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Shadowhunters - You Are Not Your Own - Advance Preview: "Mama"

Hi guys! I'm covering for Doug this week, and I'm sure we'll all miss him, but I'm really excited to bring you the preview for Monday's episode of Shadowhunters - 'You Are Not Your Own'.

Shadowhunters continues its run of strong episodes with another hour that delivers on budding relationships and the idea of family. Last week saw the introduction of Sebastian, the reveal of Jace and Clary not being related, and the body swap of Valentine and Magnus. This week's episode expands on all of the major plot points of last week's episode, whilst also finding time to introduce new ideas.

Major scenes this week involve team ups between Izzy and Simon, Alec and Imogen Herondale, and Clary and Sebastian.

Simon is still struggling with Raphael's threats, and enlists the help of Izzy in this episode to try and put a stop to them. Izzy ends up giving him advice, which sees the first appearance of a character previously referenced on the show. Izzy's help may actually not be all that helpful, but it is nice to see her and Simon team up, and in return Simon offers her a little advice of his own. Simon and Izzy had a few of the lighter moments this episode, even though they were dealing with some heavy material, and it was a nice contrast to the major dramatic material of the episode. Don't think that Izzy's struggle with addiction is all plain sailing or been put to bed though. A scene two-thirds through the hour shows she still has clear weaknesses even if she may appear to others not to have them.

Sebastian is introduced to more characters this episode, and once again he manages to make himself incredibly useful and act as a great support person for multiple main characters. It does all seem a bit good to be true, but I'm enjoying the fact that it really seems like they're going to commit to at least a half season, if not season-long arc for one of the most interesting characters that fans of the books will know of. There is a great scene between Clary and Sebastian outside Magnus' apartment that could really hint at future emotional depth between these two characters and may reveal a little bit more about hidden longings and emotions that the both of them may have.

Saving the best until last, Magnus and Valentine are 100% in each other's bodies, and it definitely isn't a Freaky Friday situation. This episode sees both of them struggle with not being themselves; Valentine, because he's trapped in a warlock's body, and that's probably worse than the ways in which the Clave have been 'interrogating' him, and Magnus, because people think he's Valentine, and that means he has to suffer all the consequences that come with being the man who threatens the existence of so many people and is currently a prisoner with secrets.

Both Harry Shum Jr (Magnus as Valentine) and Alan Van Sprang (Valentine as Magnus) shine in this episode, Van Sprang especially. I truly believed that it really was Magnus that was trapped inside Valentine's body, especially in the scenes that were shared between him and Matthew Daddario (Alec).

None of the characters trust Valentine, and rightly so, so you can just imagine the reaction Alec has when it appears as though Valentine is playing on his emotions and feelings for Magnus, by trying to convince him that he is indeed the man that he's in love with. Van Sprang truly commits to playing a terrified Magnus. This is a Magnus that we have never seen before, and whilst I am a little bit sad that we didn't see Shum Jr portraying this version of Magnus for the first time, it definitely opens the doors for Harry Shum Jr to truly dive into emotions and memories that Magnus has been keeping buried for centuries. Van Sprang is marvellous though. You can't say that he isn't. He plays a devastated, frightened Magnus so well; he has tremors, he cries, he talks like Magnus, and he even has the way that Harry Shum Jr says Alexander down pat. It's wonderful and it's heartbreaking, and even though it usually is Harry Shum Jr playing Magnus, it is so so very Magnus that it's just a testament to how good the actors are who play an equally good character.

We do see a quick turn from Harry Shum Jr as a bit of a villain, but it was a little too short for me, and there definitely seemed to be more of an emotional focus on Magnus.

In short, this is an excellent episode for providing material on multiple relationships, future possibilities, newly minted, and already established alike. What scenes are you most hoping to see in 'You Are Not Your Own'? Remember to tune in Monday at 8.00 on Freeform.

With that, I'm going to leave you with a few teasers...
- The Magnus flashbacks that were promised are glimpsed at, in a wonderfully edited and emotional scene.
- On the topic of family, a huge reveal comes near the end of the episode.
- There are two plot points from the books introduced.
- Izzy considers exploring the mundane side of life.
- Information is teased about off-screen developments between Magnus and Alec.
- One recurring character returns to offer guidance.

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