Picking up right where last week’sShadowhunters” left off, Magnus and Valentine have switched bodies, and Magnus can’t get anyone to listen to him, while Valentine is intent on getting himself back to the Mortal Cup. Meanwhile, Isabelle introduces Sebastian around the Institute on the hunt for Azazel in “You Are Not Your Own.”

Clary and Simon are super cute

Considering that I’ve found Clary to be the weakest (and no, I don’t mean her Shadowhunter skillset) of the corps group of characters, and didn’t find the back and forth between her and Jace interesting at all, I’m surprised to see how much I’m enjoying Clary and Simon as a couple.

The two of them add a lightness to the otherwise dark drama.

Given that even those who haven’t read the novels on which the series is based know just who Clary ends up with, the coupling is bittersweet. I’d rather watch the two friends together forever than the pairings that will eventually come up.

Of course, I’m not the only one finding Simon more interesting these days. Other vampires know that Simon is a daylighter now, and they’re certainly intrigued. Simon is probably going to end up in even more danger after threatening Rafael and showing off his daylighter status.

Harry Shum Jr. and Alan Van Sprang switch things up

Any time a series decides to tackle a body swapping storyline, things get tricky. The actors involved have to be game enough to pick up on the mannerisms and vocal patterns of the person they’re “switching” with, and that can make pulling the plot point off difficult. Harry Shum Jr. and Alan Van Sprang have no problem making it work.

In fact, their vocal patterns and mannerisms make it difficult to believe that other characters don’t recognize them as each other’s characters right away.

As Van Sprang is Magnus, being tortured and pleading with Alec, I’m sure many a viewer was yelling at the TV, and not just because it’s Alec and Magnus, but because he did a pitch perfect job in the role.

Shum as Valentine, on the other hand, is suitably angry and creepy, and had to be fun for the actor to take on. Valentine and Magnus couldn’t be more different and the actors did such a fantastic job making them distinct here as well.

Feel it, Clary!

Alec, as soon as Izzy brings Sebastian around the Institute, suddenly seeming okay without vampire venom in her system, doesn’t trust the new addition. Can you blame him? Sebastian shows up out of nowhere and is able to help Izzy when her own brother couldn’t? I wouldn’t trust him either. In fact, I don’t. He does ingratiate himself with another Shadowhunter though: Clary.

Clary initially goes to him for help since he’s got the skinny on Azazel and her runes haven’t worked since she fought the Greater Demon.

Sebastian explains to Clary that her magic is blocked because she’s been holding back her hurt and anger over her family being ripped away from her, especially since she learned that Jace isn’t even her brother.

Later, Alec, again, doesn’t trust Sebastian as Clary can’t access her runes to get into Magnus’ warded apartment, where Magnus, Valentine, and Jace are. It’s Sebastian zeroing in on her pain and insecurity that gets her to channel her emotions into a productive use of her talents. In order to do it though, Sebastian has to take her to a dark place, so Alec is probably right about not being able to trust him, right?

Another family secret

So, Jace isn’t Clary’s brother, and he isn’t Valentine’s son, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have family close by. Valentine reveals that Inquisitor Herondale is actually Jace’s grandmother. That certainly changes her attitude toward him, but really, if we have to have one more family secret revealed by Valentine, I’m calling shenanigans. How many families has he meddled in? It’s getting old.

The verdict and what’s next

With more of Izzy’s recovery in this episode, and some stellar acting thanks to the body switcharoo, this episode was even more fun than last week.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

In next week’s “Those of Demon Blood,” several Shadowhunters lose their lives, and the Institute decides to take drastic measures, including putting tracking devices on werewolves.

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