The hunt for Valentine is on. But the real challenge for Jace and Clary is to feel comfortable being around each other again.
Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16 paired these two up together to find the man they've each called father at one point. There was so much baggage between them. But they had the time to work it out.
"Day of Atonement" was a relationship filler episode.
Much of the time was spent giving more depth and layers to a few of the relationships that were pushed aside for most of the season (i.e. Clary/Jace, Maia/Simon, Jonathan/Valentine). With exception to revealing some big twists, Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16 was pretty uneventful.
Clary/Jace went looking for Valentine in Idris but got stopped by the lake water. Simon brought Maia to Yom Kippur. Jonathan had a long overdue chat with his absent father. All three stories were confined to specific areas for the purpose of leading to bigger moments later in the season.
Don't get me wrong, we don't need action sequences to drive the flow. In fact, I've loved the exposition-filled, character-driven moments on Shadowhunters. However, to get to the big reveals on Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16, the pace was more tepid by comparison to other similar arcs.
Ethereal wasn't talking about you. He was talking about my brother. He's still alive.Clary
Did Clary handle the news of her brother being alive a little too well?
Even though she chalked up the first warning from the angel to a hallucination, she still handled the news well. If someone told me my demonic "dead" brother was up and around, I would be freaking out.
She was more freaked about the paranoia caused by the water and being around her former brother/crush.
Jonathan and Valentine got the reunion we've all been waiting for, and it was...terrifying.
Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16 was a Jonathan-centric therapy episode. He had A LOT of things to get off his chest, and he used much of the time to chat with his father. I was surprised he didn't end up killing Valentine based on what he revealed about Edom.
Similar to what I discussed in the Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 15 review, we got some emotionally-charged father/son moments. Will Tudor did an amazing job tapping into his character's resentment while Alan Van Sprang balanced both fear and concern for the son he hurt. I couldn't look away from these scenes.
What's even better is that this plot confirms Valentine is still alive (for the time being). And that Will Tudor is sticking around as Jonathan's physical identity.
Jonathan: I've spent years clinging to my memories of freedom, imagining what I'd feel when I finally made it back. Would I be happy? Angry? As hard as I tried, I could never quite picture it. In the end I felt nothing, just the unforgiving cold of the winter air.
[He pushes Valentine forward]
Jonathan: I guess it's true what they say. You can never go back home.
The special effects for "Day of Atonement," while minimal, were a nice added touch. I'm not sure why, but the portal Clary created within the Institute looked less CGI than normal. (Is that weird?)
Also, why do you think Clary's portal left behind shards of glass?
At first, I thought it had something to do with being inside the Institute, but I'm going with the rune signature itself. Clary channeled this in mid-air from a location symbol in Idris. It isn't an ordinary transport; Clary could have another ability to create portals at will.
Does anyone else hope Simon and Maia become a couple? I've been shipping them for a while now, and it never happened.
Don't get me wrong, they gave it a shot on Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 7, but it didn't lead anywhere once Simon and Clary got together. I've always thought Maia/Simon were a much better pairing than Clary/Simon.
The only reason they didn't work out was due to Simon's original feelings for Clary; it wasn't because he didn't like Maia.
Alberto Rosende and Alisha Wainwright (Simon and Maia, respectively) have amazing chemistry together. I loved watching their banter and friendly flirtation. The Blade Runner dig alone made me smile.
Elaine: Alright, you're next Simon.
Simon: I did a lot of bad stuff this year. But, I think I can move past it. I'm not gonna let it ruin my life.
Rebecca: So, what did you do? Did you double park the van? Did you smoke weed?
Simon: I, umm...
Maia: Worse. I got us tickets to go to a Blade Runner marathon and he ditched me for another girl.
[Elaine and Rebecca gasp, Maia gives Simon a cheeky smile]
Who else loved Simon's grandmother? She might be one of my favorite new characters.
She barely had any lines or involvement, but the funniest moment of Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16 was when Maia introduced herself as Simon's girlfriend.
Simon's grandmother was not only impressed but watching the slow transition of her facial expression as she's proud and then happily agreed with Simon's choice of a girlfriend was everything!
This is a GIF I need in my life. Hopefully, her approval brings these two together.
Alec and Robert's father/son relationship doesn't seem like it changed much after "Day of Atonement." It's still pretty distant and cold.
Sure, I understand that Robert loves his son and did what he could to protect him (off-screen). However, his relationship with Alec is like night and day with that of Alec's relationship with Maryse. The latter is more loved and warm while this was like business as usual.
If it had not been for the Soul Sword twist reveal, Robert's inclusion in Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 16 would've been pointless.
Jonathan: See, I may be grotesque in my own skin, but with it I have power that you could only dream of.
Valentine: Then why keep the Verlac boy's visage if you're weaker for it?
Jonathan: I think it rather suits me, don't you? As so does the accent. A bit more charming than a demonic beast with burnt flesh.
Valentine: Jonathan, I know what I did to you was horrific, but let me make it up to you. Azazel was after the Mortal Cup. Unchain me and it's yours.
Jonathan: You still don't understand, do you? See, I don't give a damn about your Mortal Instruments. I used Azazel to stage an attack against the Lightwood girl in order to gain access to the Institute. Whatever he did after that, however amusing, was none of my concern.
Valentine: And then you wouldn't take me here to just torture me to death? So what are you planning?
Jonathan: Don't worry, Father. You'll find out soon enough.
Speaking of the Soul Sword disappearance, has the Clave learned anything? Why are they hiding this?!
The Downworlders are already mad at the Shadowhunters for causing the deaths in the fight against Valentine. By hiding a big problem from everyone, it could cause a war. They need to be uniting together to find that weapon.
And the fact that Jonathan (Shadowhunters Season 2 Big Bad) has the sword means he could do anything with it. Especially if Valentine gives him the Mortal Cup too.
What did you think of "Day of Atonement"? Will Simon start pursuing Maia again? Will the Downworlders discover that the Soul Sword is missing? What plan do Jonathan and Valentine have in mind next?
If you missed the latest episode of Shadowhunters, you can watch Shadowhunters online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and let us know what you think.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.