Shadowhunters S2E10, Review – By the Light of Dawn

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Anyone acting against Valentine now is too little too late. What is it with ignoring a problem until it becomes unmanageable? Valentine isn’t exactly a new problem for the Clave– they’ve faced him before!

It’s too late to do anything now– the Institute is under attack by Valentine, and in a blink of an eye, most of the resident Shadowhunters are killed. It’s too easy for Valentine as he has planned thoroughly to activate the Soul-Sword. As predicted, with Simon in his custody, Valentine calls on Clary to return to the Institute to activate the sword. It’s time to face the music; Valentine is now in control of the situation and Downworlders will die.

Luke, however, is convinced they can still win. While he was formerly Valentine’s Parabatai and has faced him before, one would think he’d know when to quit. He travels with Jace and Clary to bring the ailing Dot to Magnus for care. She tells them if Jace touches the Soul-Sword, it’ll be destroyed. It’s something she overheard Valentine’s men speak of. Clary is rightfully cautious, but Dot insists her earlier lies were only because of the injections. Strangely enough, what Dot tells them is not too far off from Jace and Clary’s vision.  Curious, Magnus translates their vision, confirming a demon is the one who will destroy the Soul-Sword. With Jace having demon blood, it makes sense he’d be capable. There is a catch to this– he will die with the Soul-Sword.

Jace is completely at peace with dying, and along with Luke heads to the Institute to put a stop to Valentine. Leaving Clary in the care of Magnus does little, especially after Valentine face times with the two and slits Simon’s throat to put the pressure on Clary. If she doesn’t arrive soon, Simon is going to die. She begs Magnus to portal them to the Institute, and he obliges. Of course, they feed right into Valentine’s demons! He’s completely in control of this mess; there is no gaining the upper hand.

Alec is trapped in the Institute fending for himself, before Aldertree manages to lend a helping hand to defend against Valentine’s human-made Shadowhunters. Alec isn’t thrilled they have to team up, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to life or death situations. Jace manages to give Alec a ring and update him on the situation; Valentine needs a power source to activate the sword. The power core is ideal to give the sword much-needed juice to kill Downworlders, and they need to deactivate it. Other than giving Aldertree and Alec a chance to get to know each other and not make Aldertree out to be a complete villain, they utterly fail at their mission.

Perhaps teaming up with Isabelle would have been ideal for Alec. But from the time the attack began, she was busy cuddling up with Raphael, getting her vampire venom fix. The two share a private moment, Raphael admitting he cares for Isabelle far more than he lets on. It gives a brief hope they may find something more between each other, but once Raphael realizes what is going down at the Institute, it all comes to an abrupt stop. He does his best to shield the information from Isabelle, perhaps intending to keep her safe? Despite her haze, Isabelle manages to locate her phone Raphael hid and realizes what’s going on.

With the limited strength she has, Isabelle arrives just in time to take out four of Valentine’s henchmen. I believe if she were at full strength, Valentine would not have gotten very far. Jace is not the best strategist, and everything they’re doing is on the fly. At least Aldertree can see just how harmful he’s been to Isabelle.

Luke and Jace have a small plan brewing, convinced it’ll work to take Valentine by surprise. They will have to convince all the Downworlders to join and take out Valentine instead of killing Clary. It must be very convincing because they join in quite quickly– even Luke’s pack. At first, it seems actually to work! Jace, under disguise as Clary, manages to find Simon and let him feed on his arm to heal. I have no idea how Valentine fell for it, but he seems genuinely surprised, more so when Simon uses his speed to attack him and both escape.

While Jace and Simon search for the sword, Clary and Magnus split up for similar reasons. Magnus, at least, to take care of Madzie who has been ordered to kill most of the Shadowhunters they come up against. A lot has been asked of this little girl, and her future doesn’t seem too bright. Leaving Clary alone seems dangerous, but this girl is on a mission. She holds her own fairly well, actually killing two people before she’s captured and forced towards the Soul-Sword.

Taking advantage of his speed, Simon comes to the rescue just before she’s forced to touch the Soul-Sword. It’s now Jace’s time to shine, taking the sword, raising it up and—activating it!? Excuse!?

Jace somehow managed to activate the Soul-Sword, and Valentine is once again victorious. He raises the Soul-Sword up, killing every Downworlder who managed to get into the Institute to attack him. Dead in an instant. Simon is the only one to survive, somehow? But the bigger question is how did Jace activate it!?

Angered by the death of half of his pack, Luke attacks Valentine as he makes it outside but is quickly incapacitated. Jace is up next, exchanging blows by sword and then fists. While holding the Soul-Sword Valentine spills most of the truth– Jace isn’t his son, but he’s still his most prized work. After everything, Jace has angel blood. It was Valentine’s plan all along to have Jace activate the sword, knowing he’d self-sacrifice himself because of his innate need to do what’s right. Everyone played right into Valentine’s plan, congrats team.

Watching Valentine, hands cuffed, be turned over to Aldertree is bittersweet. There is no victory when so many have died. In fact, the most pressing
issue is the location of the Soul-Sword. Clary was the last to touch it, drawing a rune on it before letting it go, but no one knows where it could be.

Where there is bad news, there is also good news and wild news! The good news is Raphael, Magnus, and Madzie managed to get out of the building before Valentine used the sword. Not so great news for Isabelle who is quite angry with Raphael, but great news for Alec. He was deeply troubled over Magnus’ whereabouts. Vulnerable and drained, he admits his fear is losing Magnus. Alec lays it all down, he loves him, and Magnus happily returns the sentiment.

Now for the wild news, Simon can now go out into the sun! He freely shares this news with Clary, and rather than question it the two frolic in the sunrise. Jace looks on, jealous of their relationship and not at all impressed!

I’m sure the positive news will be short-lived, as it’s revealed the Soul-Sword is currently being wielded by a black cloaked figure who seems pleased with his prize. Hopefully, not someone worse than Valentine.

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