That’s more like it, Shadowhunters.
After last week’s lackluster season premiere, the show reclaimed its spot in our hearts with a Malec-centric hour.
“The Powers That Be” did more than bring our favorite duo front and center. It introduced us to a new character we’re going to love to hate (played by Hamilton’s Javier Muñoz!), clarified some of the confusing points from the premiere, and perhaps most important of all, the show’s humor returned full force.
Lorenzo Rey (Muñoz) arrived on the scene to replace Magnus as the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Obviously, we’re predestined to hate him because Team Magnus, always. But Mr. Rey decided to make our job even easier by being such an ass to Magnus. When the warlocks were attacked, Lorenzo blamed Magnus because of his connection to Asmodeus.
Who’s Asmodeus? One of the worst Greater Demons ever…and Magnus’ father. Magnus was understandably upset when he shared this truth with Alec. But Alec’s grown so much and he took it in stride. As far as he’s concerned, Magnus is not his father and that’s that. Between his perfect words and his obsession with Magnus’ homemade shampoo, Alec’s going all in on the boyfriend of the century award.
In order to prove Magnus’ innocence—and get to the bottom of the attack—Alec and Magnus returned to the scene of the crime. Or, Alec did. He went to Lorenzo’s place and pretended to be interested in getting to know him and his art collection. He distracted him while Magnus performed a series of tests on the ley lines (aka the source of magical energy beneath the city).
These scenes were hilarious between Alec feigning interest in Lorenzo’s narcissistic name dropping and Magnus hiding behind the couch. Somehow, they managed to keep Lorenzo from spotting Magnus even after the magic knocked him into the wall (maybe the new High Warlock should work on his observation skills). Magnus declared Asmodeus was not behind the crime: it was someone much more powerful.
Clearly, we knew all along it was Lilith. We caught a brief glimpse of her and the people she was corrupting on her infernal ground. Another magic shock nearly took out an entire hospital, which pushed Alec toward a drastic solution: he wanted to use the angelic core energy to flood the system (just go with it). But doing so ran the risk of exposing it and corrupting it further, including the Institute.
Raj, aka a random Shadowhunter, ignored the chain of command like he was a series regular. Not only did he argue with Alec, he did something to the computer to stop him from accessing the core. Jace attempted to beat him into submission, but it was too late. As Lilith prepared her spell (or whatever the correct term is for bloodletting humans), Magnus struggled to hold onto his power, and Alec was forced to open the core manually.
Was anyone else nervous it might not work? No one wanted Raj to be right. Thankfully, the nail biting moment ended with Alec and Magnus doing the hero thing. The energy knocked out Lilith’s spell and all was (temporarily) right with the world. Of course this won’t be the last we see of Lorenzo—or Lilith—but let’s ride the high of Malec working together and saving the day for now.
Elsewhere, Jace felt guilty about all the times he was killing Clary in his sleep. But rather than do the smart thing and tell her, he opted to take her on a date instead. Izzy didn’t have any mundane restaurant selections so he turned to Simon instead. Show of hands: who else missed Simon and Jace interactions? They’re so fun together.
Which worked out because Jace and Clary ended up on a double date with Simon and Maia (maybe Jace shouldn’t have hung up so fast). Things were hilariously awkward between Jace not knowing what foods Clary hated, Simon dumping blood on his food, and Clary questioning Maia on what happens to her clothes when she changes (it’s a valid question, though, and one more humans should ask).
Things reached a new level of awkward when Jace mentioned Maia’s hidden tattoo and then had to confess how he’s seen it. Simon handled things well; joking about how everyone’s slept with Jace and he probably will, too, at some point. Maia made it clear he’s the only one she wanted to be with and they were good (mostly—we’ll get to that).
As for Clary, she wasn’t so much bothered by the fact that Jace slept with Maia as she was by the fact that he wouldn’t sleep with her. Again, a perfectly human, relatable reaction. Jace admitted that he was holding back because she’s different than all the other girls: he cares about her. More than that, he’s afraid that if they rush things, Clary will find something she doesn’t like about him.
It’s sort of an “aw” moment, right? Clary took it as one. She kissed him and her actions implied she was fine with the status quo. However, we know that there’s more to the story. Yes, Jace obviously loves her and respects her and all that good stuff that comes with real love. But would he be holding back as much if it weren’t for the nightmares? Probably not.
And nothing kills love faster than dishonesty.
Speaking of killing love, the wolf pack attempted to come between Maia and Simon. They’re not evolved enough to believe love is love is love so they pressured Simon to move out of the boathouse. And by pressured, we’re talking physical pressure with threats and weapons (with few exceptions, werewolves remain the worst).
However, when the wolves got too close, Simon’s forehead mark turned into a Bella Swan-style magical shield and sent the wolf flying. Interesting. Is this the Fairy Queen’s way of protecting him? If so, that’s kind of sweet. But also suspicious because why wouldn’t she just tell him that’s what she wanted to do?
Finally, Luke gave Izzy a crucial piece of advice: remember to find time for herself. He’s concerned because she’s throwing herself into work so hard in order to make up for her past actions. Will she listen? Probably not, but it’s always nice to see Luke being everyone’s surrogate father in between cases.