Shadowhunters (S02E20) “Beside Still Water”

Shadowhunters went out in great style – the second season finale did not disappoint: even book fans are happy as the plot followed the ending of City of Glass, the third installment in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series.
The episode opens with Sebastian coming ashore and begging help from his “Mother.” A pentagram opens and dragon-like winged demons start crawling out. Meanwhile, Simon and Luke seek help from Magnus for Maia’s disappearance. The latter has indeed been taken by Sarah Hyland’s Seelie Queen and is held hostage in her realm – the scheming Queen is trying to bait Simon into making a deal with her.
At the New York Institute, Alec, Izzy, Clary, and Jace are notified of the demon hordes and decide to take on the action themselves. Alec is able to hit the flying demon with his arrows, but instead of being nullified, it splits into four more beasts… more trouble for the Shadowhunters.
Luke and Simon enter the Seelie realm and learn that the Queen has given Valentine safe passage to Idris, betraying the Downworld alliance. Clary opens a Portal to Idris and she and Jace go through to prevent Valentine from summoning the Angel Raziel now that he’s in possession of the three Mortal Instruments.
Still in NY, Izzy convinces Alec to put his feelings aside and call on Magnus to close the rift the demons are coming from. Magnus is ready to shut the door in Alec’s face, since they are still not on the best terms, but the Shadowhunter reminds him this is not a personal favor – the demons don’t distinguish between mundanes, Downworlders or Shadowhunters, they just create havoc.
In the woods near Lake Lyn, Clary and Jace meet Consul Malachi, but they soon discover he’s working for Valentine, and they are taken captive. In Faerie, Luke meets Meliorn – and punches him – right before he finds Maia. The Queen mysteriously lets them walk away after a private conversation with Simon.
Magnus, Alec, and Izzy are successful in closing the rift. Jace and Clary barely escape execution and run to where Valentine will try and summon the Angel. They are once again ambushed, and Valentine stabs Jace in the heart. As Jace lies dying, we are shown Alec gasping in pain at the Institute and then a series of flashbacks of the two parabatai. Jace tells Clary he loves her right before he dies. Alec realizes he’s feeling Jace’s pain and understands he must be dead when his own parabatai rune fades. Clary tries to fight Valentine but he still succeeds in summoning Raziel and making his request of cleansing the world of all demons and demon-blooded creatures (aka Downworlders). Clary frees herself at the last minute and kills Valentine – a feat that all Shadowhunters have tried to accomplish since the very first episode of the show. The Angel grants her one wish and she asks him to resurrect Jace. One of the most romantic scenes in the book was beautifully adapted:
“You could’ve asked for anything in the world, and you asked for me.”
“But I don’t want anything else in the world.”
Back in New York, the party is raging in The Hunter’s Moon. Everyone is joyous and maybe a little tipsy – looking at you Luke! But the alpha quickly sobers up when his mundane work partner Ollie shows up to ask him how long he’s been a werewolf. Can’t wait to see where that storyline takes us next season. Will Luke have to wipe her memory again?
Izzy and Clary have a heart to heart moment where they confess to each other that they’ve come to think of themselves as sisters. Clary and Simon’s best friendship is reinstated, and everything is back to the status quo. Especially with Malec getting back together and sharing a tender kiss in the back alley under a beautiful, magical setting after having established that they can’t live without each other.
Simon has to leave the party early, lying to Maia as to why, and he returns to the Seelie Court to fulfill the bargain he indeed made with the Queen in exchange for Maia’s freedom. The Queen’s excited words “We are going to have so much fun together” promise a dark path for the Daylighter in season 3.
Jace asks Clary not to tell the others about his death, and if book readers know why. When a Shadowhunter is born, they go through a ritual to ward demons off, and Jace did not receive the ceremony after his rebirth, leaving him at the mercy of any Greater Demon who’s willing to risk possessing him. And in his case, that demon is Lilith, the first and most ancient she-demon who Sebastian calls “Mother.” She will often dictate his actions in City of Fallen Angels, and we can bet next season is headed exactly that way.
The episode comes full circle as we once again see Sebastian laying on the ground, this time in Edom. He is dead, but not for long: Lilith lovingly caresses his face and reassures him that she will take care of him now.
What a finale! Full of angst and tears, but also moments of joy. No scene slowed the pace down or could have been avoided. Every plot point came to a conclusion while many more opened, leaving us begging for season 3 already. The long hiatus will be agony, but we can bet the actors and executives will share tidbits and teases with us as soon as they can.
Season 3 starts filming next week. Alisha Wainwright has been promoted to series regular, and we can expect a lot more Maia. Paul Wesley will return to direct at least one episode, and the producers have promised book fans we will see more Aline Penhallow and finally meet many prominent characters like Helen Blackthorn, Jordan Kyle… and they have promised many Sizzy moments.
Shadowhunters will return to Freeform in January 2018.