If you loved the premiere episode of Eric Heisserer‘s Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo‘s Shadow and Bone, then I can’t wait to hear what you think of episode two! The first episode introduced us to the vast world of Ravka and its inhabitants. It ended as Alina’s (Jessie Mei Li) powers as the Sun Summoner erupted from her in an attempt to save herself and Mal (Archie Renaux). In episode two, “We’re All Someone’s Monster,” Alina’s newfound powers catch the eye of General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) and Kaz (Freddy Carter) and his crew run into trouble trying to find a way across the Fold.

DISCLAIMER: This is a recap which means – you guessed it, spoilers ahead! If you are not caught up on the series, I highly suggest bookmarking this page and returning once you are done. The entire Shadow and Bone season one can be found here on Netflix.

RELATED: Check out our recap for the Shadow and Bone season premiere “A Searing Burst of Light”!

The second episode of Shadow and Bone opens with a flashback to the orphanage where young Alina (Kaylan Teague) and Mal (Cody Molko) listen to another boy discuss the Grisha test. Using a small metal needle-like object, the test proctors can learn if you have a special ability. He tells Mal that they won’t test sick or hurt children and that it’s likely that no one here will have any powers. Anya (Elizabeth Rider) appears to usher them to the test before a fight can break out.

Alina grabs Mal’s hand and the two run off into a nearby field to hide. Mal asks her if she wants to know if she is Grisha. Alina doesn’t want to know unless the two of them can go together. A young Mal reaches out and grabs Alina’s hand and the two exchange glances as the scene shifts to the present day and Mal awakens on the deck of the skiff. He tries to reach out to Alina, who is unconscious next to him, but he is taken away before he can.

The rest of the camp is hurrying about salvaging the wreckage and finding survivors when Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) finds Alina and calls for a healer. It turns out Alina is alive but did break her collarbone. She tries to figure out where Mal is, but the healer tells her all first army members are taken to the medical tents. As the healer is fixing Alina’s collarbone, Zoya tells them they need to get to the general’s tent.

On the other side of the Fold in Ketterdam, Kaz is preparing for their trip east. Inej (Amita Suman) doesn’t think they should take the job. Not only do they have a few hours to find a safe way across, but she knows they won’t be able to find a way to pay off her debt. Kaz tells her not to worry about it and that they will find a way, but she still doesn’t believe him. He tells her that he will probably just leave her behind and she storms out.

“We’re All Someone’s Monster” jumps back to the West Ravka as Alina is being led to General Kirigan’s tent. Surrounded by other Grisha, Kirigan asks Alina what she is. She immediately thinks that she was brought to the tent because she burned the maps and caused everyone’s death. She rattles off her position within the first army, but that isn’t what Kirigan wants. He asks her again what she is and she reconfirms that she is a mapmaker.

Alina being taken into General Kirigan's tent after the incident.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

The other Grisha find this funny, but Kirigan still wants answers. He asks for someone to explain exactly what happened. Zoya explains what happened with the Fold and that there was a searing light. Another Grisha points out that the searing light came from Alina. Kirigan asks her if she can summon light and Alina denies it. He asks her where she grew up and when she was tested. When she doesn’t answer, he assumes she just can’t remember.

He decides to test her just to make certain that she wasn’t the source of the searing light. Outside at the medical tent, Mal wakes again and asks the man treating him where Alina is. He explains that they took her to General Kirigan’s tent because they believe she is the Sun Summoner. He jumps up, intending to go after her knowing what will happen when they find out that she isn’t Grisha.

We jump back into the tent, where Kirigan uses the thimble-like object to puncture  Alina’s skin. As soon as he does, a light bursts through and breaks down the shadows within the room. Outside, members of the second army are holding Mal back as he tries to get into the tent. He watches as light breaks through the tent. Completely shocked, another soldier leads him back to the medical tent. Inside, Alina is equally as shocked with this newfound power and just as quickly as it started, it disappears.

Over in Ketterdam, Kaz hears footsteps and thinks it is Inej, but instead comes face to face with Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly) and his men. Kaz tries to fight back but is easily subdued. Pekka tells him to drop Dreesen’s job and leave it to him. Kaz doesn’t seem interested in doing that, but Pekka warns him that he will send him to the bottom of the river if he doesn’t. Kaz asks him if the two have ever made a deal. Pekka doesn’t seem to remember and says that if they had, Kaz would know better. Pekka decides to leave Kaz alone for now, but they both know it won’t be for long.

Downstairs, Inej and Jesper (Kit Young) are discussing the upcoming job. Inej is worried they will end up dead, but Jesper has more faith in Kaz. Inej believes that all of this is to get back at Pekka Rollins. This isn’t just a guy going after the villain in town, but something more personal like revenge. Before the conversation can go any further, a man discreetly passes a note to Inej from the Menagerie.

Just as she leaves, Kaz joins Jesper at the bar. He tells him that Pekka Rollins has warned them off the job and they need to work quickly. Jesper is confused about why they are moving forward, but Kaz reminds him never to make decisions out of fear but out of spite. Kaz sends Jesper to watch the door while he keeps an eye on the gambling floor. He quickly spots a woman counting money and requests for her to meet with him.

Upstairs she quickly defends herself and promises that she wasn’t cheating. He tells her that he has been keeping track of her and she plays nothing but cards because she can remember what has already been played. She reminds him that doing that doesn’t mean she is cheating. He warns her that he will have to start adding an extra deck to her table. He hands her a stack of bills as an incentive to keep playing and asks her to count it. She beings to but after a few moments, Kaz stops her.

He asks her where she is and explains that only people from East Rakva count the money the way she does and that they never say they are from “west” Ravka, just Ravka. She explains that her daughter is Grisha and to keep her from fighting in the war, they ran away. She is afraid they will be sent back, but Kaz doesn’t want to do that. He is just interested in finding out how they were able to make their way through the Fold.

She explains that a man known as the Conductor helped them across. They paid in advance and were forced to wear hoods so they couldn’t see his special transport. Kaz asks if there is anything she can provide to help him. The only thing she knows is that when they arrived, they were left with a stage performer named Poppy for a few nights until they could get on their feet. Kaz knows who Poppy is and learns that they are now working at the Emerald Palace.

“We’re All Someone’s Monster” shifts back to East Ravka, where Alina is escorted to a carriage. Alina refuses to go until she speaks with Mal, but the guard won’t let her. He is under strict orders from General Kirigan to get her to Os Alta and safely into the Little Palace before spies pass on what happened and the enemies come swarming in. He forces her into the carriage and they set off.

As they pass the medic tent, Alina spots Mal and calls out to him. He tries to catch up but is unable to. She continues to keep calling out that she didn’t know. While Mal is left standing in the street, he is approached by Zoya, who asks if that was his little friend from the night before. He asks where they are taking her and she shares that she will be in good hands. However, he doesn’t believe she is safe while in the hands of the Grisha, to which Zoya reminds him that she is one.

Amita Suman looking over a paper with an ominous man in the background.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) AMITA SUMAN as INEJ GHAFA in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

In Ketterdam, Inej meets with Heleen (Deirdre Mullins), the owner of the Menagerie. She unarms herself of all of her knives (and she has quite a few) before sitting down and chatting with her. Heleen tells Inej that she knows that she plans to leave Ketterdam with Kaz for a mission but reminds her that she can’t until she is paid in full. But she has a deal that could help Inej. If she completes this simple job, she will be free forever, no questions asked. The job, of course, would have Inej kill a man that is transporting slaves into the city and selling them to the Menagerie’s competitor. She isn’t too keen on the idea of first but seems to take the job after some thought.

Elsewhere, Jesper is outside of the Crow Club practicing his gunmanship when Inej appears out of nowhere. She asks him if he can kill a man for her. He is confused why him doing it would be any different than her doing it. Inej doesn’t say why she can’t do it, but it appears that Jesper understands why. He agrees to do it, but before she can share any more information, Kaz comes out looking for him and Inej disappears in the puff of smoke.

In East Ravka, Alina is traveling with two Grisha. The one is confused why she thinks that she can just go unnoticed within the ranks of the first army, how anyone could overlook her. She explains that when you look different from those around you, there is always the risk of a fight. The other Grisha reminds her that they are similar. That the Grisha are different and were treated differently, even killed for what they could do. That was until General Kirigan stepped up and protected them by creating the Little Palace and teaching them how to hone their skills. Alina still doesn’t think that she needs their protection.

But things are different now. Alina is the sun summoner, someone who has been pretty much a fairytale up until now. So, of course, people are going to want to worship her or even kill her. But it is more than that for the Grisha. It appears a lot of the prejudice comes from the idea that a Grisha created the Fold. That in some way, this is all their fault. If Alina, a Grisha, were to tear the Fold down, it might make others look at them differently. On their journey, the carriage stops when they come across a blocked road. The two Grisha go out to and it becomes clear they are under attack.

Alina tries to hide away from the attackers, but one finds her in the carriage. They drag her out and just before she is about to die, General Kirigan arrives to save her. He knows now that he is here; the rest will run and hide. Kirigan decides that it will be safer for Alina to stay with him for the rest of the journey.

Back in Ketterdam, Jesper and Kaz are discussing the need for an explosives expert for the job. Jesper knows that Kaz will eventually ask him to explode something for him, which isn’t what he is good at. Kaz reminds him that this job doesn’t require loud noises as they will need to sneak into the Little Palace. Jesper brings up the fact that they need Inej for this job, but Kaz knows if he were to go to Heleen right now and ask for a buyout, she would set a price that he can’t pay.

Kaz knows this because he would do the same. He also points out that Inej refuses to kill and questions if Jesper would trust her in a life or death situation. Jesper reminds him that he is still alive, so he does. The conversation turns to why Kaz brought them to Pekka Rollins turf. Kaz explains that he needs to speak with an old business partner, but Jesper is worried the bouncers will recognize him on site. Now comes the explanation on why Jesper had to come – a handsome decoy. In another part of town, Inej sneaks into the home of an unsuspecting gentleman (Charles Howard) and knocks him unconscious.

“We’re All Someone’s Monster” swaps back again to Alina and Kirigan riding together towards the Little Palace. She asks him to take a break so she can give her tailbone some rest. Once off the horse and settled, Alina asks him what happened back there. He explains that Drüskelle, elite members of the Fjerdan military that work behind enemy lines. Their job is to kill or kidnap Grisha. Alina explains that she was actually asking how he managed to cut down the man trying to kill her. He quips back about maybe she would have rather him used a sword.

Kirigan explains that what he did is known as a Cut, something a powerful summoner can do. He swears he only uses it as a last resort like the ambush. Alina questions if this is what her life has become. Constantly being hunted down. He explains that she will get used to it. But that isn’t something that Alina wants. She would rather give us this “gift” and go back to her life with her friends by her side. Alina believes that they haven’t found someone with her powers because they didn’t want to be found.

Kirigan asks again if she was tested as a child. She explains that she and Mal hid from the testers. She felt that they already felt so different and didn’t want to be alone. Kirigan reminds her that she is Grisha and she will never be alone. With the conversation done, he decides it is time to continue their journey to the Little Palace. Another rider from Alina’s group returns to the camp, where he runs into Mal. He explains to him what happened and that Alina was left alone with General Kirigan.

Mal tries to convince his commanding officer that they need to go after Alina. However, the first army doesn’t believe she is worth the risk. Now that she is Grisha, she belongs to the second army and is their responsibility. As the war continues, the Grisha are becoming just as useless as the rest of the soldiers and this sun summoner is no different.

Jesper trying to trick the men outside of Pekka's club in Shadow and Bone.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) KIT YOUNG as JESPER FAHEY in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Across the Fold in Ketterdam, Jesper puts on quite the show and draws the attention off of Kaz sneaking into the club. Once inside, Kaz meets with Poppy (Micah Holmes). Kaz explains that he is looking for the Conductor and knows that Poppy can point him in the right direction. Poppy knows that he needs this information for his job but isn’t going to give it up. Kaz spots a note from Heleen and Poppy explains that she warned the Conductor to steer clear of her as well. Kaz realizes that Heleen most likely had someone follow Poppy’s messenger right to where the Conductor was staying. Kaz knows that Heleen will do anything in order to hurt him and gets Poppy to share the Conductors location.

The scene jumps to Inej, who has tied up her target. She is going through his stuff to prove that he is smuggling children to sell to the brothels in town. He tries to deny it, but she doesn’t believe him. He realizes that she works for Heleen and tries to explain that he smuggles in families trying to flee the war. Inej still struggles to believe him when he asks how old she was when she was taken and who she was looking for. We learn that Inej is searching for her brother, who was separated from her when she was 14. She has no idea where he went but knew that one of the men had a silver tooth.

Even if he cannot answer her questions, Inej knows that killing him will gain her the freedom she needs to travel with Kaz. In one last attempt to get her to stop, the man brings up her faith when he recognizes that insignia on her chest. He knows that no amount of prayer will forgive murder. Just as she is about the strike, Kaz comes into the room to stop her. It turns out Heleen sent Inej to kill the Conductor, Arken, in order to ruin the only chance Kaz has of completing this mission. Kaz explains to the Conductor that they need him to get them safely through the Fold and into the Little Palace.

In East Ravka, Alina and Kirigan finally arrive at the Little Palace, where Kirigan promises her she will be safe. He drops her off two guards and orders them to take her to her suite. She questions if she is a prisoner here and his only reply is that all of Ravka is until the two of them get rid of the Fold once and for all. Upstairs in her suite, Alina is finally alone for the first time since everything has happened and she is finally able to break down and allow herself to cry. She quickly pulls herself back together and finds a weapon to protect herself.

At the first army’s camp, Mal tries to steal a horse to go after Alina, but Dubrov (Andy Burse) and Mikhael (Angus Castle-Doughty) stop him. They convince him that there is no way he will be allowed within the Little Palace and it is best just to wait this out until they can meet up with her again. Mal realizes that the only way he can save her is to stay where he is and bid his time. Mikhael is confused about how Mal isn’t mad that Alina kept her powers a secret and Dubrov reminds him that we are fools when our friends are in trouble.

Echoing this, we see Kaz come face to face with Heleen where makes a deal with her. Kaz explains that he is taking Inej and when he returns, he will have enough to pay off his debt for her. As collateral, he leaves the deed to the Crow Club with Heleen. He gave up his entire livelihood to buy Inej her freedom.

We then jump back to Mal, who is alone in his tent. As he lays down to sleep, we see Alina lying down at the Little Palace. “We’re All Someone’s Monster” comes to a close as both reach out towards the empty side of the bed as if the other is there, mimicking how they held hands in the field.

RELATED: Ready to dive into the next episode of Shadow and Bone? Check out our recap for “The Making at the Heart of the World”!

Things really hit the ground running in Shadow and Bone‘s second episode, “We’re All Someone’s Monster.” On both sides of the Fold, we can see how Alina’s newly found power affects everyone. I can completely understand where Alina’s thought process is going as she is taken away from her friends and found family and being told that the whole world rests on her shoulders. I completely understand the feeling of her “no thank you” attitude. I also love how when she reaches the Little Palace and finds herself alone for the first time; she finally allows herself to have a moment to lose it. It echos back to the first episode where Mal and Alina discuss how they learned never to let anyone see them cry.

On the opposite side of the Fold in Ketterdam, we finally get to see Inej in action. I love her strong connection with her religion and I feel like it will play a major part in the series as we advance. Her relationship with Kaz is fascinating as well. In the first episode, we see almost like a boss and his employee, but now we can see just how much he values Inej. He handed over his entire life when he gave Heleen the deed to the Crow Club. He really sees something in Inej, even though he isn’t quite open to discussing it with Jesper. Speaking of Jesper. I’m saying it now, he is one of my favorite characters and we need more Jesper time!

“We’re All Someone’s Monster” really opens up so many lines of questions that I have and since it is really early in the season, I know they will get answered. But just to throw a few out there, I am really curious about Inej’s relationship with her religion. Kaz mentions that she refuses to kill and that makes him doubt her on a job. But what if she absolutely had to? She nearly did to buy her own freedom. I feel like if Kaz hadn’t stopped her, she would have. My next question is how Mal will react when he finally finds Alina. Did he hear here at the beginning of the episode when she said she didn’t know? Or once he finds her. will he be overcome with some kind of anger towards her? Let’s hope some of these questions are answered sooner rather than later!

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Julia Roth
Catch Me