Episode 7 is a wonderful penultimate chapter that manages to provide context to Kirigan’s evil while summarising his justifications. The chapter builds up the events between the characters to bring the audience to an exciting finale.
This recap of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone season 1, episode 7, “The Unsea”, contains spoilers.
We are entering the “make or break” chapters, and we have to say, Shadow and Bone has delivered. The penultimate chapter feels like the characters are in the frying pan, preparing themselves to go into the fire — the writers have organised the final events well.
Episode 7 opens up with a flashback — Kirigan is reunited with Luda. They are relieved to see each other, hinting to the audience that they had a blossoming romance. Suddenly, soldiers surround their home and ask for the Darkling. They try to kill Kirigan with arrows — Luda, a Healer, uses her magic to help him, but she is soon captured. Kirigan asks the soldiers to bring them both to the king, but they show no mercy and kill Luda, stating that they only need him. Kirigan is in despair as Luda slowly dies in front of him — he uses his powers to kill all the soldiers. Episode 7 is giving the audience context to how Kirgan became the monster he is in the present.
Kirigan has a plan, but his mother warns him
And the flashback continues; Kirigan tries to find a Healer for Luda but there isn’t one. He speaks to his mother, Baghra, but she blames him for the soldiers attacking them — she states he made them afraid and calls him stubborn. She suggests that he bides his time until everything settles and return with a new name. Kirigan has bigger ideas and wants to use Merzost powers (Merzost is the power of creation, of life over death — it’s likely to produce unexpected and evil results). Baghra warns him that he cannot control it and that they should only use Small Science.
How the Fold was made
Shadow and Bone season 1, episode 7 brings the significant event that changed the state of play forever, and it’s a grandstanding moment in the series; it’s planted at the right time.
Continuing the flashback, more soldiers arrive, and Kirigan decides to face them alone. The general tells him to hold his hands wide as he knows how Small Science works — the hands need to touch each other first. Kirigan mumbles in old Ravkan and uses Merzost. He tells the army to submit to him, and they all fall over. Kirigan’s powers escalate, and the darkness explodes out of him to create the Fold. He saves his mother, and she’s afraid of what her son has done.
Finding the stag
The story then arrives in the present day — Kerrigan is still looking for Alina. Meanwhile, The Crows are running out of time — Kaz suggests that they cut their losses. As for Alina, she tells Mal that when they find the stag, she needs to kill it. Mal hears an animal noise, and as they walk, they see the mythical stag. Alina lines up her weapon, but she has a feeling that she needs to get closer to it, believing that there’s another way to do this. Alina touches the stag, and her powers are amplified.
Suddenly, a soldier shoots the stag, and Zoya turns up to try to stop Alina and Mal. Alina uses her powers to fend them off, and she helps Mal, who is seriously injured and losing blood. Kirigan shows up, so Alina runs over to the stag to defend it. Under pressure and wanting to save Mal, Alina moves away from the stag, and Kirigan immediately cuts the stag in half with his powers. He asks for Mal to be healed as he was protecting Alina.
Episode 7 brings a pivotal moment — it’s clear that Kirigan is used to this world as he effortlessly takes control of the situation; the series is clearly making it easy for the villain as part of Alina’s character development.
Kaz makes an admission
Kaz admits to Inej that she is right — the Sun Summoner is real. This is a significant moment as he lays down his cynicism. He then calls Inej and Jesper “My Crows”. Kaz claims that he wants to cross the Fold, and he doesn’t want to try to capture Alina again, but Inej is sceptical. They plan to get back on a skiff, which we later find out that’s where Kirigan and the Sun Summoner end up.
Kirigan wants to be a powerful team
Episode 7 reveals Kirigan’s true intentions — he’s a villain that has been scarred by his past and uses that to justify his present.
Kirigan wants to give Alina the antlers from the stag, but she doesn’t want them. He tells her to consider Mal and his life as part of the blackmail. He explains that as a team, they will be powerful and can end all wars. He has no intention of destroying the Fold. The antlers are placed on Alina, and suddenly her heart beats loudly. She’s connected to Kirigan by David, who helps bridge the gap between them — the antlers melt into Alina’s skin — and she’s noticeably a different looking character now, with the sharp end of the antlers poking through her shoulder blades. Their powers merged; Kirigan touches Alina, and he can control her power.
The truth about Genya
Episode 7 brings more truth bombshells to an emotional Alina, who is being held against her will.
Alina is separated from Mal, but she’s reunited with Genya. She tells her she wants to send a message to the King and Queen. Genya explains that the King is ill and the Queen is in confinement. Alina realises that Genya is a spy for Kirigan — she gets upset, knowing Genya stopped her letters from going to Mal. Genya states she had no choice and tried to fight Kirigan off, but it never worked in the past. Alina sympathies and tells Genya that they are Kirigan’s pawns.
Time will kill you
Kirigan speaks to Mal about Alina. He believes Alina will forgive him one day while Mal ages — Alina will be ageless and will finally see she has one equal. Kirigan states that he doesn’t need to kill Mal, as “time” will. Later on, Mal manages to escape.
This scene brings chills — it was brilliantly delivered; the concept that time is a killer really slices through Mal — you can feel it hurt him. He’s in love with Alina, so that concept hurts him even more.
We could have had each other
Alina is angry at Kirigan, knowing he created the Fold. Kirigan tells Alina that she only knows only half the story and states he wants to make Grisha safer and finally win. He continues talking about “us” and conquering together, but Alina isn’t buying his words — she recognises they could have had each other, but she knows he doesn’t care who suffers.
This is an interesting admission by Alina; she knows that if Kirigan followed a different path, they could have been together and approached the world differently. It’s almost like the writers wants to keep the love triangle alive in the most extreme circumstances.
When The Crows are about to board the skiff, they see Alina. Inej accepts that now is not the time — “Not until Novokribirsk”. Kirigan and Alina board the skiff together. Kirigan makes sure Alina is chained to the transport so she can’t escape. The Crows tell each other that none of them are going to die — “No Mourner. No funerals”. The skiff heads into the Fold, and the episode ends, leaving on a cliffhanger.
Shadow and Bone season 1, episode 7 is a wonderful penultimate chapter that manages to provide context to Kirigan’s evil while summarising his justifications. The chapter builds up the events between the characters to bring the audience to an exciting finale.