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‘Shadowhunters’ 3×17 recap: “Heavenly Fire”

Old acquaintances, new faces, and quite a few jaw-droppers!

Shadowhunters 3×17, Season 3, Episode 17, “Heavenly Fire,” Aired April 8, 2019.

Happy 50th episode, everybody! What a great ride it has been so far – and luckily, it’s not over (yet)!

Action-packed and full of jaw-droppers, this week’s Shadowhunters once again is a mixed bag of everything. We meet old acquaintances, get to see new faces  and watch as unlikely alliances are forged in a joint effort to stop a madman from erasing the Downworld. As befits the occasion, there are a lot of surprises – unfortunately, not all of them good. But what would Shadowhunters be without some drama, right?

Let’s break down this episode and watch one Simon Lewis take center stage – and save the world in the process!

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotion video “Isabelle reveals details on a project code named Heavenly Fire”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

News on Heavenly Fire – and it’s not glorious at all!

We already know that Simon and Izzy make one hell of a team – but this week, they are really at the top of their game! When Izzy asks Simon for help to save Clary, he immediately agrees, even without knowing what Izzy’s plan entails. He is the best friend everybody needs: Always supportive and completely selfless. And: Can we please talk about character growth? Because Simon has come such a long way!

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotion video “Isabelle reveals details on a project code named Heavenly Fire”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Who the hell is Zeke Russo, or: Every vampire needs a secret alias

As an undercover prisoner inside the secret Heavenly Fire facility, Simon makes a few unsettling discoveries. Prisoners are taken out of the holding cell and do not return. Later, our favorite Daylighter finds a room filled with all the Downworlders gone missing – but they are all mundane again!  What is going on?

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotion video “Isabelle reveals details on a project code named Heavenly Fire”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Izzy and Aline: Fierce females teaming up to bring a villain down

When communication with Simon breaks off, Izzy and Aline join forces. It turns out that Victor Aldertree, the new Head of Scientific Development, has been going behind the Clave’s back, transferring prisoners to the facility to use them as lab rats. He injects them with “Heavenly Fire”, a serum that has been created from a fragment of the sword Glorious. This serum makes Downworlders mundane again – whether they like it or not. Consent? A foreign concept for this madman!

Victor Aldertree: Villain extraordinaire or just completely delusional?

While Aldertree believes to be “on the edge of a major breakthrough”, Izzy just thinks he is completely delusional. His aim is to purge the Downworld by slipping Heavenly Fire into the water supply all over the world, claiming it “will be a safer place once it’s free from demon blood.” Holy sh*t – delusional is really putting it mildly!

Fortunately, our Shadowhunters/Downworlder team blows up his lab just in the nick of time. Aldertree is placed under arrest – but not before Izzy lands a good punch in true “We’re Lightwoods – we break noses and accept the consequences”-fashion –  purely in self-defense, of course!

Clary and Jace: Interrogating another madman

While Simon, Izzy and Aline are busy bringing Aldertree to justice, Jace and Clary pay a visit to the basement of the Institute where Jonathan is still being held, Hannibal Lecter style. Unsurprisingly, he refuses to talk to anyone but Clary. Jace doesn’t like it one bit, fearing it will only strengthen Jonathan’s power over her –  and he is not wrong.

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from the promotion video “Clary wants to know where the Morningstar sword is”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Naturally, Jonathan gets what he wants. He shares memories about his nightmarish time with Lilith in Edom – and it is not easy to stomach. It was then that he first learned about his sister and also the Morningstar sword, which can only be yielded by those with Morgenstern blood.

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from the promotion video “Clary wants to know where the Morningstar sword is”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

The more we get to know about Jonathan, the more obvious it becomes that he is beyond saving. However, that doesn’t stop us from feeling sympathy for the devil when he breaks down, sobbing that Lilith was right about no one ever coming for him. The way he cries out: “You were supposed to be my princess”  – we can keenly feel the betrayal he feels!

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from the promotion video “Clary wants to know where the Morningstar sword is”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Jonathan’s backstory: A Disney fantasy gone bad

The picture Jonathan paints about his time in Edom is a dark one and he depicts it so vividly that it resonates within Clary: She recognizes one scene he describes as something she had recurring nightmares about as a child. In order to help her deal with it, she even drew it in one of her sketchbooks. Jonathan at the window up high in that dark, dreadful castle, desperately yelling for help? It’s like a Disney fantasy gone bad!

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from the promotion video “Clary wants to know where the Morningstar sword is”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Nervous Alec, depressed Magnus = a perfect proposal?

Let’s face it: It was foreshadowed right from the start that we wouldn’t see a happy Malec moment at the very end of this episode, so we braced ourselves for drama – and rightly so.

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotional video “Alec asks Magnus to a special dinner”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Magnus accepts Alec’s invitation to a special dinner on the balcony (“How romantic. […] I’m one lucky man”) and Alec (“Not as lucky as I am”) spends all day planning and giving off nervous energy. Magnus, on the other hand, spends his day drinking – and it doesn’t help that he discovers a grey hair at one point, undeniable proof of his mortality. When he finally arrives late for the date, Alec quickly registers that something is wrong – but he doesn’t realize how wrong until the very end. Things get physical – although most definitely not in the way Malec fans would have liked – and the episode ends with Magnus sobbing his heart out against Alec’s shoulder. Fortunately, we are used to the feeling of having our hearts ripped out by now!

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotional video “Alec asks Magnus to a special dinner”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

While Alec’s intentions of proposing to Magnus during the most difficult time of his life have certainly been good, he fails to realize that Magnus has slipped into depression. It becomes more and more obvious that Alec isn’t able to understand just how much Magnus identifies with magic and thus, how insignificant and lost he feels without it. Granted, Magnus is a master at wearing masks, but recently, there have been many cracks in the facade. Where will Malec go from here?

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotional video “Alec asks Magnus to a special dinner”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

Most surprising moments

1. Raphael, starring transfixed into the sun

A victim of a “Heavenly Fire” injection, Raphael feels anything but. For him, being human again is a blessing – and we feel so happy for him! Only: Will it really last?

2. Iris Rouse, sacrificing herself for the greater good

Iris Rouse, on the other hand, is devastated to find herself mundane:

“You think this is a gift? It’s more like a theft. They took my magic, what made me who I am. They stole my very soul.”

Now, where have we heard this before? Right: From Magnus. And while the words are slightly different, the sentiment remains the same: Magic is tied to identity, to a person’s self. And while Magnus answered Alec’s question (“Is it really worth dying for?”) with a “Maybe”, Iris Rouse makes no effort to sugar-coat the truth:

“The thought of living the next fifty odd years without magic? I’ll take death by actual fire over this Heavenly stuff any day.”

3. Victor Aldertree revealed as the person responsible for project “Heavenly Fire”

Considering the role he played in getting Izyy addicted to Yin Fen, we really shoudn’t have been surprised. But still…

4. Helen Blackthorn teaming up with Simon and Raphael to destroy Heavenly Fire

It only took a glimpse at Helen to realize that there was more to her and that we liked her. The moment she turned against Aldertree to do what’s right? We dug her even more. When she slipped Simon some vials to help Clary?  Instant love!  Great debut, Sydney Meyer – we certainly look forward to seeing more of Helen Blackthorn!

5. Alec and Jace, sharing a Parabatai moment

Jace: “You’re nervous. Why are you nervous?”

Alec: “What? I’m not nervous.”

Jace: “Yes, you are. What’s going on?”

Alec: “I’m proposing to Magnus tonight.”

Jace: “What?  Are you serious, Alec? Congratulations! You have to make Magnus the happiest man in the world!”

Alec: “Yeah. I just want everything to be perfect.”

Jace: “Listen to me. It’s not gonna matter what you do or what you say. When he realizes that he gets to spend the rest of his life with you.”

Color us surprised, because there were little to none of those moments recently. In fact, we wondered if the Parabatai bond had been severed after Jace died at Lake Lynn, as there was hardly any indication that it was still there. We’re glad it is, though – and would really like to see more exploration of it in the future.

We loved…

… the ship moments:

1. Clace: Jace being there for Clary, unconditionally

Of course Clary feels guilty once she realized that she was supposed to be the “princess” to rescue Jonathan from evil Lilith’ clutches. Luckily, Jace is right there by her side, supporting her and giving her strength. Will it be enough to stop her from becoming dark?

2. Heline meeting for the first time

Good vibrations! The chemistry is definitely there, as is the mutual respect. Let’s see how this turns out!

3. Sizzy as good as declaring their love for each other

Izzy: “What you did today, putting your life on the line for the people you care about? That’s pretty badass.”

Simon: “You’re pretty badass, too.”

…the return of salty season one Alec.

“What is he doing here?”

(Alec upon spotting Simon at the Institute)

Has anyone else experienced an immediate flashback to the “Who invited the vampire”-moment at Alec’s almost wedding or is it just us?

Shadowhunters Heavenly Fire
Screenshot from promotion video “Isabelle reveals details on a project code named Heavenly Fire”, episode 3×17 “Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

 

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Watch Shadowhunters Mondays on Freeform! International viewers, check out Netflix on Tuesdays!

Featured Image: Screenshot from the promotion video “Clary wants to know where the Morningstar sword is”, episode 3×17 ,”Heavenly Fire” – Freeform

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Silke Milpauer

Fictional worlds and words have always been my best friends. A college teacher and professional writer in real life, I use writing fandom stuff as my personal form of escapism. Love all things Sherlock (BBC), Shadowhunters, Star Trek and Harry Potter. Enjoy Lucifer, A Discovery of Witches, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CAOS, True Blood and The Originals. Avid reader, traveler, introvert, fangirl. Hate Mondays and drama, love coffee and laughter.

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