Shadowhunters S3E18, Review – The Beast Within

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We enter this episode somewhat optimistic about Clary’s future. With a cure in hand, she should be separated from Jonathan and on her way to a normal life. Yet when administered it fails as it isn’t strong enough. This isn’t a problem for Isabella; while it may take a few hours, she’ll be able to make a more potent serum.

This is all happening on Halloween night, perfect for Downworlders to be themselves. Or for demons to take advantage of unsuspecting mundanes. The Shadowhunters will have plenty to do while waiting for the new serum. Demons are everywhere; it’s an all hands on deck situation for Shadowhunters as they try to keep mundanes safe. This includes Alec, Izzy, Jace, and Clary and leaves the Institute practically desolate.

Everyone has something on their mind, distracting them from an unusual spike in demon activity. Alec, for instance, had summoned Asmodeus through a warlock connection to ask for help with Magnus’ powers. Asmodeus offers a deal: if the two break up, he’ll return Magnus’ powers. But Alec will have to make it hurt. The choice seems obvious: live happily ever after with Magnus. Except, the more he speaks to Isabella and Jace about the idea, the more he seems to be leaning toward breaking up.

We don’t find out what he chooses until the very end. In between, Clary and Jace find the queen responsible for the rise in demons. Clary ends up knocked out by one of the demons, which quickly changes everything. While unconscious, she faces a choice between Jonathan and Jace and chooses to go with Jonathan. She wakes up with black eyes and a different personality. It’s a bad sign and not one that is noticed until they return to the Institute.

The increase in demons is a ruse to get to Jonathan and kill him, by orders of the Seelie Queen. When finding out Jonathan is in trouble, Clary rushes back to the Institute to protect him. It’s a blur as she kills his assassin, frees him, and then escapes through a portal. I can’t believe being knocked out changed her mind about everything!

The hits keep on coming, as once everything starts to calm down, Alec seeks out Magnus. He breaks up with him in the most heart-wrenching scene. Magnus begs him to stay, but Alec holds steady. For someone who appears to be so intelligent, going with a demon prince that he summons is one of the most stupid ideas he has come up with.

As we draw a close to the final season, I grow anxious with the state of not only Magnus but the state of every character. I know a perfect happy ending for everyone is impossible, but so many have already suffered. They deserve better– or at least Magnus and Alec do.

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