Ever since Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) developed an addiction to vampire venom — and consequently got Raphael (David Castro) hooked on shadowhunter blood — we've been keeping a close eye on this particular Shadowhunters ship.
Love is a drug, that's for sure, but it's been hard to tell whether Isabelle and Raphael have a genuine connection to each other, or whether their addiction is creating that closeness. The whole "can't eat, can't sleep, can't live without you" thing is definitely swoon-worthy, but less so when you realize that's usually an addict's mentality too.
"We didn't go full Sid and Nancy," executive producer Matt Hastings says,"But addiction and love are strange bedfellows because you can never really find that pure definition of where the grey line begins and ends. I think these characters are sophisticated enough to recognize the fact that they are addicted to each other, but as in all codependent relationships, is that addiction just purely chemical or is it emotional? We'll discover what that is as we move forward."
Monday's (June 26th) episode promises to bring that relationship back to the forefront of Isabelle's mind, when Raphael is brought into the Institute for a downworlder summit.
"There's going to come a point where a certain new character interferes between these two characters, and that's going to decide whether they stay together or don't stay together," Emeraude Toubia teases.
We hope Raphael and Isabelle do find a way to make it work, if only because we've just begun to explore what an asexual relationship looks like between these two.
In the first half of the season, Raphael confessed that while he is perfectly able to fall deeply in love, he's just not interested in sex as part of that dynamic. That added an interesting new element to an already complicated relationship, especially given that Isabelle has always been a very sexual character.
Hastings explained that the decision to include Raphael's sexual orientation was an easy one thank to the groundwork laid in the book.
"The fact is that our audience is either gay or straight or bi or trans or whatever, we just want to include every section as much as we can," Hastings says. "I think that asexuality really speaks to a section of the audience that is really important ... Clearly there is something between [Raphel & Isabelle], but it's not sexual. It's emotional, which is something that I think is quite beautifully rendered in the script."
Whether that connection will survive all the other obstacles in its way, we'll just have to wait and see.
With Izzy's mother also visiting the Institute during this episode and her brother trying to keep the Downworld from rising up against the Clave, tension will be running high in all aspects of her life.
Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8/7c on Freeform.