Previously: Valentine kidnaps Madzie and steals Magnus' spellbook; Clary has pure angel blood and can therefore activate the Soul-Sword; and Iris calls in the blood oath favour that Clary owes for finding Madzie.
Clary's blood oath to Iris has now manifested as le chair brûlée ("burnt flesh"): she has to fulfill the oath before the magic reaches her heart and kills her. In too weakened a state to look for Madzie on her own, Clary stays behind with Simon while Jace finds Madzie on his own. Jace correctly wagers that Valentine wouldn't let Clary die (not due to paternal love, of course, but because of her angelic blood), but he also guessed right that the whole thing was a trap; Madzie portals herself and a now cured Clary to Valentine's hideout, because he's been grooming her to become his new warlock. Jace saves Clary, but Valentine portals away with Madzie -- and abducts Simon for good measure, too.
Word of Clary's angel blood and its Soul-Sword activating ability has spread to the Downworlders, who are so not keen on possibly being wiped off the face of the earth. The Seelies and the vampires want Clary dead, whereas the warlocks and the werewolves don't -- at least, that's how their respective leaders feel, because Maia's willing to kill Clary in order to protect the entire Downworld. A concerned Luke locks Maia up to prevent her giving the rest of the pack any ideas, but she wolfs out from the stress and escapes.
Meanwhile, things are heating up between Izzy and Raphael. (Because they're in the kitchen a lot, you see.) Their mutual addiction is growing stronger -- as does their attraction to each other. After Alec and Magnus piece together what's happening with Izzy, Alec ends up literally and figuratively beating up both of her non-boyfriends: Raphael, for feeding the addiction; and Aldertree, for starting it in the first place. Alec also uses Aldertree's yin feng impropriety to blackmail him into stepping down as the Institute head -- which Alec then reassumes.
• Clary handling the rowing oar LIKE A BOSS.
• My notes for the Izzy and Raphael tamale scene can be summed up thusly: MAKE OUT MAKE OUT MAKE OUT. The hot tamale joke writes itself, honestly.
• Possible misgivings aside, the Downworlder council was a super cool moment with all-POC leaders. (Would have been cooler still if there was even one lady in the bunch, but I digress.)
• Jace's smirk during the hipster cafe scene with Valentine, which Tumblr is failing to provide me a decent GIF of.
• OK, maybe I shouldn't be looking forward to this, but there's some legit Lightwood sibling dramz that the whole season (and maybe even entire series) has been building towards, in Izzy feeling neglected and overlooked by Alec.
• OH NOOOOOOO, Clary and Simon making out in a canoe. And OH NOOOOOOO, Jace walking in on them just as the clothes start coming off. Thank goodness they weren't boning, I guess.
• Aldertree being all pushing when he asks Izzy to dinner. HANDS OFF, PAL.
• Such a rollercoaster of emotions when the werewolf who attacks Clary changes: please don't be Maia, DAMMIT IT'S MAIA. (But, like, obvs, since no one gives a shizz about Alaric or any of the unnamed extras.)
• OF COURSE Aldertree's reading The Art of War. Of course.
• The set design for Brooklyn streets continues to look like they're on a sound stage. I swear, it'd be more realistic to film on the streets of Toronto with the CN Tower in the background than what they're doing now. (On the flip side, though, Valentine's amusement park hideout is sufficiently creepy.)
Shadowhunter Downworlder of the Week:
I had hoped to finally have a happy reason to talk about him more, but Luke -- WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I know he just wants to protect Clary, but locking Maia up was pretty cruel, and I'm not sure how their relationship will fully recover from that.
"You wanna take this outside and give these fighting skills a test run?" "Anytime. As soon as the sun goes down." - Jace and Simon's measuring contest will have to wait until after dark.
"I don't know, but they're not all your responsibility." "But you are." - Magnus and Alec making a convo about Downworlder extinction sound swoony.
"All you care about is Clary." - Maia getting all Jan Brady at Luke.
"A dashing handsome Jewish boy finally admits to his best friend how he feels after a lifetime and she dies a week later? Too sappy, like a real life Fault in Our Stars." - Simon lamenting the YA-ness of their situation, which Clary promptly fact checks because the girl apparently knows her YA. (So meta!)
• All of Jace, Clary, and Simon's scenes are fraught with tension and awkwardness. There's a break in the awkwardness, though, when the three are in the van and Clary declares she doesn't want Valentine to take her alive to use her for his evil plans, and Simon refuses to agree this while Jace accedes to her request in a very emotional and touching scene.
• Alec as a protective big brother/friend is a force to be reckoned with, between his actions regarding Izzy's and Clary's safety. His taking back the Institute via threatening to uncover Aldertree's part in Izzy's current struggle was very well played, and also very attractive.
• If you're ever wondering if someone is ultimate evil, manipulating small children to do your bidding is a definite sign. The scene where Jace bluffs Valentine into letting him have Madzie was both a great scene in itself and also in how Valentine plans multiple steps ahead in his evil plans. Speaking of, Valentine kidnapping Simon is an interesting book parallel.
• Age update: Alec mentions Magnus having lived through the Fall of Rome, which makes him at least 1,500 to 1,600 years old, contrary to the low, low estimate that the Institute originally had. (Maybe the 17,000 comment was supposed to mean that he's around 1,700 years old?) And for the sake of being thorough, Raphael can't be more than a century old, since his little sister is 78, and he must have turned in the '40s or the '50s. Flashbacks of Magnus and Raphael in era-appropriate outfits, please?!?!
• What happened to Cleo? And why do I care more than Luke does? (DAMMIT, LUKE.)
• He's been (temporarily?) ousted, but what was Aldertree trying to accomplish by getting Izzy hooked on yin feng anyway?
• Speaking of former Institute heads, whither Lydia? Raj has probably had more screentime this season than her, and no one cares about Raj.
• There was a definite consensus re: Clary and Simon in last week's comments, but are there any Clary and Simon shippers reading this? (Don't be shy; the rest of us will play nice!)
Next episode: "By the Light of Dawn"