TV Recap: Shadowhunters s01e05: “Moo Shu to Go” or “Who’s in Charge of This Shitshow, Anyway?”

Greetings, fellow masochists, for it’s time to gather ‘round for another Shadowhunters recap!

A new gif to shake things up a little!

A new gif to shake things up a little!

When last we left our intrepid heroes, Clary had a dream-vision delivered courtesy of her glowing purple amulet. In the vision, she sees Valentine stooped creepily over a comatose Jocelyn, demanding the Mortal Cup for Jocelyn. Clary tells Jace about the dream-vision, and Alec overhears. Jace inspects the amulet and says it’s a “portal shard.”

I had no idea Claire's Accessories sold portal shards!

I had no idea Claire’s Accessories sold portal shards!

This confuses me. Whenever we’ve seen a portal, it’s been this floating rectangle of glowing purple CGI. Maybe some Shadowhunter scientist can solidify portals or something and someone accidentally broke one? Shit, I don’t care. Alec asks Clary more questions about the vision. Clary is visibly upset, so Jace scolds Alec for trying to actually get shit done. Alec tells Clary that “emotions are nothing but a distraction.” And who the fuck are you, Mr. Spock?


Alec continues to be the only level-headed one in this shitshow and takes the amulet, putting it away in a rune-locked vault for safekeeping. Jace wants to use the amulet to find Jocelyn and Clary agrees, arguing that they used the same method to save Simon from the vampires. Alec points out that vampires are a bunch of glorified emos and Valentine is far more powerful and scary. Considering the actor is channelling his “crazy Henry” act from Reign and hasn’t even sexed anyone out a window yet, I have a hard time believing this.

Clary is upset because Alec is being logical and is the only male not entralled by the power of the Mary Sue. Isabelle finds Clary and comforts her, and they talk a bit about Jocelyn. Jocelyn is a Cool Mom™, she and Clary are like BFFs, etc. Clary and Isabelle complain about Alec taking the amulet, but Clary thinks she might know another way to locate Valentine. She never gets a chance to tell us, though, because a stern-looking-woman suddenly charges into the Institute in a burst of CGI. It’s Isabelle and Alec’s mother, Maryse Lightwood. She’s just arrived from the Shadowhunter homeland of Idris.

I really just wanted an excuse to post a photo of idris Elba.

I really just wanted an excuse to post a photo of idris Elba.

Maryse is very brusque with Isabelle and not particularly affectionate. We find out in this convo that Isabelle and Alec have a kid brother Max hidden at the Institute in Mumbai. I don’t know why this information is important, but the characters keep belaboring it, so here it is. You better be important, Max. Maryse has urgent matters to discuss with Jace. I keep wondering who is in charge of this shitshow. In the books, it was Hodge, but that’s obviously not his role in the show. We’re never told, and given how Maryse just waltzes in and starts giving orders without consulting with anyone else, I’m starting to wonder if anyone here actually is in charge. The only people we’ve ever seen at the Institute are the main characters, Hodge, and a handful of extras looking busy in the background. The Lightwood twins and Jace seem to be the ones calling most of the shots (but always worrying about being ratted out to the Clave by one of the extras, I guess) and if that’s true, well, the Clave really has its shit together leaving the Institute in the care of three teens who dress like extras from an Evanescence video.

"I'm cutting you kids off from shopping at Hot Topic"

“I’m cutting you kids off from shopping at Hot Topic.”

Maryse finds Jace, who’s doing some crouching tiger shit for his training. Maryse informs everyone that the Seelies have stopped communicating with the Clave, and they’re unhappy that the Clave sent Seelie scouts to spy on Valentine. Isabelle mentions her Seelie friends and Maryse acts like she smelled something vile, but it’s probably just Meliorn’s cologne. Maryse tells Isabelle there’s a reason Shadowhunters stay separate from the downworld, and they shouldn’t upset the “natural order.” Yay for super subtle racism/prejudice metaphors! Maryse sends Jace and Isabelle to talk to Meliorn while relegating Alec to babysitting Clary. Once Maryse leaves, Clary asks Alec what’s up his Mom’s ass. Alec replies that it’s probably all the unsanctioned missions.

"Guys! We're actually in the shot! Everyone look busy."

“Guys! We’re actually in the shot! Everyone look busy.”

Back at the police precinct, Luke is logging false confessions for the demonic murders, the ones in which the victims are drained of blood. Remember those? I probably wouldn’t either, if I weren’t self-flagellating recapping this show for you. Luke’s partner Alaric says the victims were all getting psychiatric care or medication for hallucinations of creatures in the shadow world. Luke concludes the victims must be mundanes with the Sight. OK, or they could’ve just been dropping a lot of acid while marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns. Luke suspects Valentine is experimenting on mundanes again, building an army to get the Mortal Cup.

Mundanes, to Valentine. And yes, I wanted to break up this recap with cute things

Mundanes, to Valentine. But probably less adorable.

Luke has to find Clary to protect her. Alaric warns Luke not to jeopardize his badge, so Luke tasks Alaric with finding Clary.

Back at the Institute, Clary is idly sketching and sees that she has drawn a detailed picture of Valentine. Distressed, she rips the page out of her sketch book and crumples it up.

I guess this isn’t going on Clary’s Deviantart page.

I guess this isn’t going on Clary’s Deviantart page.

Alec talks to Jace about the events of last week, specifically the vision Alec had of Jace when the demon was pulling memories of the person each of the characters loved the most. Jace is nonchalant, having interpreted the vision as brotherly love. Alec acts all awkward and is super obvious about what it really meant, but Jace either plays dumb or really is that dumb, and I’m betting on the latter.

We check up on Simon, since I know y’all are dying to know find out happened to him, pun not intended but I’m still taking credit for it. Simon’s at the DuMort, standing outside like a dumb ass when Raphael intercepts him. He tells Simon to get out, scaring him with his Party City fangs before Simon finally complies.

"Also, I just ate an entire bag of Funyuns."

“Also, I just ate an entire bag of Funyuns.”

Back at the Institute, Clary is training when Alec finds her. She tells him says thinks his mother was hard on him, to which Alec replies, “All mothers are like that.” Clary says, “Mine’s not.” Casually reiterating what an awesome Mom Jocelyn is to a guy who clearly has Mommy issues doesn’t make you look like a callous asshole or anything like that. Shit, Clary Sue and Jace really are made for each other. Alec and Clary spar with staffs while arguing about Alec being the Hermione of the group with his rule-following, by-the-book approach. Um, given that no one seems to be in charge here at the Institute, someone’s got to keep you assholes in line. He might be doing a piss-poor job of it, but someone’s got to do it.

"What do you mean, I need more training? I got first-place in my school's baton-twirling competition!"

“What do you mean, I need more training? I got first-place in my school’s baton-twirling competition!”

Alec bests Clary in the sparring match, which honestly shocked me, because I was sure Clary Sue would beat Alec since we’re clearly meant to think she and Jace of the “charge in all half-cocked and ask questions later if we’re still alive” approach are right. Clary tells Alec about a box her Mom used to look at once a year and and cry. It probably contained the scripts for this show. The box had Clary’s father’s initials on it—not Valentine, but the fictional father Jocelyn told Clary about, named Jonathan Clark. Clary thinks the box is still in the loft, but Alec won’t go get it without permission.

Magnus calls Alec just then, and we’re treated to cheesy violin music as Magnus strolls around the lair. Magnus asks Alec on a date, but Alec gives him a rain check. Meanwhile, Clary has sneaked off while Alec is distracted.

We cut to a Chinese restaurant called the Jade Wolf, which is almost as subtle as the DuMort.

I bet these assholes aren’t gluten-free.

I bet these assholes aren’t gluten-free.

A big ole CGI wolf walks in through a doggy door and morphs into Alaric. A greasy guy gives a rousing speech, encouraging the pack to take the Mortal Cup for themselves rather than entrusting it to the Shadowhunters. Alaric hands Greasy Dude a photo, which Greasy Dude shows to the pack. He orders his underlings to find this girl, because she’ll help them find the Mortal Cup. We see the photo, and it’s Clary.

Cut to Clary at art school. Hold up, she’s still going to art school through all this? Does she have a time turner or powers of bilocation or something? Alec tracks her down, just as Simon calls her cell. Clary tells Simon of her plans. Simon is derisive of Alec’s ability to protect Clary and insists on coming to help. Hey asshole, last I checked Alec and his Shadowhunter buddies were saving your ass. Not to mention that Clary is a Shadowhunter, making her more powerful than you are and thus better equipped to protect herself than you are to protect her. Simon, why don’t you just come off it and admit you are just showing up to pee on Clary’s leg and mark your fucking territory.

Is that a rubix cube in the background? Why would an art school have a rubix cube logo? Why do I care?

Is that a rubix cube in the background? Why would an art school have a rubix cube logo? Why do I care?

To her credit, Clary tries to dissuade Simon, but it doesn’t work. Alec is none too pleased with this development. Clary asks, “Why do you always look so miserable?” Oh, I don’t know, because he’s on shitty Freeform TV show with you idiots? Just a shot in the dark here. Clary calls Alec on his unrequited crush on Jace, citing Jace’s straightness as the reason it isn’t mutual and not, you know, incest. Yeah, yeah, Alec and Jace aren’t blood related, but their relationship is a brotherly one and they have that Shadowhunter Vulcan mind meld bond or some shit. I call incest.

Cut to Chez Meliorn, where he’s doing some mystic shit amidst a forest of gauzy sheets with butterflies affixed to them. Isabelle and Jace arrive, announcing that they just want to ask Meliorn some questions.

"All hail Michael's Crafts!"

“All hail Michael’s Crafts!”

In other “characters we didn’t miss at all” news, cut to Chernobyl where Valentine is giving a rousing speech to some prisoners. He asks for a brave volunteer, upon on whom he tattoos one of his Circle runes and injects him with Seelie blood. The volunteer keels over, and Valentine declares, “If he is worthy, he will live.” So by not only making it through these episodes but recapping them in great detail, my ass better be worthy too. Shit, I could probably be their evil overlord by now.

But I won't, until this show gets cancelled.

But I won’t, until this show gets cancelled.

Alec and Clary meet up with Simon, and the three amigos make their way to the loft. Simon leaps over a wall and springs up a fire escape like Jessica Jones, and Clary just thinks he’s been working out. For what it’s worth, Clary also thinks Simon’s getting over the flu to explain his vampire symptoms, because this is an idiot plot and the characters are idiots. Alec makes a crack about how “climbing a fire escape excites mundanes” but let’s be real here, there isn’t much else to get excited about in this episode. Clary notices runes and wards of protection on the loft, which she now can see because she’s a Shadowhunter. Simon points out that he can see them too. Alec asks when Simon got the Sight, and Clary doesn’t even bat an eye. Simon then breaks the locked door after Clary can’t, and again no one questions it.

Um… this guy got kidnapped by vampires and was kept overnight. He’s been feeling weird and ill since he was rescued. Now he has unexplained powers and can see runes. But hey, it’s just the flu, and working out, and just happening to suddenly acquire the Sight, no big.

Is everyone in this show an idiot???

Wait, don’t answer that.

In the loft, Clary finds an old photo of her fake Dad among her burned belongings. Meanwhile, Simon uncovers a secret hiding place under creaky floor boards. They find the box Clary told Alec about and open it, but it’s full of stuff Clary doesn’t recognize.

"Well, at least I didn't find a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in here."

“Well, at least I didn’t find a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in here.”

There’s a crash outside, and Alec goes to investigate. A CGI wolf streaks through the bushes, distracting Alec. The wolf gets away, and Alec sees Clary and Simon being herded into an unmarked car by Alaric and friends. They drive off before Alec can get to them.

Back at Meliorn’s place, Isabelle asks if the Seelie queen broke communications with the Clave. Jace sees the butterflies and, recognizing a Seelie mourning custom, deduces that the Seelie scouts are dead and that Valentine killed them. Meliorn suggests that the Seelies broke communication because they don’t believe that the Clave can protect them.

Jace gets call from Alec informing him that Clary sneaked out of the Institute. He and Isabelle rush over the the loft, where they meet up with Alec. Jace seems to think Alec is lying when he claims he doesn’t know where the werewolves took Clary. Either I am mishearing this dialogue, or this exchange is completely mystifying. At no point does Alec seem to have any idea where Clary is, and it never comes up again.

Clary, Simon, and their kidnappers arrive at the Jade Wolf. Alaric gets a call from Luke, but Greasy Dude tells him to ignore it. Meanwhile, Jace and Alec try the Vulcan mind-meld tracking thing they do using one of Clary’s drawings. It doesn’t work. Jace and Alec quibble about Clary; lather, rinse, repeat. We see Isabelle on the phone in the background; I assume she called the police because she confirms that Clary wasn’t arrested.

"In a competition between us and the background over who's got more shit painted on them, who'd win?"

“In a competition between us and the background over who’s got more shit painted on them, who’d win?”

Back at the Jade Wolf, the werewolves interrogate Clary and Simon. Greasy Dude says Simon is funny, which only offers further proof that Greasy Dude does not have the soundest judgment. The werewolves think Clary is lying about not knowing where the Mortal Cup is, and threaten to kill Simon if Clary doesn’t tell them. Oh, good. Some asshole in wolf form comes in and Clary just now figures out they’re werewolves. Guys, our heroine is so smart and perceptive! Fearing for Simon’s life despite the fact that you his ass is undead already, Clary lies and tells the werewolves the cup is hidden in the loft, in the same place they found the box.

"Tell us where the Mortal Cup is, or you have to brush our pal's teeth"

“Tell us where the Mortal Cup is, or you have to brush our pal’s teeth.”

Meanwhile, Simon is being held in a back room with lockers and what looks like a cage, but he’s cuffed and dangling by his ankles from the ceiling. I would ask why the werewolves didn’t just put him in the cage, but that would be logical. Anyway, this undead motherfucker super powers his way free and finds a phone in one of the lockers.

Back to the Lightwoods and Jace, who thinks Clary and Simon are somewhere over a body of water, which is why their magical tracking didn’t work. I love arbitrary magical constraints for plot device’s sake. Simon calls Jace, telling them where he and Clary are. The exchange is drawn out to waste airtime and show Jace getting increasingly frustrated with Simon, and Simon making a stupid joke about the Jade Wolf having cheap cocktails. Jade Wolf owes me some of those. Jace tells Simon to stall the werewolves.

I can't read the names, but if they're not full of canine puns this show is worthless... well, more worthless.

I can’t read the names, but if they’re not full of canine puns this show is worthless… well, more worthless.

Suddenly it’s nighttime at the Jade Wolf. Simon trips the fire alarm using a lighter he found in a locker. Greasy Dude evacuates the facility, taking Clary to a shipping container and locking her inside. Clary draws a rune on the the lock. It catches fire, but before anything else can happen, Luke bursts in and rescues her. He found her by tracing Alaric’s car. Clary is naturally suspicious of Luke, as the last time she saw him he was disavowing his friendship with her and with Jocelyn. Luke explains that he lied to Valentine’s people to protect her. Clary still doesn’t believe him, but Luke doesn’t have time for this bullshit and throws her over his shoulder and carries her out.

Alec and Jace intercept them, knock out Luke and rescue Clary. Meanwhile, Isabelle rescues Simon. The group reunite only to find themselves surrounded by werewolves, in wolf form. Things are looking bleak for them when another wolf shows up and fights with the alpha. The alpha is killed, and the surviving wolf morphs into Luke.

Raise your hand if this is a complete shock to you.

Because Luke killed the alpha, he’s the new alpha, so the whole pack howls and bows to him. Luke then passes out. Jace insists on helping Clary and Luke while Alec and Isabelle to report back to Maryse. According to Jace, only a warlock’s magic can cure an alpha’s bite, so they have to take Luke to Magnus. Simon drives them as he’s the only one with a mundane license.



Will Luke survive??? Considering that the actor credited for 13 episodes on imdb, I’d say that’s a it’s a mystery.