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Shadowhunters: A Door Into the Dark

“There’s no place for you here.”

Given the events of the previous episode, it is unsurprising each of our heroes is in a dark place. If combined with doors as symbols of transition then the title provides a pretty apt metaphor of the current state of affairs. Each has discovered their world is not what they thought it was. Now they must determine how they fit in, with the help of or despite the parental figures in their lives.

Jocelyn’s attempt on Jace’s life leaves Clary spinning. What does she actually know about the woman who raised her? Simon has no answers for her and problems of his own. So, she turns to Alec, the person who shares her desperation to find Jace safe and whole. However, Alec can’t see past his own agony. He spews every uncharitable thought he ever had, telling her she “doesn’t belong.” And while Izzy may be fond of Clary, she will not choose her over the brother that’s missing or the one that’s in pain. This leaves Clary isolated.

Clary may be a Shadowhunter by birth but after 18 years of life as a Mundane she doesn’t fit in. At best she’s an untrained liability, at worst she’s the daughter of the enemy. Unfortunately, now that she’s been outed to Valentine and the rest of the Shadow World, her Mundane existence is no longer an option. This doesn’t stop her from abandoning the Institute in favor of her artistic roots. A choice that doesn’t solve her problems but gives her a few hours of bliss before reality sets in, and Dot spirits her away at Valentine's behest.

Jace has no haven to retreat to. His arrogance always masked the belief he was damaged. A belief now confirmed by his demon blood. That said, as the “fiercest, strongest, fastest” Jace was at least confident he knew right from wrong. Valentine’s half-truths and emotional blackmail have shattered that confidence.

Alec’s problems mirror his parabatai. He was convinced being the dutiful soldier and following the Clave’s rules assured his success. The bedrock for those beliefs is ground into sand. His career and family’s reputation are in shambles, and the Clave has issued a kill order for the person who matters most. Alec’s decision is both the easiest and the hardest. Life without Jace isn’t worth living. So, why shouldn’t Alec risk his to find his parabatai.

Simon is floundering. He can’t go home, he’s worn out his welcome at the Hotel DuMort, and the wolves are not happy with him in their territory. When pressed for information regarding a rogue Vampire Den, he mistakenly points Aldertree in Raphael’s direction. As repayment, Raphael charges him with finding the real culprit, Camille.

While the stakes for Simon are high, being Simon’s ability to see Clary again (Aldertree) or his continued existence (Raphael), this storyline serves as one of the few light moments in a dark episode. The scrappy nerd from Brooklyn takes Magnus’ advice to “man up.” He doesn’t locate Camille. But he faces down his fears and discovers a mysterious box that may hold the key to Camille’s whereabouts.

As for the parental figures, the actual parents leave a lot to be desired.

Somewhere in what’s left of Valentine’s heart, I believe he loves his family and wants them reunited. Just not enough to supersede the mission. Since that includes Jace as a willing and able second in command, the corruption continues. Valentine repeatedly marches Jace up to his moral line in the sand, hoping if he crosses it enough times, it’ll cease to exist.

The problem is Valentine’s arguments aren’t easy to dismiss. It is easier to create Downworlders than Shadowhunters. Evil beings have and will continue to use legal technicalities meant to protect the innocent to escape punishment. And when faced with a Clave as flawed as Valentine claims, isn’t it Jace’s moral obligation to take matters into his own hands? Clary's appearance gives Jace the lifeline he needed. He may question his judgement, but not Clary’s. So, when she said run, he did.

Jocelyn may not be a threat to the Shadow World, but I see why Valentine and Jocelyn made such a good match. Her protective instincts for her daughter are laudable. However, she fails to realize it’s her secrets and lies that drove Clary away. And if Jocelyn were honest, I bet her fear of losing Luke had more to do with her plans to kill her son than the knowledge he was infected with Demon blood. The pièce de résistance is that after the sacrifices Alec made to rescue her, Jocelyn exploits his despair before admitting the parabatai stone’s deadly risk.

On the other side are Luke and Magnus. The trauma they experienced as Downworlders leaves them sympathetic to Simon’s plight. Magnus portals Simon around the globe in search of an ex-lover he’d rather not find. Luke offers Simon shelter regardless of his pack’s displeasure. As a bonus, he tries to give Clary the judgement-free advice Jocelyn can’t.

It appears each of our heroes has opened the door to their own dark journey. Unfortunately, it looks like the only way out is through.

3.5 out of 5 fire breathing cobras

Parting thoughts:

Aldertree is in charge of the Institute, and somehow Lydia is still at fault? He is not on my good list!

Ragnor predicted Jace would only bring death and destruction. Magnus said he couldn’t predict the future. Does that mean no Warlock can or just Magnus? And where’s all the death and destruction Jace is supposed to mete out? It hasn’t happened so far. Something fishy is going on here.

What is the significance of the knife Magnus found? The Powers That Be will address that, right?

Why didn’t Dot at least attempt to escape with Clary and Jace?


Clary: “Everyone says that Valentine is the monster, but you just tried to murder your own son.”

Clary: “So, you’re saying that my mom’s right about this? That Jace is some kind of evil flower-killing monster that deserves a death sentence?”

Clary: “I am not my mother.”

Mark: “I don’t fight girls. Especially hot ones.”
Isabelle: “Then I guess it’s gonna be really one-sided.”

Jocelyn: “I was trying to protect you.”

Luke: “You were trying to protect me. That’s what you said about Clary when we talked about wiping her memory. And look where that got you.”

Magnus: “I portaled you to India. The rest of your sire squabble is all on you.”

Simon: “Yes, because why would you need a powerful warlock when you’ve got a scrappy nerd from Brooklyn.”

Magnus: “What are you so afraid of?”
Simon: “Where do I start? Elevators. Snakes. Clowns. Raphael trying to burn my junk off...”

Clary: “I’m not a Mundane. I’m not a Shadowhunter. I’m not anything.”

Isabelle: “The ship is glamoured. It won’t show up on the sonar.”
Alec: “Well, it can’t hide from us if we run right into it.”
Isabelle: “It’s a pretty big ocean out there.”

Isabelle: “I’ve already lost both parents to Idris and a brother to Valentine. I’m not going to lose you too.”

Dot: “Why did you stop looking for me?”

Simon: “Listen, Antiques Roadshow. You got all your stuff back, but Raphael still wants to kill me and Camille is nowhere to be found.”

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


  1. Jocelyn is suspicious, I agree. We don't know her very well yet, nor what her true motivations are. Alec continues to be the worst, but I liked that Clary was just over all the BS she was putting up with and got to relive her past life for a few hours. Her decision was doomed from the start, but I liked it anyway.

    > Aldertree is in charge of the Institute, and somehow Lydia is still at fault? He is not on my good list!

    Definitely feels like my country, where people blame the previous administration for the faults of the current one.

  2. Isn't that most countries, these days?

    I'm trying to give Jocelyn the benefit of the doubt but she makes it difficult.


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