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Shadowhunters: Morning Star

"Only the worthy shall survive."

If you were wondering about the title, Morgenstern (Valentine’s and by extension Jace and Clary’s surname) means Morning Star. So, is it any wonder most of this episode revolves around that family’s drama?

At least everyone is now on the same page. Sort of. Our heroes know Hodge stole the Mortal Cup to give to Valentine and that he must be captured before that happens. If not, waking Jocelyn may be their only hope for Mundanes and the Shadow World. So, no pressure.

Unfortunately, reviving Jocelyn involves freeing Camille. This is horrible for everyone except Camille. Her freedom ends the tentative alliance between the Shadowhunters and the Vampires. And, more importantly, (in my book) she threatens Magnus and Alec’s fledgling romance, but we’ll get to that later. The good news is she is a woman of her word and she does lead our heroes to the Book of the White. The bad news is they had to give her a get out of jail free card to get it.

The Vampires may be at odds with the Shadowhunters, but the Werewolves are more than willing to assist them. It helps to have a former Shadowhunter as a pack leader. Especially when he’s still in love with one. With the help of Luke and the rest of the New York Pack, Jace and Alec capture Hodge, but not before he’s turned over the Cup.

I sympathize with Hodge for wanting his freedom. Being imprisoned and tortured whenever he mentions anything Circle-related while the Lightwoods run the New York Institute always smacked of Clave politics. However, if anyone knows not to trust Valentine, it should be Hodge.

Valentine’s promise to Hodge would have made a Seelie proud. He didn’t lie, but he had no problem with Hodge misunderstanding his intentions. Using Hodge’s “freedom” to recruit Jace was a bonus. And now Hodge is back in Shadowhunter custody, minus a hand. And I suspect his new prison won’t be quite as comfortable as the last one.

Hodge’s betrayal fuels Jace’s already burning trust issues. While his argument that the Clave’s mercy for Hodge has led to this point is valid, it is merely a cover for his belief it is his fault for letting Valentine go. And when Alec asks if that lack of mercy should apply to their parents, Jace disowns them. Who can he trust when he’s torn between the sadistic monster that raised him, the mother he believes abandoned him and the parents who took him in but lied to him?

I hoped Alec and Jace’s reconciliation would provide Jace with some much needed stability. I was wrong. Jace denies Valentine’s claim that they are alike, but he doth protest too much. Jace’s veneer of arrogance has shattered and his self-loathing is showing. Now his only redemption is in killing Valentine, no matter the cost. And neither Clary nor Alec can convince him otherwise.

Unfortunately, Jace’s guilt and anger leaves him vulnerable to Valentine’s manipulations. Whatever happened to emotions clouding judgement? Valentine’s knowledge of his son and his ability to bend the truth are on full display. Valentine plays upon Jace’s love for his family and his doubts about his own goodness. And while the Clave never became the Big Bad, I suspected they would be, Valentine gladly used their obvious failures to justify his actions to Jace. No matter which argument you believe carried the most weight (I choose to believe the former) it worked.

That said, I’m left with a multitude of questions, but I’ll limit myself to this. I understand Jace offering to leave with Valentine to save his family, but I don’t understand standing by Valentine’s side while he slaughters thousands of Mundanes to create hundreds of Shadowhunters. Is this about honoring his agreement or is his self-esteem so low he believes it’s where he belongs?

Jace’s transformation from cocky know-it-all to broken weapon wasn’t the only emotional arc we’ve witnessed this season. I’ll say this for Alec, once he makes a decision, he’s all in. His parents’ concern mirrors the season’s worth of fears Alec has suffered through. What about the family name, his duty to the Clave, and his career? And how well does he know the man he just blew up his life for? Alec’s response amounts to “I’m gay and Magnus is a Downworlder. Get used to it.”

And despite my comment above, Alec didn’t seem particularly fazed about finding Camille lip-locked with his boyfriend. Or maybe it was because Camille offended Isabelle enough for both of them. What did seem to bother Alec was the reminder that Magnus is immortal. Considering how pointed their conversation was in an already packed season finale, I’m sure we will revisit this topic.

We began the series with Clary and Simon, it’s only fair we end with them. Simon has gone from a clueless Mundane too shy to admit his feelings for his best friend to a vampire willing to stand up to authority and sacrifice his desires to help his friends save the world. Watching his confidence grow has been one of the bright spots in an inconsistent season.

When we first met Clary, she was a self-involved artist with no memory of the Shadow World. A damsel who needed a shadowhunting knight to save her. Since then we’ve now seen her evolve from her selfish albeit understandable desire to save her mother at any cost to a Shadowhunter willing to stand against true evil. And yet, neither she nor Simon have forgotten Mundane rule #1 – love makes you stronger. A lesson the other Shadowhunters have yet to master.

The Powers That Be giveth and the taketh away. Our heroes succeeded in finding the Book of the White and Jocelyn is awake but only because of Jace’s sacrifice.

 However, Valentine has the Mortal Cup and can create as many Shadowhunters as he can get his hands on. No matter how many Mundanes die in the process. All of which pales beside his planned genocide of the Downworld.

It took a while, but the show is finally living up to the promise of the premiere. I loved this episode, and I can’t wait to see what happens next season.

4.5 out of 5 Hidden Spell Books

Parting Thoughts:

Lydia lives!

Did anyone else have visions of Star Wars when Jace took Hodge’s hand?


Jace: “Jocelyn raised you. I was raised by Valentine and a pair of baby booties isn’t going to change that.”

Jace: “You need to stop thinking with your stele, Alec. There’s more than one way to track.”

Raphael: “She’s far too dangerous. Or did you forget the last time you ‘talked’ to her?”
Simon: “It’s not like she can kill me again.”

Raphael: “You may look to the Clave for justice, but the Vampires look to me.”

Valentine: “Losses are acceptable when the alternative is extinction.”

Alec: “Jace isn’t Valentine.”

Camille: “The Book of the what?”
Simon: “The Book of the White. Big White spell book. Kinda explains itself.”

Jace: “He raised me to be a killer. I’m gonna make him regret it.”

Magnus: “I thought I was done with you.”
Camille: “We will never be done with each other.”

Magnus: “I may be the High Warlock of Brooklyn, but even I can’t see the future.”

Clary: “I have had enough for one day. We can talk about all that later. Right now, I just...I just really need my mom.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. I liked this finale, although it was not the big battle I hoped it would be. Camille was my favorite part. Such a wild card and a fun character to watch. No wonder she and Magnus have had an affair.

    > Alec’s response amounts to “I’m gay and Magnus is a Downworlder. Get used to it.”

    Well, I'm siding with Alec's parents! I'm a gay man myself, but I completely understand Alec's parents' frustration over everything that happened. The arranged marriage was his idea, after all.

    > I don’t understand standing by Valentine’s side while he slaughters thousands of Mundanes to create hundreds of Shadowhunters.

    That was so weird! I thought he was Valentine's hostage, not his second-in-command.

    All in all, the struggle was real this season, but the second half was much better than the first, and I'm looking forward to watching season two.

  2. One more thing: I expected them to reveal that Jace is *not* Valentine's son before finishing the season, and I was very surprised that they didn't. I still think Valentine was playing Jace when he told he was his father, and he will keep using that card to mess with his head. Well, unto season two.

  3. Considering how important image seems to be in Shadowhunter society, I would have been shocked if his parents weren't upset. Especially since the wedding had been Alec's idea. I was only commenting that once he made his decision he didn't hold back. That said, I wonder how much of that was about him finally admitting he was gay and Magnus was an excuse. I don't mean his feelings for Magnus aren't real. Just that they barely know each other.

    As for Jace, my lips are sealed...


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