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SHADOWHUNTERS “Beside Still Water” (Season Finale) Review

By on August 15, 2017

SHADOWHUNTERS - “Beside Still Water” - (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD

By Andrea Dixon

The second half of this season began with well-intentioned efforts by Alec Lightwood, as newly appointed Head of the Institute, to unify Shadowhunters and Downworlders. This was done in the aftermath of an attempt to wipe out the entire Downworld race committed by the most maniacal Shadowhunter of them all. The season now ends with that same threat since Valentine is once again at large, but this time the Downworlders and Shadowhunters are more divided than ever. Growing mistrust has effectively been driving a wedge between the two factions as this half season has progressed and the finale looked primed for all-out war. However, when betrayal is discovered within each of the ranks respectively, the estranged groups come to a realization that things are not black and white, and they are forced to work together to take down the common threat once again.

The episode begins with a nearly-dead-but-not-dead-enough Sebastian being washed ashore. Did anyone really believe he was dead? Apparently, his blood is a direct line to the fiery pit of Hell known as Edom, which was his home away from home for many years. Benefits? This leads to the biggest and most exciting-looking demons our heroes have faced yet – large dragon-like beasts dubbed wraiths, which multiply and scatter when shot at with weapons. Izzy locates the rift and insists they enlist Magnus to help them seal it. What follows is a thrilling battle on the beach with blasts of fire and sand, and Malec fighting together as the epic team we all knew that they could be.

SHADOWHUNTERS - “Beside Still Water” - Shadowhunters are divided as Alec and Isabelle battle a swarm of demons attacking the city, as Jace and Clary must head to make a final stand in “Beside Still Water,” the season finale of “Shadowhunters” airing on Monday, Aug. 14th at 8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT. (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD

(Freeform/John Medland)
DOMINIC SHERWOOD

Simon and Luke travel together to the Seelie Realm in search of Maia who has been taken hostage by the Seelie Queen. As suspected, this was a move made with procuring Simon as the desired outcome, and she suspiciously lets them go after speaking with him off-screen. It also comes as no surprise that the Queen has helped Valentine bypass the wards created by Magnus and the other Warlocks, allowing him entry into Idris along with access to the Mortal Mirror in exchange for the protection of her own people alone.

Clace dispatch themselves to warn the Clave of Valentine’s breach and end up encountering a traitor in the highest of their ranks – Malachi, who is the Consul and leader of the entire Clave. He is a Circle Member and believes that what Valentine is doing is in line with the Clave’s centuries-old mission. In these scenes, we see the stark contrast between the old and new generations of Shadowhunters, and the pull towards a greater acceptance and understanding of all beings within the Shadow World – themes that have been present since the beginning of the series and cultivated during its second season.

Valentine continues to be ruthless as he fights his children, stabbing and killing Jace when he stands in his way. The effects of Jace’s death are felt back at home through the parabatai rune he shares with Alec. We have seen the parabatai connection represented effectively on the show to the extent where full episodes have been dedicated to the intensity of its power. As a result, I find it hard to believe that Jace could convince Alec that what happened to him was anything other than death, even if it was only temporary. Valentine raises the angel Raziel, but Clary takes her father down once and for all before he is able to make his genocidal wish. She is granted the wish instead and of course she uses it to bring Jace back from the dead. Although she calls the act a miracle, it appears to be more of a curse when we later see a dour and melancholy Jace silently suffering the repercussions.

(Freeform/John Medland) SARAH HYLAND, ALBERTO ROSENDE

(Freeform/John Medland)
SARAH HYLAND, ALBERTO ROSENDE

The season leaves us with the Shadowhunters and Downworlders celebrating together at the Hunter’s Moon. The threat of Valentine has been eliminated, and for now, it appears that there is peace. Malec talk things through and re-acknowledge the agreement they arrived at when they first started dating – that they are two very different people, but the connection they share is worth the effort of trying to make it work between them. It is obvious that they still have a lot to work on and Magnus has many of his walls up again. The Malec relationship stands as a much more personal version of the bigger struggle to unite the two sides of the Shadow World, and as such, it bends and mends along with the course of that journey. This, among many other reasons, is what makes this relationship so enthralling to the fans.

There are several cliffhangers at the end of this episode that threaten to upset the tenuous ground upon which this newfound peace has been established. Aside from Jace’s secret torment, Ollie enters the bar to blatantly question Luke about his Werewolf status, Simon returns to the Seelie Realm to pledge his allegiance to the Queen, and finally, the still-not-dead Sebastian has an encounter with his mother. (Guess it is not Jocelyn after all?)

I still personally prefer the mid-season finale over this one, but there were certainly a lot of exciting and emotional moments here as well. The second half of this season has been an insane ride and it is staggering to think about everything that has transpired. It has been a therapeutic and edifying experience writing the reviews for such an integral part of the Shadowhunters series. I would like to thank everyone who has followed my reviews throughout and wish you all good hunting.

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