Activity at The Institute has been quiet despite Valentine’s lurking presence. He has been hard at work putting his plan into motion of activating the Soul-Sword. How exactly is he going to activate it? Who knows– Valentine managed to pump demon blood into his son, so anything is possible.
With news of the attack on the Iron Sisters reaching those in The Institute, everyone is oddly calm. There is no call for a shutdown, and no one is bothered by Aldertree’s absence. There is only one alert that goes off, providing nothing more than an inconvenience before everyone is back to their usual day. It’s eerie and perplexing that not one Shadowhunter is concerned Valentine still hasn’t been located.
Clary, driven by her mother’s death, is determined to find Valentine at least, and make him pay. Her talk with Cleophas has her shaken and scared for what might happen to her Downworlder friends; revenge isn’t the only purpose driving her to find Valentine. She has a one track mind and hardly notices her friend’s downfall.
I thought her interaction with Isabelle would wake her up that something is wrong; the typically considerate Isabelle is short tempered and desperate. Her stash of Yin Fen is no more, and without Aldertree to supply it for her, she’s not herself. Clary is off put by her attitude but doesn’t question her sudden change. I had thought the two had become closer and Clary would be suspicious of the change. She ends up ignoring Isabelle just the same as Simon.
If only Clary reached out, one question could have unveiled Isabelle’s growing addiction to Yin Fen. Lying to her friends and her co-workers, Isabelle comes up with a fake mission to lead her to more Yin Fen. She practically throws herself at Simon to bite her, and when he awkwardly laughs it off she takes a step further and goes right to a Vampire den for her fix. Isabelle’s life is rapidly spiraling out of control, and with no one to watch out for her well-being, we may lose her for good.
Simon is, at least, getting his life together! Not only does he clean up nicely, but he is also so eager to be a good date for Maia he shows up two hours early as a precaution. His inexperience is endearing, and it’s clear Maia feels the same way. But his self-confidence is lacking, and he allows Jace to give him a few pointers on how to be more of a ladies’ man.
Jace doesn’t seem too heartbroken by his departure from the Institute. He’s back to being a chick magnet and shares most of his time with whoever has taken to his bed. His advice to Simon backfires spectacularly on Maia, causing Simon to nearly lose her. Luckily, his apology works and their relationship is smoothed over with one big bump; Maia knows Simon is still in love with Clary. She can’t be his distraction; Simon has to own his feelings and either confess or move on. It’s time Simon got hit with tough love. While I don’t think Clary is right for him, he has to stop obsessing over what could be.
Simon might make out better if he received relationship advice from Alec or Magnus. Alec has embraced their relationship and is becoming bolder with showing his affections. He’s initiating touch, expanding his palate, and buying gifts for Magnus; it’s like he’s a new man! This is new for both of them, Magnus may have been around for a couple of centuries, but Alec is clearly different from his previous partners. His aversion to taking things to the next level is understandable, it seems too good to be true, and Magnus doesn’t want to lose that. Alec is confident that won’t happen to them, and he truly believes in their relationship.
While the boys have their fun, Clary takes a page from Alec’s book to focus on one thing: find Valentine. Her break comes from Cleophas, who walks into the Jade Wolf bleeding and begging for help. Luke rightly rejects her immediately, their history is too deep, and forgiveness is not coming in an instant. Clary wants to give in and let Cleophas lead them to Valentine so they can get revenge for Jocelyn’s death.
A private conversation between Luke and Clary reveals she has learned a thing or two from Luke’s detective skills, and she knows she can’t trust Cleophas. She was just playing along so they can get to Valentine. There is a brief moment of pride on Luke’s face before he shuts it down– it’s too dangerous. Unfortunately for him, Clary is just as headstrong as Jocelyn and defies his orders before they can take Cleophas to The Clave.
If Clary had a plan to ambush Valentine, but it’s thrown out the window as she’s plagued by a strange yelling in her mind. Once Cleophas is let into Clary’s mind and can hear what she does, the shocking discovery is made: Valentine has an angel captive, and it’s calling for help. With an angel, he’d be able to activate the soul-sword and cleanse their world of Downworlders. Oh boy.
Any loyalty Cleophas had to Valentine is destroyed– you don’t mess with angels! With the fire lit under him, Luke locates the pair and is ready to drag them back, this time with Jace to help. They had to save that angel.
Clary and Jace do just that, teaming up to take out Valentine’s henchmen to save the angel and keep the soul-sword away from cleansing their world. I’m pleasantly surprised by Clary’s fighting skills as she’s far more capable of holding her own than a short time ago. It’s a bittersweet victory as Luke’s good nature prevents him from making a split decision to shoot Valentine and end it there. I can’t blame him; they were once Parabatai after all.
Clary’s focus and determination to defeat Valentine aren’t just from her mother’s death; it’s the fear of losing nearly all of her friends if he wields the Soul-Sword. Her focus is blinding her to more immediate dangers like Isabelle’s rapid descent. Cleophas seems to be the only one who understands Clary’s powers are not typical. Strange runes, understanding angels? This isn’t normal Shadowhunter work.