Shadowhunters By The Light of Dawn Recap


Our Rating

Episode Score9
The New York Institute is under attack as Valentine’s plan for The Soul Sword is getting dangerously close to coming to fruition. The Shadowhunters must act fast to save their loved ones and the rest of the Downworld. Meanwhile, some of the Downworlders have their own plan to stop Valentine and their target is Clary.

It’s Winter Finale Time – Shadowhunters By The Light of Dawn

Previously on Shadowhunters – Valentine has the Soul Sword which can kill all Downworlders if Clary touches it cos she has pure Angel blood. Maia is out of line and trying to kill Clary. Oh yeah and Valentine has Simon hostage. Things are building to something major so lets dive in to our Shadowhunters By The Light of Dawn Recap/Review!

The Institute’s Wards are breached. Aldertree makes a comment about thinking they were air-tight… well yeah, unless some total psychopath nicks the spell book containing all the counterspells from the High Warlock who applied the Wards… That Valentine must be hell to play at chess! Alec and Aldertree take the few Shadowhunters still in the Institute and split up. Alec heads for the front door where he finds Madzie. He tries to talk to her but she magically flings him into the elevator and shuts the door before removing her scarf and using her gills to suck all the air out of the room. Well damn – that’s one hell of an ability little one. Valentine and his crew arrive.

At the Fairground all the Circle members, including Cleophas have vanished and all the Downworlders are dead or gone. Clary gets a video call from dear old dad on Simon’s phone. Valentine wants Clary to go to the Institute and activate the Soul Sword or he kills Simon. Clary thinks she can go, get the Sword and get out as Valentine doesn’t have the lightning he needs to activate it. Luke tells her that if he is in the Institute he has an alternative. He can use the Angelic Power Core that the Institute runs on. Clary is determined to go anyway until Luke reminds her that most of the Downworld wants her dead. Then a small voice rings out – it’s Dot – and says there’s another way to destroy the Soul Sword.

At Magnus’s place (and one healing potion later) she informs them that she heard Valentine briefing his men. Apparently Jace’s touch would destroy the Sword. Luke is sceptical. Jace is a bit put out cos he doesn’t have a scaly claw for a hand like in the vision and Clary agrees it can’t be him. Magnus asks to see the vision so Jace and Clary show him.

Magnus says that Angels communicate in metaphors – the demon plus the morning star in the sky equals demonic Morgenstern – Jace. Jace wants to get the sword back and Clary tells him it’s a suicide mission “says you who was ready to die for the Downworld, what, yesterday?” he cuts back. Jace says he won’t activate the sword, just get it out of there and give it back to the Clave where it belongs.

Izzy is still with Raphael and things gets kind of intense. She asks him to kiss her but he won’t, saying that he’s just not interested in sex. She asks if becoming a vampire made him like that but he replies he has always been this way. Izzy’s phone rings and she assumes it’s Alec bugging her. She asks Raphael to turn it off. He picks up the phone and sees a bunch of texts and missed calls from Alec saying the Institute is under attack. He makes an excuse and leaves Izzy – hiding the phone on his way out. Slimy little git!

Jace and Luke are on their way to the Institute – Jace is on the phone with Alec talking over the place when Alec is attacked by Circle members. He despatches one. FINALLY WE GET TO SEE ALEC FIGHT WITH A SERAPH BLADE AGAIN!!!! Then Aldertree shows up and takes out the other.

Simon tells Valentine that the only thing Clary ever wanted was to get to know her dad and now she has and he’s a psychopath. Clary gets another video call and she and Magnus watch as Valentine slits Simon’s throat!

WOAH! I thought this was Freeform not HBO! Valentine says Simon probably has 30-40 minutes before he is dust, Clary needs to hurry. Valentine cuts the call and Clary demands Magnus portal her to the Institute.

Alec and Aldertree are walking through the Institute and they aren’t exactly friendly. Aldertree tries to defend himself, saying he warned Izzy about the dangers of Yin Fen *coughs* bullshit *coughs* but she took it anyway. Alec isn’t buying what he is selling though. Thank the Angel!

Jace and Luke’s journey is halted by a certain werewolf who doesn’t know when to listen stepping out in front of Luke’s truck. They get into it and she tries to wolf out but Luke uses a stun gun to knock her out and they load her into the back of the truck to take with them.

Izzy finds her phone where Raphael hid it when it starts ringing again. She sees the messages and missed calls from Alec and it seems to finally cut through the vamp venom haze!

Clary and Magnus portal to the Institute and are about to go inside when Raphael and two vampires appear. The two vamps grab Magnus to prevent him doing any magic while Raphael kills Clary. Luckily Jace arrives and stops him. Luke and Maia seem to be on the same page at last. Jace explains that they have a plan to destroy the sword.

On the roof Alec and Aldertree are trying to hack in and deactivate the power core. Alec thinks Aldertree wouldn’t mind so much if the Downworld was destroyed. Aldertree tells Alec that he once fell in love with a werewolf girl but had to kill her when she went mad, turned and attacked him. He doesn’t think a Shadowhunter and a Downworlder can ever be together. I think Alec and Magnus might have a thing or two to say about that.

Clary arrives at the Institute and Valentine meets her. She wants to see Simon first before she does anything, and Valentine taunts her that she might be too late.

Luke and Maia talk, she’s still pissed that he chose Clary over the Pack. Luke replies that they had other options but she was just too impatient to see them. Namely this plan they are now trying to enact. Meliorn shows up with a Seelie war band together with Alaric and half the Pack.

Clary sees Simon and grabs a knife, she cuts her wrist and tries to get Simon to feed. Eventually he does and he can’t stop. Valentine panics and gets his men to drag Simon off of Clary…who then turns back into Jace. OMFG. I’m going to need a moment.

Magnus and the real Clary spot Madzie in a hallway. Clary tells Magnus to go after the girl and save her while Clary goes to Simon. Magnus shows Madzie his warlock mark to gain her trust, telling her that she’s being used and that he wants to help her. She says that Valentine told her that her nana was here. Poor little thing. She seems to believe Magnus as she walks closer to him.

Valentine is pissed at Jace for saving Simon – a monster. Simon attacks Valentine while he is distracted, giving Jace an opening to kill the other two Circle members in the room so he and Simon can escape. Elsewhere in the Institute Clary manages to take down two Circle members on her own before she is disarmed and captured again.

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Aldertree can’t over ride the power core and is getting frustrated. Just as four Circle members appear on the roof. Aldertree and Alec are just discussing their odds when Izzy turns up and takes all four of the down single-handed. In 5 inch heels. While she’s still suffering Yin Fen withdrawal. Can we just say badass? She collapses into Alec’s arms, apologising.

Jace and Simon are heading for the Sword. Simon thanks Jace for saving his life, saying that has never felt bloodlust like that. He couldn’t stop feeding and would have killed Jace. Jace replies that he would have let him. And my heart broke. Poor Jace is so messed up. He and Simon are planning to attack the Circle members guarding the Sword and get out of there as soon as they have backup. Simon says it’s too late – Valentine is there with Clary forcing her hand towards the Sword. Simon goes full vamp speed and pushes them away from the Sword.

Outside the Downworld alliance get the signal and surge into the Institute but Luke, Maia and Meliorn are attacked by Circle members at the rear. Luckily Luke is a total badass and drops them all.

Inside Simon gets Clary away from the Sword as it’s plugged into the core and she could activate it. Jace realises there’s only one option. He walks over and grabs the Soul Sword – and it activates!

Jace is knocked down and Valentine grabs the Soul Sword. The Downworlders are all flooding in to attack but Valentine raises the sword and nukes all the Downworlders. OMG!

Simon survives as Clary shelters him. Jace wakes up and he and Clary realise that he must have Angel blood, not Demon blood after all. Sadly there’s no time to be happy about that as most of their Downworld allies are now dead. Alec comes rushing in and sees the devastation. He asks where Magnus is but no-one knows since Clary and Magnus separated earlier. Alec rushes off to look for his Warlock lover.

Outside Maia, Luke and Meliorn saw the blast. Maia thinks Jace screwed them over and let Valentine activate the Soul Sword. She wants to go kill Valentinebut Luke sends her back to the Jade Wolf to look after the members of the Pack who didn’t join the attack. He wants to deal with Valentine. Valentine is in the grounds of the Institute, about to use the Sword with no adamas walls to contain the effects. Luke jumps him in wolf form before Valentine jams a dagger into his former parabatai. Luke changes back and lies on the ground, bleeding. Valentine is about to kill him when Jace arrives.

Valentine and Jace fight to a standstill at which point Valentine spills all his secrets. He’s holding the Soul Sword and reveals that Jace isn’t his son. Isn’t Jocelyn’s son. Isn’t Clary’s brother. Jace manages to get the Soul Sword away from Valentine and casts it aside. Clary picks it up and gets another Angel-Rune-Vision.

She uses the rune and it deactivates the Soul Sword (useful) but then it heats up suddenly and she drops it. Jace is about to kill Valentine but Clary stops him. She says Valentine is the only one who knows where the Mortal Cup is…right before she notices that the Soul Sword has gone walkies!

Jace delivers Valentine to the Clave and asks Valentine if he lied about anything else. Valentine says he never lied about loving Jace but Jace finally seems to be over Valentine’s manipulation and walks away.

Alec rushes outside after apparently having searched the entire Institute. He doesn’t see Magnus so turns to go back inside as Magnus catches his arm. Alec tells Magnus he’s never felt as afraid on a mission as he did tonight. Then he tells Magnus he loves him. Magnus says it right back and then fall into each other’s arms like their lives depend on it. It’s a beautiful, understated, poignant moment after so many flat out OMG moments. And well deserved for this pair!

Simon spots Alaric’s body among the dead and goes over to him. He says a few words and then stands up just as sunlight pours through the window. He flinches, prepared for the burn, but nothing happens!

Raphael appears – seems he ran when he saw Valentine with the sword. Self preservation sure is a strong instinct when you’re a slimy, back-stabbing rat huh? Izzy tells Raphael she wants nothing more from him. Ever. FINALLY!!

Jace and Alec talk about what Valentine said. Alec asks Jace what he is going to do. Jace says he’s going to tell Clary.

Clary is with Luke who is recovering from his injuries when Simon runs in. He’s all excited and says he has to show her something. He drags her outside into the sun. Clary is delighted and they kiss as Jace walks out, obviously looking for Clary, and sees them together.

Meanwhile a hooded figure disappears into the darkness with the Soul Sword – I wonder who that could be…  Any ideas Shadowhunters fans?



Okay, I think I have my breath back. What an episode! Strange for a mid-season finale to only leave 1 small cliffhanger – who has the Soul Sword? I was kind of expecting something rather more dramatic than that if I’m honest.

That being said I thoroughly loved this episode. As a book fan I don’t think I could have asked for more call backs to the source material. That exchange between Simon and Jace. “I would have killed you.” “I would have let you.” That’s straight from the books and I literally leapt off my sofa with glee when I heard it. For the second time. I started to freak out when it was Clary that Simon fed from but then the shapeshift gave way to Jace and that was the first time I left the sofa in delight.

Standout performance goes to Dominic Sherwood this week. Jace’s journey through this episode was intense and heart-breaking to watch. Jace remains willing to do anything to save those he cares about from harm even if it means hurting or killing himself. We’ve seen it over and over this season, and it just gets more potent each time. I am ready to see Jace be happy again though. Please.

Special mention to the writers for including Raphael’s coming out as Asexual. I know a few members of the fandom who were pretty pleased at having that representation on screen!

I also wanna give a some love to the director of this week’s episode. Joshua Butler, who many of our readers may know as the man who directed the celebrated Delena Rain Kiss in The Vampire Diaries, was at the helm of this one. There were some truly breath-taking moments, not least the beautiful Malec scene at the end of the episode. Thank you Joshua!!

That’s it for this half of the season. We hope you enjoyed our Shadowhunters By The Light of Dawn recap and review. We will see you back here for season 2B when it kicks off on June 5th.

All images credit Freeform.


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About author

Clare Hemsworth

I'm a full on fangirl, current passions are Shadowhunters, Killjoys, The Originals, Teen Wolf and ANYTHING Marvel related. Enduring loves would be Buffy and Firefly. I'm comic book crazy and you'll probably see my name on most things to do with the current DC and Marvel TV and film universes around here. When I'm not doing the fangirl thing I am a keen long-distance hiker, having completed Te Araroa in New Zealand and The Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast of the US.