Greetings from Cloud Nine! Our hearts were catapulted into the heavens after watching the latest episode of Shadowhunters, “Iron Sisters”, Monday night on Freeform, and we are never coming back down! After five tragic episodes that repeatedly gutted us, reducing our bodies to sobbing heaps on the floor, we were desperate for something uplifting and positive to happen on the show. And boy did our ship come in… literally!
The highly anticipated first date between Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood has finally happened! Who would have thought when Magnus first called Alec to ask him out for a drink back in episode 5 of season 1 we’d have to wait 363 days to actually see them go out. But like all good things, it was well worth the wait. Now we just hope we won’t have to survive another year before their second date!
Reduced to sending a phony emergency fire message to Alec just to get his attention Magnus finally gets the opportunity to confront him about their growing distance. Guilt ridden Alec has been in full blown warrior mode, ignoring his feelings, burying his emotions, and avoiding any of the good things in his life ever since Jocelyn’s death. Magnus knows exactly what’s going on inside Alec’s heart and mind and takes this opportunity to tell him, “If you don’t take time for the things you care about you’ll forget why you’re even fighting at all.” A perfectly timed piece of advice that seemed to jerk Alec out of his miserable state and open his eyes to what he was really missing out on. Namely Magnus!
The two men set out for their date and end up at The Hunter’s Moon for drinks and a few games of pool. A refreshing break away from the chaos that usually surrounds their lives, this rather mundane date turned out to be just what they needed. Thankfully we finally get to see Magnus and Alec interact one on one, just talking and getting to know one another. Alec is completely adorable as he grimaces at the taste of beer, admitting he doesn’t really drink but obviously doesn’t want to hurt Magnus’ feelings by refusing the mug.
Later, during their game of pool, Alec worries Magnus doesn’t know how to play so he attempts to purposely throw the game. Quite the gallant gesture from such a sweet guy. Although he quickly finds out Magnus is really a pool shark in disguise who easily clears the table letting Alec know he’s just been hustled by a pro.
Sparks fly between these two as their competitive spirits have a chance to shine. All in all the date is going remarkably well until the dreaded subject of exes comes up. Magnus you should have known better! Alec is a bit caught off guard and tries to change the subject but Magnus continues to press the issue until he discovers that Alec is even more inexperienced than he originally thought. It turns out Alec has never dated anyone at all, and Magnus is visibly shook. He guzzles down the entire contents of his martini and struggles to find the words to reassure Alec he isn’t “weirded out”, but the conversation is incredibly awkward.
Alec seems embarrassed by his lack of experience and says he doesn’t like to talk about “this” because he doesn’t want to feel there’s something wrong with him. He goes on to explain that growing up in the Institute he couldn’t have what he wanted. Not until Magnus came along. We know Alec was closeted for many years out of fear of being excommunicated by the Shadowhunter community for being gay. A topic that hasn’t been thoroughly discussed on the show but has been hinted at in previous episodes. We also know Alec had a crush on Jace for a number of years, but that one-sided infatuation wasn’t ever going to amount to anything either. So Alec comes to Magnus now completely inexperienced but apparently open to the possibility of finding love. Magnus’ reaction to the news was a little more difficult to read. He quickly tells Alec there’s nothing wrong with him but then goes on to say “you’re so innocent” in a way that some fans took as a put-down. Our opinion differed as we felt this was more of a reflection of Magnus’ own insecurities and the self-doubt he feels about being good enough to deserve Alec. Magnus knows what an incredibly important thing it is to be Alec’s first relationship. The expectations are so much higher and Magnus knows he has to tread lightly. Alec asks that Magnus not treat him any differently and Magnus reassures him that yes he is different, but it’s a good thing. The exchange is really sweet and genuine, Alec’s shyness is so very apparent as he avoids eye contact, but Magnus continues to draw him back into the conversation with his openness and honesty. An honesty that might have gotten him into a little bit of trouble as he recites a laundry list of former lovers, estimating his total at a whopping 17,000!
This number was definitely more than Alec bargained for. You can see his wheels turning as he tries to process the shocking information. Alec already feels the struggle inside himself to compete with “17,000 other memories” as he put it, a number that would even intimidate a more experienced lover. Magnus tries to remedy the situation by saying “I am who I am and you are who you are, and all the magic in the world can’t change that. So let’s just try to make the best of it.” Alec’s rapid blinking and shaky breath proved he wasn’t quite ready to let this go, but managed to respond with, “Sure”. During this entire scene we were screaming at our TVs for Magnus to tell Alec he was his first ever Shadowhunter! We wanted that line so desperately and we felt it would help Alec to feel more special. Followed by the famous, “You’re my first so many things.” It would have been so perfect. Our fingers are crossed this bit comes up in the next episode. Alec could really use the boost in confidence.
After what appears to have been a very quiet and awkward stroll back to the loft Alec admits his concern that he and Magnus are too different. Magnus isn’t surprised to hear the trepidation, knowing their conversation at the bar has had a great impact on Alec’s mood already. But the hurt and disappointment on his face as his back is turned from Alec breaks our hearts. They’ve come to a crossroads where a decision has to be made. At first it seems Alec is going to leave and Magnus doesn’t try to stop him. He wants Alec to follow his heart and make the right decision for himself, fitting perfectly of course with Magnus’ typical selflessness. Maybe part of him feels Alec should go, that he isn’t worthy of his love. But thankfully before Alec reaches the door he stops and realizes he doesn’t really want to go. He admits to himself and to Magnus that truthfully he doesn’t care how many people Magnus has been with in the past. Hooray!!! Magnus replies that he doesn’t care how many people Alec hasn’t been with. Double hooray!!! Time seems to stand still for a moment as they stand there and look at each other, the realization of both of their decisions crashing down with overwhelming reality.
Alec seizes the moment, showing tremendous bravery, and swoops in to kiss Magnus in what can only be described as a tender and loving admittance of his true feelings towards him. Feelings which are eagerly reciprocated by Magnus who has a look of almost disbelief in his eyes as he gazes upon this amazing, too good to be true person coming to him with an open heart.
Love was something Magnus had given up on centuries ago and you can see the joy in his eyes as he accepts that this is the start of something life changing. The exchange between the two of them is soft and beautiful, their lips lingering just a breath away from each other, relishing the perfect moment. A moment altogether much too brief as they are rudely interrupted by Jace barging into the loft without knocking, seeking a place to stay. Damn it Jace!!!
We here at ShumDario News obviously have a particular interest in the acting careers of Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario. Not just separately but how they work together as a team. This episode finally gave us a more significant amount of Malec screen time so we can really enjoy watching these two interact. Matthew brings to the table such a methodic and analytical style of acting, you can see the immense amount of preparation and thought he puts into every scene and line of dialogue. He’s quite the perfectionist and he takes his job very seriously with an almost scientific approach. The result is always a perfectly seamless portrayal of Alec who often times feels so genuine you wonder if Matthew is really acting at all. He embodies Alec with every fiber of his being which brings the character to life beyond the screen and right into our hearts. We feel we really know him and we find ourselves deeply invested in his story and his journey. Then on the other hand you have Harry, who in many ways is the complete opposite. His use of raw emotion produces a visceral response that can literally make us cry on command. With just a clench of his jaw or flutter of his eyelids we feel Magnus’ pain acutely. His eyes are so expressive his character’s thoughts and feelings are transmitted without saying a word. That’s because Harry uses his body as a communicative tool, no doubt from years of practice being a professional dancer. The way he moves through a scene is like its own line of dialogue. He has mastered the ability to make viewers feel things. Our team often discusses how each of Harry’s facial expressions tells a story. We think he draws from his own past and uses what he’s learned throughout his life to convey these deep gut wrenching feelings to the audience. He lives his life in a very open and honest way, sharing so many things with his fans, his approach to acting seems to carry much the same level of honesty and truth. When these two separately amazing actors come together they produce a magical chemistry on screen that captivates the audience and transcends their own individual characters. It really is something quite special. We’ve seen this happen throughout history with other legendary acting duos; Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, just to name a few. They all had something special, something organic that can’t really be defined or reproduced. That’s why every time Magnus and Alec are in a scene together our hearts stop beating. It’s much more than the fact that they are good looking, talented actors. Which of course they are. But we knew the first time we saw them together on screen in season one that this was something magical and rare. It’s the reason ShumDario News was created and we are dedicated to supporting their talents and sharing them with all of you!