Synopsis of 2×01: Only hours have passed since Jace left with Valentine and all hell has broken loose at The Institute. Alec, Isabelle and Clary are desperate to find Jace, but are quickly stopped in their tracks with the arrival of Victor Aldertree, who means business about getting the Institute back on track.


Oh, how I’ve missed my Shadowhunters. After the cliffhanger that the first season ended on, I think we’re all more than happy to see the show back on the air. 

New showrunners mean a new look to the show, we’ve known for a while that this show is getting grittier in season two, and this Tuesday we got a look at just how much darker the show is about to get. With Jace on the run, The Institute has been kicked into high gear and almost immediately announces the arrival of Victor Aldertree, who locks the place down and begins interrogating the team surrounding Jace looking for answers. He pretty quickly deduces that Jace is a traitor, he knew about Valentine, and has never looked more suspicious.

Obviously, it’s more complicated than that, but this makes all defense of Jace by Alec, Izzy, and Clary null. Because of their connection to Jace — after revealing that Jocelyn is his mother — she and Clary are put on lockdown after it’s decided that a bounty is put on Jace’s head. Dead or alive.

On Valentine’s ship, Jace is pushed through a mind games obstacle course with Valentine, who reveals that when Jocelyn was pregnant he injected pure demon blood into her in order to create the perfect killing machine, a perfect balance of light and dark. Which, when you set aside the fact that he experimented on his wife and unborn child, might not be too crazy of an assumption. Just kidding, IT’S TOTALLY INSANE. Valentine’s manipulation is top notch, as he weaves tales of him being father of the year alongside frequent abuse and threats. Basically, there’s no way Jace is getting out of this unscathed.While Jace is being molded by Valentine’s crazy plans

While Jace is being molded by Valentine’s crazy plans, Alec is desperately trying to find his parabatai. Because Valentine and Jace are over water, he can’t track him using their bond, which means he’s gotta go to Magnus for help. The two fight over Alec being horrible at relationships/feelings and Magnus not wanting to deal with this, but there does seem to be a tonal shift in the changing of the guard. Malec, as much as I love the two of them — god bless whoever put both of them shirtless in this episode — never felt completely right. On one hand, Magnus was this great warlock and charismatic lothario-

On one hand, Magnus was this great warlock and charismatic lothario-esque character, on the other, he was chasing after Alec like a middle schooler. It was kind of satisfying to see him shake off Alec’s wishy washiness, in favor of getting the hell out of a shitty situation. It made their reconciliation that much more perfect when Alec was forced to face the truth about himself and about his temper and go back and apologize to Magnus.

Exiled from the Institute by Aldertree, Simon goes to the Jade Wolf with Luke and gets shoved into one of the crates by the other werewolves who don’t want to share a space with a vampire. I’m a little confused by Luke this episode. One minute he’s joking with Simon and being typical good-guy Luke, but then when Simon basically gets bullied and shoved into a canoe he doesn’t seem to care at all? I mean, I get it, he’s got to be there for the pack as well, but it seems a little off given the way he just pointed to the crate when Clary asked, like “oh yeah there’s the kid I basically watched grow up, my friends shut him in the shed.”

Regardless, Clary escapes the Institute so she can go find Jace, and asks Luke to help her search for him, but brings nothing but a glove. She tries to user her powers to find him, but it doesn’t go too far when Luke tells on her and Jocelyn comes to teach her daughter some lessons. Taking her phone and stele, she locks Clary and Simon in the crate and leaves to hunt Jace. Clary and Simon get some alone time, wherein Simon tries to confess his feelings and it doesn’t manage to make it out. Oh, Simon.

After freeing themselves from the crate, Clary and Simon are after Jocelyn. This time, Jace’s on land. Which means The Institute, Jocelyn, and Alec can all track him. Valentine takes him to a pizza place and tells him a story about a great pizza maker named Reggie, who had a loving wife who turned into a vampire and killed him. For a great shadowhunter, Jace kind of sucks at seeing through people. He dispatches Jace to the pizza store, that’s been turned into a vampire den, and Jace goes on a spree killing the vampires there. Maria, Reggie’s vampire wife, manages to run out of the store and onto the street, where she surrenders herself to the Clave. She also, stupidly, taunts and mocks Jace for not being able to do anything to her after her surrender because of the laws of the accord. At the mention of Reggie, it seems like there might have been a different side of the story that Valentine neglected to tell, but we never get a chance to learn more. With some prodding by Valentine, 

With some prodding by Valentine, Jace kills Maria. Shocked by his own actions, he barely has time to realize that Jocelyn is aiming her crossbow at him. Valentine takes the arrow for Jace — thanks for making things worse, Jocelyn — and Jace gets the both of them out of there before she can finish reloading, with Clary running onto the scene just as the two of them jump through the portal.

For a season premiere, the episode pretty much set up what kind of struggles we’re going to be facing this season. The obvious being Jace and Valentine vs The Clave and The Institute. But also Aldertree, who will undoubtedly be facing off against the team. Then there’s Magnus and Alec’s relationship, as well as Simon and Clary’s. Also, there’s Jocelyn to consider.

This is quickly sizing up to be an intense season. With most of the teaser footage coming from this episode, I’m definitely excited to see the upcoming episodes and getting to see some new footage and new set locations.

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