Shadow and Bone

Netflix

Season 1 Episode 3

The Making at the Heart of the World

Ensconced in the lap of luxury among the Grisha, Alina begins her training. The Crows – Kaz, Inej and Jesper – prepare for their risky journey.

SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Alina awakens in the Little Palace and is immediately presented with the luxuries that the castle affords including being bathed and attended to before she is set to meet the king. A prospect that fills her with dread and worry. But even amongst the pampering, the class system and racial discrimination rear their heads. Her attendant Miss Safin shows off her unique gifts as the two slowly bond. The scene is interesting in both its pacing and relationship dynamics.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) BEN BARNES as THE DARKLING / GENERAL KIRIGAN in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Kaz and his crew have secured the help of the Conductor but they need one more in order to sneak into the palace to kidnap Alina. The other they seek has run into trouble with a band of Grisha hunters who take her.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) DAISY HEAD as GENYA SAFIN and JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. ATTILA SZVACSEK/NETFLIX © 2021

Safin shows Alina around the palace and Kirigan appears to continue the tour. Barnes continues to pour on the charm with enough aloofness to make him intriguing, especially to Alina. Jesse Mei Li does an excellent job of verbally keeping up with Barnes and their interactions are charming in their complexity. She is wary of the trappings of the palace and has no problem speaking her mind to anyone and everyone. Something that will definitely come into play when she is presented to King Pyotr.

The presentation scene is filled with pomp and circumstance. There is also a healthy amount of tension when Alina is put in the position of manifesting her powers. A scene that definitely sets up a romantic tension between her feelings for Mal and her budding feelings for Kirigan.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021

Things for Kaz and company get dangerous and they prepare for their trip through the Fold, but there is still levity to be had from Jesper and his cons. There is a great contrast between the relative brightness of Alina’s story and the darkness of Kaz’s. Kaz and his band experience the dark side of living on the other side of the Fold and the external threats are interesting.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV and KEVIN ELDON as THE APPARAT in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. ATTILA SZVACSEK/NETFLIX © 2021

Alina gets her first taste of combat training against a familiar face and she can clearly see the parallels to her life in the orphanage in the way she is treated by certain people. As she learns more about the palace, she discovers more secrets and a mysterious woman teaches her a lesson she will take to heart as she struggles with where she belongs. As Alina deals with her new life, Kaz and crew fight for theirs as they cross the Fold with a pack of Volcra hot on their heels.

The fourth episode of Shadow and Bone dives deeper into the story, the world and the characters. While it continues to showcase the relationships and the struggles of its characters, it also includes some thrilling moments as well. The finale of the episode is brilliantly paced and fun. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Shadow and Bone S01XE03

8.9

8.9/10

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