The dead are better off dead. Shadowhunters season 2, episode 5 follows Clary’s desperate attempt to resurrect Jocelyn. But should she?
The Shadowhunters universe differs from our own in many ways. For example, vampires run dens in abandoned hotels and werewolves eat Chinese food. However, our worlds share one thing in common– the dead should rest in peace.
Easier said than done. Jocelyn’s death hits the Institute like a tidal wave. Clary is not the only person facing the challenge of bidding one final farewell to her mother. Jace wants more time. Alec wants the blood off his hands. Luke escapes into the woods, avoiding the entire ordeal.
Jocelyn’s death opens up the story to allow for more internal conflicts within the characters. It grounds warlocks, shadowhunters, vampires, mundanes in the same space. Grief does not let anyone off the hook.
Clary focuses all of her energy on bringing the her mother back from the dead. It’s hard to believe, given that we’ve spent so much time with her, but Clary is still new to this alternate universe. Rules seem flexible. If she can envision a rune and shoot sunlight out of her hand, what is stopping her from raising the dead?
Alec, meanwhile retreats into himself. Though circumstances are out of his control, he can’t help but look at each event as a personal shortcoming. He wasn’t proactive enough to get Jace away from Valentine. A demon entered the Institute under his watch. He could not get Jace out of the City of Bones.
Add all of that to the burden he carries from Jocelyn’s death and it’s a small miracle Alec can stand.
Jace struggles to feel anything from the loss of Jocelyn. After all, she just came into his life. He knows her as the woman who could not bear to have a child with demon blood. Still, he tries to be strong for Clary and grieves the loss of opportunity.
Jocelyn’s death does something interesting for Simon — he goes home. With the hunt for Camille out of the way, Simon encounters a bit more freedom. But returning home, and making his mother happy, comes with great cost. Sleeping in a canoe is much more appealing than having your mother catch you draining blood from rats.
Simon’s caught between worlds. Whereas everything and almost everyone that Clary knows are fully immersed in her new reality, Simon does not have it that easy. He is walking a fine line that he cannot keep up for long.
So while Jocelyn’s death closes the book on one character, it allows the season to head in a new direction.
Alec regroups and does what he knows is right. Hard as it may be, he takes the first step to mending his relationship with Clary. Jocelyn’s death forces the two together in a way that might have otherwise been avoided for who knows how long. This relationship is important not only for Jace, but for the community as a whole.
Izzy remains on the outskirts of the emotional impact of Jocelyn’s death. But physically she is wounded by the demon. Could Izzy become a poster child of an addiction storyline? Perhaps. But what is more interesting is Aldertree’s attraction to her. Are we to believe that he would let anyone else on a mission to see the Iron Sisters with that wound?
Speaking of Aldertree, Jace’s “mistake,” you know the one where he saved Aldertree’s life, costs him. While Alec needs time to internalize his emotions, Jace is a man of action. Heading deeper in to season 2, expect to see the shadowhunter mobilize against the Clave in order to recover the Mortal Instruments.
Magnus Bane continues to shed some of his armor this season and the death of Jocelyn triggers another development. When Alec turns up on his balcony, Magnus considers his words wisely when breaching the subject of Camille. But Alec is willing to hear about Magnus’ past and cares about how he feels.
Although Clary heads off to Magnus for advice on how to raise her mother from the dead, Simon recognizes the deep emotional turmoil inside Magnus. What if Simon’s own mother, the woman who is supposed to love him no matter what takes her life? As season 2 carries on, look for Simon and Magnus to form a deeper bond. One that is reciprocal.
A new threat emerges from “Dust and Shadows” — Iris Rouse. Clary may have escaped the AHS-looking rubber man demon, but she is not free of her blood oath with the warlock. Between the hunt for the Mortal Instruments and breeding baby warlocks, season 2 amps up the action.
Luckily, this is not at the sacrifice of significant character development.
Shadowhunters season 2, episode 6, “Iron Sisters,” airs Monday, February 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Freeform.