Unpopular opinion rant time
Honestly? I have to say I’m disappointed with Magnus in this episode.
Let’s just get something else of the way first.
I believe that Alec was stuck in an impossible situation where there was no good choice to make. Should Magnus be told about the Sword? Probably. Magnus can keep a secret, so Alec could have confined in him.
But would it be fair to put Magnus in a situation where he would have to lie to his own people? No. Not with everything else that Magnus had to deal with. So I can understand why Alec wanted to spare him from that.
Do I think Alec can do no wrong? Absolutely not. He’s fumbling and screwing up more often than not, but that’s understandable. It’s his first relationship - and a very serious one too. He’s trying and learning and he’s only 20-something years old. People are allowed to fuck up, especially when they are that young.
And he’s not fucking up as the Head of the Institute. He’s thrown into a position of power in the middle of the brewing war and he has to juggle the responsibility of being in charge and not letting his heart and his mind clash. I sure as heck didn’t have to handle that kind of burden when I was twenty.
And let’s not forget that he needs to keep himself in mind too. Alec is used to giving and not getting much in return. A couple episodes ago he told Magnus that he could be de-runed for keeping the fact that Luke attacked Valentine away from the Clave. What would happen to him of they suspected that he leaked crucial information to the Downworld?
The position of Head is not chosen by election. It’s not democratic, where the will of the people is the law. The Clave is the law. They can remove Alec from power faster than Magnus can snap his fingers. Even if you disregard Alec’s personal ambitions (which you shouldn’t, he’s allowed to have a career and ambitions and not sacrifice his own dreams for everyone else) and insist that getting removed from power is a price he could pay for not lying to Magnus - what good would that have done? He’s the only Head in a long while who actually gives a shit about Downworlders, who invited them into the Institute to talk and work with them. He’s the one who can make a real difference, if only he has enough time.
And I feel like Magnus doesn’t remember any of that. He’s stuck in a limbo of PTSD after the torture - which is understandable and so very human. But I feel like it’s a really poor writing at this point. Magnus doesn’t act like a hundreds years old warlock, he’s acting like a teenager, lashing out and being illogical. He’s scared and he’s not thinking clearly, letting his emotions rule over his head.
And I get it. I might not like it, but I get it.
But getting personal and comparing Alec to his family was unfair. Who exactly is he comparing him to? His cheating father? His prejudiced mother? Both of them, the ex-members of the Circle who murdered Downworlders? And what was that comparison based on, on the fact that Alec hid one important information from him, the one that would make someone unhappy no matter what he chose to do?
Magnus is allowed to be angry or disappointed by Alec, it’s his right, after everything he has been through lately. But getting this personal and attacking the most vulnerable point of Alec (his low self esteem and the feelings that he’s failing everyone) is just a fucking low blow.