Episode 3 manages to translate to the audience why Alina is important by shifting her into an entirely different world.
This recap of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone season 1, episode 3, “The Making at the Heart of the World”, contains spoilers.
The story drastically changed in episode 2, with Mal and Alina separated, thus expanding the universe even more as we learn about why there’s a strong, keen interest in Alina.
Alina wakes up in the Little Palace; she writes a letter to Mal, telling him she’s safe and how her whole world has changed — she explains she has her own private room and a whole host of attendants who treat her with respect. She’s going to be presented to King Pyotr, so she needs a makeover. The lead attendant (Genya) is a Tailor; she can fix and modify appearances, which is good for a war-torn Alina with all her scars.
The Crows continue to prepare with The Conductor
The series does not forget the other bubbling plot, which is equally as interesting.
Episode 3 moves to Novokribirsk, West Ravka; Inej, Kaz and Jesper (The Crows) are still preparing to cross the Fold. Kaz asks The Conductor about a Heartrender named Nina, who will be helpful to them. But scenes show Nina getting captured by the Drùskelle. The Crows learn of her fate when they arrive at her place. Regardless of an obstacle in their way, Kaz wants to press on. The Conductor wants them all to get some items ready for the journey — a goat and coal. Eventually, they reach a train, but as they begin their journey, they are under attack. The Conductor seems confident and gets them moving.
An audience with the King
The moment finally arrives where Alina meets the King with an audience. There’s plenty of anticipation as Alina looks for his approval. The Queen asks who she is because she doesn’t speak Shu. Kirigan calls her the “Sun Summoner” and that she will change the future — he asks Alina to “call the sun” and helps her activate her powers to create a spectacle. Shining light energy emanates from Alina. Kirigan tells King Pyotr that he will train Alina — the King tells Kirigan to “hurry up” because “the sooner we are one country, the better”. As she leaves the audience, she is greeted by many people. Zoya whispers to Alina, calling her a ” half-breed”.
This is the first time it dawns on the lead character and the audience how important Alina is to this world.
Bad first day of training
The world opens up more, giving a glimpse of how the Grisha are trained. Shadow and Bone season 1 enjoys its world-building, and episode 3 enhances it even more.
Alina attends combat training, and she’s asked if she can fight. She remembers Mal teaching her how to punch. She’s asked to pick an opponent, so she picks Zoya, who appears to be her bitter rival at present. As Alina tries to fight Zoya, she’s overwhelmed, and she asks if they can go again; on the second attempt, Zoya also wins and makes a snide sexual reference about Mal. Alina gets up and punches Zoya as she was unaware, so Zoya uses her powers to throw her to the other side of the ground.
Alina writes another letter for Mal and tells him that, in reality, it’s no different to the orphanage; she explains how she is dreaming about the stag again.
The following scenes throw doubt on the character Alina; is she really as special as everyone makes out? Or is her self-confidence the problem?
The King’s spiritual adviser catches Alina researching “the lore of the Stag” and wants to help her. He tells her about Bonesmith, who made creatures from his fingers and attuned only to Grisha — he then explains that “Baghra awaits” and that Baghra trains every Grisha to harness their power. He leaves the conversation saying that Alina will suffer more and leads her to a tunnel.
She finds Baghra, who asks her a range of questions — she wants to know if she can summon the power on her own and only come back when she believes in herself. Alina heads back to her room, and she’s emotional; she writes a letter wishing she was back in the First Army.
Episode 3 flits to The Crow on the train. The Conductor drops the bombshell that the train tracks are not complete, but he tries to assure them it will be fine as long as they don’t shift their weight. Suddenly, they hear volcra creatures. The Conductor tells Jesper to throw out the goat, but he does not want to. As they feel their lives are in grave danger, Jesper finds confidence and uses his pistol to kill all the volcra. They get through to the other side.
While dining at the palace, Ivan delivers news from the Fjerdan front — he talks about the number of casualties in the First Army. Ivan tells Alina that she should be training every waking moment to take down the Fold. Alina writes to Mal and tells him she is scared — “the world was hard and cruel, but we had each other”. She calls Mal “her home”.
Shadow and Bone season 1, episode 3 manages to translate to the audience why Alina is important by shifting her into an entirely different world.
- General Kirigan tells Alina that it isn’t magic, it’s “Small Science”.
- Alina is introduced to Marie and Nadia.
- Nina asks her captors where they are taking her as she’s chained to a leaky boat on choppy waters. They tell her she’s heading to her trials. Nina tells one of the men that the Grisha trials are a sham, and she has no chance.