Title: Shadowhunters S2.E11 “Mea Maxima Culpa”
Released: 2017
Series:  Shadowhunters

Shadowhunter of the Week: Sebastian

Previously: SO MANY THINGS. Valentine tries to manipulate Clary into activating the Soul Sword to decimate the Downworld by kidnapping Simon (who she’s now dating, sigh); a weakened Simon feeds on Jace’s blood to regain his strength; Jace discovers that he has pure angel blood when he unintentionally activates the Soul Sword, which Valentine then uses to kill a bunch of Downworlders who allied with our Shadowhunters (incl. werewolves from Luke’s pack); Valentine tells Jace that they’re not father and son (and Jace is also not Clary’s brother); Clary stops Jace from killing Valentine, since he’s the only one who knows the whereabouts of the Mortal Cup; and some shadowy figure has absconded with the Soul Sword, DUN DUN DUUUUUUN…!

What Happened

In the aftermath of the Institute massacre, Jace is feeling guilty for his unintentional involvement, and Luke’s losing the confidence of the surviving members of his pack. But both have more pressing concerns with the arrival of Azazel, a Greater Demon from the worst dimension of Hell who’s searching for the Mortal Cup and racking up the mundane body count in his efforts. Alec also (wrongly) suspects Azazel to have abducted a missing Izzy. With Magnus’ help, the Shadowhunters summon Azazel, using Valentine and his knowledge of the Mortal Cup’s whereabouts as bait. But they can’t contain Azazel, who leaves Magnus and Valentine with a switcheroo parting gift before he escapes.

So where is Izzy? After failing to obtain more vampire venom from Raphael, she goes to a vampire nest — where she does indeed run into Azazel, but lives to tell the tale thanks to Sebastian, a Shadowhunter from the London Institute who has experience with a yin fen addiction of his own. Sebastian convinces Izzy to check in with a worried Alec, but she’s in no hurry to rush her recovery and return to the Institute. Which would be more reassuring if her new mentor wasn’t possibly a little unstable and a bit of a pyromaniac.

Meanwhile, Simon might be the only one who emerged from the Soul Sword ordeal with a win. OK, so he nearly died in the process, but he’s fine now. More than fine, in fact, since he’s become a Daylighter, aka a vampire immune to sunlight. As eager as Simon is to regain a sense of human normalcy, though, he’s not doing the best job of keeping this new development on the DL, effectively inviting danger from any vampire who wants to become a Daylighter themselves (i.e., all of them).

And finally, Clary learns the truth about Jace’s parentage — or, rather, who his parents aren’t. No more faux incest forever! (I hope.)


  • SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION between Alec and Jace, omg. I don’t want to be an annoying person who sees HoYay everywhere, but I MEAN:

  • Aldertree’s been shipped off to Idris for reprimand! Sure, I’ll miss the hotness, but NOT THE SLEAZE.

  • Our glamoured Shadowhunters joining Luke at the crime scene — clever! I’d watch that procedural.

  • Luke’ new police partner, Ollie, casually mentioning her girlfriend.


  • Gross, Clary calling Simon sexy. These two somehow squick me out more than faux incest ever had.

  • Clary throwing caution to the wind in response to Simon’s very valid concerns of spontaneous combustion if it turns out his Daylighter sitch is only temporary.

  • Simon reaching out to Maureen, for some reason. Like, dude — do you not remember when you hit it and quit it? How exactly did you think that was going to go? LET MAUREEN LIVE.

  • Still pouring one out for the Izzy/Raphael ship, despite simultaneously wanting the show to explore Raphael’s possible asexuality.

Shadowhunter of the Week

The new guy, obvs! Sebastian’s motives are appropriately ambiguous right now, but the only thing I’m certain of is that broseph isn’t being 100% truthful. Him giving Izzy a mystery cure to ease her pain also gave me Aldertree vibes of what got her into trouble in the first place. Izzy, call up the London Institute to run a background check on his ass!

Say What?

Alec: “You think you’re so irresistible that she’s gonna dump him as soon as she finds out that you’re not related?”

A likely read on Jace’s thought process.

Jace: “Stop it.”

Simon: “I just — ”

Jace: “No. Never”

Jace, rejecting Simon’s hug.

Maia: “You have what every Downworlder wants.”

Simon: “A winning personality. You noticed.”

Maia tries to have a sincere conversation, but Simon’s gonna Simon.

Luke: “Trust me, plenty of wolves want to eat at the Jade Wolf.”

Maia: “No, they don’t.”

Luke, with the awkward dad joke to an unimpressed Maia.

Raphael: “How’d it happen?”

Simon: “Not sure, really. There was a lot of carcinogens in here that I could have been exposed to.”

Raphael gets a dose of Simon using humour to defuse every situation, too.

Swimfan Says

Here’s Shadowhunter Chronicles expert and co-host of The Parabatai Podcast, Meredith (@legallyblonde), with her thoughts!

  • Two exciting book shout outs this week: Inquisitor Herondale plays a very important role in City of Ashes and we learn that a) Valentine was trying to collect the three Mortal Instruments to summon Raziel and b) Shadowhunters don’t know the Mortal Mirror’s location.

  • Clary now knows Jace is not her brother! That scene was one of my favorites. The tension between Clary, Jace, and Valentine played out so well throughout it, and what a payoff it was.

  • We have officially met Sebastian Verlac, who was charming and lovely and devious. I can’t wait to see more of him.

  • Simon is adjusting to his new Daylighter status, and it’s great fun to watch between his scenes with Jace (who denies his role in making Simon a Daylighter), Maia (who warns him to keep a low profile), and Raphael (who wants in on the secret).

Burning Questions

  • Valentine orchestrated his entire jailbreak: Y/Y? It was his idea to use himself as bait for Azazel, with whom he was definitely on a first-name basis.

  • Is Ollie more than a mundane, or just a good detective who observes transparently strange behaviour in Luke?

  • Speaking of women (or lack thereof) in Luke’s life, why are there so few lady wolves? Other than Maia and Gretel, who died earlier in the season, have there been any notable female werewolves, esp. older ones? I know there’s typically a lot of alpha macho-ness in pop culture depictions of werewolves, but the gender imbalance here is pretty glaring.

  • Is it bad that I’m superficially into Azazel? I can’t figure out who he reminds me of, but maybe an evil Paul Rudd/Colin Morgan hybrid? Or some other dark-haired, blue-eyed white handsomeness? Given the evilness, maybe James Frain? Or omg — Jonathan Rhys Meyers aka Movie Valentine?!?! (At least in this one pic.)

  • Also, did Jace become more attractive? Did everyone? Or am I just readjusting to the attractiveness of this cast?


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.