* This article contains spoilers for Shadowhunters episode 2.01, “This Guilty Blood.”
What does season two of Freeform’s Shadowhunters have in store for viewers? If “This Guilty Blood” is any indication, heaps of drama, angst, action, and humor are on the horizon. The first episode of season two split its time between the crisis unfolding at the Institute and Jace’s ongoing identity struggle. After he decided to leave with Valentine at the end of season one, Jace finds himself at a crossroads. Is he destined to follow the same diabolical path as his father or can he forge his own fate? To make matters worse, Valentine is doing everything he can to persuade Jace that his place is at his father’s side, even going so far as to use mind-tricks and hallucinations to influence his decisions.
Meanwhile, the Institute is in a state of upheaval, with Clary, Izzy, and Alec clamoring to figure out a way to find and save Jace. Their efforts are complicated by the arrival of a new Head of the Institute, Victor Aldertree, who is much less accommodating and forgiving than his predecessor, and by Clary’s mother Jocelyn, who is trying to piece together everything that has happened.
Altogether, this episode was rife with unforgettable moments, but which ones were the best? Here are my picks for the best five moments from Shadowhunters’ episode 2.01, “This Guilty Blood.”
Valentine Tests Jace’s Loyalty
The episode started with an epic bang. Immediately, viewers were thrust into a scenario in which it was difficult to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Let me break it down for you: Valentine, in an effort to test Jace’s loyalty, glamours himself to look like Clary and pretends to “rescue” Jace. What follows is a mind-trip, unlike anything we’ve seen yet. Not only do we get to watch Jace kill several different Valentines—via a series of impressive fight sequences, if I might add—but we are also reassured that, despite Jace’s current crisis of conscience, he is still very much devoted to Clary.
Jace Learns an Unsettling Secret about Himself
What could go wrong with a little father-son bonding time over spaghetti? Well, if you’re Jace and Valentine, let’s just say “Quite a bit.” First, Jace tries to stab Valentine—because who wouldn’t? Then, Valentine drops the bombshell of all bombshells: while Jace was in his mother’s womb, Valentine injected him with demon blood to turn him into the ultimate weapon. Naturally, Jace is horrified. What will this mean for him down the line? Well, you’ll just have to wait and find out!
Simon Attempts Mind-Control (Without Success)
Where would this show be without Simon, played by the delightful and talented Alberto Rosende? He was a breath of fresh air in this episode, which is ironic considering he doesn’t actually breathe. Apparently, being a vampire is a lot harder than it looks and it takes a while to master some of those cool vampire abilities. Therefore, when Simon tries to mind-control a group of werewolves, things don’t go according to plan. To put it bluntly, he fails hysterically, but it’s ok; I’m sure Simon will get the hang of it in time.
Clary and Izzy Get Their Training On
I always love the opportunity to see Clary and Izzy interact and this scene didn’t disappoint. In order to prevent Aldertree from eavesdropping, Izzy orchestrates a training session with Clary so that they can discuss their next step in finding Jace. What follows is one of the best-choreographed scenes in the show so far. There’s no question that Izzy is an accomplished fighter, but I was surprised by Clary’s prowess considering that she’s only been a part of the Shadowhunting world for a short time. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more scenes like this in future episodes.
Alec Apologizes to Magnus (And Magnus Shows Off His Magical Skills)
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Malec? Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario have undeniable chemistry, a chemistry that was showcased throughout this episode. However, this scene, in particular, stood out. After scene after scene of building tension, viewers finally get the chance to see Magnus and Alec begin to resolve some of their issues. Plus, we get to watch Magnus flex his magical…skills, and what could be better than that?
Clary and Simon Reminisce in a Warehouse
Remember the simpler times when Simon wasn’t a vampire and Clary wasn’t a Shadowhunter-in-training? Well, Simon and Clary sure do, and they spent their time together in the warehouse taking a trip down memory lane. Laughter and nostalgia abound, and viewers are reminded of the easy camaraderie that defines their friendship. So much has changed in their lives, so it was nice to see Simon and Clary just being Simon and Clary again if only for a short time.