Shadowhunters: Of Men and Angels

“The honor comes from the deed.”

The question posed to each of our characters is “what would you do for your family (either blood or found)?” Unsurprisingly, some are found wanting.

Luke spends the few lucid moments he has in this episode honoring Jocelyn’s wishes. He pleads with Magnus to tell Clary about the Uprising, i.e. how and why Valentine became the monster he is. When Luke finally gains consciousness, he completes the story.

While it amounts to an exposition dump masquerading as the means of sparking Clary’s memory it solidifies Luke’s love for and loyalty to Jocelyn and Clary. And given Valentine’s cruelty and madness, it goes a long way in explaining Jocelyn’s decision to steal her daughter’s memories. If Valentine could set the fire that killed his son and attempt to murder his parabatai by werewolf, no one is safe.

The Fairchilds aren’t the only ones dealing with family drama. Maryse and Robert Lightwood are the embodiment of Good Cop / Bad Cop in their efforts to restore the family’s standing with the Clave. Robert appears as the doting father, but the results are the same. He and Maryse believe the Lightwood children must sacrifice on behalf of the family. Based on what we’ve learned of the Clave, they may be right.

Despite her harsh introduction last week and her role as disciplinarian here, The Powers That Be humanized Maryse. Her love for all her children seems genuine, even if (and I hope this is true) misguided. Then again, anyone would look like a loving parent compared to Valentine.

The more I hear about the Clave, the less I like it. It began with their intolerance towards Downworlders. However, the idea an entire family’s reputation can be destroyed by a few unsanctioned missions is ludicrous. It would be one thing if the missions had been abject failures. They weren’t. They may not have retrieved The Mortal Cup. However, it is because of them the Clave has any idea of its location. They also protected Clary from the Circle and saved a mundane, twice.

All of which has pushed Alec to the breaking point. What was obvious since the premiere was explicitly spelled out in this episode. Alec is the good soldier devoted to the Clave and upholding his family’s honor. Yet upon hearing that his parents planned to marry him off in a political alliance, he left his post. Not at his parabatai’s request, but to see a Downworlder he’s just met. I applaud this initial use of his backbone. I suspect it will come at a price.

Let me be clear, I’m far more worried about the Clave and/or his parents’ reprisals than I’m worried about Magnus. Hodge’s description of Magnus as hedonistic money-grubber has proven inaccurate. Once again, Magnus provided help without recompense, spending considerable energy to save Luke’s life. It’s also clear his fondness for Clary supersedes any financial obligations to her mother or Luke.

Whether Magnus sleeps around is unclear. What is clear is the people he has real romantic feelings for are few and far between. For whatever reason, Alec has made the list. This pleases me. Someone needs to be in Alec’s corner.

Speaking of which, Simon said what I’d been thinking out loud. Simon has shown far more patience and loyalty for Clary than Jace for his parabatai. I don’t doubt Jace’s loves Alec. But his definition of parabatai amounts to Alec being where and when Jace needs him rather than their mutual responsibility to each other. Like Simon said, Alec is not Jace’s lap dog.

And I just have to say this. We are now six episodes in and Jace’s obsession with Clary has yet to be explained. I would have settled for either of them stating they don’t understand their attraction to each other. This is the last time I’ll mention it since it is clear The Powers That Be have no intention of addressing the issue, but I’m not happy about it. Okay, I’m done.

Simon’s vampiric tendencies, anger issues, and hallucinations have not gone away. I doubt seeing yourself lying dead in the street bodes well. But what do I know? Also, I’m not sure what it says about me that Simon licking the blood off his hand left me wondering if vampires could feed on werewolf blood.

Magnus isn’t the only one in Alec’s corner. Not only did Isabelle stand up to her parents to keep her older brother from having to marry. She has taken a page out of her brother’s book and decided to toe the family line to save the Lightwoods’ reputation. I doubt that will last long, but it’s about time they gave Isabelle more to do than to play a sex kitten with a whip.

I would have spent more time on the plot of the episode if there had been one. But it mostly consisted of the above-mentioned info dump and minor excuses to force individual characters to voice opinions they’d rather have kept to themselves. Surprising absolutely no one who has followed my reviews, I didn’t mind. However, Clary finally knows where her mother hid The Mortal Cup and I imagine the show is about to kick into high gear.

4 out 5 healing potions

Parting Thoughts:

I thought Shadowhunters weren’t supposed to have magic? So what’s with Jocelyn and Clary’s ability to turn objects into art? Or Jocelyn’s ability to appear in Luke’s dreams/hallucinations? Inquiring minds want to know.

Whose bright idea was it to leave Jace to park a mundane car?

Jace suspects something happened to Simon when he was at the Hotel DuMort. But he got distracted before he could investigate further. Despite their mutual jealousies, they did manage an uneasy truce by the end of the episode.

How does someone so obsessed with purity of bloodlines start injecting himself with Downworlder blood? That’s taking the ends justifying the means to a whole new level.

Isabelle gave up her relationship with Meliorn to protect Alec.

Quotes:

Maryse: “Never trust people who can’t lie. They find much more inventive ways to stab you in the back.”

Jace: “Why do you need Alec?”
Magnus: “Virgin Shadowhunter energy.”
Simon: “That explains so much.”

Clary: “I’m an art student. All my adventures are supposed to be two dimensional.”

Magnus: “When you were younger, I’d watch you sketching. It was your bliss. You’re gonna need some bliss now.”

Alec: “I knew Clary Fray would come back to bite me in the ass.”

Jace: “Tell me again. What does Clary see in you?”
Simone: “My inner compassion. Something you are sorely lacking.”

Isabelle: “You’re talking politics. I’m talking about Alec’s life.”
Maryse: “It’s all the same to a Shadowhunter, Isabelle.”

Max: “I never get to hear the good stuff.”

Isabelle: “So passion makes you weak?”
Maryse: “No. Passion makes you dangerous.”

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

No comments: