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SHADOWHUNTERS Recap & Review: “A Problem Of Memory”

After a week off, Shadowhunters has returned and it’s time to recap! Let’s go!

Things start with Simon being utterly brokenhearted over Clary in the Hunter’s Moon. Thanks to a fellow vampire named Quinn, he tries plasma, which is essentially a really good shot… because blood is alcohol now? When the Hunter’s Moon runs out, Quinn takes him to a Bleeder Den, which is essentially a strip club/drug den for vampires and humans who like being bit. Despite some moral resistances, it doesn’t take Simon long to sink his teeth into a willing victim named Heidi. Because he was thirsty, but not nearly as thirsty as her.

Alec wakes up alone and shirtless in Magnus’ bed and goes out to talk to his boyfriend, saying it was the fourth morning in a row that he’s woken up alone. So they’re low key living together? SWOON! But poor Magnus is still reliving his worst memories after the agony rune from a few episodes ago and isn’t really up for talking to Alec about it.

Jace is still hung up on the kiss with Clary. He seems to think that it’s a sign that they should be together right now, but Izzy is trying her best to talk him off this ledge. Thankfully, Alec keeps them busy with a mission to transport Valentine to Idris, where he’ll be held by the heads of The Clave and away from more potential Downworlder assassination attempts. Jace is tasked with removing Valentine’s Circle rune because apparently, that gives him power of some sort and needs to come off. It’s all very vague. The two argue, and we’re reminded that Valentine is Jace’s daddy issues. He even busts out the famous “To love is to destroy” line, but it was a bit rushed.

Meanwhile, Clary is desperately trying to get in touch with Simon, wanting to make things better with him. When she knocks on his door, he wakes up covered in blood. Clary seems to think that she can disprove the fairy magic if she only insists hard enough, but Simon knows their magic only allows for the truth. He refuses to be with her anymore, knowing full well that he’s always cared for her much more than she cares for him. THIS SCENE HURTS, guys. Kudos to Alberto and Kat for making us feel all the feelings about this breakup, even though– let’s be honest– there were only like 4 people in this fandom rooting for Climon.

Luke finds Simon shortly after Clary leaves. Hilariously, Simon is hungover and Luke goes into dad mode on him. But Luke really came talk about a girl found dead– Heidi, the girl Simon bit the night before. Simon denies knowing anything about her, but as Luke walks away, his partner Holly calls to confirm prints found on the body. Simon Lewis’ prints. Simon bolts outta there. He goes to Raphael, who refuses to help until Simon gives up the secret to being a Daylighter. So Simon bolts outta there, too!

Back at The Institute, Aline Penhallow has arrived. She’s an old friend of the Lightwoods, but she’s also Sebastian’s cousin who has come looking for him now that he’s made his presence known in New York. He bashfully explains that he is recovering from a yin fen addiction and has been too ashamed to face the family.


Sebastian runs back to his apartment, promising Aline dinner later in the night. He goes straight to the person in the closet: THE REAL SEBASTIAN VERLAC. Two Will Tudors. We are #blessed. Fake Sebastian threatens to kill Aline if Real Sebastian doesn’t give him all the details on her so he can sufficiently trick her. Fake Sebastian and Aline have a heart-to-heart talk about hiding their true selves, given that Aline is a lesbian who hasn’t come out to anyone but Sebastian. Though she’s a little suspicious at first, the two ease into comfort and Aline has no idea that the man she’s talking to isn’t her cousin.

While that Fake Sebastian and Aline are out to dinner, the Real Sebastian breaks out! It doesn’t take long for Fake Sebastian to realize the Real Deal is missing, especially since he left the door open like a dummy during the escape. Real Sebastian also decides to WALK THROUGH THE CITY without contacting anyone. Why does he do it? Because I guess he doesn’t like the idea of stiffing a cab driver to save his own life and plot, that’s why!

Simon goes back to the scene of Heidi’s murder, because he’s apparently never watched a crime show in his life, and promptly gets arrested by Luke’s partner, Holly, who knows the killer always returns to the scene of the crime. For partners, she and Luke suck at being together while tracking down criminals. As Holly drives him to the station, Simon realizes it wasn’t him because the victim was drained through her feet and Simon swears by his “anti foot fetish”, as Holly calls it. Ready to clear himself, Simon escapes from the car in a jiff.

He heads to the Bleeder Den, where he finds Quinn, who admits to killing Heidi. Simon immediately threatens to call the Shadowhunters, because he has no common sense. Telling a known murder that you’re about to call the cops on them just gets you dead, people! Quinn attacks Simon and surprisingly, Simon isn’t half bad in battle. Just as Clary and Luke enter the Bleeder Den, Simon stabs Quinn through the heart. Clary tries to comfort him after the fact, but Simon is done.

After lots of worrying through the episode, Magnus opens up to Alec about his darkest memory– Finding my mother dead by suicide, then killing his stepfather when he blamed Magnus for her choice. Burning him alive, in fact. It’s a tough pill for Magnus to swallow, but Alec knows that Magnus was just a young boy at the time and that it isn’t a reflection of his true character.

We go back to the Real Sebastian, who is like 100 feet away from Aline and Isabelle as they chat outside The Institute. It seems like he’s just about to get their attention when Fake Sebastian finds him and kills him where he stands. YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A CAB, DUDE. OR CALLED SOMEONE’S CELL PHONE BECAUSE EVERYONE SHADOWHUNTER HAS ONE.

Luke and Raphael can’t seem to help saving Simon’s butt yet again. This time, Luke calls Holly to the Jade Wolf, where Raphael uses compulsion on Luke’s partner to make her forget Simon was ever a suspect and believe the case is closed.

Simon himself is over in The Institute to visit Clary, despite running off on her earlier. He promises they’ll always be friends, but tells her he needs time, and he doesn’t know who much. In a strictly heartbroken friend capacity, my heart bled for them a lil bit.

The episode ends with Valentine’s big transport to Idris. Jace and Izzy make it through the portal, as do two other sentries. But Valentine and the Shadowhunter portaling through with him, Duncan? They’re nowhere to be found.

Our final scene reveals that Valentine was brought to Sebastian by Duncan, whose entire family is being held captive by Sebastian. Rather than free them as promised, Sebastian kills Duncan. Then, finally he reveals himself– as an uber crispy, gross demon dude and also Valentine’s son (and thus Clary’s brother), Jonathan Morgenstern!

We’re still a little unsure about the double Sebastians and deep-fried demon Jonathan. I mean, how much of this budget is being spent on making Will Tudor’s character not hot when it could be spent on cool demons throughout the season? Only time will tell!

Until next time!

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.