Shadowhunters S2E16, Review – Day of Atonement

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Familial bonds has always been an over arching theme for the show. Good and bad, the past has had heavy influences for everyone.

Starting with the good, Simon is a proud Jewish man who has not let being a vampire stop him from celebrating who he is. When Yom Kippur arrives, he does not brush off an invitation from his family for dinner. He’s only apprehensive when Maia pushes to join him. It’s a very holy day, and Maia suspects he may admit he’s a Vampire to his whole family considering the vulnerable position he’s in.

The dinner is awkward on Simon’s behalf at first, but Maia is charming and his family is welcoming. A tradition in his family is to share one regret from the year, something they truly feel they need to repent for. Simon’s mom opens up how she relapsed with alcohol and the mood changes. Simon had a feeling she relapsed but preoccupied with the drama in his own life, he couldn’t investigate further. Her confession didn’t only have an effect on Simon, but Maia as well.

Simon’s family has their faults, but they are a unit who loves and cares for each other through it all. Simon is the best combination of his family, and Maia getting to see that seems to make her want to reach out to her own family. I can only hope Simon can see Maia as someone as selfless at him; she is truly interested in his life and family. She’s willing to push her own comfort aside to make sure he is okay, just as he has done for Clary for years.

While the Downworlders seem to be quiet for the most part, the Shadowhunters are in chaos over Valentine’s disappearance. Alec’s father, Robert, is sent from Idris to see what could have happened. Instead of any real investigation, his presence opens up a fresh new set of wounds for Isabelle and Alec who are loyal to their mother. While Robert is apologetic, it’s obvious he’s hiding secrets from his children that aggravate the situation. I cannot tell where Robert’s love ends and pride begins; while he seems to accept Alec for his perceived faults, he cannot trust him enough to be truthful.

Towards the end, he finally reveals why he has been so cagey: the Clave does not hold possession of the Soul-Sword as they had said. It’s lost, and if Downworlders knew that, there would be a whole lot of trouble on their hands. I don’t believe this is the only secret Robert holds, but it is an important one.

Now, this is where things get ugly– physically and emotionally. Valentine is trapped in the cabin he raised Jace and his own son, Jonathan. He is trapped by the one who has suffered the most, Jonathan. Thought to be dead, his appearance looks as that of a charred remains of a body. While extremely powerful with demon blood, his mind is that of someone desperate to please their father. All he wants is Valentine’s approval, and Valentine manages to sweet talk his way to freedom with Jonathan, promising that he was always his greatest creation.

I feel bad for Jonathan; winning the approval of Valentine is no prize, and he seems so emotionally sensitive, I’m afraid he’ll be easily controlled.

While the two seem to be operating with total freedom, two Shadowhunters are hot on their trial. Jace knows exactly where they are, but the Clave has ignored his request to go to the cabin and look. It’s only when Clary manages to create a portal rune out of thin air to transport them to the area that they are finally on their way.

The search is short lived as Clary, who is poisoned by lake water, begins to hallucinate. Isabelle arrives on the scene to help her, but it’s Jace who saves her from her own mind in the end. After everything he’s gone through as a child– and recently as an adult with Valentine– it’s no surprise he is quick to think on his feet to save Clary and trace Valentine at the same time.

It feels like it is two steps forward, three steps back when dealing with Valentine. Now he’s working with someone he’s afraid of as well, which means he might be desperate with his next actions.To make matters worse, Jonathan possess the Soul-Sword, which is not good news for anyone who opposes him.

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