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Shadowhunters: Blood Calls to Blood

“Everyone has a choice.”

We knew Izzy would be on trial for treason. We knew Jace and Alec would have to grapple with their fractured relationship. We knew finding Jace’s father was not the blessing it appeared to be. But I did not see that ending coming.

Let’s take the trial first. Everyone understands Isabelle’s trial is a farce. So, there was no need for the prosecution or the defense to present a coherent legal argument. Which is good, because neither side did. The prosecution spent more time trying to prove Clary’s guilt than Isabelle’s. This is fine since the defense’s argument that Isabelle was protecting the Clave from itself, was an admission of guilt. When that didn’t work, they resorted to the truth. The Clave never cared whether Isabelle was guilty or not. They just wanted the Mortal Cup.

The trial did have its uses. First, it confirmed my suspicion in Lydia’s inherent decency. But the question remained whether her ambition exceeded her sense of honor. Asked and answered. She stood by her decision to marry Alec and spoke her mind at the risk of her position in the Clave. I agree with Magnus. I like her, but I still don’t want Alec to marry her.

The trial also provided Magnus with a reason to confront Alec. Alec has been dancing around his feelings for Magnus since they met and until now, Magnus has let him. Magnus takes this opportunity to level with Alec. Alec is as attracted to Magnus as Magnus is to him. Lydia may be an honest and kindhearted person, but Alec doesn’t love her.

It was a day of home truths for Alec. Jace called Alec on the carpet for tracking Jace with their parabatai bond, nearly killing him. It was a poor decision and Alec knows it. Just as he knows Jace was right, that torturing Meliorn was wrong and Alec would have regretted it.

But Jace’s hands aren’t clean. Taking the Cup and rescuing Meliorn was more about helping Clary and avenging his father than holding to any high-minded ideals. Saving Alec from himself was an added bonus.

Speaking of Dear Old Dad, where to start? Michael Wayland and Valentine Morgenstern are one in the same. Or at least the version of Michael Wayland that Jace knew and loved.

It seems Michael/Valentine broke more than just the falcon’s neck. Watching Michael flatter Jace about his potential for greatness while belittling his feelings for Clary reveals the host of insecurities Jace’s arrogance conceals. I’ve long suspected Jace’s swagger protected a kinder, gentler core. I just didn’t expect it to be so broken.

And Jace isn’t the only one Michael saw fit to toy with, although his other attempts proved less successful. Demeaning Luke has less impact after his years spent coming to terms with being a Downworlder. Convincing Clary of Valentine’s love for her and her mother is equally unsuccessful despite its validity. I wonder if Michael’s pride in fooling his former friend and family trumped hearing their unvarnished opinions of him. Especially considering his ruse to get the Mortal Cup didn’t work.

Forgive my digression, but trying to piece together the timeline of Michael Wayland’s supposed capture made my head hurt. Here’s what I have so far. After the Uprising failed, Valentine burned down the Fairchild Manor supposedly killing himself and her brother. Instead he took Jace, killed the real Michael Wayland and son, and raised Jace in their place. This continued until Valentine faked his death as Wayland leaving Jace to the Clave he despised.

That would all be well and good if it wasn’t for the fact that Michael was supposedly captured 20 years ago. Before before Jocelyn ran away with the unborn Clary. Clary realizing Michael couldn’t have known about Jocelyn’s pregnancy is the fact the episode hinges on. Unfortunately, it also means Michael/Valentine was captured before the Uprising failed and before Valentine had any need to fake his death and spirit away his son. I know I must sound like a broken record, but this is the sloppiness that drives me crazy.

It also brings me to the elephant in the room. Jace and Clary are siblings. Valentine’s implication is their attraction to each other is based on the subliminal recognition of their familial connection. An argument succinctly made by the title. An argument far easier to believe if it was made by someone other than Valentine. Yet I have no reason to doubt him other than disbelief that The Powers That Be would spend so much time building up Jace and Clary’s relationship solely for the angst this knowledge would cause. But I’ve been wrong before.

Valentine’s revelation does clear a path for Simon. Or does it? Mundane Simon had years to tell Clary how he felt about her. Will the Downworlder version fare any better?

I love the emotional twists and turns this show puts its characters through enough that they continue to outweigh the slipshod writing. However, those returns are diminishing.

3 out 5 World’s Best Dad Mugs

Parting Thoughts:

Can a sloppy writing award be backdated? If having human blood is against the Accords and Raphael intended to hide the fact he had any in his possession, maybe he shouldn’t have given blood bags of it to Simon the night he turned.

Stupid question, if you can’t tell a lie while holding the sword, why make Magnus hold it and not the people testifying? Does the Clave’s distrust of Downworlders run that deep? Oh right, forget I asked.

Quotes:

Raphael: “Funny how those rules for Downworlders stop being such a big deal when you need our help.”

Inquisitor: “Just do your job. Be efficient, be competent, be useful to the Clave.”

Michael: “Maybe that’s my destiny, to bring your family and mine together.” (The Understatement of Year Award goes to...)

Luke: “Valentine never wasted time with any compassion.”

Isabelle: “What kind of people sacrifice justice for law?”

Michael: “Some of us were meant to render greater services than others.”

Lydia: “Loyalty, decency, compassion, love. These are the concepts that we should consider to decide guilt or innocence in a case like this?”
Inquisitor: “Those are not the concepts of the law.”

Valentine: “My dear family together at last. A lost mother, found. A brother and sister, finally united.”

Alec: “So you get it?”
Magnus: “No, Alec. I get her. I like her. But you don’t have to marry her.”

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

2 comments:

  1. Well, I did *not* see this coming. I knew something was off with Papa Wayland as soon as he recalled a moment only he and Jace could remember and immediately went with "see, it's really me." He was trying too much to be trustworthy. I thought he was a servant of Valentine, either willing or brainwashed. I did not expect him to be Valentine himself.

    But I don't get it. Who is Jace's mother? Is it Jocelyn too? And if so, did we know Clary had an older brother who supposedly died at a very young age? Also, in the alternate universe, Clary and Jace weren't brother and sister, right? I'm so confused.

    > trying to piece together the timeline of Michael Wayland’s supposed capture made my head hurt. Here’s what I have so far. After the Uprising failed, Valentine burned down the Fairchild Manor supposedly killing himself and her brother. Instead, he took Jace, killed the real Michael Wayland and son, and raised Jace in their place.

    My head is still hurting. I'm guessing Jace is the biological son of the real Michael Wayland, and Valentine raised Jace after he killed Michael and took his place. So, yeah, that would make Jace and Clary brother and sister in a way, but they have no genetic connection to one another nor were raised together as siblings, and Valentine is just implying otherwise to mess with them.

    The trial was a bit of a mess, I had a hard time buying that the Clave, being the strict rulers they are mentioned to be, would let things go off the rails as much as they did, so it was a relief when the judge condemned Izzy anyway. Not that I wanted Izzy condemned, it just made sense from a writing perspective. Still, I loved Magnus opening speech and Izzy addressing the Clave's racism. About time, the whole season was building up to someone doing it, and it made perfect sense Izzy was the one to do it. I wasn't that convinced about Lydia's turn to the right side. Yes, she is shown to be a good person when it comes down to it, but it was somewhat simplistic that, once confronted by Magnus, she would call it all off. Something was missing for me.

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  2. The trial was such a farce that Lydia's flip-flop didn't bother me. She knew it was wrong from the beginning and seems to be a fundamentally decent person. I could fan-wave that she was just looking for an excuse to say what she truly felt. That said, I thought she was more of a political animal than that. She probably just spiked her career. If I'm not mistaken, the Inquisitor is the #2 person in the Clave Hierarchy.

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