Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1 Review: On Infernal Ground

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There's good news in the air: Shadowhunters is back!

The winter months had been extra chilly without our favorite demon-fighting heroes around to continue their otherworldly drama. This is a time for celebration!

In fact, one person, in particular, had a lot to celebrate during Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

Secrets Abound - Shadowhunters

Clary got her moment in the sun; she's now a full-fledged member of the Clave.

After two seasons of learning about her hidden powers and training at the Institute, she finally got her rune of the Angels. She deserved it after all the hard work she put in and the trouble with Valentine.

Just think back to her first appearance on Shadowhunters Season 1 Episode 1.

The charismatic art school student had no clue what a Shadowhunter was, but now she joined their ranks as a skilled fighter. Clary has come a long way to reach this moment on "On Infernal Ground."

Institute Duties - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

Even with the growth, we can still rely on Alec not to completely trust Clary at her word. His parabathai rune is a strong bond to Jace and one that can't be broken. The marking wouldn't have gone away unless Jace had died. Alec (and possibly Izzy) knows this, so Clary was caught in an unlucky bind.

The Clave may have believed that she didn't make a wish on Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 20, but there's no doubt that Alec and Izzy won't let go of the topic. Clary is going to need to hold onto the secret or else her run with the Shadowhunters elite could be over before it ever began.

Enemy In The Midst - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

Luke's approach to dealing with Holly was a poor decision.

His partner already had the pieces together; Holly reaching out to Luke was only to confirm her theory. And, when you throw in her own experiences being attacked by a wolf, she had the conclusion ready to go. Playing dumb and dismissive was only going to push her further.

Giving Holly the backstory of being attacked added much-needed reasoning to her motive.

Sure, she's an investigator and has an inquisitive nature; however, her increased determination needed a reason beyond simple curiosity. The attack gave her (a Mundane) a connection to the supernatural world.

Holly is bright. She knew she was being lied to, that she was compelled, and that Luke was a wolf. Luke should've told her the truth to protect her from the onset; Tim could have killed her.

Like Mother, Like Son - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

We got our first look at Lilith, too, and she was ... creepy. The evil demon queen not only had a dead Sebastian lying on a church slab, but the way she looked at the children when she wanted to hold one felt like a horror movie moment. 

Lilith gave off a whimsical and airy demeanor. How the nurse didn't feel uncomfortable interacting with her was surprising; however, he was taught bedside manners, so he probably had enough practice beforehand.

Why do you think Lilith targeted the nurse? She sent the black bug demon to infect him and turn him into a monster. Out of anyone in New York City, Lilith went after him specifically.

Related: Shadowhunters Season 3 Promo: Lilith Rises!

Her reasoning must've been the kindness he showed her. She saw him as a good-hearted person that she could corrupt with darkness; her evil did work, as he killed his wife.

This is all hypothetical at this point since nothing was revealed in her motives for performing the corruption. There has to be a bigger reason for turning the nurse and slicing him for blood on the altar. Sebastian may be the root of the cause, but my intuition is telling me that this could be a grander scheme.

Sebastian: Go ahead...kill her!
Jace: How are you...
Sebastian: What are you waiting for? Kill her! To love is to destroy. Isn’t that what our father always told us?
Clary: How are you here?
Sebastian: Take that dagger and stab her through the heart. If you don’t, I will.
[They fight and Clary gets stabbed by accident]

Speaking of Sebastian, it looks like we'll have to rely on Jace's nightmares for scenes with Will Tudor. No complaints about this limited view; any scenes of the demon Shadowhunter we get now that he's dead are always welcome. (As well as GIFs! Send them forward.)

Jace's nightmares sparked an interesting theory. Could his dreams of Sebastian be a side effect of being brought back to life? 

As he mentioned on Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 20, no one comes back from the dead without being different. His dreams of killing Clary and seeing Sebastian were troubling signs. And they did affect his day as he did slice her when they were practice fighting at the Institute.

If he were to go evil, his relationship with Clary could suffer as a result. After two seasons of back-and-forth drama, let this couple be happy for once, even for a little bit!

Tracking Targets - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

Clary discovering the truth about her weapons melted my heart. Now that both her parents are gone and her brother is dead, she no longer has any living connections. Claiming both of her parents' weapons gives her a connection she can carry with her wherever she goes.

Izzy couldn't have expected that as the new weapons expert, and Luke was completely blown away. It was a very heartwarming moment; she was almost on the verge of tears.

It's a shame that the scene was interrupted by the hunt for Tim.

Luke: You know, I’m proud of you, Kiddo. It’s not every day you get an angelic rune. Pick your weapons yet?
Clary: Yeah.
[She shows the first blade]
Clary: What is it?
Luke: That was your father’s dagger.
Clary: What?!
Luke: You didn’t know?
Clary: I didn’t know. I had no idea.
[She shows the second dagger]
Clary: I choose this one too.
Luke: You don’t choose the blades. The blades choose you. That one was Jocelyn’s.
Clary: What?
Luke: They’re both part of you, Kiddo. The light and the dark, whether you like it or not.

The way Tim's body bent and broke looked very much like a marionette doll. His contortion checked every box that confirmed his possession by the demon energy.

Once Clary stabbed him with the swords and nothing happened, it was clear there was no saving him. Well, once he got shot repeatedly by Holly, THAT confirmed he couldn't be saved or killed in the conventional sense. And, when he hatched into the bug demon, he was more bug than man at that point. 

Since no weapons could kill the bug, the sun rune may be the only way to defeat the demon.

Clary, Luke, and Holly wouldn't have been able to defeat the monster without her secret power. Since this was a demon crafted by Lilith, the bug demon could be stronger than ones we've seen previously on Shadowhunters.

Should Luke Trust Ollie? - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

Luke made the right call to finally tell Holly the truth.

After shooting Tim and fighting a bug demon, he couldn't hide the facts from her any longer. Holly knew about the Shadow World, and her suspicions of Luke being a werewolf were accurate. If he had continued to lie, she would've continued digging deeper into the truth until it hurt her later.

Hopefully, by sharing the truth, Holly will keep his secret and be a trusted ally to him and Maia. He needs an ally on the force who will help them out in a bind.

New Position - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

With Shadowhunters Season 3, I'm hoping that Magnus and Alec will be more forthcoming and open with each other about resolving their issues.

Their inability to be truthful was an issue that popped up a lot during Shadowhunters Season 2. They've dated long enough to know that they want to be together, so there shouldn't be any secrets.

Unfortunately, the premiere continued with the same theme.

Magnus' demotion from the High Warlock of Brooklyn was a big deal. Alec being offered a high-ranking job in Idris was a big deal. Neither of them wanted to talk it out and share their true feelings. Once again, THAT was a big deal.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

Sure, Magnus wore a brave face and tried to be the life of the party with positivity, but he didn't need to act so blasé about it. He was hurting because he lost a role that he loved terribly. He could've opened up to Alec instead of only telling Katarina.

The same goes for Alec. He didn't want to move to Idris and leave behind Magnus, he should've come clean right from the onset to spare about hesitation and paranoia.

"Malec" still has a lot of work ahead of them.

Alec: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you with a client.
Magnus: Yes, well, it’s frowned upon when you’re the High Warlock. Potential conflicts of interest and such. But now that I’ve been dismissed, I’m free to see whomever I want.
Alec: Wait, what? What happened?
Magnus: While you were in Idris, fallout from my decision to lend the warlocks’ support to the Seely Queen.
Alec: I’m sorry.
Magnus: Don’t be, I’m not upset. I’m actually...elated. Shilling the burden of all the warlocks in Brooklyn it gets...exhausting.
Alec: Well, I understand. I thought this was important to you.
Magnus: What’s important to me is that I can start seeing clients again. Help them achieve their dream...and make a lot of money doing it.

Hunky Charlie: New romance for Izzy or red-herring?

With a demon going around infecting people, he seems like a prime target for an attack. We could be slowly getting to know him in the off-chance that he becomes the next target.

Let's keep our wits about Charlie. Based on the one quick scene we saw, he seemed like a nice and genuine guy.

Izzy's past romantic interest, on the other hand, was acting pretty sketchy with the tranquilizer. Did he create that vampire or was he holding her hostage? If Magnus had known what Raphael was planning to do, he never would've given him the bottle.

Whatever Raphael is doing, he's planning something that could be against all sorts of Clave rules.

Letting Out Frustrations - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

You can't trust the Seely Queen. She is up to something with her secret plans involving Simon. The mark she placed on Simon's head was specifically meant for a Daylighter; she even indicated that anyone other than a Daylighter would've died when it was placed on. 

Simon did the right thing by being upfront with Maia about what happened. She was worried about him; he was missing for a while, after all.

If the Seely Queen does try something with this mark, Maia will be able to help save him. The other couples should look to them as a good example of what to do with secrets. (Be open with each other!)

Simon: What are you planning on doing to me?
Seely Queen: Relax.
Simon: Come on. You guys really had to tie me up to vines again? Bad memories.
Seely Queen: It is this way, so that you don’t reflexively squirm.
Meliorn: It is ready, my lady.
Simon: Why are you going to hurt me? I’ve done everything you’ve asked, I’m a good guy...I sang you a song about nature!
Seely Queen: Don’t not fret. The hurt will be over before you know it.
Simon: So, this is it? This is the end? This is the end?!
Seely Queen: Proceed.
[Seely spins around the sticks]
Simon: What is that? What are you doing?!
[Simon screams in pain as the rune is applied]

Lilith instructed the demon to bring back her 33 other disciples into the fold. Let's take a moment to process that and look at the situation.

From what we know about her plan, it took infecting one person to turn him into one bug demon. To get her 33 other disciples, that would mean 33 more people need to be corrupted. Those are going to be powerful enemies to fight, and Clary was the only one who had the ability to defeat it.

Lilith's disciples could be the toughest enemies the group has had to fight yet.

Lilith - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1

What did you think of "On Infernal Ground"? Who will be infected next by the demon? What effect will the mark have on Simon? Will Lilith succeed in bringing Sebastian back?

If you missed the latest episode of Shadowhunters, you can watch Shadowhunters online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts on the episode.

On Infernal Ground Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Simon: What are you planning on doing to me?
Seely Queen: Relax.
Simon: Come on. You guys really had to tie me up to vines again? Bad memories.
Seely Queen: It is this way, so that you don’t reflexively squirm.
Meliorn: It is ready, my lady.
Simon: Why are you going to hurt me? I’ve done everything you’ve asked, I’m a good guy...I sang you a song about nature!
Seely Queen: Don’t not fret. The hurt will be over before you know it.
Simon: So, this is it? This is the end? This is the end?!
Seely Queen: Proceed.
[Seely spins around the sticks]
Simon: What is that? What are you doing?!
[Simon screams in pain as the rune is applied]

Luke: You know, I’m proud of you, Kiddo. It’s not every day you get an angelic rune. Pick your weapons yet?
Clary: Yeah.
[She shows the first blade]
Clary: What is it?
Luke: That was your father’s dagger.
Clary: What?!
Luke: You didn’t know?
Clary: I didn’t know. I had no idea.
[She shows the second dagger]
Clary: I choose this one too.
Luke: You don’t choose the blades. The blades choose you. That one was Jocelyn’s.
Clary: What?
Luke: They’re both part of you, Kiddo. The light and the dark, whether you like it or not.