We made it to the season finale! As you know, every day, we will analyze an aspect of each episode. Thus, we will fully delve into what is behind the story that we see. In Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals” the decisions of all the characters give a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn to their destinies, so it’s time to analyze what that means for season 3. Ready?
Here we go!
Unpredictable Decisions for Malina in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”
Alina breaks her promise in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals” and uses merzost to bring Mal back. She just couldn’t give him up, not in this way. She loves him and he deserves more than to sacrifice himself for her. But this decision can bring unpredictable consequences.
Alina used merzost out of love for Mal, but wasn’t that how it all started? Aleksander ended up using merzost also for love and that brought the consequences that we all know. And we are not referring only to the fold. The price of the merzost for Aleksander was his humanity. He only felt human again, felt happy, when he met her. When Alina came into his life and they started building something together.
But even that was rotten. Power corrupted Alexander too much to choose Alina and what they could have created together over his plans. And now, Alina made the same mistake as the Darkling by using the merzost. Will we find out in season 3 that Alina has to pay the same price? Will the Darkling and Alina become the same, as he predicted in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”?
We don’t think that will actually happen, but we do think that Alina will have some trouble avoiding it. At the end of Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” Alina uses “the cut.” That move was typical of the Darkling and, although it is not something particularly bad, we do worry about the shadows that came out of her hands while she did it and, above all, the satisfaction on her face when she saw the result.
The Alina we know would have been horrified… but she wasn’t. And we can’t help but wonder why. It seems that Alina felt satisfaction and that is dangerous, especially if we take into account her use of merzost. So yeah, we think Alina is going to have to fight with herself in Season 3 from becoming someone like the Darkling. The question is: what will win, her darkness or her heart?
Kanej Breaks Our Hearts in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”
In Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” Kanej gave us a heartbreaking season finale. After much hesitation and pushing Inej away to exhaustion, Kaz seemed determined to get closer to Inej…but she needed to get away from him.
Inej loves Kaz, even though she doesn’t want to put a name to what she feels, even though she’s been avoiding thinking about it for years, but she knows they can never have a relationship. Not completely. There will always be a part of Kaz that she can’t reach. And that is slowly killing her. She is now free and she is going to take advantage of that freedom.
Kaz knows. He always does and just wants to…see her again. One last time. And he does it in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals.” He never believed in Saints or prayers, they never helped him and never will. But he always believed in Inej and always wanted her to be happy. So he looked for her family, to be able to bring them to her, to see her smile, to see her happy… because of him.
But he couldn’t find them before she left his side. But Kaz knows that she will. His brother will not be able to return but Inej’s family will. And he will help her, as much as he can.
Hope is Dangerous for Kanej
But Kaz can’t allow himself to do more. That’s why he lies to her and pretends that he doesn’t dream of a future with her, a life with her. In Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” Kaz pretends that she isn’t the only thing that makes sense to him. And Inej curses herself for having hope. She always has it and Kaz always crushes it.
Kaz only dreams of more gold, more revenge, and more pain. He will never be able to see past the pain. He will never be able to leave it behind. Inej can’t take it anymore, it hurts too much. So she turns, determined to leave and not look back. And in that microsecond, Kaz knows he’ll never see her again…and he can’t take it.
Yes, Kaz wants her. He wants her to stay. He wants to see her every day, he wants her by his side. Kaz pleads to Inej for her to stay in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals” the only way he can. But it’s not enough. Not for her.
Kaz is giving her only the crumbs of himself but, among them, will always be Kaz’s armor. Inej will never be able to touch him, she will never be able to kiss him, Inej will never be able to show him how much she loves him and he will never be able to do the same for her.
Inej can’t condemn her life to look through a little crack, having Kaz and, at the same time, not having him. She loves Kaz. All of him. And she wants all of him, she won’t settle for a part of him. And we admire her for it.
Kaz can’t give Inej what she needs. Not now, maybe not ever. As we see in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” he can’t put his past behind him, he doesn’t feel capable. So he lets her go because he loves her too much not to. And so, suddenly, the only light he had in his life goes out.
Freedom Feels Good With Inej
A heartbroken Inej begins her new mission on Nikolai’s ship as a slave hunter. And we love that she takes charge of it and makes sure that no one else suffers what she suffered. We are proud and we are looking forward to seeing her adventures in season 3.
However, in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” we saw something that made us suspicious. As Inej gets on Nikolai’s boat, Tolya rushes to her side and helps her up. He smiles brightly at her, and as we melt into that smile, we saw a spark here. Already in episode 6, after Inej saved him from the poison, we saw something strange but here we feel the same.
It’s intense and now that Tolya and Inej are part of the ship’s crew, we think that in season 3 they may have a very close relationship. Maybe a romance? Make no mistake, Kanej is the best and our OTP forever, but while Kaz fixes his shit, we’re all for Inej finding someone else to smile with.
The Crows’ Return in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”
At the end of Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” the Crows’ story moves onto more familiar grounds. Ending the jurda parem is the main plot of Crooked Kingdom, the second book of this dysfunctional family. So season 3 of the show will begin to adapt the plot of the books — although, throughout these two seasons, they have already adapted some things.
However, the characters are in a different position than they were in Crooked Kingdom. Inej is not here and she is an integral part of the Crows and the plans they are going to carry out. But, after the conversation she had with Kaz and the path Inej took at the end of Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” it doesn’t seem likely that she’ll return to the team anytime soon.
But Inej has to go back. They’re not the Crows without her. And they can’t do the job they need to do without Inej. She has another mission now, another purpose, and a new journey. And she deserves to do it. We don’t want her to have to give that up…but we need her to get back to the Crows. There are many things still pending between them.
We have no idea how Inej will return, though we think Nina and Jesper will have a lot to do with it… maybe she’ll come back because they ask her to and Kaz might have a different answer for her about his dreams for the future.
Also, something caught our eye. In Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” Jesper jokes about a series starring the Crows and we could not help that it is a deliberate joke, if we take into account the last interviews of the writers in this regard. So we think that while season 3 will adapt Crooked Kingdom, the Crows show will adapt Six of Crows AKA the mission to rescue Matthias, albeit with some unavoidable tweaks. We like it!
Star Cross Lovers
Matthias and Nina are two star-crossed lovers this season. But in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals” things get worse. Nikolai signs a pardon for them and, just when she thought they would finally be able to be together, everything goes wrong. Pekka plays Matthias in the cruelest way possible and he ends up killing one of the prison guards.
This means that the pardon is of no use. Besides, even if it wasn’t, it was lost in the crowd. And Nina can’t do anything about it. Pekka had the winning hand and Matthias’s scream when he sees how she writhes trying to reach him as they take her away… that scream was heartbreaking.
Matthias never stopped loving Nina, and ever since she betrayed him, he has lived as a prisoner of his wrath. Furious for having trusted her, and furious for loving her despite everything.
The scream he let out when he saw her like this in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals” may be a new scream of anger and contempt… or despair. He doesn’t want anything to happen to her and to see her trapped… he wants to reach out to her to help her. But it’s too late.
So, after Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” the plot thickens for them ahead of season 3. Even if it hadn’t been lost, Nikolai’s pardon is no longer valid, so we’re left wondering if they’ll break Matthias out of prison. We think that they will because it is the way that everything fits with the plot of Six of Crows.
In addition, Matthias has a huge reason to hate Pekka and want to take revenge on him, so, after an eventual rescue by the Crows, he will not refuse to help them to finish him off. That will give him a chance to get back together with Nina and understand why she did what she did, forgiving her for it.
For her part, at the end of Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals,” Nina is willing to embark on the mission that Kaz proposes. And we don’t think Nina left Matthias stranded in the Hellmouth, especially after their last meeting. She would fight for him, to get him out.
So her acceptance of Kaz’s plan aligns with our theory that Matthias will be transferred from prison and they will rescue him in the Crows own show, thus coinciding with the plot of Six of Crows. Everything fits.
Something Goes Wrong with Nikolai in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”
We have to finish this editorial with Nikolai. Something is going on with him in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals.” The monsters that Aleksander created managed to injure him before they disappeared. And that black wound expands. But the worst thing is that he saw himself as a shadow/demon.
All this makes us wonder if he is becoming one or dying. It doesn’t seem likely that he will die, since he still has a lot to do in the story. However, could he be turning into a shadow/demon? Maybe…next season could be about him leading Ravka and trying to figure out how to heal himself.
But we can’t get one question out of our heads: why was Nikolai injured in Shadow and Bone 2×08 “No Funerals”? That is, the shadow monsters attacked other people and none of them have those consequences. And Nikolai’s wound looks a lot like the one Aleksander suffered from using merzost.
This could lead us to think that what happens with Nikolai is the result of Alina’s use of merzost. However, the readers know that this plot goes in a completely different direction. One that will surprise us even more than Nikolai’s true identity when we find out. Nothing seems bad enough to stop Nikolai from being one of our favorite characters — and one of the loves of this writer’s life — but the whole point is: what if Nikolai is turning into something that he can’t control?
This leaves us quite worried going into Season 3, but whatever it is, we’re sure it will be fixed because Nikolai still has a lot to say in this story.
Shadow and Bone season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.