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Shadowhunters: Raising Hell

“I need to know who I really am.”

Self-discovery is our theme of the week. Clary attempts to find her place in the Shadow World. Simon attempts to make sense of his new predilections. And Alec has a few things he needs to come to terms with. In an episode ostensibly about Clary’s continuing search for her memories and her mother, it served more as a forum for Alec’s revelation and Magnus’ formal introduction.

So many things about Alec have been made clear. Given his reticence, I’m assuming being gay is at least as frowned upon in Shadowhunter culture as it is in ours. This explains the conversations with Isabelle, his compulsive need to control his emotions, and his resentment of Clary. That his parabatai is the object of his affection is an additional complication since it is clear Jace neither knew about nor reciprocated those feelings.

As guarded as Alec is, having his feelings so publicly exposed was devastating enough. Knowing his actions ruined any chance of recovering Clary's memories, made locating The Mortal Cup infinitely more difficult, and endangered Jace’s life is nigh on unforgivable. Unfortunately, I don’t see how he addresses his guilt when he can’t acknowledge its root cause.

This is a shame because Magnus isn’t exactly subtle about his interest in Alec. And it seemed Alec might have shared that interest. Alec smiled and was a wee bit flustered when he spoke to Magnus. This is heady stuff for the guy that “dislikes everybody.”

Considering Magnus is bisexual (although I cannot see a world in which he would date Camille) I’m rather surprised he wasn’t attracted to Isabelle. She is the one who likes to party, has a flare for fashion, and, like Magnus, is not exactly shy about her sexuality. Maybe they are too similar, and opposites really do attract.

Magnus is the mirror to Alec in almost every way. Where Alec is withdrawn, Magnus is flamboyant. Where Alec is unpretentious, Magnus is self-aggrandizing and prone to embellishment. Maybe he did have an affair with Michaelangelo, but it’s clear he only complimented Clary’s artistry as an excuse to inform Alec of that fact. Although the reveal had more of an affect on Jace's than Alec.

Besides, Magnus is a mass of contradictions. He’s supposedly a hedonist who only assists those who can pay. Yet he offers to protect Clary, no payment required. And he gives back the necklace he’s “long sought” as compensation for the Shadowhunters saving the Warlocks from the Circle—something they were duty bound to do. Was that to win Alec’s favor? Because as Jace said, “The Warlock gets around.”

Alec isn’t the only one having an identity crisis. It’s dawning on Simon that either he’s descending into madness or he might be becoming a vampire. Sensitivity to sunlight? Check. An acquired taste for blood? Check. And as an added bonus, we’ll throw in a few hallucinations and random emotional tirades. Simon's hatred of square jaws, body spray and “Captain America” definitely makes the highlight real.

That said, I’m hoping Simon's rudeness to Maureen is a result of his vampiric transformation. Considering the unrequitedness of his relationship with Clary, I would think he’d have a little more empathy for Maureen. Speaking of which, is an exchange of blood enough to transform Simon into a Vampire in the Shadow World, or does he need to die?

Last but not least, there’s Clary. Discovering you are a half angel and a badass with a sword is cool. And they do seem to be making the argument Clary has instinctual fighting skills. However, it is starting to hit home that her entry into the Shadow World is not all dress-up and fun tattoos. Simon almost died (still may) and apparently Dot did. And in saving Jace’s life, Clary sacrificed her best chance to save her mother. I don’t believe all hope is lost, but I think it’s high time Clary learned there are downsides to being a Shadowhunter.

Which brings me to my one disappointment. Jace’s comment that getting Clary’s memory back is the only shot they have at finding her mother. I know it’s a throwaway line to set the stakes of the unfolding episode. But not only is it lazy writing, it’s bad character development since Jace is forced to say the exact opposite by the end of the episode. It could be that Jace is promising Clary they’ll find her mother just to make her feel better. However, I don’t think that is the argument the writers are trying to make, and it is certainly not what the actor is playing.

And what is the deal with Luke? He wanders into work late, putting his mundane job at risk. He also seems to be blowing off his Shadow World responsibilities. I’m wondering if he’s trying to find Clary or trying to keep the people he answers to from finding her.

Although the events in this episode were unexpected, this was more of what I had in mind when I saw the series premiere. More, please.

4 out of 5 Demon Detecting Necklaces

Parting Thoughts:

Not that it changes anything, but I wonder if Elias sold Magnus out before or after their conversation in the loft.

Valentine’s blatant disregard for yet another minion’s death and collecting Warlock marks? I don’t like the Circle. I’m going to take a stand and say they’re not good.


Jace: “How can one Mundane be such a pain in my ass.”

Simon: “You don’t get to talk to me, Captain America.”
Jace: “Considering I’m the guy with the weapons, I get to say what I want.”

Valentine: “How is it that my most effective asset is comatose?”

Magnus: “I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.”

Alec: “Interesting? Valentine is alive and actively seeking the Cup. He threatens our entire world. And we’re helping his daughter. Who, by the way, we have no reason to trust. And who showed up out of nowhere. On top of that, we’re gonna end up overpaying some warlock who may or may not have information we need. So no, Izzy... I don’t find it interesting.”
Isabelle: "WOAH! Feel better now?"
Alec: “No, I don’t... Okay, maybe a little.”

Clary: “And when is this all gonna sound normal to me?"
Jace: “I don’t know.”

Isabelle: “Do you think red’s my color?”
Clary: “Iz, with a body like yours, everything’s your color."

Clary: “This whole parabatai thing seems oddly intimate, if you ask me.”
Isabelle: “You don’t know the half of it.”

Magnus: “About Alec, is he more of a flower or a cologne man?”

Magnus: “There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Alec.”
Alec: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Magnus: “You will.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

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