Shadowhunters season 2, episode 11, marks the summer premiere of the Freeform hit. We spoke with Isaiah Mustafa about what’s going down in 2B.
Where to begin, Shadowhunters fans? “Mea Maxima Culpa” brings us back into the Institute where Valentine is a prisoner with a major bargaining chip. Simon and Clary are enjoying their time in the sun. And Jace realizes maybe he needs to spend some time in the shadows reflecting on everything that has happened over the last few months.
Between looking out for his Parabatai, keeping up a relationship, and making sure his sister gets clean, Alec is due for a break. But with Magnus walking away from the greater demon fight looking a little worse for the wear, that break is a long way off.
But what about Luke? After losing Jocelyn, watching Clary uncover this new world and her place in it, making sure his pack and the Downworlders don’t revolt, AND taking in Maia — It’s no picnic being this NYPD detective. As busy as Luke is making sure his Shadowhunter friends are taken care of, Isaiah Mustafa does the same for his fans.
We spoke with Mustafa about Luke’s journey in season 2B, his new partner, and what it’s like being the elder of the group.
We meet Ollie, Luke’s new partner in the premiere. What is going on with her?
She’s all up in my stuff. She’s relentless, and she’s not stopping.
But, I think she speaks for all the fans who are like, “What is going on? What is this?” The new fans who come on and are asking what is this show? What are we talking about? Who are these people? What are Shadowhunters? What are Downworlders? What is going on? Explain it to me.
I think that she is the voice for explaining all of that to this contingent of our fans– our new viewers. We have to explain things to her, but not give her everything and let her figure it out for herself.
In contrast to Clary and Simon who we just threw into this world. Now we have this person who is seeing Luke talking to himself in the middle of a crime scene and saying – what is going on here?
What detective isn’t talking to himself at a crime scene? She’s all on my back and I’m like, “I’m just taking notes. Something you should try doing!”
Luke just lost Jocelyn, his pack is turning against him, and he still has to keep up this appearance of a day job – he has a lot to juggle heading into 2B.
He’s got a full plate, yeah. He’s got the whole being a werewolf thing – that alone just seems like a lot to deal with. What is that like? Everyday that must just be a struggle.
But he’s got to be a babysitter in a way, a teacher, a tutor, a mentor, a delegate. He’s got a full plate and it’s hard, but you are going to see how that weighs on him. You’re going to see that.
We’ve gotten much more of Luke this season – especially seeing him have a stake in all of the Downworlder groups. He’s trying to not only keep his pack together, but keep all the Downworlders in check.
He’s definitely like the elder statesman in the group. He understands that you can’t tell everyone what to do — he has to let them find their own way. But at the same time he has to try to tell them what to do, because he can see that path they are going down before they can because he’s pretty much done it all.
It’s almost like being the elder on the cast and you have a lot of young people running around. There’s not much you can say, because they’re going to do their own thing. You just kind of have to sit back and hopefully they do it right.
Your interactions with the ‘Shadowhunters’ fans – especially your ‘memeathons’ – draw a ton of engagement. What does it mean to you to see that level of real time enthusiasm?
Our fans are serious. They want answers, they want logic. And they don’t want things to be thrown at them. They want it all to tie up and they want to understand it all.
With the meme thing – it was kind of just something to keep the fans involved while we were on hiatus. As silly as it is, it’s just me writing down thoughts that come from these pictures, screencaps, that we have.
They certainly kept everyone engaged – they love it. One fan on Twitter said, ‘This is the most epic story yet. It’s equivalent to a 3 hour blockbuster.’
That was super hard. I stayed up for 24 hours I was out of my mind. 24 hours straight!
— Isaiah Mustafa (@isaiahmustafa) May 30, 2017
They are always so basic, though. Somebody loses something. The whole story is just, “oops I lost something.”
Can you tease any new interactions this season that you enjoyed?
I have a few scenes with Will Tudor who plays Sebastian. I think both him and Alisha [Wainwright], both breathe this life into what was going on in our show. They add such an interesting, new aspects to our show.
I really like working with Will, he’s such a professional and he’s so good at what he does. That I am always learning something by watching him.
Will played Sebastian so well. He’s this charismatic character that you want to trust but you know you can’t just yet.
He crushes it. Honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The way he characterizes Sebastian is awesome. It’s just so good.
And finally — describe 2B in one word.
Be sure to catch Shadowhunters season 2, episode 12, “You Are Not Your Own,” Monday, June 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Freeform.