Alec and Magnus’ relationship hits a snag when Alec betrays his partner instead of listening to his heart. Magnus, trapped in Valentine’s body must come to terms with a lifetime of pain whilst being tortured for information about the mortal cup.
On Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 12, “You Are Not Your Own,” the shadowhunters are battling a greater demon looking for the Mortal Cup. Simon searches for a way to evade Raphael. Izzy continues to struggle with her addiction. Jace makes a life altering discovery and Clary’s real brother invades the institute.
Season 2 Episode 11
The second half of the second season started off with a bang… or the consequences of a bang so to speak. A quick recap since we haven’t seen our favorite angels and downworlders in a while.
Jace found out he wasn’t Valentines son, which obviously, because Jace and Clary belong together. He chooses not to tell Clary, because apparently he has become a martyr as of late. Clary continues to be the worst character in a show that’s supposedly hers. Technically a lot of things revolve around her, her mother, and her father, but she doesn’t really have much of a story line of her own. It would behoove the writers to actually read the books and realize that Clary is more than just a damsel in distress or a girlfriend. Izzy is still battling with her addiction to Yin Fen, something that will have dire consequences for her as she meets Sebastian (Clary’s demon blooded brother, but shhh, the audience isn’t supposed to know this yet!) Simon has become a daylighter AKA he can walk in the sun.
This makes it easier for him to be “a real boy” but it doesn’t help in making his character any more exciting to watch. Alec declared his love for Magnus last episode, and shippers are still flying high on that. It has helped Alec be more extrovert in his behavior with Magnus. He kisses him without hesitation, he also expects Magnus to take his side, which doesn’t always work out, especially when it comes to his sister. Magnus had to choose between his “son” and his partner. Harry Shum Jr. portrays so many emotions in his face without even speaking.
Loving Alec hasn’t stopped Magnus from having Raphael in his life, despite the nonsense Raphael got caught up with for Izzy. Luke is losing control of his pack, understandable since he is sorta kinda responsible for so many downworlder deaths due to the soul sword being activated under his watch. He has himself a new partner in the police life and definitely isn’t just some random mundane. Lastly Valentine continues to be an absolute ass. He claims to love Clary, but he also enjoys bringing pain and embarrassment to those she loves thus causing her pain.
Simon and Izzy
In the books Simon is such an amazing and well-developed character that at the end of the series he gets his own spin-off series. In the show, however, he’s just boring. Yes, the day lighter thing will inevitably become his source of power over the vampires, but there’s something just too naive about how Alberto plays Simon. He was much better in season 1 when Simon was first navigating everything supernatural. Now it just seems like even in the show Simon only cares about bedding Clary. Which, by the way, one of the worst romances EVER! There’s no chemistry. It’s so obviously forced to be a make Jace jealous plot device. Kat’s acting is stale. It’s hard to take their scenes seriously.
However, Simon and Izzy have something really special between them. Perhaps it’s naïve hopefulness that the writers will push them closer and closer together that when Jace and Clary inevitably get back together, because they will, they have to, that Sizzy (Simon & Izzy) will FINALLY come to fruition.
They make an amazing team. It’s so different from when Isabelle is in shadowhunter mode. She can talk to Simon, like really talk. She can be vulnerable in way she can’t even be with Alec. Her vulnerability with Simon, and her acceptance that she needs more than just to sweat it out, excuses the piss poor job the writers have done in writing her this season. She isn’t some weakling who has to spend on men. That being said the relationship with Raphael had so much potential given him being asexual. It would have been an interesting dynamic to see more of his vulnerability with him, as she is one of the only ones to have brought that out in him. But alas the writers seem to waver between Izzy being independent and Izzy needing saving. Read the books. Izzy does the saving.
Perhaps it’s that Alberto and Emeraude play off each other with more of a natural flow than he has with Kat, but the scenes with Isabelle just felt real. Hopefully we get to see more of their growing friendship.
Simon has someone, who importantly isn’t Clary, to spend his time with, to worry about and to help. Simon tries far too hard to fit into the shadowhunter world, because Clary is the be all and end all. He has a chance to truly befriend Raphael, and no of course he doesn’t because that would somehow ruin his innocent charm or some such nonsense. Again, I urge everyone to read the books because the Simon/Raphael relationship is so different and better.
It is interesting that after being an absolute douchebag to Maia, he is able to confide in her. The writers have effectively written in all of his love interests, but some not as well as others. His relationship with Maia is interesting. He has his girlfriend, his new shadowhunter confidant, and now he has someone in the downworlder world he can be friends with. All of which are women he is, has or will be been attracted to. Perhaps the writers could rekindle the “brotp” that was Luke and Simon. They worked well together.
The writers have said they are rewriting some of Sebastian’s origin story, which if done right could be really great. So far it’s been interesting, said with caution. He saves Izzy, and offers her shelter. He helps at the Institute. He pushes Clary to regain her ruin writing skill. The problem is that Sebastian is a monster. No amount of reimagining can take away from the fact that Valentine experimented on his, that demon blood courses through his veins, that he will be responsible for more death and destruction than even Valentine could imagine.
In the books, Sebastian is obsessed with his sister, obsessed meaning he lusts after her. There was much speculation before the character was introduced in the show whether or not he would keep that particular… trait. The writers didn’t disappoint, as he asked Clary out on a date, so not the attempted rape there was in the books, but still boundary pushing.
The reunion between Valentine and Sebastian has me at the edge of my seat in anticipation, but also Clary finding out who he is, especially since it seems he is planning on inserting himself in her life as a trusted friend which is certain to bring death and destruction and so much heartache.
The truth has set him free! Finally! All Jace has ever wanted was to be loved, accepted, wanted. He thought his father was one person, obviously he wasn’t. He was raised for some time by the Shadowhunter equivalent of Voldemort. His adoptive parents, have, as of late, pushed him away for fear he could corrupt the family. His actual parents died years ago, before he was born. When he thought Valentine was his father, he experienced the loss of his thought to be mother. This kid has had it rough. Finally though, thanks to Valentine being his oh so charming self, Jace learns who he really is, and that he has family, and that he has a legacy to uphold.
Previously, Jace has only been seen crying, or emotional with his Parabatai, but when Imogen gives him his family ring, you see Jace being emotional for a reason that doesn’t break hearts. This newly reminted Herondale is ready to make his parents proud, to make his grandmother proud. He has a new purpose.
Alec and Magnus
Thanks to a greater demon named Azazel, Valentine and Magnus switched bodies. It’s worse than anything imaginable. Valentine is mildly inconvenienced, and due to his bigotry is disgusted by being in the body of a downworlder. Magnus, on the other hand, is trapped in the body of the most wretched shadowhunter, the threat of execution looming. Worse still is that Valentine’s body is jailed in the institute being tortured mentally and physically. (Interesting side note: when the agony rune is activated both men have flashbacks of childhood traumas. Valentine became a monster, angel blood in his veins. Magnus, son of a demon, became wise, loving, and angelic.)
Magnus begs Alec to believe him. He says things that only Magnus would know. The problem is that Alec is still too rigid in his thinking. He still believes too heavily on the rightness of the Clave. It’s also bothersome that he clearly believed Magnus, but relied on Jace for answers, resulting in Magnus’ continued torture. It was a heavy blow. Alec is still new at this whole relationship thing, but when you live in a world with warlocks and magic, the man in front of you knows things about you that only your lover would know, and your gut instinct is to believe him, go with that. It felt like Alec respected Jace more than he loves Magnus, that he held Jace’s bias words to a high level than Magnus’ declaration of love.
To be fair to Alec, Valentine is the master of master manipulators, but there was clearly a moment when Alec believed what was going on, and he should have done something then, and not just watched and participated in the mistreatment of his boyfriend, and especially not have only done something when Jace reaffirmed what he already knew.
Magnus, after being switched back to his body, is visibly shaken. He had his life invaded. The love of his life looked at him like he was a monster; all of his fears from being mistreated as a child came rushing back. Magnus, whose gentle nature makes him more angelic than most shadowhunters, was forced to relive centuries of pain and trauma. The mental and emotional toll that takes on him is heart breaking. It’s understandable that he pushed away from Alec. How can he be with a man who he trusted with his whole being, who saw a side of him that was only belonged to Alec, only to have Alec act as if he had been burned when Magnus, in Valentine’s body, had burned him?
This won’t be easy to come back from, and given the promo for next week’s episode, this might destroy them. Malec (Magnus and Alec) has been revolutionary, on the page and on the screen. The way Matthew and Harry interact with each other, it’s so beautiful. It doesn’t feel like you’re watching two actors, their dynamic is such that you feel like you’re intruding by watching this couple live their lives. After the train wreck that was the City of Bones movie, people were obviously skeptical about how Malec would flow on the show. These two actors really shine, and the truth in the emotions they convey is inspiring. (Not the mention how gung-ho they both are on social media about repping such an important couple!) This representation for queer men especially must not be taken away. Relationships have their ups and downs, but hopefully the writers show us that love can be stronger than fear and hatred.
Magnus has only ever really loved one other person, Camille, and frankly she wasn’t a great choice as a lover or a partner, but Magnus sees things in people that they don’t even see in themselves, so clearly he saw something in the vampire that he needed at the time. Alec however, it’s like Magnus has lived half a millennia waiting to meet this particular shadowhunter. If we want to be cliché about it Alec and Magnus are soul mates, meant to be. That being said, Magnus is in a world of hurt. He already suffers from PTSD, so the added stress from this incident will only make things worse. We don’t see Magnus talking about his pain, we only see Alec talking about his. The show leans towards Alec being the more important person in the relationship, but without Magnus Alec would be married to Lydia. Without Magnus, the shadowhunters of New York would probably have been decimated by some demon or other crisis.
Magnus deserves screen time to process this betrayal. The audience deserves to see him and Alec fight and scream and make up and love each other. We need to see how relationships with mentally ill people can be beautiful even when there is tragedy. Malec is hope and grace and beauty. Hopefully the writers know that we know how important they are and won’t make it into some teenage drama crap, we have Clary and Simon for that, and will give us a real perspective on how being in love, and losing and regaining trust in a relationship is.
Do you think Alec and Magnus will work things out? Will Sebastian be as ruthless as his book counterpart? Will Clary finally dump Simon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments