Season 2, Episode 9 “By the Light of Dawn”
Written by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer
Directed by Joshua Butler
On last week’s episode of Shadowhunters, Clary (Katherine McNamara) found out the side effect of not fulfilling her blood oath was potential death when her hand turned black. The downworlders all found out that she can activate the Soul Sword, as well, so now they all want her dead. Meliorn (Jade Hassouné) made his reappearance during the downworlder meeting where he, Raphael (David Castro), Luke (Isaiah Mustafa), and Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) all discussed what they planned to do with Clary and the Soul Sword. Meliorn also called Raphael out for his relationship with Izzy (Emeraude Toubia), which pushed the vampires to side with the Seelies and the werewolves and warlocks to side with the shadowhunters. Jace (Dominic Sherwood) helped Clary fulfill her blood oath by bringing Madzie (Ariana Williams) to her just in time, but then Madzie created a portal and took Clary to Valentine (Alan Van Sprang). When Jace and Simon (Alberto Rosende) showed up to save Clary, Valentine captured Simon and took him through another portal. For my full recap and review of last week’s episode, you can go here. This week’s recap and review are below.
We start off this week at the Institute with alarms going off and everyone freaking out that the wards are down. Aldertree (Nick Sagar) and Alec (Matthew Daddario) take what remain of the shadowhunters there and split up so they can figure out what’s going on.
I love that Madzie protects Alec by throwing him into the elevator when she comes in. And I like that we get to see her utilize her gills by sucking the air out of the room. Sure, it’s against the shadowhunters, but it’s still cool. Her scarf magically appears back in place before Valentine comes in to take over, but maybe she put it back on with actual magic.
Clary is a little overdramatic with her three attempted walk-offs, but it is a YA drama after all, so it’s to be expected. You know it’s a show when the video call is crystal clear and doesn’t have any glitches. Valentine has Simon strapped to the same chair that Aldertree strapped Raphael in back when he tortured him with the sun laser in order to find Camille. I wonder if he knows about that option or if he’s planning on a different form of torture. Dot (Vanessa Matsui) is definitely looking worse than ever before when Clary, Jace, and Luke find her hiding in a corner.
I’m excited that Dot’s condition seems to be treatable by Magnus, though. I assume she’ll probably take some of the scenes that Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) was supposed to be in from the books. Of course, Dot overheard Valentine telling his men that Jace can destroy the Soul Sword by touching it, so that’s their new plan of action, even though Luke thinks it’s a trap (spoiler: it is!).
The vision that Clary and Jace got from the angel gets brought up, and Magnus uses his warlock powers to see into their minds in order to access the vision himself. It turns out that angels speak in metaphors, so the star in the sky references Morgenstern (Morning Star/Valentine’s last name), which means that the vision represents a Morgenstern with demon blood being able to destroy the sword. Since Jace has been told he’s Valentine’s son (a Morgenstern) and was injected with demon blood, then that means what Dot said is true and it’s up to Jace to save everyone now.
Izzy and Raphael test the boundaries of their relationship in this episode. Izzy wants to slide into the romantic side, but Raphael is basically asexual, so he pretty much just wants her blood. He also hides her phone when he sees emergency texts from Alec on it and then leaves. I can’t tell if he left her there to protect her or so she wouldn’t stop him.
Jace and Luke head to the Institute after leaving Clary with Magnus because Valentine is able to use the angelic power core that runs the building to help activate the sword, so now all he needs is someone with angel blood to touch it in order to be able to use the sword. From what we’ve been told, they needed actual lightning, but according to Luke, they just need a power source, and it appears to work later in the episode.
I always love the fight scenes in this show, but in this winter finale episode, I expected there to be a lot more of them. We get a quick fight with Alec and Aldertree taking out a couple of Circle members, and even though it gets done pretty fast, I still enjoyed it.
I definitely didn’t expect Valentine to cut Simon’s throat as incentive to get Clary there. I also didn’t expect it to matter that much since he’s a vampire, but apparently he can’t heal himself fast enough with that much blood loss and needs to drink or he’ll die. The incentive works as Clary demands Magnus to portal her to the Institute, though.
Maia (Alisha Wainwright) jumps into the episode when she stops Luke and Jace by standing in the middle of the street. After Luke’s previous run in with a stun gun (thanks to Clary!), he knows how well it works on werewolves, so he ends up tasing her after a quick shoving/punching match between her and the guys. I love how Jace holds his seraph blades. He looks like he’s actually trained as a fighter to me, and I appreciate the dedication to always reacting the same way when he’s armed.
When Clary and Magnus arrive at the Institute, Raphael meets them there and some other vampires grab Magnus so he can’t do magic. Raphael sided with Meliorn to just kill Clary in order to stop Valentine from using her to activate the sword. He says it will be quick and painless then goes to bite her throat. Honestly, I figured if he’d kill someone just to kill them in a “quick and painless” way, he would just break their neck, but then I guess Jace couldn’t have stopped him and the story would be mostly over.
When Luke shows up, he makes a good point that Valentine will still have the sword and will find another way to activate it anyways. Maia also joins them after waking up from her stun gun incident, even though she herself tried to kill Clary, too. Other backup also arrives in the form of additional werewolves and the Seelies.
Jace’s plan to save Simon and stop Valentine involves sending not-really-Clary in to let Simon drink from her. After Simon’s done drinking, not-really-Clary transforms into actual Jace and Simon ends up attacking Valentine while Jace takes out the other guards so they can escape. It was also a quick fight scene that offered just a hint of excitement before being over again.
I love that Magnus gets to help Madzie out of the situation she’s in. When she tries to kill him with her gills, he’s unaffected. He flashes his warlock eyes and she ends up trusting him. Even though she’s doing bad stuff, she’s still a child and doesn’t know what’s actually going on. I feel bad for her, but I’m excited that Magnus saves her!
Up on the roof, Alec and Aldertree try to bypass a door in order to shut down the core, but get interrupted by some guards. Izzy shows up and takes them all out cause she’s an awesome, fierce fighter even when going through withdrawals. She also found her phone and knew Alec was in trouble, which is a bad thing for Raphael since she knows he hid her phone from her after seeing the messages from Alec.
Simon and Jace have never fully gotten along, so the fact that Simon says he would’ve killed Jace if he’d kept drinking and Jace says he would’ve let him speaks volumes to who Jace is as a character. It also made my heart swoon even more for him, but that’s neither here nor there.
They call for backup just as Valentine drags the real Clary into the room with the Soul Sword in order to activate it. Just as the group gets up to rush in, Meliorn gets stabbed by a Circle member who comes up behind them. I’m surprised Maia wasn’t able to fight him off, but she calls for Luke and he takes care of the problem. The rest of the group takes off into the Institute without them, which is good because of what happens later (good as in Meliorn, Luke, and Maia weren’t inside!).
Simon also uses his vamp speed to stop Valentine from getting Clary to touch the sword, and after defeating everyone, Jace steps in to destroy the sword and himself. Of course, it was a trick after all, and Jace actually activates the sword instead of destroying it.
Just as the downworlders rush in, Valentine gets the sword and holds it up, knocking down all of them. Alaric (Joel Labelle) was leading the charge for the werewolves, and Raphael was in there, too, but apparently he escapes. Clary covers Simon, which somehow actually works (with some weird consequences afterwards). The downworlders who were hit by the sword’s attack are all killed.
We FINALLY get the big reveal that all of the book readers have been waiting for, though. Valentine escapes with the sword, and while he’s standing outside and getting ready to use it again, a werewolf attacks him. It turns out it’s Luke, who transforms back into his naked self after he gets stabbed.
When Jace jumps in, though, Valentine admits that Jace was an experiment and not actually his son. Jace has angel blood, which is how he activated the sword. That’s also why he let Dot overhear that Jace could destroy the sword. And of course, Valentine can’t be lying because he’s holding the truth sword, which causes pain to the holder if he or she lies.
We still don’t get much of a fight scene here. They most just battle back and forth a little before knocking the swords out of each other’s hands. Clary picks up the Soul Sword, gets a rune vision, and draws that on the sword, which lights up then smokes before she drops it.
I actually had to look up what she did to the sword. My initial thought was the rune would destroy it, hence the smoke. It turns out she actually deactivated it. I don’t know if I missed something or just didn’t understand, but I didn’t realize she deactivated the sword until I went to Freeform’s website and read about it.
Alec and Magnus actually say they love each other in this episode, as well. Maybe it’s just me, but Magnus seemed hesitant when he said it. He’s been around a long time, though, and he’s mentioned before that he has been with a lot of people, so I’m sure it’s from that experience that makes him more cautious about the topic.
Apparently if a downworlder survives the Soul Sword, there are some unusual consequences. Because Clary protected Simon from the sword’s attack, he can now go out into the sun! It didn’t seem like a huge hindrance for him in the show thus far, but I’m sure not having to shoot all of his scenes at night will be great for the filming crew.
Izzy breaks things off with Raphael after that whole phone fiasco. I wonder what his explanation was going to be. He never gets to say it since she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but if it was partly to protect her while she went through terrible withdrawals, I could understand his motives. Then again, maybe he just wanted to kill Clary without Izzy stopping him so he wouldn’t have to hurt her. I guess we’ll never know.
Jace doesn’t get a chance to tell Clary that they aren’t related in this episode because when he goes out to find her, she’s kissing Simon after he showed her he can go out in the sun. I’m ready for the Clace ship to be back up and running. They’re my second favorite couple of the series, and I don’t like Clary and Simon together. It’s frustrating that the winter finale ended with them together and without Jace telling her the truth. At the same time, though, I’m excited to see where that takes us in the second half of season two!
We also see a cloaked figure walking away with the Soul Sword at the end of this episode. Though they don’t give you any hint of who that person is, I definitely think it’s our first glimpse of Sebastian!
What are you looking forward to from the next half of this season? Who do you think took the Soul Sword? Let me know in the comments!
Shadowhunters returns on June 5 to Freeform. You can watch all of the episodes on Freeform’s app or website. You can also find all of my Shadowhunters recaps and reviews, including my recap and review of season one, here.
Don’t forget to come back in June for more recaps and reviews when the show returns!