We have hit the second half of season two of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, and things are heating up. In episode five, “Yuyeh Sesh (Despite Your Heart),” Alina’s (Jessie Mei Li) connection to Kirigan (Ben Barnes) is growing extremely unstable. What could happen next? And the Crows are heading to Shu Han in search of a legendary sword. Let’s dive in!

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

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“Yuyeh Sesh” opens as Kirigan returns to his camp to find his mother’s (Zoë Wanamaker) and Genya’s (Daisy Head) cells empty, and the room ransacked. Vladim (Shobhit Piasa) isn’t too worried since he still has the most vital part of his experiment. It seems that Kirigan’s connection to Alina is still there, but it’s hard for him to focus on it. His goal – against the advice of Fruzsi (Rachel Redford) – is to find Prince Nikolai (Patrick Gibson) and Alina.

Alina seems to be just as shaken by her confrontation with Kirigan. Those who survived the attack on the Spinning Wheel have found refuge in the catacombs nearby. The battle took its toll on everyone, and Alina can’t seem to find Mal (Archie Renaux). Nikolai tries to tell her not to worry, but we all know that she is worrying. Hopefully, he is okay and just knocked out somewhere above ground. We feel bad for Adrik (Alistair Nwachukwu), who lost his arm during the fight.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, Jack Wolfe as Wylan, Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker in episode 205 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Timea Saghy/Netflix © 2023

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, Jack Wolfe as Wylan, Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker in episode 205 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Timea Saghy/Netflix © 2023

In Ketterdamn, Kaz (Freddy Carter) wakes from a terrifying dream. It seems his dislike of human contact has a lot to do with being surrounded by dead bodies as a child. Jesper (Kit Young) and Wylan (Jack Wolfe) awake in a much happier situation. It’s just a shame it’s cut short by Ravka needing saving. Downstairs, Kaz, Jesper, Wylan and Nina (Danielle Galligan) meet with Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) and Tolya (Lewis Tan) to discuss finding the mysterious blade in Shu Han.

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Nina doesn’t care about money; she cares about getting Matthias (Callahan Skogman) out of Hellgate, which is something Nikolai should be able to do. The only one who isn’t invited to this party is Inej (Amita Suman). Kaz is pushing her away, and we think Nina’s idea that he would rather do that than admit his feelings is spot on. But Jesper knows they need to tell Inej exactly why they are taking the job and give her the option to join if she wants to.

“Yuyeh Sesh” takes us back to the catacombs where Tamar (Anna Leong Brophy) and Nadia (Joanna McGibbon) watch over Adrik. Just as things seem to calm down, something starts to shake up the cavern. Just as Alina and the others are about to sneak out the other side, we hear Baghra call out, “stupid girl.” She and Genya seem to have finally found their way to safety, though Genya isn’t ready to face David (Luke Pasqualino).

He isn’t the only one she has to face, though. This is the first time Alina and Genya have seen each other since everything in season one. Thankfully, it seems that Alina understands all too well what Kirigan is like and forgives her. But Nikolai isn’t ready to wipe the slate clean after she poisoned his dad. However, Alina goes to bat for her, and it seems that, for now, Genya is safe.

They aren’t the only ones questioning alliances and creating new groups. In Ketterdam, Kaz lets the group know exactly where to find the real blade and gets everyone up to speed. He isn’t happy that Inej is using her newfound freedom to join them, but he doesn’t tell her not to come either. And, to make things just a tad bit awkward for our new love birds, Jesper learns that Wylan can’t read.

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“Yuyeh Sesh” returns to the catacombs as Genya patches Adrik’s arm. When she is finished, David tries to talk to her again, and in a rush to get away, she runs into the Queen (Georgia Reece), who tries to have her arrested. Genya finally opens up about her abuse and what she has done. Thankfully, it seems Nikolai isn’t like his family, and Genya hopes he is willing to do what needs to be done to fix Ravka for everyone and not just follow in the previous King’s footsteps.

The Crows arrive in Bhez Ju and kick off their search for the blade. Tamar, Inej, Zoya and Nina pray for lost ones while the others watch on. Kaz doesn’t seem to feel like he needs to deal with his ghosts, but we all know that might not be the case. While he takes Inej and Nina to the tea shop, Tamar takes Wylan and the others on a little shopping trip.

Back in the catacombs, David finally confronts Genya. She doesn’t want him to fix her or try and figure her out. But he doesn’t need to. Genya doesn’t need to be fixed; she is perfect, just as she is. The sweet moment is only made sweeter when we learn that they were able to find the group so far underground because Genya was able to seek out David’s heartbeat.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Patrick Gibson as Nikolai, Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev in episode 205 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Dávid Lukács/Netflix © 2023

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Patrick Gibson as Nikolai, Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev in episode 205 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Dávid Lukács/Netflix © 2023

At the bazaar, Tolya tries to help Jesper clear the air with Wylan. But, it seems that no matter what he says to our little chemist, he just can’t seem to say it right. Maybe the poetic twin will be able to help Jesper out. At the tea shop, Nina and Kaz meet with the contact (Tuyen Do) and try to negotiate a meeting with The Disciple. She clearly sees right through their ruse and heads off to leave. When Kaz tries to follow her, he runs into a server and touches her with his bare hands, which sends him into a spiral. Before following the contact, Inej brings his gloves, knowing he needs them before anything else can be done.

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“Yuyeh Sesh” returns to the catacombs, where Alina explains her connection to Kirigan to Baghra. Baghra tells her that the connection can’t be severed, but she can control it and shut him out. So what does Alina do? She uses it to visit him instead. As she projects herself to appear to him, we see her power going a bit haywire. And while she is in this projection state, Mal finally returns and rushes to find Alina.

In her projection state, Alina tries to appeal to Kirigan by saying she understands where he is coming from, and maybe that is why they are so drawn to each other. Why they want each other? But it is all a ploy for her to get close enough to try and sever the link in his hand. However, Mal pulls her focus by calling out to her, and she cannot complete her task. Alina blames Mal, and the two argue over what is going on. He is trying to protect her, but she is too busy trying to save the world and has left him so far behind. Hopefully, they can both understand and come back together.

Back in Bhez Ju, Kaz and the Crows meet to discuss the mission. It turns out that their informant is the real Disciple, and she just doesn’t want to sell to them. So, now it is time to steal it. While Nina and Zoya (who has a moral issue with stealing) tail the Disciple, the others will sneak in and steal the blade. During Zoya and Nina’s watch, Zoya brings up Matthias and tries to get Nina to forget him. But it doesn’t seem like Nina is ready to walk away from her one chance at happiness and freedom.

Speaking of Mattias, we shift over to Hellgate, where a new prisoner has arrived. And he isn’t just any old prisoner – it’s Pekka (Dean Lennox Kelly). It turns out that he doesn’t have a lot of friends inside Hellgate after everything he has done. Mattias’ cellmate Ahlgren (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) gets into a fight with him, but it seems Pekka isn’t getting put down that easy. He shows Hellgate precisely who he is and what he is capable of, essentially taking control of the situation. While he settles in with the others, Mattias says goodbye to his only friend in Hellgate.

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“Yuyeh Sesh” returns to the catacombs, where Baghra confronts Alina again about her connection with Kirigan. Things are different, but it isn’t the magical connection that is holding Alina back. It’s how he treated her, used her, and manipulated her that is getting into her head. She feels she is nothing without his influence and owes everything to him. But Baghra reminds her that even without him – Alina is still who she is. Baghra agrees to help Alina find the Firebird, knowing Morozova’s workshop is the first place to look.

Elsewhere, Nikolai informs his mother that he is sending her away for her own safety. But it is more than that. He is also sending her away to show that as the new King, he is taking Ravka in a direction that doesn’t include her or the terrible things she did or allowed to happen. Afterward, Alina finds him quietly contemplating. He asks about Mal and tells her that he knows he loves her. And Alina makes the hard decision to follow her heart and what she needs, returning his ring and going off the find the Firebird.

We get a quick glimpse of Kirigan shifting tactics to take down the first army, but it still looks like he is set on ending Alina.

“Yuyeh Sesh” comes to a close as the Crows prepare for their mission. Nina and Zoya continue tailing the Disciple while Kaz and the others get ready to break in. Wylan and Jesper have a moment where they try to work things out, but it seems both aren’t willing to let everything go just yet. Things go a bit awry as the Disciple doubles back and takes out Nina while Inej and Tolya get separated from Kaz and Jesper. Just before the credits roll, Kaz is thrown into a hallucination featuring his furious brother (Tommy Rodger).

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Well, let’s just hope that the Crows’ missions go a bit better for them from here on out. No matter what they do, they can never catch a break. The same goes for Mal. Poor guy got beat and kidnapped in the last episode, only to get yelled at by the love of his life in this one. Hopefully, the two of them can patch things up while hunting for the Firebird. And if all that trouble isn’t enough, it looks like Nikolai is on his own against Kirigan until Alina is strong enough to tear down the Fold. We have three more episodes left. What else could happen?

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