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‘Shadowhunters’ Season Finale Review: ‘Morning Star’

SHADOW HUNTERS - "Morning Star" - Time is running out for the Shadowhunters to stop Valentine in "Morning Star," the season finale of "Shadowhunters," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD, KATHERINE MCNAMARA

One of the most important things that one can realize in their life is that they are their own person. That no one other person ultimately defines who they are. They are responsible for their own fate. They choose who they ultimately become. This was something that Jace struggled with as he felt a darkness overtake him following his run-in with Valentine when he let him get away.

“Morning Star” brought us one hell of a season finale that was much darker than the show has been this season, which was a nice parallel to the darkness that Jace was experiencing. As Clary, Simon, and Isabelle worked on tracking down the Book of the White to help wake Jocelyn up, we found Jace, Alec, and Luke dealing with the Hodge betrayal. Ultimately there came a defining moment in the hour’s final minutes that set the stage for a darker season two and left us questioning a certain character’s decision that left the characters and the audience gutted.

Let’s dive into “Morning Star”:

SHADOW HUNTERS - "Morning Star" - Time is running out for the Shadowhunters to stop Valentine in "Morning Star," the season finale of "Shadowhunters," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD, KATHERINE MCNAMARA

Jace’s Dark Turn

When it comes to Jace’s character fans of the book are well aware of the darker path he takes as we transition from City of Bones to City of Ashes with the revelation that Valentine is his father. “Morning Star” was the beginning of Jace’s dark journey as he gets lost under the control of Valentine, who has made him to believe that he is this dark, evil person that he raised him to be.

From the start of this season finale – and even in the last episode – we saw Jace struggling with this darkness that’s inside of him. He no doubt blames himself for what happened at Renwick’s the week prior – how he had Valentine in his grasp and could’ve ended all of this – but he didn’t. And that right there should show you why Jace is not his father. Valentine wouldn’t have hesitated, but Jace’s hesitance shows his understanding of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to morality and why these two men couldn’t be more different.

But in this episode we saw Jace subject himself to the darkness as a result of his actions in the last episode. He’s blaming everything that’s happening on himself because he didn’t stop Valentine when he had the chance – he let him get away, which ultimately led to Valentine getting his hands on the Mortal Cup through Hodge.

But the thing that this episode showed was how much Valentine has gotten inside of Jace’s head, which is a very dangerous thing. This is the man that raised him as a boy, who essentially is responsible for the darkness inside of him, and we saw how all of those vulnerabilities came flooding back for Jace. Jace reiterated that Valentine is “his” father, which means that he was the one that was raised by the despicable man. Clary might be Valentine’s blood, but she was never subjected to his parenting growing up and the effects.

There was a darkness to the Jace that we saw throughout “Morning Star,” especially in the way he dealt with Hodge. Jace lost himself in the darkness when he battled Hodge when he cut off his hand and nearly killed him – without hesitation. It was then that you began to see just how much Valentine had gotten inside of Jace’s head.

But the talk of the episode was no doubt Jace’s decision to join Valentine’s army. It was a decision that Dominic Sherwood told us would have fans divided in their reasoning behind it. But I actually find myself right in the middle, while leaning more towards one argument.

When Jace chooses to go with Valentine he’s condemning himself to this fate because he thinks he deserves it. But he’s also protecting his friends from Valentine, who Valentine would’ve killed had he not joined him. So really there was a dual reasoning behind it, but ultimately Jace made the decision because he feels like he deserves it; he feels like that’s who he really is – Jonathan Morgenstern. He’s essentially leaving Jace Wayland behind. That’s going to be his huge struggle come season two. Jace needs to realize that he’s not his father despite what Valentine might continue to tell him.

But to find redemption you ultimately have to start at your darkest, which is where Jace finds himself now as he stands behind his father and his new army of Shadowhunters. Earlier, Valentine said that Jace’s friends make him weak. But that’s true at all. They make him strong. Love makes you strong, not weak. And that’s what’ll ultimately help Jace defeat Valentine in the end. Jace will embrace that strength – something that Valentine does not possess – and he will find his way back.

SHADOW HUNTERS - "Morning Star" - Time is running out for the Shadowhunters to stop Valentine in "Morning Star," the season finale of "Shadowhunters," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD, MATTHEW DADDARIO, EMERAUDE TOUBIA, KATHERINE MCNAMARA

Hodge’s Betrayal

One of the game-changing moments in City of Bones comes with Hodge’s betrayal of Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, as it’s revealed that he’s agreed to hand over the Mortal Cup to Valentine in exchange for his freedom. It was a storyline that we saw play out in “Morning Star” as Hodge managed to steal the Cup and bring it to Valentine.

But the thing with Hodge, that we didn’t get to see enough of this season, was how he was family to the Lightwoods – Alec, Isabelle, and Jace. In the books Hodge is like family because he is the one that has taught them everything, raised them, loved them. On the show we never got that sense because the Institute has been overpopulated with random Shadowhunters. There was an intimacy to the books where for the longest time it was Hodge, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, with Maryse, Robert, and Max in Idris in City of Bones.

While we didn’t see the build-up of this close relationship – we were just supposed to assume it – we did see the fallout of his betrayal and what it did to Jace, Alec, and Isabelle. There was a part of them that just couldn’t believe it – didn’t want to believe it – because this man was family to them. How could he possibly betray them like that? So that was something that really stung. When someone close to you betrays you it’s a pain unlike any other.

But something that’s also been important is the reasoning behind Hodge’s betrayal. It wasn’t ultimately to wrong the Shadowhunters so much as it was to protect himself – to free himself of this curse that had been placed upon him. But it doesn’t erase the fact that Hodge so easily betrayed them for his selfish desires. So when Hodge delivers the Mortal Cup to Valentine it’s cosmic justice when Valentine says that he can’t have a traitor be a part of his ranks. The agreement was, after all, that Valentine would grant Hodge his freedom for the Cup. Well, there you go. Freedom. With the Shadowhunters hot on your tail. Well, Hodge, karma is a bitch.

It’s not long before Jace comes into contact with Hodge and confronts him about his massive betrayal — about how he was their teacher, how they treated him like family. But Hodge defends himself saying that the Lightwoods betrayed him, blamed him, that he was a prisoner within those walls. But Hodge knows that he has to get away so there’s no choice but for teacher and student to square off. We get an amazing fight sequence that showcases the stunt department on this show, which ends with Jace taking down his mentor. But that’s not enough. Jace cuts off Hodge’s hand and is about to deliver the death blow before Alec stops him.

Later we see Hodge being taken to Idris, where he will spend the next book rotting in a prison cell before we’ll no doubt find him again when City of Glass comes around in this story.

SHADOW HUNTERS - "Morning Star" - Time is running out for the Shadowhunters to stop Valentine in "Morning Star," the season finale of "Shadowhunters," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland) DOMINIC SHERWOOD

Valentine’s Plan

From the start of this season, Valentine Morgenstern has been hellbent on creating an army of Shadowhunters with the Mortal Cup in order to rid the world of Downworlders and of those that are against him. It started off very weird with the Chernobyl stuff, but perhaps we’ve finally come to a place where we were meant to with Valentine possessing the Cup and using it to control demons and take down those that oppose him.

In this episode we saw Hodge betray those that he had spent most of his life with in order to give Valentine the Mortal Cup. Once Valentine possessed that Cup we saw him create his first Shadowhunter, whom he used to go fetch his children, Clarissa and Jonathan. It’s all part of his plan, you see. To stand tall above everyone in the world with his family by his side. Only that’s not how things are going to play out.

Valentine is someone who we’ve seen has been changed at his core and he’s embraced this insanity within him. He’s someone who wants to rule the world and have his family stand faithfully beside him. But he doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t understand love and thus he doesn’t understand ultimately what’s worth fighting for. And it’s why he’ll ultimately fall.

But one thing is for sure: the toughest challenge for the Shadowhunters lies ahead now that Valentine is in possession of the Mortal Cup. And things are only going to get darker from here.

SHADOW HUNTERS - "Morning Star" - Time is running out for the Shadowhunters to stop Valentine in "Morning Star," the season finale of "Shadowhunters," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/John Medland) KATHERINE MCNAMARA, EMERAUDE TOUBIA

Search for the Book of White

Coinciding with Valentine’s plans with the Mortal Cup was another problem: waking Jocelyn. And this could only be accomplished by finding the Book of the White in order to do so. This wasn’t really a storyline I was fond of because it’s happening much too soon. This is a City of Glass storyline that is happening in a season that’s essentially City of Bones. I understand the want to bring Jocelyn into the fray (mind the pun), but it just feels much too soon to me.

With that said, Clary, Simon, and Isabelle go to Hotel Dumort in order to speak to the person that is said to be in possession of this book: Camille. You know, the charming vampire that killed Simon and is responsible for his becoming a vampire. Also the one who happens to be held prisoner by Rafael and his vampires so that she doesn’t cause any trouble.

So it’s no surprise that Rafael isn’t too keen on letting Clary and her friends borrow Camille for a little chat even despite the threat of Valentine. To Rafael, the threat of Camille is much worse. But only it isn’t. If Valentine gets a hold of the Cup his endgame is to ensure that there are no Downworlders left. Still, Rafael won’t budge so Clary and Simon sneak downstairs to pry Camille loose. They ultimately make a deal that she’ll take them to her apartment where the Book of the White is, if Simon agrees to pardon her for her crime against killing a mundane. Of course Simon agrees because he understands the importance of this mission especially as it relates to Clary.

After Isabelle helps ensure their escape from Hotel Dumort, our crew makes a quick pit stop at Magnus’ so that the warlock can draft up this pardon between Simon and Camille. It’s there that Camille uses her past with Magnus to stir up some trouble between Magnus and Alec. Ultimately it causes our pair to have a conversation after the episode where things look like they’re going to rough moving ahead. But that’s the case in any relationship.

Then our group finds themselves at Camille’s upper east side apartment in search of the Book of the White. Simon signs Camille’s pardon just before she’s said to tell them where the Book of the White is. Only she doesn’t know. See, never trust a vampire. Well, never trust Camille. Camille said that Dot probably hid the book from her so it’s somewhere in this library. Or the other four like it. But before Camille leaves she promises that Simon hasn’t seen the last of her. *Shudder*

So Clary and Simon begin the impossible and start searching for the book. But a certain cookbook catches Clary’s eye. It’s the cookbook her mother used to make chicken cacciatore, the one Simon loves so much. Clary recognizes the book so she looks through it thinking maybe there’s something there. And lo and behold there is: the missing chunk of the bookmark. And once Clary unites the two pieces the book reveals itself to be the Book of the White.

Following the traumatic events at Camille’s where Jace chose to join Valentine’s army, Clary and co. head back to the Institute to wake Jocelyn up. Magnus performs the spell and Luke catches Jocelyn in his arms and they embrace before mother and daughter reunite. A nice moment before the terror that is coming in season two with Valentine in possession of the Mortal Cup. The darkness is just beginning…

Rants and Raves


-Jace’s Dark Turn: Props to Dominic Sherwood’s portrayal of this darker Jace that showed us the power of Valentine’s influence and just how much Jace is struggling with this darkness inside of him. Not that we want to see this dark Jace – I miss the snarky, humorous, arrogant character we met in the pilot – but it’s nice to see this evolution of his character but even better to see it executed so beautifully.

-Fight Sequence: Speaking of dark Jace, one of my favorite moments was that fight scene with Jace and Hodge that showcased some of the show’s best fight sequences. It’s always nice when Shadowhunters lets these characters fight – seeing as they are warriors – and it’s something we haven’t seen enough of but need more of next season.

-Alex Taking a Stand to His Parents: It was nice to see Alec stand up for himself following the events of his liplock with Magnus. Alec has no doubt grown into a character that is doing what’s best for him and not his family. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still care about him, it just means that he’s doing what’s right for him. He told them that if they had a problem with him and Magnus that they get over it because there was no way he was going to let them influence his decision-making again.


-Jocelyn Waking Up: Not that I’m not happy to see Jocelyn reunited with Clary and Luke and to see Maxim Roy conscious again, but this storyline from a personal preference feels too soon. Seeing as this first season is supposed to be City of Bones, I don’t understand why elements of City of Glass are showing up. But that’s just my personal preference.

-Jace Joins Valentine’s Army: While I ultimately understood Jace’s decision to go off with Valentine, I’m not a fan of the storyline itself, which greatly differed from the books. Sure, City of Ashes is all about the pull between Jace and Valentine, but Jace never actually chooses to go with Valentine to that extent. Like I said, I understand Jace’s decision in this moment and the whole season finale cliffhanger of it all, but I just didn’t like it.

-Malec Uncertainty: Following a great episode for Alec and Magnus it was disappointing to see what appears to be a wrench thrown in the couple’s way. But it makes sense from a season finale standpoint. Perhaps they’re going to rebuild them in the season two premiere? But right now I just miss the happy couple we had at the end of the last episode.

Shadowhunters will return for season 2 next year.

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

10 Comments on ‘Shadowhunters’ Season Finale Review: ‘Morning Star’

  1. Hunter Miller // April 6, 2016 at 12:40 PM // Reply

    I really like this episode but I still don’t like the way Camille is being treated. The way Clary is treating Camille kind of a annoys me but what really pissed me off was the fact that Camille just stood there and took it. The Camille in the books would probably slap the life out of Clary for treating her like that. I LOVE Jocelyn but I feel like they woke her up to early. Jocelyn should have woken up at the end of season 2

  2. Jocelyn Waking Up is what worries me the most. I mean, Jocelyn is the one who is supposed to reveal certain truth about Jace and Clary. Now that she is awake I assume either they just will tell the truth immediately which would suck because I really like the awkwardness between them, or they will completely change the original story and Jocelyn won´t have a clue of you know what.

  3. So I’ve been bashed repeatedly because of my opinon of the show, and how I shouldn’t judge something before watching it, well now I’ve watched it all and I still don’t like it.

    There are things that I liked, such as Izzy (not her clothing) Alec, Simon and Raphael. I love Izzy and Alec, they were the reason that I continued to watch this show, and I’m glad that the show focused on their sibling relationship and developed it more. Simon was perfect and Raphael was surprisingly entertaining. That’s about it, I don’t like anything else tbh.

    The special effects were so horrid! I know they didn’t have the best budget but then just maybe maybe they should of considered not to add some of those bad effects since it didn’t contribute to the show it only made it stand out in a bad way, couldn’t the demons just’ve dropped to the ground dead? Or maybe just gone up in simple smoke? That would have been so much better. And Luke’s eyes what was up with that shit?

    The writing is another thing that was just so bad, it got better and then it got worse and it didn’t help the actors who I felt weren’t that good to begin with, and needed a strong script. I was mostly worried about Kat’s acting but she improved during the shows run and even though it wasn’t great at least she improved. I did not like Dom one bit as Jace, his acting was not good, I just didn’t find him believable at all and I think he was really wooden and not the best at portraying emotions. I think he could have benifited from a stronger script where Jace had his wittiness but since he didn’t have that I just came to strongly dislike Jace (my favourite character in the books) beacuse he just became brooding and irritating.

    I don’t think I’ll watch the second season.

  4. I actually liked the fact that Malec is addressing Camille/immortality beforehand so they can get that convo out of the way before they get really serious y’know? So then we can have happy Malec longer lol

  5. what worries me most is the army at the end.

  6. The season is over ad here’s my final thoughts; The show skipped around waaay too much. They dismissed many of the key moments from the books and added their own twists. Why couldn’t it be the other way around? Keep the key moments, add little surprises. Maybe that way the episodes would have been bridged and the subplots could have made sense. And maybe it could have helped with the pacing.

    The show did improved. I’ll admit to that, but it only got better until episode eight…maybe ten to the end. The rest of the season it felt wasteful. Cassie practically handed them everything they needed (the Shadow World, the characters, the storylines, etc) and they decided to do their own thing instead. I still don’t even understand the point of their ‘new’ characters (Dot, Vargas, anyone else I’m forgetting that got killed off, and the nameless Shadowhunters in the Institute) or Luke’s career. He hasn’t done much investigating. And the show hasn’t really done any justice with Clace, Camille, Ragnor, Robert and Maryse or Valentine who play more important roles than the new characters.

    On top of that, Shadowhunters hasn’t really wowed me except in episode ten which was surprisingly pleasing. Also, the chemistry between Alec and Clary, Alec-Clary-Simon, and Simon and Luke have been great. They kept me interested in the show. Clace still has issues.

    So really, I don’t know what to expect from season 2. I want to keep an open mind and I’ll try for my love of the series, but please don’t let me down.

  7. Marie-Antoinette // April 7, 2016 at 4:45 AM // Reply

    So this was season 1. Very mixed and mixed up. One they seperated the plot far enough from the books, it was nice to watch. The actors are not as good and strong as I wish and unfortunately the writing was very bad (especially in the beginning of the show), but in the end it all became better and some actors did surprise us with their performance. All in all, unfortunately not as good as the books, but nice. A huge potential untapped, resp. still a whole lot of opportunities for the next season. After the finale episode was over I told myself: “Different to the book. To enjoy, not to suffer.” multiple times as a mantra. (This really hels. 🙂 )

    My favorites in this show were: Simon, Alec, Izzy, Magnus and Raphael. The actors were really believable with their performance and it was a delight to watch. Valentine and Luke are also nice. But Clary, Jace and all others were a little bit disputable. A lot potential for the next season.

    I found Alec standing up to his parents very good. Finally he got it! He is very sexy when doing so.

    Hodge betrayal was good and also well performed. The scene Valentine with Hodge was a very good and dramatic one.

    Jace’s struggle with the dark side, was very fine shown and performed. Throughout the books Jace is also struggeling and thinks the worst of himself. It takes him almost 6 books to find to the good in himself. His decision in the finale is not really a cliffhanger, because it is clear why he does it. I do not like it, but it is understandable. I am curious how they will develop this plot line. And speaking of cliffhanger: everybody who read Cassie’s books know what a real cliffhanger is. Just saying.

    The awakening of Jocelyn was way too early. I worry about what they will do with it. In the books it was so important that Jocelyn was not there and Clary had to learn to conquer all difficulties by herself and with the help of her new friends, to stand up and be strong was her lesson. That doesn’t work with an overprotective mother awake and around. But OK we will see what comes from that. Also I fear about the Clary-Jace story line. If Jocelyn does reveal the true relations it is too early. We loose all the drama and tension of the Claceship. And besides, someone essential for this storyline is still missing: Sebastian. Without him no revealing that Jace is not Valentines son. It would make no sense. And if she doesn’t reveal the truth, when and who will? All very confusing! But as I say as mantra “Different as the books. To enjoy and not to suffer! Just wait and see.”

    Camille is a disappointment from the beginning, compared to the book Camille. She has no charisma, no good or bad vipes at all. The only thing they got correct about this character is the mischievousness, the manipulation, the selfishness. She is a cunning bitch.

    After last episode I would have expected to see more Malec. At least some touches, closeness, anything. But they are acting almost indifferently this time. Except when Alec interupts Camille kissing Magnus and Magnus nervousness and apologies. Nice to bring in Alecs fear, that Magnus is outliving him because of his immortality, but I think it was also too early. They need first a relationship and then they should discuss something like this. They not even told the important 3 words to each other.

    All in all, nice show with big potential for the next season, for the script as well as for the directing and acting. Interesting plot twists, interesting character development.

    My husband says: Give them a chance. They are not too bad. By the Angel, I gave and will further give them a chance. I got netflix only to be able to watch Shadowhunters. And I will watch the second season as well. I hope they use the chances the fandom and Cassie gives them and turn this to something magically special in the next season.

    We are all dust and shadows!

  8. All I want for is for the writers to pace themselves and think things through. They should be asking themselves, ‘is this really how people talk?’ because some of the dialogue or more than half of it was cheesy and cliche. I can’t emphisise in enough that they should be treating the characters like real people. This is writing 101. They need to add elements of realisms even if it’s based on a fantasy world, the viewers need to connect, to empathise, or hate the characters (we don’t always love every characters, even main ones). The show did express some of that –only–on a few glimpses, but not enough.

    The show wasn’t bad. It just needs a bit of consistency.

  9. I don’t like Clary’s mother waking up this early… This was a major thing in the books, cause we learn only then that Clary and Jace are not siblings. If she reveals it too soon, we loses a lot of important things… And if she is not the one to reveal it, then it will be weird.. I think a mother automatically feels the connection to her children, she gave birth to them after all. Then if she think Jace is her son, then I personally feel its wrong… And besides, she knows that Jonathan Morgenstern was evil! She tried to kill him… And we can all se that jace is not.. So this is just wrong no matter how they twist and turn the plot…. Pleas make her go back in coma!

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