Shadowhunters season 3B premiere review: The Final Hunt begins


The Final Hunt has begun on Shadowhunters, and we aren’t starting off easy. Here’s everything that went down in the season 3B premiere.

We’re back Shadowfam! Shadowhunters returned with a bang last night — literally — and all there is to say is “Oh brother!”

After an excruciating nine-month hiatus, that “previously on” segment has never felt more necessary. Let’s recap: Clary was sentenced to death at the Gard, but Owl Jace broke her out to take to Lilith.

Upon arrival, Jace was confronted by Magnus and Alec. In the ensuing battle, Magnus gave up his powers and Jace was freed from Lilith’s hold. Oh, and Simon used his Mark of Cain to banish Lilith back to Edom, causing an explosion that destroyed her apartment, along with Clary and Jonathan.

Okay, deep breath… let’s dive into the premiere.

Thanks to every piece of footage released leading up to the episode, we knew Clary was just fine. She’s with Jonathan — the real Jonathan, “in the flesh.” Welcome to the party Luke Baines! You’re already hauntingly charming.

Despite his best efforts, including offers of breakfast and her favorite tea, Clary spurns her brother. All she wants from him are answers, first about her newest scar. It’s one that Jonathan has too, “kind of like our family emblem.”

For Clary, it’s not that deep (metaphorically speaking). To her, it’s just the thing that brought Jonathan back, nothing more.

Next question: where in the world are the Morgenstern siblings? Clary seemed to know that they weren’t in New York anymore, but drawing back the curtain and seeing snow was a literal breath-taking shock. Clary and Jonathan are in Siberia!

Evidently, Lilith sent them there to keep them safe. As Jonathan gently reminds Clary, she’s an escaped convict; if the Clave got wind of her whereabouts, or the fact that she’s even alive, she’d be hunted down. That’s a risk worth taking for Clary though, as she tries to make a break for it. Time to put those winter weather Shadowhunter survival skills to the test.

For everyone else, she’s already dead. But, after a tearjerking montage of memories from Simon, Jace and Magnus, it’s business as usual. Granted, that’s not entirely unusual for Shadowhunters, and Jace is definitely trying to use business as an escape and excuse to be reckless.

While chasing down another escapee, he deliberately runs into the Seelie’s spear, supposedly to give Alec a clean shot. Later, a memory-induced outburst ends with Jace punching a mirror and ominously grabbing a dagger.

Fortunately, Isabelle makes a perfectly timed entrance. She tries to offer comfort, tearing up as she tells him that she misses Clary too. But she’s never loved someone like Jace loved Clary, and she doesn’t have memories of murdering loved ones, so how could she truly understand? The little kiss Jace places on her hand might be one of the cutest, subtlest sibling moments they’ve had to date, but it’s a heart-wrenching scene.

Struggling just as much, if not more than Jace, we find Simon. He lost his mother and his sister in the 3A finale, his girlfriend went off the grid and now he’s lost his best friend. To call this a low point for him would be an understatement. So, he tries to take a knife to his forehead and carve off the Mark, but we all know how that goes.

At least he has Maia… kind of. She’s back in town, but doesn’t seem to be wholeheartedly back. And Simon isn’t exactly thrilled with how and when she left things. Things between them are strained, but it doesn’t mean Maia doesn’t want to help. Her first suggestion: just get out of the house. Simon shuts it down real quick, paralyzed by the guilt of apparently killing his best friend, and the fear of unintentionally hurting someone else.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! Alec and Magnus are settling into domestic life happily. They’ve even taken on the task of babysitting Madzie for the weekend, making #Malec shippers everywhere swoon. (Alec, you can read me Dr. Seuss any time).

Mundane life on the other hand, is something Magnus isn’t loving. He relied on magic for everything, including basic eyeliner application. So, when Iris shows up hoping to reclaim Madzie as her own, something as vital as self-defense is not something Magnus wanted to be lacking. Luckily, he’s got Alec. Iris flees and Madzie’s safe, for now. But if there’s one thing we know about Iris, it’s that she won’t quit. And so, the Shadowhunters are back to work – minus Jace.

Izzy filled Alec in on what she walked into with Jace, and as Head of the Institute, he’s not taking any chances with his parabatai. Alec gives Jace a perfect blend of scolding and comfort, as only a parabatai could, before temporarily relieving him of duty.

Gearing up for their mission, Izzy gets a visitor in Maia. She wants to help Simon, she just doesn’t know how. Then again, she doesn’t know the full extent of what’s gone on; “how could you? You were gone.”

After that successful guilt trip, Isabelle fills Maia in on the Heidi/Becky/Mrs. Lewis situation. This Mark has caused serious pain for Simon, and she wants to help him as much as Maia does. Fortunately, she’s got one potential solution, and it involves a familiar face.

Going to see Raphael isn’t on Simon’s list of desires, but no one knows more about Daylighter lore than Raphael, and he’d be the one most likely to have answers. Unfortunately, he really doesn’t. But he thinks there is someone who does: an ancient vampire that lives in and roams the sewers of New York. No one knows his name or his face though, so good luck Simon!

It wasn’t the most helpful, but we’ve got nine episodes to fill with this mystery. So, on the whole, not a wasted trip to Detroit.

Meanwhile, Jace has a trip of his own to make. After receiving a message from Luke, he pays the wolf a visit, hoping to help in some way. But he doesn’t find a broken Luke, as expected. Instead, Jace finds a crazed Luke, hellbent on the idea that Clary is alive.

Luke’s run the numbers, read the lore and investigated recent events and he’s cracked it; the apartment is part of a rare form of demonic interdimensional travel. His best guess is that in the split second before the explosion hit, the apartment jumped, with Clary and Jonathan both alive in it.

Jace is skeptical, but he’ll learn. He needs to move quickly though; Clary is not doing awesome on her own. Proving Jonathan right, Clary has collapsed in the middle of actual nowhere. It makes for a sweet drone shot though!

After rescuing Clary and bringing her back to the apartment, Jonathan is desperate to form a bond with her. By all appearances, he just wants his sister, and will do what it takes to show her he’s good now. “I can change. I want to change,” he says. His words are nice but then again, Clary is still technically his hostage, so there’s that.

At this point, she’s not the only one being held captive. In their search for Iris, Alec, Isabelle and Magnus are successful – the capturing part, not so much. In fact, despite an excellent defense with a sword, Magnus finds himself captured as well. The good news is, Iris wants Madzie, not Magnus. All she needs him for is to get her location. Obviously, he’s not going to talk, so mind-reading is her strategy. But remember, Magnus is thousands of years old; sifting through those memories is no small feat.

Those memories are quite revealing as it turns out, but not in terms of giving Madzie’s location. Instead, we get glimpses of Magnus’ childhood and a former relationship or two. It looks as though we’re getting more of his background this season, and no one’s mad about it.

Without his magic, it’s a painful experience, but Magnus holds his own and shortly thereafter, Alec and Izzy manage to lure Iris into a trap. Still, Magnus doesn’t want to be humiliated like that again; he wants to learn to fight.

Brace yourselves Malec fans, sweaty training scenes are coming.

Re-capturing Iris earns Alec and his Institute some good grace with Consul Penhallow. She arrives in person to praise him, and to inform him that she is granting Clary a posthumous pardon. But it’s not all good news. She’s still mad about their previous actions, but going after Alec now would be political suicide. Instead, he gets a warning; he and his team are under the microscope, and she won’t miss a thing.

Except, apparently, the torture of Gard prisoners. Seeing an opportunity, Izzy confronts Jia about what she’s heard. The Consul stands by Alec’s original assertion, that the Clave does not engage in torture. To be fair, she’s telling the truth. These prisoners just aren’t ending up in The Gard. Add that to the list of this season’s mysteries.

The final mystery? How Clary will get away from Jonathan.

In the graphic final minutes of the episode, Clary takes her opportunity to stab Jonathan through the mouth with a knife… only to suddenly experience the same injury herself. Poor sweet Clary, you really thought the mark on your shoulder was nothing more than Jonathan’s kickstart?

No, this mark is so much more. It seems to have mortally linked the siblings. Whatever pain befalls one, the other experiences just as badly. “We’re one now little sister. You and me? We’re one,” Jonathan jeers.

The Final Hunt is going to be a ride.

Shadowhunters airs on Mondays, at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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