Synopsis of 2×13: The Institute’s leaders fear a Downworlder uprise when Shadowhunters begin turning up dead at an alarming rate.
Sometimes when TV shows are trying to make a point, it can end up being a little over the top. When political allegories are drawn, it has to be done well not to sound preachy or even campy. This episode didn’t get it down pat. Centering around Jace becoming a Herondale, the plot this episode was about Shadowhunters getting attacked and getting their runes cut out of them and being left for dead. The Clave, with Imogen representing them, kicks into high gear with the investigation.
Or should we call it a witch hunt?
Is the Clave not here to protect everyone? And yet the first sign of a dead Shadowhunter they turn to tagging Downworlders and taking their DNA. It seems like a drastic action to take especially when your own Shadowhunters are offering to question the Downworlders and actually do a little detective work. But nope, let’s move to the most drastic measures instantly. That makes a whole lot of sense.
Jace, caught between the loyalty to his friends and to his new family, always seems to side with Imogen. He is appointed the head of the institute after Imogen returns back to Idris, despite the fact that Alec is a better leader and has been primed for the position. You’d think someone who abides by the rules so strictly would pick someone who has actually demonstrated strong leadership, or at least attempted at not falling for nepotism, but that person is not Imogen Herondale.
Along the way, obviously, the Downworlders are getting the repeated short end of the stick. Maia feels like they’re being treated like animals and being profiled by her species. Simon compares it to the Holocaust. Even Dot compares it to the Salem witch trials. We get it. It’s oppression.
Inevitably Clary ends up as one of the potential victims of the person actually killing the Shadowhunters, but Simon stops them just in time. He brings her back to the Institute, but instead of letting him stay with his girlfriend, they want to force him out because he’s a Downworlder. He refuses. They eventually drag him down to the jail where they kept Valentine. Really? Can’t you just kick him out? You have to throw him in the jail we have for Valentine?
Victims turn up with indications that they have been killed by all different kinds of Downworlders, so Alec goes to Magnus for a DNA sample in order to test him against the bodies they found. This causes an immediate rift between them. This seems kind of out of left field for me. Magnus, this is not your first rodeo with Alec. You know he’s a rule follower and he’s a loyal soldier. He’s not about to oppose Imogen for something like this. Yes, it’s degrading and offensive. But surely you’re not surprised Alec actually obeys orders?
Unsatisfied with the DNA samples they get, probably because no one has turned up a match, Imogen decides to tag all Downworlders with a GPS tag. Is this Clave approved? It doesn’t feel like it but somehow we all go along with it. Especially Jace. He heads to Hunter’s Moon to attempt to tag everyone. I have no idea how he let it get this far, but he obeys orders and heads over there. Maia obviously opposes. The two of them get into another fight in which she kicks his ass again, but not before getting tagged by another Shadowhunter. Luke steps in too little too late but is the voice of reason
Luke steps in too little too late but is the voice of reason. This is how an uprising starts, and he’s not wrong at all. If anyone had stopped to look around they’d see that this is how you cause conflict and aggression, not how you find a killer. It’s a distraction. Regardless, no one listens and a couple hours later they bring in Maia, who they found next to another Shadowhunter body. Clary speaks up for Maia, but Imogen tosses her down into the same cell with Simon.
Izzy goes to Raphael to ask about the killings. Jace also finds out that she’s a Yin Fen addict, but both he and Alec let her go to Raphael. Have none of them had experience with addicts? Typically it’s a bad thing if you let them go near the drug again. She’s been to a few meetings and has been off the stuff for like two weeks, this is a dangerous spiral towards relapse if you’re not careful.
Still, it’s television and she and Raphael have a nice chat in which he tells her that it’s definitely not a vampire because Shadowhunters used to take trophies like this when they hunted Downworlders before the Accords and vampires swore never to do this. Instead, Raphael points the accusation at Meliorn, who had once suggested over thirty years ago that taking away runes was a solution to stopping Shadowhunter aggressors back when the going was tough for Downworlders. Raphael, you ever think he said those things because organizations like The Circle was on the rise?
The two of them track Meliorn through a shirt that Izzy kept of his. I don’t think I’ve seen the man in anything other than leather, but okay sure, he’s got a casual short sleeve button up. In the process they spot Max, who has come to train as a Shadowhunter. He’s followed Izzy there with his tracking ability, and instead of keeping him close, Izzy tells him to hide. Izzy. No.
They leave Max behind and eventually find Meliorn standing over a dead Shadowhunter. He looks guilty, but he says he didn’t do it and because Seelie can’t lie, Izzy believes him. Meliorn knows the culprit and has been tracking them, and then the inevitable happens. Max gets taken.
Meliorn, Izzy, and Raphael get to the dungeon where the Seelie Kaelie has Max. She considers him innocent but thinks this is the only way to get revenge after losing her brother to the Soul Sword. It’s the same Seelie that Jace was sleeping with a little while back, we saw her at the beginning of the episode pour a drink all over Jace, I guess serial killing is the natural graduation. Izzy kills her and saves Max and all is well in the world.
Well, there’s still the political implications that the Clave was ready to tag every Downworlder because they didn’t utilize their detective skills well enough. Jace rights the nepotism wrong by naming Alec his successor and the head of the Institute.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, we watched Dot heavily lay on the flirt with Magnus after his argument with Alec. It’s not really clear what is going on with Magnus, or why he doesn’t tell Dot that she was actually teaching Valentine magic last week. You’d think that if Dot not only knew Magnus for centuries but also dated him, she’d be able to tell that it was Valentine and not her ex-boyfriend. Anyways, the two dance and end up in an almost kiss when Magnus rejects her and eventually makes up with Alec when he comes back to apologize.
After Simon is released, he and Clary go to Hunter’s Moon where she’s set up a concert for him. The vampires who want to be in his clan because of a legend that says a Daylighter will lead a powerful vampire clan are there to cheer him on, and so is everyone else. Outside, Maia and Jace hook up after he removes the GPS tracker from her neck. Maia, you already got burned once, why you gotta do this again when Jace is definitely still in love with Clary?
This episode wasn’t bad, I was entertained, but given the way they revealed Jace’s parentage and the way they’re handling it this week, it was a bumpy ride and definitely not the best that this show can offer.