Saying goodbye to a beloved series is never easy. But for Shadowhunters fans, it’s becoming impossibly hard as season 3B approaches.
There’s not enough time. Not enough time to catch up on the news, not enough time to rewatch your favorite series on Netflix, and certainly not enough time for Shadowhunters to meet my personal overwhelming list of items I need to see be the series finale.
I’m certain that Shadowhunters season 3B, and the two-hour series finale, will be incredible. I have faith that the cast, writers, directors, PAs, lighting techs, people who brought coffee to the editing booth at 1 AM, poured their very best efforts into packaging the perfect episodes of Shadowhunters.
The first half of Shadowhunters season 3 was, by far, the strongest run of episodes of the series. Every week the episodes were tight, the writing stronger than it’s ever been, and the drama felt grounded, raw, and real. It was a bit darker, edgier, completely gripping from start to finish.
Which is why when the news of cancellation initially broke, the impact of the pre-planned break in the season hit even harder. How could a show, picking up so much steam, be expected to stop and pivot?
There has been relative silence from the official accounts for the show, but as Shadowhunters 3B in 2019 approaches a bit of chatter has picked up on their social networks including a call to vote. The clip that they chose featured an upcoming scene between Magnus and Alec that, rightfully so, garnered a ton of attention. After all it is the first taste of any new material from the new episodes AND it features the fan-favorite couple.
— Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) November 5, 2018
After picking up four huge wins at the People’s Choice Awards, including The Binge-Worthy Show of 2018 and The Show of 2018, plus a win for Harry Shum Jr. who earned a place on the ballot as a write-in vote, the message of this fandom rings louder than ever — we’re here and we want more time!
In all the interviews from the cast on the red carpet, they promised that fans are going to get what they want from the final episodes. I have no reason to doubt them. This cast is tapped into the fandom in a unique way. They are fans of the material and their characters, they are rooting for the same things that fans want to see.
As the show’s return creeps closer and excitement builds, so does the dread. The aching, empty feeling of knowing that the end is near. It is the same feeling that bubbled up around the time that Deathly Hallows hit theaters. The end of the adaptation that gave fans the first fully-realized visual taste of a world came and went.
The major difference here is that the creators, writers, directors, actors of Shadowhunters have departed from the books. The heart of the book series, the relationships, the character arcs echo in the new story beats. But with an end in sight, the world appears far more limited.
Something that Shadowhunters does incredibly well is making room to let the stories breathe. No matter what is happening around the Institute, if something is going on with a character, it is dealt with in good time. If something is buried, it returns when the time is right. So now, with at least three seasons worth of trauma for Jace alone to work through, finding a balance between the resolving the old and introducing places the show between a rock and a hard place.
And that is why the disappointment is felt so deeply in the fandom. It is not a show living on past its expiration date. It’s one being tossed away long before it.
But these are the facts — we have 10 episodes, one 2-hour finale, and many stories to wrap up.
Here is what we know so far about the back half of season 3 and where we left everyone.
Everything we know about ‘Shadowhunters’ 3B
- Season 3B will premiere on February 25, 2019.
- Season 3, episode 10, “Erchomai,” left Jace and Simon alone without any sign of Clary or Jonathan. But that does not mean that the two are going anywhere. The latter will be played by newcomer to the series Luke Baines.
- While Jonathan comes to grips with being reborn in an entirely new body, Jace will need to try and rediscover comfort in his own once again. For the better part of season 3A, Jace was trapped in the prison of his mind watching as a demon controlled the rest of him. Having nearly killed his parabatai and now discovering Clary is missing, Jace’s arc is going to be quite the emotional journey to watch.
- Speaking of finding yourself, Magnus returns without his magic. In order to save Jace, Magnus struck a deal to get rid of his powers in order to save Alec’s lifelong partner and brother. What role will this play in his relationship with Alec? And how will they navigate this next phase of their relationship?
- Alisha Wainwright’s Maia needed a break from Simon, the Praetor Lupus, and, of course the link between the two, Jordan Kyle. Maia’s confrontation with Jordan was an empowering moment for her, but it’s all still a bit too much. She retreats into herself, but hopefully not for long as the series has greatly benefited from her presence in Luke and Simon’s lives. We need more Maia!
- Simon has just let his mother believe he is dead for her own safety and sanity. The blow followed an encounter with Heidi, a vampire who threatened his mother and sister, Rebecca, nearly killing her. Romantic shipping aside, Izzy and Simon’s bond strengthens as she helps him through the pain of severing his connection with his mother.
- Raphael is MIA after the events involving Simon, since he was responsible for Heidi getting loose and for experimenting on the fledgling vampire. After Izzy and Raphael’s dance with addiction and the loss of his sister, Raphael is in a bad place emotionally, fighting Simon before disappearing from the city on Izzy’s orders.
- Luke has been spending quite a bit of time eyeing Maryse, who is recently exiled from the Clave. The two continue to navigate rocky relationships. Maryse with the Clave as Alec runs the Institute and Luke with his pack as he continues to prove to them that his loyalty is unwavering to both Clary and the werewolves.
- Izzy has been a key asset in the story of the others in the group, so hopefully season 3B will pick up with her fallout with Raphael and strengthening her ties with Simon. While it’s great to see her with her family and Jace, I missed the earlier independent Izzy stories that took off in season 2.
The list above alone, shows the massive amount of characters, storylines, and arcs fans would like to see carried out in season 3B. The final 10 episodes leading into the finale are going to be bittersweet.
And while I don’t want it to end, I can’t wait for Shadowhunters to return.