Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8 Review: A Heart of Darkness

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The truth will set you free. But in the case of Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8, Clary's truth is leading her to the grave.

Our red-headed heroine is being sentenced to death for the secrets she's carried all this time. She's tried to protect those closest to her, but now she's the one who needs protection.

Her trial was doomed from the start.

Before The Sword - Shadowhunters

Clary is not a liar.

Honesty has always been one of her virtues. It's when she's had to keep the truth to prevent hurting someone where it's led to things going wrong for her. That theme has hurt her yet again.

Once the Soul Sword was revealed, any chance of her avoiding the real truth went out the window. Come on, how could she resist a blade that magically forced her to tell the truth? 

With the right question, the Shadowhunters would've learned everything. In hindsight, Clary probably should've warned people about Lilith sooner, but we can't fault her since she wanted to protect Jace. Her friends/family mean a lot to her.

Before The Court - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

As much as Consul Penhallow was made out to be the antagonist, she wasn't an evil character.

The Clave authority was simply doing her job with the interrogation techniques. She found Clary over the unearthed grave of her dead villainous father; obviously, an investigation had to be made.

And all the truths that Clary revealed, like Jace's possession and the theft, would've earned a reprimand. Clary was keeping secrets that needed assistance, and breaking into the facility in Alicante to steal a weapon was not the best idea.

However, the ruling did not justify her crimes.

Clary: If you were at Lake Lin, and it was Aline instead of Jace, what would you have done?
Consul Penhallow: I know your mother raised you as a Mundane, with the idealistic belief that love comes above all. If I’d been at Lake Lin, we’d still have Raziel’s wish. Because being a shadowhunter is about sacrifice. That’s the one thing you’ve never understood, but maybe now you will.
[She steps back]
Consul Penhallow: Clarissa Fairchild, you are hereby sentenced to death.

Clary used the angel's wish to bring Jace back from the dead, that's all. She didn't use it to gain power, harm others, or do something with negative repercussions. The wish simply resurrected someone.

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At most, that would've earned Clary a de-runing or imprisonment; Consul Penhallow was being unreasonable. And even she brought up the fact that Clary's first instinct was to go toward love because of being raised as a Mundane. She's faulting her for her mindset and upbringing.

Also, as much as she said she would sacrifice her daughter for the Shadowhunters and the /world, Penhallow hadn't been given that choice before. Who knows what she would do?

Consul Penhallow - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

Let's get this out of the way: Every scene with Maia and Jordan together was painfully uncomfortable.

Seeing these two exes forced together and interacting during their investigation brought out all the baggage they had kept bottled up for years. Their first scene in the bar was just the beginning of how far things went downhill.

When Jordan brought up Maia's temperature habits during the car ride, it highlighted the fact that Jordan knew things about Maia that Simon, her current boyfriend, probably did not. His words tapped into the past to evoke some type of emotion, but instead of reminiscing, it only made things awkward for them. You could see how quickly he knew he made a mistake.

Simon tried to diffuse the situation and make that connection with Maia, but it was too late for him. His roommate was always going to know that tidbit about her.

Jordan: I know you don’t want me around, but you matter to me.
Maia: Stop!
Jordan: And you always will.
Maia: I said stop! It’s taken everything I’ve had to put you behind me. Why won’t you just let me hate you? Just let me hate you!
[Maia’s werewolf transformation begins]

Their confrontation at the chapel was Maia's best moment on Shadowhunters yet.

Alisha Wainwright did a great job channeling the emotion of a brokenhearted person who wanted to be angry. The pain in Maia's eyes was heartbreaking to witness. She wants nothing more than to forget Jordan and be mad at him because of what he did. And she has a right to be mad!

Jordan left her to die, plain and simple. He could apologize all day long and reiterate that he didn't mean to change her life, but he can't take back what he did. He abandoned Maia, and his apology won't do anything.

When Maia's anger made her lose control, her transformation was the perfect symbolic moment that showed how much Jordan made her angry. There's no defining sign other than the beast within her coming up in a fury.

Plus, we can't forget that it was Simon who helped bring her back from the brink. She has some peace with him; it's a shame that it wasn't enough.

Simon's Determined Face - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

Do you think Maia and Simon will work out? I'm crossing my fingers for them.

Maia needs space to work on the drama and pain that Jordan brought back into her life. However, hopefully, this won't be the reason why Simon and Maia end things.

This couple has great chemistry together, and they have a lot in common. They can't be over because of an ex!

Did Magnus Come Up With The Plan? - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

Magnus's plan to restore the original Jace was very 'Inception.'

Going into his subconscious to find Jace could've gone horribly wrong, but it was the best risk that Alec and Isabelle needed to take. And in hindsight, the group made the right call to send both Alec and Isabelle inside; they needed each other's help to make it through the rooms.

Related: Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 7 Review: Salt In The Wound

Mind dreams or not, Lilith's control needed to be stopped. Plus, Demon Jace was getting very lippy in his retorts to Magnus, Alec, and Isabelle while in the Malakai Configuration.

His threats were shocking at first, but the Owl Demon was acting more like a brat now. Whenever a villain continually talks, it eliminates all the mystery and tension from their words. Unfortunately, the angel chains didn't silence him.

Frenemies No More - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

The alternate version of the New York Institute didn't have the eerie effect they were trying to portray. Whereas it was meant to be spooky and uncomfortable, the darkness and static light effect looked a tad grainy and cheap. And what was with the blue lights on the wall?

Isabelle and Alec encountering the younger version of Jace perfectly showed that there was some still innocence left in him. Lilith didn't completely take control of him yet, and she probably never would. He still had the memories of his past, and he was trying hard to save them before being wiped out by the enemy.

Before Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8, we hadn't seen many memories of Jace, Isabelle and Alec together as kids growing up.

We've seen a couple of moments, like when Jace and Alec became parabathais, but for the most part, the show hadn't explored their past. After watching the trio's training scene, that absence was a missed opportunity.

Younger Jace stood out as a good fighter, and younger Isabelle was awesome right from the start. Based on the training, she could've trounced those two boys.

Don't Mess With Isabelle - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

It's interesting to note the difference between how Isabelle and Alec interacted with Jace's subconscious.

Whereas Alec found the adult Jace in a room filled with dead Clarys, Isabelle found the younger version instead. Their individual relationships with Jace, and how they navigated their rooms, affected how they were able to get Jace to a point where he wanted to come back. Was this merely by coincidence or was that how Jace's mind connected to them?

Isabelle probably would've been able to help Jace either way. However, she truly shined with using the song to earn the younger Jace's trust. It's hard to imagine that Alec would've had the same results with that version.

Alec was better at getting Jace to overcome his fear of killing Clary and hurting others.

Jace: Alec, I need you to kill me.
Alec: What?
Jace: Please. Please, I’ve tried ... I tried so many times. Please, Alec, I’m begging you.
Alec: Jace.
Jace: I need you to do this to me.
Alec: No! Never! You’re coming with us. Okay?
Jace: Izzy, listen, I did all those things. I threw Clary off that rooftop. I possessed all those Mundanes. Imogene.
Isabelle: Whatever it is, it wasn’t you, Jace. It’s Lilith.

Speaking of death, my heart broke when Jace begged his siblings to kill him. This ask was his way of hitting rock bottom. He couldn't see himself escaping Lilith's clutches, so he wanted to take the easy way out.

His intentions may have been noble because he didn't want to hurt or corrupt any more people. However, death was not the solution to be free. He needed to be reminded that his siblings were going to help him regardless.

Luckily their plan was working. And, it did leave us on a cliffhanger as the hands were almost touching when Lilith arrived to take him away.

Did the real Jace free himself from the Owl Demon's powers?

The light from the hands was glowing bright, and the hands nearly did touch. They seemed close enough for Magnus's spell to have worked. We'll have to wait and see if Jace is truly back or not.

The Owl Demon - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

Lilith's reunion with the Seelie Queen was a highlight for "A Heart of Darkness."

These two queens were throwing plenty of shade at each other because of their shared pasts. For such an ethereal character, the Seelie Queen didn't miss the opportunity to put Lilith in her place, even if the demon queen had just slaughtered many of her subjects. To her, the one-liner was worth the potential injury.

Just look to the Seelie Queen's shocking zinger below.

Seelie Queen: You look stunning as always. Edom’s done wonders for your complexion.
Lilith: And you are clearly eager to send me back there.
Seelie Queen: Don’t be silly. Endowing Eve with Seelie beauty was all the revenge my people ever needed.

We finally learned the truth about Simon's Daylighter mark. Thank you, Lilith and the Seelie Queen! (That will be the only time we'll ever say that together in a sentence.)

The mystery of Simon's mark had been an ongoing debate ever since he got it on Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 1. All we knew was that it protected him whenever someone attacked and that it turned demons into salt. Beyond that, nothing else.

'The Mark of Cain' has biblical connections, which makes sense since Lilith is a character inspired by such.

Related: Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 6 Review: A Window Into An Empty Room

The fact that Simon has the mark, and that it's the one thing that can stop Lilith, is a complete coincidence. The Seelie Queen only gave it to him since Daylighters are unique and special beings, which are entities that Seelies protect. (So much for fan theories.)

Simons truly lucked out thanks to the Seelie Queen. He has the power to stop her! Unfortunately, he doesn't know the full extent of his power yet.

Give it time, Simon. Give it time!

Izzy Reassures Simon - Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8

What did you think of "A Heart of Darkness"? Will Clary escape her execution? Can the group save Jace from Lilith? Will Simon's relationship with Maia survive this hurdle?

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

A Heart of Darkness Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.3 / 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 8 Quotes

Seelie Queen: You look stunning as always. Edom’s done wonders for your complexion.
Lilith: And you are clearly eager to send me back there.
Seelie Queen: Don’t be silly. Endowing Eve with Seelie beauty was all the revenge my people ever needed.

Jordan: I know you don’t want me around, but you matter to me.
Maia: Stop!
Jordan: And you always will.
Maia: I said stop! It’s taken everything I’ve had to put you behind me. Why won’t you just let me hate you? Just let me hate you!
[Maia’s werewolf transformation begins]