-wrenching episode yet, and
it comes
from all sides. Simon rules the episode hands-down, but Izzy, Alec,
and Jace
bring some major
gravitas of their own. There is huge fallout from the decisions
made in
Bad Blood, and none of it
gets wrapped up here. Shadowhunters
and Downworlders alike are facing a new
world now, and emotions are at an
all-
time high.

The highs: Simon. Now a fledgling vampire, Simon is
the
personification of a
tortured soul. He is repulsed by what he has become, and is
utterly
destroyed when Clary reveals her part in
making him what he is. Simon’s
character arc this episode is so steep that
it’s practically a straight line,

but it’s handled masterfully. Alberto Rosende hits every single note in this

episode, playing Simon with
such authentic pain in every scene that it makes
everyone else look like
they’re in a middle school play. By
the last scene, all
traces of the whiny and scared human boy are gone,
leaving a powerful
Downworlder in
his place. It’s a magnificent transformation, and viewers could
not have
asked for it to be done any
better.

Raphael. Simon is too busy
growing a backbone of steel to
spar with Jace, who is likewise
distracted.
However, the head vampire seems more than happy to take over the
responsibility
of the
resident verbal judo master. His exchanges with Luke are pure gold this
time
around. There’s a ton of tension
between the Night Children and the
werewolves, and neither leader is going
to let the other off the hook for
a
split second. The only thing keeping them from attacking each other with
more
than words is their
common enemy in the Clave, and their common allies in Clary
and Simon. Until
that fails, viewers can look
forward to wit sharper than
Raphael’s fangs or Luke’s claws.

The
lows: Alec. As much love as there is

here for the eldest Shadowhunter, he’s way out of line here. That’s not to
say
it’s not understandable.
He’s been taught his whole life that reputation and
appearances matter more
than anything, even more than the
truth. He can’t let go
of that lesson, even as he watches it ruin his life.
He sees the reaction Jace
and
Izzy have to his engagement to Lydia, he knows what could have been with

Magnus, and he is once again put at
odds with Jace. The final scene between the
parabatai is devastating, and
it’s crystal clear that it’s
tearing Alec apart.
Despite this, he stays with his current course of
action, driving the wedge
between
him and his siblings further apart with every passing minute. There’s
either
a massive secret plan up his
tattooed sleeve, or something is very wrong
with Alec. Viewers can only hope
that it’s the
former.

Final Verdict: an
emotionally catastrophic episode from start
to finish. Simon carries the
brunt
of the turmoil, but the fallout from the decisions made in the
previous episode
leave no one
untouched. Viewers have been promised that this episode sets the
tone for
the rest of the season. If that’s
truly the case, Freeform better start
shelling out for all the therapy bills
they’re going to cause among
viewers.

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Katie Anderson

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Katie Anderson is good with the term nerd. When not running disability services for FanFest events, she lives in Atlanta, GA and plays a lot of video games. Her work has most recently appeared in Forbidden Future: A Time Travel Anthology. If you'd rather read more but in a shorter format, her Twitter handle is @kdidd.