Shadowhunters S2E12, Review – You Are Not Your Own

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Jumping right into last week’s cliffhanger paves the way for a fast paced episode.

Azazel is still on the loose after being summoned, and Inquisitor Herondale blames both Clary and Jace for the massive problems he’s causing. They acted on their own without much consideration for the consequences of their actions. She’s not wrong; they were reckless bringing Azazel forward with Valentine by their side to boot! The Inquisitor doesn’t seem too convinced of Jace’s innocence after running around with Valentine, and this doesn’t help at all.

Other than Clary failing to bring her sun rune forward, the two are unaware just how much damage they’ve caused. Azazel managed to switch Magnus and Valentine’s consciousness between bodies. This explains Magnus’ sudden hatred for himself at the end of the last episode. The switch was an incentive for Valentine to bring forward the Mortal Cup. Valentine is ready to jump at the chance but is unable to use Magnus’ magic. Juggling Azazel’s expectations prove too difficult with Alec’s constant presence. To Alec’s credit, he knew something was up from the beginning but didn’t truly know how bad it was until the end.

While checking on Magnus, worried by his sudden attitude change, he discovers Azazel there and kills him right away. This happened so fast; I didn’t think Azazel would go down by merely an arrow to his sternum. Sebastian has brought up Azazel’s weakness in a group discussion, but Alec was doubtful of his knowledge. Luckily it came in handy when it counted. Poor Valentine, now he’ll indeed be stuck as a demon.

With Azazel gone, it’s now time for Clary and Jace’s punishment at the hand of Inquisitor Herondale. It’s not the worst punishment, just experiments on how the two were able to call forth their runes. A sparring match rekindles the friendship between the two, but Clary still feels inadequate now that she’s unable to call it forward as quickly as Jace manages.

Clary and Jace work much better together than her and Simon. I can’t see them be more than friends with the dynamic they have. Maybe it’s due to his sudden confidence boost; he’s not the same self-conscious guy, banished to the shadows by a vampire’s curse. He’s embracing the sun again, even if he isn’t sure what that means for him.

To help him through it, Isabelle steps forward to get a message across to Raphael. It’s a cheeky idea– send a picture to Raphael of Simon and Raphael’s sister. It’s harmless but sends the message that Simon can fight back too. On the road to recovery, Isabelle is more relaxed, more herself than she has been since taking Yin Fen. She’s so relaxed; she confides in Simon exactly what she has been going through while recovering.

Like the good guy he is, Simon steps up to help her out without judgment. He blurts out support groups that she can visit, knowing what she must be facing due to his mom’s situation. Isabelle seems put off by his overbearing support; she’s strong and doesn’t need mundane support groups.

–Or so she thinks because once Raphael strikes back for the photo, Isabelle is put into a compromising position. One of Raphael’s lackeys temps Isabelle with a feeding, and she almost goes for it. The scene has Simon reeling, and he fights back, swinging the door open to reveal the light. He reveals himself as a Daywalker and Raphael loses all command of his vampires as they stare at Simon in awe. It’s not until Simon bellows at them to leave do they finally move.

His reaction is a product of watching his mother suffer from addiction. It’s safe to say Isabelle is a friend, and seeing her suffer brings back terrible memories. It’s enough to knock some sense into Isabelle as she requests for more information on support groups. She doesn’t have to suffer in recovery alone, not when she has friends ready to help her.

Unbeknown to most, Magnus sat in Valentine’s cell, suffering for his crimes at the hands of Inquisitor Herondale. Despite his pleas for help, Magnus continued to be tortured as it was believed he was Valentine. No one would believe Valentine’s pleas for mercy after he’s proven time and time again he’s only a liar. Even reaching out to Alec for help did little, as Alec believes that it was only Valentine trying to trick him and it couldn’t be Magnus trapped.

It took Jace being kidnapped by Valentine to knock sense into Alec. He should have trusted his gut with Magnus’ strange behavior, but he is too guarded to have seen the reality. His only choice is to give into Valentine’s demands; bring Valentine his original body so they can switch, and both Jace and Magnus will be free. Alec doesn’t arrive empty handed but is nearly stopped by a barrier put up to keep them out. Clary is their only option to break in– using her sun rune would destroy the barrier. However, self-doubt has successfully kept her powers dormant. Sebastian offers fantastic guidance to help her bring it out again, and because of their quick work, they can recapture Valentine before he makes his disappearance.

Back in his body, Valentine faces Inquisitor Herondale and his new fate. He doesn’t waste his time ruining her day next. Quick with his tongue, he revealed Jace’s true lineage as her grandson. After all the lies he’s told, it’s hard to believe what he says is true, but he provides enough evidence to prove otherwise. It’s an interesting turn for Jace to learn where he truly comes from and makes up for the loss he faced when Valentine revealed he wasn’t his father.

I can only hope they keep the plot moving along as seamlessly as this episode. Having people like Isabelle and Magnus face the aftermath of addiction and abuse rather than sweeping it under the rug makes the story feel more believable in a fantasy world.

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