Synopsis of 2×02: Alec and Isabelle act quickly to find Jace after the Clave issues a “shoot to kill” order; Simon turns to Magnus for help when he finds himself at odds with both Raphael and Aldertree; Clary struggles to figure out where she belongs.
Plot twists on plot twists, as we barrel through the second episode of the second season of Shadowhunters. In a turn of events that might not be too surprising for book readers, Jace is revealed to have demon blood in him after Valentine experimented on a pregnant Jocelyn. It doesn’t seem like Jace knows this, but Jocelyn uses this as her excuse for firing arrows at Jace and wanting him dead. I don’t know much about parenting, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to help their case.
Meanwhile, Clary, Izzy, and Alec are all upset over losing Jace. Alec turns on Clary, who he blames for all of this and tells her that she doesn’t belong with them. Confused about her place within shadowhunter society and lost after barely missing Jace, Clary runs from the Institute and goes back to art school as a way to escape after Jocelyn reveals to Clary Jace’s past.
Lydia informs the shadowhunters that there have been mundane fighters missing and that it must mean that despite Valentine having the cup, he hasn’t been fully successful in creating new shadowhunters and needs the strongest mundanes. Alec and Izzy go and investigate this on their own, and in the process they find a circle member in the act of kidnapping another fighter, but don’t getting anywhere since he kills himself after being confronted by the two of them. Stuck at a dead end without any more leads, Jocelyn gives them something called adamas to use for Alec to track Jace with their parabatai bond as a last-ditch effort. It’s not clear what adamas is or who the Iron Sisters are but we’re given enough to know that it’s a dangerous option and Alec could put himself in danger. Still, desperate to find Jace, Alec agrees to use adamas at his own risk and despite Izzy’s protestation.
At the same time, Simon has been ordered by Aldertree to find the source of Maria’s den. When Simon suggests that Raphael might know more, this turns Raphael on Simon, who threatens him into find Camille, since the den was hers and Raphael is facing wrongful charges by Clave. You’ve got to hand it to Simon, he’s managing pretty well for a guy who is essentially being pulled eight different ways by people. Aldertree wants answers, Raphael wants answers, he’s got to find Camille — who terrifies him, he’s got to find a new place to live since the werewolves hate him, and he’s got to deal with whatever feelings he has for Clary. Stuck between a rock and a hard place he turns to Magnus for help, the only person he knows who knows Camille and would be willing to help him.
The two of them go on a trip to Agra, one of Camille’s hideouts, in search of her. Magnus goes around collecting belongings that Camille has taken over the centuries they’ve done their on-and-off relationship. Simon searches through the mansion for her and comes across a fire breathing snake. As he put so eloquently before, Simon’s scared of “elevators, snakes, clowns, and Raphael trying to burn my junk off.” With some coaching by Magnus — who definitely becomes his downworlder sponsor — Simon is able to use encanto on the snake and feel a little bit more comfortable in his own skin again.
With the revelation of Jace’s parentage and experiments, Luke confronts Jocelyn about lying to him. But of course, since Luke is basically the classic good guy, he forgives Jocelyn for her tresspasses and helps her in trying to get Clary to come back to the Institute after she leaves her stele and runs away. They find her, but not for long as she runs away again, but this time she runs into Dot. Remember Dot? The warlock that was Jocelyn’s best friend and basically a sister to Clary, who also got some demon blood injected into her? She’s back. She portals Clary out to Valentine’s ship.
This is all part of Valentine’s plan. He uses Clary in order to convince Jace to go out and hunt downworlders with him in his grand plan to turn Jace into a horrible evil vigilante downworld-killer. Because everyone is clueless, this plan works pretty well. Clary is captured by Dot, she’s enchanted by Dot to believe that Jace must kill all downworlders before they kill all the mundanes, she then relays this message back to Jace, who is apprehensive but agrees to go with Valentine to hunt a werewolf because if he doesn’t Valentine will take Clary.
It isn’t until they bring back a werewolf (the white-haired girl in Luke’s pack) who is accused of killing a mundane by Valentine, that Jace is faced with the order to kill her without trial by the Clave. Before Jace can kill another downworlder, Clary interferes and reasons with him before Jace decides to run away with her. Dot, having been convinced by Clary to help her, brings down part of the ward surrounding the ship and allows for Clary and Jace to escape right as Alec reaches Jace with the adamas. Luckily, Jace escapes, unluckily, Alec seems to be in serious trouble.
All in all, the episode made a good effort in pushing the story forward without too much of an info dump. I definitely enjoyed the bits with Magnus and Simon. Magnus can be a little heavy-handed and extravagant, and despite Harry Shum Jr’s skills as an actor, he is difficult to take seriously. I liked this side of him that wasn’t cooing and chasing after Alec, but as a more supporting figure for Simon’s arc. Despite the claims of grittiness and maturity, so far, the season feels a little too similar to the last. The “sexy” new season is filled with unrealistic, overchoreographed fights, excessive shows of violence, and an abundance of shirtless scenes. The characters stand firmly either as a good person or an evil person, with rare characters toeing the line, giving them a lack of depth. However, that isn’t to say I’m not ready to give season two a chance. The upgrades are obvious and appreciated, so I’m hoping for more good things.