Please note, the following article may contain spoilers for those not familiar with the books or haven’t watched the show.
Tonight’s winter finale quite possibly might have been the episode that most felt like the books than any others we’ve seen. There were changes made as in every adaptation, but the ending to By the Light of Dawn gave me the same fear, joy, and excitement that crept through me after finishing City of Ashes.
It would’ve been cool if they could have kept the barge and played it out on the river as Cassandra Clare imagined. But one thing Shadowhunters has proven time and time again is that if there is any place that could be easily broken into and ruined it is The Institute. For the NYC HQ of the Shadowhunter world, this place has horrible security. Jace, Alec, and Izzy would’ve defended it fine – alone with Church.
But the moment Valentine kidnapped Simon, we were all on the same page. This is it! This is when Simon becomes a Daylighter! The writers did pull a fast one with disguising Jace as Clary with the overly used shapeshifting rune, or whatever they use to justify it. Seriously, I wouldn’t trust anyone is who they say they are in this world. Shapeshifting seems to be what Shadowhunters do on a Sunday afternoon.
Simon feeds off of Jace. They share lines ripped from the book: “I would’ve killed you.” “I would’ve let you.” Then Jace, thinking he’s part demon and meant to destroy the Soul Sword, along with himself, grabs a hold of it and – accidentally takes down all the Downworlders in The Institute, with the exception of Simon. When Simon turns to Clary and wonders why he’s still alive, I may have squealed. Just a little.
I’d like to point out once again how awesome Dominic Sherwood is acting without dialogue. He truly looked tortured and suicidal in that sequence, especially after realizing his horrific mistake. I want to piece together all the brilliant Dom Jace Face moments where he carried a scene without saying a word. Hmm..a challenge may be brewing.
Valentine revealed to Jace he isn’t his biological father, which means Jace and Clary aren’t brother and sister. Which means Jace can get it on with Clary again. But oops. Simon is now in the way, and we got more tortured Jace Face. I actually am interested to see how this love triangle plays out, although I’m not holding my breath. Rarely do relationships or angst last more than a couple episodes on this show.
And who’s heart didn’t explode when Simon stood in the sunlight filtering in through the stain glass window, soaking in the warmth? His smile was golden. That moment was probably my favorite fan girl scene.
But I can’t leave out Malec professing their love, although the kiss was kinda awkward and I’d like to see Magnus have a reaction that isn’t guarded around Alec. But, yes, we got more Malec.
And then there was SEBASTIAN! Come on! Who else could be stalking through Central Park at night in a cloak and carrying the Soul Sword?? Oh man. We have to wait until JUNE 5TH for this?! Oh boy, I hope they get Sebastian right. I hope they get the Clary, Sebastian, and Jace triangle right. So much is riding on this introduction. For me, Sebastian is the complex, sinister villian Valentine never could be. Even in the books Valentine just felt boring and common. Sebastian. Yeah, he stalks through parks swing a blade while whistling a tune – and taking off a few heads along the way.
You may have noticed I gave no regard to the first half of this episode. Basically, the second half saved the mess of the first half. Raphael not into sex for apparently no good reason that the writers could come up with – as that was never answered. Maia almost turning into a wolf – again. Snooze. Thank goodness she didn’t. I’m sick of hearing the bone-cracking sound. Aldertree’s sob story. Don’t care. And why does Izzy have to fight to bad techno muzac?
Simon. Jace. Sebastian. June 5th.
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Photos courtesy of Freeform