A quick recap going into this episode:
At the end of the first half of season 2, the sibling twist has been ended. Jace knows that he is not Valentine’s real son, and therefore is not Clary’s brother. He can act on his feelings for her again, but Clary is happily dating Simon now and Jace doesn’t want to ruin that for her, so he doesn’t tell her right away. The Mortal Cup is missing again and everyone thinks Valentine is the only one who knows where it is, and he is being held by the Clave for questioning. Simon is a daylighter now, possibly because he drank Jace’s angel blood, but there is no Mark of Cain branding his forehead as there was in the book. Izzy got addicted to Yin Fen, thanks to Aldertree, and Rafael is trying to stop her from taking anymore vampire venom to feed her addiction.
Episode 11: Mea Maxima Culpa (Translation: I have failed)
We open on a scene of Jace and Alec sparring together in some weird dark corner of the institute. At first, I assumed it was the training room, but then I noticed there were leaves all over the ground so maybe they were in a courtyard of some sorts? They really don’t make the locations of scenes very clear, it’s just as if the characters are there but the audience has no reference as to where they are in relation to the rest of the scenes. Plus, this scene was VERY dark, it was hard to see anything, I get that it’s mysterious and atmospheric, but I could have done with just a little more light so I could see the fight choreography a bit better. My other criticism is that I’m kind of sick of the electronic music that’s lumped on to every fight scene or training scene with the choreographed fighting. That said, I still think the choreography is a million times better than it was in season 1.
We are introduced to a few new characters in this first episode: Imogen Herondale (the Inquisitor), Azazel (a greater demon), and Sebastian. I won’t say too much about Imogen and Sebastian because I’m hoping they have similar backstories to the books and I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t read the books. It’s clear though, that Azazel is going to be different from his book story line. In the books, Azazel isn’t introduced until City of Fallen Angels (book 5), so he’s coming in much earlier on the show. He is sort of just wandering around at the start of this episode with no acknowledgement while he tries to find the Mortal Cup. Then, Magnus summons him for some reason that I’m not sure I understand (just to find him?), and he ends up breaking out of his pentagram and making a high pitched noise to distract the shadowhunters while he goes over to do something to Valentine. What that thing is is pretty unclear in the moment since all he says is “a little present for you Valentine,” but it seems like he’s helping the villain.
I like that Jace is still getting more and more book-Jace lines and actions. That quick moment where Simon goes to hug Jace and Jace just goes “No, never” had me chuckling because it reminded me of how Jace took a long time to warm up to the quirky vampire.
So there’s something else now, they want to find the Mortal Mirror. I don’t remember it being called this in the books, but I do know what they are talking about. The three Mortal Instruments can be very powerful when they are used together so I suppose it’s only logical that that’s the next step. However, the other two Mortal Instruments are currently out of commission: the cup is lost, and Clary did something to the sword with a rune and it needed to be sent to the Iron Sisters to be “cleansed.” It bugs me that they are calling the cup and the mirror “mortal” but the sword is still the “soul sword,” like why?
Izzy is still having terrible yin fen withdrawal, not looking too good there, and Alec is covering it up by telling everyone she has the flu. In my mind, this is a pretty crap cover up considering it is probably really rare for a shadowhunter to catch a mundane illness with all of the healing and protective runes they have access to. I’m glad Rafael is cutting her off, but I’m also really sick of this story line and I think it just needed to stop existing now, please and thank you. They were doing some interesting editing to give us a feeling of Izzy’s suffering, but the way it was done didn’t really make sense to me. If it’s supposed to make us feel what she’s feeling, why isn’t the wonky image coming from her perspective? It only happened when the camera was on Izzy, not on what she would have been seeing.
Jace holds off telling Clary that he isn’t actually her bother because he still loves her but he can’t tell her because she’s dating Simon now. He finally tells her because otherwise Valentine was going to spill the beans, but it’s going to take some time for her to process that bit of information. Understandable considering she is 100% still in love with Jace too.
EEP SEBASTIAN! He’s being introduced wayyyy differently than in the books when they went to Idris and he was pretending to be a cousin of the Penhallows. Now he’s just coming up and saying he’s from the London institute (believable because he’s keeping the English accent). He hasn’t said a last name so I don’t know if he will be using a disguise or just coming out as Sebastian Morgenstern. Only time will tell with that one. I do like him so far though, even though he’s only been in a couple of scenes, I like the charming act hes putting on for Izzy and that he looks the part pretty perfectly. Light blond hair: check. Creepy menacing face and charming act: check. I have high hopes for him as a character in this show.
Random thought: we still haven’t seen Maureen since season 1, is she a vampire yet? Are they going to use that story line at all or have they decided that they ruined it too much by making her older in the show?
Silly Quote of the episode: “If you’re lying, so help the Angel” – Jace …… um what?
Questions I have after this episode (and I have quite a few):
Who is this new detective partner of Luke’s and why does she seem super sketchy to me?
When Sebastian is telling Izzy about his mother, is he talking about Jocelyn and saying that her “funny” way of showing love was abandoning him because of his demon blood?
Who is our antagonist for the second half of this season? Valentine? Sebastion? Azazel? They always lump so much into these seasons and they’ve deviated so far from the book plot now that we can pretty much kiss our story prediction ability goodbye.
What was that rune on Jace’s arm and why did it allow him to get up when everyone else was still being held off by whatever thing Azazel did to them?
What did Azazel do to valentine?
What’s going on with Sebastian’s hand?
Preview of next week:
Azazel has swapped Magnus and Valentine into each other’s bodies… what?
Tell me what you thought about the Shadowhunters summer premiere!