After a far too long hiatus Shadowhunters is finally back for its third season. The premiere already gave us a look at what the cast and crew promised for the show to be: more mature, darker and much scarier.

We’re back, bitches! Well, Shadowhunters is. We were here the whole time these past seven months, waiting for the new season, stills, literally any new material whilst metaphorically starving to….ANYWAY. New season! Lots of stuff that happened during the premiere! Let’s get into it, shall we?

After everything that happened in the season two finale – both Valentine and Jace dying, Jace coming back from the dead, Valentine not so much – you might think that the squad might finally get a break from all the chaos. Just a few relaxed moments maybe, so they can get some peace and quiet. But since this is Shadowhunters we’re talking about, they were not so lucky. It actually took the show only a few minutes for all hell to break loose. Quite literally.

The mother of all demons has arrived.

After Valentine’s demise at the end of the second season, the show needed a new villain – and she has arrived in all her evil glory. The very first scene of the premiere is actually her walking into an abandoned building and already hell-bent on carrying out whatever evil plan she came up with. We don’t know much about her so far (besides the fact that she is played by Anna Hopkins and probably the most powerful opponent Clary and her friends have ever had to fight against) but we love her already. Partly because she is so different from the villains we’ve had on the show so far. Valentine was always open with his anger, even Jonathan was somewhat similar to that – but Lilith seems to be an entirely new kind of evil. More calm and collected than her predecessors, but infinitely more dangerous. And that’s what makes her so interesting. Although she may not really have revealed her plan yet, you can feel that there’s a storm coming. And we can’t wait to see it break.

After this chilling introduction, the plot shifts to Idris, where we get to catch up with some already familiar faces. After two seasons of learning how to be a Shadowhunter, it is finally time for Clary to actually become one. Her rune ceremony is not that much different from Max Lightwood’s ceremony back in 2×08, except that there is a much bigger audience and she gets to have hers in the Gard in Alicante instead of the Institute. Saving the entire Shadow World certainly pays off. The camera joins the ceremony halfway through, and we get to see a very happy Clary, a very proud Jace and an Imogen who actually looks a little less disgruntled than she usually does. We suppose that’s her way of saying “Well done, Clary”. Or, you know, whatever comes closest to Imogen letting people know that they disappointed her slightly less than usual. If only she knew what Clary is keeping from her, and everyone else.

After the party in Alicante, it’s back to New York where we get to catch up with the pack – more specifically its leader who is in quite a bit of trouble as he has been ignoring Ollie as best as he could ever since the party at the Hunter’s Moon. But this time around, Ollie won’t let herself be fooled and confronts Luke about it. Or at least tries to, as Luke refuses to talk to her and prefers to hide behind the double doors to the kitchen at the Jade Wolf while Maia spies on Ollie through the windows.

We had so much fun watching this scene, but we also loved this less quirky, more serious side of Ollie. So far, we got to know her as Luke’s very smart, but a little bit too nosy partner with an odd fascination for supernatural beings. In this scene we learn where that fascination comes from and we loved Alexandra Ordolis’ performance in it. She brought up Ollie’s more vulnerable side by opening up about her backstory with the werewolves, but also made it very clear that Ollie won’t let anyone lie to her like that. We loved this new and more serious badass side to Ollie very much.

The darlings are alright…half of them at least.

It takes the new episode exactly eleven minutes to finally show us the outside view of an apartment building that we missed so much and let us catch up with another character we missed dearly over these past few months: Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of… well, actually no longer the High Warlock of anything. As a consequence to him supporting the Seelie Queen at the end of season two, Magnus got demoted and is no longer allowed to use his former job title. And he reacts to it just like you would expect Magnus to; by pretending it doesn’t faze him at all. This was a nice, yet a little sad parallel to season two, when Magnus just wouldn’t tell Alec how much the body swap with Valentine left him traumatized and acted all cheerful and quirky about it. Back then, all it took was some time for him to crack and it wasn’t any different in the new episode – which is a good thing. But more on that later.

If there is one perk of Magnus losing his job it is that he gets to see clients again – and we finally get to see the new set of his study that everyone has been talking about. The room looks great, just as stylish as the rest of Magnus’ apartment, but still somewhat different. The many jars, vials and ancient relics from Angel-knows-where are a nice reference to Magnus’ many sides – how much he has lived through; how much he has seen. Also, it was cool to see at least one of the rooms in his loft be a little more chaotic than others. However, that didn’t change the fact that we were worried about him – Alec and him had come so far, it was a bit weird for him not to tell Alec how he felt, if we’re being completely honest. But then again, it was probably just one of the many defense mechanisms that someone as experienced as Magnus probably can’t switch off that easily.

Magnus doesn’t remain the only one with news regarding his job. As we find out in the very same scene, Alec got offered a promotion. Of course we were excited about that opportunity for him, but what left us squealing was not the fact that Alec was finally getting the professional recognition he deserved, but the fact that Magnus was the first person he told about this. At this point last season, it would have been Izzy or Jace whom he would have gone to first with news like this – but he chooses to tell his boyfriend before anyone else. Excuse us, but our hearts are positively bursting with love for these two and with awe of the progress they’ve made.

If you already think that this scene is too much cuteness to handle, open up that scene on YouTube, scroll forward until the sequence where Magnus says “I thought this was what you always dreamed of” and then pay attention to Alec’s eyes and his tone when he replies. The list of deaths caused by Malec cuteness in this team is long enough already, but this tiny little moment killed us all once again.

Family matters.

The news about Alec’s possible new job as a delegate on the council is a welcome distraction for Magnus to steer Alec’s focus away from his own demotion. But just a few scenes later, we learn how Magnus really feels about it. And boy, is he angry. And hurt. And disappointed and even more angry at his replacement. We don’t get to see Lorenzo Rey (Javier Muñoz) in the premiere episode, but judging from what we have heard so far and especially from how Magnus reacted to him being the new High Warlock, we are in for a treat.

What we do see, however, is a really sweet moment between Magnus and Raphael. Raphael asks Magnus for some vampire tranquilizer and tells him that due to Rosa’s condition getting worse, he is unable to sleep. This was where Magnus proved once again that Raphael really is like a son to him. We adore Magnus’ caring side and the way he loves his Downworlder friends like family. Magnus and Raphael both are powerful and confident leaders, but in this scene, nobody was around and we got a rare glimpse at what their relationship is really like besides the professional aspect – they are like father and son to each other. Whatever was left of our hearts at this point, it melted away with the sad, but sweet hug they shared at the end of their scene.

Speaking of proving stuff – this scene also made another thing very clear: that there is probably nobody in this world who can move as gracefully as Harry Shum Jr. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – getting Harry to play Magnus really was one of the best decisions the casting directors ever made. We adore the way he dives into the character, how he puts his everything into it and even paid special attention when he came up with Magnus’ signature movements and motions in all their vibrant glory. It really is the little things that make a character who they are – in Magnus’ case, the little flourishes, gestures and on-point turns on his heel are a part of that just as much as Magnus’ witty nature or his beautiful outfits.

Another really sweet family moment happens not much later when Luke and Clary are going on a walk together. As a fully-trained Shadowhunter, Clary got to pick her personal weapon this episode and the two daggers she chose have much more history than all of us expected, as they are her parents’ former weapons. We are always here for Luke and Clary getting to spend some (step)father/daughter time together, but this one was especially moving. As Luke tells Clary the story about those daggers, you can see it in their eyes how much they mean to each other. It’s actually during that talk with Luke that Clary almost cracks and tells him the truth about what happened at Lake Lyn – if only Luke’s phone didn’t disturb the moment. Ollie, we love you, but you should definitely work on your timing.

Unfortunately, Clary and Luke’s sweet heart-to-heart moment doesn’t last all that long, since Ollie got herself in big trouble and could use some help. While tracking down Lilith’s pediatrician-turned-demon lackey Tim Dempsey, she followed him to the “Church of Talto”, Lilith’s home base, where Tim eventually attacks her and knocks her out. Luke and Clary come in, but Tim gets Luke pretty badly and so it’s up to Clary to save the day. Which, we have to hand it to her, she really excels at. All those hours with Jace and Izzy in the training room at the Institute really payed off. She’s a lot more confident with her fighting, more sure and also pretty lethal, as Tim soon learns.

But before she kills him off, we get to see a pretty cool fighting scene – and learn that the cast and crew were not the only ones that got to work with a bigger budget for season three. There are a lot of special effects going on in this scene, and the rest of the episode as well. From Tim turning into some weird fly-demon, over Clary using her sparkling sunlight rune more often and the stunts being more complex and also cooler to watch, the Shadowhunters special effects department really upped their game this season. They already did a great job for season two, but we still love this new development.

The cons of being a Daylighter.

With all this exciting new stuff happening, we almost forgot that there was still one big question from the season two finale remaining unanswered: What on earth happened after Simon returned to the Seelie Court?

Well, not much, apparently. When we see him again towards the end of the episode, he’s playing a little tune on his guitar for the Seelie Queen and her court. As expected, the queen loves it – but how could you not when Alberto’s voice sounds so great?

Anyway, the peace in “Seelieville” (we love the rare appearances of nerdy season one Simon!) doesn’t last all too long. As soon as Simon is done with playing his song, the queen has Meliorn and a couple of other guards drag him to the Wander Woods. And this, as always when these woods are involved, is where things go downhill. Fast. The Queen literally has Meliorn brand Simon with some sort of mark before suddenly letting him leave and go back to New York. Judging from what we’ve seen of the queen so far, this can’t mean anything good. Also, that line “…everyone around you will be dead, dead, dead” didn’t help much to calm our nerves either.

At least we get a really sweet reunion scene between Simon and Maia, who has been worried sick about Simon just vanishing and not letting her know where he went. In true Maia fashion, she gives him a piece of her mind right away and thankfully, Simon knows better than to lie to her. So he simply tells her the truth about where he went and that he made a deal with the Seelie Queen to protect Maia – which leads to an incredibly cute smile from Maia and us swooning over how adorable the two of them are.

Communication is key.

Speaking of adorable – after that sweet Saia scene gave us life, of course Magnus and Alec have to come in and kill us once again. They are at the Hunter’s Moon, playing pool, when Alec quite directly approaches the topic of Magnus lying to him about how not being High Warlock anymore affected him. Finally, Magnus caves and tells Alec why he did it – he didn’t want Alec to see him being so hurt and distressed. This leads to Alec being the insanely sweet and caring boyfriend that he is and telling Magnus that he doesn’t “have to hide how he feels. Especially not with me.”   

We really are in awe of how far these two have come. Two years ago, Alec wouldn’t even do so much as look at Magnus in order to prevent people from finding out that he’s gay, and now he’s in a happy relationship with a Downworlder, changing the Shadow World for the better day by day. Magnus and Alec make each other so happy and still, they make the effort and put in the time to talk about their issues and get whatever is bothering either of them out of the way. We are so proud of them for their progress and can’t wait to see what season three has in store for them. Although… considering this is Shadowhunters, it’s probably nothing good. Anyway, let us have this moment of sappiness, will you?

Exciting opener for the new season

The wait between season two and season three really felt like it would never end, but now Shadowhunters is back and it really has upped its game. The first episode of season three continued the showrunner’s quest to make the show more mature and a whole lot darker. It gave us a glimpse at some of the horror elements that the cast and crew have already promised and we got to know the first of what seem to be quite a lot of interesting new characters this season. Episode 3×01 set the tone for a dark, maybe even slightly scary season with more character development, relationship issues, sweet moments and emotional ones – and a badass new villain. 3×01 was a solid start, we are excited to see where the next 19 episodes will take us.