Shadowhunters S2E3, Review – Parabatai Lost

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The Parabatai bond between Jace and Alec has been a major focus this season ever since Valentine took Jace. While it hasn’t aided in locating Jace, it’s obvious their bond is strong enough to feel the pull of each other when they are desperate enough.

After Alec pushed himself to the limit exhausting their bond in locating Jace, he’s left in a bad way and slipping fast. Lucky for him, Magnus is close by to assist in keeping him alive as the search for Jace takes a dire turn. Without his Parabatai being with him, Alec may be slipping away for good.

Escaping from Valentine’s boat may not have been the best move for Jace. He washes up on the beach next to Gretel, the wolf Valentine had killed and thrown overboard as well. Almost immediately he’s accused of being her killer and is sent on the run. Once he gets in touch with Isabelle, he gets the terrible news of Alec’s declining health and the decision to meet up at Magnus’ loft is made. It easy; make it to Brooklyn from Chinatown. Even if the cops are after him, what could go wrong? Try everything.

The bar he stopped at to use the phone is run by werewolves and he’s quickly recognized as the Shadowhunter who kidnapped Gretel. While Jace tries to explain the situation, the wolves escalate it and attempt to take their pound of flesh for Gretel’s death. He hardly makes it out of there alive and is quickly hunted down again. Jace would have been killed if it wasn’t for a group of Mundanes that find him, bleeding out on the street. While getting to a hospital would be preferable, Alec is dying, and Jace is urgently needed. It’s because of him that Alec won’ t make it through the day which is only adding to his guilt.

While Jace deals with being the most wanted man, dead or alive, Clary returns to the Institute to find Alec suffering the consequences of exhausting the Parabatai bond. She’s concerned, but cautious, seemingly more worried about Jace’s location rather than what will happen to Alec. Aldertree is eager to use Alec’s dire state as an excuse for another interrogation, but Clary gives up little information and sticks to her story; she can’t remember what happened when Dot kidnapped her. Aldertree doesn’t seem the least bit annoyed at her refusal to give up information. Instead, he reminds Clary that he can protect Jace from a monster like Valentine. Who’s to say that Aldertree isn’t worse than Valentine? We don’t know much about Aldertree or what his goals are.

While Aldertree plays off every move as what is best for the Institute, he only seems mildly concerned Alec is suffering. Perhaps it’s the failsafe of having Magnus help Alec with his magic. I doubt it, as  Aldertree criticizes how much Magnus is truly helping Alec. For Aldertree, Alec is the perfect bait to lure Jace back to the Institute.

The usually calm and easy going Magnus is no longer holding back. It’s obvious he’s stressed out by Alec, and his magic doesn’t seem to be working. Instead of tactfully saying how he feels, Magnus calls out Jocelyn’s selfish choices thus far and reminds her he never wanted to be involved. I’m with Magnus on this one; Jocelyn is not the kind person Clary made her out to be. The last episode we saw Luke lose patience with her for keeping secrets, so I doubt she has truly been honest with everyone.

Thus far Clary has been quick to shrug off Simon for Shadowhunting events, so when Simon calls her in a panic when he finds out his mom is drinking, I’m surprised to see her run off to help him. She has Alec dying in front of her, and while an alcoholic mom is a cause for concern, Alec is dying.

Simon locating his mom comes from the frantic voicemails she left him after he hadn’t called in weeks. No amount of threats from Raphael discourages Simon from finding her. Raphael isn’t wrong with his warnings; Simon’s mom will die, and he will stay alive forever. It won’t be long after that until he forgets about her too. It makes Simon more determined to find her, and maybe even tell her the truth.

In the end, the decision is taken away from him. While Clary assists in finding his mom, she doesn’t stay long so they could have a private moment. But Simon’s mom is not alone in the coffee shop where they found her. Raphael is there with her, using the excuse that Simon’s band has been on tour for why he hasn’t called her. The quiet threat is substantial; if Simon doesn’t find Camille, his mom is in danger of getting hurt. Raphael isn’t the kindest vampire, but he’s desperate. Camille is wrecking havoc and might start a vampire war– Simon has to take this seriously even if it means threatening his mom.

There is no happy ending for anyone this episode. Alec is suffering within his mind, reliving his time with Jace and the road that lead them to their Parabatai bond. I love flashbacks and seeing the relationship between Jace, Alec, and Isabelle grow up together is a treat. It also makes it difficult to see Isabelle suffer while her brother rapidly declines. She tries to hold it together, striving to calculate every possible method to get Alec to Magnus’ loft so they can meet up with Jace without Aldertree’s knowledge. It also makes sense of why Jace’s stupid choices are coming from his desperation to save his brother.

It’s one of those situations where there is no good outcome. To protect Jace from the Wolfpack after him, something Luke can do little about, Isabelle makes a deal with Aldertree. Using a portal, she makes it to his side just when he’s about to be attacked. Invoking the order of the Clave, she escorts Jace to Alec’s side.

The stress of the day comes to a head for Magnus, Clary, and Isabelle as Jace makes a desperate attempt to save Alec from slipping away for good. Jace recites the words from their Parabatai bond ceremony as Alec relives it within his mind. At first, it doesn’t seem to work, which is incredibly stressful after everything that had happened that day. It’s only a brief moment, however, as Alec slowly awakens. He’s weak and confused as he finishes off the Parabatai bond speech with Jace.

The victory is short lived as Aldertree arrives and escorts Jace away from the group. While I didn’t think Jace’s situation could get any worse, now that he’s with Aldertree there is no looking up from here.

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