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Reviews

S2 E19: A Lukewarm Episode Fails to Impress

Season 2 promised a two-part finale, starting this week. Unfortunately, the episode we got wasn’t enough to hype up the conclusion of the season. There was nothing wrong with it, but picking up after a masterpiece like Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen didn’t help.

Yet, there were some great moments in the episode. We actually see some shadowhunting and there are more Downworlders featured on this episode than in all the entirety of the show combined. Not to mention, the action is great and so are the performances.

Hail and Farewell

Valentine and Jonathan are forced to make a final strike now that Jonathan’s identity was revealed. However, they still need the Mortal Mirror, which they think is safe in the Institute. Knowing this, Alec summons an urgent Cabinet Meeting. He intends to propose a joint effort in hunting down the Morgensterns.

Unfortunately, recent events have made cooperation impossible. As the Seelie Realm is the only safe place for the Downworlders, Raphael, Luke, and Magnus accept the Seelie Queen’s deal. They will submit to their wishes and, in exchange, gain a safe haven from whatever Valentine throws at them. It doesn’t matter how hard Magnus try to deny it, his actions speak for themselves. This decision is the lesser of two evils and yet, it leaves a bitter taste in his mouth just as it does in Luke’s and Raphael’s.

Now speaking for the entire Downworld, the Seelie Queen rejects Alec proposal. Shadowhunters and Downworlders will be hunting for Valentine, but separately. This is why the warlocks first move it to isolate New York City. No Shadowhunter can go in or out without being fried by the newly raised wards.

That is just in time. As it turns out, whatever advantage the heroes had in knowing the truth about the Mortal Mirror was for naught. Alec calls Inquisitor Imogen to inform her, alongside Clary and Jace, about the truth of the Mortal Mirror. After looking frankly perturbed, Imogen promises to pass along the information to the Consul and put guards around the sacred water. And she manages to do so without remarking the Herondale in Jace, which was a surprise.

However, Shadowhunters pull a villainous Deus Ex Machina. Apparently, Valentine has someone infiltrated in the Clave. This is how he finds out about the Mortal Mirror being Lake Lyn, effectively eliminating his reason to stay in NYC.

It seems it was Clary who inherited the ability to pull solutions out of her ass from Valentine. Sorry, Johnny. You only get to live your teenage years in Hell.

From all the ways he could’ve learned the truth, that has got to be the lamest. The problem isn’t that it doesn’t make sense that Valentine would have a mole in the Clave. It does. As Magnus said, the Clave is full of fanatics. What bothers me is how convenient it is to reveal this fact just now. If nothing else, this just endorses Magnus’ choice of backing up the Seelie Queen. The Clave had never had the downworlders’ best interest at heart.

Though neither does the Queen, as it turns out. Locked inside the city and without a way out, Valentine sends Jonathan off as a distraction and resorts to a different tactic. He seeks the Seelie Queen. She is already looking very shady as she has Maia kidnapped for no apparent reason, but things take a turn for the worse. Valentine whispers in the Queen’s ear something we are not able to hear. Whatever it was, it makes her change her mind. Valentine triumphs once again.

Jonathan, however, doesn’t fare so well. The Shadowhunters are on his tail, especially after Clary figures out a way to locate him by combining her and Jace’s special angelic abilities.  The process involves a lot of blood bonds mumble jumble and the activation of every rune on their bodies. The resulting connection arises some special emotions that the couple had been bottling up for a while. The whole thing, however, is pretty confusing and far-fetched. The show even tried to come off self-aware by adding a joking about it. It didn’t work.

Regardless, the glowing plot contrivance works. They find Jonathan and hunt him down to a cemetery. There, the foursome breaks into pairs but they all end up fighting a horde of forsakens. This is honestly the best shot and performed action sequence of the show. Clary, Izzy, and Alec each get a moment to shine and Shadowhunters finally ditches the shaky cams and weird angles.

Unfortunately for Jace, Jonathan was waiting especially for him. He drags Jace away with a chain and has every intention of hanging him as a trophy. However, Jace manages to taunt Jonathan using Jonathan’s vanity against him, he ditches the plan in order to fight. I wish the confrontation was infused with more emotion than it really was.

Thankfully, Izzy shows up just as Jonathan gets the upper hand. She brings with her the emotion lacking as she confronts Jonathan on using her and hurting Max. With Izzy attracting Jonathan’s attention to herself, Jace is able to strike the final blow.

Death never looked so good.

And then the Shadowhunters do the one thing one should never do in these supernatural shows. They throw Jonathan’s body into the water and let it drift away instead of making sure he’s dead. 

That should work out just fine.

Clary realizes the importance of Jace in her life. The fear of seeing him hurt and almost losing him gives her the courage to admit her feelings towards him. She confesses that she is tired of losing people she cares about and is afraid to lose him too. Touched by her confession Jace finally gives into his feelings and kisses her.

Personal Notes

  • The Parabatai bond, which most of us know will be very important next week, is a rather downside of the episode. So, Alec can feel a cut in Jace’s hand, but he’s fine with Jace being dragged by his neck and having his lungs stabbed? And what about last week, when Izzy was the one to notice how sad Alec was after the break-up? What are the rules? Plot-convenience?
  • It is great to see each of the Downworlder Leaders have their own opinion. Magnus is betting on a “the ends justify the means” kind of thinking, while Luke is not buying it. Raphael, in turn, is mostly tagging along and dreading the day his father decided to be so dramatic.
  • Jace and Clary are (finally) back together again. Is it too much to ask for them to be able to enjoy that? Maybe for the first couple of episodes of season 3. I feel like it is too much.
  • “Send Maryse my best.” This ship is rising.
  • How cool was Catarina? And how great was Madzie? She seems so happy and healthy now. I choose to believe the speech struggle was deliberate and a way to show Madzie is starting to come out of her shell. And with a mom as cool as Catarina, who wouldn’t, right?

Images courtesy of Freeform.
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