The season finale of Shadowhunters had a lot of book fans nervous. With the promise of a massive plot twist that wasn’t in the books, there was a sense of impending doom. How badly would Shadowhunters screw up the story?
As it turns out, not that much. Surprisingly, the season finale was one of the stronger episodes, and the plot twist, though not in the books, actually worked. I’m excited to see this play out in season 2.
The Book of the White
After the reveal that Camille is in possession of the book of the white, Clary and Jace hunt down the vampire, with the help of the entire Shadowhunter squad. They sneak into the Hotel Dumort, but Raphael refuses to help them. Commence Plan B: Isabelle distracts Raphael (is anyone else really tired of her always being the distraction?) and Clary hides in a coffin so that Simon can bring her in.
They find Camille, who offers to bring them to her apartment, as long as they get her out of the Hotel Dumort.
It doesn’t take long for Alec and Magnus to find Lydia passed out on the ground, and realize that Hodge is the traitor in the institute. The squad hunts him down using their fancy computers and security cameras, only to find that he has already given the Cup to Valentine, who immediately puts it to use.
Valentine begins to use the cup on mundanes, dipping it in blood and letting them drink it. The transformation is anticlimactic and way too fast, and he immediately tells the new shadowhunter to hunt down Jace and Clary.
When Hodge is rejected and demeaned by Valentine, he leaves, and is quickly tracked by Jace who, enraged and upset, immediately begins to threaten torture and slow death. They engage in one of the best fights of the season, as the student faces off against his teacher.
Finally, Jace knocks Hodge onto his knees, takes out his glowing lightsaber-like blade, and, in one elegant swoop, chops Hodge’s hand right off, as one does when one is in possession of a lightsaber. Having already kissed his sister, all Jace needs is an “I am your father” talk from Valentine and he’ll be well on his way to becoming a Jedi.
Isabelle Lightwood is a badass
The vampires catch up with the main characters, and soon have them surrounded. It seems all hope is lost when Isabelle Lightwood bursts through the wall, delivers a witty line, and saves everyone’s asses. See? This is what happens when you stop focusing on her boobs and butt and let her kick some ass.
In all seriousness, I’m really loving this version of Izzy. It seems the show has finally figured her out, and I’m grateful.
The rite of transmutation
Camille’s price for helping the squad find the book of the white is a rite of transmutation, a document stating that Simon asked Camille to turn him into a vampire. They get Magnus Bane to find them one (so he’s still a lawyer, I guess?) and Simon signs it willingly. Which means that now, the Clave can’t go after Camille for killing mundanes because, as far as they know, she was just doing Simon a favour.
Camille warns that she has no idea where the book is, and since she has a huge library, it might take them a long time to find it. Of course, it ends up being the first book they pick out, because they’re just lucky that way.
City of Lost Souls
After Alec has an uncomfortable conversation with his parents, he talks to Magnus about Maryse’s homophobia and racism, and they discuss how quickly their relationship has been moving. They decide to go on a date, but all that is derailed when they have to go back to the Hotel Dumort. There, Magnus encounters Camille, who brings up their past relationship and even goes so far as to kiss him, conveniently right as Alec walks into the room. Alec gets understandably jealous, and he and Magnus have a conversation about immortality.
I’m really annoyed that this plot line is being introduced so soon. I don’t know why Shadowhunters feels the need to skim over all the important parts in this relationship, but it’s annoying as hell. They met, nothing happened, they kissed, nothing happened, and now they’ve skipped right to the jealousy about immortality.
Here’s the thing with this plot: It means nothing unless they are already dating, which they are not. It is important because Alec is falling in love with Magnus, he has started thinking about spending his entire life with him, and now he realizes that to Magnus, he is insignificant, just another lover on a long, long list, who will die one day just like the rest of them. This isn’t about them getting together. This is about Alec learning to accept that Magnus will live on without him. That to Magnus, marriage is not a lifelong commitment, and Alec will not be his only love. This is about Magnus deciding to open up about his past. This is about them deciding to live together, start a family together, maybe get married some day. This is supposed to happen much, much later in their relationship.
Now, it’s being turned into just another thing preventing Malec from getting together. Alec has very little to be jealous or hurt about. He’s not in love with Magnus yet. He’s not thinking of spending his life with him. This isn’t a serious relationship yet.
I love this plot line. I want Shadowhunters to do it justice. And most of all, I want Alec and Magnus to actually go on a few dates before more complications arise. I want them to have a real, believable relationship. I want Shadowhunters to take its time with them, to do it properly. That’s not what they’re doing right now.
City of Lost Souls (Again)
Alright, now for the elephant in the room.
Jace spends the episode struggling with the revelation that Valentine is his dad, as he confronts his inner darkness and spirals into self-hatred in a very Jace-like way. He’s coming to terms with the fact that, despite everything, he still loves his father. I love that the show is going in that direction with him.
This all culminates in a final scene at Camille’s apartment, in which Valentine appears and gets his minions to hold everyone hostage. Everyone, that is, except Jace, who comes face to face with the man who raised him, and still can’t bring himself to kill him. He knows that if he moves against Valentine, his friends will die at the hands of the circle members. And so he does a very Jace thing.
He sacrifices himself.
He goes willingly with Valentine, who portals him to his boat, where he is raising his army. He appears to have gone over to the dark side, but Clary isn’t giving up just yet. She knows Jace from those awkward conversations and kisses. She knows that he’s not actually evil. He’ll come back to them.
I’m actually really interested in this plot line. I don’t like TV Jace, so I’m hoping that this evil thing will make me warm up to him, and start to see the real Jace in this version. I’ve really liked him since episode 11. This is a change from the books, but a change I’m excited to see play out.
My only issue with this is that it seems a bit too similar to City of Lost Souls. I’m sure that the show will go about this very differently, but the idea of Jace being kidnapped/blackmailed by the main villain and having spending time with Team Evil just seems a little bit too familiar to me. At this point, I’ve given up on the show including any major plot points from the books, so there’s a very good chance they disregard that plot entirely, but if they do include it, it will seem pretty repetitive.
Waking up Jocelyn
Back on Team Good, Clary manages to retrieve the book of the white, which was hidden inside a cookbook. She puts the bookmark together, and the book immediately turns into the spellbook, open to the correct page. She gives it to Magnus, who performs the spell, and wakes up Jocelyn.
Jocelyn immediately falls into Luke’s arms (of course), and is quickly enveloped in a hug from her daughter. I would like to see more of Clary’s conflicted feelings toward her mom, particularly her anger at having been lied to for her entire life, but I’m assuming that will be fleshed out in the second season.