Wow. Lots to talk about from this two hour special. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, but it will probably still end up being long, given the finale was two hours.
The episode starts off with Clary being prepared to receive her punishment for using a wish from the angel Raziel. Her punishment is death. She’s with a group of other prisoners, mostly those loyal to Valentine, as she watches other prisoners be executed. Clary is stunned to see the method of execution: being burned alive. Clary even comments how barbaric it is and how no one deserves to die that way.
Meanwhile, Alec, Izzy, and Magnus, are trying to find a way to free Jace from Lilith’s control. Alec is blaming himself for letting Lilith get Jace again, after he promised him he wouldn’t let that happen. Magnus can see how Alec losing his Parabatai is tearing him apart, and Magnus is trying everything in his power to help him.
Magnus finds another way to break Jace from Lilith’s control, but he needs the help of many warlocks to do it. This means they must have permission from Lorenzo Rey, the pompous and obnoxious new High Warlock, who does not like Magnus. Alec has a meeting with him, as he’s the head of the New York Institute, and turns on his charm to try and convince Lorenzo to allow them. He stresses how this is imperative, because this will lead them closer to stopping Lilith. When this doesn’t persuade him, Alec mentions how the ley lines were corrupted by Lilith, so she is everyone’s problem. While Lorenzo took the credit for fixing that problem, Alec reminds him that it was the Shadowhunters at his Institute along with Magnus who really fixed it, and threatened to expose that.
Maia, Simon, and Jordan are also involved with Lilith problems. They come across Lilith’s hideaway where she is planning to do a resurrection of her son. Jordan recognizes the Enochian symbols, and this starts an uncomfortable conversation between him and Maia. Maia, like she has been all season, is again a total badass and handles Jordan’s attempts to apologize by basically telling him it’s too late, she’s over him, and he’s a jerk for trying to make a move on her again. However, Maia is sick of him and needs to clear her head, so she leaves for a while.
Personally, I love how they’ve done a great job with Maia’s reactions to Jordan. Maia is like every woman who had an ex who ruined their life over jealousy. Maia showed how you can be strong and bounce back, and if that ex shows back up, not to give in to what they say. I think while Jordan may have changed, it’s not good for him and Maia to get back together. I think Maia gives people, women especially, hope after they’ve dealt with an abusive ex.
Simon not only has to deal with Maia leaving, and his new Mark, he now has Heidi as a problem. Simon sent Heidi away to get her some help as a newly turned vampire who was having problems controlling herself. Lilith takes her instead, and helps Heidi. Well, I’m not sure help is the right word here. Basically, she has Heidi tie up Simon’s family, knowing Simon hasn’t had blood in a while, and will be starving. Lilith knows Simon’s family doesn’t know he’s a vampire, so she has Heidi expose him to his family, then cut their necks so Simon will feed. Lilith sympathizes with Heidi, saying she knows what it’s like for a man to not want you and for them to try and change you. She tells her. “No woman should kneel to a man,” and while Lilith is an evil queen, I completely agree with her here and I think this line should be used by every woman.
It should be noted, though, that Lilith is only doing this to keep Simon and his Mark (that can kill her) away from her. Simon tries to rescue his family, as he’s caught on to Heidi’s game and tells Heidi she’s obsessed with him, not in love, and there is a difference. Which, honestly, I think is important to recognize, because Heidi’s relationship with Simon is definitely not healthy. However, despite Simon trying so hard to not give in, he ultimately feeds on his sister. Luckily for him, Izzy and Jordan were able to track him and pull him off her. Simon feels so guilty, even though Becky is okay. She’s alive, and while she will need to be transported to a hospital, she’ll survive. Simon’s mom can’t accept Simon as a vampire and threatens to kill him, calling him a monster and telling him to get out and never come back. This is Simon’s worst nightmare, which is exactly why he never told them. Lucky for him, Izzy is there to help him get through it and tell Simon he’s a good person and it’s not his fault.
Simon does visit Becky in the hospital. Becky accepts him as a vampire. Becky worries she’ll end up as one and Simon reassures her she won’t, and tells her the whole process of becoming a vampire. Becky realizes that Simon went through that alone, and she tells him she wants to be there for him. She’s his older sister, and she feels bad that he had to go through that alone. Becky accepting Simon and telling him that she’ll be there for him was such a sweet moment. Since Simon’s mom can’t handle it, Simon does the only thing he can: uses his powers to make her forget he’s a vampire and hypnotizes her so she thinks he died in an accident. He knows this is the only option he has left because hiding himself as a vampire is never going to work, and since his mom can’t accept the truth he has to make her think he’s dead.
Back in Alicante, while Clary is watching the executions, she sees one of the warlocks, Valentine, was working next to her. She tells Clary she’s in here for refusing to help The Clave bring Valentine back to life. Clary knows that means they want to question him, and Clary sees that as an opportunity for her. One of the best things this finale shows about Clary is not only is she an excellent fighter with amazing rune drawing abilities, but she’s an excellent strategist and is very smart and cunning. Before she’s executed, she tells them about her ability to draw new and powerful runes so she can bring Valentine back to life.
Clary is taken to Valentine’s body, and is able to create a rune to bring him back. After she does, Clary is ordered back to the cell, but Valentine says he’ll only speak to Clary. Clary questions him, wondering why Lilith needs him, and Valentine says it’s because her blood is in Jonathan. She’s the demon he got the blood from.
Clave officials stop the interrogation before they can finish, but Valentine breaks lose. He’s shot, and should be dead, but instead he survives. Clary’s rune is so powerful he can’t be killed. Valentine releases all his loyal members who were imprisoned and kills any guard or prisoner who gets in his way. Just as he’s about to escape and open the door, he finds it’s locked with a different rune. Clary got to the door before him, and changed the rune so he’d be forced to take her with him. Clary has a trick up her sleeve, however. She opens the door, and before Valentine can leave, she deactivates the rune she used to bring him back to life, therefor killing him. Clary thinks she can escape now, but another guard comes. She begs him to listen to her, but he cuffs her and rips out one of Valentine’s ribs. It turns out the guard is actually Jace, and he takes her with him since Lilith needs her for the resurrection. As Jace is taking her, Clary finds a piece of glass she can use to cut herself with and leave drops of blood for her friends to track, since Jace activated her anti-tracking rune.
Magnus is busy working away and trying to gather the warlocks he needs for the spell to break Jace free when he learns the warlocks have been threatened with imprisonment if they help Magnus. Magnus is furious that Lorenzo can’t put his personal issues with him aside to realize that helping Jace not only helps him and Alec, but also helps the city by bringing them closer to defeating Lilith. Magnus and Lorenzo get into a fight, and Lorenzo tells Magnus he’s done. It seems Lorenzo has once again proven he’s not qualified to be the High Warlock. He doesn’t care about helping anyone, and only cares about having such an important title while still refusing to acknowledge any of the responsibilities that comes with it. Magnus has a Plan B, but one he hoped to avoid using. Asmodeous, his father, is very powerful and can give him the power he needs. But that means Magnus would have to travel to Edom to see his dad, and he knows his dad’s power always come with a price. Alec hates the idea, knowing the past Magnus has with his father, and how Magnus ran away after his father tried to raise him as evil. Alec tells Magnus he better come and they have a dramatic kiss before Magnus goes to visit and confront his father. Magnus truly loves Alec, if he’s willing to visit his father to help Alec get his brother back. Magnus deserves boyfriend of the year award.
While Magnus is confronting his dad and their past while trying to get his help, Izzy, Alec, Luke, and Simon go to rescue Clary. Izzy and Luke have the job of drawing all of Lilith’s helpers away from her and distracting them. For Luke, he feels relieved that they’re finally close to helping Clary. This whole time he’s been trying to break Clary out of prison, and even gave up his wolf pack to do so when they wouldn’t help him. He chose his adopted daughter over them. He also gave up his job as a police officer when they started to question him for the recent murders and disappearances, in order to get to Clary faster. Clary may not be his daughter by blood, but he’s more of a dad to her than her real dad ever was or ever will be. He is always there for her, and has proven time and time again that he will do anything to help her.
As Izzy and Luke and are fighting Lilith’s helpers, Alec is able to pull Jace out, and they get into a fight. The twisted version of Jace tells Alec that the real Jace is in there screaming for him to stop. Alec is almost able to take Jace down, but Jace overpowers him, breaks Alec’s hand, and stabs him with one of Alec’s own arrows. Alec tells Jace he forgives him and knows it isn’t really him, but before Jace can finish, Magnus shoots Jace with a blast of magic, freeing him. Magnus and Jace – who is now back to himself again after having literally flushed Lilith from his body – go over to Alec’s body. Magnus says that he can’t help Alec, who is dying, because he traded his magic. Magnus, a warlock whose life is all about his magic and using it to help people and perform spells, gave it up to help Jace. Magnus knows how much Alec couldn’t stand to lose Jace and was willing to give up anything to help him. If Alec ends up surviving, he better throw Magnus a party for being the best boyfriend of the century.
Now free, Jace goes after Clary, who is being used by Lilith as a literal life force for Jonathan. Simon gets there first and unties Clary. Both know the Mark of Cain Simon has on his face will kill Lilith, but they also know she’s too smart to just attack Simon. Clary has a plan, knowing that Lilith’s weak point is her son. I really love how Clary has been shown to be such an amazing strategist during this finale, and how she’s come up with these brilliant plans under such pressure. She’s showing herself to be a true Shadowhunter.
Clary draws Lilith away from Jonathan’s body and over to her by threatening to kill herself (if she dies so does Jonathan). Clary blasts sunlight from her hand, which hurts Lilith and distracts her. Meanwhile, Simon goes over to the glass box Jonathan is in and starts to break it. Lilith rushes over to Simon to attack him, and the Mark goes off against Lilith. Chaos ensues. The force of the blast from the Mark explodes, sending Simon flying towards the roof of the building. Clary rushes over to him, but she’s too late, and Simon is blasted off the roof. Clary feels something grab her arm – and it’s Jonathan! It appears he’s come back to life. Lilith then explodes after the Mark killed her, and the explosion has so much force that it literally blows the roof off the place. Everything in the room is gone – Lilith, Clary, and Jonathan included! At this point, Jace comes bursting in to see the room looks like a bomb went off. Simon, who was able to hang off the side of the building comes back up, and tells Jace that Clary died. Jace drops to his knees in pain, knowing he came so close.
It’s hard to believe this is only the mid-season finale! We have more of this season to come, but while we’re waiting for season 4 news there’s still plenty to talk about. I think one of the most interesting things about this episode was Clary. Before she goes to receive her punishment for using Raziel’s wish to bring Jace back to life, she’s told that no other Shadowhunter would’ve made the wish to save the one they love, because Shadowhunters are raised to believe in sacrifice. Clary, raised a mundane, is told that is the one thing she can never understand. Yet it’s Clary in the end who made the ultimate sacrifice, and ultimately died to stop Lilith.