ReviewsTelevision & Film

SHADOWHUNTERS Turns Up the Emotions

Season 2, Episode 3 “Parabatai Lost”
Written by Peter Binswanger
Directed by Gregory Smith

On the last episode of Shadowhunters, Clary (Katherine McNamara) longed for her old life and ran away from the Institute, only to be kidnapped by Dot (Vanessa Matsui) who apparently wasn’t killed, as we thought. Clary was taken to Valentine’s (Alan Van Sprang) ship and used in his plot to manipulate Jace (Dominic Sherwood). In the end, Dot helped Clary and Jace escape at the same time Alec (Matthew Daddario) tried connecting to Jace and ended up having some nasty side effects. You can find my full recap and review of last week’s episode here. My 1-minute recap video of tonight’s episode is below, along with my review.

Episode 3 starts us out with a flashback to the first time Alec and Jace met as kids. This would be after Jace was taken in by the Lightwoods when everyone thought Michael Wayland was his father and that he was just killed. It really sets the tone for how deep of a bond these two have, which is what this entire episode is centered around. Young Alec (Leonidas Castrounis) is struggling with hitting the mark with his bow, and Young Jace (Tomaso Sanelli) is almost the victim of a wayward arrow. Even when he was young, Jace was cocky. He immediately offers Alec pointers then shows off by throwing a dagger dead center in the bullseye.

Valentine certainly spent a lot of time training Jace to become the fierce warrior he is, and it shows every time he fights. While the young actors struggled some with the fluidity of the scene and the flow of their interactions, they did well overall.

Apparently the reason Alec is still unconscious is because part of his soul is stuck between himself and his parabatai. This means that Jace is the only one who can probably save him, of course. This episode is about the importance of this pair’s relationship with each other, after all.

Jace ends up finding himself in all kinds of trouble as soon as he wakes up on the beach. Not only is he spotted with a werewolf’s body (Gretel, played by Joanne Jansen) washed up next to him, he also makes his way into a werewolf bar. Conveniently, this is a bar run by Luke’s pack, and Taito (Neven Pajkic), one of the patrons, is Gretel’s godfather who saw Jace kidnap her.

That guy in the back? That’s Taito. Good luck, Jace! (Freeform/John Medland)

The confrontation leads to the only real fight scene this time. This episode really focuses more on the emotional side than the conflict/fighting side of the group, so the feel of the overall episode is much slower than the previous two episodes of this season. While it was certainly still an enjoyable episode, it didn’t feel like as much happened in it this time.

We are introduced to a new character here, as well. Maia (Alisha Wainwright) is tending the bar that Jace walks into. I really like her character so far! She seems like a very strong person, and I’m very much looking forward to more scenes and episodes with her as her character develops throughout the series.

She does not look very impressed with Jace. (Freeform/John Medland)

Aldertree (Nick Sagar) becomes more unlikable in this episode. While the general consensus is that he’s mean and he certainly isn’t a fan favorite from what I’ve seen, I’ve liked him overall since his character was introduced. He may be harsh, but he’s just doing his job.

While he does have a little give to him, it’s not much, and he is really stubborn and obstinate in this episode. He also shows he doesn’t necessarily care about any person because they’re a person, but he does care when the Institute’s best fighter is out of commission. It was a more dehumanizing episode for Aldertree.

Not cool, Aldertree. Not cool. (Freeform/John Medland)

Last episode, Simon (Alberto Rosende) finally successfully performed his first “encanto” on the snake in Camille’s (Kaitlyn Leeb) house in India. In this episode, it’s Clary’s turn to finally have some luck. While helping Simon try to find his mom, she successfully tracks her. The trick, according to Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia), is to clear your mind. She only does this when having a heart-to-heart with Simon.

Maybe this episode is more about everyone’s bonds with everyone, and not just about Jace and Alec. Simon has always been Clary’s rock, and it seems he still is her calming presence in the midst of all the turmoil they’re in. She even mentions how difficult it is to clear her mind as a Shadowhunter, yet Simon helps her succeed anyways.

Later in the episode, we also see Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) try to bond with Jace. Their bonding is wholly unsuccessful, though, and it’s hard to blame Jace for his refusal to accept her help.

Simon still can’t catch a break right now. He’s still charged with getting information on the den of vampires that attacked mundanes, as well as having to find Camille and bring her to Raphael (David Castro). I feel even worse for him with the situation going on with his mother and the fact that Raphael threatens her. I wonder how she’ll react if/when he tells her he’s a vampire. Simon seems to be the most down-to-Earth character and thus the most relatable of the series.

Even though Alec is unconscious for almost the entirety of the episode, his relationship with Magnus (Harry Shum, Jr.) also develops some. This is entirely because of the lengths they show Magnus going through just to keep him alive. I think a major piece of symbolism, though, is the fact that Magnus’s kiss doesn’t wake Alec, only Jace’s connection with him does. Regardless of how strong Alec and Magnus’s relationship becomes, Jace is always the most important person in his life, and it was physically shown here in this episode.

All the Malec feels! (

I really liked how the flashbacks to Jace and Alec’s parabatai ceremony coincided with the present situation. In the past, Alec almost didn’t show up in time due to his hesitation to bond with Jace while being in love with him. In the present, it’s Jace who almost doesn’t make it in time. With the glowing Adamas stone showing that Alec was still essentially stuck in his memories with Jace, he even begins deteriorating in the past when he does so in the present. I loved how Jace recited the parabatai oath in the past and the present, as well.

It was certainly an emotionally charged scene. Of course, given the prominence of Alec’s character and the fact it’s a Freeform show, it was assumed he would wake up just as we thought he was dead. It was still an intense scene to watch, though.

Then Aldertree just had to come barging in to arrest Jace, thus sinking his likeability to almost nonexistent right now. It’s tough, though, to completely blame him for his actions. He doesn’t know what we know, and he hasn’t seen what we’ve seen. He’s doing the best he can to keep everyone safe, and right now that means treating Jace as a threat. He did, after all, leave willingly with Valentine, save Valentine when he was shot, and kidnap and possibly kill a werewolf. He’s also Valentine’s son, so that doesn’t help.

As always, the music is great! I also learned this past week that Freeform has a Shadowhunters playlist on Spotify with some of the music from the show, which is even better given how much I always enjoy the songs.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Maia more in upcoming episodes, and with the casting announcement of Sister Cleophas (Lisa Berry), I’m excited to see her introduction, as well. I’m always looking forward to more Malec, and now that Alec is awake, perhaps that will happen in the next episode or so!

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming episodes? Comment below!


Shadowhunters airs on Mondays at 8/7c on Freeform. You can also catch up on previous episodes on the Freeform app or site. And don’t forget to come back here for a new recap and review each week!

Kayce Taylor

Kayce Taylor nurtured a healthy love of video games from an early age. Growing up in small-town Missouri offered plenty of free time to play the likes of Kirby, Mario (of all varieties), 007, and more. Though she was raised in a Star Wars family, her husband showed her the undeniable power of Star Trek, and she's been a fan of both ever since. If she were only allowed to watch one show for the rest of her life, she would pick The Office without hesitation. She recently began exploring photography, and even more recently went to her first comicon. She loves sci-fi/fantasy and dreams of going to Hogwarts and/or meeting a Shadowhunter.

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