Shadowhunters Recap

Shadowhunters Recap: Jace Embraces His Dark Roots in Season 2 Premiere

The hunt for Jace Wayland hit a few snags — of both the dramatic and sexy variety — on Monday’s Shadowhunters season premiere.

Convinced that Jace has been working for Valentine all along, the newly (and sketchily) appointed head of the New York Institute issued a dead-or-alive order for his return, a decision that raised more than a few well-groomed eyebrows within the community.

Clary, who seems surprisingly well-adjusted to the notion that Jace is her brother, enlisted Simon’s help in tracking him down, resulting in the episode’s finest back-and-forth: Following Clary’s order to run faster, Simon reminded her, “I’m a vampire. I’m running slow for you.” Unfortunately, they located their target just in time to see Valentine take an arrow for Jace — shot by Jocelyn — and disappear through a portal. Womp, womp.

What Clary didn’t see was the way Valentine warped Jace’s mind, convincing him to break the Accords and kill a vampire, even after she’d surrendered to the Clave. (Side note: I’d love to read a Yelp review of that vampire-ridden pizza joint.) She also missed the part of their father-son chat where Valentine revealed that he injected Jace with pure demon blood while he was in Jocelyn’s womb, and that Jace’s urges for Clary are essentially demonic. More womps.

But no one handled Jace’s absence worse than Alec, who spent the hour pushing away anyone who showed concern for him — including Magnus. The combative scene they shared on the balcony was a far cry from last season’s big wedding kiss, a moment still burned into fans’ memories. And when Alec tried to guilt Magnus into helping him find his “brother,” he was quick to remind Alec that he isn’t the martyr he pretends to be. The ill-timed argument ended with Alec asking, “What do you want from me?”— a question I suspect both halves of “Malec” will spend the rest of the season contemplating.

Fortunately, Alec managed to force out an apology during a follow-up visit to Magnus’ apartment, leading to a really nice moment of growth between them. (Wait, that came out wrong.) Basically, Magnus assured Alec that “this” is also new to him — that dating a guy for the first time really isn’t so different from dating a Shadowhunter for the first time — and agreed to help him find Jace (a process which, naturally, required Alec to sprawl out shirtless on Magnus’ couch. Because magic!)

Speaking of unexpectedly romantic moments, can we talk about how Simon almost told Clary that he’s “hopelessly” in love with her? He may be the “worst vampire ever,” but there was nothing even remotely “bold adjacent” to the secret he was finally ready to reveal. Just plain bold. And think: If only Jocelyn had slept for, like, one more episode, he would have gotten his chance.

Your thoughts on Shadowhunters 2.0? Hopes for the rest of the season? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. Ian says:

    Matthew Daddario and his chest, I’m sorry, I’m such trash. I’m a landfill. It’s too much. hnnnnnnmmnng
    I was terrified the show had become unwatchable based on the first few minutes, but I thought the dialogue and the tone smoothed out by the middle of the episode to the end. What was with the cutesy music over the fighting sequences? Who made those decisions?????

    • Temperance says:

      It really doesn’t get any nicer than that. And let’s be honest, as much as fuzzy pecs start my engine, Harry was looking mighty ripped, too.

  2. Lynne says:

    I’m going to have to watch it again later because 1. the audio in the Izzy and Clary training scene was so horrible, I couldn’t hear anything they were saying because the background song was so much louder that it drowned out the dialogue and 2. I couldn’t get past the fact that almost all of the actors’ appearances were way too different than the last episode, even though its literally supposed to be right after it. Jace’s hair looked longer and almost everyone else’s hair was shorter and Clary’s was so much lighter in color. The only ones that still looked the same were Izzy, Simon and Luke.

  3. Alec says:

    Don’t get me wrong: I loved season one. But this season is so much better! The actors are really acting, the direction was awesome and the writing was clearly better. Dominic Sherwood and Matthew Daddario stood out.

  4. Erick Voshel says:

    I loved the season premiere! Everything is sharper & more focused than last season, Also like the darker, gritter tone. Looking forward to this season.

  5. ninergrl6 says:

    Great recap. “Because magic!” LMAO The Malec apology scene was the highlight of the episode for me, but I also loved Simon. “Bold adjacent” was the line of the night IMO.

  6. V.J. says:

    Over the holidays and due to Librarians not being available on Netflix in our country I actually rewatched the first season with my mother (she didn’t like it at all). So with the fresh memories of the – in retrospect – not so very good first season this was so much improved. I like the new look and thought the acted all way better. Highlight: They changed the ridiculous light saber like swords.

  7. Paula says:

    I am only here for Harry Shum Jr and Matt Daddario. Will never be impressed by the annoyingly perky heroine and her caveman love interest. Most of the cast bores me although I do like newcomer Nick Sagar as Victor Aldertree and Emeraude Toubia is still enticing as Isabelle. I’ll keep watching for Malec, though. Malec will just not turn loose of my emotions!

    • JD says:

      100% agree.

      Matt & Harry are mostly fantastic and a major highlight for this show, along with Isabelle. I enjoyed the novels and I really like the Mortal Instruments world but the rest of the cast is really, unfortunately, subpar.

      I do think the quality feels better than season 1. I’m hopeful that it gets better — it’s definitely a fun show outside of some cringe worthy acting and script moments.

      • skyebright8 says:

        Agree Clary and Jace’s acting isn’t good enough that you can root for them, Magnus, Alec and Isabelle are much better

  8. DL says:

    Did this show get any better? I watched the first few episodes of season 1, but couldn’t get past the vapid acting and overdone teen angst.

    • Anne says:

      Lol I want to say yes, but it’s also a no. Harry Shum’s Magnus is pretty much the reason to show up plus the world building is fun. It’s cotton candy, so accept it for what it is…but it’s fun

  9. lucy says:

    The story is great! I read and love all the books, but this show..the acting, the soundtrack OH MY GOD how bad this is I have no words. Just awful! I’ll still watch until the end though, hopefully they didn’t ruin the storyline.

  10. Mary Sanchez says:

    I love Shadow hunters and couldn’t wait for Season 2. It had more action, the actors performed awesome.
    The only thing I wasn’t too happy about was there appearance. What happened to there make up and hair. They looked too plain. They need to look more attractive, like Season 1, with makeup and there are combed. These are special people and need to look different from everyday regular people. Otherwise. I love the show. Can’t wait for next episode.

  11. ChrisGa says:

    Overall, a decent episode. Malec was the highlight, followed by Simon; all three are prime man candy and undercover hottie Alberto Rosende is, in my opinion, the show’s best actor. Also, Alan van Sprang(Valentine) is no slouch in the hot department.

    As for the rest, the two leads are still weak–her moreso than him–and the two playing Luke and Jocelyn are no great shakes either(as a whole, alot of the acting is lacking).

    That said, I’m hanging in for Malec, Simon and Izzy.

  12. Alya says:

    A big step up from season 1 so far: in terms of the overall look, writing and acting. Some weird music choices and sound editing here and there. Though as most of the actors got visibly better with better dialogues (notably Clary and Izzy), I was surprised to find Alec’s actor to be the odd one out with the weakest performance. Maybe he will get better as the season progresses.

  13. bluepasj says:

    The episode was better than last season, but the background music is still absolutely terrible and excessively energetic and doesn’t fit most of the scenes. It’s the worst aspect of the show IMO. And there’s an excess of slow motion and closes that just has to go.

  14. Kat says:

    Agreed, I thought Clary was TOO well adjusted to the idea that the guy she was boning is her brother.