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SHADOWHUNTERS Recap & Review: “The Fair Folk”

Shadowhunters is back and this episode is a BIG ONE that fans of the book have been desperately waiting on. Let’s dive in!

We open on a pretty scene. Jace is playing the piano in the morning light, though it’s pretty clear Dom isn’t actually the one playing. Then Sebastian slinks his way on screen to ask him about his youth with Valentine, that awkward Maia hook-up, and his feelings for Clary. They’re interrupted by Clary before Jace can open up too much, but you do get a good idea about just how badly his youth was in Valentine’s care.

Alec announces regular Downworld cabinet meetings to increase cooperation, but not every Shadowhunter is happy about it. The peanut gallery Shadowhunters don’t want Downworlders invading their space and Luke initially refuses, believing the meetings will never benefit the werewolves.

Next up, he sends Jace and Clary to the Seelie Court to meet with the queen about Kaelie’s murders. Alec wanted to go himself, but the queen will only meet with “Valentine’s experiments”. Of course, Simon tags along and Clary is totally okay with him going, even after Jace explains that this is a seriously big deal and Simon, who is typically aloof, has to be aware and perfectly on point.

In no surprise to anyone, Simon immediately effs up upon entering Faerie and almost gets killed within minutes of entering. Jace saves him though, and the two have some funny banter that make me smile.

Alec talks to Magnus about the Downworlder meeting. While he wants to Magnus to attend, he wants their relationship to be very low key. I realize that we’re supposed be mad at Alec for this, but it makes total sense. Most people are very careful about mixing their personal and professional lives in the real world because it can easily have adverse effects on people taking you seriously in your career, no matter who you’re dating. Any concessions Alec gives to warlocks will be seen as a favor to his boyfriend, and constantly reminding everyone of their relationship throughout only makes it worse.

Izzy and Sebastian have a great scene talking about Maryse and Isabelle’s recovery. I really don’t want to but.. I kinda ship it.

Luke gets a fire message, then a phone call from a burner phone outside the Jade Wolf. An anonymous someone wants to help him kill Valentine, but they’re interrupted by Holly, Luke’s partner. At the very least, this ultra snoopy lady is Internal Affairs.

The Seelie Queen is a 12-year-old girl and not Sarah Hyland. Le sad. BUT it turns out the queen doesn’t want to talk about Kaelie. She sent Meliorn to the Downworld council and only wanted Jace and Clary to show off their special angel blood skills. They play down their powers, but she also knows about Simon’s daylighter status, and wants to prey on him– I mean, talk to him alone. She sees his weakness. The Seelie Queen wants to be Simon’s ally, telling him that all Shadowhunters are alike and will be the destruction of the Downworlders. Simon refuses to believe her or side against Clary.

At the Downworld meeting, Isabelle begins to reconnect with Raphael, but Sebastian interrupts. Isabelle tries to play off her relationship with Raphael, but Sebastian sees through it. Luke attends to advocate for Valentine’s execution, but when it seems like an impossibility, he leaves the meeting to call his anonymous friend and kill Valentine himself.

During the recess, Meliorn and Raphael watch Isabelle and Sebastian from after. It’s a little weird since both Downworlders are all lusty over her, but Meliorn has an “all Shadowhunters look alike” moment of confusing Sebastian and Jace that I needed in my life. Raphael approaches Sebastian to ask his intentions with Isabelle. Instead, he gets a cold slap in the face as Sebastian calls Raphael out as the man who fueled Isabelle’s addiction and destroyed parts of her life. He tells Raphael that he needs to stay away the hell away from Isabelle. Again, we’re supposed to be upset about this and think Sebastian is a jerk, but it makes total sense. I would react like this, at the very least, if a friend who previously had an addiction started hanging out with their former drug dealer. I’m surprised Alec isn’t more concerned about having Raphael around (Izzy was allowed to meet with him in the last episode, but circumstances were dire) and I think Sebastian’s reaction is actually quite tame.

When Simon returns with the Seelie Queen, he’s ready to book it out of Faerieland, but the queen has one last trick. She wraps Simon and Jace in vines that will slowly suffocate them until Clary kisses the one she most desires. Clary hesitates, which is the first warning sign. Eventually, she kisses Simon… and the vines keep choking them. Clary recognizes that the Seelie Queen knows her true heart and after a bit of waffling, she kisses Jace. IT’S A GOOD KISS. Ow ow! The vines immediately fall away and before Clary can recover herself, Simon is long gone.

This episode features the return of Maryse and honestly, Nicola Correia-Damude wins this episode. She has moments with Alec and apologizes to Luke as part as what appears to be her own lil’ 12-step program. But she especially wins for a super touching scene between Maryse and Isabelle in which the two share their secrets. If you didn’t get a little emotional, you’re a robot.

Luke gets down into Valentine’s cell with a knife. But then, Sebastian notices Luke is missing and alerts Alec. Just as Luke and Valentine start a really good knife fight sequence, Alec and Sebastian break it up. After it quickly becomes clear that Luke doesn’t know who his accomplice is, Alec lets him go… because politics.

Izzy wants to fight for her relationship with Raphael, but he doesn’t after his talk with Raphael. And honestly, I’m just like “YES LAWD PLEASE LET THIS TOXIC RELATIONSHIP DIE OFF.” Alas, I doubt I’ll be that lucky.

Meanwhile, Clary is banging on Simon’s door, trying to mend the painful hole in their relationship. Simon listens for a bit, but ultimately puts on his noise-canceling headphones. It hurts, but it hurts more once Clary’s back in The Institute. Jace tries to talk to Clary, but she can’t handle it. Later, Isabelle goes to find Clary in her room to tell her all about the “bad day” she’s had, only to find Clary broken down in tears. Izzy immediately rushes to her side, and our heart is warmed.

Much like the last couple episodes, this one ends with a whopper of a moment. Sebastian, at the piano, perfectly playing that song Jace played in the beginning of the episode, even though he just told Jace he couldn’t play well.

Next to him lies a burner phone smashed up with a hammer– So he was the one luring Luke to kill Valentine, just to turn him in and gain The Institute’s trust! That would be eerie enough, but then there’s a sound from the closet. Sebastian opens it up and tells the person inside to be quiet, lest they’ll be punished again. WHO IS IT?

We have some theories, but they’re heavy book spoilers. Show-only people: SEE YOU NEXT WEEK! Potential spoilers ahead!






This could just be a random minion who didn’t do something right. Maybe things were supposed to go differently during the assassination plan. BUT…

Could this be the REAL Sebastian Verlac? In the books, there’s talk of Jonathan/Sebastian killing the actual Sebastian, but it’s something that happened long ago. We’re thinking this could be him annnnnd… 1) We’ll see Jonathan actually killing Sebastian for maximum creep factors or 2) The real Sebastian will be kept alive as a device to keep Will Tudor on the show. Honestly, we’re not sure what the character would add, but we love Will, so we wouldn’t hate it.

Here’s to finding out soon!

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.