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Reviews

S2 E20: The Finale is Not What Was Promised, Thank the Angel

Anyone who has seen anything about Shadowhunters on Twitter can tell the marketing department is not the show’s strong suit. There has been a lot of controversy coming from the advertising tactics. Most of it comes from overselling the plot or relationship developments.

It should surprise no one that the Season Finale was over-sold. We were promised a death, brutal violence, and an unresolved ending for the show’s most popular couple. Thankfully, there was none of that. Instead, we got a well written, acted, and paced episode.

Beside Still Water

Shadowhunters waste no time to show that Jonathan is still alive. It is a smart move, as exactly no one is surprised to see him still breathing. Instead, the show innovates with Jonathan’s next move. He uses his blood to form a pentagram on the beach he washed off on. There, Jonathan calls for his “mom.” There were many theories about the episode, but none talked about Jonathan opening up the rift from Edom to New York.

From there came the most menacing demon the show has ever shown; a fire-breathing bat-like dragon demon. Also known as Edomei. As the Shadowhunters are still concerned with locating Valentine, the aerial alarms go off, alerting to the new threat. Alec, Izzy, Jace, and Clary go hunt it and Alec shoots the thing down. However, it splits up creating miniatures demons which run off and spread into the city.

So, excuse me. A fire-breathing, bat-and-hydra-like dragon demon. Edom is sure looking like a place to avoid.

And so does the Seelie Court. Maia is held captive against her will and we now learn why. The Seelie Queen wants to gossip about Simon. As much as I admire the Queen’s tenacity, this is really not the time for boy talk. Maia tries to leave, only to be sent to the Wonder Woods.

Maia’s absence doesn’t go unnoticed. Luke and Simon suspect the Seelies are involved in her disappearance and go to the Court in order to get her back. There, Luke quickly learns about the deal between the Queen and Valentine. It is interesting that she doesn’t seem particularly keen in hiding that at all. The Queen wants the Daylighter; everything else is unimportant.

We should all strive to have clear priorities just as the Queen has.

Eventually, Luke finds Maia but it is only after Simon and Queen talk in private that all three of them are allowed to leave. We later find out that Simon had to accept the Seelie Queen’s offer to join her Court in order to set Maia free. I do like to see Simon’s storyline align with a powerful Downworlder, as menacing as it seems.

If the Seelie Queen doesn’t care that word got out about her aiding Valentine, the others do. The Shadowhunters find themselves spread thin as the Edomei are multiplying by the minute and now Valentine is on his way to Lake Lyn. They decide to part ways, with Clary and Jace going to Alicante while Alec and Izzy protect the city.

The Lightwoods realize they need Magnus to close the rift. Izzy finds it while Alec goes to ask for Magnus’ help. Their exchange is equal parts funny (“duh”) and gut-wrenching (“what do you want, Shadowhunter?”). Magnus is beyond pissed off that he has put his hopes in the Seelie Queen’s treacherous hands, only to be betrayed by her as well. But Alec is having none of Magnus’ lashing out. The rift has to be closed, and Magnus is the only one powerful enough to do it.

They portal to the beach and there’s no sign of Jonathan there, but for his blood. Magnus is able to close the rift and blast a flying Edomei, because as he reminds a worried Alec, he is the High Warlock after all.

Meanwhile, Clary and Jace find the guards that were supposed to be guarding the Lake. They also meet the Consul, Malachi. The “Circle mole” plot doesn’t drag for much longer as Jace spots the Circle rune on Malachi’s neck. It seems the Consul is Valentine’s spy. And so is his Shadowhunter army.

What..?

Anyway, Clary and Jace are captured and almost beheaded. But seeing Clary almost die before him helps Jace activate his angelic abilities. They manage to escape and get to Lake Lyn. In a rather surprising move, Valentine appears just to plunge a knife into Jace’s heart. The scene of Jace death is heartbreaking, as we see both Clary’s and Alec’s reactions. As Jace lay dying, a crying Clary can barely believe she is seeing the man she loves die. In the Institute, Alec is taken by excruciating pain, as flashbacks cloud his mind and his Parabatai rune disappears. Jace is dead.

Stricken with grief and rage, Clary attacks her father. She has no chances of winning the fight, but Clary tries and tries again, getting knocked out in the process. Valentine then manages to summon the Angel Raziel and demands the immediate death of “all evil-blooded creatures; demons and Downworlders alike. As well as the disloyal Shadowhunters who protect them.

Curiously, Raziel responds that the death of the Downworlders is not Heavens’ wish. However, he is ready to grant Valentine’s desires regardless of that. This is when Clary manages to intercept her father and the real fight begins. Valentine is clearly a superior Shadowhunter but Clary will not give up. She finds an opening to slash his throat and then stabs him four times, in what has to be her signature move by now.

Raziel then consents to give Clary a single wish. Upon the sight of Jace’s lifeless body, she doesn’t hesitate. “Bring Jace back,” Clary asks and Raziel obliges. When Izzy, Alec, and Magnus find them, Jace is alive. Even his Parabatai bond with Alec is intact.

Time to celebrate!

The season ends with a party, which isn’t nearly as corny as it sounds. After everything they’ve been through, Luke deserves his drunk night to celebrate Valentine’s passing. It is a moment for reconciliation, and Clary and Simon use that time to reassure their friendship. However, it is Alec and Magnus who steal the scene. Their talk is just as loving as it is needed. While apologizing and declaring their love isn’t going to fix everything that has happened, both Alec and Magnus find their way back to each other. They ditch the party after a tender kiss, and the reminder that relationships take effort.

But not everything is great. Bringing people back from the dead will always have a consequence and Jace is feeling it. Something is very wrong with him, but only he and Clary know. It doesn’t seem the secret will stay hidden for long, if the link to the last scene of the Season is anything to go by. Just as Jace is screaming in pain, a mysterious figure walks up to Jonathan. She calls him “son,” answering to his dying prayers.

We might have gotten rid of the father, but it seems that the mother is here. And she has everything to take over the role of the biggest villain of the show.

January cannot come soon enough.

Personal Notes:

  • Luke knocking off Meliorn with a Seelie spear might have been my favorite moment of the episode.
  • For a second there I thought the Parabatai bond was really gone. I’ll play devil’s advocate here and say I would love to see how it would be developed if that was the case. Not to mention spoilers from the books, but watching Jace choose Alec as his brother in arms regardless of a magical bond between them would’ve been epic. However, now that the bond is back, some questions remain. Is Alec able to feel the pain Jace is feeling? Does their bond still work as before? Did Alec and Magnus’ makeup sex cause Jace’s pain? I will not apologize for that last one.
  • Izzy and Clary calling each other “sister” was a tear-inducing moment, for sure. I just wish it hadn’t come right before Clary swears to keep another secret from Izzy. Stop this nonsense.
  • So Ollie is confronting Luke about him being a werewolf. I guess that is a smarter approach than trying to out him in front of other mundanes. I wonder where this original storyline is going.
  • We got no hint as to what Valentine promise the Seelie Queen in exchange for safe passage. Alongside the mysterious partner that helped Kaelie, it seems Shadowhunters doesn’t care much for the Seelie storylines, does it?

Images courtesy of Freeform.
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