Episode 7 of Shadow and Bone begins in the past with Kirigan riding to find a Grisha called Luda. With Baghra leading the other Grisha to a sanctuary, soldiers surround Kirigan and Luda. Unfortunately this results in Luda’s death. This conjures forth a blinding rage in Kirigan, unleashing a slice of shadowy power that cuts the soldiers in half.
With Luda cradled under his arms, Kirigan hurries to the Grisha sanctuary. Baghra forbids his plans to create the Fold but the future General refuses to listen. With numerous journals in hand, he begins to learn how to strike back and create an army.
Bells toll ominously outside, snatching up Kirigan from his thoughts. He steps outside and finds himself surrounded on orders of the King. Heading out alone, Kirigan uses his shadow powers, which in turn creates the Shadow Fold.
Back in the present, Kirigan leads his party out into the frozen tundra, tracking Mal and Alina. Meanwhile, Kaz decides the group should cut their losses and ponders whether to go back home. This certainly doesn’t sit well with Inej though, especially given her past.
Meanwhile, Alina and Mal find the mythical stag out in the woods. Instead of shooting though, Alina decides to get closer. She eventually touches the nose of this creature and looks set to take its power. Only, Kirigan and his men show up and attack. In the ensuing skirmish, the stag is shot – as is Mal.
General Kirigan finally shows up and looks set to hit Mal with shadow powers. Thankfully, Alina manages to produce a dazzling light barrier to protect them.
Unfortunately Alina loses the barrier in favour of trying to save Mal. Kirigan immediately goes on the offensive, cutting the head off this mythical stag. Kirigan holds Alina captive and reveals that he intends to siphon off her power into him. With parts of the deer held between them, Kirigan uses David to create a bridge between the pair. Now he can use her powers.
This certainly doesn’t bode well for the future, as the group ride to the First Camp. Whilst there, Alina finds herself in the company of Genya. She confirms the King has been taken ill, while the Queen is in isolation. Unfortunately she too is a spy, revealing herself to be working for Kirigan all this time. She was also the reason Mal’s letters never reached their intended destination.
While they talk, Kirigan arrives before Mal. He antagonizes the soldier, telling him he read their letters. Kirigan intends to use patience and time to his advantage, waiting for Alina to come to him. He doesn’t intend to kill Mal though, he’s instead going to let time do that itself.
Well, Mal isn’t waiting around that long. He uses his wits to entice a goat over and breaks free from his restraints. With his guard asleep, Mal slips away. When Kirigan finds out, he gives Ivan and the others strict instructions to put Mal down if he gets near Alina.
Meanwhile, Inej says her goodbyes to Kaz, who admits that he’ll do everything he can to make sure she doesn’t return to Heleen. Together with Jesper, they prepare to head back across the Fold. Only, this will mean getting a skiff across to the other side. Hiding in plain sight, they abandon capturing Alina and head back home.
With papers and disguises, the trio blend in to the First Army ranks and prepare to board the Skiff. Mal too is onboard, hiding in the cabins below. Kaz, Jesper and Inej blend in, realizing that they’re going in completely exposed this time. As the vessel leaves the dock, the series lends itself nicely to the season finale.
The Episode Review
Shadow and Bone delivers a really compelling penultimate chapter, one that sees all our characters ready for the season finale to come. The journey all these different characters have taken thus far has been well written and certainly chock full of adventure too.
Kaz, Inej and Jesper have felt a little like a one trick pony for most of this season though (going after Alina, having their plans foiled, repeating the search etc.) but they’ve definitely been one of the more entertaining parts of this season. Jesper in particular is such a charismatic character and easily the highlight of their troupe.
Meanwhile, seeing more of Kirigan’s past helps to flesh his character out while the growing tensions between Mal and Kirigan look like they could explode in a flurry of anger in the next episode. Either way, everything is poised nicely on a knife edge as we move into the finale!