Title: Shadowhunters S1.E09 “Rise Up”
Released: 2016
Series:  Shadowhunters

Shadowhunter of the Week: Alec

Previously: Clary chooses to have Simon turned into a vampire; Clave envoy Lydia takes control of the Institute; Alec proposes to Lydia because family honour ‘n shizz; and Valentine’s experimental Seelie-blood creatures infiltrate and attack the Institute.

Y’all — as is abundantly evident from my taste in TV and movies, I will forgive many a sin as long as I’m being entertained. But for the second episode in a row, I’m finding myself channeling La Lohan

Elizabeth Taylor (Lindsay Lohan) shouting at the sky in a yard
“I’m bored! I’m so bored!”

What Happened

Simon’s having a tough time adjusting to being a vampire, despite the half-hearted guidance from vamp fairy godfather, Raphael. Initially none too happy that Clary chose to condemn him to the vampire life, Simon eventually reconciles with her and the two BFFs go their separate ways (for now, anyway). 

With the recent attack by Valentine’s creations, the Institute has Magnus fortifying their wards; the Lightwood parents sent back to Idris, given their pasts as Circle members; and Meliorn, Izzy’s main Fae squeeze, arrested under (presumably wrongful) suspicion of helping Valentine by soliciting state secrets from a Shadowhunter. Unable to get intel from Meliorn, Lydia wants the Silent Brothers to have a try (even though it’s been established that the Fey cannot lie, so just ask better questions) — which is too extreme of a measure for everybody except for Lydia’s new fiancé, Alec.

So juuuust to be on the safe side, Jace, Izzy, and Magnus sneak the Mortal Cup and Clary’s necklace out of the Institute vault and back into Clary’s possession. The gang also strikes a reluctant alliance between the Seelie, werewolves, and vampires to prevent further unjust treatment of Downworlders by the Clave, intercepting Meliorn’s transfer to the City of Bones — but not without running into a group of Alec-led guards. Alec and Jace tussle, with Alec having the upper hand but unable to finish Jace off and still unwilling to go against the Clave. But that’s a problem for another episode, because the rest of the Shadowhunters are bringing Meliorn back to the Seelie court, who expresses gratitude for his rescue by offering to help Clary find Valentine.


  • … so Jace does know Alec is in love with him. Thank goodness he finally acknowledged it! (Although every time I hear Jace refer to Maryse and Robert as his parents — slight book spoiler — I think of how fond this franchise is of quasi-incestuous pairings.)

  • Simon being on the receiving end of a ‘we’ve always been here for each other’ from Clary, for a change.

  • A small but funny bit of non-verbal acting when Jace awkwardly looks away during Clary and Simon’s goodbyes. 

  • Vampires vs. Werewolves: West Side Story (via SNL) edition!


  • RIP Simon’s glasses. I kind of miss them on him!

  • Speaking of fashion: WHAT IS RAPHAEL’S JACKET?

  • The pun-off between Luke and Raphael. I wouldn’t blame you for assuming that I’d have been into it, but nahhhh thanks.

  • There’s been an awful lot of filler lately. The Shadowhunters have the Mortal Cup and now a way to find Valentine — yet there are 4 more episodes remaining in this season, WHAAAAAT. (One of them is called “Malec” and therefore poised to do well with me, but still. Pander and advance the plot!)

  • … Anddddd unfortunately, that filler is mostly stuff created only for the show — none of which has really worked yet.

Shadowhunter of the Week

Clary and Simon’s friendship took centre stage again (and with him being an active participant this time), but Alec was right there with them in the spotlight. Which I normally would welcome, but there’s been a severe shortage of Alec’s curmudgeonly snark, as he’s busy being a wet blanket Clave company man.

Say What?

Raphael: “You do know this isn’t a hotel?”

Simon: “Technically, it is.”

Raphael, getting schooled by Simon on the hospitality industry.

Magnus: “‘Solid partnership’. That’s hot.”

Magnus’ sarcastic commentary on Alec and Lydia’s arrangement isn’t wrong.

Jace: “I don’t want to be alive if we’re on different sides, Alec.”

Jace, keeping the parabatai OTP dream alive.

Swimfan Says

Here’s Shadowhunter Chronicles expert, Meredith (@legallyblonde), with her thoughts!

  • This episode seemed to mostly revolve around Alec dealing with the revelation that his parents were Circle members. While not handling this news well at all makes sense for him, he made a lot of decisions that hurt practically everyone close to him (Magnus! Jace! Izzy!), and I didn’t like it.

  • I did like Clary and Simon’s relationship here, where we were reminded they’re supposed to be BFFs and I bought it more than I had when she was ignoring his eleventy phone calls.

  • In a later Mortal Instruments book, Simon agrees to be with the vampires in exchange for their help in a fight, against Clary’s wishes, because he wants to help Downworld. The TV circumstances were completely different, but I appreciate the symmetry.

  • While I get that the parabatais would fight to get over an argument, and welcomed that part of the scene, please make up soon, guys.

Burning Questions

  • If Downworlders have a different entrance to the City of Bones, then why were Alec and the Shadowhunters using it, instead of their own, to transport Meliorn? And why did Clary and the Downworlder coalition assume they’d take Meliorn there and not even post anyone at the other entrance?

  • Was “Major Arcana” a mixed blessing? Because now we know how fun this show is capable of being, and the subsequent episodes so far have been a real letdown.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.