Written by: Kelsey Hlavaty
Episode 2: The Descent Into Hell Isn’t Easy
This week’s recap will focus on Episode 2 of Shadowhunters which aired Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 in the United States and January 20th worldwide. Warning: Expect massive spoilers.
Last episode we left Clary as she is beginning to discover she might not be as mundane as she first believed. Her mother, Jocelyn, has been kidnapped by a secret group who calls themselves the Circle, lead by the evil Valentine. Clary, with the help of her new Shadowhunter friends, must unravel the secrets of this mysterious group and their mysterious leader, Valentine, if she ever hopes to find her mother.
The episode starts with Jace bringing both Clary and Simon into the Institute (the place where Shadowhunters live, work and hide). Clary tries to explain to Simon that the Shadowhunters are there to help them and Simon is reluctant at first. Soon after, he meets Isabelle (resident Shadowhunter hottie) and all is well in his mind. While Clary and Simon are getting accustomed to the Institute, we look into Luke’s private life. He finds a member of the Circle interrogating someone and he steps in. He begins to threaten the woman but she is not scared of him – she calls him a traitor to the Circle and this angers him. The camera angle shows the two fighting behind a car and the sound of a wild animal is heard as the woman is killed.
At the Institute, Jace believes that Clary should speak with Hodge Starkweather, an old member of the Circle who recanted his ways but must live the rest of his life within the Institute as punishment. The ruin on Hodge’s neck causes him pain every time he speaks about the Circle and what they did. He tells Clary that her mother was his friend because she too was a member of the Circle. They learn that Jocelyn must have been hiding the Mortal Cup, a device so powerful that it can create new Shadowhunters and control demons. It is super important that retrieve the Mortal Cup from where Jocelyn hid it before Valentine finds it. Jace informs Clary that he must help her as she is new to the whole Shadowhunting thing and asks her where Jocelyn would even think of hiding the Cup. When she’s unsure, Jace suggests that maybe her memory was wiped and it would only be done by a warlock. Clary then realizes that it could be Dot (who, last episode, was thrown out the window… Glad she’s back).
Dot finds Luke in Jocelyn’s home rummaging through her stuff and asks of Clary’s whereabouts. After realizing that Luke never saw Clary the night Dot sent her to the police station, she must now find the warlock Magnus Bane. At the police station, Luke is shown going through a pile of cups in his drawer at work, which we presume is from Jocelyn’s home. Captain Vargas informs Luke that Clary was there the night when he was interviewing the two member of the Circle. Unaware of this, Luke consults one of his friends on the force and states that he must now find Clary before anyone else. Dot ends up finding Magnus Bane at the Pandemonium/Demon Club. He informs her that Valentine is on the hunt for warlocks and as Bane was the one to put the spell on Jocelyn, he must run. Dot decides to stay behind because she is still determined in finding and helping Clary. At the Institute, Clary and Isabelle bond. It is revealed that Isabelle and Jace are not truly brother and sister but her family had taken Jace in after he was orphaned. The Shadowhunter squad decides to go out and find Dot, as she might have answers to where Jocelyn would hide the Mortal Cup. While touching the necklace her mother gave her, she has a vision of Dot running away, frightened, into the Pandemonium Club. They arrive at the club too late as Dot has already been attacked and taken to the Circle’s lair. Jace suggests that they pay a visit to the City of Bones where its residents, the Silent Brothers, would be able to dive deep into Clary’s mind and perhaps find the location of the Mortal Cup.
Valentine has captured Dot and presents her with a deal: if Dot undoes the spell that is keeping Jocelyn asleep, he will let her go. Dot states that she isn’t the warlock who put Jocelyn under this spell and that keeping her for that purpose has no real use to him. Valentine threatens to hurt Clary if Dot does not help him and injects her with liquid to “jog her memory”. Meanwhile, the squad arrives at the entrance to the City of Bones. Jace warns Clary that she must be brave as the Silent Brothers will “carve the truth out of her brain” and if she is not strong enough, it will kill her. Simon, Isabelle and Alec remain outside as Jace and Clary enter together. Inside, Clary discovers that Jace’s father died during the battle to end the Circle, which is why Isabelle and Alec’s family took him in. The Silent Brothers appear from the darkness and begin to search through Clary’s memories using a Soul Sword. Dot escapes from her imprisonment using her powers and begins to speak to Jocelyn with the hope that Jocelyn hears her words. Valentine discovers her and gives her another injection of the mysterious liquid. With the help of the Soul Sword, a memory of Luke and Jocelyn appears as they speak of Clary, thinking she is asleep. They speak of her powers and the circle – and that Valentine is Clary’s father. Distraught, her and Jace leave the City only to further discover that the Vampires have kidnapped Simon and will only exchange him for the Mortal Cup.
Veridict? A much better episode than the Pilot. Although I am still annoyed with some of the acting (85% of it being Clary), the other characters were much better. Simon is slowly becoming a funny character rather than the butt of the jokes and Jace is becoming slightly (slightly) less brooding and cold towards Clary. I also enjoyed the development of Dot’s character as a warlock. I also loved the inclusion of the vampires in this episode and am interested in how they will further the plot. Needless to say, I still had some issues with this episode. The Silent Brother’s appeared to move as puppets, which threw me off. I also wish they would develop Valentine’s character more. Even so, I feel as though there will only be further improvement and I am excited to see if they will follow the books more closely or begin to create their own story.