Episode 10 marks the winter finale for Shadowhunters so we all knew we were heading for some big scenes and hopefully a few revelations. While we did receive a few, the way the episode was structured felt unorganised and contained quite a few moments which missed the mark or seemed unnecessary for the episode’s plot.
In last week’s episode, Clary and the gang scrambled to find the young warlock child before Clary was killed by the blood oath. They eventually found her but when Valentine escaped, he took Simon with him which meant the show could be leading to a certain plot drawn from the book series.
‘By The Light of Dawn’ opens at the Institute with its warning alarms going off yet again, surely they would have upped their security by now? Madzie and the evil Shadowhunters have entered and the young warlock suffocates the Institute’s Shadowhunters with her ‘gills’. Typically warlock marks have no use, so it was strange to see Madzie using them. Over the course of the episode, Alec and Aldertree are sneaking their way to the Institute’s roof to get to the ‘angelic power core’ and prevent Valentine using it to help activate the sword.
Clary, Jace and Luke are still at Valentine’s ex-lair when they receive a video call. Valentine threatens Simon’s life if Clary doesn’t come to the Institute to activate the Soul Sword within the hour. The group then discovers Dot is still alive and they take her to Magnus’s to heal her. There Dot tells them of a way to destroy the sword, which involves Jace. Magnus confirms this by viewing the awful angelic vision and the demon shown is actually a metaphor for a demonic Morgenstern. Luke and Jace then head to the Institute but they are stopped by Maia who begins to lose control and shifts, but Luke tasers her in time.
While everyone is gearing up to stop Valentine, there’s Raphael and Isabelle. He explains it’s not the blood talking and he does have feelings for her. She tries to kiss him but he says he’s not interested in intimacy and this confirms the show is keeping his character as asexual. This revelation could have been pushed back to another episode rather than the mid-season finale as it felt irrelevant for the plot. Izzy’s phone keeps receiving messages from Alec except she doesn’t want to talk to him, but Raphael sees that Valentine is at the Institute and leaves.
Back at the Institute, Simon is pleading with Valentine to be the father Clary wants. Unfortunately his conversation causes Valentine to call Clary again and he slits Simon’s throat! Clary has half an hour to get there and save him before he dies for good. She manages to convince Magnus to portal them and then they’re quickly surrounded by Raphael and his vampires who want Clary dead. Jace and Luke get there in time to stop them and they eventually come to an agreement to work together.
Clary heads into the Institute to save Simon and gives him her blood. His bloodlust takes over and he loses control causing Valentine to portray his first fatherly act of caring. They stop Simon and then it’s revealed not to be Clary, but Jace using a shapeshifting rune. Simon then attacks Valentine and the two escape.
Meanwhile, Clary and Magnus are also creeping through the Institute to find the sword. They come across Madzie and Magnus convinces her to stop and takes her to Catarina’s, who is a long-time warlock friend. Perhaps her character will be making an appearance in the second half of the season?
Aldertree and Alec make it to the roof and attempt to shut down the power core, whilst Aldertree tells Alec a story about how he fell in love with a werewolf and was forced to kill her—yet another unnecessary tidbit. Aldertree fails and they are soon surrounded. But have no fear, Izzy managed to see the texts from Alec and turns up to knock four Shadowhunters down, which takes a toll on her physically.
Valentine has Clary and he attempts to get her to touch the sword, but Simon uses his speed to stop them. Jace then takes the risk of touching the sword, even though it will kill him, however, instead of him disintegrating into nothing, he is merely zapped. Valentine tells Jace “he’s nothing if not predictable” and as the Downworlders race in to stop Valentine, he wields the Soul Sword and they are instantly killed. Luckily though, the main Downworlders aren’t killed as Meliorn was stabbed outside which caused Maia and Luke to stay back, Raphael managed to run away in time and Simon was covered by Clary during the blast, so no character’s were lost otherwise it would have caused some serious upset in the fandom.
They discover Valentine is gone, along with the Soul Sword. Clary then realises Jace doesn’t have demon blood, but instead he has angel blood, just like her. When Alec joins the group, he instantly becomes worried about Magnus and races to find him.
Luke races after Valentine and the two fight. Jace stops Valentine from harming Luke and Valentine then reveals that Jace is not a Morgenstern, meaning Clary and Jace aren’t siblings. They fight and Clary turns up to grab the fallen Soul Sword when a new rune is revealed to her. She draws the rune on the sword which burns her hand and she drops it. Clary then has to stop Jace from killing Valentine as he still has the Mortal Cup. When turns around, the sword is missing and Valentine is then taken into custody.
We then get to see each relationship wrap up as Alec finds Magnus and confesses his love. Now that’s how you progress a relationship fellow fans. Next Isabelle is happy to see Raphael is alive, but she no longer wants anything to do with him.
Alec and Jace then talk about him learning that Clary isn’t his sister and Jace decides to tell her. But while Simon is looking at all the dead Downworlders, he realises he’s standing in the sun. He races to find Clary and drags her outside even though she’s protesting about Simon’s safety and they realise he can be in the sun now. Jace sees their moment and decides to walk away instead of telling Clary the news.
In the final scene, we see a hooded figure walking away and dangling the Soul Sword. Could it be who we think it could be? We know he’s coming in the second half of season two, so it’ll be interesting to see just how he is introduced.
Overall, Shadowhunters certainly picked up their game in this season. The finale raises many questions such as to how the Downworld will now be since in the book series, they didn’t team up until the third book. Perhaps their losses will tear them further apart and then next season (if there is one) they will have to come together again? Will the Seelie Queen plot be occurring next season and is that how Clary will learn they aren’t siblings? So many questions, so many theories.
While it may not have been the best episode in comparison to the past few, the finale was reasonable but obviously could have been done better the same as with any other episode they’ve produced. A few moments of the episode were irrelevant and I’m not sure if some of the scenes flowed well, but what’s done is done.
Shadowhunters returns on June 5th.
What did you think of the mid-season finale? Did you like season 2A? Let us know in the comments below!