We Review the Latest Episode of Shadowhunters SN02 EP05 – “Dust & Shadows”


To say Season 1 of Shadowhunters was a great success would be an understatement in comparison to its predecessor. As viewers, we were taken on a journey that carried the weight of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones which couldn’t have been achieved without significant effort both on and off screen. However, we are not here to have a debate on who did it better, are we? So let us, in turn, take a trip down 2nd Ave (the home of our New York Institute,) get brought up to speed on season 2, and prepare to go demon hunting.

Beware unglamoured spoilers lurk below.

Season 2 Episodes 1 – 4 Recap 

Season 2 starts with Jace Wayland, now Clary’s brother (sorry Clace fans,) trapped in Valentine’s clutches, the institute searching for his whereabouts, and Alec his parabatai willing to go to any length to find him. Unfortunately, the valiant rescue effort turns into a race against the Clave as Aldertree, a representative from Idris, becomes the new head of the New York Institute and the search for Jace becomes a hunt for a traitor instead.

Through the use of a piece of Adamas, given to Alec via Jocelyn, Alec tries to use the parabatai bond to find his missing brother before the institute can. However, as all good things do, the piece of adamas comes at a price. Trapped within his memories, we are forced to look on as Alec slowly loses himself. On the bright side, Clary having made it aboard the ship where Jace is, albeit not by choice, enlists Dot’s aid and manages to free both herself and Jace from Valentine’s clutches. However, their troubles do not end there.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep3 Parabatai Lost

With the race to save Alec’s life on, Jace will find himself tossed from one bad situation into another. Forced to outrun an angry pack of werewolves, with a little bit of help from Isabelle, Luke, and Clary, Jace inevitably saves Alec yet at the cost of his freedom.

Meanwhile, a demon ends up loose in the Institute injuring some shadowhunters and killing some others including Jocelyn, providing cover for Valentine to attempt to free Jace from the City of Bones and retrieve the Mortal Sword. Unfortunately, what he did not count on was Jace’s defiance and refusal to go with him. Still, Valentine gets the Mortal Sword, and Jace saves Aldertree, who was present at his trial which happened before the invasion. Valentine’s rescue and retrieval mission in the City of Bones came with the cost of the lives of several Silent Brothers and Hodge.


“Dust and Shadows”

Picking up after the recap of episode 4, viewers find Alec (Matthew Daddario) letting out his frustrations with bow and arrow atop the Institute. Neither loosing arrows, nor Jace’s (Dominic Sherwood) sudden appearance or his words that set Alec’s bow upon him can assuage his guilt though over Jocelyn’s death. Jace’s insistence that no one blames him when it was the demon’s fault rather than his own, however, is enough to send Alec over the edge. Still, guilt-ridden over his inability to help Jace escape Valentine and in the City of Bones, Jace’s words push Alec to the edge of the rooftop, where he vanishes into the night.

Next, we find Simon (Alberto Rosende) saying a prayer for Clary’s (Katherine McNamara) mother in his hideaway, the boat shed by Jade Wolf. The moment he says “Amen,” Clary admits three key things: That she is worried for Luke who is MIA, that Simon’s death had wrecked her inside, and most importantly, that she does not know how to accept or move on from her mother’s death. Many fans of the book series and those invested in her character are just as unaccepting, so Clary’s wonder of “this insane world” brings hope as she heads to Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.) to see if he cannot help bring her mother back.
Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows

At Magnus’s apartment, Magnus confirms that it is possible to resurrect someone using magic. However, he has never cast such a dark, unpredictable spell nor will he. Clary unwilling to let things go pleads further causing Magnus to divulge a new bit of backstory. At the age of nine, when his mother learned she had given birth to the child of a demon she committed suicide. This news leaves Clary uncertain how to proceed, but not Magnus. Offering up one of his memories in the form of a photograph of her and her mother, along with a short tale, he imparts a bit of sage advice to Clary. That while the pain won’t go away, it will get easier to manage. Still unwilling to accept the truth Clary tells Simon to go home and heads back to the Institute.

Move now to the institute where Aldertree delivers the news that not only did the Clave exonerate Jace of his purported traitor-like behaviour due to saving Aldertree in the City of Bones, but that Lydia Branwell is recovering in Idris. To top it all off, we see that Izzy (Emeraude Toubia) with her usual cheeky banter is out of the infirmary back at Jace’s side and, when not throwing shade at a member of the Lightwood family, the resident shadowhunters of the New York Institute are giving Jace suspicious glances instead.

Set within the chapel, Clary stands beside her mother’s covered body reflecting on the things she wishes she would’ve done and is soon after that joined by Jace. Moments later she realizes that her brother is also grieving for the mother who will never have the opportunity to get to know him.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows

Now more hellbent than ever on finding a way to bring her mother back Clary takes to the institute’s computer database to find a warlock capable of performing the spell. Finding Dr. Iris Rouse, she heads off to what turns out to be the woman’s medical practice three story and home. Upon arrival she inquires point blank if she can bring her mother back to life and Iris informs her that it can be done, however, she will require a lock of her mother’s hair or a fingernail and compensation. Clary willing to do anything to get her mother back presses on, albeit not without a modicum of caution as the warlock requests an unknown favor deemed payable at whatever time Dr. Iris sees fit. However, for those of us who understand how downworlder favors work (especially if you have read any of Cassandra Clare’s books,) we are keenly aware that this is not apt to end well.

Meanwhile sent home to his mother by Clary’s request we now follow Simon who is leaving what sounds like another voicemail for Luke, asking him to get in touch not just for Clary’s sake but his. Follow this up with an emotional hug-filled reunion with his mother, a promise to live at home so long as his mother promises not worry about him being out all night and sleeping all day. Elated to have him home Simon’s warning signs sail right over his mother’s head. Unaware of Jocelyn’s death his mother suggests they invite both Clary and her mother over for dinner, to which Simon uncertainly agrees. Talk about heartbreaking!

Back at the Institute, Aldertree sits Jace down for a chat about discipline and how by saving his life back in the City of Bones he has allowed Valentine to run off with the Mortal Sword. Jace, of course, takes the blow about as well as can be expected. However, to top it all off, Aldertree informs him that he will be sending a team to the Adamant Citadel, where the Iron Sisters reside, to see what they can learn about the sword and that until further notice Jace is banned from field duty.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust & Shadow Alec and Magnus

Across town, at Magnus’s apartment, we pick up with Alec who is hitched on the fire escape, his hand battered and expression a solemn one. Magnus picks up on the fact that Alec is trying to drown out his emotional pain with physical pain and unwilling to heal himself. In another moment that will bring us closer to the episodes driving plotline, Magnus will embolden Alec to face Clary by reminding him that while he does not always know what to do immediately, he will find a way to make things right.

Sneaking into the dimly lit chapel at the Institute Clary cuts free a lock of her mother’s hair only to get caught by Jace. While Clary reveals the warlock that she met in Park Slope, Jace opposingly implores her not to attempt this. He warns her that there is no guarantee her mother will come back as she was; in fact, she might come back as a demon.

Asleep in his pitch black room Simon is stirred by a series of incessant knocks at his door. Becky enters and is immediately suspicious of his darkened room and overly excited hug. Against Simon’s protest’s she opens the curtains and stumbles upon a thermos full of blood that she realizes isn’t fake but quite real. Worried that something is genuinely wrong with her younger brother, Becky informs him that she is pouring it down the toilet and sprints out of his bedroom.

Caught up in a sparring match Izzy and Jace are letting out their pent up frustrations. Trouble strikes for Izzy though when Jace takes notice of her holding back due to the lingering strain from her demon wound. Izzy plays it cool but when she is knocked down, is slow to rise, and fails to catch the stick tossed her way. Jace is adamant that she should have someone look at her injury. To help deter a potential rebuttal he shares with her Aldertree’s plans to send a team to the Adamant Citadel, home of the Iron Sisters, one of which Izzy wanted to be once until she realized that Iron Sisters could not have romantic attachments.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows

Determined to be on the mission and prove Jace wrong, Izzy goes to see Aldertree and formally requests that she head up the mission. Aldertree having been a field medic first, and a diplomat second, informs her that she cannot go without an examination to see how her wound from the demon attack is healing. Izzy outright lies when asked whether or not the wound is causing her pain, and upon closer inspection of her shoulder Aldertree informs her that it is a venom infection which healing runes do little to heal. Aldertree offers Izzy a solution by sparingly applying Yin Fen to the base of her spine. He allows Izzy to keep his tin of Yin Fen but warns her that “a little goes a long way.”

Clary mourns alone in her bedroom only to be interrupted by Alec, and it is clear from her tone of voice she’d rather not be apologized to or told her idea regarding Dr. Iris is a bad idea. But, Alec does not give her the opportunity to get a word in edgewise; Instead, he apologizes for the actions he would do anything to take back. Much to our pleasant surprise, Clary shares her warlock idea with Alec who is quick to initially agree, thus turning the two into perhaps the most unlikely of allies. The question is, how will this turn out for the pair?

At Dr. Rouse’s office, Clary is taken aback when Iris does not answer the door, however when her name is mentioned Dr. Rouse steps into the picture, almost a little too conveniently. Quick to greet Alec, presuming he’s her boyfriend, to which both Clary and Alec seem disgusted by the notion, she informs Alec that not only can she see through his glamour but that he’ll need to leave his weapons in the alcove. In the alcove, Clary is quick to announce that she brought a lock of her mother’s hair which Dr. Rouse follows up with the requirement that Clary’s blood must be taken for the oath. Alec isn’t sure about this and requests to see Dr. Rouse’s credentials. While Clary seems to both understand and appreciate his concern she assures him that she will be okay. Alec is left to wait downstairs with Madzie, Dr. Rouse’s god child. Meanwhile, upstairs the spell begins with Clary’s mother’s hair placed upon the table as she focuses on a positive memory of her mother.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadowsc

Frantically Simon paces his bedroom as he struggles to keep his ravenous hunger in check. Much to his dismay, a knock resounds on his door. Come to find out it is his mother who, upon entering sees his untouched dinner and begins to broach the subject of his odd behavior. When Simon ends up coming out to his mother about being a vampire, she simply thinks it is one of his best pranks yet. Upon realizing that his mother does not believe him, he pleads with her to understand, even though it’s crazy to believe him. Wrapping her arms around her son she reassures him that she does believe him, but from the look in her eye, we as viewers know better.

With the spell and Dr. Rouse’s chanting underway Clary struggles to maintain focus as the crow, Dr. Rouse brought back to life earlier as proof, pecks fervently against the window. Instructed to focus on her mother by Dr. Rouse, the bird smashes through the window, and after flying about the room a few times finds its neck snapped by the same doctor that gave it back its life. Horrified and realizing something is terribly amiss Clary snatches her mother’s lock of hair up off the table and tells Dr. Rouse to stop.

In the alcove, Madzie rather than standing guard by the stairs approaches Alec, who proceeds to chat with her once more. Although she does not answer verbally, when asked where her toys are she points upstairs, giving Alec the opportunity to notice the gills on her neck, confirming what seemed to be a sneaking suspicion that other warlocks or demons lived in the house. Hearing a baby cry from upstairs Madzie wanders off, leaving Alec to free to follow her.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows Alec and Madzie

Dr. Rouse attempts to reassure Clary over the incident with the bird. However, Clary isn’t buying it. Apologizing for wasting her time, Clary calls off the deal; However, with the blood oath already made, Dr. Rouse points out she’ll still owe her a favor. Irritated, Clary tells her to call on her when needed and much to her dismay that time is now. Proclaiming that warlocks are a dying breed, Dr. Rouse obtained an elixir, which Clary realizes spiked her tea, making a shadowhunter capable of being impregnated by a demon. Quick to trap Clary within an invisible box Dr. Rouse explains that once Clary has given birth, she will erase her memories and send her on her way.

On the second floor, Alec is quick to speak with the nurse, who at first doesn’t seem to remember Clary. Taken to the very sitting room where Dr. Rouse and Clary had just been Alec inspects the room only to find there’s no one inside.

Training with a renewed vigor on her own, Jace is quick to comment on Izzy’s improved condition which is quickly glossed over in favor of knowing where Clary is. Izzy informs him that she left with Alec only a few hours prior. Jace, bristling with concern, shares what he knows with Izzy, setting both off on a search to find and aid the pair they imagine are in over their heads.

Still, in Dr. Rouse’s office and home, Alec attempts to learn of Clary’s whereabouts. Instead, the nurse divulges that she and all of the other mother’s who come and go, have their memories wiped after they have given birth. Meanwhile, trapped in a dark basement riddled with cobwebs, dust, and chains we find Clary stirring on the floor. On the far side of the room, a metal sliding door creaks open allowing an oil slick hand half the size of a torso to curl around the corner of the wall. Soon after that, we get our first look at a misshapen demon crawling right for her.

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows

Simon and Izzy arrive on the scene and decide splitting up is the best way to cover the most ground. Alec corners Dr. Rouse only to find himself thrown by magic against the ceiling before crashing onto the floor. Saved by Madzie who does not approve of her nana’s behavior, it doesn’t take Izzy long to find her brother and jump into the fray, whip swinging. Using what appears to be potentially a combination of magic or Madzie, Izzy’s whip relents permitting Dr. Rouse to portal the pair out of the house but not without telling them that they can rescue Clary but her favor will remain valid.

Clary in an attempt to defend herself yanks free a chain and brandishes it like a whip to fend off the demon. Unfortunately, the demon rips it clean out of her hands leaving Clary scrambling in fear for her stele. Held out before her the demon halts for an instant and in the dark Clary sees a rune which she instantly etches into her palm. Thrusting her hand forward a beam of light shoots out of her palm disintegrating the demon into ash. Mere seconds later a confused Jace rushes into the room. Quick to explain what she saw Jace takes Clary’s hand inspecting for the rune she saw and drew but there is no faint scar left in its wake. Uncertain as to what this means, Jace asks her to keep what happened a secret between them, which she follows through on when Alec and Izzy appear not too long after.

Pacing through the hallway Simon’s mother speaks, to what sounds like a receptionist, in a hurried but low tone of voice over the phone stating at first that it is not and then that it is a medical emergency, only to clarify further that she does not know what is going on. After she hangs up her mother enters Simon’s room only to find him huddled in a corner, face covered in blood, eating a rat.

Back within the walls of the institute, we catch Izzy using a small dose of the Yin Fen, as instructed, at the top of her spine and clearly from her look of ecstasy she’s enjoying it. Is anyone else, who is also a fan of the book series, just a little bit upset and worried about how this is going to turn out given the side effects of Yin Fen?

Shadowhunters S2 Ep5 Dust and Shadows Yin Fen Isabelle

Inside the chapel, the bodies of the fallen all lay cloaked in white fabric dappled in rose petals, while the shadowhunters present all wear white to mourn the fallen. Enter Alec and Jace walking side by side. Pan next to Aldertree, who approaches Isabelle, commenting on how her shoulder appears to be healing well. Isabelle segways and instead inquires why Luke and Simon are not present which Aldertree explain is due to a decision the Clave made. Joined by a wary Clary, Jace approaches. Clary explains that she cannot do this alone and Jace offers his hand, reassuring her that she can and not to let go of him.  Guided up to where their fallen brethren lay, Clary and Jace stop beside Jocelyn’s covered body. As is tradition, the kin of the fallen speaks their names so that the remaining shadowhunters may say their piece. Clary choking on her mother’s first name breaks down into tears and for support clings to Jace, who utters her mother’s name for her. Led by Jace’s gentle hand, Clary comes to stand between a hurting Alec and Jace. Down the line the Silent Brothers move, their steles gracing the head of each corpse allowing them to, with a rune etched upon the back wall, set their spirits free of their mortal bodies.

In the last scene, we see the stars glittering overhead as Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) lays naked amidst a bed of leaves surrounded by trees. His bones crack as they begin to shift and a howl splits the air.

Dying to catch a glimpse of what’s to come next? Check out the Shadowhunters Season 2 Episode 6 sneak peak below!

The Good
  • New plot devices introduced
  • Magnus Bane Backstory
  • Izzy & Jace bonding
  • Izzy cooking reference
  • Accurate book nod on Simon's storyline
  • Malec!
The Bad
  • Jocelyn's permanent death (If you've read the books you likely agree.)
  • Yin Fen. Period. End of Story.
4.5 Superb

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