Shadowhunters: Finale

With the doubleheader episodes of ‘Alliance’ and ‘All Good Things’, Shadowhunters Came to an end. Did the finale live up to the excellence of the series so far? Let’s talk about that.

shadowhunters-finale

Evil Vanquished

Of course, the good guys were always going to win. But at what cost? Well, the two big foes left standing were Lilith and Jonathan, and each episode saw the heroes focusing on one of them. In Alliance, that meant Lilith. With Magnus now in Edom, using his power to keep the rift closed, Lilith actually reached out to him to forge an alliance. She wanted to be set free so that she could kill Jonathan, but Magnus didn’t trust her. Manipulation also failed, so Lilith took to gathering an army to tackle the former High Warlock.

When news reached the Institute, things kinda exploded. Only those with demon blood can survive in Edom, so Alec came up with the idea of having Simon turn him so that he could get in there. Unsurprisingly, nobody was happy with that idea. Izzy also had a plan. The shrapnel of the Heavenly Fire Sword had left her imbued with the stuff, so she would theoretically be protected. The downside is that the last time this happened to a Shadowhunter, the Heavenly Fire flared up whenever they touched someone with demon blood, and eventually killed them. Izzy being Izzy, she ignored everyone’s cries to not do it, and convinced Meliorn to let her into Edom anyway.

Clary and her rune power came to the rescue here and she was able to create pair bonds to allow the main team to survive in Edom. This meant she and Simon being connected, Jace and Meliorn, and Alec and Lorenzo. There were some great moments here with Jace getting Meliorn’s inability to lie as a side effect injecting some humour into the proceedings. The first episode ended with Jace, Meliorn and Izzy finding Lilith, and the battle took place during the opening moments of the second episode. If that makes it sound like it was a short battle, that’s because it was. Lilith foiled a sneak attack from Meliorn, was unaffected by Alec and the Warlocks, and then Izzy burnt her to ash.

The important part wasn’t, as it turned out, the battle itself, but the aftermath. Izzy combusted and Clary used her runes again, this time spreading the Heavenly Fire between herself, Izzy, Magnus, Alec, Lorenzo, Simon, Jace and Meliorn. It quickly left Izzy and dispersed into the air, destroying Edom. With no Edom, there’s no need to close the rift, so magus got to return home with everyone else.

Of the two foes still standing, it was Lilith that I expected to be killed quicker. I must admit though, I had it in my mind that Jonathan would be the one to do it. This was fine, and at least served to get everyone back together again though.

All Good things saw the focus shift to Jonathan. By this point, he had already transformed into his ‘true form’. That basically means that he’s slightly paler, has white hair, black wings, and demon claws. Oh, and he can make is eyes go solid black and kill things with his mind. The brunt of this conflict saw Jonathan first learning his power, then killing the Seelie Queen. After that, he started targeting Institutes worldwide, killing Shadowhunters and mundanes alike.

This started coming to a head when he visited the LA Institute and encountered Alec and Izzy’s father Robert and brother Max. Here, he showed that swords won’t kill him by surviving being skewered by Robert. He lets the two Lightwoods live solely so they can deliver a message: he’s going to take down every Institute one by one, but will leave Brooklyn until last so that Clary can watch the world be destroyed, knowing it’s all her fault.

In the end, Clary convinces the others to let her tackle Jonathan alone, on the grounds that he probably won’t kill her. This saw her portal into Toronto and confront him amidst a mass of dead bodies. Clary plays for sympathy a little, saying how she always loved him, and talking about dreams of the boy in the tower. When they hug though, she draws another new rune on her hand. This causes her to sprout white wings that wrap around Jonathan. He slowly returns to normal and dies.

As an ending to the saga, this made sense. Especially with the consequences of it for Clary – more on that in a bit – but I must admit, I was disappointed that we didn’t get more of a fight. I would have liked to have seen full power Jonathan in action against everyone, but it simply wasn’t to be.

 

Relationships Galore

All the couples got a moment of shine in the finale. Alec and Magnus obviously had the arc about Alec being desperate to reach him, but the biggest moment was their wedding. With the pair reunited, they finally tied the knot. I have to say, the ceremony was short, but it was sweet. Their custom vows were absolutely lovely. Having the wedding in the Institute also led to changes across the board, with the one year later epilogue revealing that Shadowhunters now worked alongside deputized Downworlders. On top of that, Alec was Inquisitor in Alicante, and Magnus the High Warlock in the same city. Of all the pairings, theirs was one of the most satisfying stories.

Izzy and Simon had their moment in the sun too. After a talk with Maia, Simon finally made a move and he and Izzy had their kiss…only for Izzy to burst into flames. That led to the discovery of the Heavenly Fire in her body, and the battle with Lilith. Once it was removed, the two kicked things into high gear, agreeing to learn how to be better at relationships together. One year later, they were still going strong, with Izzy running the NY Institute and Simon fully deputized. Again, the whole thing was very sweet.

There were plenty of other loving relationships growing throughout the two episodes too. Helen and Aline were seen together at the wedding discussing whether they should both wear wedding dresses or tuxedos at their wedding. Luke was cured and became a Shadowhunter again, swearing to the Praetor that he would look after the Downworld. He continued his relationship with Maryse too, and Maryse bonded a little with Clary. Oh, and Raphael is becoming a Priest. The big one though was, of course, Clary and Jace’s arc.

 

Love Conquers All

So, this all came down to sacrifice. After the battle with Lilith, Clary saw a vision of her Mum. She told Clary that the Angels had sent her because they believed that she was the one person that Clary would listen to. Their message? Raziel was unhappy with her. In making runes herself, Clary had broken multiple rules. First, bringing Valentine back was definitely a taboo. Then, bonding Shadowhunters and those with demonic blood was  major issue for the Angel. So, she was told that if she drew even one more run of her own design, he would remove all her gifts.

Now, you might think that the battle with Jonathan would be an exception, as the demon did pose a major risk to everyone. No though, Raziel made good on his word. During the wedding, Clary started losing her runes, and made a circle of the room, telling those closest to her what she thought about them. In the end, she walked out of the Institute, lost her ability to see the Shadowhunters, and lost all memories of her time with them.

This hit Jace hard. He’d just gotten through telling her how he never thought he’d ever meet anyone who loved him unconditionally, and she changed that. Then, he found a letter she’d left explaining it all to him. The poor guy was in pieces.

During the one year later epilogue, we learn that he’s been sneaking out to watch Clary. She can’t see him, and he’s always glamoured, but Simon rightly points out that it’s unhealthy, nonetheless. That doesn’t stop Jace though, and he visits one of Clary’s art displays. To his surprise, she spots him and walks over to talk. Jae panics a little and leaves, but Clary follows. She remembers his name, then notices his tattoos, and the episode ends with them smiling happily at each other in an alley.

I enjoyed the way this played out. I’m not a fan of Clary’s rune ability, as it feels like a get out of jail card to me. This gave it a clear consequence though, and the sacrifice was a heroic and selfless one. I also liked that, while watching Clary was a little on the creepy side, Jace never gave up. In the end, either love conquered all, or Raziel mellowed. The main thing is though, they got a second chance, and that was a nice note to end things on.

 

Final Thoughts

After some stellar episodes, I have to say, I was mixed here. The things that the two episodes did well were done really well. Basically, all the relationship drama reached a satisfying conclusion, and the different love stories had happy endings. I also enjoyed Raziel essentially being vindictive, as it meant that the celestial beings aren’t entirely good. That being said, the two final battles felt like let-downs. Don’t get me wrong, the way they both ended was fine, but they were just over so quickly, and that’s a real shame.

Still, this isn’t the first show to do something like that. Take the Battlestar Galactica remake for example. I loved that, and the ending made sense, but it felt disappointing on some level. Shadowhunters is much the same in that the overall experience was awesome, but there were moments in the finale that didn’t work for me. I’d still give the show a big recommendation though.

But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy the series? What did you think of the final two episodes? Let me know in the comments below.

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