*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
Season two of Shadowhunters is officially here and words alone cannot express my excitement. Yes, season one wasn’t the greatest but it certainly could have been worse. Now the actors have more experience in the roles, there are going to be more episodes and this first episode features a shirtless Magnus. Could we ask for much more?
The show begins with a recap of season one showing everything that has happened so far, from Magnus and Alec getting together and Simon becoming a vampire to Jocelyn waking up and Clary and Jace finding out their siblings (and not coping too well with that news. But who can blame them? We’re not coping well with it either).
The first scene opens on Valentine’s ship which is littered with dead bodies as Jace walks through them (still not quite sure why there were so many bodies, were they mundanes who hadn’t been able to become Shadowhunters?). All of a sudden Clary arrives with no explanation as to how she got there, next thing we know Valentine’s there too. After a short fight, Jace kills Valentine which, let’s face it, seemed a pretty anti-climactic way to end such an important character. Another Valentine appeared a couple of minutes later (both confusing and satisfying me), Jace again kills him but as Jace looks over the body a rune on Valentine’s arm lights up and the body transforms into someone else (presumably someone from Valentine’s growing army). Clary comes up behind Jace and it’s then that something clicks. This isn’t Clary. It’s Valentine. And, fairly understandably, he’s not happy with Jace’s loyalty.
Cue the new opening title sequence with a slightly more extended version of Ruelle’s song This is the Hunt. It also includes more images of the entire cast – a definite bonus.
We are then back at the institute where the search for Jace continues. Alec seems to be taking it the hardest, lashing out at everyone, including Magnus. They really need to go on that first date.
Clary and Jocelyn are then reunited (although it isn’t clear if this is the first time they’ve spoken since Jocelyn waking up) in a strange room filled with plants. They talk about Valentine and Clary brings out the box belonging Jonathon – the one her mother would get out and cry over every year on his birthday – and tells Jocelyn that Jonathon is alive and that he’s Jace. Jocelyn claims it to be impossible. Trust me, Jocelyn, we’ve all been there.
We then go to another scene between Magnus and Alec. They discuss Jace – Alec is still torn up over his brother’s disappearance and he asks Magnus to help him track Jace using his parabatai rune (not a good idea considering what happened when he tried that in season one).
The next scene has some comedic value with Jocelyn discovering Simon is now a vampire when he accidentally flashes her his fangs. Literally.
Maryse is then seen giving a speech to the institute about Jace and Valentine. She goes on to introduce the new head of the institute; Victor Aldertree. It’s safe to say that Lydia is not impressed.
I’m not going to lie, this next scene nearly broke me. We’re back on Valentine’s ship and Jace is tied up while someone (another Shadowhunter? a downworlder?) punches him repeatedly while someone else throws buckets of water over him. All Jace can do is stand there and take it which seems slightly unfair in my opinion. But I’m sure Valentine has it all figured out. Eventually, Valentine enters, calls them off and draws an iratze on Jace. He’s such a good dad.
The next scene confused me slightly. It features Aldertree questioning Clary about what happened to Jace but as he does so he’s recording her on a mobile. Not exactly what I would have called professional? Also, the use of technology in the institute is never fully explained – where did they get it all from? Does it not mess with the protection over the institute? I doubt we’ll ever know. Aldertree then goes on to reassure Clary he’s going to find Jace. Something about his tone makes me think he doesn’t mean it how we want him to.
We’re now in the kitchen on Valentine’s ship where he tries to bond with Jace, telling him how he made him spaghetti for his 5th birthday. After years of lying and abandonment, I think it’s safe to say there’s a lot he needs to learn about parenting. Jace clearly isn’t impressed with this story as he grabs a knife and tries to stab Valentine. Unfortunately, Valentine is quicker than Jace and his attempt fails. We then see a flashback, courtesy of a strange rune Valentine draws, showing Valentine injecting a pregnant Jocelyn with something which turns out to be demon blood. Seriously Valentine, get it together.
An emotional scene featuring Malec follows ending with Alec asking Magnus, “What do you want from me?” to which Magnus replies, “At the moment? Nothing.” Before they can say anything else an alarm in the institute sounds leaving Magnus to walk out with tears in his eyes. (At this point I just have to keep telling myself it’s all going to be fine otherwise, I will, undoubtedly, burst into tears.) Alec is then joined by Clary and Izzy and a hologram of Jace appears. With the words “Wanted dead or alive” written across him. Good to know Aldertree is keeping his promise. Speak of the devil and he shall appear, issuing a new order; downworlders are currently no longer welcome at the institute, leaving Luke and Simon to depart after some reluctance. Aldertree goes on to call Jace a traitor, tell Clary and the others they aren’t allowed to help search for Jace and that Clary and Jocelyn are not even allowed to leave the institute. It’s safe to say that he doesn’t have many fans at this point.
This next scene is probably my favourite in the episode as it features Simon being adorable while trying and failing to be a vampire. He and Luke are discussing the events of the day at the Jade Wolf but unfortunately Luke leaves allowing the other wolves to surround Simon. He then tries Encanto on them. Emphasis on tries.
We’re now back on Valentine’s ship as he and Jace watch the new Shadowhunters training on the deck below. It’s safe to say that Jace isn’t happy about Valentine experimenting on him with demon blood. Valentine claims he wants to get rid of all downworlders as they can’t control their demonic blood forever, Jace counters by asking why he put demon blood him. Valentine answers, “To fight fire with fire.”
Back at the institute Clary and Izzy are training whilst trying to talk about Jace with Aldertree watching them from a short distance away. Izzy teaches Clary a valuable lesson, “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.”
I very much wanted to punch Maryse in this next scene. Alec is on his way to Magnus’ apartment when Maryse follows him and tells him he needs to forget about Jace. Cut him out of his life, that it was wrong of her and Robert to take him in and that Jace isn’t his brother. All because he’s Valentine’s son. Luckily Alec ignores what she has to say and continues on to Magnus’.
Back at the Jade Wolf Aldertree has come to see Luke which, after he kicked Luke and Simon out earlier, Luke isn’t very impressed about. But, a quick rune and it turns out its Clary taking Izzy’s advice – there seems to be a bit of a theme in this episode concerning disguises. Clary goes to visit Simon in his ‘new home’ – a very nice storage container. Jocelyn then arrives, asks Clary for her phone and stele which Clary gives her (really Clary?) and promptly locks her and Simon in the storage container. She’s really doing a great job earning her daughter’s trust again.
I should put a warning here as the next scene contains a lot of Malec emotions. Not to mention a very shirtless Magnus. Luckily it ends with forgiveness between the two of them and Magnus telling Alec, “When things get crazy don’t push me away.” Be still my beating heart.
This is followed by a short but sweet scene between Clary and Simon as they reminisce about their first wicked hangover, culminating in Simon being seconds away from telling Clary how he feels about her, right as the door to the storage container falls open (I still don’t really understand how that happened – was it really due to Simon trying to break it down?).
Now we see everyone tracking Jace – Jocelyn, Magnus and Alec, everybody at the institute. We then have Jace and Valentine arriving through a portal out onto a dark street. This causes everyone to be able to find them and a hunt ensues. But who will get to them first?
While everyone else is hurrying to reach Jace and Valentine the father-son duo decide to go for pizza. At least at what was a pizza place. But is now a vampire den. Jace runs inside after hearing a scream coming from within and goes down to the basement which is filled vampire after vampire feasting on mundanes. Jace kills a few of the vampires before clearing out the remaining mundanes before a whole new lot of vampires enters. He manages to take a few of them out before Maria (who I’m assuming was the head of that clan) enters and a fight ensues. They fall through the window out into the street where Maria then surrenders – she knows Jace can no longer kill her now, due to the accords. But Valentine doesn’t go by the accords. He goads Jace as does Maria until Jace kills her. Shock resonates in Jace’s features while Valentine looks on, ever the proud father. Cue Jocelyn appearing with a crossbow aimed straight at Jace. She shoots but Valentine runs forward and takes the hit instead. Maybe Jace means more to him that we thought. More likely he needs Jace for his evil plan. Jace grabs Valentine and pulls him back through the portal as Clary is faced with an impossible decision; go after Jace or stop Jocelyn from taking another shot at him? She chooses Jocelyn and runs to her just as Jace and Valentine disappear through the portal. The episode concludes with Clary asking Jocelyn what we’re all thinking, “What have you done?”