Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 13: “Morning Star”

Shadowhunters – Season 1, Episode 13: “Morning Star”
Grade: B+

After a pretty bad start and a rocky road, Shadowhunters ends on a great episode. “Morning Star,” the finale episode of season one, was the best of the whole season. I genuinely enjoyed this episode and it made me really excited for the second season.

At the start of the finale, still during the aftermath of the not-wedding, Clary and Jace fight about his belief that Valentine raised him to be evil. Clary insists that they are the same, that are both of the same parents, and that Clary isn’t evil, so neither is he—but he wasn’t raised by Jocelyn like she was. Magnus and Alec find Lydia, who’s barely alive, and she tells them that it was Hodge who had attacked her and taken the Mortal Cup. After some reviewing the security footage, it’s confirmed to be Hodge and they’re crushed to know that someone they considered family would betray them all. Using the same footage, they see that the Forsaken that had attacked Hodge had been a way for him to get the ring to communicate with Valentine—Hodge not being able to leave the Institute and Valentine not being able to get in.

Hodge gives Valentine the Cup on a ship, who then starts to use the Cup to turn mundanes into a new breed of Shadowhunters, building an army. He then kicks Hodge to the curb, telling him that he’s fulfilled his usefulness. Jace goes after Hodge and finds him, the two getting into a pretty awesome duel. Jace slices off Hodge’s hand, but is stopped by Alec and Luke before he can kill Hodge. Jace takes the severed hand and takes off the ring, secretly talking to Valentine while Alec and Luke capture Hodge, planning to bring him in to the Clave in Idris. But after Luke and Alec talk about Jace’s behavior, acting strangely since learning his true parentage, Jace and Hodge disappear. Jace tortures Hodge to know where Valentine is, but when they get to the docks where the ship had been, it’s gone. Jace again uses the ring to talk to Valentine, learning that he’s going after Clary and the others, who have been trying to get the Book of the White.

At the Hotel Dumort, Clary, Simon, and Isabelle attempt to see Camille to get the Book of the White to wake Jocelyn, but Raphael tells them no. Isabelle distracts Raphael so that Simon and Clary can get to Camille’s coffin, freeing her, but Camille wants something for the Book of the White—apparently having received it from Dot before her death—and asks Simon to pardon her, signing a document saying that he asked to be turned into a vampire. They refuse, but Camille says she can either take them to the Book at her apartment for the pardon or they can chain her back up and she’ll stay right where she is in her coffin. Simon agrees to it. They narrowly escape Raphael and the vampires—who decide to kill them all for freeing Camille—but Isabelle knocks down a wall, creating a barrier of sunlight to let them escape.

They need Magnus to draw up the document for them, going to his apartment. Magnus and Camille, having not seen each other in 138 years, are clearly not thrilled to see each other. While he draws up the document, Camille kisses Magnus after she finds out about Alec—who happens to walk in at that moment with Isabelle. Alec tells Clary about Valentine having the Cup and Jace going after him. Clary wants to go after him, but waking Jocelyn is the key to defeating Valentine, so they stay on mission to get the Book. Simon won’t sign the document until they’re at Camille’s apartment. Once arriving there in her library, he signs only to have her tell them that she has no idea where the Book is, only that Dot must have hidden it somewhere in her apartment. She takes off, leaving them to search for the Book in her enormous apartment.

Eventually, Clary finds a cookbook and recognizes it from her mother’s collection. Inside, half the bookmark is torn away and Clary puts the pieces together, making the Book of the White appear. But as soon as they go to leave with it, Valentine shows up through a portal in Camille’s apartment. Jace rushes in to help, but Valentine, holding everyone hostage, says he wants Jace to go with him and join him, or he’ll kill the others. Jace goes with Valentine to save them, going through the portal, leaving Clary devastated. They all return to the Institute, Simon comforts Clary and Alec and Magnus discuss Camille and what she’d said about Magnus never aging and that Alec will eventually die.

Magnus uses the Book of the White to wake Jocelyn, who is finally reunited with Clary. Valentine, with Jace, gives a speech to his new Shadowhunter army on the ship setting out to sea.

Overall, I had very few complaints about the episode. It was a great finale for the season, taking in moments that I questioned in earlier episodes and making it clear that they’d had a plan for small decisions to change the story—though still, some were unneeded—and it all came together. The effects are improving, the chemistry between actors is improving, and for the most part, the show is getting better—which is exactly what I was hoping for. And now that we have a confirmed season two, I have a lot of faith that the rest of the show will be great.


HIGHLIGHTS

A solid story
for this episode really worked. While watching the finale, it felt like I was watching the book unfold (even though they’re definitely spreading the first three—even some of the fourth—book across the first season) and I was thrilled. Everyone had a job to do, the episode just worked and had a perfect ending for setting up the next season.

Camille
wasn’t as annoying in this episode, even if I think it’s strange to have her a part of the show so soon, her being such a large part of what happened in this episode worked for me. (Though, having her here so early brings Alec and Magnus’s discussion about mortality and their relationship feel way way way too early. They’ve even stated that they haven’t been on their first date yet. It’s been a few hours since Alec broke off his wedding to be with him only after a couple of drinks together. It just feels like adding Camille is making their relationship feel forced and rushed for no reason. They don’t even go public with dating each other until the third book. It feels too soon and that’s directly because of Camille’s involvement in the story this soon.)

LOWLIGHTS

Kat McNamara
is great as Clary for the most part, but her acting is pretty inconsistent. In the first episode, she had a moment when returning to her loft to find it trashed and burned. She was soaking wet and scared and she started to breakdown. It was a fairly decent emotional scene. But in the finale, she was devastated to see Jace go with Valentine, but her crying felt so forced and terrible, the complete opposite of what I knew she’s capable of doing. I do like her as Clary throughout, but sometimes her acting just isn’t there. I hope that improves, but now that an entire season has gone by, I’m not sure it will.

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