Synopsis of 1×10: The search for Valentine leads Clary to an alternate reality where the threat of demons no longer exists; Isabelle and Alec face the repercussions of the Downworlder attack.
Not much can knock this show down a peg this week, as Clary takes a trip to an alternate dimension where demons no longer exist, Shadowhunters have faded from memory, and the world is a happy place where Magnus Bane is a psychic and Valentine makes waffles for his family. It’s an incredibly charming episode that shows that the cast of the show can actually act and have dimension to their normally serious moody selves. Everyone is a lighter version of themselves with occasional unwitting nods at their lives in Clary’s dimension.
Clary has been transported into the Clary from the other dimension’s body after passing through a portal opened by Meliorn in order to seek out a portal to find Valentine. For all intents and purposes, this is just a bump along the way kind of episode. It’s a truck stop towards the main plot, but damn if it isn’t more enjoyable.
Seeing Clary grapple with a reality where her mother and father are a happy couple, where her friends don’t have to deal with the weight of fighting the supernatural, where she can be content with a normal life, it’s not hard to see how easily Clary slips into this dimension. But the problem is if she slips too far, she could be stuck.
Meanwhile, in the B plot, Simon is sent to the Jade Wolf as an ambassador to the werewolves by Raphael. It may have been the subplot, but it was immensely enjoyable to watch Simon maneuver his way around werewolves and play buddy cop to Luke. The two are some of the stronger characters in the show and they have a great rapport.
Through a pretty basic setup, they’re able to handle Luke’s issue with internal affairs by turning Simon into the killer that they are looking for and have Luke come bursting in as the hero. I’m sure if this was a story in which police poked more holes in stories, this would deflate, but they need a way to bring Luke back on the team and not have him being hunted by the law.
Unfortunately that isn’t the case with Isabelle, who finds herself being arrested by the Clave with the threat of having her runes removed and being banished for helping Meliorn escape. Alec is willing to do pretty much anything to free her from this fate, but instead of reaching out to Jace and maybe asking for some help from his parabatai (you know, his friend who literally is supposed to be his platonic soul mate) he decides to go at it alone and break his promise to Jace by revealing to Lydia that they have the mortal cup.
This was the one major flaw that this episode had — setting aside the horrendous CGI — and really the same gripe I had last week with the show. It’s creating a problem where one shouldn’t be canonically. Not only does this episode show Alec willing to break his promises to Jace, but it shows him willing to compromise not only himself but also Jace’s wellbeing and their parabatai bond in order to find him. And while trying to save your sister is a noble cause, you don’t think you could have picked up the phone and called him? Maybe telling him that Isabelle is being sentenced to banishment would have him more concerned.
But nope. Alec utters the absurd line, “Jace is dead to me,” and has Hodge draw a tracking rune on him that uses their bond to track Jace which is supposed to weaken their bond and possibly endanger them. It comes at an inopportune time while Jace and Meliorn are forced to defend an open portal from demons and they are struck down and a demon slips through the portal to a world where demons don’t exist.
Predictably Jace must go through the portal. After going through, he and Clary are able to defeat the demon even without their lightsaber/seraph blades, but in the last seconds Jace is stung with demon blood. Unable to get it out of him in time, Magnus finds the portal their looking for and Clary and Jace jump through back into their dimension and into Valentine’s lab. Jace is able to heal himself a little, though not enough to be in full fighting order. They come to an nearly empty lab where they find a locker that opens to reveal Jace’s actually-not-dead father.
I’m a little sad to return to the world of awkward-lines Jace and perpetually-upset Alec, but with this jump forward in the plot, hopefully we’ll see them actually deal with their problems soon so they can make up and actually fight some bad guys?
P.S. Nerdferatu is officially the most precious nickname ever.