Synopsis for 1×09: Clary, Jace and Isabelle are forced to take drastic action after they suspect Lydia’s harsh plan for the Seelies could prove to be disastrous; Alec is emotionally torn by events at the Institute.
With intrigue rife within the Institute, we get the return of Meliorn, Isabelle’s faerie ex-boyfriend. After the break-in at the Institute and investigation that revealed that the trespassers had seelie blood within them that allowed them to bypass the wards set up around the Institute, Meliorn has been arrested by the Clave. On top of that, Clary has to deal with the fact that Simon is now a vampire fledgling and must face the fact that his life has been irreversibly changed.
I’ll admit that while I enjoy this show Shadowhunters is often times more a guilty pleasure than anything else. But despite the stilted dialogue, poorly timed comedic lines, and a leading couple that seems to lack the right amount of charisma, this episode was enjoyable. The pacing within the episode was good, playing on character dynamics and strengths, while finally pushing forward the main plot involving Clary and Valentine.
The plot revolving around Alec continuously strains his relationship with his family, especially after his engagement to Lydia where he told absolutely no one only to have no one approve after he shared the news. After finding out that his parents were a part of Valentine’s Circle, he not only feels even more betrayed but his relationship with Lydia is strengthened.
For most of the episode he plays contrast to Jace and Isabelle and even Magnus, and honestly is kind of harsh. His relationship with Jace, in particular, takes a particularly devastating turn that I find hard to believe. Their parabatai bond makes them into something more than brothers or partners or any other human bond. It connects them, and the idea that this bond is so easily severed to the point where they not only fight, but Alec abandon’s Jace even when he begs him to join him? It definitely weakens the mythology of the bond.
It’s fair if you want the two guys to have a fight and disagree, but this doesn’t feel like a big enough issue for Alec to turn his back on Jace. It’s bizarre to me, but it’s weird to see the two arguing in general. As cool as their physical battle looked — and the choreography was brilliant — the two of them so often cite their parabatai bond as the reason for their closeness and reliance on one another, for it to be broken this quickly makes little sense.
If anything, even Simon and Clary’s friendship seems to be stronger than it at a time when it should definitely be weaker. After waking up and realizing he’s a vampire, Simon spirals. It’s completely understandable. A month ago he was a normal kid, now he’s pretty much forced to drink blood for the rest of his life and is scientifically undead. Separated from his family, his friends, his old life, he’s got no choice but to turn to Raphael.
However, despite the general class structure of shadowhunters thinking their better than their downworlder counterparts, Clary is unwilling to accept this default. Her relationship with Simon — while sometimes a little cheesy— is really one of the strongest relationships on the show. They genuinely care for one another and show it well. Even with the Clave and Meliorn and the trials with the Cup, much of her attention and efforts are spared for Simon.
Despite Jace’s weekly claim that she’s “a shadowhunter now” (when will he stop calling this out?), Clary’s loyalties lie with those she trusts, not just with fellow shadowhunters. She is able to assemble the shadowhunters, the werewolves, and the vampires together in order to save Meliorn from the Clave. The vampires and werewolves hate each other — as written in fictional stone across all stories — and begrudgingly agree to comply to Clary’s requests, but not without a little tit-for-tat. Their little back and forth before executing the plan was funny in that slightly cringe worthy way, and was a little too reminiscent of Twilight.
But, Clary is able to pull them all together and they get Meliorn away from the Clave, and save his life. I’m still not really sure what his intention is, or the depth of his relationship with Izzy. His character is a little foggy for me, but he serves as a good liaison between two sides of the fight and reveals to Clary that he can help her find Valentine in exchange for her saving his life.