And folks, we are finally here—the end of season one of Netflix’s fantasy series Shadow and Bone. I’ve said it multiple times, but Eric Heisserer and Leigh Bardugo have done such an amazing job bringing this story to life. From the visuals and how the Grisha use their powers to the vast world that we have seen. In the previous episode, Alina (Jessie Mei Li) is caught by Kirigan (Ben Barnes), who uses the Stag’s power to link the two and gain access to her power. Kaz (Freddy Carter) and his crew decide to head back to Ketterdam empty-handed struggle to find a way home. In the season’s finale, “No Mourners,” Kirgian demonstrates the scope of Alina’s power within the Fold while The Crows find help from a stowaway.
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.
“No Mourners” opens as the skiff enters into the Fold. Ivan (Simon Sears) is searching for the heartbeats of the Volkra though he doesn’t feel them just yet. Kaz, Jesper (Kit Young) and Inej (Amita Suman) sneak below decks. Alina can sense the Volkra getting closer and wants to tear everything down now, but Kirigan reminds her that she no longer has control of her own powers.
Below decks, Jesper doesn’t understand how being on the skiff is a great idea. Kaz tells him that he doesn’t think they will make it out of this alive without him using his guns. Jesper is angry that they are in the middle of the Fold with people who want them dead. Honestly, he wishes he would have brought Milo with him. Kaz asks him how many bullets he has and Jesper tells him that he doesn’t have enough.
The Volkra are getting closer to the ship as Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) questions Feliks (Gareth Turkington) about why Kirigan hasn’t told Alina to tear down the Fold yet. He tells her that it will happen soon and she realizes that Kirigan told Feliks something he didn’t tell her. She asks what he knows and he only shares that Kirigan told him to have her stop just before they reach the western docks.
In the frozen mountains, Matthias (Calahan Skogman) and Nina (Danielle Galligan) arrive in a Ravkan town. They are able to find lodging and Mattias makes plans to sneak north when the night falls. Nina isn’t ready to say goodbye and the two discuss the chance at leaving and going somewhere they can both call home. He tells her that if he leaves, he won’t be able to go back to Fjerda and be branded a deserter. Nina knows how he feels since she would be marked as a traitor to the Grisha as well.
Nina understands that she can’t ask him to leave his life behind. She thanks him for saving her and he thanks her for saving him as well. He shares that if they were to stay together, he imagines they will constantly be saving each other’s lives. Matthias explains that he has only two countries and asks her to explain what the others are like. She tells him that while he might not like Kerch, he would love the Wandering Isle. She swears that if he goes, he will never have to grow a traditional beard unless it is to keep her warm, to which he promises always to keep her warm. Just before the two share a kiss, Matthias stomach grumbles and Nina decides to introduce him to her one true love – waffles.
Downstairs, Nina overhears men from Ketterdam talking about hunting slavers. He is willing to travel further away now that they have increased the bounty. Nina does a sweep of the room before going back upstairs to let Matthias know that it is safe for him to come down. While they are eating, Matthias passes out and Fedyor (Julian Kostov) finally shows himself. He tells Nina that they have been following them for some time and wondered why she hadn’t killed him yet. She tries to explain that he is different from the others.
When it seems like she has no other choice but to hand Matthias over to them, she accuses him of being a slaver, so one of the gentlemen at the bar will arrest him. She agrees to testify against him as long as they leave right away. Fedyor tries to stop them, but he doesn’t want to risk a war breaking out between the two sides of Ravka over a Witch hunter. Nina and Matthias are escorted out of the inn, leaving Fedyor behind.
Back in the Fold, the Volkra grow nearer and the Grisha prepare for a fight. Alina begs for Kirigan to do something and when he doesn’t, she attempts to. He stops her, reminding her that he is in charge and then sends a ball of light straight forward, carving a tunnel into the Fold. Below decks, Kaz and the crew can hear what is happening. Jesper asks Kaz if he has a plan and the only thing he can think of is to ride things out.
Mal is listening in on the conversation as they discuss what is actually happening. Kaz believes that Kirigan uses Alina to attack the western general who hired Arken (Charles Howard). Inej sneaks off and uncovers Mal stowed way with them. They initially think he is against them, but it becomes clear that Mal has every intention of taking Kirigan down. And like so many have said before, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
The skiff continues forward as Alina questions Kirigan’s motives. She asks why he doesn’t just destroy the Fold when it is the best weapon they have got. Alina realizes that Kirigan has been lying to her again. Near the mast, Zoya shares that once she gets to Novokribirsk to see her aunt. She volunteers to make these trips so she can visit her family on the other side. In Novokribirsk, General Zlatan (Tom Weston-Jones) watches as the light comes closer out of the Fold. He tells his troops to be friendly at first but when they are close enough, kill everyone on board.
As the skiff reaches the other side, Kirigin puts on one last show of power. Using his newfound power, he extends the Fold, completely destroying Novokribirsk. Alina tries to stop him, but he overpowers her. He accuses them of being traitors who don’t deserve her mercy. Even though Alina wasn’t able to stop them, when her light went out, it was clear to everyone, including Zoya, that everyone in the town was gone.
Below decks, Kaz tells everyone to wait, but Mal and Inej don’t think that is the best idea. Inej can hear the commotion above and is worried that they should help. Kaz doesn’t think they should risk their lives and the smart one would wait until they are clear of the Fold. Mal, however, reminds us all that he has never been one of the smart ones and rushes up to help. Not able to standby, Inej rushing to help him.
Kirigan finally unveils his plans to use the Fold to intimidate the diplomats from the other countries. He can now move the Fold to take over wherever he pleases and that Ravka isn’t afraid to take out a country that opposes them. Just as he finishes his speech, Mal arrives and takes out a few soldiers before Ivan begins to crush his heart. Kirigan tells Ivan to keep him alive in case they need him and throws his gun overboard. Kirigan then warns Alina that she needs to focus on summoning the light or everyone will die to the Volkra.
Jesper finally decides that he can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. Kaz tries to get him to stop, but Jesper knows that he is the advantage they need. Knowing that he is right, Kaz joins him as they return to the upper deck. Zoya knows that they need to get the skiff moving again and rushes over to the mast. However, Feliks tries to stop her, but Inej gets in his way. Ivan continues to hold Mal down by slowly crushing his heart when the others on the deck start to speak out against Kirigan. Just when a mutiny is about to begin, Ivan crushes all of their hearts.
Zoya continues to watch Feliks and Inej fight and just when it looks like she will win, he uses his power to begin crushing her heart. To save her, Zoya summons a gust of wind to throw him overboard. She asks Inej to help her stop Kirigan before getting the skiff back in motion. Ivan sets his eyes on Zoya now, but Jesper is able to fire off a shot and knock him over. In retaliation, Kirigan sends a shadow blade at them, but Kaz is able to get Jesper out of the way and avoid any series damage. From above, Inej launches a knife right into Kirigan’s chest. But he warns them that it will take more than that to finish him and pulls the blade out.
He summons the shadows to engulf the ship and reduce Alina’s light. This allows the Volkra to come closer and begin attacking. One knocks Zoya right after the upper deck before setting its sights on Inej. She tries to fend it off with her knives, but they just seem to bounce off. Just as it is about to attack her, Kaz jumps up and starts beating it with his cane until it flies away. While everyone is fighting, Alina has a vision of the Stag.
As it stands before her, it looks behind her at a knife sitting on the deck. She looks back at it and then in the next shot; it is gone. The vision fades as Kirigan makes his way over to her. He reaches out the help her up, reminding her that it is just the two of them and that they are all they need. She accepts his hand, but as she stands up, she stabs him in the hand, forcing the Stag’s bone out the other side. She tells him that she never needed him.
Alina reminds Kirigan that his first words to her were, “what are you” and in a show of power, she resummons the light and pushes its boundaries past the ship killing the Volkra and destroying his shadows. Kirigan is confused about why she has such power even though he killed the Stag. But Alina tells him that they had it wrong. Killing the Stag didn’t grant them power. Instead, the Stag choose her to grant its power to. She uses her power to imbed the Stag’s antlers into her chest fully.
This clearly angers Kirigan, who tells her that she betrayed their people. Just as he is about to summon shadows to try and kill Alina, Mal rushes over and knocks them both overboard. The two begin fighting on the floor of the Fold while Ivan tries to crush Alina’s heart. The light fades as she goes unconscious. However, before Ivan can kill her, Jesper steps in and takes him out with a few blows. Kirigan and Mal continue to fight below, taking and giving hits left and right.
On deck, Kaz helps Zoya up and tells her that it’s time to get moving. We see Kirigan try and summon shadows, but it looks as if the stab to his hand did some serious damage. Just when he thinks he has the upper hand, he warns Mal that he can’t kill him. But Mal tells him he doesn’t have to; his own creation will and then one of the Volkra swoops down and drags him away. Mal returns to the ship to find Alina unconscious.
He tries to wake her up, but it doesn’t seem to be working. The Volkra keep getting closer and when all seems lost, she finally opens her eyes. He begs her not to say “meet me at the meadow,” a callback to the very first episode when Mal nearly died. Just as a Volkra is about to swoop in to take Mal away, Alina uses the light to blast it away and the skiff makes it to safety outside the Fold.
A little while later, we see Kaz making his way to the other survivors sitting around a fire. Inej is telling Alina that she is willing to follow her anywhere to protect her and in return, Alina gifts her a knife since she couldn’t hold onto the one she used to stab Kirigan. Inej tells her that she knows exactly what she will name it and our guess is Sankta Alina. Kaz provides Alina and Mal with clothes to travel undercover.
Alina asks them if Kaz and the crew will still try to kidnap her. Jesper tells her they won’t and Kaz asks him if he found religion too. However, Jesper is tired and it’s in bad taste to kidnap someone who saved you. Kaz warns her that she is quite valuable. Alina hands over one of the necklaces that Kaz recognizes from a photo of a Queen in the Little Palace. Alina tells him it isn’t a gift but a bribe to keep quiet. He pockets the necklace and the two shake on the deal.
Mal and Alina go off to change and return and burn their clothes. Alina begins to make her way towards the Fold and Mal recognizes the look she gives when she found her next bully. She is worried that the world will blame her for what has happened. He promises her that they will come back once she is stronger and tear down the Fold together. Zoya tells everyone that she needs to head back to Novokribirsk to see if there are any survivors. Kaz warns her that it’s never good to go looking for the dead. But she needs to go back.
She warns Alina that she needs to leave Ravka. She believes The Apparat (Kevin Eldon) will use this as a catalyst to turn on the Grisha. Alina reaches out and embraces her. Even though Zoya still doesn’t like her, she is grateful for her and believes that she will save them if she can stay alive long enough to do so. She heads off, leaving Alina and Mal with Kaz and his crew. They clear camp as well and set off for Os Kervo, where they can get on a ship bound for Ketterdam.
On the walk back, Inej asks Kaz why he let Alina go. He tells her that he is keeping his promise to her and that the necklace Alina gave them will more than pay off their debts. Inej warns him that Alina will need her help more than him, but he finally opens up and tells her that they need her. That he needs her. Inej promises to go back to Ketterdam with him to clear the books, but after that, it is still up in the air.
“No Mourners” shifts to Nina and Matthias aboard the prison ship. Matthias is angry and believes that she was tricking him this whole time. Nina tries to explain that she was trying to save his life and the Grisha would have killed him. She plans to drop the slaver case the second they are out of harm’s way. However, another prisoner warns them that it most likely won’t go to trial for years and Matthias will rot in Hellgate until then. Matthias refuses to believe anything Nina says, claiming she broke his trust and can’t fix this. He refuses to allow her to touch him. She returns upstairs and we hear that they are heading to Ketterdam from Os Kervo.
As she makes her way to her seat, we see Jesper, Kaz and Inej boarding. They are worried that there will be trouble when they return to Ketterdam without the Sun Summoner. Kaz tells them that he does have a plan (even if he might be lying to make Jesper feel better) and that they will need a heartrender. Nina overhears them and then overhears a sailor say that the Sun Saint is dead. She asks Kaz if this is true and he replies that he has no idea if she is dead, but he does know that she is a Saint.
Elsewhere on the boat, Mal and Alina settle in for the trip to Ketterdam. Mal warns her that they will need to live like ghosts since the whole world will be after her. And just like old times, it will be just the two of them. Alina vows that she will return once she is stronger and tear down the Fold now that Kirigan, the Darkling, is dead.
Or is he? “No Mourners” draws to a close as we see Kirigan stumble out of the Fold. He looks like he has been torn to shreds with gashes across his face and body. As he makes his way towards the shore, he calls out for his creatures to follow him. And out of the shadows, Volkra are formed on the outside of the Fold.
And we are finally at an end to season one of Shadow and Bone. What a journey this has all been! Overall, this has been such a fantastic show to watch. The way Eric Heisserer and his team were able to bring Leigh Bardugo’s world to life on the screen has been beautiful. It is so plainly clear that they really made sure to pay attention to every detail. The final episode, “No Mourners” ties up the season nicely and also sets up a possible season two. It really does end on a cliffhanger. We know that Kirigan survived the attack in the Fold but no one else does. I can’t imagine him letting something like this go. It is also important to remember that this is just the first book in the series. We have so much left to experience before this can really come to an end.
Even aside from the Kirigan/Alina story, we are also left not knowing the fate of the Grisha left in East Ravka, Nina and Matthias and if Kaz and the crew will get his club back. So here are is a few things I need to see in season two. How does Alina get stronger? Will Inej stay with Kaz and Jesper or join Alina and Mal? What will Nina do to save Matthias? What will happen to Zoya and Genya and the other Grisha? There is still so much story to tell. So listen here Netflix, we want more!
How did you enjoy season one of Shadow and Bone? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!
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