Hello and welcome back to the Shadowhunters recaps!

For this one I’ve decided to take a somewhat different approach to indicating the scene or setting has changed. This is partly to make it easier to follow and partly because there’s only so many ways I can say ‘and then they were in this place’ before it gets tiring to read. So be sure to let me know which you prefer!

Also, because I didn’t mention it last time; for those new to the series, a stele in this universe is not a honking great stone tablet but a little crystal-topped wandy thing the Shadowhunters use to burn/draw runes onto themselves. A couple of my friends pointed out last time that I didn’t explain, so I just wanted to clear that up for any newcomers.

As before, all screenshots are either taken by me or from Screencapped.net I also took longer quotes from Springfield! Springfield! so thanks to them as well.

——

[Scene: Institute Courtyard, Night]
Skipping past the pre-episode recap, we resume where we left off with Clary being arbitrarily forced to choose between a jerk and a jerkwad. Clary doesn’t take my advice and run for the hills, and instead decides to bring Simon into the Institute while he protests that she shouldn’t be so quick to trust this “this Mick Jagger looking guy”.

Pardonne moi?

???

Simon, honey, I think your prescription might need an update.

Rapier Twit: 1

I’d also like to make a small amendment to the previous recap. As I’ve come to learn, the Institute exterior shots are not the University of Toronto but the Metropolitan United Church. If I’m going to give out trivia, I may as well get it right!

[Cut: Inside the Institute]
We’re presumably seeing the place from Simon’s point of view because the place is deserted and long-abandoned looking. Because God knows, abandoned buildings are never torn down or renovated, especially not in heavily populated areas where space is at a premium.

Shoddy World Building: 1 Yeah, I know it was in the books too. It’s still bad here and they should have fixed it.

Jace burns a rune into his arm and there’s a really forced no homo moment, a no homoment if you will, as he grabs Simon’s arm while the latter struggles and says ”I’m not your type, man!”. Sigh.

Rapier Twit: 1

Jace, as established last episode, gives no fucks whatsoever about personal space and holds onto Simon in order to… spread his rune’s effect?

This just raised a whole pile of questions for me. I’m genuinely curious as to whether this was a rune to share the Sight, if it was a normal rune but holding Simon’s hand while it was freshly applied made it transferable, if Shadowhunters can somehow channel their runic powers to mundanes via contact, or if this is permanent for either of them. Initially, I thought he’d used the ‘Voyance/Sight’ one but canonically all Shadowhunters are meant to have that on their dominant hands already, and it doesn’t look a damn thing like it anyway. In fact, the closest looking rune I could find in official materials was the ‘Accuracy’ rune and that was still off. I searched for about three days straight to find out what rune this was, and no luck. The fact we don’t get a good look at it did not help.

Shoddy World Building: 1

Whatever it is or how it works, it does work and the camera flies up the hallway as bits of ceiling and paintings and things start flying into place and fixing themselves like Mary Poppins is the interior designer, and the main room is now populated with tech and random Shadowhunters once again. In a touch I find kinda neat, one of the random Shadowhunters has the ‘Calm Anger’ rune drawn super big on her arm. Hee!
Simon is suitably impressed and confused.


Simon: Clary, is there a war going on I don’t know about?
Jace: There is now.

Why, did the war only begin just as Simon walked in the door?

Rapier Twit: 1 I am officially extending this count to bad one-liners too.

Jace heads over to the main screen – lucky how no one else in this crowded place needs to use it right now – and shows a police officer is at the door now. Simon proceeds to not be chill about anything but in a way that gets right under my skin. Like, dude, there’s no need to pooh-pooh the idea of demons when you saw a dude and a dead body appear out of thin air not even two minutes ago, and maybe calling the ”cold-blooded killer” that to his face is a bad idea?

Not that Jace helps, of course, because Heaven forbid he not be a snot towards those silly mundanes, even the police that are currently at the front door.

Jace: The wards will deter them. And the NYPD will do their typical mundie thing for a few hours and then the area will be clear.

There is literally a dead body outside, dude. That shit would lead to the area being cordoned off in real life, not the NYPD’s Helpful Clean-Up Service.

Also, this is totally unrelated but the Institute security cameras have crappy quality. There’s like some overexposed blue filter thing going on, and I’m pretty sure the camera would have to be literally floating two feet away from the door arch to be at that angle.

I don’t know if this is better or worse than the blue wireframe Google Map thing they’ve got going on.

Alec comes over to complain about Simon being there. I instantly relate to him a little more.

They explain about the Circle member following Simon to find Clary, and Simon is, understandably, confused as to what a Circle member is or why they’d want to kill Clary. But the boys are about as much use as a bag of socks in a hurricane in that department.

Jace: All we know is… a long time ago, the Circle led a revolt. A lot of Shadowhunters got killed. Including my father.
Alec: And since the revolt, we’ve been forbidden to even hear about the Circle.

Yes, apparently there’s a knowledge embargo on anything Circle-related to the point of the youngest generation knowing nothing apart from ‘it happened’. Because when has a group or nation being unable to learn from their mistakes a bad thing, right?

Shoddy World Building: 1 Even if the Clave wanted to do this, I doubt they could. This is purely to facilitate writing.

Clary is about as confused as I am about this, but is somehow convinced with a terrible rebuttal from Jace.

Jace: Says the girl who didn’t know she was a Shadowhunter.

Jace, dude, bro, I know you don’t know the full situation, but what you should know is that it’s entirely possible for an exiled Shadowhunter to have Nephilim kids that are raised in mundane society without any knowledge of demons and whatever, and that being Nephilim doesn’t actually guarantee you’ll have the Sight anyway.

For this knowledge blackout to work, every single Shadowhunter over the age of, say, sixteen at the time of the revolt had to keep their traps shut. Even if there’s only a million of them, that’s a lot of people!

Clary doesn’t care about the stupid whys or hows though, she cares about results, dammit, and this whole ‘speak not of the Circle’ bullshit kind of stops her finding her mother. We also get a nice shot of Isabelle in a headset doing computer things in a serious manner. Again, like the forensics mention last episode, it’s basically nothing but I still like it.

According to Jace, Jocelyn being missing in action is not a problem and he starts to lead Clary somewhere before stopping because Simon was coming along too. There’s a nice moment where Clary declares that she and Simon are a ”package deal”

Jace, I’m pretty sure, lies about there being runes all over the training room floor that would kill ”[Clary’s] Mundie boyfriend”. I think he’s lying because why would they put runes on the floor, at least ones that would kill people just by proximity? But maybe I’m just overestimating Shadowhunter intelligence.

Our “Heroes”: 1 Because I am 99% sure he’s lying.

The ‘mundie boyfriend’ remark is, of course answered with the most cliché thing the writers could think of.

Clary: He’s not my-
Simon: I’m not, like-
Jace: [Disbelieving look]
Simon: We’re, uh, just friends.
Clary: Best friends.

Cringe Chemistry: 1

At least Clary’s firmness at the end was actually kind of sweet? Also, as much as I hate to say it, I frigging love Jace’s completely disbelieving look at Simon. He doesn’t buy that boys ‘just a friend’ schtick for a second, as he shouldn’t.

Simon insists that ”[he’s] tough [and] can handle runes” as he sissy-slaps Jace’s shoulder then flaps his hand because he apparently sissy-slapped too hard and hurt himself.

Jace’s ‘are you being serious right now’ face has not changed (except perhaps to grow more disbelieving) and is still incredibly relatable. Frankly, I’m impressed at his self-control for not rolling his eyes back into his skull when Simon follows this wonderful display of manliness all by asking what runes are.

Rapier Twit: 1

You know, the use of Simon as an audience stand-in like this, being the one to ask the questions the rest know the answers to, really makes me wonder why Clary had to be totally in the dark. She could have just as easily been somewhat informed and we’d miss nothing because Simon fulfils the exact same purpose.

Isabelle answers before Jace does, presumably to spare me anymore of Simon trying to show off, and informs him that runes ”give Shadowhunters [their] demon-fighting powers”, which is debateable but whatever, and uses her stele to reveal the really large ‘Angelic Power’ rune on her arm.

Simon stares dumbfoundedly and says ”So hot,” loud enough for pretty much everyone to hear because he’s got the brain of a fruit fly, and tries to cover his blunder by saying he was talking about the rune instead.

Cringe Chemistry: 1

Apparently inept dorks really do it for her because Isabelle seems to take a shine to him and prowls over to take care of Simon while Clary and Jace are busy. In the background, Alec has either checked out mentally or is trying to psychically kill Simon with the sheer force of distaste, it’s hard to tell.

We get a joke at the expense of Isabelle and her cooking skills because of all the godamn book element for the show to keep, I’m sure the one mocking the confident, competent female character for being bad at a traditional feminine skill was so necessary. She handles it better than I do and doesn’t kick Jace in the nuts, instead introducing herself and Alec, who really must have checked out because he does not react at all.

Because he is our designated Dork, Simon awkwardly shakes Isabelle’s hand instead of kissing it. Then he continues to drool over her in a way that instantly invalidates his so-called crush on Clary, which includes basically blowing off her concern with ”Go on, I’ll be fine.” while staring at Isabelle’s tits. And just for good measure, we have another jab at Isabelle’s cooking from Jace before him and Clary head to the training room. Christ.

Rapier Twit: 3

[Scene: An underground parking lot.]
[Music: Street Clothes Feat. Voli by Marz Ferrer]

A warlock (ie, a normal-looking hipster just with horns) wanders along, listening to his MP3 player while being stalked by the same black lady we saw with a white guy threatening Luke last episode. This character is actually called Midori and she is played by Mouna Traoré.

The warlock doesn’t notice her despite the fact that she’s wearing heels so loud I can literally hear them over the music, so she grabs him and demands to know where Magnus Bane is. She just seems so happy while doing it too!

The Old Spice levels rise as Luke comes out of nowhere (no really, was he just hiding under a car?) and shoves her against a jeep, but she keeps up her cheery grin while telling him he’s a traitor and all that good stuff instead of answering his questions about Valentine’s purpose in sending her after a warlock. Hipster Warlock flees.

Luke takes her insults well, by which I means he slams her onto the jeep’s bonnet and says mockingly that ”[Circle] membership is dwindling” and she accuses him of killing someone called Konrad. It took me a good while to remember who Konrad was even supposed to be but turns out he was the guy who was with her at the police station to hassle Luke and also the guy who attacked Clary at the end of last episode. He was played by Wesley French.

You know, what was the point of naming these characters when no one actually calls them by their names enough for it to sink in in, not even the subtitles? At that point just name them Minions 1 and 2 and be done with it instead of trying to pretend they are anything other than authorial pawns.

Luke tells her that he didn’t kill him but that she should tell him what he wants to know ”so [she] doesn’t end up in a morgue like [her] boyfriend”.

Our “Heroes”: 1

I know she’s evil and all but dude. There’s just something very unpleasant about watching a supposedly sympathetic character gloat at someone over a loved one’s death.

As you’d expect, Midori takes some offence to this and she attempts to kick the shit out of Luke. Since he’s a recurring secondary character with plot relevance and she is not, it doesn’t go too well for her. She gets the upper hand for all of a second and draws her seraph blade before we cut to a discretion shot of the jeep and hear squelchy noises as Luke transforms and kills her so hard it slams the jeep out from the wall.

Our “Heroes”: 1 Not for killing her so much as the brutality of it.

[Scene: The Institute, Training Room]

We go back to Clary and Jace and the first thought that came to my mind as was ‘why does this training room have a tile floor’. The second was ‘why does this training room have a glass wall’.

Shoddy World Building: 1

Clary comments on the two people currently sparring and so we are introduced to Hodge Starkweather, played by John Cor, and he is fucking banging, guys, like godamn. He’s got this weird hot roadie thing going on! Apparently he was always meant to be mid to late thirties, with Geriatric Hodge being just a movie-specific choice, and this is closer how Clare always imagined him. Not sure if I believe that, but that’s what she says now the show is popular.

Jace gives us an infodump on Hodge while the latter spars with a generic Shadowhunter lady. Similar to the book, he was part of the Circle but ”repented” after the Uprising and became a weapons trainer (rather than a general tutor) to make amends but he’s forbidden to ever leave the Institute.

We see a bit of special effect blur as Hodge cuts the other Shadowhunter’s staff into thirds, which seems very irresponsible for a weapons trainer. Fight pretty much over, she buggers off and Clary and Jace go to talk to Hodge while he’s putting his shirt back on. Hodge immediately mistakes her for Jocelyn.

Spoiler; we see a younger Jocelyn later on and she does not look very much like Katherine McNamara and especially not enough to mistake the two.

As an aside, I realised recently that Jace’s hair really reminds of me of a Turian’s crest from Mass Effect and it’s honestly a little distressing.

Clary is as confused about Hodge mistaking her for Jocelyn as I am and clarifies that Jocelyn Fray is her mother. He tells her that ”she was Jocelyn Fairchild when [he] knew her […] and she was one of [his] best friends.” Clary gasps.

Clary: She’s been kidnapped! By someone named Valentine and his men!
Jace: By the Circle, Hodge.
Hodge: But that’s impossible. Valentine’s dead, and the Circle died with him.

Of course it did. Because a tight-knit group of zealots with surviving members that still ardently believe in their cause would just give up and not seek revenge or anything. I won’t ding it though, since we already know Valentine is alive and therefore could have deliberately had the Circle go into hiding.

As Hodge mentions the Circle, the brand on his neck glows red and starts sizzling and he yells in pain.

Yes, apparently this is how the Clave enforces its whole information blackout. A really painful branding that doesn’t actually stop them talking about the Circle. That’s not nearly as effective as the show seems to think, especially for a group of people who did or do their shit kicked in on a regular basis.

Shoddy World Building: 1

Clary wins points with me by immediately insisting they can’t torture Hodge for information, but Hodge pushes through the crispy neck sizzle to tell her what he can, that the leader was Valentine Morgenstern, they thought he just wanted to protect humans and didn’t realise how far he was willing to go, and that most of humanity would have died if they had carried out his plan. He has to stop several times to keep pushing himself through the pain and Clary and Jace are both visibly uncomfortable with the situation, which is nice compared to Jace’s utter sociopathy and Clary’s selfishness in the books.

Clary still doesn’t understand what this has to do with Jocelyn until Hodge spells it out for her that Jocelyn was a Circle member too and then her horrified face takes us right into the opening credits.

[Opening Credits Song: This Is The Hunt by Ruelle ]

On a complete tangent, imagine what a smart villain could do with something like that brand. Like, they would have a symbol of the Clave’s cruelty on their neck for everyone to see. All they’d have to do is talk about how the Circle were actually the good guys, throw in some vague details, just enough to trigger the branding, and bam! Sympathy from the younger crowd who have no idea you’re full of shit because their dumbass elders never told them!

Hell, most of those kids probably grew up without their parents because of the first revolt, and are extra impressionable! They’re just waiting to be recruited!

Anyway.

We pick back up where we left off with Clary’s horror that her mother was a Shadowhunter Nazi, but Hodge, who is looking and sounding mighty tearful now, is quick to reassure her that the important thing about Jocelyn is that she left the Circle, and that none of it matters anyway because Valentine’s been crispy-fried dead for years. This prompts another sizzle from his brand and he collapses into Jace’s arms. Clary insists again they can’t torture him but Jace asks Hodge if he understands that they don’t have a choice while still watching him like he’s afraid Hodge’s about to pass out. It’s a nice little touch, I think, of the emotions vs duty dichotomy that pops up again later.

Hodge does understand, of course, and exposits that ”Valentine nearly destroyed the Shadow world and humanity along with it. If he’d gotten the Cup-”. Clary puts two and two together immediately and realises that this Cup might been what Jocelyn hid, and the two guys promptly tell her that the Mortal Cup is the most important artefact in the Shadow world since it can either create more Shadowhunters (big whoop) or control demons.

Shoddy World Building: 1 I know it’s in the original books but why the heck can the angel cup control demons? Even the stupid sword had to be corrupted for that function, but it’s apparently a built in thing with the Cup.

Hodge’s reaction to Clary’s realisation is essentially ‘if that’s what your mom hid, she is fuuuucked’ before the sizzling drops him to the floor. Clary’s on the verge of tears as she apologises, and so’s Hodge as he apologises to her because ”[Jocelyn] was only trying to protect you. And now you must protect her. Stop Valentine, before he destroys us all.”

That is not the face of someone who is taking this well.

Clary legs it out of the training room impressively fast for a girl in knee length high-heeled boots (Kat McNamara, give me your skills) and Jace follows her, leaving Hodge on the ground. I was going to give an ‘Our Heroes’ point here but on a rewatch, Hodge actually pushes Jace to go after her. I like it.

[Cut: Entrance Corridor]

Jace grabs Clary’s wrist to pull her back from leaving and tells her to calm down. I knew the likeability couldn’t last.

Clary: Calm down? Really, really calm down? Okay, Jace, you might be some kind of emotionless G.I. Joe, but-
Jace: What’s a G.I. Joe?
Clary: A soldier who doesn’t understand human emotions. Who doesn’t know what it’s like to lose someone, to lose your own mother.

And here was me thinking it was a kid’s toy with action grip.

Our “Heroes”: 1

Clary, did you miss the bit where he literally said that his father died during the Uprising?

Jace’s been kind of a callous dickweed, but godamn. I’d ding this twice except I can see where she’s coming from; despite his concern for Hodge he was still saying the torture had to be done for info, and he’s been mostly all casual and cocky which, to anyone riding the emotional rollercoaster like she is, feels like they’re an uncaring prick.

But still.

We’re keeping with the ‘Shadowhunter don’t know nothing about no mundane thingummywuts’, I see. The fuckers have smartphones now, this whole thing of them knowing sweet fuck all about the Lightworld or whatever it’s actually called doesn’t fly as well as in the books and it flew about as well as a pigeon with two severed wings there.

Jace: You’re right. I never knew my mother.
Clary: [dawning look of ‘ohshit I’m a jerk’ on her face] I-I didn’t know.
Jace: That’s precisely my point. You don’t know anything about this. You don’t know about me, you don’t know about my life-
Clary: [sighs]
Jace: -but in the Shadow world, no training and no plan gets you killed.

I’ll tell you guys right now that reasonable Jace doesn’t last, but I really do enjoy him when he exists. No idea what Jace’s life has to do with a plan, mind, but I’ll still take it.

This gets through to Clary and she leans against a wall, repeating what we learnt two minutes ago about Jocelyn. Jace hopefully asks if maybe Jocelyn does have the Cup, or if Clary does know something since she has drawn runes and things before. Clary gets annoyed again and insists that’s it’s all just ”empty blackness”, which is all Jace needs to hear before coming to the conclusion her memory’s been wiped. I don’t know if this is him being competent or the writers needing to push the plot along.

Clary automatically denies it on the basis of it being impossible before just as quickly realising that it may not be. Jace fills her in on the existence of warlocks, ”Immortal beings, they’re half-demon, half-human. Sometimes their fingers spark.” Sherwood says those lines in that kind of voice you get when you know the other person knows the thing you’re talking about so you keep throwing out various details to try jog their memory and feeling annoyed about it.

From this, Clary realises Dot must be one because she created the Portal, and if they find the real her, they could learn where the Cup and/or her mother is. Jace points out Dot could be working for Valentine, and Clary just says confidently, ”Even better, she’ll lead us right to him,” before strutting off to find Simon, no fucks given.

[Establishing shot of the Brooklyn Bridge at night]
[Scene: Fray Apartment, Clary’s Room]

Luke’s standing in the burnt-out ruins, packing things like a little copper statuette and an ornate white stone mask into a cardboard box. They don’t much look teen girly but they are pretty artsy and she was raised around antiques, so I guess it makes sense. Luke turns to pick up something else then whips around, gun at the ready, as Dot walks through the door.

Dot! Hi, Dot! How the fuck are you alive and even if different clothes, Dot!

The following conversation is pretty much ‘Where’s Clary?’ ‘I was working, I thought you had her.’ ‘Well I got thrown through a window, I thought you had her’

Still no word on how she survived said defenestration, but we do learn that Dot glamoured the house, which is why no police have showed up, and that Luke is taking Clary’s stuff to the police station so no one can track her, including Dot herself. There’s a close-up of the Ace of Cups tarot card as Luke puts it in the box.

Dot gets offended and decides Magnus Bane can help. Luke tells her that she can’t trust anyone, and she rather huffily says ”You’re right,” and leaves. Luke looks like he just got kicked by a puppy.

[Scene: Institute, Isabelle’s Room]

Damn nice room but the view is ruined by the jittery Simon on the bed. Isabelle comes in with a tray of wine (or maybe juice) in tumblers, and I think burnt toast and bowls of what looks like colourless polenta. As she sits down in the bed with him, Simon opens up the conversation by asking what happens when a human is runed.

Isabelle: [Blasé] Usually they die. Sometimes they go crazy. When that happens, we call them the Forsaken. Then we kill them.
Simon: [Barely hidden horror] Right. So the rune on Clary’s neck?
Isabelle: A healing rune. Jace used it to save her life.
Simon: So Jace knew she was a Shadowhunter?
Isabelle: [Mildly affronted] He was almost certain.

Uh, no. Jace clearly was certain Clary’s a Shadowhunter, and why the heck are you trying to retcon one of the good changes you made, show?

Realising ‘almost certain’ means Jace essentially gambled with his best friend’s life, Simon gets up, presumably to go fail at kicking his ass, but Isabelle blurs her way in front of him and slowly pushes him back on the bed. He insists he has to protect Clary from Jace, which I’d like to see him try, and Isabelle shills Jace as ”the ultimate protector,’ ‘fastest, strongest, fiercest,’ ‘And hello, have you seen the guy?”

Isabelle, sweetie, that guy is meant to be like your brother to you. I know you’re not related, but Jesus, no need for the sex voice you’ve got going on there. Both fucking hands, ma’am.

Simon’s sorry he asked. So am I, dude. Isabelle tells him to ”Rest easy, hombre,” and tries to distract him with the terrible, terrible food. Her assurance that there’s plenty more doesn’t seem to bring him comfort. I’m distracted by how she dips toast in it like it’s a salsa dip while he’s stirring it with a fork.

Presumably to distract Isabelle from the fact he can’t eat paste with a fork, Simon says ”So the Circle… if they’re as bad as they say they are, it’s not good for Clary, is it?” There’s an ominous music cue as Isabelle replies, ”It’s not good for any of us.”

No Shit Sherlock: 1 They’re fucking Nazis.

[Scene: Institute, Main Floor]

We see Jace at the main screen, searching the system for anything about Jocelyn. The whole interface is in runes, which is a nice touch that implies they’re used as a proper language and not just power-ups. If we saw a verbal component to the runic language, it’d neatly explain how Shadowhunters of all nationalities can communicate effectively.

A little box reading ‘Restricted’ flashes up, and the scene ends.

Um, okay.

Imma Let You Finish But: 1

Entirely Pointless: 1

[Scene: Valentine’s Lab, Chernobyl]

We see Jocelyn floating in her little green person-shaped bubble and Valentine staring at her like a creep. She moves a bit as though distressed. He continues staring happily.

Imma Let You Finish But: 1

Entirely Pointless: 1

[Scene: Luke’s Office, Police Station]

We see Luke moving the stuff he took from Clary’s room to his desk drawer when Vargas shows up to drop some files on his desk and ask how Clary is after showing up the other day. Luke bluffs that he had Alaric take her home, which Vargas buys but is still concerned because ”[her] instincts tell her there’s more to the story”. They banter a little about how boys are dumb, some of them grow out of it, and being protective, then Vargas leaves.

[Establishing Shot of the exterior of the Institute at night]
[Scene: Clary’s Room (I think), The Institute]

We open to Clary being dismayed that the least-revealing clothing Isabelle has is a sleeveless top with a little bit of a low-cut. Isabelle doesn’t understand what she means as ”All the naughty bits are covered. A little too much in my opinion.” She says this sadly while checking Clary out, and I start rooting for a Bi!Izzy.

Clary huffs a little but asks where Simon is. Isabelle pretends not to remember him, then laughs and tells her that he’s ”in good hands with the boys” before going to lounge on the bed. Clary follows her over to that side of the room and shyly starts asking if the three of them are family or what, which Isabelle instantly takes as Clary wanting to know if Isabelle and Jace are a thing. Clary denies it at first, then looks away as if embarrassed. Isabelle reassures her that ”in every way, he’s like my brother”. Yeah, that’s not how it came across earlier, dear.

Isabelle gives us the brief run-down of Jace’s history as a Lightwood (adopted when he was ten, they’ve trained together ever since), and Clary sighs about how all she was worried about before this was getting into art school. Before she can continue, Isabelle interrupts.

Isabelle: Is this the part where I give you the pep talk about harnessing your inner Shadowhunter and embracing your true destiny?
Clary: Is that the pep talk?
Isabelle: [Laughs] Basically.

Clary does look a little comforted by this but still very worried, so Isabelle gets off the bed, strokes her hair, and tells her ”Remember, you were born to do this. No matter what has happened, this is who you are.”

Clary feels it as much as I do, which is to say, not at all, But Isabelle just perkily says ”Yet”.

I appreciate the attitude in which the sentiment is delivered, but man, fuck this ‘you’re born to be this’ bullshit.

Clary: Okay, but now we just have to find Dot.
Isabelle: [Helpfully] And track down and kill the most dangerous rogue Shadowhunter in history before he kills us all.
Clary: You really know how to ruin a pep-talk, don’t you?

Isabelle laughs at this and goes to leave. We get an entirely unwanted parting line of ‘Oh, and Simon is kind of nerd-hot.’

Clary slumps her head against the pillar and sighs. Hey, she feels just like how I do any time Simon is in a scene!

[Scene: Luke’s Office, Police Station]

Luke tells Alaric that Clary was at the station earlier but they missed her, and that she probably saw him talking to Circle members. He tells Alaric that he’ll follow his own lead and for him to ”work the Simon Lewis angle. Where Clary goes, Simon’s bound to follow.”

Wow, Simon’s kind of a total sad sack, huh?

Entirely Pointless: 1

[Institute, Main Floor]

Simon is trying to convince Clary to go find Dot by themselves, saying ”Let’s go, just you and me,” like they’re about to elope or something. Clary points out that 1: there’s fucking demons that want to kill them, and 2: they do not know how to kill demons. Isabelle just kinda struts between them as Simon insists her can find this shit with a internet search and it can’t be that hard anyway.

Simon, dude, bro, you’re a fucking nerd. And not just any nerd, a gamer-type DnD-loving nerd. If this shit was on the internet, you’d know it already because you’d have read it, ripped it, and stuck it in a World of Darkness campaign. The Shadowhunters may be dipshits, but they have superpowers and runes and shit for a reason; they predate technical developments that could equalise the power discrepancy between a human and a demon, and most regular humans would have (and probably still would) gotten their asses handed to them trying to go toe-to-toe against the beasties. And speaking of equalisers, do you even own a frigging gun?

Isabelle touches a rune circle on the wall which causes a display case full of fancy swords and axes to extend from the wall. She looks so pleased with herself too, I don’t know why.

She starts running her finger along a sword. Jace comes up and slaps her hand away before she can lose a finger.

Jace: No, Izzy.
Isabelle: [Cheerily] You know he won’t approve of this mission.
Alec: [Approaching] I don’t approve of this mission.

Rapier Twit: 1

Alec’s entire character for the next 2-3 episodes at least is pretty much ‘the no-fun rules guy’. He’s the only one who even halfway acts like what they’re supposed to be; soldiers.

He tells them he talked to the Clave (holy shit, communication!) and they are sending faery – sorry, Seelie – scouts to search for Valentine and ”they made it clear, the little girl does not leave the premises.”

Dick.

Clary tells him in politer terms that she doesn’t give a fuck what he and the Clave want, she’s going to find Dot. Jace jumps in to say that Dot could have answers they need but Clary’s not safe outside alone, which Isabelle agrees with. Apparently this is all it takes to sway Alec, since he just says “Et tu, Izzy?” and then snaps at Clary that since she has all the answers, she should know where to look. Clary suggests the most obvious place of where the lady fucking lives, and the less obvious place of a thrift shop she goes to.

Then she fondles the portal shard necklace and gets a vision of Dot running through an alley and running into Pandemonium. Convenient! The sign does the same obnoxious PanDEMONium flicker thing, by the way.

She comes back to herself and, because she is a Clary with half a brain, she tells them outright that she thinks she knows where Dot is. Simon whips out his keys and perkily offers to drive. Alec glares at him like he can vanish the twit from existence with sheer No (trust me, Alec, if that were possible, my New Yorker friend would have managed it already), and Simon asks if they have a ”Shadowhunter-mobile” instead.

The three Shadowhunters exchange looks. Isabelle sort of awkwardly laughs. No one speaks until Simon nervously asks whether or not they were joking about the runes on the floor killing him. Alec and Jace share a little smirk between each other before Jace pats Simon’s cheek as he passes him and says ”Possibly.” They all head as Simon Komedically asks if he’s going to die.

…I kinda wanna call dick move, but I’ve sort of grown to hate Simon over the course of the season so I’m enjoying this.

[Scene: Pandemonium Interior]

Magnus is sending a small group of warlocks through a purple Portal, telling them it’s the ”last train to salvation*”. Dot runs in all panicky and asks why he hasn’t answered her messages and starts to ask for help because Jocelyn is missing. Magnus looks incredibly insulted that she touched him, let alone started asking for help. Turns out that Magnus has been busy trying to get all the warlocks he can to safety because *”Jocelyn’s brilliant plan is screwed.” Valentine knows a warlock brewed the potion, and now he’s hunting them all down one by one.

Damn, even offscreen this might be more active villainy from Valentine than we see in three whole books.

Dot: [Disbelievingly] So you’re leaving.
Magnus: You’ve always been the quick study, Dorothea.

He starts to lead her to the Portal but she insists she has to stay and find Clary and she needs his help because her magic is dangerously low due to Portaling all day. He pooh-poohs the idea of her risking her life for a Shadowhunter and she insists it’s not an us vs them situation because everyone’s fucked if Valentine gets the Cup.

And then Magnus just breezily says that ”Valentine can’t kill what he can’t find,” and steps back into the Portal, holding out his hand and offering Dot ”one last chance to save [herself]”. She hesitates and he is fucking gone just like that. I’m torn between calling him a dumbass and giggling.

Dot takes a second to realise she just got trolled and runs out of the club.

[Cut: Pandeomium Backdoor Entrance, Alleyway]

Dot inches her way down the alley, nervous as shit, then turns the corner and gets jumped by Pangborn and Blackwell who toss her around a bit.

[Cut: Different Alleyway]

Clary & Co make their way down the alley and Clary touches her necklace again. She gets a vision of Blackwell about to stab Dot with his seraph blade, screams her name, and scampers to go help. The cut to black swoops in to allow for an ad but I watch on Netflix so HA!

[Scene: Alleyway Outside Pandemonium, The Front One This Time]

Jace catches up to Clary and stops her to ask what the fuck’s going on. She summarises quite nicely before shrieking ”We have to stop them!” and running into Pandemonium even though she could see in the vision that they were in an alleyway. Also, Kat McNamara can seriously fucking book it in heels, I will never get over that.

To the surprise of none of the viewers, Dot is not there and Clary said tearfully ”She was only trying to help me. [dramatic turn to face the others] Now she’s gone.” Jesus, lady, writing her off a bit soon, aren’t you?

Simon tries to comfort her while Clary insists to the Shadowhunters that Dot is like her big sister (no one was disputing that?) and Alec points out that this random club is not actually a safe place to be and they should get back to the Institute.

So they of course have a longass conversation there instead because they are SMRT.

Clary: What about my memories? They can’t just be gone?
Jace: There is another option.
Alec: Absolutely not.
Isabelle: [Simultaneously] Don’t even-
Jace: I’m not afraid of the Silent Brothers.
Clary: Who are the Silent Brothers?
Jace: They’re Shadowhunters with superior powers.
Isabelle: Who possess the ability to recover memories.
Alec: A process that can also kill you, so there’s that. [Looks like he really wouldn’t mind if that happened.]
Simon: Your bedside manner is abysmal.
Alec: [To Jace] We’ve broken at least 18 Clave rules and now you want to go to the City of Bones? There’s no way. I won’t allow it.
Jace: This isn’t our choice to make. This is Clary’s decision.
Isabelle: You can’t ask her to do this. She doesn’t know what she’s facing. [Seriously] She’s not prepared.
Clary: [Firmly] If anyone can tell me another way to recover my memories and still get the answers we need, I’m listening.
[Silence from the group]
Clary: That settles it.
Jace: [Grins] See? [Hits Alec’s shoulder playfully as he walks past] I told you she’s one of us.

Decision made, they leave. Isabelle grabs Simon’s arm as he passes her and links arms with him despite his apparently reluctance.

Cringe Chemistry: 1 I really, really hate how predatory Isabelle comes off here.

In all fairness, I do like Clary being direct and stuff, but Isabelle is right, she has no idea what she’s agreeing to here.

[Scene: Under a bridge in a foresty area, complete with hobo trashcan fires]

No joke, I mistook the bridge as an overpass for the longest time, it’s even in the image names.

They all climb out of Simon’s van and he voices the obvious complaint that this place is fucking creepy as shit.

Isabelle: [Laughs] Don’t tell me you’re afraid.
Simon: Are you kidding? I was born afraid. Which… sounded a lot better in my head.

Rapier Twit: 1

Alec has no time for this and goes to check the place out. When Clary makes to follow, Jace tells her to stay behind because he wants to make sure it’s safe. And then all three Shadowhunters leave the two regular, untrained humans by the van.

Un-Logic: 1 WHY

Simon immediately starts asking Clary why he and Clary are even going along with this because they don’t know them, as if Clary’s mother, friend, and memories being missing and people threatening to kill her is not enough for him.

[Cut: Jace, Alec, and Isabelle]

Alec is trying to impress on Jace the fact that if Clary gets hurt, they as a team are fucked. Jace defends himself by saying that they need to stop Valentine getting the Cup, and she’s lost everything which he can relate to.

Which is all well and good but there is no reason you guys have to do this by yourself. You have an entire Institute who are, presumably, just as unwilling to see Valentine return, you have fuck all reason to keep them out of the loop!

Jace: And what your problem with her anyway? [Smiles] Your family always used to welcome strays.
Alec: [Firmly] You were never a stray.
Jace: The point is, nothing’s changed. [Looks between Alec and Isabelle, then to Clary] We’re still in this fight together. There’s just… one more of us.

D’aww. No, really. The self-deprecating humour from Jace and then the follow-up reassurance from Alec (and the bonus soft smile from Isabelle) totally makes this for me, even with Jace’s gross disregard for his loved ones.

[Cut: Clary and Simon]

Clary bemoans her mother not telling her everything while Simon stares at her like she’s got two heads, then asks how she’s not ”ultra freaked out by all this”. Clary tells him that she always felt something was missing, now it’s making sense, yada yada, but it won’t matter if she doesn’t get Jocelyn back. Simon also chokes up as he says ”Then let’s do that,” and Jace beckons Clary over now that our intrepid hunters have determined that twenty feet away is safe. Simon looks all sad as she takes Jace’s hand and goes with him.

[Scene: Valentine’s Lab, Chernobyl]

Still floating, Jocelyn? Yup? Well, okay then.

So Dot is not dead after all! How many death fake outs can one character get? She is in a cage though, which seems… awkward, giving the casting and context and all.

Valentine strolls in and casually leans against the bars to gloat over her being ”someone so old, but none too wise while also trying to persuade her to break the spell on Jocelyn, saying she can go free and live out her “wasteful, warlock life” if she does. Dot calls him on being a liar, then tells him that she wasn’t the one to create the spell and so she can’t break it.

Un-Logic: 1 Why are you telling him that? You know he’ll kill you either way, don’t tell him shit, especially not stuff that encourages him to keep searching!

Valentine starts to pick up a syringe of red stuff, then changes his mind and picks up one of black stuff instead. He asks Dot for the warlock’s name, then reveals to her that he knows Clary exists and Dot must want to help her, so maybe ”a little medicine will trigger [her] memory.” He says this all in a very friendly voice, smile on his face, then grabs Dot through the bars, jams the syringe into her neck and shushes her when she starts crying. We cut to black on a close-up of Dot’s face as she stop whimpering.

Maybe it’s my fear of needles talking, but euuurggghhh.

[Scene: Under the bridge of hobo fires]

Jace is trying to prepare Clary for the Silent Brothers, saying that they ”aren’t like us”. Bit of a fucking understatement there, dude. In fairness, once she makes a joke about them lacking his *”superior charm and people skills*” he does tell her the telepathy thing. And then he tells her that they’ll use the Soul Sword to, sort of figuratively and literally, carve the truth from her mind, that she might die if she’s not strong enough, and that the pain is agonising, so she doesn’t have to do it if she doesn’t want to.

Maybe should have let her know that shit back in the club, before you came all the way out here.

Our “Heroes”: 1

Clary gives no fucks, however, she said she’d do anything to get her mother back and she damn well means it. “Walk through fire, battle demons, whatever it takes. I have to get my mom back. I can’t- I won’t lose her.”

Jace hesitate, then assures her that she won’t.

[Cut: A fake-ass looking moon, then the gate to the Silent City with a fake-ass looming skeleton on it.]

Clary psyches herself up and Simon tells her that she’s ”Clary freakin’ Fray. [She] can do anything.” Maybe don’t highlight her Mary Sue nature quite so obviously, Simon.

Clary might be able to anything, but Simon is once again not allowed to enter somewhere as Jace stops him. This pisses Simon off no end and he snaps “No mundanes allowed, just like in the training room, right? Wrong! I’ve seen every horror movie ever made and the funny best friend who gets left behind? Dead man.”

Isabelle laughs at this like she laughs at everything Simon says (honey, no, you can do better) and Jace just tells him that he’s not that funny, which seems to really insult Simon, then tells him to go ahead, but he’ll die soon as he steps inside.

Simon: Problem is, now I don’t trust you.
Alec: He’s not lying.
Isabelle: Now. [Smiles] He was before.
Alec: The rune energy in the City of Bones will kill any mundane who dares to enter, so, please [Gestures for Simon to go inside]

Alec’s on Team Kill Simon, it seems. I can relate.

Jace opens the gate and Isabelle offers to stay behind and watch Simon because she finds the Brothers creepy. Simon then gripes that he’s missing a ”financial analysis class”, and Alec says he’ll go check the perimeter because ”[he] can’t be here”. He says this gesturing at Simon. Hee!

There’s a semi-sweet moment where Clary doesn’t want to leave Simon and he tells her to ”Go be a bad ass Shadowhunter, all right? Get your memories back, save your mother,” and then they hug. Jace has a bit of a jealous reaction at this and insists that they shouldn’t keep the Brothers waiting (you can actually see one behind him), then puts his hand on Clary’s back as she heads in with him. I’d be more annoyed than I am over yet another space invasion, but she puts her arm around his waist, like, a second later so I mostly wish that Simon would take the hint.

Isabelle leans in and stage-whispers that*”They’re getting to be quite the team. Amusing.”*

Simon does not agree with her.

Cringe Chemistry: 1
Nudge, Nudge, Say No More: 1 Isabelle, I can see the body language for myself saying who Clary wants to fuck, you don’t gotta lampshade it.
Shoddy World Building: 3 Why is the Silent City in a place you don’t patrol, don’t control, and under a fucking grimy bridge with homeless people abounds?

[Scene: Luke’s Office, Police Station]

Imma Let You Finish But: 1

We get a meaningful angle on the drawer of Luke’s desk as he covers the content with a page then shuts it so Vargas can’t see them as she approaches. She gives him a crime scene photo of Konrad, the dude Jace killed last episode, and one of Midori, and points out that it’s fierce dodgy that both his witnesses turned up dead in the same night and so mysteriously. He tries to laugh it off, saying she has no reason to suspect him, but she just warns him not to give her one.

Alaric waits until she walks off to giving Luke a talking to about ”staying under the radar” and that he’s not sure that their ‘friends’ agree when Luke insists it was self-defence and he’s on the right side. Alaric tells him to find Clary soon if he wants to sort things out, and Luke promises he will.

This scene isn’t pointless, but why is it here?

[Scene: Silent City Entryway]

Clary and Jace go down the stairs cautiously. There’s some nice, subtle apprehension from both of them, where even just the sound of bats has them feeling on edge. I’m wondering where the Silent Brother has gone though. Did he just vanish? Creepy.

The stairs turn to caves and Jace activates his witchlight, those little magical glowy rocks they have, and tells Clary that Shadowhunters have them to *“carry it to remind us that light can be found in even the darkest of places.”*Before I can hurk on my keyboard, he adds with a little grin that it’s also cooler than a torch.

He gives the witchlight to Clary to hold and leads her to a statue of an angel in vaguely Roman armour holding a cup and a sword with the inscription Nephilim Facilis Descensus Verni. Unlike the book, there’s no date attached.




Why’s the statue got a bunch of little men on it?

Jace: It’s the Shadowhunter creed. “Looking better in black than the widows of our enemies.”
Clary: My Latin’s pretty rusty, but I’m almost positive that’s not what that says.
Jace: [Reading aloud] “For Shadowhunters, the descent into hell is easy.”
Clary: [Uneasily] That should be a postcard.

Rapier Twit: 1 For the ‘widows of our enemies’ line specifically. How would demons even have widows anyway? It was stupid in the book and it’s stupid here.

They go deeper in and reach the Silent City proper, and Clary decides this is the right time to apologise to Jace about what she said at the start of the episode about his mother. He laughs off the very idea that he has feelings despite the fact that at least 90% of the shit he’s done so far has been emotionally motivated, including this.

Make Up Your Damn Mind: 1

He exposits about his backstory; mother died when he was a baby and his father was a Circle member who was killed when he tried to leave it, just about restraining his anger when he says that his father forfeited the right to a honourable burial in the Silent City but he was trying to do the right thing. Clary realised that he’s helping her so he can get revenge on Valentine and the Circle, which he confirms

So unemotional, Jace, you truly are a toy soldier, coldly motivated by the impassioned quest for revenge due to the death of a loved one.

Make Up Your Damn Mind: 1

Clary takes his hand and mumbles that she’s still sorry. He leans right into her face and says ”No more “I’m sorry”s. You’re a Shadowhunter now,” before they start walking, still holding hands.

I feel like a cultural frowning upon of basic etiquette would explain a lot about Shadowhunters, actually. Would explain Alec at the very least.

In the next room they find to a big disc mounted in the floor with the Voyance rune on it. Clary realises that she’s drawn this before but she doesn’t understand it, so Jace tells her it means clairvoyance.

Torches (old-fashioned metal sconces kind, not like flashlights or anything) start lighting up around them, held by the Silent Brothers. Clary looks around all panicked and we get a few close-ups of various bones and things before a deep voice addresses them as Shadowhunters.

(Do they just shove the bodies into the alcove and let them rot? That seems unsanitary. Disease is a serious risk, guys, and maybe you’re immune to that but rats are also a thing.)

A Silent Brother steps forward and drops his hood so we can see his face that wasn’t hidden by the hood at all.

This is Brother Jeremiah (again, I don’t think we get his name), and he is played by Stephan R. Hart. He’s actually reprising his role from the movie, being the only actor I know of so far to do so!

When we return from the cut to black Clary is gasping in horror and even Jace is looking kinda queasy. Brother Jeremiah gestures for her to go into the circle on the floor, which she does, then tells Jace to back off. He does, but he reassures her that he’ll be right there, which is nice because she sounds kind of close to tears right now. Her fear does not stop her insisting that she has to get her memories back though, even when Jeremiah is a;; like ‘hey, you sure want to do this? It’s pretty dangerous and all, no really, you might die if you’re a wuss’. There’s a quick montage of every bit of encouragement she’s gotten so far and she says firmly, but with teary eyes, that she’s ready.

[Scene: I fell into a burning bridge of fires…]

Imma Let You Finish But: 1 Godammit, show. You can’t get a mood going if you keep jumping back and forth between scenes like a flea on molly.

So the other three are just hanging out by the entrance, including Alec for some reason. I guess the perimeter didn’t need two much checking.

To my great joy, Simon starts talking. “So, is cracking someone’s mind open supposed to take this long? Maybe we, or you should go check?”

Why, you prefer they rushed with your best friend’s mind and life just because you’re jealous? Ya jerk.

Alec just tells him Jace has it covered, and Isabelle mockingly says that the “Silent Brothers are quite unpleasant”. Even Simon ‘Blinded By Hotness’ Lewis points out how unhelpful that is before continuing to ask questions that Alec interrupts with ”It literally never stops talking.”

Fuck me pink, the ‘Shadowhunters don’t approve of basic etiquette’ theory is gaining some fierce traction with me by the fucking second.

This leads us to a conversation where Isabelle jokes that Alec’s lack of charm (I suppose that could be another term for ‘being a racist dehumanising fuck’) is because he’s the eldest and ”heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Simon tries to relate to this because his mother wants him to be a CPA. Isabelle asks what he wants and he tells her about his band (which she correctly guesses to be indie rock because look at the guy, of course it is).

He offers to play the recording of their last set, which I don’t recommend because I actually heard it, but realises he left it in the van. Isabelle very intently says that they should go get it. Simon takes bare milliseconds to twig and agrees because, well, it’s Emmeraude Toubia. I’d say yes too if my boyfriend said it was okay.

Make Up Your Damn Mind: 1 But Simon doesn’t have the right to act all jealous over Clary getting help from the most suited people for the situation when he’s turning right around to slobber on Isabelle.

Alec: Where is it going?
Isabelle: We’ll be right back.
Alec: [Disbelieving stare]
Isabelle: [Smiles] What? He passes the time.
Simon: I can hear you guys, you know?

And then Isabelle basically strongarms him off-screen because she really needs to get that nerd action, I guess.

Cringe Chemistry: 1
Rapier Twit: 1 I see why we needed to cut away from the plot-moving, semi-suspenseful scene for this bullshit.

Fuck you, Alec. Fuck you, Simon. And Jesus Christ, Isabelle, can your libido not hold its horses for twenty minutes?

[Cut: Inside the van]

Simon sees that he’s gotten a text from Maureen asking if they’re still on for rehearsal and feels an inch of guilt before being distracted by Isabelle adjusting his glasses. Speaking from personal experience, cut that shit out, it’s not sexy, it’s irritating.

Cringe Chemistry: 1

The gods smile on me though and the countdown to awkward Sizzy makeouts is cancelled when Isabelle hears something rustling nearby. She tells Simon to stay in the van and goes off to investigate while he sighs and starts listening to music.

And then a hand clamps around his neck and over his mouth because no one checked the backseat of the cheap van with very pickable locks in the unsecured area.

One job, Isabelle. You had one job.

[Scene: Inner Chamber, Silent City]

Jeremiah summons the Soul Sword and it floats down from the ceiling. We don’t really get a good look at it, but it looks like it has a gold basket hilt thing going on. Clary tilts her head back and ominous whispers abound as the sword descends and just barely touches her forehead before we get a flashback.



We see Clary lying in bed and talking on her phone, a picture of her dad and several Sweet Sixteenth birthday cards placed prominently on her dressed in such a way the camera can see them but she can’t. She hears footsteps and, like all kids up late, scrambles to pretend she’s been asleep all along.

Luke strides into the room, followed by Jocelyn telling him no, and they have a whispered argument. Luke says she needs to unblock Clary’s memories because it’s destroying her, Clary’s a Shadowhunter, and it’s inevitable that she finds out herself. Jocelyn insists that Clary won’t, it’s too dangerous, and that if anyone knew Clary is Valentine’s daughter it would be even more dangerous.

Present Clary opens her eyes with a horrified gasp and sees the Silent Brothers are all backing away. Even the Sword is floating back up like it’s realised this is the appropriately dramatic place to leave off. The Brothers tell them that they could only access fragments of her memory, and when she starts denying what she heard, they just tell her that memory does not lie (totally not true, but whatever) and she has to accept it.

Jace is confused as shit and starts asking what the fuck which makes Clary start crying as she tells him that her father is Valentine. And then she runs away in tears.

[Scene: Valentine’s Lab, Chernobyl]

I think they use the same establishing shot every time and just tint it to look appropriately dusk-like or night-like or whatever is necessary.

Dot has survived the scene transition once again, hurray! She’s alone in the lab so she summons up a little blue wispy cloud between her hands to break the lock keeping her chains together. It pops off and she summons another little wispy cloud in her hand to break the lock on her cage.

This one takes a lot more out of her and she just barely manages it. She stumbles to her feet and starts whispering to Jocelyn. Despite not looking like someone who’s been tortured for hours, she’s having a heck of a time walking.

Dot: Jocelyn, I know you can hear me. Clary is fine. She’s so brave and strong. And she won’t… Clary won’t let Valentine win. I’m so sorry.

Wait, Jocelyn can hear all of Valentine’s crooning about how much he misses her? Jesus Christ, that poor woman.

And Dot is promptly tackled by Pangborn and slammed into a desk. He taunts her about her magic getting rusty, and she jams a syringe of red stuff into his neck in return. They both collapse off the desk in various amounts of pain, and then Valentine just strolls in like he’s gonna go ‘wassup, I got a big cock’.

He completely disregards Dot for the time being so he can tell Pangborn that he ”was a loyal follower […] a brilliant soldier [and that Valentine] won’t forget [his] sacrifice” before he pushes down the plunger fully.

Once Pangborn goes still, he turns his attention to Dot who is on the floor, crying and trying to drag herself to safety. He draws a glowy knife and has a big smile on his face as he tells her that ”[she] was right, [he] was never gonna let [her] go,” before grabbing her by the hair and yanking her head back, presumably to slit the screaming woman’s throat in front of his wife that can hear everything.

[Scene: Surprise, it’s under a bridge]

Alec is standing around alone like a lemon when Clary and Jace come out of the Silent City. Presumably he got up with her and calmed her down from ‘panicky running through dead people’ mode. Alec has all the sympathy of a brick and starts barking questions, and when he’s told the big reveal, assumes that Clary, this unknown Shadowhunter from nowhere, could be a spy for Valentine.

You know, I know that Alec is meant to be motivated by jealousy like Simon is, at least partially, but I can’t get as angry over it because, well, he’s not wrong. This shit does seem suspicious and I’m happy someone points it out.

Understandably, Clary starts yelling at him for essentially suggesting she arranged to have her loved ones kidnapped and for herself to possibly get stabbed in the brain by a treasured artefact. Then she notices that Simon is missing because this Clary actually seems to give half a damn about her best friend.

On cue, Isabelle returns to tell them that she’s searched everywhere but Simon is missing. Clary yells at her that she was supposed to keep him safe and runs off to search for herself. Jace mutters that ”these mundanes are killing me,” before they all go after her, a line that made no sense in the book and even less sense in the show where he’s been the most ‘Yer a Shadowhunter, Clary’ out of everyone.

She finds the van with the door wide open and screams Simon’s name. Behind her, a dude shouts ”Simon! Is that the mundane’s name?”

The gang turns to see a pale Hispanic dude in a black suit and an Asian lady in a red dress sanding on one of the bridge supports and holding Simon by a rope tied around his ankles.


Look how silly those teeth look! And the way it looks like he’s trying to sell Simon or something. “And look at your fabulous prize! A jealous jerk who’s not half as genre savvy as he thinks he is!”

The guy is Raphael Santiago and is played by David Castro. He seems to have been a favourite of Clare’s since he shows up in the first and second TMI trilogies, one of Magnus’s prequel books is centred around him, and he cameos or is mentioned in a few more even after death.

I cannot find a listing for the Asian lady so I have no idea who she is played by, but I’m reasonably sure she’s Lily Chen. Lily first appears in City of Bones. Later in the series she becomes second-in-command and eventually leader.

Clary cries that Simon’s not involved in this and Jace threatens to kill them if they don’t give him back, but Alec warns Jace that killing them ”[would be] violating the Accords.”

What? How?

How?

Your entire raison d’etre is protecting humans from supernatural creatures. They are kidnapping him and dangling him from a bridge. How is that allowed?

Shoddy World Building: 1
Un-Logic: 2

Raphael laughs and says Alec is right, and that ”The Night Children have broken no laws. We’re negotiating.”

What.

This isn’t negotiation, it’s kidnapping and coercion. Seriously, if such things are allowed under the Accords, what good are they?! What isn’t legal under them?!

Shoddy World Building: 2
Un-Logic: 2

Raphael lays down his terms; Simon in exchange for the Mortal Cup, and tells them that the clock is ticking.

Well, that’s an easy choice. Sorry, Simon, but the greater good and all that. I’m sure you’ve watched the Wrath of Khan, you understand.

There’s a whooshy noise and the two vampires disappear, Simon’s shout of ”Clary!” echoing in the distance. Clary’s panicked cries of ”Simon! Simon!” take us into the final cut to black and the end of the episode.

—————————-

Overall, I find that episode two is a bit stronger than episode one, and definitely better than the books, but still flawed. I mean woof, that ending, Christ, let’s not even go into that.

Clary and Valentine especially are stronger, with Clary having more of a spine and Valentine actually being villainous, though the latter is at the expense of his attempted shades of grey in the books. I do have a problem with the Valentine Dad reveal being so early. While the audience has gotten to see at least some of it, Clary hasn’t. There’s no reason for her to be quite so horrified as she is.

I’m not dissing the acting here, by the way, McNamara looks heartbroken and Sherwood shocked and horrified, but this reveal would have tons more strength if Clary had actually seen anything of Valentine’s evil instead of a sterilised aftermath in which no one can even talk about what he did.

I’m also liking how proactive people are in comparison. Valentine is hunting warlocks down to wake Jocelyn, Clary & Co are making plans and following through straightaway, even the vampires are taking advantage of a weak link to try get what they want. Compared to a book series where things just kind of happened, this is a breath of fresh air.

The editing is killer though. Just like the books, the show jumps from scene to scene, and while it hasn’t gotten obnoxious yet, it will.

Also, I hate Show!Simon. The next episode is really what made me start gritting my teeth but he just got worse from there. It’s especially grating since he was one of the good things about the first trilogy. …not so much the second one.

And that ending. Yeesh. ‘Violating the Accords’ my hole.

As before, I would really appreciate any feedback! Did I talk too much, use too many images, etc.?

Hope you guys enjoyed!

Counts:
Entirely Pointless: 3
Un-Logic: 6
Shoddy World Building: 12
Rapier Twit: 11
Our “Heroes”: 5
No Shit Sherlock: 1
Cringe Chemistry: 6
Imma Let You Finish But: 4
Nudge, Nudge, Say No More: 1
Make Up Your Damn Mind: 3

Tagged as:

Comment

  1. Juracan on 4 August 2016, 17:54 said:

    Is it just me, or does the plot of the TV adaptation seem a bit… overly complicated? From what I understand the books mostly dealt with only Clary’s point of view, which they didn’t go with for the show. And of course the story of the first book has to be drawn out over a season, so they have to put a lot more plot in there to make it work. But this… maybe it’s just how you’ve recapped it, but it sounds like there’s a ton going on, and I’m kind of confused as to why that is?

    I tend to avoid shows and books with too many characters and plots, so it might be on me, but do the people making the show really think it’s necessary to show us what’s going on with Dot and with Luke all the time, along with our main cast and Valentine?

    Just seems a bit much to me.

  2. Sarah Syna on 4 August 2016, 18:25 said:

    Juracan, the books actually start being more of an ensemble thing around book 4, I think, and it gets so bad that you can have up to five or so viewpoints per chapter and in those chapters it can skip back-and-forth multiple times to boot. It got so bad that a guy I know who recapped them had to divide every chapter into ‘Simon’s bit’, ‘Clary’s bit’, Jace’s bit’, etc, because otherwise it’d be impossible to follow.

    Given that they’re bringing in stuff from the later published books instead of a straight retelling of the first one, I can only imagine that’s what they’re trying to emulate, the ensemble cast and shifting viewpoints. Which begs the questions of ‘why’.

  3. Zero on 6 August 2016, 16:55 said:

    Was it SnarkTheater?

  4. Akkakieron on 11 August 2016, 00:49 said:

    I have a feeling Luke’s pointless scenes were to remind us he exists, but how about showing the audience him tracking Clary using his detective skills. As oppose to him…doing nothing.

  5. Juracan on 14 August 2016, 09:53 said:

    Also—I know we’ve discussed this in the discussions of the books, but does the show give any reason that the Shadowhunters are using swords and axes instead of guns? The books have some BS explanation like, “Angelic runes interfere with gunpowder ignition,” but does the show ever give a line like that? Or is it just given that swords are cool (no matter how impractical they look in those screenshots).

  6. Epke on 14 August 2016, 10:28 said:

    It’s always interesting that the guys chosen to play Simon look… well, better, than those chosen to play Jace. Digression aside…

    Do you happen to know how much influence Clare has had with the show?

  7. Sarah Syna on 14 August 2016, 12:52 said:

    @Zero
    Sure was!

    @Akkakieron
    That’s what I figure, aye, I’m just annoyed at how they’re doing it.

    @Juracan
    …I actually can’t remember a reason being given off the top of my head and I kind of want to say that they don’t give one, but it’s been a little while since I watched them all so I could be wrong there. I’ll make a note of it though.

    @Epke
    I know, right? The weird thing to me is that Sherwood is a pretty hot guy (like I’ve said, he looks really frigging good in Taylor’s Swift’s ‘Style’ video) but it just doesn’t come across here.

    From what I know, Clare doesn’t have much input into the show and I’m inclined to think this is a good thing. Comparing the show to the movie (which she DID have input into but later said she didn’t after it bombed), a massive amount of changes have been made to the show, changes I don’t think she would have allowed if she had much say. I don’t think all these changes were good but given that Shadowhunters got a second season and City of Bones never got a sequel, it’s undeniable that they worked.

    Far as I can tell, she’s a bit salty about this lack of input. She’s done stuff like telling fans what department of Freeform to contact to have the writers replaced, but in the wake of brewing TV fandom vs Book fandom drama she has also insisted that authors do not resent adaptions and that she has a good relationship with the cast and Ed Decter, the showrunner.

    I’ve seen it said that Decter is/was the main reason Clare didn’t have input into Season 1, and at least a subset of fans consider him to have fixed a lot of problems with the series and made it more than ‘the Clary and Jace show’, so his sudden and unexpected departure from Season 2 will be… interesting.

  8. Katie on 17 August 2016, 23:52 said:

    Honestly, TVs and movies are so different from books that I don’t think it’s necessarily bad if even a really good writer has limited input on the show. Adapting a book into another medium is itself an artistic process; it’s not a one-to-one rendering of every scene in front of a video camera and a lot of times it can be hard for a successful author to get that not every minor character is going to show up or that some storylines need to be condensed or removed for practicality reasons.

    As far as all of the extra scenes — I think a big part of it is just finding ways to keep those actors engaged and to make sure that the audience remembers who they are (especially if they aren’t familiar with the books already). Valentine and Luke barely appear in the first book but I think it would have been a mistake to cut them out of the show and only have them referenced by name since anyone watching the show from the beginning wouldn’t know remember who they ae.

  9. Sarah Syna on 18 August 2016, 18:53 said:

    @Katie
    Frankly, I’m delighted that Clare wasn’t part of the show, I think a lot of the changes I liked wouldn’t have made it in otherwise (e.g. Clary having friendships with other women, the racebending, technologically adept Shadowhunters).

    I also get why the Luke and Valentine scenes are there, I just think they handled their insertion somewhat clumsily.