On this week’s episode of Shadowhunters, Clary steps into an alternate dimension in which Shadowhunters no longer exist, Downworlders have assimilated into mundane society and Isabelle is a nerd. Yes, a nerd—and an adorable one at that. But more about nerdy Isabelle later!
As a whole, the tenth episode, titled “This World Inverted,” was remarkably balanced considering that it kept ping-ponging between three competing storylines. The main one involved Clary, Jace and the alternate universe, and unfolded like this: at the end of the previous episode, Meliorn announced that he owed Clary a life debt and that he would help her find her father as payment. “This World Inverted” finds Meliorn staying true to his word. Using his seelie magic, he opens a secret gateway to another universe and tells Clary that she must find the Universal Portal hidden within it, which will take her to her father. The catch? Clary has to go alone and her consciousness could be consumed by the Alternate Clary. Even with the risks, Clary plows ahead, although she takes the time to give Jace the tarot card containing the Mortal Cup for safe-keeping.
The second storyline focused on Simon and Luke. Simon seeks out Luke for a little Downworlder 101. He’s having difficulty adjusting to the vampire lifestyle and asks Luke for help, which Luke is glad to give. On their excursions together, Luke and Simon discuss Clary and the animosity between the Downworlders. In addition, they run into an Internal Affairs Officer who wants to arrest Luke for a string of demonic murderers. In a bizarre twist of fate, Simon has to be the one who helps Luke: he pretends to be the Demonic Killer and has Luke “kill” him, thereby taking the heat off Luke.
And then there’s the Alec-Isabelle-Lydia storyline. After interrogating a Shadowhunter, Lydia comes to the (correct) conclusion that Isabelle must have been responsible for stopping The Clave’s attempt at delivering Meliorn to the City of Bones. This, in turn, finally triggers Alec to start acting like a reasonable human being again. He goes to Lydia and confesses that Isabelle, Jace and Clary were at the scene of the crime. He also tells her that he knows the location of the Mortal Cup and that he’ll give it to Lydia if she frees his sister. When he goes to retrieve it, however, he discovers that it is missing. Naturally, he blames Jace, and by extension Clary. Unfortunately for Alec, Jace is still in the Seelie Glade and can’t be tracked. Alec has no choice but to use their parabatai bond to find him, which is remarkably dangerous for both parties. Ultimately, it works, but by the time Alec and Lydia get there, Jace is gone—which means that Isabelle is definitely going to trial.
All in all, this episode was jam-packed with shocking twists and turns as well as fun little Easter Eggs for books fans, such as the mention of Luke owning a rare book store in the alternate universe and the appearance of Church and Chairman Meow the cats. Nevertheless, “This World Inverted” was also original enough that it allowed book fans to be strictly viewers for the first time and kept them on their toes as to what was going to happen next. With only three more episodes left this season, I’m anxious to see what other surprises the writers have in store for us—but, before we start speculating, let’s relive the Best Five Moments of Shadowhunters episode nine, “This World Inverted.”
Meliorn Opens a Gate to Another Dimension (And Gives Clary and Jace the Lowdown)
I always enjoy getting to spend more time with Meliorn because Jade Hassoune depicts him so perfectly. As Meliorn, he is ethereal and cryptic as well as humorous and witty, all of which we saw in this scene. Moreover, I enjoyed his explanation regarding the alternate dimension. It made me wonder two things: 1) if Meliorn has visited the alternate dimension before, and; 2) how many alternate dimensions there are in existence. What really made this scene memorable, though, were the impressive special effects coupled by Meliorn’s snazzy Tai Chi moves. It was almost as if he was dancing with Nature and coaxing it to follow his lead, which made it a very cool moment to witness.
Clary Helps Magnus Wake His Magic Up (And Does a Decent Imitation of His Jazz Hands)
In order for Clary to prevent her consciousness from being absorbed by the Alternate Clary, she was instructed by Meliorn to find something to ground her. At first, I assumed that this would be Jace, but to my surprise, her anchor turns out to be Magnus, who in the alternate universe is much more like Alec (much to my amusement). Before Magnus can provide any help to Clary, however, Clary has to help him wake up his dormant magic. In the process, she does an impression of what Magnus’s usual casting style is like, complete with elaborate hand flourishes. Incredulous, Magnus denies that he could ever look like that, which just added to the humor.
Simon Gets in Touch with His Dark Side (And Saves Luke’s Career)
This was my favorite scene of the episode because I loved watching Simon pretend to be a serial killer. In doing so, Alberto Rosende managed to maintain Simon’s inherent quirkiness while also making him seem deranged and lethal, which added to the realism of the whole charade. It also was the perfect way to end Simon and Luke’s storyline in this episode; while Simon starts off the episode as the one in need of help, he actually turns out to be the only one who can help Luke, an interesting twist of fate that hints that they may grow to rely on each other more before the season comes to an end.
Alec Uses the Parabatai Bond to Find Jace (And Gets Shirtless in the Process)
Alec, Alec, Alec—what are we going to do with you? Well, I know the first thing that I would do if I were in the Shadowhunters universe: get Lydia as far away from him as possible. Lydia brings out the worst in Alec, so it’s in everyone’s best interests for her to hit the road. However, even with her gone, I don’t see Alec and Jace reconciling anytime soon. As this scene shows, Alec’s resentment and anger toward Jace runs deep, so deep that he’s even willing to risk their parabatai bond. I don’t know how I feel about the idea that the bond could be broken by a rune—in the books, only death, exile or becoming a Downworlder can break the bond—but the fact that he would risk it speaks volumes about how far apart they’ve grown.
Clary and Jace Find a Man in a Closet (And Everything Changes)
When Clary and Jace finally escape the alternate universe (which prompts the question: what happened to that universe’s Clary and Jace? Do they remember anything?), they end up in Valentine’s lair at Chernobyl. To their surprise, though, Valentine is nowhere to be found. The lair appears to be deserted until they hear loud bangs going from a supply closet. When they open it, they find a disheveled man inside, whom Jace reacts to with disbelief. As it turns out, this man is Jace’s father, the father that Jace has thought was dead. Like so many other fans, I had a mixed reaction to this development. In the books, Jace comes face-to-face with a different “father,” and this discovery has long-lasting consequences for Jace and Clary. It also sets the stage for the main conflict in the second installment. Hopefully, this is just a minor change and everything will end up in the same place, but I am worried that this could be the start of a completely different storyline. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see!
Nerdy Isabelle Has a Crisis (And Clary Helps Her Out)
One of the highlights of this episode was watching Emeraude Toubia play Nerdy Isabelle. Not only was it awesome to watch Toubia flex her acting wings but I also loved the juxtaposition of nerdy, bubbly Isabelle with the stoic, resolved Isabelle of the real world. The contrasts between the two were striking and made me miss the carefree Isabelle that we were introduced to in the pilot. The best Nerdy Isabelle scene of them all, however, was the one in which a panicked Nerdy Isabelle appeals to Clary for help after a kickboxing class leaves her with a giant bruise on her face. Although she is visibly upset, Isabelle also babbles adorably and is altogether endearing. It makes me hope that we get to see this side of Isabelle again—even though that’s unlikely.
New episodes of Shadowhunters air on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm ET/PT on Freeform.