This weeks episode is continuing the streak that this show has of upping the ante every week in order to provide us with some good television. “Blood Calls To Blood” easily is the best episode of Shadowhunters yet, as it weaves every theme the show has been touching upon seemingly into the story; moving the plot forward at the perfect pace while also spending considerable time on character progression. Intrigued? I hope you are!
Episode 1×11 begins where 1×10 left off, with Jace and Clary faced with the realization that Michael Wayland is alive (We’ll see. Remember that prediction I made about it not being Michael? Keep that in mind). Michael quickly explains he’s been held captive for ten years, then talks about a moment when he trained with Jace as a child in order to fully convince Jace he is Michael. Clary remains suspicious (good girl!). Jace, despite being back in our dimension with his stele, cannot seem to heal fast enough from the demon venom. They go through Valentine’s portal and take Jace to the werewolf lair to help him.
At the Institute Alec is anxiously trying to figure out who can speak for Izzy and act as her defence attorney (sort of) at her trial. Their parents have been sent back to Idris as punishment for the Law breaking that occurred at the Institute so they cannot help, and they are suspicious of Izzy anyway, so that wouldn’t matter. Alec suggests Lydia and Izzy gets angry because she can’t see how Lydia is just as torn as Alec in terms of following the Law but having moral issues with what the Law is doing. Izzy believes that everyone has a choice, and she also fully understands that she made hers when she freed Meliorn, she also knows that she is a scapegoat to the Clave, and all they really want is the Cup. Alec knows that Lydia will help anyway she can so he thinks the best case of action is to try and delay the trial, but Izzy suggests that because there is a loophole in the Law that Alec ask Magnus to defend her. In these moments that they try and plan their next move, Alec pleads with Izzy to let him help her because he is her big brother. He says the line “Please, let me help you for once”, fully acknowledging that Izzy has been protecting him, especially this season.
The only problem with that is that she’s trying to protect him from the very thing is choosing to do: marrying Lydia, a woman whom he does not love nor ever will. Too bad the High Inquisitor is already in New York and the trial is happening ASAP! She is a crabby old lady who snaps at Lydia about making sure that she can still prosecute Izzy. The Inquisitor makes known that the Clave is seeing the same patterns as when Valentine was out of control 20 years ago, law bending, etc etc. Also, the Clave isn’t happy that Clary has the cup, because they think that she is working with Valentine. Too many things they can’t control. Yikes.
Izzy is furious that they can’t delay the trouble but she is adamant that she made the right choice and that she would rather live without her runes than be a part of this world. Her issue lies with that of justice. She thinks (and is right in thinking) that justice is being sacrificed to uphold the Law, which she believes is wrong. The only problem is, and the thing that Alec has the hardest time dealing with, is that when you are exiled as a Shadowhunter demons can still tell you are a Shadowhunter, but you are defenceless. Alec cannot live with the fact that Izzy might have to suffer this fate (he knows she is being noble but he understands that her taking the high road wont get here anywhere but in danger) and so he promises to ask Magnus to defend her.
Clary, Jace and Michael find Luke and Simon at the Chinese restaurant and Clary and Simon go to the Hotel Dumort to get human blood from Raphael to use as a transfusion for Jace. Only problem is, the vamps aren’t supposed to have human blood (they do though) and giving Clary the blood would break the Accords. Raphael and Simon both know this but they convince Raphael to help, though Simon has to stay behind and now act as an advisor to Raphael instead of as an ambassador to the werewolves. Clary and Simon are getting really good at being sneaky and blackmailing people. I’m loving it. The transfusion helps Jace and Michael speaks to Clary, talking about knowing her mother, about having “heard” things from Valentine. Michael tells Clary that Valentine was always fierce in his love, and that he will help Clary find Jocelyn. Clary however, is even more suspicious than before.
Her and Jace have a moment, as Clary has finally realized that Jace was the boy in his falcon story. Jace’s father taught him a lesson about love and emotions clouding judgement, and Clary is disturbed by it. She also is distraught because she wants reassurance that whatever is happening with her and Jace is real (mostly because she was confused with the other dimension), she gets it, which seems comforting to both of them. After they makeout for a while (silly teenagers!) Luke, Clary, Jace and Michael sit down and try and plan how they are going to find Valentine and Jocelyn. Michael explains that because Valentine experimented on him with Downworlder blood he developed keen hearing and overheard many of Valentine’s plans over the years. Michael heard that Valentine is at Renwick’s, a deserted small pox hospital.
Clary convinces Jace to stay behind while her and Luke go to scout out the location because his runes are still weak. Michael notices that Jace listens and isn’t happy. He speaks down to Jace, remarking that the son he knew (who by the way was 8, so not really a valid argument here) would not have listened so easily. Michael’s words reach Jace and his desire to please his father kicks in and they follow Luke and Clary to Renwick’s. Michael hasn’t seen Jace in 10 years and this is how he talks to him? Cooooooooooooooooooooool. When Clary and Luke get to Renwick’s Clary expresses her confusion as to why Michael’s story isn’t lining up. Luke tries to reassure her but it doesn’t seem to be working very well.
When Alec goes to Magnus’ to ask for his help he is greeted with a very annoyed warlock. Magnus snaps at Alec about how he is only visiting the warlock because he’s bored with planning his wedding. He acts distracted as he makes a drink and asks Alec what he needs. He also refers to Alec as Alec, which is weird because since their first meeting he normally calls him Alexander. Ouchhhhhh. Alec asks Magnus to help Izzy and Magnus and Magnus hilariously makes a joke about how Shadowhunters are so adamant in following the Law, and that there is nothing stopping him from getting through the loophole and defending Izzy except for Alec. Magnus says what he wants as payment is Alec, specifically saying “I’ll do you pro bono” though what he ends up asking for is Alec’s bow and quiver, knowing that they are important enough to Alec to show he is willing to make a real sacrifice for Izzy. Magnus shows up to the trial and naturally makes numerous jokes despite being in front of the Silent Brother and Inquisitors. He makes his case, saying that by torturing Meliorn, an innocent Seelie, Izzy was really working in favour of the Clave. He speaks like he just binge-watched Law & Order and suggests that they put the Mortal Cup on the trial because the entire reason they are charging Izzy is to do with the Cup.
When Izzy is cross-examined she makes her values known, she believes that this trial is a distraction from the real issues that the Clave is undergoing, and that by turning against each other they are not focusing on the actual issue of Valentine. Izzy speaks to everyone in the court and seems to reach most of them, mainly Lydia when she pleads with them to understand where she is coming from. When Magnus questions Lydia, she speaks about how she made a mistake in charging Izzy, and that all she sees from the trial is the lengths people will go to save the people they love. She speaks to the way that Izzy and Alec love each other, and the way that even though Magnus pretends he only wants payments in jewels and antiques he really can’t stand to see his friends being hurt by injustices. She withdraws the charge, but the Inquisitor doesn’t care. Izzy will be exiled if the Cup is not returned within 24 hours.
Clary, who has the cup, is not fighting off demons with Luke, Jace and Michael. They find Jocelyn, still in her coma, but Valentine is nowhere to be seen. They get separated from Luke and Clary uses the cup to get the demons to find Valentine. Instead of running off to find him, they keep trying to get into the room they’re all in. Now, remember when I said Michael wasn’t really Michael. Well, he’s not! Turns out it was a glamour (much like the one Lydia used when she pretended to be Valentine a few episodes ago, they 100% put this in to let the audience know that was something Shadowhunters could do). Valentine glamoured himself to look like Michael Wayland. He tries to get the Cup but Clary glamoured a mug to look like the Cup, so she still has control over the demons. Valentine realizes he can’t do anything else at this point and he drops a huge emotional bomb on the two lovebirds. Valentine explains that back in Idris he glamoured himself to look like Michael Wayland.
This is where it gets a little convoluted. Valentine tells the two kids that he is also Jace’s father. That Clary and Jace are siblings. So background info for a sec, Valentine is telling Jace that he raised him his whole life glamoured as Michael Wayland to fly under the radar…So our little love birds are brother and sister. Jace is Jonathan Christopher, the name of Clary’s brother and the one her mother mourned. Gross, right?????? So the go back the Institute and Jace and Alec fight, both explaining that they feel betrayed by one another. Alec however, insults Jace intensely by referring to Izzy as his sister, instead of their sister, and stalks off to celebrate with Izzy. Jace, who is dealing with his exceptionally confusing feelings towards Clary, now has to deal with the people he grew up with as his siblings ignoring him. Clary and Jace have an awkward moment standing over their mother in her coma, and Jace explains that he thinks there is something wrong with him, because he couldn’t tell it was Valentine. He believes he is weak and blinded by love. Oooooooppppppppppsssssssss.
Alec, Izzy and Magnus celebrate the fact that Clary returned the Cup and Izzy is free, and Alec gives Magnus his bow and quiver. Magnus however, returns them. He decides he doesn’t want his things, because he likes Lydia. Alec thinks that means that Magnus understands why he proposed to her but Magnus tells Alec that it only means he is sad for them. Because he likes Lydia, and obviously is infatuated with Alec, he doesn’t want them living lives that aren’t full. He says Alec doesn’t deserve it, Lydia doesn’t deserve it and neither does he. He leaves, telling Alec to keep the bow and quiver for him, a sad goodbye. The episode ends with Luke and Simon discussing how they are still able to love the people they love even as Downworlders, Luke loves Jocelyn, and Simon loves Clary. Though Simon thinks he has no chance because of Jace, Luke tells him however, that they are siblings, so I guess the episode ends on a good note? Maybe? If you don’t count Jace sulking in his room as Clary walks by.
Episode Grade: A
Not even the stupid incest plot line can make me hate this episode! Clary was spectacular in this, she was the only one who could see through Valentine’s glamour enough to know he wasn’t truly Michael Wayland. Her compassion, her intensity and her understanding were key to how they found Clary’s mother. Additionally, we are now seeing Jace having to deal with feeling abandoned, because Alec is not handling their parabatai issues well. He is being isolated and now he has to deal with having sexual feelings for his blood sister. Blergh. Also the way that Alec and Izzy and Magnus worked together was fantastic, especially as it challenged the Clave’s archaic ideals. Also, Alec is now being challenged for handling these situations in really questionable ways. Its true he is closeted and repressed but he is still not treating Jace with the respect he deserves and I hope that just means the moment they reconcile is that much better because of these issues.
Girls! Girls! Girls!
Clary was by far her best in this episode. She is the shows moral compass, and she always has been, but usually her good intentions are masked by her inexperience and her selfishness. This week however, she is the only one who notices how odd Michael Wayland’s behaviour is and questions his story. She also casts a glamour that tricks Valentine. Her perception is key to them rescuing her mother, and finally being a little bit ahead of Valentine. It is really interesting to see her thrive in this environment, because her emotion and her love for her mother is what drives her. Whereas Jace sees his feelings for Clary as a distraction, and Valentine’s words confirm that.
Izzy and Lydia also stand with their beliefs in this episode, proving their convictions are worth sticking to. Izzy aligns herself with the compassion that Clary so readily has, despite Shadowhunters not giving in to such feelings, and Lydia follows suit. Lydia’s attitude, and her stand against the Clave in this episode show her depth. It is also interesting that they easily could have had Magnus hate her, but they complicate this little trio by having Magnus actually understand Lydia’s actions more than Alec’s. There is no doubt that this complication of everyones relationship with come to a head in next week’s episode, which will be interesting. I have another prediction regarding the fate of Lydia, and I really hope it doesn’t come true, though her taking a stand against injustice in this weeks episode was a game changer in terms of trying to show the other Shadowhunters that fighting for equality is worth it.
Keep your eyes open later for:
Saturday: My last Saturday post for a while! I will be talking about what a “strong female character”is, what it means, and why I hate that phrase. I hope you’re excited.