After last week’s episode felt a little like foreshadowing, 3×14 was probably one of the most eventful episodes of the season so far. Mostly in good ways, but also in some pretty damn apocalyptic ones. Here’s our recap of “A Kiss From a Rose”.
Last week’s episode left plenty of questions unanswered: What happened after the fight at Hunter’s Moon? What’s going on with Magnus’ magic? Is Heidi going to face any repercussions for causing the fatal conflict between the wolves and the vampires? And of course, what is Jonathan up to?
Well, as for that last question, we don’t have to wait long for a reply. It’s actually in the very first scene of the episode. Jonathan is fine (or as fine as you can be as a struggling half demon, half Shadowhunter with a weird obsession with your estranged younger sister), hanging out at his apartment making undoubtedly evil, creepy plans. Somewhere along the way he even found a way to compensate the lack of Clary in his apartment. He has a Seelie glamoured as Clary roleplaying as her and behaving the exact opposite of what Clary is like: compliant instead of confident, obedient instead of headstrong and fierce. Have we already said he’s creepy? Yeah? Well, we’ll say it again anyway. Especially considering the last moment before the episode switches to the next scene, where Jonathan – unsatisfied with the Seelie’s “performance” as Clary – walks outside to his balcony, looks at the New York skyline and mutters about how he will just have to get his hands “on the real thing.”
Before we can get any more chills because of that statement, the plot moves on to the Hunter’s Moon where we get to see the aftermath of the vampire clan’s attack on the pack, which sadly turned into a massacre. The restaurant is full of blood and dead bodies, vampires and wolves alike. The only survivors are Maia and Jordan, who hid away in a storage unit so the vampires wouldn’t find them. Their only problem now: they can’t get out.
As soon as they do, they will be fair game to any remaining vampires. Most of the ones who attacked the Hunter’s Moon may be dead now, but if there’s one thing we learned last week, it’s that you never know who else Heidi has brought into her vicious plan.
But let’s not talk about Heidi and instead about the real star of this scene: Alisha Wainwright. She has always done an astonishing job at portraying Maia, even if Maia often drew the short end of the stick story-wise. This week she killed it once again. When Maia and Jordan are locked up in the storage unit, Maia’s grief about losing her pack and her claustrophobia kick in at the same time. What follows is an incredibly emotional moment where we see Maia reach her breaking point, probably the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen her. That look in her eyes when she tells Jordan that her whole pack has been slaughtered? Easily one of the saddest and most painful moments of the episode, but nonetheless one of our favorites.
Next up, we find ourselves back at the Institute, where Alec, Luke, and Isabelle are discussing Isabelle’s allegations against the Clave… well, Isabelle is discussing it; Alec apparently doesn’t really want to act on it much (quote: “What did mom say about meddling with the Clave, Isabelle?”). We sincerely hope that this was only a one-time slip-up, because we can’t imagine Alec wouldn’t care about the Clave torturing Downworlders, given his previous efforts to get rid of some of the stigma between Nephilim and Downworlders as well as his initial reaction to Maryse telling them to stop investigating the Heavenly Fire program last week.
The High Warlock of Pompous returns
Meanwhile, the other half of our favorite Shadowhunters couple is on his way to giving us even more reasons to worry: Magnus pays a visit to Lorenzo in order to ask him to give him his magic back. And what can we say… Lorenzo is still as arrogant and pompous as the last time we saw him, if not more. We had a bunch of very non-PG terms describing him in our minds when Lorenzo smugly confirms that he forbade all of New York’s warlocks to help Magnus in any way. While Lorenzo may not be our favorite character overall, we are still very impressed by Javier’s acting. He is doing such a great job at portraying this infuriating, arrogant character and as much as Lorenzo’s behavior may annoy us, it is a pleasure to watch Javier bring him to life.
So Magnus asks Lorenzo to help him get his magic back and after of course humiliating him a little while he’s at it, Lorenzo surprisingly agrees. Turns out there’s a spell that allows warlocks to transfer some of their own magic to another warlock, which Lorenzo intends to use. The current High Warlock may not be the nicest or the most sympathetic character, but at least he has the decency to warn Magnus about the risks: Magnus’ body may reject the foreign magic. Desperate as he is at this point, Magnus brushes the warning aside and lets Lorenzo perform the spell anyway. If only he hadn’t – but more on that later.
First, we get to see Magnus revel in having magic again. Magnus may have pretended to be fine all those weeks, but seeing him with magic again shows how much he truly wasn’t. The moment he snaps his fingers for the first time and magic starts buzzing around his hands again, it’s like he is stepping back into his old self. He holds himself more proudly, moves more fluidly and just appears a lot more like the Magnus we all know and love. There’s even a fun little moment when Magnus’ first order of business after getting his magic back – of course – is conjuring up a fancy outfit for himself. It even includes what appears to be that gorgeous John Varvatos jacket from the season 2 finale, so it was a win-win situation for everyone involved, even the fans watching.
If you’re thinking “Wait, how can you call it a win-win situation for everyone when Lorenzo had to help Magnus, which he probably hated?” Well – would Lorenzo really ever help someone without getting anything in return?
Date at the ice rink
If you are a Clace fan watching this show, you’ve probably had a rough two and a half seasons. Jace and Clary fell for each other in season 1, then Valentine messed things up with pretending he’s Jace’s father. Then Clary dated Simon for a while, Jace got kicked out of the Institute, then he died at Lake Lyn and Clary brought him back from the dead with Raziel’s wish. And just as we thought season 3 would finally bring Jace and Clary some peace, Lilith put an evil spell on Jace and turned him into the Owl. It’s been quite the trip.
But at long last, it seems like the writers have had mercy with Clace fans and are trying to make up for all that time they spent suffering. Last week’s episode already served the Clace fandom pretty well, and this week things get even more romantic, even borderline cheesy: Jace and Clary break into an ice rink (as you do) and give their ice skating skills a test run. Turns out the great Jace Herondale is actually terrible at ice skating, which leads to some pretty endearing moments of Clary trying – and failing – to teach him. This was already funny to watch, but even more so when Kat McNamara revealed in her “Farewell to Shadowhunters” interview with TV Guide that it was actually her who needed to learn. Either way, the scenes on the ice rink were very sweet and certainly what the Clace fans deserved after all their suffering the past few seasons.
But this is still Shadowhunters we’re talking about, so things don’t stay sweet and perfect all that long. Jace and Clary don’t even get to enjoy the rest of their date before things go south again. Having followed Clary to New York, Jonathan shows up at the ice rink and attacks Jace while the latter is on his way to get different skates. Jonathan knocks Jace out and then uses his demonic shape shifting skills to disguise as him, restrains the unconscious Jace and leaves him on the floor. Did we say anything about the writers ending the Clace fandom’s suffering this week? We suppose it’s time to take that back.
Malec go grave robbing
Back at the Institute, we catch up with Alec and Underhill, who are busy going through a sheer endless amount of books in search of clues about the Morgenstern Sword, its purpose and current owner. Thanks to Magnus and his rekindled magic they don’t actually have to go through all the books (poor Underhill didn’t look too excited about it anyway). Magnus positively waltzes in, all confident thanks to regaining his powers, and helps them out with a quick spell. While Underhill probably couldn’t have been more relieved about not having to go through approximately 17,000 dusty pages of Clave literature, Alec is rather skeptical. He gets even more suspicious when he later confronts Magnus about the return of his magic and learns that Lorenzo is responsible for it (we feel you, Alec). But before Alec can ask any more questions, Magnus – all sassy and confident again, now that he has his magic back – finds a note about the sword’s owner, who apparently took the sword with him to his grave. With nothing else to do, they portal off to Belgium to retrieve it – we sure hope they managed to find time for some Belgian waffles during their brief trip.
With Magnus and Alec out of the picture, the episode returns to the ice rink, where Clary is still peacefully skating round after round on the ice – with Jonathan disguised as Jace right by her side. Actually, it’s not that peaceful, as Clary seems to suspect pretty early on that something is wrong. Jace’s demeanor took a pretty drastic U-turn: he actually reminded us a lot of how he behaved as the Owl in those scenes. But Clary doesn’t get to dwell on it too much, as they soon head out, leaving the real Jace – still unconscious – back in the ice rink’s dressing room.
If you thought things already seemed pretty bleak at that moment, just you wait. It gets even worse. In between showcasing the many events going on at various locations throughout New York this week, the narrative also comes back to Maia and Jordan from time to time, who are still locked in at the Hunter’s Moon. Jordan is severely injured; he has been stabbed with a silver blade, the ultimate nemesis of each Werewolf. The only people that could help him are the Praetor, but since nobody knows Maia and him are still at the Jade Wolf and (as per usual) their phones don’t have any reception, they can’t call for help. Things get serious real quick as Jordan gets dangerously close to dying. Somewhere in between, Maia and him start talking about Jordan turning Maia into a werewolf and how he abandoned her afterwards. This soon turns into one of the most controversial moments of the episode.
As much as we love and appreciate the Shadowhunters writers and their amazing talent, this week they slipped up, majorly so. While talking about their past, Maia mentions that she has forgiven Jordan for what happened and says that her blaming him for her life as a Werewolf was because she was “confused and sad.” Uhhh… okay?
Alisha Wainwright and Chai Hansen do a beautiful job of portraying the many different, conflicting emotions going through their characters in those scenes. But to be quite honest, we felt like that moment shouldn’t have been part of the episode in the first place. An abuse victim forgiving her abuser, claiming it was partly her own fault that things happened the way they did? That’s something we never expected to see on Shadowhunters. Especially given with how much care, empathy, and thoughtfulness the writers handled similar pivotal situations in the past. Shadowhunters stands for inclusivity, respect and equality, and Maia blaming herself for something that isn’t her fault at all doesn’t fit into that concept. As much as we loved the episode, that moment could have been handled a lot better.
While Jordan is fighting for his life, we get to see more of the Clace date… although it’s not exactly a Clace date anymore as “Jace” is still in fact Jonathan in disguise. Huge props at this point to Dominic Sherwood for portraying both of those characters so well this week. He makes the switch between Jonathan and Jace seem effortless, as if it was easy to portray both of those characters at the same time. Todd Slavkin said in a tweet prior to the episode that 3×14 would include some of the best scenes we’ve ever seen Dominic play on the show, and he certainly wasn’t understating.
However, Jonathan can pretend to be Jace as much as he likes as Clary has long become suspicious of his weirdly detached behavior. Him kissing her (Dude, that’s your sister. Stop.) doesn’t change that, if anything it confirms Clary’s worries even more. Using a smart trick and pricking her finger with the thorn of a rose “Jace” gave to her earlier, she confirms her suspicions – as soon as she hurts herself, she sees Jonathan flinching in pain as well. Thankfully, she manages to alert Izzy before Jonathan returns to her, who promises to go find Jace and then come help Clary.
The consequences of foreign magic
Meanwhile in Belgium, Alec and Magnus have made it to the grave of the man who last owned the Morgenstern Sword. Them walking through that graveyard in the middle of the night gave us some serious season 1 “stealing seraph blades from a fake grave” vibes. You, too? Unfortunately, someone beat them to disturbing the man’s grave and took the Sword, according to Magnus and the cobwebs, about 20 years prior. They have to return to New York empty handed, which may leave them frustrated, but also sets up one of our favorite scenes of the entire episode.
Remember Lorenzo announcing that he was going to help Magnus only at a certain price? Well, turns out that price is Magnus’ apartment. Literally. Magnus may have gotten his magic back, but has to move out of the loft immediately – the problem is, Alec doesn’t know it yet. But it doesn’t take him much time to put two and two together, which leads to Magnus finally telling him the whole story of how he got his magic back – and explaining how he felt without it. His confession is one of the saddest, but also best moments of the episode. Seeing how much giving up his apartment hurts Magnus, but how living without magic hurt him even more, is heartbreaking in a somewhat beautiful way, especially when Magnus says he felt “like a stranger. Like suddenly I don’t matter.” Of course, Alec is there for Magnus after his initial anger seems to have vanished. But besides proof of how far Magnus and Alec have come in terms of trusting each other and being there for each other in difficult times, this scene is also precisely the grade A communication we were hoping for ever since Magnus lost his magic. There was just no way Magnus and Alec wouldn’t talk about this, and when they did it was everything we hoped for that scene to be. Death threats to Lorenzo included.
A highly dramatic finish
That scene in Magnus’ loft serves as an intro to the episode’s final ten minutes. Judging from what happened in those final few minutes, this episode might have well just been a midseason finale instead of another episode halfway through 3B. Seriously, there is so much going on. First, Isabelle and Jace find Clary – and Jonathan. They are actually just in time, as they manage to catch them just as Jonathan is leading Clary back to the apartment so he can escape with her to Angel knows where. Clary manages to surprise Jonathan, knock him down and pin him to the ground – but for some reason, she can’t bring herself to activate a rune that would enable Isabelle and Jace to take him into custody. Interesting dynamic here; Clary clearly cares more about her brother than she likes to admit. We can’t wait to see how that will affect their relationship and especially her actions in the remaining episodes. We have a feeling that going after Jonathan may not be as easy for her as she might have imagined.
It’s in those final ten minutes that the episode serves us with one of the biggest and most shocking twists 3B has had to offer so far: After spending all episode investigating the Morgenstern Sword and then the massacre at the Jade Wolf, Luke and Simon finally make it to the restaurant, where Luke pays his respects to his fallen pack members. Meanwhile, thanks to enhanced vampire hearing skills, Simon finds Maia and Jordan in the storage closet and manages to get them out and to the Praetor so they can treat Jordan’s wounds and save him from – at this point, very close – death. Unfortunately, that leaves Luke alone in the Jade Wolf, just when the cops who have been following Luke all episode barge into the restaurant and see him there, surrounded by the corpses and with the place covered in blood. Luke doesn’t even try to escape or explain the situation, he knows it is pointless with most of the actual murderers being among the dead and his fingerprints probably all over the place after spending so much time at the Jade Wolf in the past. With everything speaking against him, Luke has to let the cops arrest him. We suppose we were not the only ones watching in complete and utter shock as one of our favorite characters was dragged off to what is probably going to be a murder investigation with him as the prime suspect. Great. As if Luke didn’t already have plenty of other problems to deal with.
After a pretty epic scene of Alec confronting Lorenzo about stealing Magnus’ home (and Lorenzo admitting that yes, he is petty enough to have done it simply out of spite. No surprises here), we get to catch up with Magnus himself, who does nothing to soothe our worries about him. First of all, he is already wearing the same outfit we saw in the trailer of him collapsing in Alec’s office. Second, he already has the corresponding nosebleed as well. Which means it can’t be long now until something awful happens to Magnus, which will then lead to that dreaded moment of Alec kneeling on the floor, crying, while his siblings surround him and Magnus is nowhere to be seen. We simply cannot wait, even though we know it will most likely hurt like hell. Someone should just grab these two and send them on an extended vacation to the Bahamas or something, where nobody and nothing can hurt them. Please and thank you.
A few minutes before the end, the episode provides another treat for the Clace fandom. Magnus and Alec are not the only ones who had some good communication scenes this week. In one of the final few shots, Clary and Jace talk about what happened when they were trying to arrest Jonathan and how Clary couldn’t go through with actually arresting him. Clary is tearing herself apart over it, and Jace tries to be there for her, promising her that they will make this right. He first swears on the Angel, and then ends up swearing on them because “there is nothing I believe in more.” Was that line so cheesy it almost made us hurl? Yep. But you have to admit, it was also kinda cute.
After that, the episode comes full circle as it ends the way it started – with Jonathan and the Seelie that was role-playing as Clary in the beginning. The only difference is that now she isn’t roleplaying anymore. She asks him whether he’s still angry, to which Jonathan replies he’s actually in a great mood as “the real Clary will be joining me much sooner than expected.”
Well, that line did nothing to soothe our worried minds, but it definitely was a great ending to a pretty great episode. While last week saw a lot of things going on but didn’t really go into depth with any of them, this week’s episode made up for that. We got some great action scenes, excellent moments with some of our favorite ships and mean cliffhangers at the end with Luke’s arrest, Magnus starting to bleed and Jonathan eerily staring into the fireplace while talking about Clary’s return. Next week marks episode 3×15, which would have introduced the final five episodes of the season if things hadn’t gone so horribly wrong last summer. Therefore, our expectations are pretty high for the upcoming episodes – and knowing this show and its writers we’re pretty sure we won’t be disappointed.
Professional night owl with a love for fantasy novels, dark chocolate and good concerts. On ShumDario News I get to put my journalism degree to use by writing articles for our website and live-tweeting all kinds of events. I also help with projects and often drive the rest of the team crazy with my tendency to be more sarcastic than is probably good for me. Sometimes that trait even transfers to our content, but thankfully it hasn’t gotten me kicked off the team yet – at least not for real.