Previously: Clary and Simon break up over her feelings for Jace, and Valentine's prisoner transfer to Idris is intercepted by his Real Sebastian Verlac-impersonating son.
The lateness of these recaps has been nothing new this half-season*, but it totally works in our advantage this time because Comic Con pics!
*Boring story short, real life creatively and annoyingly keeps getting in the way. (RUDE.) And the tardiness is unlikely to improve for the rest of the season, so thank y'all for bearing with me!
Fake Sebastian reveals himself as Jonathan to dear ol' dad Valentine, having made a deal with Azazel (remember him?) to free each other from Edom aka the Shadowhunters version of hell that Valentine had sent Jonathan to when the latter became too much to handle, wtf. Jonathan's hellbent (heh) on returning the favour, sending Valentine to Edom, as well as the Soul Sword that's deadly to him with his demon blood. But Jonathan finally gets the paternal validation that he's been craving and Valentine staves off death yet again, with father and son teaming up for presumably nefarious purposes.
After the Clave denies Jace's request for a portal to check out Valentine's old cabin in Idris, Clary creates a rune that portals both of them there. They get separated, with Clary suffering from the hallucinogenic properties of Lake Lyn and Jace curing her by activating a healing rune with his angelic power. Together with Izzy, who's been sent to rescue them both, they arrive too late to (unbeknownst to them) catch the Morgenstern men at the cabin. However, they did retrieve Valentine's old journals -- or, rather, experiment logs about Jonathan Christophers Morgenstern and Herondale. Clary realizes that her brother didn't die as an infant, and that he's still alive.
Yearning for a sense of normalcy, Simon joins his family's dinner for Yom Kippur. And knowing how dangerous a depressed Downworlder can be, Maia invites herself along. Everyone atones for past mistakes and Simon doesn't eat any family members, so it's definitely a win.
Back at the Institute, the Clave has sent Robert Lightwood as their envoy to deal with that pesky business of Valentine going missing. Even though Alec's been prepared for whatever consequences of it happening under his watch, Robert has taken care of the sitch with a little light blackmail of the Clave never recovering the Soul Sword.
• Killer cold open with Jonathan's chilling monologue. (Puns not completely unintended.)
• Not a highlight that they exist, but yay for continuity with Maia's scars on her neck, as well as her covering them up for the family dinner.
• The Lewises celebrating Yom Kippur! (Which would probably make it October 2016, given how glacial the actual passage of time has been. (Otherwise, it's September 2017 and I have no idea what's going on.))
• Also, the Lewises being the least dysfunctional Shadowhunters family, despite secret vampirism. And GASP, this show even had good parenting for a change!
• Valentine asking for me why Jonathan is still keeping Sebastian's face!
• Is the cinematography different? The show looks less cheap these days. (The special effects, however... )
• All too brief flirty banter of Clary teasing Jace about not being able to use his angelic power on demand.
• The cast always looks good, but the styling for Clary and Maia was particularly on fleek. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS (... aside from being drop dead gorgeous).
• Robert Lightwood trying to usurp Father of the Year from Valentine by using the 'you can't help who you love' defense to compare his adulterous affair to Alec's stable relationship with Magnus.
• Jonathan growing up in a demon realm totally reminded me of Connor from Angel -- a show that I love, but MAN did they bungle that charcter. (Does that mean Jonathan's going to impregnate his father's girlfriend, work at an ad agency, and marry Rory Gilmore?)
• I'm sure there are plenty of real people with marine biology aspirations like Maia, but it feels disproportionately overrepresented in pop culture.
• Really, Director Stefan? You had to include a boobs-and-butt shot of Izzy after she portals to Lake Lyn?
• This show loves its secrets and dramatic irony -- perhaps to its own detriment? It's not like it's a shock when Clary finds out Jonathan's still alive, as opposed to a potential OMG CLIFFHANGER of learning something with the characters.
Shadowhunter Downworlder of the Week:
Such a tough choice, since everyone was on their A game. But then I realized I've never chosen Maia?! I also have no idea how Simon hasn't fallen in love with her a billion times by now, because DUDE -- she spent the entire episode being charming and looking cute. He even had her on his bed! (While he was moping, but still.) I do worry about Maia being Simon's rebound, even though she can obviously take care of herself. Regardless of how this all turns out, I'm glad that she'll be sticking around for a while, since she's just been promoted to a series regular for Season 3!
"I caught him reading through a file of private fire messages that I received from the inquisitor." - LOLOLOL, Robert with the Shadow World equivalent of sliding into your DMs.
• I'm still calling Jonathan Sebastian for simplicity's sake, first of all. Book!Sebastian grew up with Valentine and was never horrifingly sent to Edom (a demon realm), which is a really terrible thing to do to your son, Valentine, demon blood or not. Despite everything that happened to him in Edom and his boasts of his extraordinarily powerful demon blood, Sebastian remains jealous of Jace as the "other boy" and still wants his father's approval/love in the end, which are both very human impulses. It's a dichotomy that has been so well portrayed on screen in little moments throughout the season, that has paid off with father and son reunited and possibly working together (though with likely secret ulterior motives).
• Another twist on a book scene that played out really well this week was Clary creating a Portal to Idris. Instead of sending Luke and herself to Lake Lyn after missing the official Portal, she whisks Jace off along with her after his official Portal request is denied. Clary still has lake-induced hallucinations, however, though with a different resolution. That Jace uses Izzy's stele to heal himself but is able to angelically activate his Healing rune in order to heal Clary says so much about his feelings for her, and it's a great moment. (Side note: every time he's used this power, Clary has been involved in some fashion.)
• OMG SO MANY QUESTIONS. What is the timeline of Valentine raising Jonathan and also Jace? Was he switching between the two of them like a solo, reverse Parent Trap? What really happened when Valentine-as-Michael-Wayland first died -- like, what made Valentine drop the charade? Was this when Jonathan was banished to Edom?
• Why doesn't Jace remember Jonathan? I know the answer's probably Because Magic, but Jonathan clearly knows all about Jace, even having an inferiority complex over their common upbringing. Not a great controlled experiment if one of the subjects knows and the other doesn't, Valentine.
• And an important housekeeping matter: Jonathan or Sebastian? I've been referring to him as Jonathan for this recap, with Meredith doing the opposite, but that might change back since everybody else still knows him as Sebastian. Or he can be Jonbastian. Sebathan. The Character Played By Will Tudor. Why does everyone on this show have so many dang names?!?
• Back on the subject of Maia: is there ever going to be a resolution for her fling with Jace or nah?
• ... but also re: Jace's love life, when is Clace going to JUST KISS ALREADY? I'm not even a shipper, but omg this slow burn is excruciating, esp. given how quickly everything else moves on this show.
Next episode: "A Dark Reflection"