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Reviews

S2 E06: The Forging of Bonds

The episode this week furthers the character development while balancing it out with the actual plot. We learn about another group of especial Shadowhunters, the Iron Sisters. Moreover, relationships are put to the test.

It is exactly in those tests that the sixth episode shines brighter. Shadowhunters has a variety of interesting characters. The episodes that remember to explore them tend to be the most entertaining ones. This is no exception.

Iron Sisters

Jace and Clary start the episode researching the strange rune that appeared to Clary. They can’t find it in the Gray Book, where all known runes are listed. Clary wants to talk to Izzy and Alec about it, but Jace is wary. To him, the fewer people involved, the better. Jace doesn’t want to implicate his siblings as he knows that the Clave could come for them if it ever found out about Clary’s weird ability.

Their time together is interrupted, though. Izzy shows up to check on Clary. She also wants to invite Clary to go on a mission together. Aldertree wants to know why Valentine wants the Soul Sword. They know it is a Mortal Instrument but unlike the Cup that can control demons and create new Shadowhunters, the Sword only compels the truth from its holder. Clary accepts the invite, eager to both spend time with her friend and distract herself from her mother’s passing.

Before they leave, though, Izzy goes for a yin fen refill. Aldertree is quick to provide her with some, even when he sees the side effects already manifesting on Izzy. His motives to get her hooked up on the drug are revealed then. The Clave believes that Valentine might have experimented on Clary too. Aldertree wants Izzy to spy on her and report back. He’s using her weakness as insurance that she’ll comply.

The girls go on the mission. Once again, Clary’s loyalty is questioned because of her heritage. She convinces the Sisters she is not her father but both Izzy and she have to pass a purity test. Each girl submerges in holy water that will determine if they have demonic impurities on them. Clary is cleared at once, proving that Valentine did not give her demon blood.

Izzy, however, almost drowns. Clary tries to argue in Izzy’s favor but only she is allowed inside the Citadel. As they need answers, Izzy urges Clary to go. Sister Magdalena then tells Izzy she is infested with vampire venom, the basis is yin fen. She also informs that the drug does not heal. Much like the vampire venom itself, it numbs the senses and replaces it with a highly addictive and pleasing sensation.

Inside the Citadel, Clary talks to Sister Cleophas. As she is Luke’s sister, Clary shares her concern about Luke. He is still missing. Sister Cleophas seems touched by Luke’s pain. However, she has bigger concerns. She tells Clary why Valentine went after the Soul Sword. There is a way to ignite it, releasing a burst of energy that would destroy demon-blooded creatures. That includes Downworlders.

On her way out, Clary decides to seek for more. She asks Sister Cleophas about her vision. The Sister shuts down Clary’s theory that it was sent by her mother. Unbeknown to her, Izzy is listening in. When they can back to the Institute, Izzy reports to Aldertree. She tells him that Clary doesn’t have demon blood. Izzy also confronts Aldertree about the yin fen. Aldertree tries to appear oblivious of the side effects but then applies the same tactic as before. He flings the drug on Izzy’s face, letting the addiction cloud her judgment for him. However, when Aldertree asks for more information about Clary, Izzy keeps quiet about the rune vision.

The Iron Sister’s storyline ends with a plot twist. After the girls leave, Sister Cleophas murders Sister Magdalena. It turns out, Cleophas was once a Circle member. And she’s on her way to Valentine.

Meanwhile, on Earth realm, Simon is also worried about Luke. After Raphael erases Elaine’s memory of Simon ever coming back home, Simon decides to go back to the boathouse. As Luke is still missing Simon tries to go to the pack. However, Alaric informs that they’ve given up on searching for Luke. It is very unnerving that we don’t know for how long has Luke been missing. Has it been a week? More? Less? We simply don’t know.

However long, though, Simon is not giving up on him. Neither is Maia. She teams up with Simon in order to search for Luke in the woods. Maia explains that when a wolf is feeling strong emotions, they lose control of their shifts. Grief must have sent Luke into an involuntary feral state.

In their road trip, Simon and Maia bond a little. Their love for Luke is a kick start but they can also relate on more than one level. Maia is just as much of a geek as Simon is. Besides, they both have been through fairly uncomfortable situations as they adapt to their Downworlder lives. Maia tells Simon that Luke was there for her when she first turned. That is where her loyalty to him come from.

Together, they find Luke. Simon is able to talk him into his senses. For that night, the tables are turned and it is Maia and Simon who take care of Luke. It’s a sweet scene, well-executed by all of the actors. It is nice to see Luke receiving some support, after he nearly gave up on his current life to live with Jocelyn. Losing the love of one’s life is not a blow to be taken lightly.

Talking about love, Alec and Magnus finally go on that first date. It only happens because Magnus tricks Alec into showing up at his place. When Alec realizes there is no emergency and that Magnus is fine, he’s ready to dive back to work. Magnus then convinces him to take a break. Alec can’t continue to ignore his personal life or soon he’ll forget what he is even fighting for.

Wise words lead to a lovely date. Magnus has Alec trying different kinds of drinks, so Alec can find out what he likes or not. They also play poll, revealing a competitive side that adds to the relationship. The date only appears to go sideways when they start to talk about former relationships. While Magnus has had a lot of experience in the past, Alec has had exactly none. This makes things weird and Alec almost gives up on them. But he doesn’t. He decides he doesn’t care if Magnus has had a lot of ex-lovers, just as Magnus doesn’t care if Alec hasn’t had any. “Relationship takes effort,” Alec says. And he is willing to work for his and Magnus’ to work.

Unfortunately for everyone, just as they were about to seal the deal, Jace appears. Aldertree has been bullying him out of the Institute. He made Jace stay out of the field and then work on ichor duty. When Jace complained, Aldertree threatened to show everyone the footage of Jace’s trial. Specifically, when Jace says he cannot pledge unconditional loyalty to the Clave. With nowhere else to go, Jace asks Magnus for a spare room.

Personal Notes

  • I wonder how Izzy, the best pathologist expert in New York, highly trained in all creatures of the Shadow World, did not know what yin fen was. That seems like something that would be in the learning curriculum.
  • That said, this is an interesting trial of Izzy’s character. She’s willing to put herself at risk to get the drug. However, she is not willing to throw her friend under the bus for it. The storyline gives Izzy more depth than any other she’s been involved before.
  • Matthew Daddario was especially funny in this episode. If this is how a relaxed Alec is, it’s easy to see why Magnus has fallen in love so quickly.
  • Both Clary and Simon were absolutely endearing this episode. I wish they were written more like that. I felt for Clary as she clung to the notion that Jocelyn was the one sending the rune. Simon’s determination to find Luke was beautiful too.

Images courtesy from Freeform.

 

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