Shadowhunters seriously knows how to leave us hanging, and tonight's midseason finale has definitely left fans in a lurch until the show returns in the fall.
After escaping execution at Alicante — thanks to a resurrected and then quickly un-resurrected Valentine (Alan Van Sprang) — Clary (Katherine McNamara) found herself in a prison again all too soon, this time at the hands of Lillith (Anna Hopkins). Elsewhere Alec (Matthew Daddario) and Jace (Dominic Sherwood) had an epic showdown that resulted in Jace finally getting control of himself back from The Owl. The only catch? Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) had to bargain away his magic to his father Asmodeus (Jack Yang) in order to pull that trick off.
In the final minutes, we got so many twists it was hard to keep track. Lillith successfully resurrected Jonathan only moments after she attacked Simon (Alberto Rosende) — and you know what happens when you attack Simon thanks to his Mark of Cain. The attack blew back on Lillith, and the resulting explosion took out her, Clary and Jonathan. But are all three of them actually dead? We took all our burning finale questions to executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer.
First question: OMG is Clary dead?!
Todd Slavkin: You'll really have to tune in to [the second half of the season] for us to talk about what exactly is going on with Clary, but it's a really cool spin on the books, and a great tale is ahead for her
Obviously her friends all think she's dead. How are they going to react to what happened to her?
Darren Swimmer: Let's just say the first part of the first episode back, there's a lot of sad feelings going around for people.
Slavkin: But it's a beautiful way to celebrate her. It's cool because we don't really see what Clary means to everyone — I mean we play it a lot with Jace and we hint — but it's a way for all of them to reflect on who that 18-year-old kid was when she came in, in Season 1, and now she's gone. They really weigh that. It's done in a really kind of beautiful, poetic way. We tried not to be too maudlin, but it's emotional as hell.
How is Jace going to deal with everything he did as The Owl? Is he feeling guilty? Where is his head at?
Swimmer: Well, you can only imagine what he's going to go through considering what he's done. And Dom Sherwood has really brought some amazing performances to the table in the [second half of the season], and we will see him really struggling with the guilt and the sort of ramifications of what he did even as people try to convince him it wasn't him doing it.
Bringing back Valentine was such a huge thing for Clary to do, why did you guys decide to cap off the first half of Season 3 with his resurrection and re-death?
Slavkin: Well, it's a big shout-out to the books. In the book, she draws a rune that brings back the dead, and in the books it wasn't Valentine, it was a Shadowhunter soldier, and it was about solving a crime. We said, "How would it be if we do that homage to the book, but we use her freaking father?" The person that she killed is the one who can give her this vital information on how to find Lillith and take her down. It became like our version of The Walking Dead, in terms of bringing him back and what that entails. Matt Hastings, our executive producer, directed that episode, and it is a visual roller coaster full of such great action and poignancy and humor. The scope is really remarkable for TV.
Considering that rune does now exist, can we expect to see Valentine again?
Slavkin: You know, never say never.
Swimmer: They did say they were going to incinerate the body, so that might make it kind of hard to reanimate him, but it's a genre show on TV, and the great thing about these shows is that nobody is ever gone forever.
Slavkin: The one thing we'll say about that rune is we purposefully didn't want it to be this thing that you keep going back to because it's so easy. If you can bring back the dead, you'd do it all the time. If you're Shadowhunting and finding victims, what would stop you? So the consequences of that were so intense, and the fact that you created literally a monster that can't be killed, makes it something you would shy away from doing in the future. We never like to repeat ourselves, and we try as hard as we can not to.
Shifting focus, Magnus had to give up his magic to help Jace, which is a huge sacrifice. How will that affect him moving forward?
Swimmer: It is one of his defining characteristics and he has a lot to grapple with moving forward. It is an opportunity for some positive things in learning to live life without powers and it's an incredibly large challenge at the same time. So, we'll see how his journey unfolds through [the second half of the season].
Slavkin: And Harry Shum does an incredible job as an actor. I think his journey [in the rest of the season], Darren and I, we probably agree that it's his most intense journey that we've done on the show coming ahead. We get into mortality stuff in a deep way, and it's something that I think when we inherited the show it was a story that we always thought would be really fun to tell and poignant to tell and a side of Magnus you've never seen before. Like, we'd watch that in a heartbeat, and I think the fans will be really pleased.
Will that storyline blow back on his relationship with Alec at all?
Swimmer: I mean in some ways it helps them grow together, but it's also, as you can tell, it's an incredible wrench in the machine.
Slavkin: Yeah, it's like be careful what you wish for — now they're equal. As a Malec fan, there's these moments that stayed with me. We've been finished shooting for a little bit, and Darren and I are posting the show now and it blows us away. Matt Daddario and Harry take it to this really interesting level that we haven't seen before and the relationship continues to evolve in a really interesting, heartbreaking, beautiful way.
We did see Jonathan's hand shoot out of that coffin before the big explosion. What can you tease about where that resurrection story line might be headed?
Slavkin: Well, she wanted to bring her son back and you saw an arm and that arm was very much alive when it came out and grabbed Clary.
Swimmer: I will say if we do bring him back that he won't have that gunk on his arm [Laughs].
Slavkin: He won't look like brisket, and it will be amazing. But Jonathan Morgenstern, if you know the books, he's a huge villain in the books and he's back and bigger than ever in [the second half of the season]. Super exciting.
Will Tudor did such an amazing job with that character, should we expect to see him back when the show returns?
Slavkin: Well, the one thing about Will Tudor [...] Will Tudor was Sebastian Verlac. That was Jonathan using the visage of this gentleman named Sebastian Verlac who looked and sounded exactly like Will Tudor. So, when Jonathan comes back, he's not going to use the visage that was Will Tudor, he's gonna be his true self. He just came out of the womb, so to speak, and we are gonna see Jonathan as he was genetically born to be, not the visage of Sebastian Verlac. And that's no disrespect to Will. We think he's a remarkable actor, but it would be creatively odd if he showed up and was Sebastian.
Something else I want to talk about is this Mark of Cain, which ended up playing such a huge part in this finale. Can we expect to get some answers about why the Seelie Queen gave that mark to Simon?
Swimmer: That's all going to be revealed.
Slavkin: [Simon] really wants that thing off his forehand so we really unpacked the history of the Mark of Cain and all of that stuff in the first three episodes of [the second half of the season]. All of those answers are there and I think the fans will be shocked. We don't want to spoil it now, but it all makes sense in the end.
Shadowhunters is expected to return in the fall of 2018.