Synopsis of 2×11: With Valentine in custody, the team dives into a new mission to vanquish a greater demon named Azazel who is in search of the Mortal Cup.
Am I going crazy or does Izzy seem to always get dealt the shittiest hand in this show? Like seriously, she was basically sleeping with Meliorn as a plot, then addicted to Yin Fen and in a sticky situation with Aldertree and Raphael, and now she’s getting weird root medicine from Sebastian? If you even know an inkling of the storyline of The Mortal Instruments, you should know to literally never trust a man named Sebastian in this world. But here we are again.
The premiere episode of the midseason is mostly centered around dealing with the fallout from the first half of the season. Valentine has been captured, Simon is a Daylighter, Luke’s pack is in shambles, Jace and Clary aren’t actually siblings, and Izzy is still dealing with withdrawals. On top of that, the Mortal Cup and Soul Sword are both missing. So when you add that all together, plus the fact that they’re bringing in this Greater Demon, Azazel, the demon who “taught man weapons of war,” we’re in for a busy final half of the season.
The episode opens in on a scene between Jace and Alec fighting. We haven’t seen them spar before, but it seems like something in the Soul Sword might have “activate” his angel blood? Either that or Alec is distracted, because the sparring match ends with Alec tapping out. While they homoerotically spar together, Alec correctly deduces that Jace is still blaming himself for the death of the Downworlders after activating the Soul Sword, on top of that he hasn’t told Clary they’re not siblings yet. When Alec asks him why, Jace uses Clary’s relationship with Simon as the excuse, to which Alec jokes that Jace thinks the minute Clary finds out he’s not her brother, she’ll dump Simon.
Cut to the two of them having a cute date on a bench in the sun, with Simon enjoying the sunlight for the first time in a few months. They have a sweet moment, which is only interrupted by Jace who informs Clary that Inquisitor Herondale has arrived and wants to see them. Book readers attention has already been piqued, but we don’t get much from Jace. Instead, Simon promises to keep Jace’s blood a secret, deducing that his blood is what made him sun-proof and acknowledging that knowledge of Jace’s blood being the cure to walking in the daytime would make Jace a target. I don’t blame Jace for wanting to keep this all a secret, after he reveals his parentage, we might not be getting many more scenes of him and Simon being adorable together.
Back at the Institute, we come in on Inquisitor Herondale interrogating Valentine about the mortal cup. Jace and Clary watch as they brutally torture him, and we get to see one of Valentine’s memories of him as a child standing in a pentagram on fire. Without much a result, the inquisitor considers making Jace and Clary interrogate him for the answers because they are his children. Jace suggests using the Soul Sword, knowing that it is missing, but apparently, they didn’t tell Idris that? It’s hard to figure out who knows what here, but I’m thinking they want it to seem like they have the sword when really they don’t?
Regardless, we know now that the final piece of the puzzle is the Mortal Mirror, which apparently no one has seen.
We then watch as Azazel enters into a bar and questions Inquisitor Herondale’s guards, threatening them for the cup only to come up with nothing when they reveal that Valentine won’t tell them where it is. He kills them and then everyone else in the bar, telling them that he’ll see them in hell in the process.
Back at the Institute Izzy is suffering badly from withdrawals. Alec is by her side and they’ve told everyone that she has a fever, but that won’t last long. No one else seems to know about this, but Alec is soon called in to investigate the incident with Azazel so he has to leave Izzy. Bad idea. She ends up putting on her make up — on sweaty skin, I might add — and heading over to Raphael’s. Despite saying she never wanted to see him again, she is back for another fix. Unwilling to give her a bite, Izzy ends up at a nearby den, knocking on the door and trying to find some vampires. Again, she comes up empty, but she attracts Azazel. Her necklace, pretty much one of her key accessories, breaks from the proximity to Azazel. He slams her against a wall to question her about the Mortal Cup, but is stopped by a stranger.
This stranger happens to be a Shadowhunter named Sebastian. Dun dun duuuuuuun. Sebastian takes her back to his place, where he feeds her bouillabaisse and some extract from a root from an island called L’Isle Adam and then tells her he’s from the London Institute recovering from a Yin Fen addiction. Wow, how convenient. Of course, Izzy falls for this immediately. On top of that, she doesn’t just fall for this, but she refuses to call Alec afraid that she’ll be scolded. When she tries to leave, Sebastian coaxes her into staying with the promise of her getting better. I feel like she’s just fallen for another scam the same way she fell for Yin Fen.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team meets up at the restaurant that Azazel hit and investigate the body. They take back some pebbles and ash for investigation while Luke acts as the human investigator. He’s dealing with his own issues. Half of his back is revolting against him and leaving new york, and he lost his partner, so he’s got a new one to deal with. At this point I’m surprised that the Jade Wolf is actually a functioning restaurant more than anything. His new partner Ollie seems alright, but she quickly seems to have a darker side when Maia comes to talk to Luke about the pack and she not only spies on them but takes some photos of the two of them together
Alec brings Magnus the pebbles they collected from the crime scene and Magnus identifies the origins as Duduael, a plane of hell. He also realizes that this is Azazel, who had been shackled up until recently. Before he leaves, Magnus reveals that Raphael is there. He came after Izzy appeared for a fix, and he suspects that she left to find her fix somewhere else. Alec is furious and takes Raphael with him to investigate the alley where they think she went. Sure enough, they find the dead humans and Izzy’s necklace on the ground. They come to the conclusion that Izzy must have been taken by Azazel as a hostage.
Clary and Jace come to the conclusion to ask Valentine for answers. I feel like these two have been manipulated by Valentine so many times they should know not to involve him. But of course, they do, and it ends badly. Not only do they not get anything from him, but Valentine first suggests using himself as bait in order to get Izzy back. Their plan is pretty slapdash, with the fallback being Clary’s sunlight rune and without any support from anyone in the Clave.
In fact, where is Inquisitor Herondale? Is she not supposed to be investigating? These are key witnesses who seem to all be neglected.
Anyways, of course, this conversation leads to one about the fact that Jace is not siblings with Clary and it leaves her furious at him. She is angry at the lies and also at Jace for holding back his feelings. Well the flood gates open up, because later Alec finds Jace on the roof crying and I’m not going to say I didn’t get a little emotional at the two of them hugging — although, I’ll admit I did laugh a little at the sight of tears on Jace’s face, if only because they seemed so out of place.
On the other side of town, Maia notices that Simon can walk in the sun again. Simon, being Simon, hasn’t put much work into hiding his new power even though he knows how dangerous it is. Maia comments that he now has what all Downworlders want, a chance to be normal, but that he should keep under the radar because of it. He shares a drink with Maia at Hunter’s Moon, and later that day he’s visited by Raphael. Raphael immediately realizes tht he’s a Dayllighter, and he interrogates Simon about it. Simon, to his credit, does not tell either Maia nor Raphael. For now, he’s keeping Jace’s secret and also going back to NYU for Music with a minor in Accounting.
At Magnus’ they have the set up prepared to summon Azazel. They put Valentine on one end of a pentagram that looks familiar to his flashback, but have covered his mouth, presumably so he can’t manipulate anyone else. They summon Azazel, and because Izzy hasn’t contacted them telling them that she’s actually not in any immediate danger, they are basically putting themselves in danger for nothing. Azazel arrives and easily overpowers Magnus. Clary’s sunlight rune is completely useless against him. Azazel breaks out of his magical bonds and throws everyone to the ground in pain.
Clary’s shouting to Jace for help, Alec is shouting to Magnus, Azazel is doing something to Valentine that really screws with him, and Azazel calls Magnus a disgusting warlock, which also seems to have a magical effect on him. The Shadowhunters and Magnus are crippled by Azazel’s power and unable to even move without screaming out in pain. But, surprise! Jace is able to not only resist the powers, but one of his runes lights up without his stele, and he is able to get up and fight Azazel and get him out. The team is saved, but only for the short time.
Izzy picks after all of this to call and reveal that she’s fine and that she won’t be coming home. Alec is concerned but there’s not much he can do for her. Meanwhile, Sebastian reveals some of his dark side, showing the viewers a burning rune of some kind in his hand. He is definitely not good news, but Izzy is stuck with him for a while. Jace and Clary also make up, after surviving Azazel, and Jace admits that seeing Clary suffering and calling his name is what gave him the power to activate his rune without his Stele.
Finally Magnus distractedly leaves the Institute, saying bye to Alec and wandering down the street, saying “disgusting warlock” to himself. This is going to be interesting.