It’s the moment that we’ve all been anticipating and dreading: the Shadowhunters season finale, which we all knew was going to leave us in a state of utter shock over the hiatus. Titled “Morning Star,” the finale balanced two concurring storylines, expertly weaving them together at chosen intervals in order to heighten the emotional drama. The story kicks off when Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle and Magnus find Lydia on the ground and discover that Hodge has run off with the Mortal Cup. Confused and stunned, the quintet review recordings around the time of the attack and figure out that Hodge must be working for Valentine. At this point, the story begins to diverge, with Jace and Alec dealing with the Hodge betrayal while Clary, Isabelle, Simon, and Magnus seek out the Book of the White, a spell-book that could hold the key to waking Jocelyn up.
Is your head spinning yet? Well, hold on to your hats because it gets even more complicated! While all of this is going on, Jace is having an existential crisis. From his point of view, he thinks that because he was raised by Valentine, he’s got a darkness within him that can’t be subdued. Even though Clary and Alec try to convince him otherwise, he refuses to listen. In addition, he’s also struggling under the weight of a guilty conscious stemming from his inability to kill Valentine at Renwick’s. Basically, Jace is in a vulnerable and impressionable state, which Valentine uses to his advantage.
Meanwhile, Clary, Simon, Isabelle and Alec run into a snag on their quest to get the Book of the White. The last known owner of the Book turns out to be the former leader of the New York vampire clan, Camille, who is being imprisoned in the Hotel Dumort. Unsurprisingly, Raphael is unwilling to let Camille free, so Clary and her friends have to take matters into their own hands. They sneak into the room in which she is being imprisoned, open her casket and strike a deal: the Book of the White for a full pardon signed by Simon, asserting that he asked to become a vampire.
With no other options (and after warding off Raphael and his lackeys), Clary and the others agree and head to Magnus’s place for him to transcribe the document. This reunion brings Magnus’s past with Camille to the surface and plants the seeds for future trouble between him and Alec. Ultimately, Camille leads Clary and the others to her apartment and gets her pardon—after which she leaves them in the dust with no clue as to which book is actually the Book of the White.
Nevertheless, it takes very little time for Clary to find a cookbook on the shelf that reminds her of her mother, which turns out to be the Book in disguise. The book now in their possession, the gang proceeds to skip back to the Institute, but they’re interrupted by Valentine and his motley crew of Shadowhunter/Downworlder hybrids. However, he’s not after the Book; what he wants is to use them as leverage to get Jace to finally agree to take his place at his side. To everyone’s horror, Jace gives in and the two of them disappear through a portal to Valentine’s headquarters.
Naturally, Clary and the others are heartbroken over this development, but rather than spend their time moping around the Institute, they decide to dedicate themselves to waking up Clary’s mother. With Magnus at the helm, the spell is successful, and Jocelyn regains consciousness. For the group, this is a brief, bittersweet moment of elation, for in the back of everyone’s minds is the knowledge that Valentine has the Cup as well as Jace.
This was a dark and twisted episode, to be sure, one that left fans, including myself, wondering what will happen next. Has Jace gone to the Dark Side? Can Jocelyn help them beat Valentine? And what’s next for Malec? Their conversation about immortality was especially worrying and hinted that they are going to run into an impasse down the line that they might not be able to cross. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until season two to get any answers to these questions. In the meantime, let’s relive what I consider to be the Best Five Moments of the Shadowhunters season one finale, “Morning Star.”
Jace Confronts Hodge (And Lets Loose Some of His Repressed Rage)
Fight scenes on this show are always the best, and this one was no different. Well-coordinated and well-directed, Dominic Sherwood and Jon Cor infused a lot of emotion into this scene and made you feel sympathy for both parties involved. Everything from the dialogue to the unleashed rage worked perfectly, culminating in a move that shocked even me—Jace cutting off Hodge’s hand. It was one of the most gruesome moments that I’d ever seen on the show and left me craving more!
Clary, Simon, and Camille Have a Little Chat (And Camille Gives Them an Ultimatum)
Can I just say that I’m so glad that Kaitlyn Leeb returned as Camille in this episode? She brought an air of elegance and danger to all of her scenes, but my favorite was definitely the one in which Clary and Simon opened her casket. For being imprisoned for Lord knows how long, Camille was calm, collected and in control, easily negotiating her own freedom while getting in a few barbs along the way. Hopefully, we get to see much more of her in season two—as long as she doesn’t try to mess with Malec!
Alec Walks in On Camille and Magnus Kissing (And Isabelle is Livid)
Watching Magnus and Camille dance around each other in their scenes together was fascinating because we know that the two of them have a complicated history. Magnus was in love with Camille but Camille rejected him, which makes their dynamic very complicated. Sadly, it looks like Camille is getting her rocks off toying with Magnus and has her sights set on destroying his relationship with Alec. When she pulls Magnus into an impromptu kiss (which Magnus ends as soon as possible, I’d like to add), she does it in order to mess with Alec, who keeps his cool. However, Izzy makes it very clear that she won’t stand for Camille’s meddling. When Camille makes the comment that Malec won’t last, Izzy snarls “Say that again and you won’t last,” to fans’ delight. Don’t let her get in the way of the Malec, Izzy! We’re counting on you!
Clary and Simon Find the Book of the White (And Is Ambushed by Valentine)
To be honest, I thought that Clary and the others found the Book a little too quickly, but I understand that the writers needed to move the plot along. I really enjoyed watching the cookbook transform into the Book of the White. Kudos to the special effects department for pulling it off so tastefully! What made me even happier was witnessing Clary and Simon reminisce about Jocelyn’s chicken cacciatore; these two have a friendship that shouldn’t be underestimated and is destined to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, their bliss is short-lived, for within moments of getting the Book, they are besieged by Valentine and his hybrid goons, who use Clary and the rest to instigate a nefarious plan of his own.
Jocelyn Wakes Up (And Everyone is Overjoyed)
Last but not least, we have Jocelyn waking up from her self-induced coma, which is the moment that many fans have been waiting for all season. While I was slightly surprised that this happened so early on in the show—Jocelyn doesn’t wake up until the third book in The Mortal Instruments series, if I recall—I was happy that it helped end the episode on a positive note rather than a negative one. Her reunion with Luke and Clary and her presence in the Institute is sure to bolster confidence moving forward, which they are going to need if they are going to save Jace from Valentine’s clutches.
Alec and Magnus Chat about Immortality (And Their Relationship, Too)
While I’m glad that Alec is finally following his heart and pursuing a relationship with Magnus, I know that the two of them have some hurdles that they need to traverse in order to get to their happily ever after—the most pressing of which is Magnus’s immortality and Alec’s mortality. For somebody as self-conscious and wary as Alec, I can see why he would see this as an issue and why he would have doubts about his ability to hold Magnus’s attention, but I also think that he doesn’t realize yet how much Magnus loves him. With any luck, Magnus will be able to assuage his doubts in the coming season!