In this intense season finale, we get the team up of our dreams as our heroes try to stop the Darkling’s plot. Here’s our recap and review of the episode.
*Spoilers for Episode 8 below!*
We pick up where we left off – with the gang entering the Fold. Alina is chained to the deck, and Kirigan and Ivan are with her. Zoya is manning the sails with a Heartrender. Mal is hidden below deck, and the Crows sneak below to plan.
Ivan cannot detect any Volcra, and Alina wants to tear down The Fold. Kirigan doesn’t want her to, at least not yet. The other Heartrender confirms this when he tells Zoya that the skiff should be stopped in front of the western docks so they have an “audience.” Below deck, Jesper cleans his guns while they try to figure out their next moves.
We then cut to Nina and Matthias, who get a room at an inn. They’re in Ravka, meaning Nina is safe, but Matthias isn’t. He tells her he’ll leave in the night, but Nina doesn’t want him to go. They both want to be somewhere where they’re just “Nina and Matthias.” They’d both be traitors to their respective countries, but they’d be together. It doesn’t take much to convince either of them and when they’re about to kiss, Matthias’s stomach growls, prompting Nina to check the pub attached to the inn for food. She overhears that someone is taking slavers to court for $20,000 a head as long as a captive testifies in court. When she returns upstairs, she tells Matthias they’re clear.
The duo eats waffles, Nina’s favorite food. And then Matthias, in distress, passes out. And who should appear but Fedyor! The Heartrender that was tasked with tracking Nina down! He’s come with a group of Grisha who outnumber Nina. She knows they’ll kill Matthias, so she turns him into the man that’s tracking down slavers, saying she was his captive. After a tense face-off, Nina and a passed-out Matthias leave with the captain. He’ll be taken to court, but he’ll be alive.
Back in The Fold, everyone is preparing. In a show of power, Kirigan forces Alina to create a tunnel of light, protecting them for a bit. It’s a reminder that her power is his now.
Below deck, Kaz has already figured out Kirigan’s plan. Inej notices Mal, and he introduces himself. It’s tense, but if he’s not on Kirigan’s side, he’s on theirs. Up top, Kirigan tells Alina they won’t destroy The Fold. They will make it their weapon.
We’re then in West Ravka. General Zlatan wants to kill everyone on the skiff, including Alina. If she destroys The Fold, West Ravkas will not declare independence.
Finally, at the edge of The Fold, Kirigan has a mighty demonstration of power, and to everyone’s horror, he uses his shadows to expand The Fold. Alina cannot fight back, and Zoya, who has family in West Ravka, is horrified and betrayed. Mal and Inej decide to intervene, with Jesper and Kaz following once things get serious.
After a long and intense fight, Alina has full control of her power but is passed out, Mal and Kirigan are fighting on the ground next to the skiff, Zoya is on Alina’s side and piloting the skiff out of The Fold, Inej and Kaz are fighting Volcra, and Jesper has shot Ivan off of the skiff. Kirigan eventually succumbs, to not Mal, but the Volcra. His past catching up with him. Everyone is back on the skiff, and after a tense moment, Alina wakes up and uses her light to get them out of The Fold.
Everyone rests by a fire outside The Fold, making plans for their next actions. Zoya wants to check to see who survived The Fold expanding. She tells Alina that she will need new allies outside of Ravka, and they part on good terms, with Zoya telling her to be careful. Alina gives the Crows a valuable necklace in exchange for hiding who she is, and they accept. Inej wants to go with her, but Kaz needs Inej. Inej agrees to stay with the Crows until they pay off Heleen, but she’s unsure about after. Alina and Mal are off to find new allies, but she’s scared because Kirigan’s followers will turn Ravkans against her, blaming her for what happened.
We’re then with Nina and Matthias as she brings food to his cell on the ship. He tries to kill her, angered that she would trick him, that it was all a lie. She tells him she’s dropping the charges in court, but another prisoner tells her they won’t be in court for a few years. Until then, they’ll be in a maximum security prison in Ketterdam. They’re both crushed, and Matthias tells her she can’t fix this.
Upset, Nina goes above deck. And in a cute twist, she’s on the same ship as the Crows, Alina, and Mal. The Crows reflect on their unsuccessful mission, and how Dreesen and Pekka Rollins are waiting for them. Kaz has a plan, but they need a Heartrender. Nina overhears, and makes small talk with them, foreshadowing her role with the Crows.
At the front of the ship, Mal and Alina are together. It’s just the two of them again, like old times. She promises that she will tear down The Fold because she is stronger now that Kirigan is dead.
Except we cut to The Fold, one last time. Kirigan, bruised and bloodied, stands up outside the Fold. And he successfully controls Volcra outside of the Fold. Looks like he finally got his army.
This finale was insane! Everything tied up so neatly! I overall truly loved the incorporation of the Crows into Shadow and Bone. It was done in a way that doesn’t contradict the books, allowing Inej to keep her faith and Kaz to be skeptical despite both of them meeting Alina. It also went into how the Crows meet Nina, and why she stays in Ketterdam.
One of the stand-out moments for me was Mal and Kirigan’s face-off. Mal tells him that “He doesn’t have to kill him. His past will do it for him.” This was a subversion of what Kirigan told him in the previous episode about time killing Mal. I absolutely loved it!
I thought this was a great final episode that had a nice cliffhanger for the next season. Going forward, I wonder how the Crows are going to be incorporated. It would make sense that they would begin to set up for their story, but I anticipate there being two more seasons before Six of Crows gets adapted.
I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone! I have nothing but the Grishaverse on my mind, and I will be rewatching until we get a season 2.
You can stream Shadow and Bone on Netflix now!