Jace is still with his father, Valentine, but it’s unclear where his loyalties lie in the season 2 premiere of Shadowhunters, titled “This Guilty Blood.” Meanwhile, Clary, Izzy, Alec and the others deal with the aftermath of Jace leaving with Valentine, and a new leader steps up at the Institute.
The episode opens with Jace on his father’s ship, where Valentine is raising an army of Shadowhunters for his own purposes. It appears that Clary shows up, and Jace has to continuously fight his father off to protect her. Jace “kills” his father twice, but when Clary turns into Valentine, it’s revealed that the whole thing was a training exercise for his son. He is then beaten by some of Valentine’s men in order to toughen him up and force loyalty out of him, as Valentine thinks his son is greatly lacking in it.
Eventually, Valentine walks in while his son is being beat up and stops the proceedings, telling him to get dressed and then trying to have a heart-to-heart with him in the kitchen when Jace joins him there. But Jace isn’t up for a father/son moment and even tries to attack Valentine with a nearby knife. He asks why Valentine — or, rather, Michael Wayland — did that when he was disguised and faked his own death, and Valentine claims it was to make his son stronger. He then reveals that he did something else to make Jace stronger as well.
Valentine reveals that while his mother was pregnant with Jace, Valentine injected him while in the womb with demon blood. Jace is rightfully horrified by this revelation, which his father claims was done in order to make him more powerful than any other Shadowhunter — a perfect weapon.
Later, while watching the troops train on the boat, Valentine approaches Jace again, who is still angry with him for experimenting on him. Valentine is sure that all Downworlders eventually give in to their “evil” instincts, so Jace asks him why he would inject him with something that his father believes would make him evil. Valentine’s answer? To fight fire with fire. And before long, Jace is tested when it comes to his dueling instincts.
Back at the Institute, everyone is struggling with what to do about the Jace situation. Alec can’t find him through his parabatai bond, and he argues with Magnus about using his magic to help find him. Magnus is concerned because last time a similar attempt was made, it almost killed Alec, but Alec gets frustrated with him and asks why he can’t help with this one thing, after all he’s done for Magnus.
Elsewhere, Clary is upset with her mother for hiding the truth about Shadowhunters and about her father, but they quickly make up. She also reveals that Jocelyn’s son, Jonathan, is still alive and that he’s Jace. When Luke shows up, she asks if it’s true, and he confirms, though Jocelyn herself says she saw Jonathan die. When Simon walks in, they also reveal that he is now a vampire and a part of the strange world they are a part of.
And after all that, there’s still one other big revelation made at the Institute — Maryse Lightwood calls a meeting, where it’s announced that leadership there is changing again. The new head of the New York Institute is someone totally new to the show, Victor Aldertree. He announces that the Institute is on lockdown until they figure out what happened with Jace — and he’ll be questioning those who were with him to get to the bottom of things.
Clary is called to speak to Victor, who records their whole conversation. She tries to make it clear that in going with Valentine, Jace was saving her life and the lives of their friends, but Victor is reluctant to believe it. When she lets slip that Jace warned them ahead of time about Valentine showing up, he becomes even more suspicious of Jace’s loyalties.
Eventually, Victor calls everyone together again and announces that they believe Jace to be a traitor to their cause and that he must be stopped, whether he lives or dies. He also announces that as of right then, Downworlders aren’t allowed at the Institute, so Luke and Simon are forced to leave. Izzy, Alec and Clary are understandably reluctant to hunt down their friend, and Victor tells them they will have no involvement in the affair and that, in fact, Clary and Jocelyn aren’t allowed to leave the Institute at all.
The only time Izzy and Clary can talk about what they’re going to do is during training, and even then they’re being watched. But they know that if they’re going to save Jace, they have to find a way to get out of the Institute before anyone else has a chance to find him.
Before the announcement about Jace’s “wanted” status, Magnus and Alec argue about Magnus leaving when they still need help finding Alec’s parabatai. Magnus argues that Alec’s actions at the wedding, in a previous episode of Shadowhunters, were for himself and not for Magnus. Alec asks him what Magnus wants from him, and Magnus leaves after only saying, “Right now? Nothing.”
But later, Alec decides to go to Magnus to apologize, shaking off his mother following him outside of the Institute. When he gets to Magnus’, the warlock is training, and Alec pulls his attention long enough to apologize and to say he never meant to take out what he’s feeling on Magnus. The warlock accepts his apology, only asking Alec to not push him away when things get tough in the future.
Elsewhere, Luke takes Simon to the Jade Wolf and tells him he can crash there, only for Simon to be dragged away to a nearby storage shed by what are presumably other werewolves after Luke goes to take a phone call. Simon settles in for the night, alone, clearly missing people like Clary; Luke encouraged him to let her know about his real feelings for her. Somehow, I don’t think that will go over well.
But the next day, Clary is able to sneak out disguised as Victor, and Luke tells her where Simon is. She goes into the shed, but her mother quickly tracks her down. She refuses to go back with Jocelyn, and her mother pretends to want to help them both find Jace, only to deceive Clary by tricking her into giving her her stele and phone.
And though Simon tries to break down the door with his vampire strength, it appears they are stuck in the shed together, while Jocelyn tries to track down Valentine and Jace with a glove Clary had that she was going to use for the same thing. The two young adults have a heart-to-heart in which Simon very nearly reveals his feelings, only for the door to finally fall off just before he does so. Poor guy.
By the end of the episode, Jocelyn has tracked Valentine and Jace and made her way to their location, and Simon and Clary make their way there as well. The father/son duo used a portal to get to a vampire den in Brooklyn, where Jace fights his way through some vampires in order to help some innocent mundanes, who are being used for feeding, escape.
Jace manages to fight off more vampires and eventually has a confrontation with the head of the den, Maria, outside. She surrenders to the Clave, believing that Jace won’t kill her and break the accords as she is technically no longer a threat. And with her words about how weak he is in his ears and his father taunting him nearby, Jace stakes the vampire and kills her right in the street.
Mangus and Alec have just begun trying to find Jace when Alec realizes that Jace is on land, so they go to Operations at the Institute, only to find that with Jocelyn’s help, they already know where the wayward Shadowhunter is. They are forced to stay there, unable to help in case Jocelyn doesn’t show their friend mercy.
Jace kills Maria just in time for Jocelyn to show up, and she shoots at him with a crossbow right as Clary and Simon arrive as well. Valentine is hit with the arrow, and Jocelyn goes to shoot again as father and son disappear into a portal. There’s just enough time for Clary to scream, “What have you done?” and the episode ends.
What did you think of the Shadowhunters premiere? Do you think season 2 will be just as good as season 1? Let us know in the comments section below!
airs Monday nights at 8/7c on Freeform.
(Image courtesy of Freeform)