Previously: Sebastian meets Izzy and saves her from a vampire venom relapse; word quickly spreads of Simon being a Daylighter; an imprisoned Valentine convinces the Shadowhunters to use his knowledge of the Mortal Cup's whereabouts as bait for summoning the Greater Demon, Azazel; and Azazel escapes, but not before he curses Magnus and Valentine to swap bodies.
Izzy returns to the Institute with Sebastian, who has insight on how to temporarily vanquish Azazel -- which Alec puts into practice when he goes to check up on Magnus and finds the Greater Demon there. BYE, AZAZEL (for now, probs). Except Magnus is really Valentine, and the real Magnus is stuck in the Institute torture chamber as Valentine. And since 'Valentine' has yet to give up on the location of the Mortal Cup, Inquisitor Imogen decides to execute him.
Luckily, the execution is interrupted by Real Valentine demanding freedom in exchange for Jace's life. Not a persuasive trade for Imogen on its own, until Valentine reveals that Jace is her long-lost grandson. While Real Magnus meets with Real Valentine to switch their bodies back and also to rescue Jace, the Shadowhunters cavalry arrive but are impeded by magical wards. Still unable to draw new runes, Clary struggles to break down the wards, until Sebastian helps her realize that her power outage wasn't due to Azazel, but the emotional upheaval from finding out that Jace isn't her brother. She breaks through the wards, and she takes dear ol' dad (back in his own body) back to the Institute holding cell.
Elsewhere, Simon asks Izzy for help in getting Raphael off his back about his being a Daylighter -- which kind of backfires spectacularly, since Izzy's idea is to use Raphael's elderly human sister as a bargaining chip wtf, and Raphael's vampires witness firsthand Simon's Daylighter ability. They also bond over their common experience with addiction -- hers with vampire venom, his mom's with alcohol -- and Izzy lets spill the truth about Jace's parentage, which Clary hadn't told Simon about yet, WHOOPS. But Clary assures Simon that he has nothing to worry about when it comes to Jace. SURE JAN DOT GIF.
• Two hot training scenes in as many episodes to kick off Season 2B! I am A-OK with this new development.
• And honestly -- what's the difference between this and the Alec/Jace spar? SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION. Apparently, fake fighting inspires chemistry out of Dominic Sherwood and his scene partners?
• Oh, hey -- it's Dot! And in a rare appearance that isn't ambiguous about her odds of survival.
• A blink-and-you'll-miss-it flashblack of young Magnus! MORE, PLEASE.
• No matter what body he's in, the Valentine-ism of calling people by their full names is consistent. (Except for Alec, strangely, but maybe because Magnus has a monopoly on Alexander.)
• Speaking of consistency, the Alec Lightwood welcome treatment for new(-to-him) Shadowhunters is mucho wariness. Constant vigilance!
• Izzy's outfit was already #stylegoals, but she looks especially great against all that greenery.
• WE HAVE AN AGE! Ish. Stephen Herondale died 23 years ago and his wife Céline was nine months pregnant when she committed suicide, which puts Jace at 23 or 24. (Although if Valentine faked Baby Herondale's death, I wouldn't rule out foul play in Céline's death.)
• Even though I'm already a little tired of Sebastian's FEEEEL YOUR EMOTIONS schtick, dude def. brought the intensity when he was coaching Clary through her mental block.
• The empty eye sockets in soul-swapping scene looked CREEPY AF.
• Hey, Valentine? You might be a demon bigot and all, but maaaaybe it's unwise to talk about filthy Downworlders in the presence of a Greater Demon.
• Sigh, Clary and Simon continue to be a couple -- and now with confirmed boning.
• I know very few book spoilers, but of the ones that I do, the show was being v. v. obvious with its breadcrumbs.
• Even though he's likely to pop up again, Azazel was vanquished pretty anticlimatically, huh?
• This week in 'STFU, Simon': he assumes that Rosa is Raphael's grandma (like, do you not understand that Raphael is old and also the passage of time?), and he indulges in overly excited tough guy bravado when he avoids getting attacked by other vampires by... stepping out of the shade (which isn't actually badass, dumbass).
• Ice, ice cold of Izzy to use Rosa against Raphael, and, in return, of Raphael to let his minions threaten to get her hooked back on vampire venom. RIP Bingo nights.
Shadowhunter of the Week:
Imogen has a justifiable vendetta against Valentine, but it's poor Magnus (unbeknownst to her) and Clary (beknowst to her) who have to bear the brunt of it. She also insists on calling Clary 'Miss Morgenstern', even though 1) that's not her last name, and 2) if anything, she'd go by Fairchild before Morgenstern. Clearly, family -- or, at least, the blood relations of it -- is a BFD to Imogen, as Jace will soon find out with what it means to be a Herondale.
"Tell your brother that you're busy." - Simon, demonstrating the show's subtlety.
"Simon, save your sweet side for someone who cares." - Izzy, ILY.
• Magnus-as-Valentine broke my heart a little in every scene, especially the one with Alec. That's going to have a lot of lasting effects, which will also probably involve a lot of heartbreak.
• The show revealed Jace's last name is actually Herondale! Between Jace and Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices series, I have a lot of feelings about Herondales This is a huge point in the books, but it's revealed much later and in a different fashion. There were a lot of City of Ashes parallels in that scene, despite the very different circumstances, and I love that the show can still surprise those of us who have read the books.
• I suspect Clary's reasons for not telling Simon that Jace isn't her brother mirror Jace's reasons for keeping that secret. (I am also admittedly very biased here.) Regardless, Izzy revealing that to Simon, and his reaction, was an interesting moment.
• Sebastian has now made himself important to at least half of our core group of Shadowhunters, so whatever plan he has there is going well so far.
• Is anyone else surprised by the speed at which all these parentage bombshells are being dropped? Valentine only told Jace that they're not related two episodes ago. Does Supernatural Maury have another revelation in him?
• How tf did Clary and Valentine end up in the Institute jail cell when she tackled him through the portal that Valentine-as-Magnus made? Accio continuity, Show.
• It'd be a different story if he had tracked Azazel to Brooklyn, but isn't the timing a little convenient for Sebastian the Greater Demon expert to arrive in town? Are the two of them in cahoots?!
Next episode: "Those of Demon Blood"