This week’s episode of Shadowhunters, titled “Major Arcana,” picks up right where last week’s left off: with Clary telling everyone that her mother hid the Mortal Cup in a deck of tarot cards for which she did the artwork. The only problem is that Dot had the cards on her when she was taken by Valentine so the Cup could very well already be in his hands. Luke, however, assuages everybody’s fears and declares that the cards are in his desk at the precinct. As a result, Clary, Jace, Alec, Izzy, and Luke begin formulating an extensive plan—one that involves runes, lots of stealth and heaps of sexual tension—to infiltrate the precinct and retrieve the Mortal Cup at last.
Meanwhile, Simon is in bad shape. His hallucinations are getting worse and his grip on reality is growing weaker. In a moment of weakness, he sleeps with bandmate Maureen, who finds his frazzled behavior worrisome and alerts his mother and sister that there is a problem. But Simon doesn’t want to talk to them; he wants to talk to Clary, who is too preoccupied with the search for the Mortal Cup and her new Shadowhunter crush to bother with her mundane best friend’s issues. So, Simon returns to the Hotel Durmont in search of answers and inevitably gets himself into even more trouble than he was in initially.
But that’s kind of becoming the modus operandi of Shadowhunters, isn’t it? Solve one problem and another instantly pops up to take its place, ensuring that Clary and the gang are never short on adventures and drama. It also guarantees that the show itself will never grow stale; there are always going to be new corners to explore and new twists to throw into the mix if need be. It allows the show to be more versatile than others, for which I am profoundly grateful.
However, let’s talk about this episode some more. As a whole, it is definitely the show’s most succinct one yet. It expertly pulls the multiple storylines together into a cohesive whole, utilizing each character to the best of his or her ability. Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, and Luke are each given the chance to shine in “Major Arcana” in a way that is respectful toward rather than inattentive to their character development. Izzy is bound and determined to turn over a new leaf and be more responsible, which is reflected in how she handles this case. Alec is still trying to come to terms with his feelings, which influences how he reacts to Izzy’s interrogation regarding his night with Magnus and to Jace and Clary’s kiss at the end. Luke is dealing with the legal ramifications of his connection to the Shadow World and is trying to juggle his new responsibilities as both a cop and as the new Alpha of the Werewolves. And Jace and Clary? Well, Jace and Clary have to address the sexual tension that has been growing between them since day one and figure out where to go from there. My only qualm is that Magnus doesn’t play a bigger role, this time, around, but we can’t have everything, right?
The absence of Magnus aside, there are several stand-out moments that make this episode truly remarkable and well-crafted. Below, I’ve selected what I consider to be the Best Five Moments of Shadowhunters episode seven, “Major Arcana.”
Simon Gets an Intervention (And Breaks a Desk)
As soon as this episode opens, it’s clear that something isn’t right with Simon. He’s edgy, quick to anger and thirsty in an “I don’t drink….wine” kind of way, all of which Alberto Rosende pull off perfectly. That’s right; all the evidence seems to indicate that our little Simon is becoming a vampire and that the transition process is, to say the least, uncomfortable. To make matters worse, the people around him are starting to get suspicious. After an awkward hook-up with Maureen in which he accidentally calls her Clary, Simon finds himself confronted by a concerned mother and sister who suspect that he is on drugs. (I’m choosing to ignore the “if I thought it was just marijuana, I wouldn’t be so worried” comment because….no). Simon, of course, denies this but the two won’t be deterred. They begin to bicker about him like he isn’t even in the room and, out of frustration, he slams his fists down on his desk—only to have it snap in half. Holy vampire super-strength, Batman! Apart from providing us with another opportunity to witness Simon’s new abilities, this scene also gives us our first look at Simon’s family dynamics. Hopefully, we get to see more in the future!
Clary and Jace Infiltrate the Police Station (And Stage a Fight)
In an effort to retrieve the tarot cards from Luke’s desk, Clary comes up with an ingenious plan: storm into the precinct, stage a fight with her “boyfriend” and snatch the cards under the pretense of looking for a spare key to her house. Naturally, she doesn’t clue Jace into this plan, because what better way to make it believable than to take him by surprise? In addition, it wouldn’t be nearly as funny if Jace had been in the know. I’ll admit that I probably enjoyed Clary slapping Jace a little too much (and, let’s face it, Clary probably enjoyed it too) but I promise that I only rewound it a few times. Maybe four….or five…Did I mention that I found Jace taken off guard to be endearingly adorable? It needs to happen more often!
Alec Tries Out His Flirting Skills (And Fails Miserably)
Oh, Alec, never change. Watching him attempt to flirt with that lady cop was nothing short of delightful for several reasons. For starters, he was completely out of his element. Flirting and schmoozing people is usually Izzy’s forte, but since she decided to change her ways, Alec had to pick up the slack. Secondly, Matthew Daddario’s cute, bashful smile made an appearance, which was a polaroid moment all on its own. Lastly, I loved that Izzy and Alec worked seamlessly together in this scene. When Alec’s attempt to flirt failed, he changed tactics, and Izzy was there immediately to back him up. Score one for Team Lightwood!
CLACE KISS!!!! (And Alec Storms Off)
There is no way that I could ever put together a list of greatest moments in this episode without including the Clace kiss. For many fans, it was a long-time coming; the two of them have been making heart-eyes at each other since the pilot and have been tip-toeing around their attraction for each other ever since. However, the wait was worth it. Having Clary walk into the Institute right as Jace is mobilizing a force to save her—proving that Jace’s feelings for Clary extend beyond obligation and duty—served as the perfect preamble to the kiss. I only wish that Alec hadn’t been there to witness it because I think he’s having a hard enough time accepting that his affection for Jace is unrequited as it is. Nevertheless, maybe this will serve as the incentive that Alec needs to finally move on.
Simon Returns to the Hotel (And Gets More Than He Bargained For)
I can’t blame Simon for going back to the hotel for answers. After all, he tried to reach out to Clary for help but she was too busy to respond to his calls. Where else was he supposed to turn? Google and vampire movies only got him so far (and raise your hand if his “I am Becoming a Vampire” list made you chuckle) so of course he’d go to the vampires for guidance. However, now Simon is in even a worse predicament! As Camille tells him, if he hadn’t sought them out, he would’ve returned to normal after a short time. But now, he’s screwed. Poor Simon…
Clary Fends Off a Pack of Demons (And Gets Ahold of the Cup)
So, this was a strange scene because, on one hand, I was glad that Clary figured out how to get the Cup, but on the other, I didn’t understand why it deterred the demons’ attack. Does the Cup put off some sort of power? Or were the demons afraid of damaging it if they attacked her? Regardless of the reason, I’m happy that Clary emerged from that skirmish unscathed and that the Cup is in the Institute’s hands. Hopefully, it stays that way!