Title: Shadowhunters S2.E05 “Dust And Shadows”
Released: 2017
Series:  Shadowhunters

Shadowhunter of the Week: Alec

Previously: A demon-possessed Alec kills Jocelyn right after she plans to move to Idris, and Valentine tries to break Jace out of the City of Bones but ends up taking the Soul-Sword instead.

What Happened

Newly exonerated and reinstated, Jace is back at the Institute, but Victor’s banning him from field duty because Jace saved his life instead of pursuing Valentine and the Soul-Sword. Worst Boss Ever also dispenses yin fen to Izzy for accelerating her recovery from a venom infection, but the salve seems to have some euphoric and addictive side effects.

Feeling guilty about his unwilling role in Jocelyn’s death, Alec’s determined to make things right with Clary. Which means accompanying her to visit dark magic warlock Iris Rouse in order to resurrect Jocelyn — in return for a favour, of course. Clary ultimately changes her mind, but Iris intends to collect what she’s owed — aka propagating the dying line of warlocks by essentially locking Clary up with a demon meant to rape her and then erasing her memory of it, WTFFFFFFFFFF. Fortunately, Clary gets a timely vision of a powerful sunlight-shooting rune that kills the demon. Jace and Izzy arrive to help out Clary and Alec, but Iris portals away with her young goddaughter, Madzie.

Back at the Institute, the Rite of Mourning is being held for Jocelyn, as well as the other slain Shadowhunters and Silent Brothers. Barred from attending or even entering the Institute are our Shadowhunters’ Downworlder friends. Simon’s back at home with his mother and sister, who are unknowingly impeding his ability to, like, stay alive, vampire-wise. Eventually, he ‘fesses up to his mom, Fake Jillian Michaels, who’s obvi super disbelieving and already calling in psychiatric reinforcements — that is, until she walks in on him feasting on a rat out of desperation. Meanwhile, Luke’s possibly in Idris, probably without clothing, and definitely wolfing out beyond his control.


  • Y’all, this is easily my favourite episode of the season! It’s lighter on plot (or, rather, there’s more room for plot to breathe), but it has plenty of good characterizations and interactions. Also, it breaks out of the evil-generic-monsters mould with a compelling villain in Iris. More of this, please!

  • Simon reciting a prayer in Hebrew!

  • Magnus and Biscuit reunited! (Which totally reminds me of how Paula calls Rebecca ‘Cookie’ on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in this niche trend of awesome BFFs bequeathing baked goods nicknames to plucky heroines.)

  • Speaking of other shows that this episode makes me think of (16-year-old spoilers ahead for Buffy): Clary trying to bring back Jocelyn is reminiscent of Buffy doing the same for Joyce, esp. with both Clary and Buffy backing out at the last second.

  • A rare pairing of Jace and Izzy! (Pro-tip: do not combine those names in a portmanteau.) There’s obvi a lot of focus on the parabatai bond, but I’m glad that the show hasn’t forgotten that Jace also grew up with Izzy.



  • Ughhhh, more Clary and Simon vibes. It seems pretty inevitable, but I’ve yet to get on board.

  • Magnus was tearing into Jocelyn for having him wipe Clary’s memories a scant two episodes ago, but now he’s framing it as a loving gesture by Jocelyn. I know you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but this is a little overboard.

  • I was mildly horrified that Jocelyn’s body was just in some room at the Institute for two freaking days after she died. I distinctly remember more morgue-like rooms, Show, which would have been much better for storing decomposing corpses.

  • Iris trapping Clary had the unintentional goofy result of Katherine McNamara getting to show off her miming skills.

  • The Shadowhunters have really got to find a way to stop baddies from portalling away right in front of them.

  • Why Simon doesn’t think to ask someone capable of walking in sunlight (e.g., Magnus), instead of Raphael, to deliver him more blood is beyond me.

  • WAIT — Victor states that 26 Silent Brothers and 3 Shadowhunters had been killed, but only Jocelyn and two Silent Bros are shown, and without any fades to indicate skipped parts of the Rites. Show, don’t give me numbers if you don’t intend to follow through with them.

Shadowhunter of the Week

Poor ol’ Cheekbones (TM Iris) is feeling responsible for everything going haywire. At least Alec kind of made a new pint-sized friend with gills in Madzie, who interrupts Iris laying the smackdown on him.

Say What?

Isabelle: “I always look good.”

She tells no lies, y’all.

Elaine: “Honey, that shirt smells like death.”

I know this is supposed to be a wink to Simon’s vampirism, but if Simon is truly that stinky to Fake Jillian Michaels, then how do Clary and the gang stand hanging out with him all the time? Or are Shadowhunters also an odorous breed? (Maybe that’s why they’re cool with not refrigerating corpses.)

Magnus: “You’ll blow up the very ground you stand on to make something right.”

Magnus has Alec all figured out, naturally.

Swimfan Says

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

  • I am so, so concerned about Izzy. Yin fen is a very, very dangerous drug first mentioned in The Infernal Devices series, and I don’t see how this isn’t going to end in some terrible fashion. Book!Isabelle also goes on a mission to the Iron Sisters, though under different circumstances.

  • When Book!Simon tells his mother he’s a vampire, it goes incredibly wrong.

  • The funeral ritual was similar to how it’s described in the books. This scene was heartbreaking between Clary finally breaking down over her mother’s death, Jace being obviously affected as well, and him comforting her (them comforting each other?).  Also, this is the most physical contact Jace and Clary have had since finding out they were siblings, and I have a lot of feelings about this.

  • I expected Alec to feel guilty about killing Jocelyn while possessed, but oh, he feels guilty for that and everything else that is beyond his control. I’m glad Jace was there as his parabatai to point out that none of it is his fault, which was later reinforced by Magnus, even if Alec didn’t believe either of them.

  • I LOVED Jace and Izzy so much in this episode. The scene of them training together was brilliant.

  • Aldertree continues to be very suspicious and manipulative, and I want to know his end game.

Burning Questions

  • Follow-up from three weeks ago: the wavy knife is the keris that Magnus’ mom killed herself with when she realized that he was a demon. How… dark.

  • Should we be concerned with how, like, sensual Izzy and Victor’s scene was? Is anyone shipping this? Izzy deserves the best and Victor’s an ass who may have just gotten her hooked onto a magical drug, buuuut this is a lot of hotness together. I might not hate this, is what I’m saying.

  • Since Valentine already has two of the three Mortal Instruments, shouldn’t the Clave be trying to lock down the last one? Or have it on lockdown, if they have it already?

  • As we previously learned, Luke’s mom is an Iron Sister, so will she appear in the next episode? (Although HOLD UP — if Iron Sisters are supposed to celibate, how the hell does Luke exist? Was he adopted?)

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.