10:09 pm EDT, March 18, 2019

‘Shadowhunters’ 3×14 flips the script on our favorite pairs

Shadowhunters season 3, episode 14, “Kiss from a Rose,” highlights the best and worst in our favorite pairs.

There are certain events in life where you want to be with a particular person. Birthdays you may want to be surrounded by your family. Anniversaries, the ones you love. Bar fight, your friend who works out five days a week and participates in every Crossfit game.

Shadowhunters plays with “the people you’d least expect” team-ups over the last few seasons. The characters on this show challenge each other, bringing out both the best and the worst in each other. But then there are times where the best pairs, the ones you expect to see work when they come together, reveal something new.

“Kiss From a Rose” tackles Clary/Jace, Maia/Jordan, and Magnus/Alec from a unique viewpoint. What exactly would Clary and Jace do with a day off? How would Magnus getting everything he wants challenge his dynamic with Alec? What will Maia and Jordan do when faced with dire circumstances?

Maia and Jordan

Shadowhunters 3x13 Maia Pack

A twist on the elevator trope, Maia and Jordan remain trapped in a freezer with one of them suffering from a severe injury. The confinement serves as the platform for Maia and Jordan to revisit some of the finer moments of their history, while also giving Alisha Wainwright room to deliver her best performance in the series thus far.

The flashbacks of Maia and Jordan’s meeting on the beach was only the beginning of their story. Watching Jordan respond to Maia’s spiral, he guides her through an exercise to help her calm down. When Maia recalls a memory of running away and running into trouble, she remembers calling Jordan. He arrived to set her back on her path.

Maia’s been handed a huge responsibility. She is forced to face an impending battle with a vampire who is out of control, her pack is all but gone, and Luke is now in custody. And while Jordan appears here as a driving force to help jump start her journey just like he did before, there is a moment of healing that finally happens between the two.

It comes with the acknowledgement that Jordan was wrong for leaving Maia after he turned her. Through his admission and Maia’s acceptance of Jordan’s apology she is able to face her feelings that came with her transformation — confusion, anger, and her loss of her connection to Jordan.

Hopefully, this provides Jordan and Maia a fresh start. As they both recover from the events of the Jade Wolf they will need each other’s help to focus their emotions into action.

Clace goes ice skating

A day off. No demons, no training, no friends. Taking in the smaller moments — Jace worrying about his hair and breath — are as rewarding as the sweeping declarations of love. It strips away all the leather and product that goes into keeping Jace the put together lad we see on a daily basis.

Shadowhunters 3x14 jace clary

When the glamour of the Institute and the battles to save the world are removed, there are two people left. I was curious to see if I still wanted to spend time with Clary and Jace without a threat. Turns out, I do. Who wouldn’t?

Jace is a romantic, taking Clary to a place where she can feel connected to her mother, yet make another happy memory with him. He lets her guide him through a mundane activity that sets him a bit on edge. But while he is a bit defensive (and jokes) about his lack of skill, he is also admitting at the same time that he is not comfortable being out of control.

They are comfortable together in a way that is often lost in other episodes.

Of course, it is that comfort that allows Clary to catch on quickly that something is amiss with Jace. (And also, nothing good can last forever.) And Jonathan once again discovers firsthand that he does not understand human connection. It’s not about imitation and studying someone so intensely that you know how many times they blink in a given minute. Jonathan is missing out on the bigger picture. He will not understand the empathy it takes to make a meaningful human connection.

A portal to domestic trouble

Shadowhunters 3x14 magnus lorenzo

On the surface, an episode featuring Magnus and Alec off on an adventure in Belgium together sounds ideal. However, the journey is not a romantic weekend getaway, but arrives as a result of a deal made with Lorenzo Rey.

Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer were adamant that Magnus’ journey back to magic is not going to be an easy one. And right now, it is far from complete. Sure, he has his magic back and he seems to be settling into the idea of losing his apartment. But there are bigger issues bubbling under the surface, and I’m not talking about a bloody nose.

His body rejecting the magic Lorenzo restored is one thing. Magnus’ emotional rejection is another. There is zero hesitation to return to his former self, or what he believes is his former self. Magnus’ magic was always flashy, but his daily use of it was not a spectacle. It was controlled and calculated. It danced out of him.

Watching him use magic now feels like spectacle, as if he is trying to make himself be seen as he once was. But the fast-talking, the quickness with which he conducts his movements and gestures, is alarming, not comforting. From the swirling of the pages, to the finger guns after lighting a crypt, Magnus’ behavior is flashy even for him.

Alec, luckily, has his guard up and not just because he is grave robbing a sword in Belgium that will raise an army of demons if it falls into the wrong hands. When they return to the apartment, Alec discovers that Magnus traded it for his magic. When Alec jumps to defend Magnus — “I’ll kill him” — Magnus finally settles down enough to reveal the pricelessness of his magic.

Finally, after weeks of living the mundane life with a smile plastered on his face, Magnus reveals that version of himself was a lie. He was not coping with his loss because he lost more than a few party tricks to help friends, Magnus lost a piece of himself. He was tethered to the world around him by his magic, it was what made him feel like a part of it, like he mattered.

Alec’s affirmation that he does matter helps, and I truly believe that. But I also believe that where Magnus believes in Alec’s love, he believes in magic more. It’s not a competition, but two halves of something that makes him feel whole. Magnus’ openness with Alec is a start, but will the tether that connects Magnus to Alec grow stronger as a result? Or will Alec’s journey to see Lorenzo and Magnus’ bloody nose begin to dismantle their progress?

Stray Observations

Shadowhunters 3x14 alec sword

  • Alec and Lorenzo’s conversation showed a new side of Alec — one where he uses his power as a leader to its full advantage. We’ve seen him in situations of power before, but watching him play against Lorenzo elevated not only his position of authority, but how he sees himself in that role.
  • I thought Simon showing concern over Jordan’s lack of communication was a nice way to flip the script on Jordan thinking he would come for Maia. For more, click here.
  • Isabelle discovers the secret “inside.” Give her more space to follow her instincts and use her skills!
  • ”Why us?”… “Because there isn’t anything I believe in more.” *cries forever* Can we just make these two happy? Please?
  • Luke is having such a tough time and it’s a great exploration of what his character has gone through and all he has lost. Both physically and emotionally. Will he ever be at peace? At least he and Simon got to have a bit of fun.

Shadowhunters season 3, episode 15, “To the Night Children,” airs Monday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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