10:11 pm EDT, March 11, 2019

‘Shadowhunters’ 3×13 offers a great examination of our heroes’ inner strength

Blessed are the warriors in Shadowhunters season 3, episode 13, “Beati Bellicosi.” The episode gives us a great examination of the people at the heart of the series.

Obligation versus choice are at the heart of the conflicts in Shadowhunters season 3, episode 13, “Beati Bellicosi.” Do you protect people because you have to? Or do you do it out of love? Is there a difference between protecting someone and locking them away? There are no cut and dry answers. The situations that pervade the episode operate in a very gray area.

Some people believe their choices are for the good of the many, but are made out of fear. Others believe that by stepping aside they are doing what is best for their family, when truly they are only hurting themselves and everyone around them. From the Prater Lupus closing in on Heidi, to Maia stepping up to lead her pack, to Jace and Clary trying to separate Jonathan from their lives.

‘Shadowhunters’ 3×13 review

Shadowhunters 3x13 Clary Simon

The Praetor Lupus, the pack, and the clan

“That’s what family’s for, Fray.” Coming from Simon, the person who sacrificed his own family to make life better for them, the sentiment carries a lot of weight. Simon slowly continues to piece himself back together following the ceremonial removal of the Mark of Cain. Although he is not indestructible, he arguably gains more strength from seeing his best friend back from the dead and joining the hunt to take down Heidi.

The Praetor Lupus is on the hunt as well, with Jordan leading the way. The Praetor has some of the same struggles as the pack. There are a few who do not vibe well with the cautious approach to capturing a wanted vampire who is hellbent on taking out werewolves. But Jordan sticks to his marching orders and when one person’s rash actions leads to his death, Jordan cannot help but bear the weight of his death.

The members of the Praetor run together, train together, build unbreakable familial bonds. And so, watching Jordan bid farewell to one of his own is a reminder that everyone has a brother they are looking out for.

Simon recognizes this in Jordan’s visible distress and does not let him go about his mission alone. Even though there is no longer a contractual reason for the two to stick together, they each take note of the unspoken need they each have to keep making progress against Heidi. Why not do it together? Sure, things don’t exactly work out for the best.

Heidi meanwhile only wants one thing — to belong. But the only place where she thinks she can play her sire membership card, the clan will not take her. There is a great shot of Griffin literally turning his back on Heidi. So she resorts to manipulating the pack and the clan against each other.

As a result a brawl ensues. Jordan is wounded, the pack leader, Russell falls.

Which is thicker: blood or runes?

Shadowhunters 3x13 Clary Magnus

Shadowhunters has many moving parts. Everything seems to move a mile a minute and no one has a second to catch their breath. Clary remains on edge about Jonathan being out there hunting for a sword, possibly making his way back towards her and her family. Naturally, she would want to make the first move and find a way to get ahead of him. Alec and Isabelle are constantly being pulled in different directions to handle both personal and professional matters.

But Shadowhunters finally allowed a brief moment for the duos to reconnect. There is no question that Alec and Isabelle would be there for one another should the other ever need anything. Just like there is no denying that Clary and Jace love each other. A reminder, however, never loses its appeal.

Izzy and Alec investigating the inner workings of the Clave’s off-the-book torture methods. When Izzy withholds the details about her encounter with vampire venom, Alec, in a very brotherly way, finds a way to bring it up in conversation.

It was important to get the siblings away from the Institute, their friends, and the reminders of the larger issues at hand. They both looked safe, uninhibited. And Alec offers the reminder that Isabelle is strong, inspiring, and has him in her corner always. Isabelle, though grateful, also admits to being uneasy with the fact that she will always have this one looming weakness following her like a shadow.

Revealing that only makes her stronger. And luckily she has an entire Institute and family unit who make a living protecting people from the things that lurk in the shadows.

Meanwhile, Jace and Clary are working tirelessly on uncovering anything they can about Jonathan. While they are looking forward, it takes Jace a minute to realize he needs to look into his past for answers. An answer to Clary’s current predicament, namely the rune, may be hidden in Valentines edition of Paradise Lost, illustrated by the Silent Brothers. While the answer of how to remove the tune remains a mystery, it does show hope that separation is possible.

Clary takes things a bit too far, succumbing to the pain of trying to remove the rune and suffering some of Jonathan’s wrath from an unknown location. But that’s when she decides to take a minute to decompress. The focus on the two of them in the moment, reminding each other how much they care about each other.

And Jace smiles. It’s fleeting, but it’s there. There are so few of these moments that this episode is a great reminder of how deep the connections on this show are. Underneath the action and adventure, there are bonds that help these fighters moving.

Goodbyes and new beginnings

Shadowhunters 3x13 Maia Luke

Before the brawl at Jade Wolf, unrest was brewing in the pack. Russell did not seem to care about the individual costs of his decisions, choosing to focus on his sweeping gestures for what he believes is best for the group.

Luke may be suspended from the police force and separated from the pack, but he is still in Maia’s corner. When Maia shrinks away from the challenge of stepping up for become a leader, Luke reminds her of her inner strength and her compassion for others.

But the heart of the scene, the part that struck me, was Maia admitting to not being able to wrap her head around leading a group when she doesn’t understand herself sometimes.

But Maia is more confident in herself than she knows. She can dig down for strength when she needs it most and that moment comes early when she faces Simon. It’s a beautiful conversation between two people who recognize that they need to go their own way.

And not for reasons that are specific to being Downworlders or working to protect the balance with the Shadow World. Their parting is perfectly mundane and that’s just the break they needed for many reasons.

What’s next for Simon and Maia? New adventures, new connections, all with a better sense of who they believe they are inside.

Stray observations

Shadowhunters 3x13 maryse Luke

  • Time to freshen up on your heavenly fire notes.
  • Magnus versus technology: coming to pay-per-view later this year.
  • Maryse AND LUKE. Finally. I loved the study buddy set up.
  • I know everyone keeps saying it to him, but I am truly happy to see this Simon back again. I missed him.
  • So… Maia and Jordan? Simon and Izzy? Go time?

Shadowhunters season 3, episode 14, “Kiss From a Rose,” airs Monday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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