Title: Shadowhunters S1.E01 “The Mortal Cup”
Released: 2016

Source Material
Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments


Shadowhunter of the Week: Magnus
Shadowwinner of the Week:
Shadowloser of the Week:

Well, y’all, after months of anticipation and heinously photoshopped character posters, it was finally time to tune into FREEFORM! for the premiere of Shadowhunters. And the best thing I can say is… it’s a show.

I know we’re not supposed to judge a series by its pilot, but I want to! Really badly! SO I’M GONNA.

Before I launch into some catty comments, here’s the rundown on the premiere:

What Happened

It’s her 18th birthday, and Clary Fray just got into the Brooklyn Academy of Art after a very quick portfolio review process because apparently, the admissions committee is super into goth doodles. When she arrives home, her mother, Jocelyn, tries (not very hard) to tell her about her secret heritage, but Clary is too focused on heading out to see her best friend Simon and his band perform in the city. While decorating his van, she gets bumped by a blonde, buff tattooed dude, Jace, who is invisible to everyone else. She follows him into a dance club, where Magnus, a warlock, is holding court. Through a flashback, we see that Clary, at the age of ten, had a run-in with a scary water dragon, so Jocelyn took her to Magnus to have her memories erased. In other words, Clary has no idea what the eff is going on when she sees Jace and his crew (Isabelle and her brother Alec) slay a demon who’s been selling human (aka mundane) blood.

Clary rushes home and tells her mother everything, then Jocelyn confirms that it’s all true by revealing one of her tattoo runes. Because that’s how all moms handle tough conversations, right? Before she has time to explain, three dudes from the club (who turn out to be from The Circle, aka the bad guys) show up at the house. Jocelyn gives Clary a necklace and sends her off, Star Trek transporter-style, to the police station, where her boyfriend, Hot Luke, works as an officer. A battle ensues at the house over the location of the Mortal Cup, which Jocelyn has hidden. Rather than be taken by the men, Jocelyn drinks a potion and collapses to the floor. She’s then delivered in a coma-like state to Chernobyl (?!!) where Valentine, the head villain, lives, I guess? Looks like Valentine wants the cup to create some kind of army. Which makes sense, because Chernobyl has GOT to be lonely.

Back at the police station, Clary overhears Luke talking to two Circle henchmen and gets the mistaken impression that he doesn’t care about her or her mother. She races back home, where she encounters a demon who is quickly slayed by Jace. He brings her back to the Shadowhunters’ lair (inside an old church) where she meets Isabelle and Alec, who are none too impressed. As Jace gives her a quick 411 on demonology, Simon shows up outside the church in search of Clary. She rushes down to meet him and is quickly accosted by another Circle dude, whom Jace easily takes down. After Clary asks Jace to become visible, Simon begins to grasp that there is some crazy shizz happening, and he begs Clary to come with him, just as Jace asks her to stay at the church so she can be safe. Uncertain, she stands in between them, and OH HAI LOVE TRIANGLE.

Shadowhunter of the Week

Considering that we’re just getting acquainted with everyone, I’m gonna go with Magnus, because Harry Shum Jr. is hot. And yes, I realize that he’s a warlock, not a Shadowhunter, and seriously, if you’re gonna be that picky about the show, this is reeeeally not the recap you should be reading.

Shadowwinner of the Week

Simon, for taking off his shirt.

Shadowloser of the Week

Jace, for walking like he’s Tommy Boy looking for the weight room.

Say What?

Luke: “Me and Jocelyn… we’re different.”

Elaborating on why he’s not married.

Jocelyn: “That’s why I’ve waited til the last possible minute…”

Maaaaybe she should have NOT waited until the last possible minute?

Clary: “So what, I’m miraculously healed and all of you stunning people have magical powers?”

Summing it up quite well, actually.

Jace: “All the legends are true.”

Not summing it up well at all.

Clary: “I’m not interested in being a part of your supernatural fight club.”



  • The action scenes were straight up AWFUL. I just… I mean… that’s really all I can say.

  • Wait, I can say more. The only thing worse than the action scenes were the show’s attempts to gross us out with lame make-up effects. Guys, I’m sorry, but The 100 has already raised that bar to a level you will never reach.

  • Okay, actually, there was something even worse than those two things, and that was the Chernobyl graphic. WHAT WAS THAT. I would suggest that Freeform fire whoever designed it, but I don’t want to put a ten-year-old kid out of a job.

Burning Questions

  • Am I the only one who thought this was a terrible pilot?


  • What is it about the character of Jace that makes it impossible for a hot person to play him? This is like, a scientific mystery.

  • Should we recap this show? I honestly don’t know if I can make that kind of sacrifice, even for y’all.

Hit me up with your answers as well as your own thoughts (catty or otherwise) in the comments!

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.