Shadowhunters 3×20, Season 3 Episode 20 “City of Glass” aired April 29, 2019
By the angel! Wow. Just wow. After all the recent bleakness, drama and heartbreak, we were in desperate need of some hope and happiness – and boy, did episode 20 deliver! Our jaws are still on the floor! “City of Glass” is stellar and does everything right. We cried happy tears, we cried sad tears, we held our breath, we cheered loudly upon several occasions and grinned goofily at least once. And can we just say we love Maryse?
In this week’s episode of Shadowhunters, we finally get Clary back, Asmodeus proves that he should have paid more attention in Parenting 101, Magnus makes life-changing decisions, Maia and Jordan find themselves at the end of a journey, Luke pays the price for his freedom, Lorenzo learns that Karma is indeed a bitch, Jonathan wreaks havoc and there are more than just a few surprises. Also: Epic book quotes, awesome battles and… dragons!
The Morgensterns and the Seelie Queen
“Why are you smiling?” Indeed, the Seelie Queen’s behavior is odd – even more so when she is flirting with Jonathan. Does she have her own agenda? Probably. She baits Clary who then slaps her, trying to prove that she is a “proper Morgenstern”. Jonathan clearly enjoys seeing Clary dark like that – and while there’s still this super weird, super creepy dynamic between them, Clary sets some boundaries when Jonathan tries to kiss her (“You will always be my brother”). Glad that’s cleared up!
Mission: Saving Clary
Yes, we’ve been there before, but haven’t managed to do it yet: It’s time to get our girl back! At the Institute, Meliorn wants Jace to be handed over for his role in the Seelie Queen’s abduction when he learns about the ransom demanded by the Morgenstern siblings.
The Parabatai are quick to point out that Jonathan should never be allowed access to the Morningstar sword, but the Seelies are hellbent on getting their Queen back. However, they agree to leaving the entrance to the Seelie realm unlocked. Important life lesson from Meliorn: Seelies cannot lie, but they can be forgetful – and so the Shadowhunters plan an ambush.
At first, everything goes according to plan. Alec, Izzy and Jace turn up when the Seelies and the Morgensterns finish their transaction. Now it’s time for that epic sibling showdown!
Morgensterns vs. Lightwoods: All is fair in love and battle
While Jace beats Jonathan quickly with Alec’s help and a bit of cunning, Clary, who has become quite a fighter, gives Izzy considerably more trouble. It is only thanks to Simon’s surprise appearance that Clary can be defeated. Simon saving the day? It has become a thing!
Simon: “Super villain is not a good look on you, Fray! Trust me!”
Ouch, just ouch: Jace plunges Glorious into Clary’s twinning rune and after several agonizing moments of torturous screams, the rune vanishes and Clary is finally back to her old self again. Unfortunately, Jonathan suddenly grows wings when Alec tries to execute him (“Guess being tethered to my sister was holding me back”) and takes flight, taking the Morningstar sword with him. Sh*t – that cannot be good!
Glorious, on the other hand, explodes and Izzy is hit by shrapnel when she protects Simon from the impact. But what is a bit of shrapnel compared to your sweetheart’s life, right?
Asmodeus and Magnus: Spending some quality father-son time
While Asmodeus won’t ever be nominated for the father of the year award, we see him trying his hardest to gain Magnus’ favor by playing the part of a loving father – for his own selfish purposes, of course.
Magnus is annoyed with his father’s antics, but for the time being, strangely docile – testament to how vulnerable recent events have left him. The father-son scenes really stand out. They are hilarious in a tragic kind of way, underlining the deep rift and the ancient history between these two characters.
A Pretzel as a tentative peace offering? Not exactly Parenting 101, but a bit of comic relief cannot hurt after all the angst. As for Magnus patiently teaching his father basic decency (“A man’s word is his bond”)? Well, we are not sure it’s working!
What we are sure of, however, is that Harry Shum Jr. and Jack Yang really rock their scenes together! Great chemistry!
When Karma catches up with you, part 1: The Lorenzo edition
Payback is hell! This week, Lorenzo proves once again that common decency is a concept beyond him. As he declines Magnus’ “request” to hand back the loft, Asmodeus steps in, playing the pedigree card. Lorenzo a subject of Magnus’? Hell yeah!
Instead of just keeping his mouth shut (seriously, who argues with an insanely powerful Prince of Hell?), Lorenzo continues to be difficult – so Asmodeus just snaps his fingers and transforms the Dumb Warlock of Brooklyn into an Iguana. Hilariously funny and enormously satisfying scene. Karma is indeed a bitch!!
Maryse Lightwood – woman extraordinaire
You will be hard-pressed to find another character with a more satisfying character development arc than Maryse Lightwood. She has indeed come a long way from the distanced, law-abiding soldier to the gentle and caring woman she is now. And for us, she’s definitely the hero of this episode. Have a mess to fix? Maryse will sort it out! We love you, Mama Lightwood! Outstanding acting, Nicola Correia-Damude!
Confronting Alec, then Magnus
When Alec tells her about the break-up, Maryse is thunderstruck: “What? Why in the name of the Angel would you ever do that?” Her face is one giant question mark when her son explains that he “had to” and that it was “the only way [Magnus] is ever going to become whole again.” He then hands her back the Lightwood family ring, adding that it was a mistake to ask for it in the first place. Big sigh – once again, you came to the completely wrong conclusion, honey!
Fortunately, Maryse is determined to get to the bottom of this. She knows there is no use arguing with her son when he shuts down like this, and so immediately goes to find Magnus. Upon arrival, she experiences first hand that he has got his magic back – and suddenly, realization dawns.
She reassures Magnus that Alec loves him and shows him the family ring Alec had asked her for, revealing that Alec planned to propose.
Magnus: “Oh my God. Then… why break my heart?”
Maryse: “Magnus… when exactly did your magic return?”
Realization hits him like a freight train – finally! Now go and talk to your stupid Nephilim, please!
Maryse telling Magnus she loves him? Never thought we’d see the day! Deeply-moving scene!
When Karma catches up with you, part 2: The Asmodeus edition
It’s time to confront Asmodeus who once again tries to win his son over, spewing nonsense about being royal. He wants Magnus to join him in Edom, fantasizing that the two of them “could control the entire demonic plain.” Becoming a Prince of Hell and reigning by his father’s side? Magnus’ response is instant: “That is my worst nightmare!”
Magnus is fed up, once and for all. Knowing that his father will continue to seek him out, he decides for a permanent solution. In an astonishing show of power, he summons a magical lasso with which he sends an unconscious Asmodeus through a portal – an act that will leave the greater demon lost in Limbo forever – theoretically.
Is this really good-bye to the Prince of Hell? If that is indeed the case, thank you, Jack Yang, for being the best most despicable villain ever. We loved to hate Asmodeus!
At the end of a journey: Maia and Jordan
Jordan’s redemption arc comes to an end this week. He offers the stolen vial containing Heavenly Fire to Maia, telling her that he wants her to have a normal life again. But the Alpha has no intention of taking it. She tells him that her life now “is the new normal” and that she doesn’t want to leave him behind. This is when Jordan reveals that he is dying of silver poisoning.
Now, we know that Jordan isn’t exactly the most beloved character and yes, what he did to Maia was wrong – but she has forgiven him, and maybe we as viewers should do the same. Anyway, he deserves the tears we shed when Maia finds him dead at the beach.
This is the end of Jordan and Maia’s tragic journey. The beginning of her life as Alpha is marked by leading the ceremony for Jordan’s funeral. Beati Bellicosi!
Luke: The price for freedom
We knew it would only be a matter of time before the Praetor Lupus forced Luke into doing their dirty work – and we were right: They order him to obtain the vial of Heavenly Fire as it could “change the entire Downworld.” Luke knows that the vial is dangerous in the wrong hands, as does Maia who hands it over to him for safekeeping, trusting Luke implicitly.
Finally, in Alicante…
Using the skill Jonathan has taught her to move the mansion, Clary takes everyone to Alicante. Emotionally, Clary isn’t in a good place. She does not only struggle with her actions while under the influence of the twinning rune, but also tries to come to terms with the moral implications of such a behavior.
Clace: An epic love declaration – “Until the day I die. And after that”
Jace tries his best to comfort her, telling her that she wasn’t in her right mind. Clary, however, begs to differ, stating that she was in complete control of her actions. It’s obvious that this is going to weigh heavily on her conscience and that she is not ready to accept Jace’s claim that the pull of blood/family is hard to resist as an excuse.
Something is crystal clear, however: These two will always be there for each other! Amidst all the havoc Jonathan wreaks, with the world burning around them, they declare their undying love for each other, giving each other hope and comfort in the darkest of times. Epic (book quote)!
Jace: “I love you.”
Clary: “Until the day I die. And after that!”
Sizzy: Having each other’s backs
Izzy asks Simon to help her tend to her injuries – which speaks volumes about the level of trust they share – and he is more than happy to assist. He thanks her for saving his life and they are dangerously close to kissing and declaring their love for each other. Unfortunately, they are not quite there yet. Judging from their longing glances and smiles, it can’t be long now. Come on Sizzy – just kiss already! We know you want to!
When Jonathan uses the Morningstar sword to open a rift to Edom (acting quite the drama queen, screaming “It doesn’t matter what I do… you’ll never love me back”), chaos descends upon Idris’ capital – along with hundreds of dragons. (Yay! Dragons!) It’s a good thing Alec manages to find Helen and Aline just in time. Apparently, they were together doing “research.” Yeah, right! Their body language tells the whole story – and we couldn’t be happier that Haline is finally happening, bringing even more diversity to our show.
A monumental battle – and an epic reconciliation
At the end of the episode, things look bleak – if it weren’t for Magnus Bane who decides to make one hell of an entrance – and seems to be back to his old, self-assured self. This is so damn rewarding!
Magnus: “Sorry I’m late. Traffic was hell.”
Oh Magnus, we knew we could count on you! Alec is in denial (“You can’t be here!”), but Magnus tells him that Asmodeus can’t come between them any longer and that he knows about the deal and Alec’s motivations. That’s as far as he gets before there’s smooching, mending our broken Malec hearts – and it feels so, so good!
Unfortunately, the world outside continues to burn and with the Morningstar sword destroyed, Magnus knows that the only way to close the rift is to go to Edom, as this is where his magic will be at its strongest. So this means good-bye once again.
“Alexander Gideon Lightwood…”
The prospect of losing Magnus again prompts Alec into action, and just as he is about to tell him about his proposal, Magnus beats him to it, revealing the Lightwood family ring. What follows is a Malec fans’ dream come true:
Magnus: “Alexander Gideon Lightwood. Will you marry me?”
Alec: “Only if you marry me, too.”
As their family and friends bear witness, the couple exchanges rings and declarations of love while the world outside sinks further into chaos. With no time to spare for another kiss, Magnus opens a portal to Edom, while Alec reassures him (and himself): “It’s only Edom – you’ll always come back.” Magnus quips: “Never thought I’d be a runaway groom” – and then he is gone, leaving Alec on his knees with the rest of the crew behind him.
What a jaw-dropping final picture. It’s a tear-jerker – and it’s a mix of sad tears, happy tears and everything in between!
True love is alive once more!
Episode 20 had it all and really packed a punch! With the blockbuster feel to it, you can tell it was meant to be the original finale of season 3 – and it was oh-so perfect, with just the right amount of emotional character/ship scenes, stunning visuals, fast-paced action and a great balance between romance and tragedy. It’s easy to imagine how utterly extraordinary season 4 would have been – and it’s a shame to see that much potential wasted.
However, let’s focus on what’s to come: A season’s finale that will hopefully be just as emotionally satisfying as this episode. True love is alive once more!
Watch Shadowhunters Mondays on Freeform! International viewers, check out Netflix on Tuesdays!