One week into Season 2B and things are already catching fire. It is hard to see Magnus undergo the torture that was supposed to be for Valentine. Especially as the villain runs around New York free and unrigged, once again using Dot against her will.
However, if the season-opening brought out the repercussions of the last couple of seasons, 2×12 is here to set up the stakes. The base of Magnus’ roller coaster of a storyline is laid out, while Clary and Jace’s search to understand their angelic powers starts. Moreover, Sebastian is now part of the team.
You Are Not Your Own
Magnus’ suffering is one of the hardest things to watch but at least we are treated to a marvelous scene between Valentine and Azazel. As Azazel demands the Mortal Cup, Valentine puts all of his cunning mind to work, making promises, pointing out barriers, talking his way into switching back. However, Azazel will not have it. The Mortal Cup is the only thing that will make him revert things back.
But the Prince of Hell should be worrying about more than just Valentine. Alec and Jace are on his tail, despite the Inquisitor being extra tough on Jace for summoning him inside the Institute in the first place. Izzy arrives, stronger than ever, and she brings Sebastian with her. Reluctantly, Alec accepts Sebastian into the institute as he claims to have intel on how to defeat Azazel. However, Alec is not willing to work with Sebastian just yet. He calls Magnus instead, and is alarmed when Valentine drily dismisses him.
That makes Alec go to his boyfriend’s loft. When he finds Azazel there with who he thinks is Magnus, Alec puts Sebastian’s intel to test. He hits an impossible shot and banishes Azazel back to hell.
With Azazel gone for good, Valentine then has to resort to “lesser” methods and learn how to use Magnus’ magic. Once again, he uses Dot and, with her teachings, Valentine is able to access Magnus’ powers. All he has to do now is get Magnus and himself in the same room for the reverting ceremony.
And for that, he uses Jace. The Shadowhunters is more than happy to show up when he thinks “Magnus” wants his help to throw a party for Alec. He could use the distraction after Inquisitor Imogen’s questions about his angelic powers and backing up Clary when she accepts to undergo testing to find out more about i.
Weirdly enough, it is a good thing that Jace gets captured. Valentine projects an image of both of them just mere moments before Inquisitor Imogen, motivated by rage and revenge, tries to kill Magnus and with the help of Alec. The interruption not only saves Magnus’ life, but Valentine takes this opportunity to reveal Jace’s true parentage: he is Imogen’s grandson and a Herondale.
But Valentine is not here only to drop truth-bombs. He wants his body back, so Magnus goes to his loft to meet up. Together, they perform the spell to swap their minds back and Magnus, in a true hero fashion, immediately grabs Valentine in order not to let him escape.
Outside the loft, Clary, Sebastian and Alec can only break in the wards Valentine has raised after Sebastian gives Clary the most emotionally damaging pep talk there ever was. He does so because he believes Clary has been suppressing her emotions after losing so much. It turns out Sebastian is right and Clary is finally able to reach into her angelic powers again.
After Clary tackles Valentine back into prison through a Portal, Alec stays at the loft with Magnus. It is heartbreaking to see Magnus struggle with coming to terms with what happened to him, while Alec is clearly lost about what to do next besides apologizing. There is no easy answer on how to pick up the pieces and what may come from this storyline is equal parts distressing and exciting.
While all of this was happening, Simon and Izzy team up to get Raphael out of his lair. They do this by sending him a threat using his senile sister Rosa, which justifiably makes Raphael come after them with a vengeance. However, he does so in bright daylight and as soon as Luke steps into the room and knocks the door open for the sun to shine, Simon is safe from the vampire’s attack. However, his status as a Daylighter is revealed, just as the fact that Izzy still has a long way to go to get over her addiction.
At the end of the episode, Clary reunites with Simon and they talk about their feelings. She assures him the fact that she is not Jace’s sister doesn’t interfere with how she feels about Simon. Talking about feelings and Jace, Inquisitor Imogen has a change of heart after learning the truth about the boy’s parentage. She gives him the family ring as she utters a rather emotional speech about what it means to be a Herondale and how it will change Jace’s life. Hopefully, for the better.
- If anything, this episode proved Shadowhunters is willing to let the storylines stretch through the season. Magnus’ horrible ordeal wasn’t solved by Alec’s embrace; rather they both looked lost while still being side by side. Izzy’s addiction is still a main point to her storyline and she has darker and lighter shades of gray in her actions. Even Jace’s reaction to his grandmother speech promises a developing story regarding his heritage. Good writing, guys!
- Too little Luke. I wish Simon and Izzy had gone to him instead of using an innocent old lady to threaten Raphael. Luke would never allow this. Which brings me to my next point.
- I’ll praise the show, but I’ll also criticize it when I have to. Having Izzy and Simon go after Rosa was a terrible decision and not because it is morally gray, but because the show rewarded Simon for doing it. He suffered no consequences for going along with such a villainous action, which paints it as something okay to do. It is not.
- Moreover, Alec’s passiveness regarding the entire plot felt off. He is always the first to suspects something more is happening. Yet, he didn’t even try to ask “Magnus” about their past when “Valentine” started to talk about their intimate moments. I’ll expect that Alec’s willingness to execute “Valentine” will become a tension point in the relationship. Otherwise, what is the point?
- On a lighter note, bless Jace. He dropped everything the moment “Magnus” wanted to throw a surprise party for Alec. That is so sweet.
- Funny how Imogen is now very proud of Jace, when she was treating him like crap before. I don’t think this behavior is a coincidence. If anything, this double-standard seems to be the very core of Imogen’s character.