Shadowhunters (S03E02) "The Powers That Be" Review

Not going to lie: Shadowhunters is only on episode 2 of its junior year and it was already a filler. Enjoyable and emotional, but still a filler episode nonetheless, that didn’t further the plot in any way. “The Powers That Be” served to give the existing couples screen time and to disregard the two main characters who are not in a romantic relationship. But it also served as the great entrance for a series-original character that many had been waiting for: Lorenzo Rey. Ever since the Hamilton star first tweeted about watching Shadowhunters, fans had been begging for a crossover of sorts. Our wish was granted when they announced that Javier Munoz would indeed be playing a character on the show.

Magnus, having lost the High Warlock title, has to attend a party given by the incoming high warlock, and takes Alec with him to Lorenzo’s mansion. The situation is already pretty tense, when suddenly there’s a blast of demonic energy and all the warlocks except Magnus can’t control their magic. Highlight of the party was definitely Magnus swearing and Alec, noticing little Madzie coming over to them abruptly cutting him off with ‘LANGUAGE!’ and subsequently lifting Madzie and spinning her around.

Lorenzo blames Magnus for the blast, since the magic belongs to Asmodeus, the Prince of the infernal world Edom. Magnus confesses to Alec that Asmodeus is his father and begs him not to look at him any different. Alec, ever the accepting boyfriend, doesn’t care about who Magnus’s father is. Later, Malec decide to do some digging into Lorenzo’s mansion to figure out what caused the outburst of power. Alec calls on the high warlock with the pretense of investigation and distracts him while Magnus sneaks in and searches. Their plan is successful but he doesn’t like what he finds: the infernal power comes indeed from Edom, but it’s coming from a different Greater Demon, Lilith, that we’ve been seeing play with blood rituals.

Lilith has been corrupting the city’s ley lines and only the angelic power of the core of the Institute can cleanse the infernal power. At great risk of causing an explosion, Alec puts the Institute on lockdown so that Magnus can direct the angelic power to the ley lines and banish Lilith’s darkness. Despite Raj’s attempt to sabotage the mission, Malec come out victorious.

Meanwhile, Jace decides to ask Clary on a romantic date. He asks for Izzy’s advice, but his sister points out that she is no expert either. Izzy just suggests they do something normal, something that Clary might like. Jace then consults the one expert on mundane culture he can think of, Simon. The telephone call scene truly is hilarious “Jace? How did you get my number?” (Hint hint, Izzy probably gave it to him). Jace makes one huge mistake, though. After getting a recommendation for a restaurant, he abruptly hangs up. If he hadn’t, he might have been able to avoid the disaster date he is about to put himself and Clary into. The scene where Jace asked Clary out was very cute though, with her lost in her art and her music, and him looking at her in wonder, and the playful banter that almost let us forget that Jace is having continuous nightmares where he kills the love of his life.

Simon and Maia are also having lots of sweet moments. The werewolf is worried about her boyfriend’s recent mark that the Seelies put on his forehead; then he helps her study over lunch at the Jade Wolf and defends their relationship when Rufus starts going all vampire-phobic on her. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s unfair how serious the writers are making Saia, considering that they are going to break them up soon. I hope it’s Maia who decides to break up with Simon and I hope it’s not because Jordan shows up. I don’t want her to be left behind by yet another man (who then only goes to be with the love of his life). But kudos to Alisha and Alberto for playing Saia with so much chemistry and making them so cute.

It’s time for the disaster date: Jace takes Clary to the restaurant Simon has suggested but he had no idea he had to make a reservation. The waiter kindly offers them the possibility to join another table – Simon and Maia’s. Much to the awkwardness of everybody involved, the two couples try to mind their own business, but it doesn’t seem to be working. After Jace miserably realizes he doesn’t know anything about Clary’s no fish diet and Simon kindly helps him out, they all decide to order cocktails and be a full on double date.

But the peak of awkwardness is yet to come. Clary and Simon – best friends and also exes – have to find out that their current partners are so tense because they also have slept together. The conversation goes awry when Maia mentions she wouldn’t like to be a Shadowhunter because she doesn’t particularly care for runes, to which Jace replies with a – totally avoidable – comment about her butterfly tattoo. (It’s a Herondale trait, they just have to say everything that goes into their minds because they always need to have the last word, alas) Simon wonders how Jace knows about the tattoo, since “it’s pretty well hidden.” Clary innocently, bless you girl, suggests Jace might have seen it during one of Maia’s transformations, but no, that’s not the case. Maia and Jace’s following silence says enough, even though the words “we hooked up” are never spoken.

Cut to the couples exiting the restaurant laughing before amicably saying goodbye. Simon thinks Maia is going to apologize and tells her she doesn’t have to, to which she promptly agrees: “I was single at the time.” The Daylighter jokes about the fact that everyone in the city has slept with Jace and it’s only a matter of time before even he does it.

It’s worse on Clary and Jace’s end. Clary isn’t mad, but self-conscious of the fact that apparently Jace has no problem sleeping with any girl but her. Wanting to reassure her but unable to tell her the real reason why he can’t lose control around her, Jace gives some BS about taking things slow because what they have means so much to him and he doesn’t want to lose her. Edward Cullen is back.

Izzy, the character this show never does justice to, has been working alone all day and all night so that everybody else could go out and enjoy themselves. This woman is a gift to the world and so much more than we deserve. It is Luke, on dad mode, to notice she’s been working non stop. He brings her a pizza and advice coming from his own experience: working as a cop did make up for the bad things he did when he was in the Circle, but it also took him away from Jocelyn. He wasted time he can’t get back. Izzy thanks him but tells him she’s not wasting time because the love of her life isn’t in the picture at all. Luke suggests it’s because she is not looking, and I honestly had a problem with that because it seems to suggest that she can’t take time for herself unless it’s to be with a romantic interest, but then again, it’s what the show has done to Isabelle in a nutshell.

Izzy deserves an engaging storyline that does not revolve around a man, period. Season 1 it was conflict over her relationship with Meliorn, season 2 it was addiction coming from her time with Raphael. I want her to be relevant and to have scenes where she is not just someone’s girlfriend or someone’s sister to go to for advice, or the two-dimensional scenes where she is just a good warrior. I want to see scenes that revolve around Isabelle Sophia Lightwood. She deserves the screentime and attention.

The episode ends with the werewolves attacking Simon, wanting him to move out of the docks. A wolf attacks him and we finally see the Mark of Cain in action: every hurt will be met with a blast ten times stronger. Maia and Bat, running to Simon’s defense, stand there and watch the Mark’s doing with a horrified expression.