Shadowhunters is nearing the end of the season and tonight’s episode, “A Dark Reflection” seems to set things in motion for a gruesome conclusion!
The episode starts off with Clary having a nightmare about her time in Lake Lyn, only to be woken up by Jace, who heard her cries through the halls. Of course, he’s shirtless and jump hops right onto her bed to comfort her because the tension is real!
The two get to talking about Jonathan, Clary’s brother, when Clary realizes there may be a way to find him. She rushes over to Jocelyn’s box of keepsakes from Jonathan’s childhood… and finds it empty. Someone has taken steps to make sure she can’t track him down.
Of course, that someone is Sebastian aka Jonathan, who is shacking up with his dad Valentine in his tiny apartment. The two have a really interesting dynamic: Valentine wants to control Jonathan’s thoughts and decisions, but he’s still clearly afraid of him. The subject of Clary is particularly sticky, because Jonathan believes she still loves him. We watch as Jonathan disavows Jocelyn with Valentine’s urging, burning his childhood keepsakes.
Meanwhile, the Lightwood siblings are having quite the struggle. Max is nearing the end of training and The Clave has approved him for his first official mission. Because all Shadowhunter youth are essentially child soldiers in the war against demons, Alec is mostly agreeable to the idea of Max starting missions. Max is super pumped and ready to go. Isabelle, however, doesn’t think that young, inexperienced Shadowhunters should be going on mission in the age of Valentine’s war. There are just too many threats out there, and eager Max doesn’t understand the severity of it. He only knows that he’s been prepared for this his whole life and no matter what, it’s what he’s supposed to do with his life.
Jonathan and Valentine still have Sister Cleophas in captivity, and they’re banking on her abilities as an Iron Sister to fix The Mortal Sword. However, whatever Clary has done doesn’t seem to be fixable. So Valentine announces a new plan: Find the third Mortal Instrument, The Mortal Mirror, and raise the angel Raziel, who will grant him one wish: To wipe out the Downworld.
At The Hunter’s Moon, Simon is feeling good after Maia came to his family dinner, so he asks her on a paddleboat date. Unfortunately Maia isn’t ready to start a relationship or be Simon’s rebound, so after an awkward exchange, Simon gives up.
Alec is caught up in the bureaucracy of running The Institute, but Magnus is the best boyfriend ever and brings dinner to him. A lobstah dinner– Be still my New England born heart! Magnus talks about trust and yet, Alec still can’t bring himself to tell Magnus the secret of The Mortal Sword.
In the quest for The Mortal Mirror, Jonathan finds himself in a bookshop. It quickly becomes clear that the owner, Elliott Norse, is a warlock and Jonathan believes he knows about The Mortal Mirror. When Elliott attacks, Jonathan nearly kills him. Valentine stops him just in time and instead, they opt for torture. Elliott tells them nothing and eventually kills himself.
Apparently, Elliott was one of Jocelyn’s besties and part of Clary’s childhood, even though we’ve never heard of him before. Investigating this death with Jace and Sebastian (the latter of whom shows up after another “alert” only he seems to get) is worsened when she realizes Jonathan was there. While Jace wants to end Jonathan’s threat once and for all, Clary still sees the possibility for humanity in her brother ans wants to save him.
Clary is even more surprised when Dot shows up baring a mark that passed to her following Elliott’s death, the secret map that leads to The Mortal Mirror. Jace and Clary confide in Alec, who in turn tells them about The Mortal Sword. Meanwhile, at different interval, Max and Sebastian lurking, taking notes on Jonathan’s heirloom box and Dot’s map to The Mortal Mirror… because nobody bothers to close the door before having very sensitive conversations.
Jonathan and Valentine meet in the middle of the city– adding in those fake subway signs was a pretty good move– where Valentine tries to convince his son that Clary doesn’t care about him. We’re reminded of how dangerous Jonathan can be as he nearly goes full demon on the street.
Meanwhile, Cleophas manages to throttle one of Valentine’s guards and steal his stele. She fights hard yet still gets re-captured, but not before firing off (literally) a message to Luke about The Mortal Sword.
Simon is easing his heartache and Isabelle’s worries with a fun task. He’s helping Max train against a real vampire and totally getting his butt kicked. THIS is the Simon I love; Not anxious and sputtering but confident and vivacious in his nerdom.
The connection he has with The Lightwoods is really sweet and when the three head to Jade Wolf, Maia doesn’t know how to take it. She assumes Simon is also pursuing Isabelle and when they leave, Isabelle encourages Simon to prove himself to Maia. A little meddlesome, but points for good intentions!
Good news! Dot and Clary have pinpointed the area where The Mortal Mirror is hidden. As they’re about to leave on the mission with Jace, Sebastian stops by to check on Clary and brings up her brother. Clary makes a passionate plea for Jonathan’s possible salvation. He’s so thrilled by it that he kisses her. EWWWWW!
I’d hoped the show would shimmer down Jonathan’s incestuous obsession with his sister, but apparently not! Clary tries to let him down easy, not realizing just how awkward that truly was, and heads out on her mission, flustered. She leaves her brother in her room, where he steals a hairband to use for tracking.
Luke receives Cleophas’ fire message and heads out to visit the only other Downworlder he truly trusts: Magnus Bane. He tells him about The Mortal Sword and Valentine’s plan to raise Raziel, but Magnus has a very hard time believing it. Why would Alec hide this from him? He goes to The Institute to confront Alec and the truth spills out, ugly and shameful. Afterward, Magnus is ripping mad, tossing furniture and making plans to meet with The Seelie Queen, who openly wants war against Shadowhunters. It is a massive departure from the calm ferocity and keen thoughtfulness we love about Magnus, so I’m a little torn about this.
Isabelle returns to the Jade Wolf, where her meddling gets a little weird. She basically approaches Maia and says “Girl, who hurt you?!” Maia tells her to mind her own business, but not too aggressively. Isabelle exults all the greatness of Simon and taking chances on people and by the end, Maia seems a bit more inspired. She soon visits Simon and the two promise to take it slow, but still go on that paddleboat date.
Clary, Jace, and Dot reach the park where the ley lines cross and find The Mortal Mirror (conduit? Because if the final Mortal Instrument is an actual compact mirror in the long run of this show, I’ll laugh at them at lot). Just then, Jonathan charges the group in full demon form in nearly kills Jace. Clary talks him down by offering him either The Mortal Mirror (stupid!) or sanctuary (sweet, but still pretty stupid!)
Just as he seems to soften, Dot blasts him with a spell and sending Clary, Jace, and the mirror through a portal. For some reason, Dot thinks she must stick around to stop Jonathan. It seemed like she’s gonna get held captive again, because this character just. won’t. die. despite practically begging to be killed with every move she makes.
Back in the safety of The Institute, Clary and Jace examine The Mortal Mirror, and Clary has another vision of drowning in the lake with a few added features. She realizes that these visions are trying to tell her something important.
In a chilling final scene, Sebastian searches through Alec’s office drawers hastily. Does he really think the Head of the New York Institute left a precious object laying in a drawer in his office? Common sense: Apparently not available everywhere. When Max interrupts, Sebastian tries to brush off his actions. It might have worked if not for one thing: Max found a single baby hair in Jonathan’s baby box that everyone else missed. He began to track it. It leads him to that room. Max knows that Sebastian is truly Jonathan.