Ok, so I am getting it – in this world not everyone is born with powers. Being born with powers doesn’t make you special, it makes you feared. People are fearful of the Grisha?
Maybe I have it wrong, but that’s the vibe I am getting. Like being a Grisha is a bad thing. And That’s a little confusing to me, because I would think that these people can do these amazing things…
But are they amazing? That’s up to debate, I think. I don’t know enough about them and in Shadow & Bone 1×02 “We’re All Someone’s Monster” I feel like I am getting manipulated by the not knowing, and the fact that I want to believe in the good. But as we explore the hierarchy of this society, I know that I have a lot to learn.
But what I have learned is that all of my feelings can change on a dime and that the complexity of this situation, this world, is a beautiful one that will definitely draw out my allegiances and my dislike for characters.
And definitely my love for other ones.
NO ME WITHOUT YOU
Ahhh, young love. They say that there are points in life that will flash before your eyes in the hardest of times. So when your eyes close and you think about the best times of your life what will you see?
For Mal, that’s Alina.
In the last episode the ship got through the Fold and Mal and Alina were passed out on the deck (I don’t know ship lingo, so don’t come for me). He’s remembering when they were kids.
Kids at the orphanage listening to one of them telling the others how they are tested to see if they are Grisha. And he makes it seem horrific. Some are scared, some are excited at the possibility of being one. But when he tells Mal that they don’t test the sick or injured and Mal is injured, I wanted to slap that little shit. Like I get it dude, you’re a bully.
But Alina – for her this meant one thing – she wasn’t going to get tested either. For her there is no chance that she’s going to loose Mal in her life.
And so she grabs his hand and they run. They run into the field to hide. When their names are called, they lay there and he reaches out and grabs her hand. It was a comforting moment for her, and one for him.
Here we are all these years later and she’s still the hand that he reaches out for. But before he can hold it, he’s taken away.
Guys, I don’t want to like Mal and Alina together, because in what has allotted to 54 minutes of television watching so far, I am treasuring their friendship. But the way this show is being set up, they are definitely hoping that you root a certain way. They want you to want Mal and Alina together.
At least that is how I feel.
Seperated, Alina is taken to the General. Our sweet summer child doesn’t understand what is happening. I am not sure at this point if she knows what happened in the Fold. But when the General asks others and a man says that it was her, she seems a little afraid and I don’t know about you, but I want to protect her.
The General is asking her all sorts of questions that she doesn’t understand. What is she? Well to herself, she’s a mapmaker. But that test that she avoided as a child – finding out if she was a Greisha. She’s about to know.
Mal is doing his best to get to her, thinking he knows her best and she couldn’t be a Grisha. But he quickly learns he may have been wrong about knowing her better than anyone, because light is everywhere and she’s definitely the cause of it.
When he walks away defeated, you can’t help but want to grab him and hug him and tell him that it will be okay.
But you don’t, because it won’t. Alina is being made to go to the palace and even though she wants to see and talk to him before she leaves, they won’t let her. He only know she’s leaving when he sees her through the carriage doors.
And runs after her.
And for the first time – I hate a Ben Barnes character, because this General is making people hurt.
Kaz, the first thing l would like to say I love you. Second, I would like to say you’re a stubborn asshole who needs to realize that Inej is right. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t have a plan, and you’re flying by the seat of your pants.
And normally, I’d be like whatever.
But this is The Fold and I am not for it. She knows she can’t go. She obviously has feelings for him and wants to make sure he’s going to be okay. She wants no unnecessary risk. But he’s not willing to back down, and so when she presses him a little more he says then she won’t go, and she tells him that maybe she won’t be here when he gets back then.
And part of him looks destroyed. When he thinks she’s come back and gets hopeful, I am like ahhh you sweet, sweet summer child. But it’s not Inej, it’s Rollins – trying to scare him into backing off the job. Kaz knows that he could be killed over what’s happening. But you don’t make a decision based off fear.
Taking a look around his club, he notices a woman counting money. He has her brought to his office, where the woman continues to lie to him about where she’s from. Kaz knows by the way that she counted money she came through the Fold and he wants to know how. She doesn’t know as they were blindfolded on their way through. But they were left with someone on this side – Poppy.
Don’t you know that getting information from Poppy is gonna be complicated. She works at a competitor and getting to her, it’s gonna be a thing.
Inej is called back to the Menagerie and has the chance to be free. She wants to go on the job with Kaz, but she can’t. He’s still got five more payments on her. But her boss gives her the chance to earn her freedom.
All she’s gotta do is kill a man. That’s going to be a problem, because Inej refuses to kill.
Inej knows that Jesper is a good friend and he says he’ll kill for her. But before she can give him info, Kaz shows up and so she scatters. I really feel for her because she obviously loves him, but is pissed. I also don’t think she wants to have Kaz solve this problem for her.
Jesper heads off with Kaz, impressed with Inej’s disappearing skills.
You give Jesper a job, he’s going to do it. And he’s going to do it right. He distracts the guards, allowing Kaz to sneak into The Emerald Club to see Poppy.
Poppy fell prey to Inej’s former boss. She tricked Poppy into delivering a message to The Conductor, so that she could know who she was and sabotage Kaz. Poppy didn’t know it – but as a former business partner of Kaz’s – should’ve guessed.
Inej’s boss at the Menagerie is an asshole. Like she is willing to sacrifice anyone’s emotions for her own laughter.
Inej has The Conductor tied up and is looking through his papers. She believes that he’s a child trafficker and is looking for records. He’s trying to convince her she has it all wrong, but she doesn’t believe it. He’s doing everything that he can to convince her that he’s not who she thinks her is.
And she almost kills him, but Kaz arrives just in time. He tells her that he’s The Conductor and Inej tells him he has to choose – his life or her freedom. She doesn’t see that it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
But I don’t think any of us would be able to see that Kaz cares so much for her that he’d be willing to leverage The Crow Club as collateral that this job will be successful, and that he’ll have the money to buy her freedom.
THIS CARRIAGE ISN’T SAFE
With Alina leaving, Mal is destroyed. Zoya tells him that she’s in good hands, that she’s a Grisha now.
I’m not sure why Zoya thinks that is comforting, because it’s comforting to no one. Especially when your whole life has changed in a hot second and what you’re left with is knowing that nothing has been what you thought it was.
Alina’s all out of choices. The men in the carriage with her – ones a dick and one is trying to calm her down. She just wants to be let go. She wants things to be like they were.
Only nothing will ever be the same.
She doesn’t get that she’s what people thought was a theory and a myth in a book. She’s the Sun Summoner and that can change everything. The palace walls may be high and keep her in, but the palace walls are high because being a Grisha used to be a death sentence.
And it turns out that it still kinda is. As the carriage is attacked and the Grisha are getting killed. Alina’s scared.
I don’t blame her. What’s beautiful about this moment though is you see how strong Jessie is as an actress. She’s definitely a highlight of the entire series, because her wide range is captivating. She’s also more agreeable than most of us, cause who is with me in saying no to being dragged out of a carriage and across the woods?
Don’t you know that the Darkling shows up just in time and he’s able to save her. He kills the man on her – literally cutting him in pieces with the air. Well, you have to appreciate the attention to detail here, because they even had the blood splattered across her face and on some of her teeth.
The Darkling says she’ll ride with him and as much as I’d like to go on any ride with Ben Barnes, watching them in a full run on the horse, I woulda asked to stop too. Like my ass hurts just watching them.
She’s intrigued by him. She wants to know how he did what he did. And he’s trying to talk to her, but I feel like he’s manipulating the situation. I also am not sure he didn’t make sure that the carriage was raided. He’s trying to act like he’ll protect her, but we’re all not dumb. We know that he needs her.
Even more than she needs him.
She asks how they know about her. He says her light show was visible for miles and I had to laugh. He’s so serious, but the shade is definitely part of his style. He’s traveling with her to keep her safe. She wonders if it’s because they are so scared of him, but I think he’s right when he says that they are afraid of her.
Everyone is afraid of what they don’t know.
Ben Barnes has a way of drawing you into any character he plays and rooting for them – no matter what. But the way that he moves his body, even down to the way his fingers bend, you know that he embodies The Darkling. He’s about bringing everything to his character. I love him, I do, but I have to admit that watching this show, I don’t lust after Ben Barnes, nor his character. I am afraid of him.
Alina is the first of her kind and people are afraid of her for a different reason. They are afraid of what they hope she can do. She can destroy the Fold with proper training. She doesn’t want any of this, but sometimes it’s not about what you want. It’s about what you’re called to do.
Alina wants them to take her gift. She says that she was dragged away from her only friend and that she’s going to be a target her whole life and that isn’t what she wants from her life. She says they’ve never found someone with this power because they don’t want to be found. And she’s got a point.
It’s okay that she’s afraid. It’s okay that she’s not okay. Her whole life has been one turned upside down moment after another. And right now she’s standing with the most feared man around.
He asks her again if she was tested as a child. She tells him that they hid, that she didn’t want to be more different, pulled away from Mal, or alone. Alina has and always will feel alone without Mal. He tells her she is Grisha, she is not alone.
But I don’t think that makes her feel safer. She’s not being given a choice.
He leaves her at the castle, telling her she’ll be safe. She’s a prisoner, but he tells her that all of Rafka is until the two of them banish The Fold.
I’VE ALWAYS GOT YOU
I don’t care what anyone says about Mal, I will follow him anywhere. By the end of this episode, I am like there is nothing that Mal could do that would make me turn my back on him.
I love his ass.
When he hears about the caravan with Alina being ambushed, he wants to protect her. He gets that she’s with the General, but would you settle when someone tried to tell you that your best friend would all be okay because they were with a leader? Umm, no. I’ve seen enough scary ass news stories to know that is a bad idea.
It’s crazy how a moment can change your mind. Because for me, I was meh on Mal, but when he walked into his Sergeant’s tent and told him that they needed to go protect Alina, I stood up and cheered. The Sergeant said that Alina was Grisha now and that the second army needs to handle it.
It’s crazy how he could turn his back on Alina in a second, but again, I am learning the way that this world works.
The Sergeant says that the second army needs to protect her until they decide that she’s a fraud and put her head on a spike. The guys tells Mal that she’s not worth the risk until the King tells her she is. Yes, this man is definitely single. Mal though, stands strong and and tells him she’s definitely worth it.
I always say that you don’t choose the ship, the ship chooses you. And Lord, i’ve been so iffy on the whole Malina situation, but I am being pulled towards this ship. Why? Because the way that these two fight for each other. I really didn’t think that I would fall as hard as I have for them.
Mal thinks of stealing a horse to go and get her, until his friends talk him out of it. He wants to save her. He wants to be there for her. She’s a prisoner.
Lord, where she is looks amazing, but she’s a prisoner. And when Alina breaks down, I felt a stab in the heart and started crying too. I can’t even imagine the fear that she feels.
I’ve never been so moved by an ending of an episode than this one – when it goes full circle. The beginning of the episode, we see them in the field, hiding from the Grisha, holding each others hand. And even though these two are far apart right now, the way that they set up the shots, so it’s as if they are imagining each other next to them and reaching out to each other… the tears just fell from my eyes.
I know that I say don’t choose the ship until episode three at least…
But I may be a goner.
Shadow & Bone is streaming now on Netflix.