‘Shadow and Bone’: Alina Makes a New Plan, and 2 Fan-Favorite Characters Meet (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Shadow and Bone, Season 1, Episode 6, “The Heart is an Arrow.”]
One of the great things about Shadow and Bone is how it expands on the stories from the books, showing stories that were only flashbacks, giving characters more time to develop — and allowing characters to meet who never came face-to-face in the source material.
In “The Heart is an Arrow,” two such characters have a conversation: Kaz (Freddy Carter) and Kirigan (Ben Barnes). The two never met in Shadow and Bone or Six of Crows, but it’s plenty of fun to see them in the Netflix adaptation, each trying to outsmart the other. Kirigan’s desperate to find Alina, and he tracks down the Crows only to learn that she wasn’t abducted; meanwhile, Nina and Matthias survive together and Alina (Jessie Mei Li) finds a familiar, friendly face in the woods.
Alina’s New Journey
Inside the Little Palace, Kirigan learns from the Conductor, who was captured, that a certain East Ravkan general wants the Sun Summoner dead — and the Conductor was going to kill her rather than take her across the Fold. Now that Alina’s with the Dregs, their theory is that she’s going to be taken across, and Kirigan wants to stop that from happening. (He also wants to find Nina Zenik [Danielle Galligan], since she was working for him as a spy and had since been captured by the Fjerdans).
Alina escapes from the Dregs, but she accidentally reveals herself when she uses her powers to fend off a few soldiers. She flees into the woods and, as luck would have it, Mal’s waiting there for her. He takes her to safety, where they argue — about who didn’t respond to whose letters, whether she knew she was Grisha, whether she lied to him. They talk things through, and Mal tells her he’s been trying to get back to her the whole time. They hug, and the past is forgotten. “Thank you for finding me,” Alina says. “Always,” Mal responds. They make a camp together, and Alina uses her powers to keep them warm.
The next day, she treats his wounded shoulder and they make plans to find the stag together. Alina thinks that if she can use it as an Amplifier, she can grow strong enough to destroy the Fold. They head for Fjerda, toward where Mal last saw the stag.
No Target, No Money, No Crow Club
After Alina escapes, Kaz and Inej argue. She escaped because Inej let her go, believing in the strength of her power and her potential to save her people. Kaz, on the other hand, is convinced her powers were an illusion, and he’s furious with Inej for letting Alina slip away. “Either we get the target,” he says, “or Heleen gets the Crow Club, and Pekka gets whatever’s left!” Inej is shocked: She didn’t know about Kaz’s deal with Heleen.
The trio contemplate leaving empty-handed, since they’ve lost Alina’s trail and they know Kirigan will soon track them down. And just like that, he does… along with a team of Grisha. They flee a tavern and split up, eventually taking down their Grisha pursuers (Inej is injured in the process, though). Kaz eventually comes face-to-face with Kirigan, who demands to know what he did with the Sun Summoner. Kaz tells him the truth: Alina fled on her own. “It was pretty clear she wasn’t interested in being a captive any longer,” he says. Kirigan tries to kill Kaz, but he escapes in a flash of bright light.
From there, the Crows escape. Since Inej can’t ride on a horse, they steal Kirigan’s carriage. That’s fine with the Black Heretic, because where he’s going, he wouldn’t have been able to use it anyway; he’s going after Alina, through the woods.
“I Do Like You.”
In the aftermath of the storm, Nina and Matthias (Calahan Skogman) work together to stay alive. They reach land together, build a shelter together and, uh, stay warm together (they have to take off their wet clothes to keep their body temperatures up, and they huddle together. It’s awkward, and it’s humorous.) As time passes, they bond — and Matthias even laughs!
Eventually, as they trek through the snow together, he admits it. “I do like you,” he says. Then he tries to justify how he feels: “How do I know you’re not messing with my insides and making me like you?” But they just end up laughing together again, and when Nina unexpectedly almost falls through the ice, Matthias saves her life.
- Well, I like Nina and Matthias now. While their storyline is the least action-packed, their moments worked well as a bit of comedic relief since the rest of the show has gotten pretty intense.
- The farther into the show I get, the more convinced I am that combining the books for the Netflix adaptation was a stroke of genius. That scene of Kaz and Kirigan talking about Alina was incredible; they’re equally matched in wits, and they’re not totally dissimilar from each other (although Kirigan is definitely a villain, while Kaz is more an antihero).
- Inej gets the most badass moment of the episode, though, when she almost shows her Grisha attacker mercy by keeping the knife in her stomach to potentially allow her to love long enough to see a Healer. Then the woman threatened to kill everyone she loved, so Inej said, “In that case, I’ll take my knife back.” Bad. Ass.
Shadow and Bone Season 1, Netflix, Now Streaming