Shadowhunters episode 7, “How Are Thou Fallen”, aired this past Monday night on Freeform heavily billed as a major Malec relationship milestone. Eager fans were counting the minutes to see what would happen between their beloved OTP, Magnus Bane and Alexander Lightwood, on the heels of their first date in the previous episode. Several media outlets were also reporting the big event including a fantastic article in Out Magazine with exclusive photos of Magnus and Alec sharing some romantic time together. Saying the fandom was worked into a frenzy would be putting it mildly.
Our first sight of Malec in this episode comes just after the opening credits when a shimmering portal inside Magnus’ loft quickly expels a smiling Alec and Magnus, arms laden with packages.
Just back from a whirlwind trip through Tokyo and Prague, both men sport beaming smiles as they gush over their fun adventure. The scene is full of adorable moments and witty banter between the two, culminating in a heart melting display of affection when Alec gives Magnus a gift.
Tossing the gift bag behind him with a flourish, Magnus finds an Omamori, which is a Japanese amulet commonly sold at religious sites. Alec proudly tells him it will “bring you luck and protection”… Isn’t that so sweet? Magnus is openly taken aback, his genuine shock reiterating just how much he’s been denied even the smallest token of thoughtfulness from anyone over the years. Harry Shum Jr. once again grabbed our hearts with his expressive eyes, he does it with such ease we relish these close-up shots to bask in the emotion he projects.
It’s a beautiful moment between the two. Alec is so proud of himself, you can see his growing confidence reflected in his pure and joyous smile. It’s just a pleasure to witness him finally embracing his true self after so many years. ** Matthew Daddario** has made a noticeable shift in his portrayal of the formerly closed off Shadowhunter, allowing the audience to celebrate Alec’s coming out with the honor and respect it deserves!
What was sure to be a beautiful kiss between them is rudely interrupted yet again this week by Jace and his “guest”, for lack of a better term, giggling from the other room. Damn it Jace! Magnus remedies the issue by magically turning on some background music and we’re left hopeful they’ll be able to find some alone time despite their impolite and vulgar roommate.
Our concerns are then laid to rest as we cut to Magnus and Alec enjoying some beautiful tender kisses outside on the balcony. Magnus laying back into the crook of Alec’s arm, surrounded by candles and a twinkling NYC skyline, they both seem completely at ease just enjoying some precious time together. Unfortunately Alec’s phone rings and he’s called away to the Institute. (Insert Malec fandom groans) Magnus tells him, “Go do your job Shadowhunter,” and the scene is over before we even get started. But thankfully we can rewind, pause, and repeat, which has become a fairly common practice for fans who want to enjoy these all too brief Malec interactions. Magnus is so happy in this scene it’s like a breath of fresh air. His poise mixed with the pure essence of romantic satisfaction that’s literally bleeding through the screen makes us giddy. He watches Alec go with such a look of love in his eyes, we can feel he’s falling hard for his “Alexander” and our hearts are falling right along with him.
After leaving Magnus’ side Alec chooses to fetch his Parabatai from his “den of sin” and drag him back to the Institute for work. Jace seems none too thrilled and his “guest” even has the nerve to invite Alec to join them. Yuck! Whatever inner struggle Jace is currently going through as he battles his feelings for Clary, he seems to be delving deep into his darker side. Thankfully Alec just has no time for it, telling Jace “this isn’t you.” We feel a million miles away from where these two were at in the end of episode 3. But we’re happy to see Alec stand up and demonstrate the integrity his Parabatai is sorely lacking. We love Alec as a role model and a voice of reason. He’s really showing his knack for true leadership, much different than the Alec we saw in the books. Different in a good way though, and Matthew’s take on this new confidence is refreshing.
Magnus Bane sitting at a bar sipping a cocktail is so iconic. We absolutely adored his scene with Maia at the Hunter’s Moon when he opens up to her about his gift from “someone special”. You can see the look of hope in his eyes as he holds the Omamori and contemplates his feelings for Alec. When you think about how poorly Magnus has been treated and how bitter and jaded he should be about love it’s amazing he’s able to open himself up to anyone at all. Especially a Shadowhunter, since they have been the ones most often using Magnus for his powers.
While sitting at the bar Magnus spots Isabelle coming in and talking to a shady drug dealer. Of course we know she’s after yin fen and Magnus seems to pick up on her unusual behavior pretty quickly. Even after she makes up excuses he still looks skeptical. We loved watching Magnus confront Rufus and assert his authority as High Warlock of Brooklyn! Harry does a fantastic job showing us this strong, dominant side of Magnus. It’s totally believable that he’d leave the bad guys shaking in their shoes and we’d love to see more of that in 2B!
Possibly inspired by his hot balcony make-out sesh with Magnus, or perhaps it was walking in on Jace getting freaky with a Seelie, Alec seeks out his sister Isabelle for some advice. At first she is visibly nervous when Alec tells her he wants to talk about Magnus. She’s worried Magnus has told him about her strange behavior at the bar. But Alec goes on to ask a much different question. He asks her how he will know when it’s the right time to have sex. (Can you hear the fandom screams echoing through the universe?) Isabelle is relieved and also excited for her brother. She reassures him that he and Magnus care about each other and he shouldn’t overthink it like he always does. Alec seems excited by her vote of confidence and heads back to the loft with a spring in his step.
Once he arrives he quickly determines if they are alone then launches himself at Magnus, grabbing his face in his hands to kiss him eagerly.
Magnus is totally caught off guard. He pulls away to question what has brought on this sudden and very out of character advance, to which Alec responds that he’s ready to take the next step.
The “sex step,” Magnus confirms and Alec is visibly very enthusiastic. This is where things get interesting. Magnus pulls himself back from Alec and admits he hasn’t felt this way about someone in a long time and he’s worried if they rush into having sex he might lose him. Alec asks why, and Magnus admits that he feels vulnerable. Now why you may ask would Magnus say this? Well perhaps he’s had past experiences with people ditching him after things get intimate. There’s really no way of knowing for sure. But regardless of the reason Magnus’ feelings are valid. Alec smiles and quickly disagrees with the concerns by saying, “Magnus, you have nothing to worry about, I want this.” Then he grabs hold of Magnus’ shirt and pushes him into the bedroom.
And that’s the end of the scene. Queue the fandom and their extremely intense reactions with everything from rage, to sadness, to confusion, and everything in between. It’s hard to say why the show runners felt this was the appropriate spot to cut the scene. Or why they thought Alec saying “I want this,” was the fitting dialogue. But whatever their reasons this was all we had to work with. This heavily billed Malec-centric episode, promising “Malec fans will be over the moon” and “Malec mania” fell very, very flat with fans who were expecting a much different outcome. Many people questioned Magnus’ consent to have sex was shown, since he didn’t respond verbally and was pushed from view so hastily. Others felt the “fade to black” was grossly unfair compared to Jace’s fairly graphic sex scene earlier in the episode as well as several other sex scenes that took place in previous episodes. Terms such as “homophobia” were used by many and spread through social media like wildfire. Many fans were demanding someone answer for these injustices. Show runners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer quickly took to social media to try and address some of the issues, but fans were still left with questions as to exactly what happened between Alec and Magnus. Did they or didn’t they?
Episode 8 might just be the most anticipated episode in Shadowhunters history. Everyone wants to know if we’ll see on screen what happened between Magnus and Alec. Will we pick up where we left off with them? Or will it possibly be the next morning? Or even a bigger time jump? Nobody knows. Whatever happens we here at ShumDario News just hope fans can feel some sort of positive resolution after being left with so many unanswered questions this past week. The show has an opportunity, and many would say a responsibility, to prove same-sex couples can have equal time and fair treatment. This is not only important to the fans but to the LGBT community as well. Be sure to tune in Monday night, February 20th at 8:00 PM EST on Freeform to see what happens!