Creator: Leigh Bardugo
Director: Jeremy Webb
Starring: Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Ben Barnes, Danielle Galligan and Calahan Skogman
The Shadow And Bone Season 1 finale is huge and you can’t take your eyes away from the action. This episode defiantly draws you in and makes you believe that there is no way out but sets up really nicely for season 2. We begin this episode where we left off in the previous episode with all our characters heading into the fold. From the beginning Alina has wanted to destroy the fold while Kirigan has other ideas, therefore Mal and Zoya join the Crows in the fight against Kirigan.
ALINA FINALLY EMBRACES HER OWN POWER
Alina (Jessie Mei Li) has been on a real journey in this season and come out much stronger and more powerful. Her character goes from fearing Grisha to discovering she is one and seen as a literal saint. Alina has a huge responsibility forced upon her but she learns to accept who she is and embraces it. The more she practices summoning light, the stronger she becomes. She has had plans to destroy the fold once she has control of her powers. Alina even searches for the Morozova Stag to enhance her powers.
We are led to believe that Kirigan is much more powerful than Alina but it is surprising when Alina regains control and finally fights back; she is more powerful because the Stag choose her to amplify her powers not the Darkling. Watching Alina take control of her own powerful is a moment we have been waiting for since we learnt that Alina is Grisha. Jessie Mei Li really convinces us that she is a prisoner and has lost everything including her freedom and almost Mal too.
KIRIGAN TRUE PLANS ARE REVEALED
Kirigan (Ben Barnes) turns against everyone in this episode and expands the fold causing more chaos and hurting more innocent lives. We see the real dark and scary side to Kirigan in this episode. Throughout this episode, I feared this character but all I thought was: how can you kill this guy? Lots of attempts are made and we are led to believe this could be the last we see of Kirigan. Yet it appears nothing can kill this guy because how else has he survived hundreds of years. Kirigan is truly a force to stay away from.
Ben Barnes has done a great job during this season, we were drawn into his character and believed he could be good, unsure of what his motive are. After secrets are revealed, we see the true Kirigan. I liked both sides of this character we saw and his presence is extremely noticeable in a scene. As each episode progressed Kirigan became darker and we see him at the end of this season at breaking point.
WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR THAT MAL AND ALINA FIRST KISS
We finally end this season with Mal (Archie Renaux) and Alina together and as safe as they can be. There have been many ups and downs for this pair in this season. They started off as best friends and now we see it is much more than friendship here. There is a strange dependency between these characters as if they are lost if they aren’t with each other. However, a moment that stays with me is watching Mal beg for Alina to come back, who is unconscious in his arms. We get a really great performance from Renaux, as we see the true emotions and feelings of Mal in this moment; his love is pouring out for her. It has taken the entire season for us to come to this point, we still have been left waiting for that first kiss but at least this duo are together at last.
THE CROWS GET NEW MEMBERS
It is up to Kaz (Freddy Carter), Inej (Amita Suman), Jesper (Kit Young) and Mal to stop Kirigan in this episode as Alina is trapped and controlled by Kirigan. The Crows are here to help save the day in this episode. The fire scene after all the action is needed but I felt quite emotional watching it, there was a sadness to this scene. The Crows, Alina, Mal and Zoya all sit around the fire and process what just happened within the fold. This scene is a nice touch as we see how the events of this episode has on these characters.
At the heart of this show is the theme of faith, as Alina needed to have faith in herself to know she can do this while Mal had faith he would find his way back to Alina. While also Kaz believes in Inej and Jesper and faith is a huge part of Inej characterisation. A part of me hopes we will get to see more of the Crows and Alina interactions as I think they work really well together
Inej future with the crows is now uncertain and I hope she stays a while longer as I’ve really enjoyed watching the unsaid relationship between Kaz and Inej grow. Freddy Carter puts on a really strong performance in this episode, we see his dilemma but he is a strong man who respects others especially Inej beliefs. Overall, I have really enjoyed Carter’s performances throughout this episode and season but Kit Young as Jesper has been an unexpected hit, always bringing the comedic relief that we need and it works well every time.
NINA AND MATTHIAS RELATIONSHIP IS RUINED, CAN IT BE FIXED?
Read more: Shadow And Bone Season 1 Spoiler Review
Nina (Danielle Galligan) and Matthias (Calahan Skogman) are back in this episode and these characters broke my heart in this episode. They worked so hard to trust upon one another and a relationship had formed between this pairing. All this work is broken within a heartbreak and I don’t know how they can get back to where they were. Both are seen as traitors now and have fallen in love but they understand it is almost impossible for them to be together. However, let’s be honest, we know they should be together and Galligan and Skogman have such chemistry its difficult not to want this character to be together. I really felt sorry for Nina as she was trying to save Matthias life but he doesn’t see it that way, he just feels betrayed. I really look forward to seeing more of Galligan in the next season and how this relationship will develop.
As we close the chapter on this season all our Crows and Mal and Alina are all on course to Ketterdam and the potential new Crow members encounter the Crows. This season finale had many twists which kept us glued to our screens. It is quite a proud moment watching Alina blossom and believe in herself. Once she heals from the events of the fold, she will be more than ready to destroy the fold. However now the sun summoner is believed to be dead so many men will be hunting her on all sides as she becomes a valuable mystery again. I really enjoyed Alina during this season and in this episode, it really shows how far this character has come.
This episode closes this season really well and overall, this first season has been really strong. Yet what this episode does really nicely is set up for the possible storyline for the next season. We’ve watched character grow and new friendships formed. Performances from the cast have been extremely strong throughout and only gotten better from episode to episode. Therefore, as fans, we want to see this show renewed as there is so much more left to be seen in this world and Kirigan and the fold are still waiting to be destroyed.
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