SHADOWHUNTERS | “Malec” Recap and Commentary

We fangirl with you in the “Malec” recap and commentary, the twelfth episode of the Shadowhunters series.

I may have put a little more detail into this “Malec” recap as there was just so much that I felt needed to be explained, especially since this is not only dealing with the situation between Magnus (Harry Shum, Jr.) and Alec (Matthew Daddario), but also the revelation of Jace (Dominic Sherwood) and Clary’s (Katherine McNamara) connection to each other, as well as the addition of a mole in the Institute.  But honestly, it does have a lot to do with Malec.  So, let’s do this, Shadowhunters!

Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) is prepping the Institute for Alec and Lydia’s wedding, having fellow Shadowhunters bring decorations and flowers to the wedding tent and such. Jace, who’s been looking extremely serious lately, is annoyed at all the wedding preparations, and tells Izzy that they need to focus, asking for a list of warlocks more powerful than Magnus. Izzy has the list down to twenty, but it’ll still be hard for them to figure out which warlock gave that potion to Jocelyn. Jace doesn’t care, and says he won’t make the mistake of letting Valentine go again.  Izzy asks if he’s spoken to Alec, but he says Alec is probably too busy with the wedding, and just wants to stick to the mission.

Clary and Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) are also at the Institute, looking over Jocelyn (Maxim Roy), still in her bubble. Luke apologizes to Clary for them not telling Clary about all this before, but Clary is just glad to have her mom back, and away from Valentine.

Alec comes in looking for Lydia, but Clary wants to talk to him first, and Luke leaves to get back to the station. Clary thanks Alec for helping her get Jocelyn back, but Alec thanks her for saving Isabelle by bringing the Mortal Cup back. Alec gets a message on his phone, and surprise, it’s Magnus. He tells Clary that he might have some information about Valentine or her mom and that it’s important, and excuses himself.

I find this scene funny because you can tell that Alec, and I’d like to point out how wonderful Matthew Daddario has especially been in this episode, is trying to act nonchalant about getting a message from Magnus, but he can’t even look at Clary when he tells her he has to go see Magnus, and only does so for a brief millisecond when he excuses himself.  

Alec arrives at Magnus’ asking for information about the warlock who cast the spell on Jocelyn, but Magnus wants to talk more about Alec’s wedding. Alec says there’s nothing to talk about, and explains that his marriage is about family and tradition and honor. Magnus asks what honor is there in living a lie, and about love. Magnus wants Alec to say that he’s in love with Lydia and he’ll stop pursuing him, but all he can say is he doesn’t know.


Magnus impresses upon him, with a little bit of warlock magic, the feelings of love, saying that he knows Alec feels the same way about him. Alec says that Magnus doesn’t know anything, that it’s all just a game to him, because he doesn’t risk anything. Alec doesn’t want to give up his life for Magnus even if he does have feelings for him, and he tells him that he has to do what’s right for him.

At first I wasn’t too keen on the idea that Magnus seemed to be manipulating Alec’s feelings with his warlock magic.  However, when I thought about it more, this is exactly what Alec was trying to get at about Magnus’ flirtatiousness and his seeming lack of risk in all this.  Alec, although attracted to him, couldn’t afford to risk his feelings on someone that might be toying with him.  

Clary calls Simon (Alberto Rosende) and he asks when he can see Jocelyn. She tells him that he can come the following night and also be her date to the wedding, saying that having Jace as her date is “not in the cards right now,” and that Simon is the closest person she has right now. He agrees to go.

Magnus is at the Institute the next morning to meet with Jace and Clary.  Jace and Clary are clearly uncomfortable talking with each other, and Magnus asks why they couldn’t meet at his apartment.  Jace reminds him that Hodge (Jon Cor) can’t leave the Institute, and Magnus tells them he is in a hurry to get this over with, hinting that he wants to avoid seeing Alec.

When Hodge comes in, he puts three potential warlocks on the screen, to see which one might’ve helped Jocelyn. They are listed as Theresa Gray, Ragnor Fell (Adam Kenneth Wilson), and Catarina Loss.  Magnus mentions that Ragnor Fell, one of Magnus’ oldest friends and the former High Warlock of London, is not more powerful than he, though he’s older.

Okay, Shadowhunters!  There’s Theresa Gray, Ragnor Fell, and Catarina Loss!  They only mention Ragnor’s name, but if you look closely and pause at the scene, you’ll be able to see that it is those three characters that we’re familiar with in the books that are listed, and it’s fun when they tease us like this with such references to the books.  

He also reveals that Ragnor was one of the teachers at the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris during the time Jocelyn was living there. Clary suspects that he could’ve made the potion for her and Magnus agrees with that theory, but they’d have to confront him in person.

With that said, he’s about to leave when Alec and Lydia (Stephanie Bennett) arrive. Lydia greets Magnus and says they’re about to greet some reps from the Clave, but Alec is a little annoyed that no one told him about the meeting, and wants to help. But Jace says they have it covered, and Magnus reminds him that he has people to greet. Alec and Magnus stare at each other, while everyone else looks on uncomfortably before they all separate.

Clary tries to talk to Jace about the fact that they’re now brother and sister, but he can’t seem to deal with it or her at the moment. She tells him that it’s not their fault (that they kissed, fell in love, all that) because they didn’t know. But he can’t talk about it, and leaves to get ready.


Izzy tells Alec that their parents will be arriving soon, and that Maryse is no doubt excited. Alec is finding the wedding to be quite a hassle. Izzy reminds him that he doesn’t have to go through with the wedding if he doesn’t want to, but he says he does, and she just says, “Ok.” He’s surprised she’s not arguing, but she plans to stand by him, but also plans to throw him a bachelor party.

Magnus, Jace, and Clary arrive in Idris by portal. Magnus tries some conversation by asking about the brother and sister issue, which drives Jace and Clary to argue. Magnus mentions that Jocelyn is Jace’s mother as well, but Jace strongly disagrees, saying that Maryse is his mother and Jocelyn is the one who abandoned him. Clary argues with Jace again, saying that Jocelyn thought her son was dead.

Suddenly a green wall of fire surrounds them. Magnus explains that it’s a ward Ragnor had created and that only those who are pure of heart and intention can pass through it. They go through it, but Clary comes through alone, and is about to panic until she sees Ragnor’s house. She finds Ragnor hidden in his painting, so she pulls him out. And he releases Magnus and Jace, who were glamoured invisible.


Ragnor says that can wake her mom up, but only with the Book of the White, an ancient book full of warlock spells. Ragnor explains that he used the book to create the potion that Jocelyn used, but he no longer has the book. He goes to another room to find something that could possibly help them find it, but he’s attacked by a Shax demon, and dies before Magnus can heal him. Magnus is devastated.

Although it doesn’t end well, I loved this scene between Magnus and Ragnor, with Magnus calling Ragnor his “little cabbage” as a term of endearment, as he often did, alluding to his proclivity for such terms to Ragnor in The Bane Chronicles shorts. 

Jace says they have to leave, but Clary wants them to look for what Ragnor was going to give them to help find the Book of the White. Jace knows more Shax demons could come. Magnus has them portaled out, promising to get what they need, so he can mourn for Ragnor, and take care of his body.

Jace and Clary arrive at the Institute, and Izzy meets them, asking if Jace is going to be at the wedding. He says he’s not invited and doesn’t have time. Jace and Clary tell Izzy about Ragnor’s death and thinks that Lydia’s the mole who informed Valentine where they were and brought the Shax demon in. Jace is pissed and Clary stops him from doing something impulsive, especially since she’s Alec’s fiance and envoy to the Clave. Clary goes to talk to Lydia instead to see what she can find out.

Clary explains about the Shax demon and Lydia concludes they suspect she’s the mole. But she says if she were working for Valentine, she would’ve already given him the Mortal Cup. Lydia knows they don’t have any hard evidence about it, but Clary lets her know that those in the Institute have become like family to her.  Lydia feels the same way.


Clary questions how much Lydia actually knows about Alec. Lydia knows about Alec’s feelings for Magnus, and Clary is confused as to why she’s still going through with the marriage. She explains that Alec’s love for his family and desire to restore his family name is what brought her to her decision. She cares about him and knows he’s a man of honor. Clary doesn’t agree with Lydia’s way of thinking, but since Alec was the one of proposed, Clary can’t argue that.  Before she leaves, Clary asks her how she can trust Lydia. Lydia just says that she learned to trust her.

Ugh! So frustrating! Clary is right, but it’s not as if Lydia was manipulating Alec, so should we be mad at her? It seems Shadowhunters have a very archaic way of thinking.  Maybe it’s because they do! 

Isabelle goes to the Hotel Dumort to get some advice from Simon about the bachelor party. She wants to know what makes a bachelor party a bachelor party. He jokes about how it’s about strippers, but she’s not amused, and is about to leave. She stops when he tells her it’s really about friends getting together and assuring the groom that they’ll always be there for him. About solidifying bonds with those closest to them… and lots of drinking.

This is probably the one scene in the episode that doesn’t really fit, but only done to give fans a Sizzy moment, although it’s still nice to see Simon. 

Magnus is at his apartment looking at an old photo of him, Ragnor, and Camille Belcourt, the former leader of the New York vampire clan. Ragnor appears suddenly. Magnus is surprised, but Ragnor says he’ll always be there for him. Magnus mentions his love for Camille, and the fact that she didn’t love him back, breaking his heart. Ragnor explains that Magnus let her break his heart, and that it killed him, in the metaphorical sense, of course. Then Ragnor disappears, leaving Magnus along with the photo. Magnus calls Alec, but hangs up before he picks up.

Izzy brings a blindfolded Alec down some stairs to a room for his bachelor party, and she leaves him there, alone. Then Jace arrives, being told by Izzy that Alec wanted to talk to him, but Alec doesn’t. Jace is about to leave, but he knows they have to talk, so they do.

Jace does admit that his life has gotten a lot harder without his parabatai to talk to, and Alec feels the same. Jace knows how his recent decisions have seemed selfish and risky for others, but he did what he thought was right. He apologizes, and Alec is finally warming up to him.


They both acknowledge they got caught up in all the drama. Jace mentioning Alec’s wedding, and Alec mentioning Clary as Jace’s sister, which he still has trouble with.

Jace admits about his feelings towards Clary, saying he must be sick. But Alec tells him he’s not sick, and it’s just confusing, as he should know how that feels. They have parababro-time. Alec says that they’re Shadowhunters and emotions get in the way and they have to focus and find their way back on the right path. Jace says they should still be true to themselves, and Alec says he is by fulfilling his duty. Jace won’t argue. Alec asks him to be at the wedding to be his suggenes and give him away. Jace agrees, if Alec really wants this. Alec says he does. They rekindle their closer-than-brothers bond.

Ragnor appears again when Magnus strums the charango. Magnus talks about a former love, Imasu, to Ragnor. Ragnor says how he was surprised that relationship last as long as it did, and wondered why he didn’t try to get Imasu back, but Magnus says that he wanted more than what Magnus could give.

If you haven’t read The Bane Chronicles, then the name Imasu might not stand out to you, but those who did might be giddy about this reference.  However, Cassandra Clare did mention that Imasu basically shouldn’t have been mentioned at all as none of the characters that were created for The Bane Chronicles were part of the rights bought by Constantin Film, who own the production rights to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices only. With that said, this only goes to show you the writers truly are fans of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. 


Ragnor reminds Magnus that he is not Camille and says when that special someone comes and tears the walls he built around himself, and love comes back to him, he needs to fight for it. Magnus mulls it over and gets ready to go somewhere, telling Ragnor that even in death, he gives the best advice. Ragnor disappears after.


Before the wedding starts, Maryse (Nicola Correia-Damude) tells Alec she’s proud of him, and Robert (Paulino Nunes) shakes his hand. Jace is right there for him, and Clary and he look at each other for a bit, both looking sullen. Simon arrives and hugs Clary, which Jace notices, of course. The ceremony begins and Izzy walks down first, then Lydia in a cream colored/gold wedding dress.

I definitely love Clary’s, Isabelle’s, and Lydia’s dresses AND their hair.  All the actresses were especially beautiful.

They start the ceremony with a little gift giving, in which they give each other pieces of jewelry.  Izzy or Jace don’t look that happy. Lydia is about to put the marriage rune on him when Magnus arrives. They both stop and look at him as he stands in the middle of the aisle, staring back at Alec. It turns out Izzy invited him.  Maryse is shocked he’s there and goes to him telling him he needs to leave, but Magnus won’t unless Alec asks him to.

Alec and Magnus stare at each other and Alec starts breathing hard. Lydia, who’s smiling, tells him it’s okay. Alec says he can’t do this, and she understands and says that he deserves to be happy, and that she’ll be fine. He goes to Magnus, and his mom tries to stop, but nothing will stop this young man from doing what he wants to do.  He walks straight to Magnus and grabs him by the collar and kisses him full on the lips. Jace and Izzy, along with Simon and Clary, finally show real smiles. Magnus kisses him back.

This whole scene was pretty amazing, from the set design to the background song to the kissing to the reactions of each of the characters.  It was a moment that was truly crafted to get at Shadowhunters fans’ hearts, and it worked.  


When they stop kissing, Magnus is pleasantly surprised, and Alec is even more shocked by what he just did. Maryse and Robert leave without a word. Izzy comes up to them saying she’s proud of Alec. Simon comes up next to Izzy and says it’s just like the movie The Graduate, comparing Magnus to Ben and Alec to Elaine, but a taller, masculine, handsomer version of Elaine. Alec asks Izzy who invited the vampire.

I will never get enough of snarky Alec.  Never. 

Jace basically thanks Lydia for what she did, but she knew it was the right thing to do. He asks her what she plans to do now, and she says she’s going back to Idris and dive into work, as there’s no place for her there. He tells her she’ll always have a place there.

Clary comes up to Jace, and Jace finally talks to Clary and apologizes for not talking about this sibling thing. Magnus interrupts them saying that he did also have an alternate motive for coming. With Jace, Clary, and Alec with him inside the Institute, he transports all of what he found at Ragnor’s that could prove useful, including a bookmark that Clary recognizes. Alec says they can use it to track the book’s whereabouts.

Magnus uses his warlock tracking abilities on the bookmark, and sees Camille, locked up in a coffin.  He tells them that Camille is locked up somewhere in the Hotel Dumort. Clary doesn’t think she’ll help if they get her out, but Jace says she won’t have a choice.

Hmmm, why would Jace think that Camille won’t have any choice but to help?  What is he planning?  

Lydia is already out of her wedding dress and is packing to go. When she opens a safe to retrieve the Mortal Cup to bring to Idris, someone hits her, knocking her to the floor, and tossing the Cup out of reach. We see someone take the Cup, but it is not revealed who that person is… yet.


Clary shows Jace the box with the initials J.C. on it. Jonathan Christopher, his full name. Inside the box are some baby items. She believes that Jocelyn didn’t abandon him, and that she truly thought he was dead. Jace is still troubled and feels that there’s darkness in him. Clary says they will make sense of all this.

Alec and Magnus are still dealing with what happened at the wedding when Maryse and Robert show up. Maryse feels he’s being selfish and that he humiliated them in front of everyone. He says he’s still the same person, but she’s still upset, saying he did it all for a Downworlder. When she leaves, Robert tells Alec to give her time. Robert doesn’t understand this, but he seems more accepting of this new relationship. He even asks if they’re in love, but Alec says no, and Magnus tells Robert it’s just all new.

When Robert leaves, Magnus mentions they still haven’t gone on a first date, and Alec asks him out for drinks, to which Magnus agrees to.

How many of us are really looking forward to actually seeing them on a date in the second season?  Yep, I see those hands raised.


Luke is there with Jocelyn when Hodge comes in, massaging his right hand. Hodge tells Luke to get some rest and he’ll watch over Jocelyn. When Luke leaves, he calls on Valentine via a ring he puts on his finger, and shows him that he has the Cup and will bring it to him as long as Valentine removes his Punishment rune.

Yes, Hodge is the mole!  And, thus, bad Hodge!  But overall, what a lovely episode for the actors.  Lots of great moments and you can really see them improving with each episode.  Hoping that this trend continues. 

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.