Shadow and Bone has another jam-packed episode! Here’s a recap of everything that happened!
*Spoilers for Episode 3 below!*
The episode opens with Alina dreaming of a white stag with massive antlers. She then goes through her day, where she narrates a letter she’s writing to Mal. She misses him, and she can’t use her powers. She’s interrupted by Genya, a Grisha who is a Tailor. She’s able to manipulate the body to modify appearances, and she mainly helps the queen. She tells Alina that she has to meet the royals and be presented in court.
We’re then with Crows who are talking to the Conductor, Arken. They’re on their way to find Nina Zenik, a Heartrender who grew up at the Little Palace. Arken says she can be trusted because she is a radical who loves Ravka but hates that Grisha are forced to join the army. Meanwhile, Nina is in her room in the inn when she is ambushed by Druskelle, Fjerdan Grisha hunters. They capture her and take her away. The Crows arrive at her room too late and can tell that the Druskelle were the ones that captured her. Despite losing their way into the Little Palace, Kaz and Arken agree to press on. Arken tells the crows what he needs, and they split up. Inej gets Jurda, a plant, Kaz gets a goat, and Jesper gets coal. Except Jesper stops to gamble.
Back in Ravka, Alina is with Genya wearing a veil and a costume version of her army uniform. The king expects a humble girl from the army, and no one can see her before he does. General Kirigan arrives and explains that Grisha uses “Small Science.” They manipulate what already exists, and he believes in her ability to use her powers. They arrive at court with a group of Grisha behind them. Kirigan darkens the room, and when he touches Alina, she shines, turning dark to light. The royals are thrilled, as the king needs to destroy The Fold because West Ravka wants to secede. Grisha then embraces Alina, grateful for her existence. When Zoya hugs her, she whispers cruel words about her being an orphan half-breed.
We cut back to Kaz, who successfully acquired the goat. He watches a Ravkan rally, where General Zlatan preaches a message of independence. Kaz spots Arken talking to Zlatan, which he finds suspicious. He then runs into Inej who is looking for her parents’ names on a list of people who have died from crossing The Fold. Kaz stops her, reminding her that hope is dangerous and can cloud judgment.
We’re now with Nina, who is being chained up in the hull. She’s being taken to face trial under Fjerdan law, except it’s not a fair trial because no Grisha are ever innocent. She argues and insults her captor (who is Matthias Helvar), who argues back.
In West Ravka, the Crows are waiting on Jesper, who did not have enough money to buy all the coal they needed. Kaz knows Jesper gambled, but there’s nothing they can do. Arken thinks they should be okay to cross if they’re careful with weight distribution.
Meanwhile, Alina is in a blue kefta with gold embroidering. She meets Nadia and Marie, two Grisha who takes a shine to her. They want to help her train because her only experience is Mal teaching her how to punch. She meets the training instructor and tells him she wants to fight Zoya. Alina only gets one hit on Zoya who uses a blast of air to knock her down. Alina has a vision of the stag again but is brought out of it when she gets up. Marie and Nadia tell her that Zoya has been pining over General Kirigan, so she’s bitter. Zoya gets chewed out while Alina’s voice-over of her letter to Mal continues.
She then goes to the library where she meets the Apparat, the king’s spiritual advisor. He likes that she’s a reader and wants to be her friend. He somehow knows that she’s curious about the stag, and helps her with researching. He tells her that the stag is one of Morozova’s amplifiers. He’s known as the bone smith and created the animals out of his own bones. They were attuned to Grisha and can amplify powers. However, only a Grisha who kills the animal can use the amplifier.
From there, Alina goes to meet Baghra, the intense and cryptic trainer who helps train special Grisha abilities. She lives in a dark cave and roasts Alina for her lack of control and power. Alina continues writing to Mal after her intense training session.
We’re back with the Crows, who are in Arken’s contraption as it crosses the fold. There’s a gap in the tracks, but they should be fine given their momentum as long as their weight distribution doesn’t change. But as expected, things go wrong because the Volcra attack and get stuck on the roof. Jesper begins to panic, but he’s given the goat to hold out of comfort.
Back in East Ravka Alina is at dinner with Marie, Nadia, and more Grisha. Ivan, a heartrender who was in the carriage that escorted her, is upset that she is eating dinner with them instead of training.
We cut back to the Crows who are freaking out. The timing of the contraption is off, and the cart begins to crumble. In an impressive show of bravery, Jesper gets up, goat under his arm, and in a display of sharpshooting, he shoots the Volcra through the roof, and they make it out of The Fold!
We’re now with Alina who is scared. She tells Mal she is terrified and she doesn’t know who she is. All she knows is that True North is home, somewhere you feel safe and loved. Mal is her True North.
With this episode, our main cast is complete! Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar are the 2 final Crows that are introduced this season! Book fans, we’ll have to keep waiting for Wylan. But it’s nice to see the cast come together. I loved Nina and Matthias in the books, so seeing their backstory come to life is exciting. While it does make it a little more complicated plot-wise, I think it helps solidify their dynamic and chemistry without rushing into it later.
I also felt like this episode moved the plot forward, but slowly. It got the Crows into East Ravka, demonstrated where Alina is at power-wise, and taught us about the stag and the Apparat (who was giving me Nostradamus from Reign and Archie from The Great vibes). All of these things move the plot forward but in small ways. I will say, I’m loving Baghra! She’s an interesting character that seems unimpressed by Alina, which seems to be rare. Zoë Wanamaker is doing an excellent job with the character, and I cannot wait to see more.
There were times when this episode felt a little slow, but overall, I am excited for more! I wonder how the Crows are going to get into the Little Palace and what’s Mal up to. Last we heard, he was planning on becoming a hero to get invited to the Little Palace, so I’m curious as to what he is going to do.
You can stream Shadow and Bone on Netflix starting now!