Shadowhunters fell just a little flat this week in comparison to its previous episodes, but it still remains reasonably better than season 1. While from the get-go, the series has clearly distinguished itself from the book series, it still seems as though the new showrunners are attempting to bring some elements back to its original roots.
In last week’s episode, we saw the Shadowhunters face a spell playing on their insecurities; Clary and Simon get together; Isabelle shared her blood with Raphael to get a fix; Valentine takes the young warlock Madzie under his wing; and we learn Clary can be used to activate the Soul Sword.
‘Bound By Blood’ opens with Clary and Simon making out in his ‘bed’, which is a bit rickety since it’s actually a canoe. Some question why their relationship has progressed to them making out but is it really a big deal? They’re adults so it’s completely reasonable, but some say it’s not fair as Magnus and Alec aren’t getting enough ‘screen-time’. If you have a look at the two relationships, they are in very different stages, especially with Alec struggling with his first relationship and learning to trust someone. In my opinion, I feel as though the show is respecting them both.
Jace finds the two lovebirds, and let’s just say big brother isn’t too happy about what they’re up to. He feels as though Clary should be hiding properly so she isn’t found, when her hand suddenly turns black.
Naturally they race to Magnus’s, who is already there with Alec. Magnus tells Clary and Jace the spell means ‘burnt flesh’ and it is part of the blood oath Clary made. If Clary doesn’t find Madzie, then the curse will reach her heart and result in her death.
Aldertree returns back to the Institute and remarks how well Isabelle is looking as it can take weeks for people to get over yin fen. He attempts to ask her out in order to ‘express his gratitude’ for looking after the Institute, but she firmly turns him down.
Valentine now has a new hideout which turns out to be an abandoned warehouse filled with carnival rides, because villains really love abandoned places. Valentine reveals he wants Madzie since she is a young and impressionable warlock, so she can be completely loyal to him.
Back at Jade Wolf, Clary and Jace are devising a plan with Luke to find Madzie. Clary says Simon has to come once the sun goes down, despite Jace’s reluctance, and leaves to go speak with him. But before she can reach him, she is attacked by a wolf who turns out to be Maia. Maia thought she was doing the right thing by killing Clary to save the Downworlder race. This causes Luke to become quite angry, and he locks her up, even though she suffers from claustrophobia.
Alec is trying to figure out what’s going on with his sister and assumes it has something to do with Aldertree sending her to the Iron Sisters. But little does he know, Izzy is currently at Raphael’s. The two are cooking, with Raphael admitting he cooks every Sunday for a retirement home where his 78-year-old sister lives. This revelation causes the two to become closer and Izzy offers her wrist to him.
Whilst looking for Madzie, Clary reveals she would rather die than Valentine take her and Simon refuses, but Jace agrees to it. Jace continues to look for Madzie, while Simon and Clary share some sweet moments together as possible death stares them in the face.
Jace manages to find Valentine and Madzie, who turns her hot chocolate into an ice-cream which was quite amusing. Jace tells him of the blood oath which is slowly killing Clary and this causes Valentine to also drop the falcon story yet again. While it was important in the books, it’s definitely not necessary to mention it again.
Obviously Valentine agrees with Jace to save Clary since he needs her, so Madzie returns with Jace and the blood oath is removed. But once Clary is saved, the young warlock quickly opens a portal and takes Clary with her to Valentine’s lair.
Another familiar face returns in this episode. Meliorn turns up at the Hunter’s Moon for a council meeting with Raphael, Luke and Magnus, who are representatives for each Downworld faction. Meliorn insists Clary should be executed, which is met with much reluctance by the other members.
He then claims they are all biased as they have ties to the Shadowhunters, including Raphael as Meliorn would recognise Isabelle’s perfume anywhere. This causes Raphael to switch positions and agree to kill Clary.
Magnus then turns to Alec and finally reveals what he knows about Isabelle. Alec is furious with Magnus for keeping this information from him, and he storms over to Raphael’s. He catches the two in a comprising position (just sharing blood) and fists are thrown between Alec and Raphael. Magnus turns up to prevent Alec doing more harm, which only infuriates him further. Alec takes Izzy with him, but she tells him to leave as Raphael helped her when she needed it most. Back in Raphael’s apartment, Raphael tells Magnus his feelings for her, but Magnus claims it’s just his addiction talking.
Meanwhile, Valentine has released his experiments into the world and they are killing humans. Simon, Luke and Jace manage to interrogate one of them and he leads them to Valentine. Alec is also attempting to do his part by gathering Shadowhunters to aid them, when Aldertree stops him. But Alec stands up to him and blackmails Aldertree with the yin fen information, which causes Aldertree to let Alec leave.
Jace then finds Clary, but Madzie uses her powers to stop them from leaving. Simon then manages to punch Valentine a few times, which was surprising, but Valentine then overpowers him. As a villain, he knows how to make an exit. Valentine and Madzie leave through a portal, and they take Simon with them.
Overall, the episode is setting up for the big midseason finale which will happen next episode. I’m somewhat hoping that some of the original City of Ashes plots will be making an appearance in the second half of the series, such as the Seelie Queen. In the finale, we may even see Simon be drained of blood by Valentine and then Jace will feed him his blood resulting in that storyline. Perhaps the episode title could even be hinting at it? Like I said, it feels as though they’re still trying to keep the core elements of the books, they’re just giving it a good shuffle to keep it different.
Shadowhunters returns next with its midseason finale ‘By The Light of Dawn’.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!
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