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Shadowhunters: Parabatai Lost

“I gotta get to my brother.”

While this is essentially one man’s quest to save his brother, in reality, it is a test to see what each of our characters is made of.

Jace’s arrogance and bluster are defense mechanisms. As long as he doesn’t care, he can’t get hurt. The problem is, he does care. His first thought is for Clary. And once he knows she’s safe, the only thing, his only goal, is to save Alec. He even offers his life to the wolves. If only they will let him save Alec first.

I believe he meant every word. Yes, it’s proof of how much he cares for his parabatai. However, I think there’s also an unhealthy dose of “My death won’t matter because I’m damaged goods.” After all, his father fed him demon blood and his mother tried to kill him. What more proof does he need?

It’s curious that Jace and Alec’s origin as parabatai is told from Alec’s perspective. I get it in the sense that since Alec spends the majority of the episode unconscious, this serves as our only opportunity to see why Jace matters so much to him. Yet this episode isn't about him and it's ground we’ve already covered. Besides focusing on young Alec’s concern about his attraction to Jace undercuts the deep but platonic love they have for each other. I think the stronger choice would have been to shift the focus to Jace. How the boy who covers up his loneliness with swagger lets Alec worm his way into his heart. It would be a better bookend to the present-day Jace’s endeavor to save his parabatai.

Jocelyn’s attempt to assist Jace is another thing I found curious. She’d have Jace, and by extension, the viewer, believe she’s had misgivings about her behavior towards Jace. Attempted murder sometimes has that effect. However, it seems more likely this is to assuage her guilt for manipulating Alec into risking his life. Or possibly to make amends with Magnus and/or Clary. Regardless of her reason, Jace questions her maternal instincts. Gee, I wonder why.

Jace isn’t the only one trying to save Alec. Isabelle is faced with an impossible choice. The life of one brother against the freedom of the other. Rationally, there was no choice to make. The wolves would have killed Jace and then both brothers would have been lost. I doubt that makes Isabelle feel any better.

Then there’s Magnus. Despite his extraordinary magical abilities or how much he and Alec care for each other, Magnus can do little more than prolong Alec’s life, a situation he finds galling. I also detect a hint of jealousy that Jace’s bond saved Alec when his magic could not. I suspect the issue will come up again, once Jace beats his high treason rap.

But wait, there’s more. Between Simon’s undead status and the vampire civil war he’s become enmeshed in, he’s been avoiding his mother. This is partially because he has yet to come to terms with his immortality. And, unfortunately, his decision to tell his mother the truth was rudely interrupted by Raphael. However, I hope he tells her soon. Because her lack of awareness about the Shadow world leaves her vulnerable to dangers she can’t imagine. Chief among them is Raphael, who she just invited into her home.

The jury is still out on Raphael. He strikes me as a pragmatist. He means it when he tells Simon, “We’re your family now.” And I don’t believe he would go out of his way to harm a mundane since it would cause problems with the Shadowhunters. However, he doesn’t seem above a little mayhem if it will a) end his war with Camille, or b) get Aldetree off his back. And Simon’s happiness and well-being are not high on Raphael’s list of priorities.

I was happy to see Clary choose Simon over her current crisis. He has repeatedly dropped everything to help her in her time of need and it has not been reciprocated. Although, it should be noted that she agreed to assist Simon after learning that Jace was alive and, at least for the moment, well.

Unfortunately, this show continues to marry nuanced character development with lazy filmmaking. Jace hides by donning a lab coat and standing between two doctors who say nothing. Maia’s clothes disappear when she wolfs out. And Jace makes a grand entrance into Magnus’ apartment, although he traveled there with Izzy and Clary.

Luckily, the character work hides a multitude of sins. And this is a strong episode despite a few glaring flaws.

3.5 out of 5 Mustard sandwiches

Parting Thoughts:

The title is an obvious allusion to Paradise Lost, but other than the possible corrupting influence of the Clave, it serves little purpose.

In case you were wondering, “Beati Bellicosi” is Latin for “Blessed are the warriors.”

I’m not sure if this is lazy storytelling or a victim of the editing gods, but Elaine’s drinking was a major plot point at the start of the episode, yet neither Simon nor his mother address it once they’re together.

I still hate Raj!


Jace: “I’ll get there.”
Clary: “But you can’t. The Clave still wants you dead.”
Jace: “Who doesn’t?”

Simon: “Hey, Mom. I just got your messages. Just wanted to let you know I’m not dead, so, uh, don’t call the police...”

Simon: “You know, if you spent the amount of time looking for Camille that you spend telling me to look for her, you’d probably have found her by now.”

Luke: “This is not a democracy. Nobody kills anybody until I say so.”

Young Jace: “That’s what makes us a great team. I draw them out. And you...”
Young Alec: “Do all the work?”

Clary: “Isabelle says I need to clear my mind. But it’s kind of hard to be zen when you’re a Shadowhunter.”

Raj: “I knew you were old, but I didn’t realize you were hard of hearing.”

Jocelyn: “Let me do this one thing for my son.”
Jace: “You know, I made it this far on my own. I think I’ll keep it that way.”

Young Isabelle: “One day someone is going to love you, heart and soul. If you walk away from Jace, you might never find another parabatai. Is that really a risk you’re willing to take?"

Simon: “My phone died. Among other things.”

Maia: “End of the line.”
Jace: “So close... and yet, so far.”

Jace: “Thanks, Izzy. I owe you one.”
Isabelle: “Don’t thank me yet.”

Jace: “Please don’t leave me, Alec.”

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


  1. Jace's arc is *so* good. I mean, come on. Dominic Sherwood is bringing it to the table. He was terrific during Alec's near-death scene. Everyone else, though, I'm not sure. Isabelle watched her brother practically come back to life and the reaction I expected just wasn't there.

    > I think the stronger choice would have been to shift the focus to Jace.

    I didn't think of that while watching the episode, but I agree with you.

    > Jace makes a grand entrance into Magnus’ apartment, although he traveled there with Izzy and Clary.

    Yes! What the hell was that? Was the final act of the episode written by a different writer and whoever supervises the scripts missed that glaring flaw?

    Dear Shari, when are you going to review episode four? The world needs that review. (:

  2. I'm sorry. Other reviews and that pesky thing called a job got in the way but be on the look out. It'll be coming soon.

    Jace spends 2 seasons being traumatized over and over. It's both painful and amazing to watch. But as you will soon see, the other leads will soon have their moments in the sun.

  3. No need to apogize. :)

    > as you will soon see, the other leads will soon have their moments in the sun.

    I'm halfway through season two, and Emeraude Toubia in particular has surprised me. She *can* act.


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