Shadowhunters picks up just a couple of days after the end of Season 2A. The Shadow World has turned upside-down as Valentine was able to trick Jace into igniting the destructive power of the Soul Sword. As it turns out, much like Clary, who is revealed to not be his sister, Jace also carries pure angel blood in his veins.
What should’ve been a cause for celebration turns instead into a disaster. Dozens of downworlders are killed inside of the Institute’s walls. Thankfully, though, the good guys stop and capture Valentine before he can use the Soul Sword to actively kill every downworlder on the face of the Earth.
In this confusion, a mysterious figure takes the Soul Sword. But this is not the only mystery of the season finale: Simon can now walk in the sun.
Mea Maxima Culpa
The first episode of Season 2B is all about the repercussions of the season finale. While Jace refuses to deal with his guilt for activating the Soul Sword, Simon worries about his status as a vampire that has the ability to walk in the sun, Luke has to assert his role as the Alpha, and Izzy battles withdrawals from yin fen.
It isn’t only the good guys that are dealing with consequences. Inquisitor Imogen is back at the Institute. With Aldertree sent back to Idris for punishment, Imogen takes over the Institute and tortures Valentine with the help of an Agony Rune. It seems that the rune doesn’t only trigger pain but it also brings out the victim’s most horrible memory, which, in Valentine’s case, has something to do with a little blond boy surrounded by fire.
Imogen’s goal with the use of such a horrible method of torture is for Valentine to reveal where he is hiding the Mortal Instruments, and it is interesting to note that she tells Clary and Jace that the Clave has already recovered the Soul Sword, a blatant lie.
However, Imogen is not the only one after the Mortal Instruments. A mysterious demon arrives in New York and he is after the Mortal Cup. He murders an entire bar of mundanes and attacks Izzy when she, driven by her withdrawal, seeks a vampire den for their venom.
Here comes Sebastian Verlac a charming and way too convenient shadowhunter Izzy didn’t know. He is able to rescue her from this demon and bring her to the safety of his apartment. Worried about his sister, Alec – the only one who knows about Izzy’s battle against addiction -, goes to investigate her whereabouts with Magnus. They find Izzy’s necklace destroyed, confirming Magnus’ theory that this is no mere demon, but the Prince of Hell, Azazel.
Under the assumption that Azazel has Izzy, Jace and Clary let Valentine convince them to use him as bait. Azazel wants the Mortal Cup and only Valentine knows where it is. They can offer him in exchange of Izzy. But Valentine’s help doesn’t come for free. He reveals to Clary what Jace had chosen not to tell her: that they are not brother and sister.
That does not help Clary, who was already going through a turmoil of her own. Not at all.
When they put their (terrible) plan in action and Magnus summons Azazel, it immediately backfires. Clary is too confused to blast the demon with her angelic light once it is clear that Azazel does not have Izzy. The Prince of Hell then breaks free and attacks everyone present.
Thankfully prior to this, Jace had taken a moment to cry in his Parabatai’s arms. He let himself face the consequences of the massacre he was tricked into unleashing. As horrible and unfair as this sentiment is, dealing with it allowed Jace’s angelic abilities to flourish. While Clary can draw the runes Ithuriel sends her, Jace can active angelic runes without the need of a stele. Jace’s newfound angelic ability allows him to save everyone from Azazel.
However, Azazel was able to take this opportunity to exchange Magnus’ and Valentine’s minds. By the end of the episode, Magnus is taken to Valentine’s cell, while a very confused and disgusted Valentine is led to the Institute’s door by Alec. It is especially uncomfortable to watch just how caring Alec is of “Magnus” when all that love is being given to a shadowhunter supremacist trapped into a downworlder body.
But Magnus is not the only one who has fallen into a trap. Izzy wakes up in Sebastian’s home and although he helps her recover, as he has also been a yin fen addict, that creepy burn handing business cannot be a good sign. Thankfully though, Izzy calls home to let Alec know she is alright. Let’s hope that is true.
And while Jace is personally suffering from guilt, the downworlders are suffering from the loss. Luke’s pack has been reduced to one-third of its original size, which is sending some wolves over the edge. A wolf named Russel, in particular, wants to challenge Luke’s authority but Maia interferes. In the end, Russel and other wolves run away, but the bond between Luke and Maia fortify.
Maia is also there to counsel Simon when he comes to show her his new abilities. As Simon’s friend, Maia is happy for him, but as a downworlder, she is also very concerned. A vampire that can walk in the sun is not supposed to exist. Therefore, Maia advises Simon to stay quiet about it. That is exactly what Simon does when Raphael shows up, asking a lot of questions. He calls Simon a Daylighter, adding to the lore of Shadowhunters.
- The fandom has been asking for a while to see some casual touching between Alec and Magnus. We finally get some, but it is disheartening to see that isn’t Magnus at all. But hey, at least we know Alec feels comfortable enough to be openly caring to his boyfriend in the Institute.
- I am loving the relationship between Luke and his new nosy mundane partner, Ollie. I hope we see more of her. It is quite interesting to see this serious version of Luke, especially after everything he has lost so far.
- So… When are we getting more on the fact that Azazel recognized Magnus immediately? Because I totally need more of that.
- Yay for Izzy’s detox scene not being sexualized or romanticized in any way. Emeraude did a heck of a job looking a wreck and kind of crazy, while keeping Izzy’s inner strength there. Well done!
- I am so happy that the body-swap was not a plan of Valentine’s. Much was said about it before the season began and it worried me that it might’ve been a plot from him. It wouldn’t make sense: Valentine is, above all, a bigot. He controls the body of one of the most powerful beings of the Shadow World and all he thinks is “filthy warlock.” Besides, there are some uncomfortable rape-y parallels and I wouldn’t want Magnus having his body defiled on purpose by the Hitler allegory. I’m sure the repercussions of this will be already devastating as it is, without that happening.