SHADOWHUNTERS “Bad Blood” recap and commentary

We get into the Shadowhunters episode 1×08 “Bad Blood” recap, which focuses on Simon’s death as well as the Lightwood family in danger of losing control of the Institute.  

Check out our “Bad Blood” recap and commentary, the eighth episode of Freeform’s Shadowhunters series, where we go over the important moments from the episodes, adding some visual aids from the episode!

We open to Jace and Clary talking about the Mortal Cup, which she’s holding in her hand. He tells her the first rule of shadowhunting – “when something explodes, just keep walking. Never think twice. Never look away.”

When she asks what the second rule is, Izzy snags the Cup with her whip and says “there’s nothing a Shadowhunter can’t do in heels.”

If that was really the second rule of shadowhunting, I would know I’d fail.  

Clary puts the Cup back in the tarot card.

As Alec is looking at their BA monitor, Jace asks why he looks so worried since downworlders can’t get into the Institute unless invited by a Shadowhunter. Alec wants to give the Cup back to the Clave because it’s not safe at the Institute, and Izzy agrees. But Clary doesn’t like that idea as she needs it to get her mom back. And surprise, surprise, Jace sides with Clary. Alec is again reluctant, but doesn’t argue with Jace and puts the card with the Cup in it in the safe. Clary tries to thank him, but he tells her not to mistake what he’s doing for her as friendship.

Oh Alec, you grumpy cat! 

Clary leaves a message for Simon, but it’s apparent she hasn’t listened to his voice mail yet.  An alarm sounds and it appears someone is trying to break into the Institute. But it’s Raphael, bringing a dead Simon to them.


They set him down on a table in a storage room/basement of the Institute. Isabelle says the vampires breached the accords, but Raphael says it was only Camille who attacked Simon. Clary blames Raphael for causing this since he’s the one who kidnapped him in the first place. Raphael suggests turning Simon since he’s a fledgling (in a state of transition) at the moment, but Jace and Izzy are against it. Raphael says they have until sunset to either turn him or stake him.

In Valetine’s lair, he’s talking to his comatose wife when a Circle member, Blackwell, returns and tells him that Clary has the Cup now and is at the Institute. He also knows that Luke is now leader of the New York pack and helped her.

Alec and Izzy go to see their parents, who are troubled by the way the Clave is handling things. Robert and Maryse brief them on what’s going on at the Clave and that the Clave is sending a convoy to observe the Institute as well as the leadership of the Lightwoods.

Clary finally listens to Simon’s voicemail message, and faults herself for getting him involved in the first place. Raphael tells her the options.

Alec is talking to his little brother Max when someone who appears to be Valentine enters. Alec is the first and only person in the room to go into action and shoots an arrow at him. Valentine catches the arrow easily, and then he turns into a female Shadowhunter who introduces herself as Lydia Branwell, envoy from the Clave.

A Branwell descendant! 


Lydia says she’s to take temporary control of the Institute, despite the Clave not informing Maryse or Robert of it. She asks for Clary, and Alec tells her that she’s in training with Jace. Lydia does not seem to approve of Valentine’s daughter being out and about in the city. But Izzy also doesn’t seem to approve of Lydia.

Two zombie-like men and Blackwell arrive in front of the Jade Wolf, the wolves’ den, and he orders them to attack the place.

Clary goes to talk to Simon’s mom; Jace is with her, but is glamoured. She’s concerned and Clary seems like she’s about to tell her the truth about Simon, but Jace distracts them before Clary tells her the truth about Simon.

Alec gets a text from Luke and about the Jade Wolf being attacked. Lydia questions Alec’s friendship with Luke, an ex-Circle member. Maryse quickly suggests Alec and Izzy go check it out, but Lydia wants to see it for herself, bringing Alec with her.

Clary and Jace go into Simon’s room, and she searches for something. She finds a pouch with the Star of David on it puts it in her bag. Jace asks what happened to telling Simon’s mom about him running away, but she couldn’t tell her that.

Jace tells Clary a story about a father who gave his 6-year-old son a falcon to train. He explains the boy trained the falcon, but the father killed the falcon because the father wanted the boy to tame it, not to love it. Jace then explains that she must listen to her head, and says the third rule of Shadowhunting – “emotions cloud judgment.” Of course, she doesn’t agree with that.

I really liked this scene not only because it’s a familiar story that’s from the book, but because Dominic did an excellent job of expressing Jace’s struggle with his emotions regarding the story, considering we know he’s the boy in the story.


As they walk to the Jade House, Lydia tells Alec that it’s been heard around Idris that Alec is looking to marry and apparently there are interested parties. He’s not happy to hear this. Lydia reveals that her parents had also tried to set her up, but she married her own love and he ended up getting killed. She advises Alec to keep to the work.

According to Lydia, the dead zombie-like creature looks like a kind of Forsaken (a mundane marked with a rune that either kills or turns the person into a zombie-type monster), but Luke said that it was more focused and it was hard to kill, unlike a regular Forsaken. Lydia wants to take the dead Forsaken to the Institute although Luke is apprehensive, but eventually agrees since the Institute has the equipment and expertise for an autopsy.

Luke knows Valentine was behind it and knows that it was to get to Luke.

Lydia reveals to Alec that Maryse and Robert were both also Circle members. Alec is shocked speechless at this revelation.

Now this is interesting indeed! I was wondering if this was going to be revealed about the parentals, or if they weren’t going to include them as being ex-Circle members.  

At the Institute, Lydia says she going to call in Magnus to make sure that no magic was used in the creation of the Forsaken. Alec looks nervous all of a sudden, but Lydia is somewhat excited to meet him since Magnus helped her great ancestor Henry Branwell create the Portal.

Another exciting mention of a familiar character from the books!  They included the fact that Magnus helped Henry with the creation of the Portal, something that could’ve been skipped over, but wasn’t! Respect!


She apologizes for springing the news about his parents to him, but he’s not mad at her. He concludes that his parents’ involvement with Valentine and the Circle is unforgivable.

Jace and Clary arrive at the Jade Wolf sometime later, and see the mess that the Forsaken had done. Clary tells Luke about Simon’s death.

Magnus is at the Institute doing his warlock-y thing on the body while Izzy preps to do the autopsy. He asks about Alec, and she reveals that their parents are trying to set him up, which takes the smile right off Magnus’ face.

While asking Clary about what to do, we flash back to when Luke was turned to a werewolf. Jocelyn is there, and he tells her to go before his first turning, and we see how he almost killed himself. He tells about the difficulties of having turned, but Jocelyn was what gave him the will to live. He tells her to make sure she does it for Simon if she decides to have him become a vampire.

Magnus comes to see Alec while he’s training, and see him he does. He gives him the preliminary findings of the autopsy. Alec is frustrated with what’s going on and he opens up to Magnus about it. Magnus suggests doing what his heart wants. Alec agrees.

It’s a small Malec moment and not much really happens, but we all loved the way Magnus reacts to the shirtlessness of Alec.  


Jace carries Simon as he follows Clary and Raphael to a graveyard. Camille arrives and tries to claim Simon back, bringing the vampire clan with her. Raphael uses this time to reveal that Camille had broken the Accords, and it works as the clan surround Camille to attack, but not before Clary gets a good punch in.

I like the idea of us seeing when and why Camille gets booted from the clan, and where Raphael takes over.  


Alec is about to bring Magnus’ findings to his parents when he stops outside the door to their office and overhears Lydia tell Maryse and Robert that the Clave will be taking full control of the Institute. Maryse tries to plead her case to Lydia, but Lydia lists all the reasons there’s nothing why she can’t do anything about it. The law is hard, but it is the law. Alec enters and let’s them know that no magic was used on the Forsaken. When Lydia asks for the report, Alec hands it to Maryse. Maryse, although upset, feels a bit mollified.

Raphael asks Clary for her final decision and she takes the shovel to bury Simon, apparently unable to stake her best friend. Clary has put Simon’s tallit (a garment worn by Jews) on him and tells him that no matter what he becomes, he’ll always be the proud man he was then to her.

Later that evening, Alec goes to talk to Lydia in private. He suggests a union between their families, so that they can strengthen their ties, restore his family’s status, and he and Lydia can run the NY Institute. He then goes down on one knee and asks Lydia to marry him.

I have a feeling she says yes, because Lydia’s desire to run an Institute would probably too tempting for her to say no.  When it comes to such politics, this is not a surprise move on the parts of Shadowhunter families. I just wonder how long they plan on running this charade as everyone knows that Alec already has someone pining for his heart, and it’s not Lydia.


As they wait, Clary tells Jace the first rule of being mundane – “love makes you stronger,” and that “love is what makes them fight harder for what they want.”

Simon claws his way out of the grave. Clary tries to talk to him, but he’s too hungry to listen to her. Raphael throws pouches filled with blood to him and Simon eagerly and messily drinks it. Clary is distressed.

Izzy is going through the autopsy and finds angel blood in the Forsaken and is curious as to why, but suddenly realizes why. We see another Forsaken crash into the Institute and attack Hodge. Alec gets there in time to save Hodge’s life, only for Hodge to save Alec’s life, too.

Simon is freaking out, but Clary is trying to reassure him that he’s the same person as before, but he runs off. Raphael promises to look after Simon and follows him. Clary is devastated.


I enjoyed this episode quite a bit, especially with the introduction of Stephanie Bennett as Lydia and the return of David Castro as Raphael.  The complications of Alec’s knowledge of his parents’ involvement in the Circle is a new twist to the story that isn’t quite in the books, but I’ve had no problems with the changes made, because many of the major elements from the books do find their way into the TV show, and yet even readers would have to watch it to see what actually happens next.  

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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