REVIEW: Shadowhunters – 2.11: “Mea Maxima Culpa”


I still don’t understand why you get so much hate.

I love a good season premiere, and boy did Shadowhunters‘ season 2B premiere deliver! Come to think of it, I don’t think there’s been a season premiere episode I wasn’t incredibly engaged in. This could mean that the writing, acting, directing, etc. is always amazing, or I’m just that into this show and fandom. (It’s probably a bit of both).

The episode pretty much picks up right where we left off. Jace activated the Soul Sword, they have Valentine in custody, and we now know that Jace isn’t actually Clary’s sibling. In fact, he’s now spilled this information to his parabatai, Alec. It was interesting seeing Alec “the law is the law” Lightwood in this episode. He spends the majority of it caring for everyone around him. Granted, said people are primarily his sister, boyfriend, and parabatai, so it makes sense.


Just when I begin to appreciate Climon, they’re going to rip this ship away from me, aren’t they?

Speaking of Isabelle Lightwood, it was her story-line that caught my attention the most. Watching her go through withdrawals from the yin-feng was an uncomfortable sight to see; but a tremendous acting job on Emeraude Toubia’s part (one of the many reasons why we named her our ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’ this week!). Eager for just a little more vampire venom to calm herself down, she heads to Raphael’s. He’s very much aware that “a little bite” could result in her addiction to yin-feng continuing. “It’s because I care,” he explains to Isabelle. I know I’ve ranted in the past about how this yin-feng storyline has made her just the shell of the strong-willed woman she once was. But now I’m looking forward to seeing her claim her independence back; maybe with the help of new character, Sebastian (Will Tudor). A former yin-feng addict himself, Sebastian first meets Isabelle when he saves her when she tries to find another source of yin-feng besides Raphael. “The good news was that I was successful, you can be too,” he explains of his yin-feng addiction to Isabelle later. We don’t quite know much about this mysterious shadowhunter from London yet, but I’m excited to see what the show will reveal.


“You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my Dad!”

The majority of “Mea Maxima Culpa” (which I learned means ‘through my fault’ in Latin) centers around Valentine of all people. The Clave/Institute try everything to get him to crack and relay the whereabouts of the Mortal Cup. No form of punishment will do the trick. There was actually a very brief flashback shown of a small boy in a fire with terror in his eyes. Seeing how he was simultaneously being tortured, I assumed this was a younger Valentine. This 30-second flashback was enough for me to have sympathy for the all-evil Shadowhunter. I love it when books/films/shows explain the origin story as to how the antagonist became the way they are today. It makes me understand where they’re coming from and is sometimes the main reason why I end up loving their character so much (Ex: Katherine Pierce). It’s thanks to Valentine that Clary finds out the brother bombshell, what with him practically announcing his love for ‘Clace.’ “You must still have feelings for her,” he slyly remarks. “Now isn’t that a pickle.” Second reason I’m starting to appreciate Valentine (or probably just Alan Van Spring in general): his hilarious snarky one-liners.

Queue the big reveal: “Valentine is not my father. I’m not your brother, Clary.” Clace shippers how are you feeling about this news? Clary is definitely uneasy about it. Bring on the Clace vs. Climon love triangle!


I want nothing but happy things for you, Maia Roberts!

The season 2B premiere ends with a big body switcheroo between Valentine and Magnus. This is a fantasy/supernatural drama, of course there was going to be a body switching plot at some point. I’m all for this, but if Alec doesn’t pick up on how his boyfriend is acting different, I will not be okay!

An honorable mention I have to err… mention, before I wrap this review up are two small things that occurred in this episode that I loved dearly. 1) Simon/Maia’s friendship. Actually, the inclusion of Maia as a whole. Simon explains to Maia how he became a daylighter, and she’s ecstatic for him! “Simon, that’s amazing. Don’t you realize you have something every Downworlder wants? The chance at living a normal life!” This scene warmed my heart, and just makes me want Simon/Maia to give it another shot! I think the pair just bring out the best in each other and they have so much in common! What do you guys think?

Secondly, I adore Luke’s new partner, Ollie. A queer lady cop that has a girlfriend (Samantha, whom I hope we see!) and makes sassy comments to Luke every time they’re together? Shadowhunters writers – please continue to give Ollie screen-time. I want to see more of her!

What did you think of the season 2B premiere of Shadowhunters: 2.11- “Mea Maxima Culpa”?

The next episode, 2.12: “You Are Not Your Own” airs Monday at 8/7c on Freeform!

Shadowhunters writers, I did not start watching this show to become an Alectine shipper; don’t make this weird for me. But honestly, on some level the body swapping story-line looks like it could be mildly amusing in certain contexts.