Well, Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 8 is one explosive season finale.
"No Mourners" takes its title literally, as Kirigan turns on everyone to expand the Shadow Fold. And considering that he controls Alina's powers, it is up to Kaz, Inej, Jesper, and Mal to stop him.
But the season finale has so many twists and turns that keeps us on the edge of our seats, with stunning character development, new alliances, and one epic battle.
The highlight of Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 8 is undoubtedly Alina's character development coming full circle.
She began the series as someone who has disdain for Grisha, someone who might even be afraid of them. When Alina discovers she is Grisha and the Sun Summoner, she wants to have anything but this responsibility. It is a burden, something Alina never asked for.
But slowly, Alina accepts who she is. She does not just accept her destiny -- she embraces it.
Alina becomes stronger the more she practices summoning light. She wants to tear down the Shadow by summoning light. Alina wants Morozova's Stag to strengthen her powers. She will not let anyone stop her, not even The Darkling.
That is how Alina breaks free of his control. Alina has become so powerful and confident with herself that she fights back against The Darkling's control. Even though he killed the Stag on Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 7, the Stag chooses to amplify Alina's powers.
An ancient creature defies Grisha amplifying laws to give Alina what she needs. The Stag knows Alina is its true owner -- the magic belongs to her alone, no matter what The Darkling may think.
So, when Alina finally realizes that she is the one who pushed herself and developed her powers, she is the Sun Summoner -- Alina knows that she is now more powerful than The Darkling. She is now the most powerful Grisha out there.
Alina takes back what is rightfully hers as she acknowledges and embraces her destiny as the Sun Summoner. We have been waiting for this moment since we discover that she is Grisha on Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 2.
Alina: You first words to me were, "What are you?" This is what I am.
Kirigan: How do you claim such power? I am the one who killed the Stag.
Alina: I didn't understand before, but I do now. You cannot claim what was not given to you. The Stag chose me.
Kirigan: You chose to betray our people. I was trying to save us.
We are so proud and in awe of Alina. She has by far the best character development of anyone on the show. She never needed to transfer her powers to anyone.
Now, Alina truly believes she is the Sun Summoner, and when she heals from the battle, she will be ready to face the Shadow and Fold and tear it down for good.
We are excited to see what is in store for Alina if Netflix renews Shadow and Bone. We expect great things from her, considering that she is easily one of the best characters on the show. Just like her role as the Sun Summoner, she shines on her own.
Alina may be the best part of "No Mourners," but she is not the only character who steals the show, especially when it comes to forging new alliances.
The Crows were bound to meet Alina and Mal sooner or later, but their first meeting with Mal is still one for the books, especially since they team up together. Zoya also joins their fight against The Darkling once he reveals his true self and slaughters a village of innocent people.
Today, we redraw all the maps. With the power of the Sun Summoner at my command, I control the Fold and its monsters. I can move it to any border I like, engulf any harbor, consume any city. Take what you have seen back to your home countries. Tell the Fjerdans. Tell the Shu Han. There will be no more war with Ravka. All countries will answer to us. For who would oppose us now?Kirigan
War is devastating, especially at the hands of a ruthless power-hungry general. The Crows, Alina, Mal, and Zoya do not have much in common. Mal and the Crows do not even get along at first, and we have seen how much Zoya hates Alina.
But darkness brings them all together as they fight The Darkling and his soldiers. It is peculiar that it takes a great evil for new dynamics to take shape, but it never fails.
Darkness is a solid motivator to bring anyone together, regardless of who they are or where they are going. The Crows tried to kidnap Alina, and now, they are fighting alongside her,
The Crows, Alina, Mal, and Zoya all believe in something bigger than themselves, strangers or enemies allying together for the greater good. There are many possibilities for The Crows to cross paths with Alina, Mal, and Zoya, but this route is by far the best choice.
It also makes the bonfire scene after the battle so much more rewarding, as the group takes some time to wind down before heading to Os Kervo.
Zoya leaves for Novokribirsk, but everyone else travels to Os Kervo with the eventual destination of Ketterdam. When Alina, Mal, and the Crows arrive, we hope they do not lose touch with each other and have each other's backs.
We adore the new friendships that emerge from "No Mourners," especially between Alina and Inej. Their dynamic is beautiful because of Inej's unwavering faith in the Sun Summoner.
And at its core, Shadow and Bone is a story about faith. Alina had to believe in herself to become the Sun Summoner.
Kaz believes in Inej and Jesper, who always have his back. Mal had to believe he would find his way back to Alina, and Inej's faith has always been an essential part of her character.
Even The Darkling believed in the Sun Summoner and Morozova's Stag, even if it was for his own gain. And Nina and Matthias had to believe in each other if they were going to survive the Fjerdan wilderness.
Kirigan: It's just you and me now, Alina. And we are all we need anyway.
Alina: You may have needed me, but I never needed you.
Nina and Matthias surprisingly end up on the same ship heading for Ketterdam after a whirlwind confrontation with Fedyor and other Grisha.
It is heartbreaking to see their newfound relationship disintegrate before our eyes, especially over a misunderstanding. But Matthias was wary of Nina from the beginning because of how his community brainwashed him with lies about Grisha.
So, he would jump ship at the first chance he got, even though Nina saved his life.
But we already know that the enemies-to-lovers trope has never been a breeze, and it usually takes a lot of hard work and development between two characters to get it right. But it makes it more rewarding when they end up together.
Nina and Matthias also board the same ship for Ketterdam. And considering Matthias is imprisoned, Shadow and Bone officially sets up the premise for Six of Crows.
And The Darkling emerges from the Shadow Fold with his newly created monsters, nichevo'ya, which also sets up the premise for Siege and Storm.
If Netflix renews Shadow and Bone, the second season will be a mix of Six of Crows and Siege and Storm -- the first and second book in their respective series.
Considering that Six of Crows takes place two years after the final Shadow and Bone book, it will be interesting to see how the writers will interweave these characters again, especially since Alina and Mal are in Ketterdam themselves.
We are crossing our fingers for this renewal because we are far from ready to let go of the Grishaverse.
We set out with a clear mission, a prize of a million kruge. And a new member on our crew. So, what did we learn? People with trains are evil. You can't kidnap a human sunbeam. And maybe, just maybe, greed is a poor motivator. True wealth is the friends you make along the way.Jesper
We want to hear from you, Fanatics!
What did you think of Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 8? Was the final battle the explosive scene you were looking for? What do you think will happen once the ship docks in Ketterdam? What would you like to see on a potential second season?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.