Only hours have passed since Jace left with Valentine and all hell has broken loose at The Institute. Alec, Isabelle and Clary are desperate to find Jace, but are quickly stopped in their tracks with the arrival of Victor Aldertree, who means business about getting the Institute back on track. But getting the New York Shadowhunters in-line with The Clave may be counterintuitive to Alec, Isabelle and Clary's plan to rescue Jace.
Meanwhile, Jocelyn has a lot to catch up on now that she is awake.
Valentine has started playing his mind games on Jace. When Jace sees Clary on the ship, he fights off anyone who approaches them as they make their escape off the ship. Jace fights off Valentine and kills him, but when they encounter another, he soon realizes that the Valentines he's fought were fake and were in fact his men transformed into him. They end up in room with several caged Downworlders, and "Clary" finally deactivates the shapeshifting rune, revealing himself as Valentine, telling Jace that he had just tested his skills and loyalties, and though he was highly skilled, he was disloyal. Valentine sedates Jace and has his men string him up.
At the Institute, Alec, Isabelle, Lydia and the other Shadowhunters are searching for Jace. Even Magnus has offered his services but is unable to track him. Frantic and worried for his parabatai, Alec starts barking orders. Because of his foul mood, he insults both Magnus and Lydia, who then decides to dismiss him.
Meanwhile, in the Institute's greenhouse, Clary reunites with the newly-awakened Jocelyn. Clary returns Jocelyn's box of Jonathan Christopher's things, and Clary tells her that her son is alive and is now known as Jace. Surprised, Jocelyn is disbelieving at first, but Luke tells her that it's true. Simon then arrives, and Jocelyn is surprised to see that Simon has become a vampire.
Alec is having a hard time balancing his desire to find Jace and his budding relationship with Magnus. Magnus tries to be patient, but Alec's mind is too focused on Jace to think calmly. He is constantly frustrated when their efforts to track Jace fall short. Desperate, Alec tells Magnus that he will again use his parabatai rune to track Jace, despite the risks, and asks him to help with the pain. Magnus refuses, saying it could kill him, and Alec is angered once again and walks away.
To further complicate things, Victor Aldertree is sent by the Clave, in light of their recent declaration of State of Emergency at the Institute, as their representative and replaces Lydia as interim head of the Institute. He announces that he will be initiating the hunt for Jace by interrogating people of interest and locks down the Institute. Because it is official business, Aldertree records the sessions on his phone.
Back on the ship, Jace is being brutally tortured by Valentine's followers until Valentine himself arrives to stop them and give Jace an iratze. While Valentine makes spaghetti in the ship's kitchen, Jace once again tries to kill him and fails. Valentine calmly takes this and instead offers to answer his questions. Valentine tries to justify why he pretended to be Michael and later faked his death. He then tells him that Jocelyn abandoned him because he was different: he was born with demon blood, because he experimented and injected Jocelyn with the blood while he was still in her womb, and that this is the reason why he'd always felt stronger than other Shadowhunters. To prove it to him, he activates his Mnemosyne rune and shows him visions of his past doing just that.
Magnus is among those interviewed by Aldertree. He decides to head home after the long day, and Alec catches him, wondering why he's not helping. Magnus finally tells Alec off, telling him that Alec never risked anything for Magnus but in fact did those things for himself. The pair fights, and Magnus leaves.
From the inquiry, Aldertree deduced that Jace was in league with Valentine and was a traitor, despite Clary's efforts to convince him that Jace did what he did to save them. He declares Jace a traitor who is wanted, dead or alive. He also forbids Clary, Alec, Isabelle, and Jace's other friends in the Institute from participating in the search. He lifts the Institute lockdown, except for Clary and Jocelyn due to their relationship with Valentine and Jace. Jocelyn tries to get Clary to just comply, but she refuses. When Alec and Isabelle challenge Aldertree's decisions, he threatens them with de-runing.
Aldertree also proceeds to kick present Downworlders out of the Institute, namely Simon and Luke, despite it being dangerous for Simon, who can't get out in the sun when it's almost dawn, and Luke offering his services—as an NYPD detective—to help look for Jace. Luke offers the Jade Wolf as a place for Simon to stay, but the other werewolves make it clear to Simon that he isn't welcome.
Izzy then invites Clary to train with her, in front of Aldertree. Outside, Alec and Maryse fight over their stance on Jace's apparent treason, with Maryse convincing Alec that he should let go of Jace, saying that them taking in Valentine's son shamed their family and put them at risk. Alec calls her out for once again wanting to save herself from the problems by giving up on Jace so easily and heads to Magnus's apartment. Alec apologizes to Magnus, and after talking things out, the pair reconciles.
Clary sneaks out of the Institute in the guise of Aldertree with the shapeshifting rune. She goes to Luke to ask him to use his contacts to find Jace, and Luke sends her to see Simon before calling Jocelyn. While with Simon, Clary tries to track Jace with his gloves that she retrieved from the Institute. Shortly after, Jocelyn arrives and tricks her into giving up her phone, stele, and Jace's gloves, right before trapping her in the supply room with Simon.
While trapped in the room, Clary tries to contact others with Simon's phone while Simon tries to break down the door with his strength. When he stops and sits down next to Clary, they bond once again and he seemingly almost confesses to Clary his feelings for her but is interrupted when the door falls. They track Jocelyn down by using an app on Simon's phone to track hers.
Meanwhile, everyone else has made progress in tracking Jace, especially since he and Valentine have returned to land in New York: Jocelyn has been tracking Jace with the gloves she stole from Clary and, with her experience, has made more progress than her; Magnus has also agreed to Alec's request to help him use his parabatai rune to track Jace, but Alec no longer needed to because he's sensed Jace's return; and Maryse and Victor have been tracking him from the Institute.
Valentine takes Jace to Reggie's, a vampire den. Outside, Valentine convinces Jace that his demon blood will always make him want to kill, and is part of the reason why he wants Clary. When a scream is heard from the former pizza place, Jace rushes in. He follows the sound of the woman's screams and finds vampires feeding on mundanes. He picks up a cue stick, kills the feeding vampires, and lets the victims escape. He demands to see Maria, and when she steps out to greet Jace, other vampires come out with her. Outnumbered, Jace runs and hides in an adjacent room. Knowing that he can't let the door hold against the vampires forever, he goes for a wooden pizza peel and manages to kill the vampires with the makeshift weapon. Maria is left and faces him.
At the Institute, Izzy and Alec try to call off Aldertree's forces to protect Jace, offering to bring him in themselves, but are instead held in the Institute against their will. Lydia promises to do what she can to help Jace.
Maria tackles Jace, and they fall out of the building's glass window. She tries to escape but her path is blocked by Valentine. Just as Jace was about to kill her, Maria surrenders herself to him—to the authority of the Clave, making it illegal to kill her because of the Accords. Maria continues to taunt him while Valentine watches on. Valentine mentions Reggie, angering Maria. When Jace points out that she killed Reggie, she once again tries to attack him but is stabbed by Jace. Jace is devastated, possibly by having proven his father right and doing just what he wanted, or for breaking Shadowhunter Law.
Simon and Clary arrive just as Jace kills Maria. Across the street, Jocelyn aims for Jace with her crossbow. Valentine sees this and takes the arrow for Jace. When Jocelyn prepares for another shot, Clary tries to stop her and Jace runs into the Portal with Valentine.
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A list of the known songs and score music featured in this episode:
- "Battling Go-Go Yubari In Downtown L.A." - edIT
- "Murmurs" - Sierra Deaton
- "Buddha's Light" - APM
- "Certified Air Raid Material" - edIT
- "Hey Believers" (Instrumental version) - Peter Bradley Adams
- "Fire Riddim" - edIT
- The episode picked up right where the previous episode (Morning Star) left off.
- Maxim and Alan both portrayed their respective characters' own younger versions in a flashback scene that took place much earlier than the flashback events in Of Men and Angels, where they were portrayed by different, younger actors to show their characters' youths and the time passage.
The following are elements adapted from The Mortal Instruments:
- This episode shares a name with the ninth chapter of City of Glass.
- Valentine and his followers were in hiding on a ship in City of Ashes.
- Clary remembers seeing Jocelyn taking out her box labeled "J.C." and crying over it, at first thinking it was about her father before eventually learning that it was about her brother.
- Jocelyn also truly believed that her son, Jonathan, died in the Fairchild manor fire.