Episode 3×15 brought justice for Heidi, a bittersweet goodbye and a new resident at the Institute. Here’s our recap of “To the Night Children”.
This week’s review would have almost become the written version of that GIF of Emma Stone eating ice cream and crying. But then we remembered that 3×16 is coming up next week, and with it probably some of the worst pain the Malec fandom has ever felt, so we saved some of our tears for that. Instead, here’s an actual review. Or something as close to a review as we can manage in our still very sad and heartbroken state. Let’s do this.
In case you were – like us – wondering why the episode was called “To the Night Children”, we learn that pretty early on. Just like in episode 3×13 the title is a quote from the episode, this time one by our all-time favorite Vampire Heidi. After having successfully pulled the strings behind the massacre at the Hunter’s Moon, Heidi is back at the DuMort and hosting a cocktail party with her remaining Vampire friends. Unfortunately, she is not yet done with driving a wedge between the Vampires and the Werewolves. Far from it, actually, as she announces to the remaining Clan members that “the Downworld is ours for the taking” and that it’s a “new world” for the Vampires while Griffin, the clan’s actual leader, watches from the audience. It looks like Heidi, the crazy, unpredictable newborn Vampire, is now rising to actual power. Marty, we’re scared.
To balance the scary stuff out, the episode then moves on to the Institute, where we get to see the adorable Malec morning scene from one of the sneak peeks. After trading his apartment against some of Lorenzo’s magic, Magnus moved in with Alec. Alec’s bedroom at the Institute may not be as spacious as Magnus’ loft, but that doesn’t make the scene any less adorable. Magnus wakes up (grudgingly) to a glass of orange juice and some flowers from Alec (which was a sweet parallel to the beginning of 3×12, where Magnus brought Alec breakfast and flowers).
Soft sunlight and even softer smiles aside, Magnus turns out to be quite worried about how the rest of the Institute will react to him having moved in. Alec brushes his concerns aside, saying that the Institute’s residents will be fine with Magnus staying there for a while and that the Clave’s rules against Downworlders staying at the Institutes are merely suggestions anyway. Season 1 Alec would be shook (we couldn’t be more proud of him, though).
However, we soon find out that Alec misjudged his fellow Shadowhunters quite a bit. Magnus has to pointedly ignore quite the amount of surprised, weirded out and critical glares on his way to joining Alec and the rest of the squad at breakfast. Even Clary, Jace and Isabelle are surprised by Magnus staying with Alec for a while, but welcome him at the Institute anyway. Despite their efforts, Magnus remains visibly uncomfortable and deals with it in the most Magnus Bane way a situation like that could probably be dealt with – by turning his glass of orange juice into a mimosa. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to enjoy his drink – as soon as he snaps his fingers to conjure it up, he gets a raging headache paired with an awful ringing in his ears. Someone is clearly not dealing well with the foreign magic he received last week. Such a great idea, that whole thing, Magnus. Really.
While Heidi’s speech at the beginning made us feel uneasy and Magnus’ scenes left us worried, it’s Luke’s first appearance in the episode that manages to make us feel downright scared. After having been arrested in one of last week’s episode’s most surprising twists, Luke is at the precinct, being interrogated. He is accused of murdering the Vampires and Werewolves at the Jade Wolf. And unlike the last time he was being interrogated back in season 1, things don’t look so good this time. They get even worse when Luke actually pleads guilty. Wait, what?
The entire thing is so surreal that not even Luke’s colleague who is in charge of the interrogation believes him – we quote: “I know you’re not a murderer. Who are you trying to protect?”
Thanks, random policeman. If only Luke could tell him the truth. But in order to do that, he would have to tell the other cop about the Shadow World – and we all know how that turned out last time. Still, our hearts were bleeding while we were forced to watch Luke getting accused of a murder he didn’t commit, knowing it would take nothing short of a miracle to clear him of the charges.
Heidi’s wicked games go on
Just a few minutes later we learn that Luke isn’t the only Werewolf we should worry about this week. Maia is still (understandably) struggling with what happened at the Jade Wolf. The loss of her whole pack left her devastated, furious and also more determined than ever to get justice. Luckily she’s not alone, Simon is there with – and for – her. The two of them may have broken up, but we’re glad they are still there for each other when needed. It’s good to see the trust between those two didn’t just disappear after their breakup.
Meanwhile, at the Institute, Isabelle and Alec get quite the unexpected visitor. Heidi shows up, claiming she knows who is to blame for the dead Downworlders at the Jade Wolf. And just like you would expect her to, she blames someone else – more precisely the Vampires who were there, but survived the fight. She is ready to identify them for Alec and Izzy, in exchange for a clean slate and the Clave pardoning her for all of her previous crimes.
Now, if there is one person we would never want to switch places with, it’s Alec Lightwood in that very situation. He has an impossible choice to make: He doesn’t know entirely
what happened at the Jade Wolf, he has no idea who survived and who died, much less who is behind the attack – and yet he is supposed to decide whether or not to trust Heidi, who is the only living “witness” he has, but at the same time a person known to be anything but trustworthy.
He eventually does agree to let Heidi off the hook in exchange for information about the Vampires, which led to quite a few fans complaining online about the decision – but honestly, what else was he supposed to do? There is just no way you can make a right decision in such an impossible situation. Especially not if you’re Alec Lightwood and have to both keep the law and the Accords in mind if you don’t want to be out of a job soon.
Aline Penhallow returns
Back at Luke’s NYPD precinct, we get another parallel to season 1 – after Luke gets arrested, Jace and Clary once again glamour themselves and visit him in the interrogation room. This time, however, they forego staged arguments and very un-staged slaps to Jace’s face as the situation is a lot more serious. Clary tries her best to talk Luke out of taking the blame for the attack, but fails. Things get quite emotional when she realizes that he will not change his mind. Luke still feels guilty for what happened to Ollie after he told her about the Shadow World, and he doesn’t want to let that happen again by admitting that it wasn’t him who killed all those people. Also, he blames himself for the attack because he left the pack and wasn’t there to protect them. He says he feels guilty for abandoning them, which leads to Clary’s voice breaking slightly when she replies: “So now you’re just going to abandon me?” and begging him to not leave her. Excuse us while we go cry in a corner.
While Alec organizes a mission to the DuMort to bring in the Vampires Heidi accused of murder, we get to catch up with an old acquaintance from season 2: Aline Penhallow is back – and she is played by a new actress. After Eileen Li portrayed Aline in season 2, Jackie Lai took over for season 3B. And while Aline’s appearance may have changed, her fierce personality certainly hasn’t. As an outsider who has never met Clary and isn’t friends with her, she doesn’t see why Jace and his friends keep protecting her and Jonathan by extension. Especially considering Jonathan killed her cousin Sebastian and many others ever since he made his first appearance on the show.
Altogether, Aline isn’t the biggest fan of Clary Fray. Therefore, things go as well (or bad) as can be expected when the two of them meet for the first time. Clary is training when Aline approaches her, asking if she needs a sparring partner. The fight that evolves is very different from the ones we have seen so far – full of bottled up anger. Aline blames Clary for Jonathan still being alive and calls her out for letting him go when she had the chance to arrest him last episode. Clary just gets angrier by the minute and while for most of the fight Aline has the upper hand, at some point Clary gets so furious that she overthrows Aline, pins her to the ground and starts punching her face in a blind rage until Jace shows up and drags Clary away from Aline.
We suppose that scene was the first glimpse at the darker version of Clary we were promised for season 3B. Her attacking someone like that – especially in such a brutal way – is highly unusual for Clary, and especially her behavior after Jace pulls her away, all shocked and apologetic about what happened, left us thinking that we’re about to be introduced to a different version of the Clary we’ve come to know. Highly interesting.
Meanwhile, Simon and Maia are out on a mission to prove that Heidi is behind the murders at the Jade Wolf. After talking to Alec (which didn’t go so well, given the circumstances) and telling him about their suspicions, they hope that Heidi’s old classmate Nora (the mundane girl she encanto’d before the Vampires attacked the Werewolves) will testify against Heidi and help them bring her in. However, they are not the only ones with that thought – Heidi is one step ahead and pays Nora a visit herself, only to simply encanto her again. And this time, it’s with much more drastic consequences – Heidi makes Nora hold her breath, up to the point where she stops breathing altogether. By the time Maia and Simon arrive at the hospital, they learn that Nora fell into a coma she is unlikely to wake up from.
Back at the Institute, Magnus’ first day living among the Nephilim comes to an end. After spending the day getting settled in, which included going through the security protocol with Underhill, he joins Alec at his office. What starts out as a seemingly regular Malec scene at the Institute soon turns into one of the comedic highlights of the episode. Most of it is due to the fact that we actually get to see the great Magnus Bane be jealous. During his meeting with Underhill Magnus learned that Alec told Underhill about some of their relationship struggles back in 3A (remember drunk Alec? He told Underhill about the George-related struggles). And Magnus does not take that well. The funny thing is, despite walking right into the trap Magnus set up for him (Quote: “Your handsome friend took care of everything.” – “…Underhill?” – “You think he’s handsome?”), Alec sees right through Magnus’ attempts to cover up his jealousy. He ruthlessly calls him out on it, while Magnus denies everything, and we were left giggling in front of our screens. Unfortunately, their little moment gets disrupted by Simon calling Alec and asking for help about Nora.
Alec and Magnus end up at the hospital, where Magnus helps bring Nora back from her coma. And while that’s good for Nora and for Simon’s plan to go after Heidi, it couldn’t be worse for Magnus. The episode made it pretty clear that the more Magnus uses Lorenzo’s magic, the more it drains him as his body is rejecting it. Now that he used an extensive amount of magic to help Nora, things are bound to go south pretty soon. Which they do not long after.
But before that happens, Maia and Simon’s hunt for Heidi comes to a close – in more ways than one. Maia tracks Heidi down in an alley and confronts her about the attack to the Jade Wolf. Of course, Heidi denies the whole thing at first but eventually confesses planning the attack. What follows is a quite emotional, but also badass, fighting scene between the two of them – Maia driven by her grief and her anger, Heidi by her hatred against Werewolves. Heidi seems to be winning the fight; she ends up biting Maia, which left us already fearing for Maia’s life. But in a surprise twist we were definitely not expecting, Heidi seems to get poisoned by Maia’s blood, and ends up dying and turning into a pile of dust. Turns out Maia injected herself with holy water before tracking down Heidi, which is harmless to Werewolves but deadly to Vampires, with Heidi being no exception. At long last, her story comes to an end. And we’re actually quite glad it did. Heidi may have had an unfortunate (and involuntary) start into her life as a Vampire, and some of her crimes in the beginning may have been due to her just not knowing any better, but the longer her story went on, the crazier, more unpredictable and more dangerous she became. It was time for her to go, and as much as we loved Tessa Mossey’s acting, we can’t say we are going to miss Heidi all that much.
Speaking of characters leaving the show, Heidi is not the only character who left us this week. Her exit may have left most of the fandom pretty unfazed, but the second one was infinitely more painful. Not only because it concerned a character that has been around since season one and is loved by many, but also because of the way it happened.
Earlier in the episode, when Alec and Izzy interrogated Heidi, Heidi told Alec about Raphael turning her and experimenting on her – and that Isabelle sent him away instead of arresting him. Visibly struggling with herself and how much she cares for Raphael, Isabelle volunteers to go to Detroit and arrest Raphael herself. And as if that wasn’t already painful enough, Raphael doesn’t even protest when Izzy shows up. Instead, he comes willingly with her to New York and once they are back at the Institute, they get to share an emotional, tearful goodbye that had us reaching for our tissue boxes too.
Raphael and Izzy’s relationship may be based on an addiction, but there was always mutual understanding, trust and respect between them that made us love their relationship so much. Despite the many hardships and everything they’ve been through, they always cared about each other and watching them part this way, with sad smiles and tears in their eyes, was painful on an entirely new level. Luckily, Todd Slavkin already teased on Twitter that this wasn’t the last we’ve seen of Raphael, otherwise we would have lost it (especially as this paragraph was updated accordingly right after that Malec sneak peek from 3×16 was released. You know the one.)
The dark side of borrowed magic
Raphael’s arrest and transfer to Idris wasn’t the only emotional moment this week. Just before the episode comes to a close, we get to see one more Malec scene. Magnus joins Alec in his office and apologizes for how he reacted about Underhill earlier. Alec reassures him that he’s not mad about that, but addresses another serious topic instead: After realizing that outsiders living at the Institute is a breach of protocol, Alec is honest to Magnus about it and tells him that him staying at the Institute will not work out. But don’t worry, he doesn’t just kick him out – come on, this is Alec Lightwood we’re talking about here, he wouldn’t do that to Magnus. He actually came up with a much better alternative: In a very sweet, nervous moment Alec asks Magnus if – once Magnus finds a new place – they could move in together. Which Magnus agrees to, on the condition that he’s getting his own walk-in closet and with one of the sweetest smiles we’ve seen on him since… well, ever.
Now, we know that according to the messed up Shadowhunters timeline it has probably been a week at most since Alec asked Magnus about moving in with him for the first time. But since these are the last few episodes we’re ever going to get and we don’t have time to agonize over the timeline, we chose to ignore that.
Instead, we were planning on being happy for them – but sadly, we didn’t get the chance to since Magnus and Alec don’t get to make any further move-in plans. In one of the meanest twists in the history of mean twists on Shadowhunters, their happy bubble is burst in a heartbeat. Magnus is just about to lean in and kiss Alec when using all that borrowed magic finally catches up with him. And this time, it’s not only a nosebleed. He starts coughing blood, stumbles and eventually falls. Alec barely has the time to catch him when Magnus already starts seizing violently, too far gone to hear Alec calling for help or notice his efforts to bring Magnus back.
What happened after that, you may ask? Well, we don’t know yet. The episode ends with a shot of Alec kneeling by Magnus’s side on the floor of his office. We don’t learn anything about what happens to Magnus. The trailer for next week’s episode doesn’t give us much reason to hope either, given that it shows Magnus in the Institute’s infirmary, unconscious and with Alec sitting by his bedside, behind them a screen that states Magnus’ condition as critical.
We suppose it’s safe to say that things are not looking too good for Magnus next week. Also, based on the trailer and the Malec sneak peek, we suppose we better get our ice cream, tissues and comfort food ready and prepare for the tears, as there will be many. Is anyone else already scared when thinking about next week’s episode? Rest assured that you’re not the only one.
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.