Creator: Leigh Bardugo
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Starring: Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young and Ben Barnes
In the previous episode of Shadow And Bone, it was revealed that Alina (Jessie Mei Li) is in fact a Sun Summoner. Something she didn’t even know she was herself; all this time she was a Grisha and now everyone wants her as she may be the key to defeating and getting rid of The Fold.
In summary, Shadow And Bone Episode 2 focuses on Alina coming to terms with this new discovery of herself which she tries to fight against, we are introduced to the mysterious and powerful General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), while Kaz (Freddy Carter) is searching high and low for a way to cross The Fold safely.
ALINA AND MAL’S FRIENDSHIP FEELS REALLY GENUINE
At the beginning of this episode, we are shown a scene that explains how people know if they are Grisha or not; as children, you must take a test that reveals the truth. However, Alina and Mal (Archie Renaux) decided to run and hide in the fields instead. Therefore, this scene explains for those wondering how Alina didn’t know about her own powers.
It has been made very clear that Mal and Alina are a team and all they want to do is be with another and talk about what happened on that ship in this episode. Mal’s intentions in this episode is just to get to Alina. He is concerned for her safety as he doesn’t like her in the hands of Grisha; he is adamant that she isn’t Grisha and very protective of her. As we end this episode, we can see how much Mal and Alina care for one another and they miss each other because they aren’t used to being apart. This friendship is so pure and heart-warming to watch develop in front of our eyes and I’m enjoying the tender moments they have onscreen, including all the childhood flashbacks.
LIFE ISN’T EASY IF YOU ARE GRISHA
Alina doesn’t want to be Grisha, probably because she has seen how the Grisha are treated, it is a dangerous world to be Grisha. For years being Grisha was a death sentence but since General Kirigan that changed, but they are still feared. In this episode of Shadow And Bone, we see how dangerous the world is for Grisha as there is a group called Druskelle, who are elite members of the Fjerdan military. They are specialists who are trained to hunt down and kill anyone who may be Grisha. We experience what life is like for those who are Grisha by the attack in this episode, none of them are safe, they are truly hated.
BEN BARNES IS POWERFUL AS KIRIGAN!
Let’s talk about General Kirigan. Ben Barnes controls the room when in a scene; his presence is intense and extremely powerful, I couldn’t take my eyes off him as he makes Kirigan have complete control in a scene. Kirigan is such a mysterious man yet he feels powerful and a little dangerous to watch. For those who haven’t read the books, General Kirigan is a Darkling thus that explains why his magic looked the way they did when he saved Alina. The entrance of Kirigan showcasing his own powers is majestic, we see the darkness flowing out of him and striking at the member of the Druskelle. It is a very visually striking moment as it is a different form of magic we haven’t seen before.
I think it is interesting how Kirigan calls Alina’s powers as a gift while Aline sees it as a curse. The Sun Summoner has been seen as the thing and person all of Ravka have been waiting for, as it is a symbol of hope but for the Grisha the sun summoner is a myth coming true. It is believed the Sun Summoner will go into The Fold and destroy it from the inside out. Alina is the first of her kind and now with the prophecy of her being everyone’s hope that is a lot of pressure for this character to deal with. We can assume that this is the plot we will be following for the remaining episodes, Alina harnessing her power to ultimately destroy The Fold. It’ll be interesting to see how this character copes with this pressure and whether she can live up to her new status as a potential hero of everyone.
JESPER REALLY HELPS BALANCE KAZ AND INEJ OUT
The Dregs haven’t disappeared they are still trying to find a way to cross The Fold in this episode, but they only have until sunrise to find a safe way through. We get a bit more of an insight into this trio in this episode and I have to say I think Jesper is my favourite. I loved watching Kit Young onscreen, Jesper adds some humour where you don’t expect it but it’s a really nice relief. This show could be really dark if it chose to be, so the addition of this more light-hearted character really works compared to the quite serious and stern characters like Kaz and especially Inej (Amita Suman). Therefore, Jesper adds a bit of joy to our screens which balances the episode out by giving us something to chuckle about.
INEJ IS POWERFUL WITH A TROUBLED PAST
Inej is a strong woman and character with a very troubled past. She is getting cold feet about the mission but we also learn a bit about this character’s complicated history. At the age of 14, Inej was torn away from her brother and to this day she doesn’t know what happened to him or where he is now. Alongside that, before she was working for Kaz, she belonged to a brothel run by Tante Heleen. Inej is in slavery to Hellen and Kaz still has five instalments left to pay off for Inej’s freedom. As a result, Inej still belongs to Heleen, thus with all these new revelations it is understandable why this character is so strong and tough. Amita Suman puts on a strong performance; her character is tough and barely shows any emotion hence we know she is a woman not to be messed with.
This episode is still building up for all our main characters who will eventually end up in same spot. While our protagonist Alina is discovering who she really is and how to handle this new responsibility. The foundations of these characters and what they are trying to achieve have been laid. This world we are delving into looks incredible and really helps us really buy into this fantasy world. It feels as if we are only at the tip of the iceberg to the rich history this show and could delve into.
The flip-flopping between Alina and Kaz keeps up the energy of the show and works well because when we are with either we are given either important information to digest or are entertain in some way. Kaz, Inej and Jesper are finally about to begin their journey to Alina while Alina has been taken to a kind of safe house. It’ll be interesting to know Kirigan’s true intentions because I feel like there is a lot more to this character than we are being presented. However, that is the charm of this show, it makes you want to watch the following episode to hopefully discover the answer to the questions you are asking.
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