Note: These reviews discuss the episodes in detail and might contain slight spoilers for the books Six Of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
We see the fallout of episode 1, thanks to some Grisha still being able to use their powers the ship returns to the military base where it came from with Alina and the others.
In a flashback we see more of the scene at the Meadow and the orpahanage. We learn that Mal and Alina both skipped the Grisha test as kids – it is not clear if Alina noticed her powers before, only that she didn’t want to chance being separated from Mal.
Zoya gets Alina sent to the General and we change to Ketterdam again. The fight between Inej and Kaz is very interesting, Kaz already shows that he cares about Inej’s opinion but he is still very cold and guarded at this point. We learn that Inej still have ties to Tante Heleen and can’t leave the city without her permission.
Then Pekka rolls up and.. this was the first scene that really made me go “hmm, that doesn’t seem right”. Kaz is in his room when he fights with Inej, we see the window and the painting from episode one. When Pekka and his men arrive we can see the stolen painting again, meaning this should still be his room. Yet these men just appear there so casually… not only are these members from a rival gang and the boss of a rival gang.. but Kaz’s room is also supposed to be in the attic of their own gang run bar/casino. Did they change his room’s location in the the tv show? Because the little window where he looks out onto the bar makes it seem like he isn’t in the attic after all but somewhere lower.
And that leaves me to my second question: where are the rest of the Dregs? Where are the Dreg guards from the doors? Did they just let the Dime Lions waltz in through their own bar? Kaz does send Jesper to guard the door later, which already happened in episode one, so it raises the question if they only have one person at the door at all times, and if Jesper is just really terrible at his job? If this was his fault I feel Kaz would have been way more pissed at him. Kaz also signals another crew member who is inside the bar later so if he is supposed to be a lookout.. it is implied they’d have multiple people inside to spot trouble. Unless this is a commentary on how lax their security is under the current boss, this doesn’t add up.
And the second thing that really felt out of place is how easily they took hold of Kaz. In the books it is clear that while he isn’t quick as Jesper or stealthy as Inej, Kaz can hold his own in a fight due to his troubled upbringing. He is good at a scrap, injured leg or not, and his cane packs a bunch. And most of the time he can just talk his way out of fights without even having to lift a finger because that’s his own specialty. So being beaten down so easily, and the scene making it look like even the cane isn’t doing much is really weird.
I really love Inej and Jesper casually hanging out at the bar and both of them being worried/pissed at Kaz. And the way Jesper immediately offers his help to Inej is very lovely. The way Kaz just trots out of his office/room so quickly to the bar also makes the whole Pekka thing even weirder.. why did no one else notice Pekka just walking through the Crow Club? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
It’s interesting how early they are peppering in the clues that Pekka and Kaz have history.. and even Jesper seems to know more. I wonder if this means that Kaz already trusted him enough to tell him about what happened, which only happened in book two of Six of Crows.
I do love that Kaz immediately catches sight of the woman who is from East Ravka and can tell when she’s lying, that and his whole scheming is very much in character. I am starting to feel however that they softened his character up a bit, Kaz in the books (or at least in the first one) would most definetely tell the woman that he was after her family to get the information, while the reader knows he is just pretending to be cruel to save face in a world full of criminals and would never hurt those people. Netflix Kaz though immediately says nah, we’re not after you.
Back to Alina and General Kirigan.. I actually like the fact that she doesn’t know why she is being taken to the General. Her reaction when Kirigan tells her to come closer and Alina barely stepping a foot closer is so funny. And her immediate sass in “well what” and then adding “sir” at the last minute is just so funny to me. Her thinking that she is gonna be punished for getting the cartography team on board makes a lot of sense since she kinda sorta passed out and didn’t even realize using her power.
I know people are shipping her with Kirigan because he is.. uh, dark, handsome and controlling or something and that’s supposed to be hot? But I am just so uncomfortable with their scenes.. This is a man who is clearly holding power over her and who also sorta looks like he has at least 10 years over Alina.. Now I don’t know how old Alina is but since these are young adult books I have to guess she is around or under 18 which just makes this ship all the more yikes.
Also can I just say, what are you has to be one of the rudest things to ask someone yet it seems so common in young adult stuff when someone with incredible powers appears? It feels like the asker is stripping them of their humanity in some way.
Moving on, the light show looks really amazing and I cannot wait to see more scenes where Alina gets to use her sun powers! And how sweet is it that Mal immediately just wants to go to her.
I love the transitions between the two storylines so much. It is so ingenius to connect the scenes with the same word/convo. Isn’t it funny how people keep saying Alina is Grisha now, while she was one all along she just (supposedly) didn’t know.
Inej’s knife moment has to be the funniest one so far – and rivals my all time favorite un-equipping moment from the Shadowhunter movie adaptation where Jace spends a good minute just taking out all his hidden weapons. I am pretty sure Inej wins in total count, I just hope she has more hidden that Tante Heleen isn’t even aware of. Not like she can pull out a metal scanner on her.
Honestly, I kind of expected Heleen to be more impressive or threatening. But I have to say she did make a good attempt at trying to cross Kaz’s plans by tricking Inej.
Jesper, supposedly on guard duty, is just playing in front of a mirror and practicing his gun showmanship. I love him so much. It is so funny that Inej surprises him when he has probably the best reflexes of their entire crew. And the way he just immediately wants to help Inej and calls her love.. I love these two.
I love the two Grisha in the carriage. Until now most Grisha we met were really full of themselves and looking down at the First Army, but it finally feels like Alina can make some friends. It actually make some sense while the Grishas act the way they do after you learn that they are behind the Little Palace’s walls not just to be separated from others but for their own protection as well. And it is understandable for Alina who already went through so much to not want yet another thing that would make her stand out. But it doesn’t seem like she has any choice in this matter. The keftas being bulletproof is pure genius.
The Drüskelle is also here of course, and it is astounding how easy the Grisha can go down if they aren’t great at combat training and don’t work together. Can we also take a moment to think about how close they got to loosing the only one Sun Summoner they ever got? And if Kirigan’s presence is a Drüskelle anti-repellent why didn’t he just go with Alina in the first place?
I love how the dramatic horse galloping scene is broken because Alina cannot handle horse riding. The way she keeps her distance from Kirigan but also isn’t afraid to sass him is something amazing. He does not look like a man who can handle being said no.
It’s great that they repeatedly address the fact that even though he is so powerful and has shadow powers he isn’t able to destroy The Fold because his powers just don’t work like that. If his powers only amplify The Fold does it mean he never crossed it?
The First Army General is actually making a lot of sense when he tells Mal that the Grisha aren’t ever powerful. And I am glad this is addressed because even though they have all these powers, and some are more rare than others, they still had casualties on their side in these two episodes. And I reallt like the fact that Mal has other friends not just Alina, friends that look out for him and stop him from doing soemthing reckless.
Jesper asking for a demo man and Six Of Crows readers knowing he has to wait like two more years until he finds the one that fits the team.. I’m loving all these foreshadowings. I also love how he isn’t afraid to complain to Kaz.. Jesper the handsome decoy was amazingly funny.
And god, can we just talk about my new favorite character, Poppy. I love his fashion sense and the sass. By the way they talked, if I didn’t know better about Kaz, I would have thought there was something more that happened between them and not just the club shares. I love how much the Crows trust each other, Jesper and Inej have each other’s backs already and they both choose to trust Kaz when the time calls for it.
I don’t feel this is very clear from the show so far, how deals work in Ketterdam and how important they are. Without context it might even seem foolish just how much Kaz stakes on getting Inej free of Heleen. She’d be worth it obviously, but that’s not really what’s happening here. Ketterdam does not have a proper government and is ruled by the Merchant Council. The only hard rule they have is that all deals are sacred and must be kept, if one breaks a deal it can cost them their live’s work. So by accepting Kaz’s deal Heleen is actually forced to honor it. As everything with the Crows, Kaz hesitating to take Heleen’s hand is also a foreshadowing.
I do wonder though, we knew Kaz has shares in the Crow Club but the way Heleen says it.. it implies Kaz put up the entire club as collateral.. which he shouldn’t be able to since he isn’t the big boss. So once again, what is going in at the Dregs and where is their boss?
The little palace is beautiful and remarkably Hungarian. It’s interesting how many European and mainly Russian inspired works are shot at Hungary. Alina remembering their two rules, and only starting crying once she is alone is some amazing characterization. And her immediate action after that is rule two, looking for a weapon. I like that it is easy to understand why she acts the way she does and it is easy to understand her reluctance as accepting her fate as a Grisha. I really liked this episode and I cannot wait for more!