Shadow and Bone (Season 2) Recap, Review & Ending Explained: Shadow and Bone is a curious adaptation that diverges wildly from the source material while also combining them. The Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo, who serves as an executive producer, are skillfully combined in both plot and characters, making for a flawed yet fun watch. Having premiered on Netflix in April 2021, the show returns for a second season with strong results through its writing, acting, worldbuilding, and special effects. After the success of their original shows, such as Wednesday and Sabrina, Netflix seems to be continuing the trend of producing YA fantasy dramas of which Shadow and Bone’s second season is the latest.




Shadow and Bone (Season 2) Recap

Episode 1 Recap: “No Shelter But Me”

The story continues with Alina (Jessie Mei Li) and Mal (Archie Renaux) after they leave the Fold, which has expanded and caused destruction at the hands of the Darkling (Ben Barnes). Alina realizes the reality of her dream of the Fold expanding when she has trouble getting through immigration at Noyvi Zem. Mal wants to move on from Ravka. But Alina knows she needs to return. In Ketterdam, Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly) frames Kaz (Freddy Carter) and Jesper (Kit Young) for murder. However, Sturmhond (Patrick Gibson) helps them, who is looking for Alina. Alina and Mal are recognized as fugitives in Noyvi Zem and try to find the Sea Whip, Morozova’s second amplifier.

They are chased by the Ravkan First Army and protected by Zemeni citizens. The Darkling and his nichevo’ya save Genya (Daisy Head) from the First Army. Back in Ketterdam, the Crows declare war on the Dime Lions and Pekka Rollins. Kaz, Nina(Danielle Galligan), and Wylan (Jack Wolfe) blow up the Crow Club, which Pekka Rollins had taken over. Sturmhond reveals that he knows Alina and Mal’s identities and holds them captive on his ship.




Episode 2 Recap: “Rusalye”

Sturmhond agrees to Alina and Mal’s plan of hunting down the Sea Whip, making it an amplifier, and using it to destroy the Fold. Meanwhile, in Ravka, Genya and the Darkling discuss their next move and look for David and other Grisha to join their cause. However, the Darkling is sick and has lost control over his powers, as evidenced by the nichevo’ya nearly attacking Genya. Fruszi helps the Darkling use merzost to become more powerful, and they discover Baghra in a cave where the Darkling has been hiding his mother.

Alina and Mal locate the Sea Whip with Mal’s heightened senses, but things go awry, and Alina is forced to kill it. After the necessary procedure, Alina struggles to control the Sea Whip’s power. The Crows’ attack on Pekka Rollins turns out to be a trap, but they manage to escape with Nina’s help. However, Nina and Inej (Amita Suman) are wounded and hide in a cemetery crypt.




The episode ends with the Darkling feeling in Alina growing stronger. Additionally, Matthias Helvar (Kalahan Skogman) is struggling in Hellgate, where his cellmate tries to convince him to trust in their God, Djel, as he is also Fjerdan like Matthias.

Episode 3 Recap: “Like Calls to Like”

In this episode, Sturmhond discloses his true identity as Nikolai Lantsov after the ride on the boat – which is actually revealed to be a plane – doesn’t go as planned. While flying Alina and Mal back to Ravka, the group crashes through the Fold, causing Alina to collapse and the volcra to attack. When they arrive, Nikolai takes Alina to meet the King and reunite with Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta), where they learn that the Darkling is still alive and they need the third amplifier, the Firebird, to defeat him. To unite the country against the Darkling’s army and other threats, Nikolai and Alina consider getting engaged.




Meanwhile, the Darkling uses David (Luke Pasqualino) to investigate his connection with Alina and fix his issues with the nichevo’ya. Genya and David plan to escape to help Nikolai, but Genya is caught and attacked by the Shadow Monsters. The Darkling visits Alina in her sleep. The Crows face new challenges, including Pekka Rollins threatening to kill Matthias unless Kaz is brought to him and the discovery of Pekka’s hidden son.

Episode 4 Recap: “Every Monstrous Thing”

Nikolai’s announcement of his engagement to Alina causes a stir in his family. While he believes that joining forces with Alina is the only way to unify Ravka and defeat the Darkling, not everyone agrees. Mal, in particular, is opposed to the idea, as he and Alina are in love. Visely and the other Lantsovs also disapprove of the union. Nevertheless, Nikolai is determined to go through with it, even if it means facing opposition.




David’s return brings news of Alina and the Darkling’s connection. After being scarred by the Shadow Monsters, Genya is still held captive with Baghra (Zoe Wanamaker). Alina realizes that she needs more power and discovers the Neshyenyar sword, which could help defeat the Darkling and destroy the Fold. Nikolai seeks the help of the Crows to steal the sword.

Shadow and Bone Season 2

The engagement party turns into chaos when Visely foolishly lets everyone know Alina’s location, and the Darkling unleashes his Shadow Monsters. Visely dies, and Nikolai becomes the new King of Ravka, but only if they can survive the Darkling’s attack. Before the final showdown, the Darkling contacts Alina through their amplifier connection.




In Ketterdam, Kaz seeks revenge on Pekka Rollins with Nina’s help by pretending to have buried Pekka’s son and forcing him to confess to two murders and release Inej from her contract. Pekka is arrested at the end of the episode. Baghra and Genya escape the Darkling during the engagement party attack.

Episode 5 Recap: “Yuyeh Sesh (Despise Your Heart)”

Nikolai, Alina, and their group have survived the latest encounter with the Darkling, while Genya, Baghra, and Mal have unexpectedly found them. This is the first time anyone has seen Genya’s scars inflicted by the Darkling, and she initially avoids David, but they eventually reconcile.




Meanwhile, the Crows and Zoya and Tolya (Lewis Tan) travel to Bhez Ju in Shu Han to search for the light sword. They encounter Ohval, who denies any knowledge of the sword’s authenticity and traps them in a room where they are poisoned.

Kaz’s backstory is also revealed, including how Pekka Rollins caused the death of his brother from firepox and how he killed Matthias’ best friend in Hellgate.

The most significant development is Alina reconnecting with the Darkling and realizing that she has a chance to kill him. However, Mal interrupts the connection, causing a rift between him and Alina. Baghra eventually decides to assist Alina and Mal in finding the Firebird, but they must first visit Morozova’s workshop for more information.




Episode 6 Recap: “Ni Wej Sesh (I Have No Heart)”

The biggest reveal in the story is that Mal is the Firebird, and Baghra, who has made Alina swear never to use merzost, confesses why she was exiled from her homeland as a child. She killed her own sister, and Morozova, her father, brought her back to life using the same method he used to create the Stag and the Sea Whip. Mal is related to Baghra’s sister, which makes him the Darkling’s cousin and the key to Alina’s mission to destroy the Fold. However, she must kill Mal to use his powers as an amplifier. Baghra sacrifices herself to stop her son’s tyranny, and Alina and Mal must now complete the task on their own.

Meanwhile, the Crows are hallucinating and facing death. Each character gets a glimpse of their own backstory, including Inej’s desire to be with Kaz, Tolya’s love for his sister, Jesper’s bittersweet moment with his mother, and Kaz’s lingering fear related to his brother. Jesper later reveals that he wants to use his Grisha powers to help others as his mother would have wanted. Wyland saves them by giving them an antidote made from butterflies, and they have an epic fight with Ohval, who is actually Santka Neyar. Neyar eventually relents and gives them the Neshyenyar, the sword of light, to help Alina defeat the Darkling.

Lastly, the Darkling discovers that Mal is the Firebird, leading him to initiate his plan’s next phase.




Episode 7 Recap: “Meet You in the Meadow”

The episode starts with the Darkling and his Grisha, who are making significant moves with the help of Baghra’s remaining bone amplifiers. Using these amplifiers, they can perform remarkable feats. The Darkling, aware that Mal is his cousin, urges him to leave the fight and disappear, but Mal refuses.

Mal, Alina, Nikolai, and David devise a plan to create an amplifier out of Mal’s finger to counter Darkling’s amplified powers. The plan involves Mal dying via Heartrender for a few minutes and then Alina using the amplification to align the three amplifiers, which would destroy the Fold and the Darkling. They enact the plan, but the Darkling has set a trap. They shoot Nikolai’s airship down, and it crash lands, forcing them to race back to the fort.

Shadow and Bone Season 2

Unfortunately, the Darkling’s Shadow Monsters interrupt Mal getting his finger cut off, rendering the plan useless. The fight continues, with the Darkling dragging the Fold over the fort, which brings more Shadow Monsters and volcra into the battle.

The Darkling’s Shadow Monsters and volcra make it hard for Alina’s group, while the survivors from the airship crash are pinned back by the Darkling’s Grisha with amplified powers. However, Tolya and the Crows arrive with Neshyenyer, the sword of light, to defeat the shadows. Jesper, Wylan, and the Crows save Nikolai, but there are several casualties, including Dominik, the Commander of the First Army.




In the end, Alina and Mal join forces, using all three amplifiers to destroy the Fold. However, the Darkling steps into the battle, trying to use the Cut on Alina and Mal. Alina blocks it with a Cut of her own, but it rebounds, hitting Mal and the Darkling. Mal is dying, and the Shadow Monsters are closing in, while Nina gets taken into the Shadow by one of the monsters. David appears to sacrifice himself to save Genya after discussing gemstones with her.

Episode 8 Recap: “No Funerals”

Nikolai and the Crows are en route to the Fold to help Alina stop the Darkling and destroy the Fold, but Volcrand and Shadow Monsters attack them. In the Fold, Alina is left with no choice but to kill Mal to stop the Darkling and save Ravka (and potentially the world) in the process. Mal, expressing his love for Alina, tells her to let them redraw the maps before she stabs him, becoming her third amplifier.




The Fold is destroyed in a massive sun explosion. Inej fights the Darkling’s Shadow Monsters with Neshyenyer while Nina attempts to save Mal. Alina and the Darkling briefly discuss the idea of him being the dark to her light, but she ultimately kills him. As he dies, he warns Alina that others will come for her without him, but she remains resolute. Alina saves Mal’s life using merzost, but it’s unclear what the consequences of this decision will be.

Shadow and Bone (Season 2) Review

Season 2 of Shadow and Bone maintains a thrilling and entertaining pace, although the abundance of characters and storylines can occasionally overshadow the plot. The addition of new characters, such as Nikolai, as an ally in Alina’s mission to eliminate the Fold, is a positive both in terms of his character and his acting. However, The Crows truly shine with their exciting heist, which is full of surprises yet again. Despite all this, Kirigan fails to fully develop into a multifaceted villain, but the romantic aspects of the show remain compelling.




There are instances of unclear plot development and corny dialogue. The main challenge of the show is not a lack of interesting storylines but rather a surplus of them, resulting in inadequate exploration of each. The viewers are always left wanting more, but they do get more than enough to keep them interested in a potential third season.

Shadow and Bone (Season 2) Ending Explained

What happens between Mal and Alina?

Mal is struggling to understand his connection with Alina and whether their love is real or simply fate. In an attempt to find answers, he joins Nikolai, Tamar (Anna Leong Brophy), Tolya, and Inej on a new adventure, which involves hunting down slaver ships. Meanwhile, the Darkling’s body is burned, and before he dies, he asks Alina to make sure there is nothing left of him.




Towards the end of the season, we witness some major reveals that take the story in new directions. The most significant of these is Nikolai’s coronation, where a Grisha with ties to Fjerda shows up and kills several people after taking “jurda parem,” a drug that amplifies Grisha’s powers. Alina manages to stop the attack by using the Cut, but her apparent pleasure in doing so raises concerns about her resistance to the same path as the Darkling.

Genya has taken charge of the Ravkan palace, and Zoya has been elevated to the position of General, leading the newly merged First and Second Army. Meanwhile, Pekka Rollins has assumed control of Hellgate prison and is pressuring Matthias to kill wolves, an act that goes against his god, Djel.




Kaz also informs the Crows about their most lucrative heist job yet, as we learn that Nikolai is still injured and experiencing visions of the Shadow Monsters before the coronation.

Also, Read: The Tale of Iya [2013] Review – A World of Natural Wonder Tinged with Mystery and Magic

Shadow and Bone (Season 2) TV Show Links: IMDbRotten Tomatoes
Shadow and Bone (Season 2) TV Show Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux
Where to watch Shadow and Bone

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