Let the excitement begin as Netflix’s second season of Shadow and Bone kicks off. The first episode caught us up and introduced exciting new storylines and characters. And the adventure doesn’t seem to be slowing down with the second episode, “Rusalye.” Alina (Jessie Mei Li) and Mal (Archie Renaux) find some help from a famous privateer, while Kaz (Freddy Carter) and the Crows set a new mission in motion.

DISCLAIMER: This is a recap and, by definition, will contain spoilers. Tread cautiously; if you haven’t watched the second episode, check it out here.

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“Rusalye” opens as Alina and Mal meet with Sturmhond (Patrick Gibson). She thinks he is trying to turn her over to the Fjerdans, but he actually needs her for something else. It turns out he orchestrated her need to get onto his ship. Alina pleads her case about wanting to tear down the Fold and informs him of her plans for the Sea Whip. The idea of adventure, danger and money seems to be precisely what Sturmhond needs to get on board.

Sturmhond introduces Mal and Alina to the crew and gets them ready for bed. We really hope that Mal and Alina get the chance to make up for all this lost time together. In Alina’s dreams, she is back in Kirigan’s (Ben Barnes) presence, this time in his study and reliving the past. Dream Kirigan wants Alina to remember that it is just the two of them. That they are different from everyone else and will find each other again. And while Alina keeps making her stand, Kirigan keeps reminding her that she is only getting a taste of what he has suffered.

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This time though, it isn’t Alina we see wake up, but Kirigan. It seems that he has the same dreams she is having. Genya (Daisy Head) arrives and questions if they have found David (Luke Pasqualino) yet. Kirigan brushes her off and requests that she heal him. As she tries, the shadow monsters appear. It seems like they never leave him, but they also seem to be killing him. He wants Genya to figure out how bad it is, but the shadow monsters see it as a threat. It’s terrifying, but Kirigan isn’t ready to let go of Genya.

Alina lighting up Strumhond's office with Mal by her side.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev, Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov in episode 202 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

“Rusalye” shifts to Ketterdam as Kaz checks in on Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly). We get more flashbacks to Kaz and his brother that explains more of Kaz’s backstory with Rollins. Kaz tries to get help from another smaller gang, but even they won’t deal with him. While he is doing that, Inej (Amita Suman) and Jesper (Kit Young) meet for breakfast and discuss their newest reason for being wanted. It seems that neither is entirely on the same page as Kaz. He arrives soon after with Wylan (Jack Wolfe) and Nina (Danielle Galligan).

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Nina can tell that Kaz has underlying issues with Pekka Rollins, and he admits he won’t be satisfied with killing him. But instead of opening up, he explains it away as ‘needing to clear their names.’ Kaz finally agrees to fill everyone in on the plan to get access to Pekka’s books and uncover what he is hiding. They only need to know now what room the accountant is in. Thankfully, Nina knows precisely who to ask and gets her breakfast in the process. Nina is on a mission, and we love it.

Inside Hellgate, we can see just how much Mattias (Callahan Skogman) is suffering. However, his cellmate is willing to provide him with some helpful support. Mattias doesn’t intend to be in Hellgate for a long time, but it turns out that this isn’t like Fjerda. They are left to rot, and all he can do is accept his fate. But can he forgive himself, and will his God forgive his sins?

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“Rusalye” returns to Sturmhund’s ship as Mal and Alina head topside. Mal proves he is a terrific tracker and gets a new job with the navigation crew. Alina finds herself introduced to a game of cards with Tamar (Anna Leong Brophy) and Tolya (Lewis Tan). The twins seem to know something or two about what it’s like not to be accepted in their two worlds. Alina also opens up about finding the other amplifiers and tearing down the Fold. It’s terrifying and uncharted, but that is precisely what the crew lives for.

Back at Kirigan’s camp, he meets with Vladim (Shobhit Piasa) to deal with his pain. Kirigan doesn’t want to reverse what has happened but to find a better way to control it, and Vladim might be exactly who he needs.

We shift again to Ketterdam, where Kaz prepares to set off his mission. Inej tries to get Kaz to open up about his history with Pekka, but he refuses to. Inej doesn’t push it but reminds him that he needs to trust them for things to work. Down below, Pekka is angry that they haven’t found Kaz and his crew yet. He needs Inej out of the way and requests help from Mogens (Pääru Oja).

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“Rusalye” returns to Sturmhond’s ship, where Alina and Sturmhond butt heads over a change of course and who is in control. Both need to learn to trust each other if they are going to succeed. He knows that she needs to let go of the past and understand how valuable she really is. Alina symbolizes hope, and the sooner she understands that, the better. Their conversation is cut short when Tamar arrives, and it’s time to prepare to find the Sea Whip. It also turns out that Sturmhond is quite the innovator.

Inej helping Kaz scale the building.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa in episode 202 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Things get a bit tense when Alina breaks the news that she doesn’t want to kill the Sea Whip but wants to catch it. She thinks she can claim its power without hurting it. Mal can hear the frequency as he did with the Stag, and the crew gets ready to head to shore.

Kirigin is on his own mission as he meets with Fruzsi (Rachel Redford), another Grisha who supports him. It seems like she had been protecting Morozova’s journal and keeping watch on Baghra (Zoë Wanamaker).

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“Rusalye” returns to the mysterious island as Sturmhond, Alina and Mal lead the crew through watery caverns. Things seem quiet at first, but it doesn’t last. The Sea Whip is toying with Alina and the others as it picks them off one at a time. Eventually, it attacks Mal, and Alina has to kill it.

In Ketterdam, Nina struggles with what happened to Mattias as Kaz sets his plan in motion. Nina uses her skills to enter the building while Inej helps Kaz break in through a window. Elsewhere, Wylan and Jesper are tailing Pekka’s ride to keep tabs on him. It honestly seems like a perfect plan. It’s cute that Jesper can’t seem to remember where he met Wylan. But that perfect plan has some holes when Pekka surprises him.

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As Kaz deals with Pekka, Inej goes toe to toe with the madman and Wylan and Jesper deal with Pekka’s men. It’s a rough fight for the Crows all around, but Nina and a few well-thrown bombs are able to assist in getting Kaz out alive, and Jesper and Wylan deal with their issues. Inej, however, struggles against Mogens and barely makes it out alive. They meet at the veil, where Kaz promises to end things once and for all.

“Rusalye” comes to a close as Alina binds with the Sea Whip amplifies. But it also seems that Kirigan still has a connection to her through the pieces bound to both of them. As Alina goes through the process, she can see the Sea Whip’s final moments, which show Mal being attacked. But there is this almost ethereal presence to him. Before we can see much more, the process is complete, but Alina struggles with holding in the power until Mal steps forward and brings her back to her senses.

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Not all missions go well for the Crows, and this is one of them. However, Kaz always gets what he wants, but at what cost? Will Inej forgive him for not being open about his past with Pekka? And it looks like Alina is on her way to tearing down the Fold for good. But will the Sea Whip amplifier be enough? Or is she going to need more than that? And what is Kirigan doing? We have so many questions and six more episodes to get those answers. But most importantly – where is the goat?

The Cast of SHADOW AND BONE Chat Bringing Their Characters to Life in Season 2

Julia Roth
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