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‘Shadowhunters’ Season 2 Premiere Review: Worst. Parents. Ever.

(Freeform/John Medland)

How much does it suck that Jace Wayland was better off when he thought he was an orphan?

His father wants to turn him into a mindless killer. His mother attempted to murder him. And his adopted mother compared him to cancer while vowing to erase him from the family tree.

Jace’s familial struggles and the mission to find him—dead or alive—dominated the season two premiere of Shadowhunters.

The action resumed where we left off: after voluntarily going with Valentine to save his friends, Jace became his father’s prisoner. Valentine manipulated him with mind games, learned his loyalty remained with Clary, and then let his minions beat Jace into submission. #fatheroftheyear

This Guilty Blood” dove even deeper into just how twisted Valentine is. He experimented on his son in the womb by injecting him with demon blood. He wanted to make him the strongest, fastest, most superior Shadowhunter ever so he could lead the charge of deleting Downworlders from existence.

Jocelyn must have known that, but does it justify trying to kill grownup Jace without as much as a hello (or suggesting a DNA test since they’re all just taking Valentine at his word on the paternity)?

Even though she’s been out of the game for eighteen years, Jocelyn slipped back into Shadowhunter mode pretty fast (and ruined the goodwill I had toward her after her reunion with Clary). She chose the law over her own children—or at least went along with it under the guise of protecting Clary (so much for that “no more lies” promise, Jocelyn).

The Clave, with an assist from Maryse, deemed Lydia incapable of handling the situation. Cue the introduction of Victor Aldertree, new boss. He kicked the Downworlders out of the Institute, ordered Jocelyn and Clary on lockdown, and benched Alec and Izzy (Needless to say, this guy is not winning any cool points).


(Freeform/John Medland)

Alec melted down. Blamed Clary (sigh) and then took his frustration out on Magnus (double sigh) when the warlock refused to help Alec risk his life a second time by manipulating his Parabatai bond. Since Magnus didn’t sign up to be a punching bag, he peaced out, until Alec found the good sense to go apologize to his boo.

Even as a card-carrying Alec apologist, I cheered when Magnus called him out on his b.s. Alec made his choice for himself—and there’s nothing wrong with that—but he needs to own it. And he did. First with Maryse (“I don’t push someone away because they’re a hard choice”), and then when he admitted the truth to Magnus.

Neither of these men is good at putting themselves out there, but it’s so fun watching them try. Magnus forgave him (duh), and he also gave him an important reminder: don’t push him away just because things get challenging (don’t you love how they’re on the same page?).

Of course we all know Alec is going to screw up again, but for now, let’s enjoy the moment (side note: would it have killed them to have a close up of the balcony shot rather than the long shot? Come on, show. You know what fans want).

Meanwhile, once Luke’s back was turned, the werewolves sent Simon outside to wait out the sun in the supply shed. When Clary arrived, he tried to confess his feelings. I’m biased because I do not ship it, but really, Simon? What about this moment in her life seemed like a good time to suggest a romance? Thankfully, freedom interrupted.


(Freeform/John Medland)

All the storylines converged when Valentine brought Jace back to dryland to murder some vampires. At first, he was cool with it since they were feeding on mundanes. But then the leader surrendered to the Clave and Valentine demanded Jace kill her anyway.

I know we’re supposed to be debating the whole good vs. evil thing and whether evil is born or made. But maybe this wasn’t the best way to show it? Jace ultimately killed the vampire, but would the Clave really judge him for it? Given how little they respect Downworlders in general, I’m guessing they’d call it a just punishment—especially since she was attacking him!

Jace didn’t have much time to create an ethical pro/con list because Jocelyn arrived and fired an arrow at his heart. Valentine jumped in front of it and even as Clary and Simon raced to the scene, Jace chose Valentine, and helped his injured father into the portal.

Show of hands: Who rolled their eyes as hard as I did? Way to make things worse, Jocelyn. Not only does Jace know you hate him, but I think we can all agree the Clave is not going to look kindly on Jace for this choice.

Miscellaneous Musings

-As usual, Izzy proved herself to be the best on every level. Best sister. Best friend. Best Shadowhunter. Best. Best. Best.

-Even if I don’t ship Simon/Clary, I love Luke and Simon’s heart to heart moments. Bonus points for “I’m bold…adjacent.”

-The old portals were much cooler than the new ones.

-Valentine might be the worst, but Alan Van Sprang is a gift. He flawlessly slides between evil torturer and Dad making dinner without missing a beat.

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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