Title: Shadowhunters S3.E05 “Stronger Than Heaven”
Released: 2018
Series:  Shadowhunters

Shadowhunter and Downworlder of the Week: Alec and Magnus

Previously: Simon becomes fast friends with Kyle and moves in with him; Jace thinks his memory lapses are related to his family’s history of mental illness — when, really, he’s just been under Lilith’s control unless Clary breaks him free of it; and Lilith seeks out Magnus’ help.

What Happened

Off-duty Jace distracts himself from his troubles by figuring out who sabotaged Simon’s upcoming gig: it’s Roommate Kyle on behalf of Praetor Lupus, a secret organization of werewolf guardians who intervene in special Downworlder cases. Despite Kyle’s manipulation and deception, Simon’s willing to give this arrangement a try — but on his terms.

With the help of Luke’s (Iron) sister, Cleo, Clary summons the angel Ithuriel for help with Jace’s supposed mental decline so that he doesn’t resort to seeking out the Silent Brothers for treatment. Ithuriel’s about to reveal the name of Owlface’s master, when OH SNAP, the devil herself rips out his heart. Lilith steals a horcrux part of Clary’s soul to complete an elixir from Magnus that will make Jace forget about Clary — and Lilith successfully sneaks it into Jace’s beer.

Alec wants to move in with Magnus, who would rather take things slow. Also driving a wedge between them are Magnus’ mementos of all his past loves that he outlived and OH RIGHT Magnus’ immortality and Alec’s lack thereof. They agree to live in the moment and to stop worrying about the future — at least outwardly, because Alec seems less than convincing.

… and Izzy has a date with Charlie the mundane doctor, whatever.


  • HA, apparently I’m in tune with Alec’s wardrobe enough that him wearing a loud shirt seemed atypical and then it turned out to be Magnus’.

  • Luke and his kiddo, Clary!

  • Simon and Jace, frenemies forever. Which is even more enjoyable since it no longer involves a love triangle with Clary, and the actors get along quite well IRL. (If it seems like the non-romances are my fave relationships on this show… yes, that’s probably true.)

  • Kyle has an Aussie accent! Aka a non-North American actor in a Freeform show is allowed to speak normally. (See also: The C-Dubs.)

  • Church of Talto victim count is now at 26. Which is, like, bad, but a Lilith (and OwlJace?) vs. Shadowhunters showdown is nigh!


  • I caught the name of yet another indistinguishable werewolf. Russell, GlenRufus — like, honestly, I should start giving them descriptive nicknames since I can’t tell them apart anyway.

  • The unintentional hilarity of Izzy borrowing ‘mundane clothes’, as if her regular wardrobe and makeup are somehow Shadowhunter specific and too ~eXtReMe~, or that Charlie hadn’t met her when she dressed like her normal self.

  • Charlie waiving Izzy’s hospital bill, wtf? Not with the current Amerrican health care system, you’re not.

  • Look, I’ve made my feelings known about Simon singing in the past, and they… have not changed. (Although Kyle’s clearly a good guy because he tried to stop this performance.)

  • Uhhh, THIS.

Shadowhunter and Downworlder of the Week

Three seasons — and LESS THAN TWO MONTHS?!?! — in, I appreciate that Malec angst still hasn’t involved any viable romantic threat, even if Alec was a bit naïve and pouty about being in love with an immortal being. Underhill’s gratitude to Alec for paving the way as an out Shadowhunter — with a warlock, no less — was nice, although maybe a little overboard with praising a “committed relationship” of LESS THAN TWO MONTHS. (I know time isn’t everything; when you know, you know; blah blah blah. But LESS THAN TWO MONTHS.)

Say What?

Magnus: In the rare case, I suppose erasing love is an act of compassion.

WHAT. NO. Altering someone else’s memories sounds like a horrific violation, as Willow and Tara taught us some — holy crap — 17 years ago.

Clary: What about Ithuriel? He’s helped us before. His blood runs through [Jace and Clary’s] veins.

I swear, this show wants me to see incest everywhere.

Simon: Everyone kind of hates me at the moment.

Jace: Popular as always, I see.

Simon: Kyle, this is Jace. He’s a good friend of mine.

Jace: Friend of a friend.

I live for this antagonism.

Magnus: I’m a warlock. I know when things are out of order.


Magnus: Shall I whip us up some cocktails? Martini Mondays.

Someone didn’t get memo about the show’s move to Tuesdays.

Swimfan Says

Here’s Shadowhunter Chronicles expert and co-host of The Parabatai Podcast, Meredith (@legallyblonde), with her thoughts!

  • An angel is summoned at Luke’s farm in City of Lost Souls for possible answers on how to help Jace, but that’s about where the similarities end. For one, Ithuriel was much more chill than Raziel, though it definitely ended better for Raziel. Lilith’s interruption was a startling twist, and it was a very interesting adaptation that worked well for the show. (P.S.: I refuse to believe her magic potion is anything other than temporary.)

  • Jace deciding to help Simon “because Clary would care” is a more straightforward adaptation of a City of Fallen angels scene, including how Jace outs Kyle as a werewolf. Jace and Simon’s refusals to admit they’re actually friends now (rather, Jace’s refusals) are always entertaining, as well.

  • On a (mostly) show-only note, Izzy’s date with Dr. Charlie Cooper was very cute, her fight scene with the Clary-tracking demon was fantastic, and I’m so glad she was able to restore her demon-alerting ruby into a new bracelet after its earlier destruction by Azazel.

Burning Questions

  • LESS THAN TWO MONTHS?!??!?! Do Malec consider their start to be the Alec-Lydia non-wedding? WHAT IS TIME, EVEN? (This timeline puts Lydia’s introduction and the wedding being ONE WEEK APART.)

  • Where tf was Maia? The super protective and supportive girlfriend from last episode is nowhere to be found when Simon discovers his new roommate’s shadiness and has a big gig? Seemingly at the Hunter’s Moon where she works?!? Even if Praetor jurisdiction prevented her from being around, it’s weird that the entire episode forgot about her. At least throw in a line re: her whereabouts, FFS.

  • Not that I’m one to question angelic biology, but I’m questioning angelic biology: Ithuriel has a human-ish heart to rip out?

  • This is actually something I ruminate on a lot: how do mundanes perceive the Shadow World? Are Shadowhunters in the mundane world constantly using their invisibility runes? Does it look like Luke is talking to himself when Clary’s at the precinct? Do mundanes see the runes as tattoos, or do they not appear at all? (If runes were visible to mundanes, Charlie would have mentioned it among things he knew about Izzy, no?) I kind of want a scene or two from the mundane POV, if only to give the Shadowhunter actors a break from the makeup chair.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.