After a long hiatus, the second half of season three picks up right where we left off. Claire is dead, Jace and Simon are handling their grief horribly, and everything is falling apart. The threat Lilith posed is gone, but that doesn’t mean peace has come to New York.
Instead of talking about their feelings, Jace and Simon are lost without Claire. Jace feels guilt for being controlled by Lilith and that he couldn’t save Claire. Simon faces similar guilt; he feels the seal on his head has him solely responsible for losing her. For Jace, Alec sees the signs of a breakdown and forces him to take a break from activities. With Simon, Maia steps in as an ear to listen to Simon’s heartbreak. She understands it wasn’t cool of her to up and leave, but losing Claire takes precedence over any past misgivings.
Best couple, Magnus and Alec, may look like they have it together, but that is just their resilience and mutual support shining through. Alec is trying to get a handle on the Institute in the aftermath of Lilith destruction, including a troubling report that The Clave may be torturing its prisoners. With a grieving parbatai, and a warlock boyfriend who has lost his powers, Alec has a lot on his shoulders. He handles the stress gracefully, especially with Magnus who is having a crisis over being powerless.
Magnus’ situation is exacerbated by a visit from Iris who tries to steal Madzie back while Magnus and Alec are babysitting her. It later erupts into a kidnapping of Magnus to get her location out of him. Even without powers, he’s able to resist her long enough for Alec and Isabela to come up with a plan to trap Iris and save him. The opportunity for Magnus to fight without magic shows he isn’t helpless and is fully capable of protecting himself.
While chaos rocks New York, we discover Claire is alive. Saved by her brother, Jonathan, they are currently in Siberia as she recovers. Confused and angry, Claire first tries to escape before settling on killing him. In the process she realizes killing him means killing her. They are tied together as one cannot live without the other. From her training at the Institute, I’m sure Claire will figure out a way to return to New York and separate herself from Jonathan. She’s already fighting to be free.
If she can’t make it out of seclusion on her own, at least there’s Luke who is determined to reach her. Isolated from his pack, he’s convinced Claire was transported to a different location before she fell and is alive. Transporting an entire location– like an apartment– is only a theory, and as he explains it to Jace you can tell this theory may just be a fairy tale. Jace wants to believe but thinks Luke is blinded by grief and isolation and doesn’t look into it further.
With most of the best Shadowhunters of the Institute being pulled in different directions, it’s difficult to imagine Alec, Isabel or even Jace will be able to help find Claire. With Luke out of it, maybe Simon would be the one we can count on? Except, Simon is obsessed with removing the seal on his forehead and is more focused on finding Raphael for a lead. The odds aren’t in Claire’s favor, but she tends to shine when the situation seems the direst.