‘Shadowhunters’ Season 2, Episode 1 Recap


On the Season 2 premiere of Freeform’s ‘Shadowhunters,’ “This Guilty Blood,” we learn that Valentine has kept a dangerous secret from Jace.

Shadowhunters Spoilers Ahead!

Only hours have passed since the Season 1 finale, and the premiere wastes no time jumping back into the action and mystery surrounding Valentine’s new role. Jace is on the deck of the ship, but he’s stepping over dead bodies. A voice gets his attention — it’s Clary. Jace runs to her and wants to get her back through the portal and off the ship. 

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Valentine appears and pulls a blade on them, engaging Jace in an intense battle. With skill on his side, Jace stabs Valentine in the stomach, and the sibling pair runs away, taking Valentine for dead. They’re once again thwarted by… Valentine. Jace is confused but continues to fight him. 

Is this a dream sequence?

Jace kills him (again), and they fall several stories down to a lower part of the ship. Within seconds, Valentine’s body morphs into a completely different person. Jace was never actually fighting Valentine — just people disguised as him.

Clary and Jace realize that they’re in a prison within the ship. There are animalized Downworlders and other creatures in cages. Jace wants Clary to leave the ship via her portal, but when Clary scans her rune, she morphs into Valentine!  The entire sequence was a test. “Your skills may be unparalleled,” he says, “but your loyalty is sorely lacking.” Jace is injected with a tranquilizer and Valentine has his men chain him up. 

And that was all before the opening title sequence!

Photo By Freeform/John Medland, Acquired From Freeform Press Site
Photo By Freeform/John Medland, Acquired From Freeform Press Site /

At the NY Institute, Alec, Izzy, Magnus and Lydia plan their mission to find Jace, but Alec is anxious because he can’t feel Jace through their parabatai bond.

Magus tries to assure Alec that they’ll find Jace soon. Despite efforts to look for him, Magnus is unable to locate Jace, which makes Alec bark orders, as he frustratingly reminds them that his brother is missing. No one can get him to see reason, and Alec storms off from the group.

Clary and Jocelyn are finally reunited, but their relationship is forever changed because of Clary’s learned independence while her mother had been kidnapped. Clary quickly challenges her mother and demands to know why she was lied to and who she really is. Clary even shows her mother the box from under the floorboards that contains the token from Jonathan. Clary tells her that his name is Jace and that he’s alive. Jocelyn doesn’t believe her because she saw Jonathan burn. Luke arrives right on cue, and Jocelyn demands answers from him about her son. Before they can dive into the conversation, Simon shows up and Jocelyn learns that he’s been turned into a vampire in her absence. This conversation is put on pause again when they receive an urgent message to return to the Institute.

On the roof of the Institute, Alec apologizes to Magnus, saying, “Jace is a part of me. Through our rune we are physically and emotionally connected. If he dies, a part of me dies too.” Magnus wants to support Alec and help him, but doesn’t want to use magic to help Alec track Jace via the rune because the last time they tried it, Alec was almost killed. Magnus doesn’t want to lose him. Letting his emotions get to him, Alec overreacts once more and demands to know why Magnus can’t help, implying that Magnus is in debt to him. Alec realizes the weight of his words and surprise — he storms off again.

Here comes a major change for the Season, the introduction of Victor Aldertree, who will be the new Head of the NY Institute, as the current leadership was deemed “wholly ineffective.” Needless to say, Izzy, Alec and Lydia aren’t having any of it. Aldertree wants to interview everyone who was on the mission when Jace disappeared. He also puts the building on lockdown, which means no one is out looking for Jace…

Jace is hangs from the ceiling by his wrists, being beaten and tortured by his father’s men. Valentine calls it off and stands inches away from Jace, who shows no sign of weakness. Jace hasn’t lost his dark humor or his spirit. “I killed you twice today. You want to go for another round?” Valentine simply scans one of Jace’s runes and tells his son that he wants to talk. He has Jace cleaned up and brought upstairs.

So that’s it? No more torture? Time for a business meeting? This is proving to be one of the strangest father-son relationships on television…

Clary is being interviewed (interrogated?) by Aldertree, and she confirms that the fight with Valentine was an impossible situation. Clary reveals, however, that Jace knew Valentine was coming and didn’t do anything to stop him. Victor finds it curious that Jace knew Valentine was setting a trap, and Clary’s aware of her mistake, and Aldertree is more determined than ever to find Jace, but for what purpose?

In the kitchens on the ship, Valentine is cooking spaghetti (of course he is) and Jace (back to being clean and shiny), refuses to allow any kind of “bonding” to happen. Jace reaches for a carving knife and attempts to stab his father, but Valentine is too quick, and the knife goes flying into the wall. Valentine still wants to earn his son’s trust, and tells Jace to ask him anything he wants. “As Michael Wayland, I knew that you’d be safe.”

Jace refuses to accept this as a rationale for the lies; he’s angry that he spent years mourning the loss of his father. Valentine argues that the trauma made Jace stronger, but Jace doesn’t let him have an ounce of credit, saying that it was the Lightwoods who raised him to be strong. “All you’ve ever done is lie to me.”

Valentine tells Jace that his mother deserted him because of his blood, and Valentine allows Jace to see a memory: Valentine injecting demon blood into Jace while his was still in his mother’s womb?! So Jace hasn’t just “felt” stronger than everyone around him his entire life, he physically and chemically is much stronger. Jace was always going to be Valentine’s perfect weapon.

Photo By Freeform/John Medland, Acquired From Freeform Press Site /

Alec tries to make amends with Magnus, who says that he doesn’t owe Alec anything. “You didn’t risk anything for me. You did it for you.” Magnus makes it clear to Alec that he doesn’t want anything to do with him, but the Institute alarm sounds and Jace is identified as the cause for an emergency meeting.

Aldertree still wants to find Jace, but is now convinced that he was a conspirator in Valentine’s plan. He announces to the entire room that Clary had provided the clue he needed to locate Jace. There are also some new rules in town: Downworlders are forbidden from entering the Institute, but Luke pushes back, saying that his badge gives him access to information that the Institute needs. Simon realizes that it’s almost dawn and he has nowhere to go if he’s forced out, but Aldertree has no chill. Luckily, Luke is there to help.

Aldertree announces that Jace is a traitor because he knew about the trap and that Jace had multiple chances to kill Valentine, but didn’t. Surprise, surprise — Clary and company is also banned from participating in the hunt for Jace. Victor also lifts the lockdown order for everyone, except for Clary and Jocelyn. Clary’s convinced that if Victor’s men find Jace, they’ll kill him, but Jocelyn gets Clary to back down.

Photo By Freeform/John Medland, Acquired From Freeform Press Site
Photo By Freeform/John Medland, Acquired From Freeform Press Site /

Luke and Simon have some bonding time, but Simon is left alone when Luke needs to leave. Luke assures him that he can remain in the warehouse on the docks, but Simon is approached by other vampires who don’t want him there. Simon is frustrated when his spell to control them doesn’t work, and they easily throw Simon in a garage. Once he’s alone, Simon is able to fly up into the air and gently drops himself down in a canoe to sleep.

Izzy and Clary, unable to talk in private, decide to work on physical training and sparing. Izzy reveals via metaphors to Clary that she has a plan for how Clary can escape and look for Jace, and it involves “becoming your enemy.”

Taking Izzy’s advice quite literally, Clary disguised herself as Aldertree to leave the Institute and finds Luke, but Luke gives her location away to Jocelyn, and within minutes, Jocelyn has Clary and Simon both locked in the garage. Simon continues to work on his vampire skills to help break them out, but he admits that he’s enjoying their “together time.” Just as Simon was about to admit to Clary that he was in love with her, his focus bursts the door open, and they’re able to escape.

At Magnus’ apartment, we learn that Magnus has agreed to help Alec track Jace using their combined abilities, despite the potential risks. Alec is able to see through his vision that Jace is on land, not on the ship. Alec immediately rushes back out to the Institute. When Aldertree finds out the news, he orders Alec and Izzy to be on lockdown so that they’ll be unable to interfere with Jace’s capture/rescue.

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Jace and Valentine arrive at a pizza parlor that has been overtaken by Maria, the leader of a vampire nest. When faced with a dozen vamps, Jace is able to kill them all easily. Was this the point of coming here? For Valentine to prove to Jace just how lethal he is because of the demon blood? Jace’s ethics hold him back from killing Maria though, because when the wooden stake is at her throat, she announces her commitment to the accords. Valentine wants Jace to kill her anyway. Jace is hesitant, but he taunts her, causing her to lunge at his throat. We’re not sure if she fell into the stake or if Jace stabbed her, but either way, she winds up dead like Valentine had planned.

Arriving at the scene, Clary and Simon sprint toward Jace, but Jocelyn is too fast. She shoots at Jace with a crossbow, and in a surprise move, Valentine dives in front of him. The spike shoots through Valentine’s chest (how many times can one character be stabbed in an episode?) and Jace helps him back through the portal before Jocelyn can hit them, leaving Clary and Simon as witnesses. Quite the family reunion, no?

What did you think of the premiere? Tweet your thoughts to @HiddenRemote to join the conversation on #Shadowhunters.