TV Quibbles: Shadowhunters, “The Mortal Cup”

What, no thank you for turning your beloved book series into a TV show? – producers/director/Freeform at the moment due to the anger of the fans

Before I start into a spoiler recap I just wanted to say how I feel about the show so far:


I’m on the fence. Being a fan of the books causes me to be a bit biased, but I am trying really hard not to compare everything to the book. Although the first episode was a bit rushed and dove into the lure too quickly, it’s wasn’t bad. I understand you want to capture the audience that isn’t familiar with The Mortal Instruments, but in the book it took us at least, four chapters to get all this information, and even after that we were still learning new things throughout the series.

The acting wasn’t bad. There were a few characters I really enjoyed and wanted more of . However, our main lead Clary Fray, is becoming too much of a perfect character. NOT TRYING TO COMPARE but in the book Clary is kind of awkward, kind of dorky, and wouldn’t just walk up to a random guy and compliment his muscles. In the show she’s not much of either so you kind of assume nothing is wrong with her except for the fact that she’s a liability and doesn’t really listen to anyone (well, to be fair that is how she was in the book.)

We even got an early introduction to our villain which I don’t think was needed. In the book it was believed him to be dead for quite a while until pieces started to come together. When it comes to Clary’s mom being taken, we don’t know what happened or who took her, but in the show we see the fight scene. Not that that’s bad but again, telling us way too much too soon. That tension should have built up for a while, let us imagine what happened to her mom.

Overall, I was entertained enough to want to watch the next episode. I understand pilots can be a bit sloppy and the actors are still trying to get into their character. I still watch Teen Wolf and that pilot almost turned me off completely. Hopefully over time the show lives up to the potential it surely has.

*onto spoilers*

Clary Fray has just turned eighteen, been accepted into an art school, and feels that the future looks bright. However her mom, Jocelyn, is holding a secret that she has kept from Clary for this long but feels it’s time Clary learns the truth. Over the years Jocelyn has gone to a warlock named Magnus, who wipes Clary’s memories of the Shadow World whenever she sees something odd.


Jocelyn is a single mother but she has help from their family “friend” Luke, who should just be considered Clary’s dad. Luke is part of the police force and has been finding bodies drained of blood. Being a supernatural creature himself, he probably believes some creature is doing it.

Back to our main character, Clary is off to celebrate her birthday with her best friend Simon and their friend, Maureen. They go to a club where Clary is run into by Jace Wayland, who no one else can see. Being curious and trying not to believe she’s gone insane, Clary goes after Jace and this is when her life takes a 180.



After witnessing Jace and his friends, Isabelle and Alec, kill some demons Clary freaks out and runs home to tell her mom. Her mom reveals runes on her body that she has kept hidden and is about to tell Clary when their neighbor, Dot, tells Jocelyn someone has found her.

Jocelyn gives Clary a necklace and sends her through a portal to Luke, who is at the police station. At this point Clary is completely freaking out but seems to hold it together well enough.

A fight happens, Clary runs home to find her mom gone, and is attacked by a demon posing as Dot. As she’s cut by the demon Jace shows up to save her. To heal Clary’s wound Jace uses a stele to heal Clary, and he beings to realize Clary is a Shadowhunter, part angel-part human (there is a correct term for this: nephilim)

He takes her to the Institute that poses as an empty church for humans AKA mundanes. The Institute looks to be sort of a headquarters where the trio are sent on missions. Clary wakes up to find Isabelle (I call her Izzy so when I say Izzy, that’s who I’m talking about) waiting for her to wake up. Jace and Alec come in and an obviously pissed of Alec is escorted out of the room. Everything about the situation seems odd to him, but Izzy tells him to chill and stop acting so jealous.

Jace becomes taken with Clary while trying to tell her all about the Shadow World in a pretty rushed scene. We learn many different terms but aren’t 100% sure what they truly mean. There are downworlders: vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and seelies AKA fairies.

Clary doesn’t care about being a Shadowhunter, she only wants to find her mom and Jace says he can help her do that.

The episode ends with Simon finding Clary, Jace killing a demon to save Simon, and the two boys vying over Clary’s attention.

Throughout the episode we got images of where Jocelyn is and who took her, Valentine. It seems that Clary can see where her mom is or who is around her through the necklace Jocelyn gave her. Valentine tells one of his hench men that he wants to meet Clary.

Whew. There’s a lot to take in for one episode (and they’re only the main parts.) Thankfully I have read the books so I know what they’re talking about, but even knowing that knowledge, there’s way too much said in this episode.

Jocelyn being taken by Valentine should have been told later. Valentine himself should have been kept for something like the midseason finale. Taking those out and just investing us more into the main characters would have made us care about them more. (Again, I already care about them, but to a first-time viewer, I can see why they wouldn’t.)

Then there are the changes from the book that I really don’t want to talk about, because this is an adaptation and things are bound to change. One big change is Clary’s personality. She shouldn’t be so confident so she’s coming off as one of those “perfect-going to save the world” characters.

However I thought everyone else’s characters resemble those from the book well. We haven’t seen enough of Izzy and Alec but so far I’m liking them. Jace is a bit more reserved but still has his arrogant moments.

I have a feeling this show is going to get better after a few episodes, but the pilot is a lot to take in. I do feel that the show is going better than the movie adaptation and that can only be a good thing.





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