Previously: Clary and Jace free the angel Ithuriel before Valentine can activate the Soul-Sword, and Izzy gets tangled up with the Night Children to get her yin feng fix directly from vampire venom.
Maryse and Max arrive from Idris for Max's rune ceremony, and Alec has entrusted Magnus with party planning duties in hopes of getting Maryse to come around on this shadowhunter/warlock relationship. Making their official debut as a couple at this shindig are Simon and Clary, because he finally confessed his love for her and she reciprocates! (Way to steal the thunder, guys. Although no one really paid attention other than Jace.) And making a late entrance is Izzy, who's been trying too mooch vampire venom off of the Night Children (i.e., get BITTEN) before Raphael intercepts and reluctantly does it himself -- despite the dangerous addictiveness for both sides.
Once the party's underway, Magnus quickly notices strange behaviour in his guests: Clary thinks she sees Simon blowing her off for Maia, Maryse tries to kill Lightwood interloper Jace (... but is this really that strange? She's not his first mom to try it.), and Alec almost kills himself out of guilt over Jocelyn's death. Turns out, the whole party had been under Iris' spell as a distraction to steal Magnus' spellbook for Valentine, who's kidnapped her goddaughter, Madzie. As Iris gets sent to the Clave, she calls in Clary's blood oath favour to protect Madzie.
In the aftermath, Max finally gets his rune ceremony at the Institute, everyone makes up, and secrets are revealed: Maryse tells Alec and Jace about Robert's infidelity, and the gang figures out that Clary must have pure angel blood in order to have communicated with Ithuriel and can therefore activate the Soul-Sword herself.
• WHOA, Izzy and Raphael are quite hot together. Or maybe Izzy just has mad chemistry with everyone. (Although counterpoint: Meliorn.)
• As much as I dislike the Clary/Simon pairing, Simon's confession is realistically awkward. That being said, I still yelled "Oh NOOOOOO" when they kissed.
• The show certainly knows how to appeal to a specific demographic. (HI, MEREDITH.)
• Also, keep in mind that the cat rubbing up all over Jace is supposed to be a woman warlock in disguise.
• Magnus' new language of the week est le français!
• Maryse and Alec never seemed more like mother and son than when Maryse refused to let her personal problems interfere with her Shadowhunter duties.
• BOOOOOOO, so Malec's first time really did occur offscreen. I had been holding out hope that, if it had, there'd be a short scene of before or after, but not to show it at all is a far cry from how Jace's (hetero)sexuality was depicted in the very same previous episode. (Esp. since YOU KNOW Clary's first time will be full of, like, soft tender kisses and romantic music.) Not good, Show.
• Clary being alarmed at an 11pm text from Simon. DUH, he's a vampire; that's like 11am for him.
• Was there a sale on little black dresses? Because Clary and Izzy's looked very similar to each other.
• This subway entrance set looks so very fake. (And, apparently, all the extras were used up in the party scenes, since there's a complete lack of people in "NYC".)
Shadowhunter Downworlder of the Week:
I almost gave this to Magnus for saving the day (and surviving Maryse), but went with his former protégé instead. Raphael's way more interesting when he's not limited to menacing Simon, and the show's definitely stronger when its Downworlder regulars are naturally integrated into storylines with the main cast. (If only the same could be said of Luke... )
"Traditions change. Especially those based on ignorance." - Alec's changed so much from the stickler for rules that he was at the start of the series.
"I thought I smelled cocky." "Magnus must really be scraping the bottom of the bartender barrel." - Maia and Jace, the sniping between y'all better not end now that the misunderstanding over Gretel's death has.
"Beer's boring. Have some sangria." - Advice from everyone's favourite Downworlder bartender, Maia.
"I heard you like to drink." - Every word that (a possibly spell-affected) Maryse hurls at Magnus is a dismissive barb.
"This is an elegant affair, not an episode of The Real Housewives of Idris." - Magnus takes his host responsibilities very seriously, Clary.
• I was very excited at the reveal about Clary's angelic blood, which is a super important book plot point.
• I continue to be very concerned about Izzy. I did enjoy getting to hear more of Raphael's backstory and his history with Magnus, though.
• Jace having the "hurt my brother and I'll hurt you" conversation with Magnus was delightful. Also delightful: Jace and CATS.
• Maryse and Max were back! Maryse continues to be a terrible mother, but now she's a little more complex about it? On a related note, Alec point blank telling Maryse how she's wrong is a great indication of his character development. The scene between Maryse, Jace, and Alec at the end was a touching one.
• Valentine now has the means to undo Magnus' spells -- but to what end? It could always be something new-to-us, but the most significant magic of Magnus' that I remember are his memory wipes on Clary. Or does it have something to do with the last Mortal Instrument?
• MORAL DILEMMA: would you accept an ice cream cone from Valentine? I mean, he's the worst, buuuuut free ice cream.
• Magnus' party reminds me: whatever happened to Pandemonium? Hunters' Moon seems to have completely replaced it as the Downworlder hangout. (Not that I'm complaining because more Maia, but Magnus has pretty much turned into a homebody nowadays.)
Next episode: "Bound by Blood"