Shadowhunters season 3 mid-season finale recap and review

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SHADOWHUNTERS – “Erchomai” – In the climactic mid-season finale, the team scrambles to find a way to put a stop to Lilith’s plan coming to fruition. But going up against their biggest opponent yet, their odds are not looking good. Meanwhile, Simon makes a heartbreaking choice with Isabelle’s help and Magnus reconnects with a powerful person from his past. This episode of “Shadowhunters” airs Tuesday, May 15 (9:00 – 10:01 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland)


It was an explosive night on Shadowhunters this week, literally. Be warned: spoilers ahead for the season three mid-season finale!

As expected, not everyone survived the Shadowhunters mid-season finale.

In finally completing her mission, Lilith left a fairly large body count behind her. But heading into the hiatus, the true status of some characters is unclear. Still, there’s hope — not much, but some. Let’s start at the beginning.

Clary is in her snowy prison when two women enter. They clean her, do her hair, and clothe her in a red jumpsuit. It’s eerily reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, one of the many pop culture nods in the episode.

In this case, the red outfits are reserved for the death row inmates. Today is to be the day that Clary fulfills her sentence. But she’s not going first. That misfortune falls on a former Circle member, who is still fiercely loyal. He’s burned where he stands and Clary sees exactly how much this is going to hurt.

Waiting amongst the herd, Clary comes face to face with Iris Rouse for the first time since early in season two. Iris is in there because she refused to help the Clave resurrect Valentine. He may have been the bad guy, but the information in his head was vital to the Clave.

As the women talk, yet another inmate meets his demise. Clary says it best; it’s barbaric.

And yet, it’s probably as painful as the Wrath of the Mark of Cain. Yes, the Praetor Lupus has finally figured out that that’s the Mark on Simon’s forehead. According to biblical lore, the Mark will rebound an attack seven-fold.

SHADOWHUNTERS – “Familia Ante Omnia” – Clary faces down an old foe in an attempt to find answers about LilithÕs plan. Alec and Magnus turn to Lorenzo Rey for help, while Lilith finds a new ally. Luke must make a choice between his pack and his family, as Simon is forced to deal with his past. This episode of ÒShadowhuntersÓ airs Tuesday, May 15 (8:00 – 9:01 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/Ben Mark Holzberg)


It’s been a bit problematic so far, but this time Simon thinks it could be used to their advantage. If he’s indestructible, then he can break Clary out of prison. It’s a noble thought, but as Jordan reminds him, that would put a lot of blood on Simon’s hands.

Speaking of blood, Simon really needs some. With everything that’s been going on, he hasn’t fed in quite some time. The lesson here: always eat, because otherwise, it can be your downfall.

Unbeknownst to Simon, Heidi has been taken from the Praetor by the Owl. With Simon being such a threat, Lilith needs him occupied while she raises Jonathan.

She uses Heidi’s affection for Simon to her advantage, reminding Heidi that she shouldn’t have to change for him, and that “no woman should ever kneel to a man.” Lilith may be a bit of a psychopath, but she’s not wrong on this one.

So, while Heidi’s back on the psycho train to Simon Station, Lilith focuses on her own plan. Jonathan is ready to return, but he still needs the flesh of Valentine. Apparently, he’s a hot commodity.

Back at the Gard, it’s Clary’s turn to burn but she’s got some powerful last words. She can bring Valentine back for the Clave. With that offer, she manages to get a stay of execution and a trip to the morgue.

On the table lies a very pale, but a mostly preserved Valentine. With a quick new rune, Clary reluctantly brings her father to consciousness. Welcome back Alan Van Sprang! In a weird way, it’s good to see a familiar face.

Valentine seems to feel the same way as he adjusts to the land of the living once again. He is BUGGIN’ out when he realizes what’s happened, but seeing Clary calms him a bit. Apparently, he wasn’t actually in Hell; he was just in the dark, surrounded by nothing but shadows.

As a result, Valentine doesn’t actually know Lilith, or why she wanted to exhume his body. He’s only actually interacted with her once, years ago when he requested a vial of her blood to inject Jonathan with in the womb.

She only obliged because she so desperately wanted a child. But, following that logic, odds are she’s trying to reunite with Jonathan. Once Clary lets him know that Jonathan is dead, it all clicks, for everyone.

Everyone, including the Consul. She orders Valentine to be killed once again, but this time, destroy the body. That doesn’t go over so well with Valentine, as he springs free from his shackles and grabs the Consul.

She’s more than willing to die for the cause, ordering the guards to kill Valentine anyway. But Clary, always the resourceful one, grabs a dagger and manages to slash Valentine hard enough to release his grip and make him an easy target for the guards.

As it turns out, Clary’s runes are particularly effective because even an arrow to the throat doesn’t kill Valentine. He just pulls it out, tosses Clary into the next room, and struts into the courtyard. Now, not only is Lilith on the loose, but the Circle is reunited.

Luckily, it’s only temporary. After fighting his way through, and losing most of his own followers, Valentine finally hits a very locked door. Only Clary’s runes can unlock it, and she’ll only do it if she can go with him. At this point, it’s about saving her friends, and she’ll do what she has to.

But she doesn’t have to stick with Valentine, and she doesn’t want to. In a quick flick of the stele, she removes the rune that resurrected her father and Valentine is gone once again. Poor Alan, two deaths in 11 episodes. You’ll be missed once again.

Valentine didn’t take out every guard though, and before Clary can escape she’s stopped by the last one standing. Color me zero percent shocked, it’s Jace! After ripping out one of Valentine’s ribs (bare-handed), he clues Clary into the final piece of Lilith’s plan; she needs Clary’s heart.

All the while, literally no one knows what’s been going on. The Clave froze out Alec, so he’s been focusing on the Jace problem with Magnus. After an all-night research session, Magnus thinks he can truly free Jace this time.

SHADOWHUNTERS – “Familia Ante Omnia” – Clary faces down an old foe in an attempt to find answers about LilithÕs plan. Alec and Magnus turn to Lorenzo Rey for help, while Lilith finds a new ally. Luke must make a choice between his pack and his family, as Simon is forced to deal with his past. This episode of ÒShadowhuntersÓ airs Tuesday, May 15 (8:00 – 9:01 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/Ben Mark Holzberg)


All he has to do is hit Jace with a blast of magic powerful enough to knock Lilith out. By his calculations, it would take the magic of about 12 warlocks, but he needs the High Warlock’s permission to pull it off.

Because Lorenzo Rey is the most problematic, he, of course, doesn’t give Magnus permission. Lorenzo makes Alec think he’s considering it, but ultimately says no because, in his eyes, Lilith isn’t a threat to the Warlocks.

To add insult to injury — literally, Lorenzo and Magnus battle it out physically and magically and it’s awesome — Lorenzo forbids any Warlock from helping out. Even Catarina won’t help, but only because she doesn’t want to lose Madzie.

So, with no leads on Lilith or Jace, no info on Clary and no help from the Warlocks, Magnus and Alec are back at square one. Well, maybe not entirely. Magnus knows one other person who might help: his father.

It’ll be a rough family reunion, but not as rough as Simon’s was. This time Heidi didn’t go straight for her sire, she went for his family. He still hasn’t told them that he’s a vampire, and she figures that once they know, and are out of the way, he can live a full life with her included.

Her intentions are good, albeit a bit sadistic. Knowing that she’s doing this mostly out of some twisted love, and knowing exactly what his Mark can do, Simon tries to bait her into stabbing him. It almost works, until Heidi remembers Lilith’s warning.

Now she has to get creative in hurting him. She knows he hasn’t fed in weeks, and any vampire will feed on anyone if they’re hungry enough. He resists as long as he can but in the end, Simon’s instincts kick in and he feeds on his sister.

Luckily, Izzy and Jordan burst in before Simon can kill Becky. Heidi’s out like the wind, while Simon and his family are off to the hospital. But not together. Simon’s mother is scarred by what she just saw and threatens to kill Simon if he goes near Becky again.

It’s a heartbreaking moment, but compared to the back half of the finale, it’s nothing.