TV Shows

SHADOWHUNTERS Finale Recap & Review: “Beside Still Water”

THE END IS HERE… at least for Season 2 of Shadowhunters. The conclusion just played out and while we enjoyed it, we’re pretty surprised at how many cards the writers threw down on the table. Let’s examine it all, shall we?

The first bit of “But why would you do that now?” surprise comes in the form of Jonathan still alive on the beach, clearly worse for wear but functional enough to summon his “mother” from hell and open a major demon rift. I think everyone figured he was alive and would be able to get one more task in as soon as the others let him float away. Never believe someone is dead until see the corpse yourself, kids! Still, the mystery of what really happened to him could have gone on for a while longer.

Next, we’re with Simon and Luke as they let Magnus know that The Seelie Queen’s kidnapped Maia. Magnus suggests Maia went to the Seelie Court voluntarily, then flakes out under the guise of needing to uphold the wards. There’s a fine line between sassy and cruel, and Magnus may be crossing it here. Magnus is centuries old, so it’s very hard to believe he’d be this ignorant.

Maia is, of course, not in The Seelie Court voluntarily. The queen wants more information on Simon, in whom she has a keen interest, but Maia isn’t playing along. When she tries to walk away, the queen tosses her into the Wander Woods of the realm.

When the first of Jonathan’s demons enter the city, Clary, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle are on its tail. They face down the flying demon– basically just a dragon– in the middle of an intersection at the world’s longest red light, invisible to mundanes. Or rather, Alec does. They knew it was a flying demon, but he’s the only one who brought flying weapons. I know arrows are his specialty, but aren’t all Shadowhunters supposed to have a basis in all weapons?! The others literally brought swords to an arrow fight!

When Alec hits the demon, it breaks apart into smaller demons, and the team realizes they have a problem.

Simon and Luke enter the Seelie Court to find Maia. It’s not long before they realize the Queen made a deal with Valentine– one that gave him safe passage to Idris– and wants to rule the whole Downworld from the safety of the court. She also wants Simon, the only unique Downworlder out there, to be her pet. Since the show is busy building up Raphael as a misunderstood nice guy and potential love interest (WHHYYYYY???), will The Seelie Queen be the stand-in for the antagonism between Simon and Raphael in the books?

After discovering Valentine is in Idris, Clary and Jace head there while Alec and Izzy take care of the demon problem in NYC. Izzy knows they need Magnus to close the demon rift, but he’s really weary about asking. Their conversation is tense, but Alec convinces Magnus that demons are a threat to everyone, not just the Shadowhunters.

The two head over to the rift with Isabelle and Magnus starts his work. Just as he starts to build up power, another demon bursts its way through. Alec fights off the demon– despite shooting really slowly. Magnus even gets the main killer blast in WHILE casting the spell to close the rift.

They get minimal help from Isabelle because, again, you don’t bring a whip to an aerial battle. He winds up tackling Magnus down in the process and it’s clear that there’s still a spark between these two.

Jace and Clary find Malachi, the Consul of The Clave and the leader of its army sent to stop Valentine. Except there’s one very obvious problem: He’s a Circle member, who takes the two captive and espouses on how all supernatural beings not of the angel are an abomination. He believes if their mission is to destroy all demons, then all creatures with demon blood are included. Malachi goes to execute Clary and Jace, but obviously that’s not gonna happen. Jace manually activate his runes, escapes, frees Clary, and the two kill every traitor in their midst.

Luke finds Maia in Wander Woods of the Seelie realm, where she feels she’s been walking around for years even though it’s only been hours. That might have continued if Simon didn’t arrive with Seelie Queen just then. She lets them go, but Luke and Maia are skeptical as to why she’s suddenly being so nice. Simon is sketched out and nervous, and you know he’s made some sort of deal with her.

Clary and Jace get to the lake and think they’ve made it to the ritual spot before Valentine. That is, until Valentine comes up behind them and stabs Jace clear through his torso. Hoooooly bananas. We see him fading in a cross-stitch of two scenes: Alec feeling the change in his parabatai rune as Jace’s pain translates into his own and Clary fruitlessly trying to keep him awake and steady as he dies. I loved this method of unraveling Jace’s death, even though I wanted less shock and more raw drama on Alec’s side of things. Losing a parabatai is supposed to be the most excruciating thing that can happen to a Shadowhunter outside of their own death, but I didn’t get that vibe here. Meanwhile, props to Kat McNamara who brought the tears and distraught panic to life and punched me right in the feels.

Clary wakes up beaten and shackled just feet away from Jace’s dead body. Right in front of her, Valentine raises the angel Raziel and there’s little time before he makes his request to kill all Downworlders. Thankfully, Valentine is distracted enough that Clary has a chance to Jace’s stele and free herself.

The angel offers to grant Valentine one favor if he sacrifices blood to Lake Lyn, before he can, Clary attacks. The scene is definitely a stunner, watching father and daughter punch and claw at each other. Though she doesn’t always have the upper hand in the fight, Clary gets the last hit that matters. She slashes Valentine across the neck. And then she stabs him, again and again. We’re partially terrified because the heroine just did that, partially exhilarated because the heroine just did that.

Clary goes to the water and claims Raziel’s favor. She could ask for anything. She asks for Jace to be alive again. And moments later, he is!

Once he’s clued in, Jace warns of the consequences, but Clary doesn’t see how a miracle from a literal angel could have dark consequences attached. Still, she doesn’t correct Jace when Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus get there and he suggests he’s been alive the whole time.

NOW IT’S TIME TO PARTAY! Valentine is gone! Everyone loves each other! Izzy wants to have her 12-year-old brother hang out in a bar, which is weird, but the reference is a precursor to a great Clizzy sisterhood moment! Clary and Simon are cool and besties once again! Simon and Maia are happy (though he’s clearly lying to her about the Seelie Court and ditches early)!

Magnus and Alec head to the alley behind The Hunter’s Moon, away from the rest of the revelers, to talk. And I’m torn about it. I LOVE MALEC, but I also want character to address the issues in their relationship. In this scene, they don’t confront their betrayals of one another or the systemic prejudices that have affected their relationship. Instead, they brush it under the rug with “relationships need work” and are immediately together again. This is another thing that I think should have been stretched out into next season until we really, truly see these two regain each other’s trust and respect. I want them to get back together in due time once they know they can build a healthier relationship moving forward. This feels like fan service.

In the final minutes, we get the foreboding scenes.

In the middle of the party, Jace is broody, clearly worried about what’s happened, even though he tries to tell Clary that he’s fine. He’s placating her, keeping things on good terms because he really does care about her. Meanwhile, he goes outside has an attack of some sort, doubled over in pain and struggling to maintain composure.

This is also the moment that Holly decides to confront Luke about being a werewolf. At a private party he’s holding while surrounded by his closest friends and loved ones. WTF LADY. I continue to be unimpressed with Holly as a character and wonder why she’s even here.

Simon– who was obviously never going back to the DuMort like he said– goes to Seelie Court, where the queen is patiently waiting. What does she want from him? Next season will tell.

Meanwhile, those flying Edomi demons that vanished earlier in the episode come together to form a single demon in a dingy cave. On the ground of the cave lies Jonathan’s body. We never see too much of the demon, but we do see its clawed hand as it approachs Jonathan’s now-dead body and calls him “son”. O HAI LILITH!

That’s it, ladies and gents! It’s been a pleasure. We’ll see you for Season 3!

By Kait

Kait is a New Englander, a YA book and adaptation lover, and a Slythindor, as well as a red velvet and red wine enthusiast. She likes to like things. Catch her on Twitter: @kaitmary