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.