By Andrea Dixon
“Mea Maxima Culpa”
2B takes off at vampire speed and shows no signs of slowing down. The gang hardly has time to register the side-effects of the 2A finale before another “greater” threat creeps onto their radar. The veteran members of the cast are all allowed their spotlights and deliver stellar performances (clearly comfortable within the skins of their characters), while newcomers lay down solid foundations for character development. But, as fans of the show have no doubt come to realize, its writers do not allow the characters to stay in comfort zones for long.
“Mea maxima culpa” is a Latin phrase which translates to “through my very great fault,” and speaks to the guilt Jace is carrying after the events that transpired in the 2A finale. This leads to some great parabatai moments as he turns to Alec as his rock throughout the episode. The first frames contain a wonderfully choreographed parabatai training sequence intermingled with some exposition cleverly delivered via cheeky brother banter. We also get an extremely emotional scene between the pair later on when Jace finally lets the dam break loose and Alec pulls him in for hug.
Meanwhile, Simon approaches his newfound “Daylighter” status with caution as he frets about the possible downsides while Clary remains optimistic. Simon promises Jace that he will keep the secret about how it was obtained in order to protect Jace from becoming a target. The Clary, Jace and Simon love triangle is well underway as Jace struggles with how to deal with the knowledge that Clary is not his sister. Valentine lets the cat out of the bag in typical insensitive fashion, but truthfully Jace needed a push and Clary is grateful to have the truth, no matter how complicated it makes things.
New characters are introduced too: a greater demon we know to be a threat, and two others we are not sure how to feel about yet. Through the tell-tale signs of Azazel’s dirty work, Magnus is able to ascertain that the demon is one of the princes of hell. Azazel kills an entire bar full of people, so naturally when Izzy goes missing, the gang assumes he is behind it. However, Izzy is off meeting the dashing Sebastian Verlac – one of book fans’ most highly anticipated characters. However, the nature of his arrival at the Institute, and his connection with Izzy, based off of mutual drug addiction experience, seems much too convenient. Luke’s new partner in crime, Ollie, seems harmless enough, and even provides lesbian representation – one of the few sexualities not yet explored on the series. However, she seems much too nosy for her own good. Why can’t Luke just converse with his supernatural friends in peace?
Raphael and Maia have, by this point, become extended members of the main gang and make welcome appearances. Raphael tries to make good after all that transpired between he and Izzy in 2A by putting his foot down versus an Izzy in relapse mode. He also participates in an intervention with Alec orchestrated by Magnus. Raphael does not let Simon off the hook, however, forcing him to come clean about being a Daylighter. This conversation alludes to the inevitability of other vampires being jealous of Simon’s advantage and wanting to obtain it for themselves. Maia tries her best to make amends with Simon after she tried to kill his girlfriend in 2A, and she also becomes privy to his secret. Additionally, Maia firmly re-situates herself at Luke’s side when it seems like everyone else is abandoning his pack.
Fan-favorite couple, Malec (Magnus and Alec) share a few brief moments of domestic bliss and even get to go on a mission together, as they search for Izzy and later summon the greater demon in a fruitless attempt to rescue her. The episode ends with something that will truly test the solidarity of their relationship in the episodes to come, when Azazel performs some body swapping magic between Magnus and Valentine.
At a crucial moment, Clary’s abilities fail her, but Jace’s discovers he is able to activate his runes without the use of a stele. Clary and Jace have a moment when he reveals that seeing her in danger was what caused his powers to emerge.
And there we have it: another successful premiere of Shadowhunters under our belts, with many a heartfelt and shocking moment to remind us fans why we love having this show in our lives so much. The new storyline and characters are filled with possibilities and it is always interesting to see what the showrunners have in store for us.
- How long does Izzy plan to hide out with Sebastian and what are his intentions with her? Will everyone else get to meet him in the next episode?
- Looks like Simon will embark on a solo music career now that his band mates have bailed on him.
- Will the body-swapping storyline extend past the next episode? Neither Magnus nor Valentine are content to be in each other’s bodies. Judging from the promo, Valentine (in Magnus’ body) seems to be taking immediate action to get out. There is also a time limit due to the fact that Valentine is set to be executed by the Clave. Does Valentine really want to return to a body doomed to that fate?
- What does this body swap mean for Malec? Will Valentine be able to keep up the charade of being Magnus? And will Alec believe Magnus (as Valentine) when he knows that Valentine is infamous for his mind games?