Shadowhunters S2E5, Review – Dust and Shadows

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Clary isn’t the most clear-headed girl on the best days; emotions often guide her decisions. Now that Jocelyn is gone, you can expect Clary’s decisions to take a nosedive into dangerous territory.

Almost immediately, she comes up with the idea to bring Jocelyn back from the dead. It worked for Simon, after all, why not her mother? Never mind Simon is a vampire now, and it was completely different circumstances. Clary has a point when she says that in this new reality she’s in, nearly anything is possible.

Magnus breaks down reality for Clary right away: bringing someone back from the dead is never good. It’s dark magic, unpredictable, and not something anyone should indulge in. He does offer wisdom to help in her grieving process, which would be more useful than trying to fix her grief with magic. For a Warlock who has lived through so much loss, Magnus is the best guide to have as she mourns her mother.

But grief is powerful, and Clary is tired of hearing the apologies and advice thrown at her– she wants Jocelyn back. Neither Simon or Jace can offer Clary comfort in her grieving process. She becomes determined to find help for her cause, looking for any capable Warlock in the area who can bring her mother back from the dead. That’s where Iris Rose comes into the picture.

Normally, as Clary falls into bad ideas there is someone who notices and stops her before she’s in too deep, but not this time. It seems every one of her friends is dealing with a personal issue that is keeping them thoroughly occupied.

Simon, who is usually Clary’s number one cheerleader, is dealing with problems living at home. His meddling mother and sister have found him drinking blood and are freaking out. Even more so when he admits to his mom that he’s a vampire! Wrong move Simon. His mom quietly freaks out over the confession, and it looks like he’s done more harm than good to their relationship. Simon has always been quirky, but drinking blood from a rat? Something is seriously wrong. Soon he is going to need Clary’s help to pull him out of this one.

Then we have Isabella, who is still recovering from her demon attack. Generally level headed and aware of what everyone is doing, the lingering injury has her mind elsewhere. At the word of a visit to the Iron Sisters, she jumps at the chance to join. However, her decline in performance is noticeable; there is no way she will be healed in time. Aldertree kindly offers a salve to help her improve, but it’s side effects are not evident. She’s incredibly emotional the moment it’s applied, but extremely agreeable as well. It seems to do its job of healing her quickly, and Aldertree lets her keep the tin. The way he acts around Isabelle and handles her is incredibly suspicious. I thought he’d take advantage of her before, but his hands just seem to ghost along her body.

Meanwhile, Alec is having difficulty outwardly dealing with his emotions. Being Jocelyn’s killer has left him feeling guilty, so he’s left to set off arrows on the roof of the Institute in frustration. Jace offers little comfort, even as his Parabatai; he can’t break through to Alec about letting go. It’s Magnus who does the job well– maybe because Alec is more vulnerable with him and opened to his words of advice. He leaves lighter than he arrived after his visit, ready to face Clary again.

While situations have turned upside down for most people in her life, Clary has successfully located a warlock to help her bring her mother back. She’s hopeful as she meets Iris Rose, impressed by her kindness and tender words. She even performs in front of her, bringing a crowd back to life effortlessly. The payment would be simple; Clary needs only do a favor.

There are so many red flags during this initial visit that Clary can’t see because of her grief. As she returns to the Institute to cut a lock of her mother’s hair for the ritual, Jace figures out something is off almost immediately. It’s good someone is keeping an eye on her, but he tells her what she already knows; bringing someone back from the dead is bad. Clary doesn’t care; having Jocelyn back is enough for her.

Luckily for Clary, Alec is determined to try and make amends for killing her mother, and he joins her on her second visit to Iris Rose. He’s not super comfortable with bringing Jocelyn back but feels just enough guilt to do what Clary says.

The red flags are immediate for Alec. Leaving weapons outside? Not being allowed in the room with her? A creepy child running around? Iris Rose refusing to show her Warlock mark? Alec becomes increasingly worried about Clary. He should have spoken up faster rather than sit tight during the visit, because Clary is in more trouble than she realizes.

The ritual seems normal at first– that is until the crow that was brought back to life earlier makes an appearance. It breaks inside and attacks Iris Rose, who kills it right away. Clary cuts off the deal and makes a run for it, only to be blocked from leaving. She did promise a favor. What’s the favor you might ask? Carry a Warlock child by being taken by a demon. Did Clary think a Warlock favor would be taking care of her dog while she’s away!? This is a tall order and one she’s forced to serve.

Just as Alec realizes this is so wrong, Jace comes to his senses as well and grabs Isabelle with him to go after Clary. It’s good timing for Alec who cannot handle a Warlock on his own.

Alec uncovers a disturbing practice happening behind closed doors, and Iris Rose’s demands of Clary only confirms it. She gathers woman to have Warlock babies as a way to strengthen their numbers. She claims it’s for Valentine’s attack, but it’s doubtful. And as if it’s any better, she then erases the woman’s memories!

Going into a Warlock home blind was the worst choice anyone could have ever made. Alec cannot fight Iris Rose in her home and would have fared even worse if Jace and Isabelle didn’t show up to help him. Unfortunately, with a young child in hand, the Warlock makes her escape before anyone could capture her.

While being trapped in a room with a demon is terrifying and never had to happen, Clary’s revealed to have an amazing ability in her time of need. Being able to draw a rune that emits sunlight from her hand? Amazing! The demon is killed, and she’s free! Jace is the only one to see it in action, and he looks shocked. Is this not a standard Shadowhunter rune?

No one can sit down and discuss it as Jocelyn’s funeral takes place that night. In an emotional scene, Clary says goodbye to her mother without Luke or Simon by her side. Aldertree can’t lower the wards, it seems. Luke looks tortured as he watches her spirit leave; the constant in Clary’s life is grieving his way, and it seems much worse than what Clary went through.

With such a robust group facing demons of their own, Valentine must be having a field day. He might have planned this all along so they would stay off his trail, but I doubt he planned Clary discovering a new power that could easily bring him down.

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