With one episode left before the Shadowhunters season finale, we’ve reached the point in our series where all the characters are experiencing some sort personal angst. Alec continues to convince himself that marrying Lydia is the best thing for the family. Jace tries not to hurl when he thinks of the time he kissed his sister. Clary feels guilty for putting Jace on the back burner while she figures out how to get her mother out of the super annoying green cocoon she’s been floating around in for weeks.
The New York Institute is a hotbed of teenage emotions. Even Izzy is barking orders at dozens of florists and caterers who scurry to prepare the facility for the big wedding. Simon is the only one who isn’t in his own pit of despair and that’s because our favorite vampire finally caught a break. Now that everyone knows Jace and Clary are brother and sister, Simon can swoop in and play the recently vacated roll of “boyfriend” in Clary’s life. Thank goodness Clary invited him to be her date to Alec’s wedding.
Simon’s dreams may be coming true, but Magnus Bane’s are about to crash and burn. He approaches Alec and recites a moving speech which challenges his crush to take a good look at his pending marriage. Alec speaks of this union as a way to honor his family. But what about himself? Is there honor in living a lie? Magnus details what true love feels like: loss of breath when that person enters a room, beating heart, and tingling skin. Alec doesn’t concede. Instead, he chastises Magnus for thinking love is a game. What has he ever risked for love?
After this gut-punching exchange, Magnus works with Hodge, Jace, and Clary (who aren’t making eye contact) to figure out which warlock is powerful enough to create Jocelyn’s Fort Knox resting place. Magnus quickly narrows the list down to one person — Ragnor Fell. He’s the High Warlock of London, extremely skittish, knew Jocelyn in Idris, and has a sweet set of horns protruding from his forehead. This guy sounds awesome. Road trip!
Magnus conjures a portal that spits him into a field. Jace and Clary are not far behind. Magnus calls the pair out for being weird, which forces them to have a grown-up discussion about how they share DNA. Jace admits he is attracted to his sister. Magnus doesn’t think this is a problem. Clary thinks that Jocelyn will be able to shed light on the issue. Jace retorts. Their mother abandoned him! Why should he want her in his life? Just as Clary is about to throw down on her brother, the trio is engulfed by green flames. It looks like Ragnor doesn’t like visitors.
Only the pure of heart can pass through the flames. Without hesitation, all three walk into the emerald fire wall. Clary is the only one who makes it through. I guess her heart was set on her mother? She barely panics at the loss of her road-trip buddies, before she sees the roof of a house. She bursts through the door, shouts for Ragnor, pauses at an oil painting of him, and then grabs the warlock right out of the canvas. Watch the horns, Clary!
Ragnor is a nice guy, but a touch crazy. As he shouts commands at empty chairs, he claims he’s been expecting Clary. He admits that he made the potion that put Jocelyn to sleep at her request. Clary asks about Jace and Magnus and offers to give Ragnor anything he wants if he helps her find them. Ragnor snaps his fingers, and the two guys appear in the empty chairs. Clearly this was some sort of test that Clary passed. Ragnor explains that the antidote for the potion is in the Book of the White. He asked Jocelyn to hide it a long time ago, but he may have something that can help them track it.
Ragnor heads upstairs and is attacked by a demon. Magnus tries to heal his old friend, but he’s too late. Ragnor is dead. Jace is outraged that a demon followed them through the portal. They are all in danger now. Magnus creates another portal and instructs the siblings to go back to the Institute. He’ll take care of everything on this side, including Ragnor’s body and belongings. On the other side, Izzy begs Jace to attend Alec’s bachelor party. Jace is angry. Who cares about a bachelor party when Alec is about to marry a mole?
Izzy doesn’t believe Lydia would send a demon through the portal. She’s practically family. Jace reminds her that Lydia knew about their plan to find Ragnor. And he will make Lydia admit her guilt! He all but busts out his seraph blade on the way to her room. Izzy manages to convince him that Clary would be a better choice to confront Lydia. Oh the drama! So many feels!
Clary is not smooth with Lydia. She basically accuses her right off the bat. Lydia laughs. If she were working for Valentine, she would have given him the Mortal Cup by now. She protects her family! Now it’s Clary’s turn to laugh. If she’s so protective of her family, what about Alec’s happiness? Lydia looks her in the eyes and says, “Are you talking about his feelings for Magnus? I’m not blind.”
There it is. Duty to family supersedes desire. For both Lydia and Alec. Clary softens and asks Lydia how she’s supposed to trust her? Lydia’s response is gold: “You’re Valentine’s daughter. I trust you.” Touché.
NEXT: Do you take this woman to be your bride?
Meanwhile, with a little direction from Simon, Izzy throws Alec the perfect bachelor party. It’s just him, Jace, and a huge wall portrait of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Nothing says, “I’m getting hitched” like a cameo by America’s first president. Jace and Alec hash out their differences. Jace admits that not only did he enjoy kissing Clary, but he wanted so much more. He was falling in love. Alec understands. The situation is confusing. We all have plans for our lives and we all get thrown off the path. Our job is to find our way back. Alec asks Jace to be his best man. Jace agrees. They bro hug it out like good little parabatai.
Back at Magnus’ place, Ragnor pops up. Hooray! He’s not dead! Oh wait. He is dead. He’s a ghost who is helping Magnus through the pain of lost love. First they talk about Camille. Then they talk about immortality and death. Finally they talk about tearing down walls one may have built around their heart and how you need to fight for love. Ragnor disappears, and Magnus bolts out of the room. I’ll give you one guess where he’s going.
We are moments from the nuptials and all seems to be right with the world. The Lightwoods are thrilled at the thought of this pending union. Simon sits giddily by Clary in the audience. Jace is handsome in his shiny suit. Alec is dapper in white. Lydia is gorgeous, and the Silent Brother in the corner with his mouth sewn shut is creeping everyone out. Let’s do this!
Lydia puts a bracelet on Alec and he puts a necklace on her. Just as they are about to mark each other with some sort of “forever yours” rune, Magnus arrives. Suddenly, Alec can’t breathe. His heart is beating fast. His skin is prickly. All he can do is stare at Magnus. Lydia leans in and tells him that it’s fine. He deserves to be happy. He maintains eye contact, descends the steps, stalks passed his mother, and plants a huge kiss on Magus Bane, right there in the middle of the ceremony. Break out the Malec hashtag!
Jace is overwhelmed by Alec’s declaration of love. He tells Clary that he is going to stop shutting her out. Also, he’s totally confused and doesn’t know how to handle his feelings. Is there a rune for that?
Magnus walks up and whispers that he has some magical items from Ragnor’s house that may help them find the Book of White. The new love birds join the old, now forbidden love birds in a secret room with a table holding magical garage sale items. Clary recognizes a bookmark from the other dimension. She knows in her gut that it will lead them to the book. Magnus uses the bookmark to track its owner. We have good news and bad news. He found the book! Unfortunately, it’s with Camille who is clearly not dead. She’s being held captive by Raphael in a coffin. Fun times.
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Speaking of fun times, as Lydia removes the Mortal Cup from its secret hiding place, someone knocks her out and steals it! Plus, Jace learns that the box his mother used to carry around, the one with J.C. on the outside, is his! J.C. stands for Jonathan Christopher. It’s also short for Jace. Clary is determined to make sense of all of this. And if that’s not enough, Maryse doesn’t care that Alec is in love with Magnus. She’s irate that he’s in love with a downworlder! Alec copes with this news by inviting Magnus out on their first date. Love is still in the air, Malec shippers. Never fear.
What we do need to fear is Hodge. The former Circle Member is the one who stole the cup! Not only that, but he has a magical ring that can summon Valentine. Hodge makes a deal with the devil — his freedom in exchange for the Mortal Cup. Say it ain’t so Hot Hodge! I guess Jace was right. There’s a mole in the family.