The problems I had with the writers framing Izzy and the werewolves scene as being a badass moment. I would like to add that Izzy is pretty badass, but that werewolf scene raised a lot of flags for me:

1. Izzy basically using a slur to address the wolves, because take it as you will, but her saying “stay” and “good doggy” wasn’t a badass moment, it was her speaking from the position of highly respected shadowhunter and using a slur on a downworlder, and when you consider that Shadowhunters uses the relationship between shadowhunters and downworlders as a racial allegory, then yes, it is exactly as bad as you think it is.

2. Izzy not giving Luke the chance to take control of his pack. Her having that shadowhunter moment of stepping into the situation to ‘save the day’ when Luke as Pack leader should have been given that chance speaks a lot. It’s an implied message that Luke doesn’t have control over his pack and a shadowhunter can instead beat them into submission, further perpetuating Valentine’s belief that downworlders cannot be ‘reasoned with’ because sooner rather than later, they ‘give in to their demonic side’.

3. Izzy using her whip on the wolf that was charging at Jace. When we consider the fact that Maia didn’t move, and the second wolf didn’t move either, then we realize that there’s a huge chance that the wolf charging at Jace is Gretel’s godfather (which explains why he didn’t listen to his alpha, he’s distraught). Which would mean that Izzy basically used her whip to subdue a man grieving the loss of a girl who’s basically his daughter, a girl who Jace kidnapped and practically handed over to Valentine. So not only was a shadowhunter responsible for taking his goddaughter away from him, but another shadowhunter basically beat him into submission by using ‘force’ against him. 

We really got to see Luke fully embrace his position as an Alpha werewolf in this episode! Previously we’ve seen more of him as a detective, as a father figure, as a former Shadowhunter, and as a friend and mentor, so it was nice to see him flourish in this role. 

It starts with learning about the dynamics he has with his pack members. We know that he’s probably closest to Alaric, who’s basically his second in command. When Alaric said that Gretel was a “sweet kid”, Luke bluntly said that she wasn’t, that she was a “pain in the ass”, and that he was going to miss her. Candid and affectionate. 

He cares about his pack members. I don’t think he’s had any time to mourn Gretel, given that he’s navigating a very treacherous field - he wants to protect Jace from his pack members, figure out what exactly is going on with Valentine, protect his pack members and his loved ones from Valentine, and stay within the lines of both the werewolf pack code AND the Clave Accords. So he was more practically and emotionally aloof in this episode than he has been before - we get to see him kind and angry and affectionate, but this time he had no choice but to bury his emotions and let his objective side reign. 

His dynamic with Maia is also excellent. Maia is honest with him (she is a blunt person generally speaking), and while he is willing to listen to his pack members, and while he definitely understands their genuine anger (Gretel was their pack member and her death was unfair and cruel), he also needs to set boundaries. When he says “I’m on the side of the law”, it reminded me of what Isabelle said about the law back in season one. I don’t think Luke meant the law as dictated by human/mundane legal codes or the Clave’s Accords or the pack’s code. Luke has a legal philosophy of his own. For him, the law means protecting the innocent, no matter who they are, and it means listening to all sides of a given situation and acting properly with the information in front of him. It is his brand of justice. He doesn’t adhere to anyone else’s justice, but he simultaneously knows that he has to keep everyone else’s “version” of the law in mind before he sets out to practice his own. So, that being said, when he stated that he’d kill Jace if it turns out that Jace was doing Valentine’s dirty work, I saw that as two-fold: 1) he said that to appease his bloodthirsty pack members, and 2) he meant it. He cares about Jace and wants to keep him safe, but he doesn’t tolerate nonsense and cruelty either. 

As you can see, Luke placed a lot of boundaries in this episode. What he is willing to tolerate and what he isn’t. When he’s wiling to negotiate and when he isn’t. Who he’ll listen to and who he won’t. What the law truly entails and what it doesn’t. When his pack is right and when it isn’t. When “blood for blood” is honor-bound and when it isn’t. 

Luke also said that he knows Valentine’s manipulations quite well, which broke my heart because it cements the facts that he loved Valentine, he was his parabatai, and that he was a victim of Valentine’s abuse just like Jocelyn and Jace are. Which leads me to think that part of why Luke understands Jace on this fundamental level, as someone who has been abused by the same person, a person whom he may still think about. He used to care about Valentine immensely. He was betrayed and abused by him, and we need to acknowledge the impact of Valentine’s abuse on Luke as well. He doesn’t talk about it too often, but he’s actually acknowledging it. I can only imagine what heinous things Valentine did to Luke when they were parabatai. 

Finally. Luke’s eyes shining an emerald sheen and transforming as he wielded his Alpha prowess over his angry pack members was a beautiful sight to behold. I’ve been waiting to see it again. It serves as an important reminder to all of us that for as much as he is a kind and fatherly figure, humorous and compassionate, he is also a strong and sturdy leader, a bastion of morality and justice. It would be unwise to forget that, or to underestimate or undermine him. He’s not playing around. 

Shadowhunters S02E03

This episode was so trippy in how OOC everyone seemed compared to everything we’ve seen so far:

Izzy was realistic over idealistic
Magnus felt desperate and powerless
Alec didn’t roll his eyes once
Jace was concerned about his parabatai
Luke put his pack above the shadowhunters
Jocelyn sorta tried to be helpful
Clary was a somewhat decent friend
Simon wasn’t hilarious
Rafael was…well, Rafael was still Rafael

9

People are scared, but they can’t be paralyzed by that fear. You have to fight for what’s right every single day, bulletproof skin or not. You can’t just not snitch, or turn away or take money under the table because life has turned you sour. When did people stop caring? Harlem is supposed to represent our hopes and dreams. It’s the pinnacle of black art, politics, innovation. It’s supposed to be a shining light to the world. It’s our responsibility to push forward, so that the next generation will be further along than us.