Shadow and Bone is now a reality! As you already have two reviews, one from the point of view of a reader and another from that of a non-reader, I’m going to sit here to choose 5 scenes that you can’t miss from each episode, either because they are essential for the development of the episode or because they’re the ones I like the most because, after all, this is my list. It’s the turn of Shadow And Bone 1×05 “Show Me Who You Are”.
“You are important to many people”
AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Finally a Darklina kiss! Yeah, of course this is one of 5 scenes you can’t miss. This moment has been brewing since they met, since Aleksander made her ride with him. Alina clinging to Mal not only made her unable to invoke her power, but she also held back from being carried away by what she feels for Aleksander. But not anymore.
Alina made a decision in the previous episode and this scene is one of the immediate consequences of it. It’s she who goes to Aleksander’s room, it’s she who takes the first step. She puts his kefta on him, his armor, the armor that makes him invulnerable, the armor that everyone sees … except her, because she sees what’s under it. And this gesture is full of intimacy. It’s a declaration of intent from Alina.
She hates what they are going to do today, the show, the people … she hates everything. But, as Aleksander tells her, she is very important to a lot of people … and the way he looks at her … she knows he includes himself. She’s important to him … and he’s important to her. It came up unexpectedly, almost unthinkable, unintentionally, but he … got inside her heart.
Little by little, she felt how all those layers of strength, of armor, of facade, fell, she felt how the walls that he imposed so that no one could reach his heart, collapsed one by one, little by little, only with her and that … conquered her because she too let herself be carried away and the walls she built so that no one except Mal could enter her heart … she feels that with him they also collapse.
The two understand each other in a way that no one else can. Both have felt that longing, that feeling of not being enough but, at the same time, wanting more, that feeling of not fitting in, of being different. Both have felt loneliness but together, they don’t feel it.
So what had been brewing almost since they met, happens and they kiss. The two give it all in that kiss. It’s a kiss that cements Alina’s decision and she begins to explore something new … wherever it takes her.
“You already know who you are … now show it to the world”
One of my favorite scenes from Shadow And Bone, so I had no doubt that it was going to be in my 5 scenes you can’t miss. The way Aleksander looks at her when she enters the room, as if the sun has suddenly risen, as if there is nothing else in his world but her, as if she illuminates everything, including his dark world, is so magical that I’m still mesmerized by this scene.
And Alina, she enters that room with incredible assurance, in contrast to the way she entered when she first showed her power to the King. And she seeks him, seeks his eyes, wants him to see his colors in her, to see how she accepted that they are the same, and seeks to be seen together as the powerful couple that they are.
What just happened between them still reverberates in both of them and you can see how Alina wants to approach him and kiss him in front of everyone, sure that he would kiss her back. But both are content to look at each other. And that look is the hottest.
In episode 2, Aleksander asked Alina what he was but now, as he says, she already knows. It’s just a matter of her showing it to everyone. She, despite everything, is nervous, not because she’s afraid of failing this time but because she’s in front of all those people who see her as a Saint, who expect so much from her. She would rather be with Aleksander and knowing her power not at a lavish party set up as a theater to show her off.
But Aleksander always knows what to say, the way he knows her, the way he understands her, still amazes Alina. But he knows her. And he’s right. She already knows who she is, she is the Sun Summoner, she is Grisha, that is her power and that is her life, it’s part of her and that is who she is. It doesn’t matter how many people are there to see it. It’s just her. Her and him. It all comes down to light and darkness. In Aleksander’s eyes and their connected powers, almost as if they were connected in a unique, magical way.
And then it happens. Alina shows the world who she is and everyone is amazed. She is the Saint who will end Shadow Fold, who will end suffering. She is the chosen one. And seeing how Inej gets emotional and smiles proudly is … one of the best things about this scene.
“Are you sure?”
OMG! Saints! This Darklina scene made us sweat. And drool. All together. But who can blame us? I mean, the scene is fucking intense and it’s Ben Barnes, our head short-circuits and we don’t even know where we’re standing. Of course this scene is in our list of top 5 scenes.
I love everything in this moment. The way he grabs her, with that authority, with that force as with a demand but, at the same time, with a silent plea that she not leave, that she stay with him. The way she approaches him and they kiss putting everything into that kiss. Doubts, fear, emptiness, longing, emotion, darkness, light.
That kiss talks about starting something new, about a decision made, but it also talks about something else. The kiss speaks of finding your equal, of connecting with someone who you feel understands you on a level no one has ever done, it speaks of finding that someone you have been looking for so long. The kiss speaks of finding that someone with whom you can rule the world or watch it burn.
But most of all, what I like the most about this scene is how Aleksander asks Alina if she’s sure. He wants to make sure that she wants to take that step with him, that that is the decision she made. He would give her more time if she needed it. Here, in this moment, if she is ready to take that step, if she is sure of her decision, matters.
And if Alina had any doubts, after that sensitive question from Aleksander, she reaffirms it in her decision. He understands her, understands her in a way that no one else has understood her. Somehow, he knows just what she is feeling and she is beginning to know what he feels, she is beginning to know him. She is beginning to connect with him in a way that she never thought, that she never expected to feel with someone other than Mal.
Alina is beginning to discover who she is beyond Mal, beyond the orphanage. She is beginning to explore her own being, her own power, something only hers and in the midst of all that inner exploration, she realized that she feels something really strong for Aleksander. And she wants to explore that, she wants to feel it, she wants to be part of everything he offers her and yes, she wants to be his equal, she wants them to save Ravka together because she feels that together, they can go anywhere and do anything.
As a last note, yeah, we also died when Aleksander returned for one last kiss from Alina. For him, who has lived so long, what he feels for Alina is something different but, at the same time, it is the same, because he is also discovering something new with her, he is also letting himself be carried away by feelings that are growing and he wants to rule the fucking world next to her. He knows that she is his equal. He knows that she’s the one.
“Inej, look at me, you saved my life”
Saints, this scene. When I thought Kanej couldn’t get me to ship them more, Shadow And Bone 1×05 “Show Me Who You Are” appears and makes me see how wrong I was. Of course this moment had to be within 5 scenes you can’t miss. It’s a tremendously important scene, both for Kanej and for the characters individually, especially Inej.
Kaz was about to die at the hands of that Grisha, he was already lost. He had fought as only he knows how, ruthlessly and tirelessly – that scene with the cane is so typical of Kaz Brekker that my heart beat very fast – but he was in that moment where he realized that it was all over. Then Inej appears and, without a second thought, throws that knife, kills the enemy and saves Kaz’s life.
Until that moment, Inej had refused to kill. Recall that in episode 2, when Heleen asks her to do it, she asks Jesper and not even when she had no way out, was she able to do it. But it’s Kaz. So she doesn’t doubt it. Until that moment, Inej didn’t know that she would be capable of so much for Kaz. I mean, she knew that he would protect him with her life, but kill? It was something that she had not considered that she could do … but the moment came and in a split second, her heart decided. That was her, all of her, all of her heart, refusing a world where Kaz didn’t exist. She couldn’t … live in a world without him.
He may be ruthless and he may be cruel, his words may hurt … but, as we discussed in episode 1, she sees him. And she knows that all of that is a facade, so she knows that a world without Kaz Brekker in it would be a much worse world. For her, it would be … dark, no light, no hope, empty, no soul. Because Ketterdam may have made Inej see the magnitude of evil in the world, but she also made Inej meet Jesper … and Kaz. And she can’t imagine life without them. She can’t imagine life without him. It is too painful to contemplate. Kaz may have saved her from Heleen, but he also made her realize that she is capable of saving herself.
Inej had refused to accept the magnitude of what she felt for Kaz. She knows it’s impossible, so she had discarded all those feelings deep in her heart and locked them up, so they would never come out. But in moments like these her heart takes control and she didn’t even have to decide to kill for Kaz, it was a reflex. She herself cannot even believe that she was able to do it. The place where it happens is also important. They’re in a church. Inej is a religious woman. Despite everything, she has not lost faith in them or in the world around her, the church is a sacred place for her. But it is Kaz, so she kills in a holy place and she would do it again a thousand times more, as many times as necessary.
Because, just as Kaz would be die and kill for Inej, she would do the same. She doesn’t know if her Saints will forgive her for taking a life in a sacred place, the weight of guilt for that sin is something that will always accompany her, that is why she almost has a panic attack after all, but what her heart knows without no doubt, it is that a world in which she exists and Kaz Brekker doesn’t is not an option.
So it doesn’t matter, nothing else matters. Inej would give even her soul for Kaz, in fact, she just did, without expecting anything in return, because that is what her true love is all about. And the best part is that Kaz wouldn’t hesitate to do the exact same thing. Kaz was once asked if, knowing Inej’s resistance to killing, he would trust her in a life or death situation and the answer is yes. He would trust her always. Because he believes in her, in any situation. He may not be devoted to the Saints, but he is devoted to Inej. And that will never change.
For Inej … this is a before and after. It’s crossing a line that she vowed never to cross. And the worst thing for her is that she knows that she would not hesitate to do it again and again to save Kaz. Always. So the guilt, the remorse, the pain … it all comes together in her mind, in her body. And Kaz is there, he knows what is happening, he knows what all this means to her … and Saints, he wants to comfort her so much. He wants to hug her very tightly and let her know that everything will be fine, that he is by her side and that she can use his shoulder to cry, to scream, to do whatever she needs, whatever she wants. Because her shoulder is hers. He is hers.
But he can’t. And you really feel how he finds it hard for Kaz not to, how he hates that damn terror, how he wishes he could do all of that. For Inej. Freddy is amazing here – Amita too, they deserve an award for that – because you can really see all these emotions on Kaz’s face.
Kaz, as much as he hates it, can’t hold her. So he does the next best thing. He connects his eyes with her, he wants her to look at him, he wants to convey to her through his gaze everything that he feels and cannot express to her with words and he wants her to know that she didn’t take a life, she saved one. She saved him. And Kaz here is not talking only about that moment, if not everything.
Kaz’s eyes and his words, but especially his eyes, is the only thing that anchors Inej to the present, the only thing that centers her. For a moment, she was lost in that look, and in all the silent words that look convey to her. For a moment, she was lost in him and he in her and they connected on a level so intimate that it surpasses any touch she and Kaz could have shared. Their souls are touching here, through their eyes, their hearts are intertwining.
Their souls are embracing when their bodies cannot.
If you’re ever asked why we ship Kanej, here’s the answer. Just here.
Let’s be honest, we already suspected that all that glittered was not gold when Aleksander takes advantage of the information that he elicits from Mal about Alina’s favorite flowers to give them to her and make that cute, beautiful, even romantic… but not entirely honest gesture. Because he doesn’t know her well enough to know something like that.
And something inside us warns us, an alarm begins to sound and all this gives us a bad feeling. In fact, that little moment is a turning point in the story because the viewer begins to realize that perhaps Aleksander is not as he seems …
That feeling is confirmed later when Alina – and we – are in a cloud over that new relationship that is starting to emerge between Aleksander and her, it is exciting and she only sees the possibilities before her eyes.
He understands her, accepts her as she is, helps her and encourages her to be herself, offers her to be part of something much bigger and, at the same time, shows her that vulnerability, that wound that he has in his heart and that Alina is desperate to heal, to heal together, because his wound is a reflection of hers.
But Baghra brings her down from the cloud by telling her the whole truth: Aleksander deceived her, manipulated her, made her see and believe what he wanted when, in reality, he created the Shadow Fold and now he wants to use her, control her power, to extend it and to be able to rule, through terror, an entire country … and beyond. This is a defining moment of the show, so it makes our 5 scenes list.
Alina can’t believe it, and frankly neither can we, despite that alarm within us, it all seems too … twisted, too painful. It was all so real. The vulnerability, the regrets, the fear, the scars … that just couldn’t be a lie. But, the more Baghra talks, the more sense what she says makes. Suddenly, Alina begins to see every conversation, every word, every wall falling between them for what it really was: a hoax.
But how? Aleksander has had centuries to perfect his lies, he is an expert at finding out the weaknesses of others and exploiting them but we’re still shocked and that’s when we remember that in a good lie, there is always a part of truth. It was all a hoax about Alina but Aleksander’s scars were largely real … and he used them to get to her because he recognized his own scars inside her as well. After all, he is right about one thing: they are the equals. More equal than they both wish they were.
This truth changes absolutely everything. Again, Alina is stripped of everything she believed she had, everything she had built. She was beginning to find out who she is. To explore her true self and feel that she finally fit in somewhere outside of Mal. Again, Alina feels the ground collapse under her feet and she can’t do anything, she can’t even stop to think, she can just go ahead and run away.
Although it hurts her, although she is still confused and full of questions and doubts, deep down, in her heart, she knows it. She knows that Baghra is telling her the truth and she must flee, secretly, without anyone noticing her, so that Aleksander cannot use her as he intends. To save all of Rakva and the world from him, she must disappear. And she does.
And these are the 5 scenes that you can’t miss from Shadow And Bone 1×05 “Show Me Who You Are”. Stay tuned for the 5 scenes you can’t miss from episode 6 that we will publish tomorrow.