‘Shadow and Bone’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 4 “Every Monstrous Thing”

11 Min Read
Dávid Lukács/Netflix

In the fourth episode of the second season of Shadow and Bone, “Every Monstrous Thing,” Vasily doesn’t take well to the news of Alina and Nikolai’s engagement and launches plans of his own. However, they’re overshadowed by the Darkling’s next move. Meanwhile, in Ketterdam, the Crows finally manage to corner Pekka Rollins.

A royal engagement

Vasily isn’t pleased with Nikolai’s penchant for “playing the diplomat,” and he expresses his displeasure over dinner at the concept of Ravkan soldiers dining beside Grisha. Alina tells him that if the Second Army needs a leader loyal to the Crown to assure their fealty, she will lead them. Vasily laughs at the prospect, questioning why he should believe she holds any loyalty to his family. And it’s then that Nikolai stands up to announce his engagement to Alina.

Following the news, Mal is upset about Alina leading the Second Army — the engagement was meant to keep her safe and out of harm’s way. Unbeknownst to either of them, Vasily watches this private exchange from afar.

You came here for Ravka. I came here for you. You’re my flag, Alina. You’re my nation, not this swamp.

– Mal

David’s escape

Alina finds a challenge in harnessing the power of the second amplifier — summoning now is akin to reigning chaos. With the thought of Kirigan as her target, though, she manages to improve her aim, but she’s called away to the war room … where she finds David. He apologizes for wronging her and informs the group that Kirigan is indeed alive. He’s hesitant to tell them where the Darkling is holed up, and he tells them about the nichevo’ya. Apprehensive about where David’s true loyalties lie, Alina orders for him to be taken to a holding cell.


Mal needs to track down the firebird for them to stand any chance against Kirigan now with his shadow monsters, but Alina wonders if she can do the opposite and create soldiers of light. She asks David to tell her how to use merzost, but he implores her to understand that it comes with a cost, and he goes on to say that there may be a bond that exists between her and the Darkling (despite the fact that the fragment was removed from his hand).

Mal asks Tolya about a sword, Neshyenyer … a blade so sharp, it could cut shadow. Despite the fact that Tolya believes it to be nothing more than a folktale, given the fact that the stag and the sea whip were real, anything’s possible at this point. Nikolai suggests that their mutual friends in Ketterdam might be the perfect crew to find where the real blade is located.

Vasily’s betrayal

Vasily catches Mal off guard and has one of his men knock him out, ordering him to deliver him to the base at Ulensk for immediate court-martial. Afterward, Vasily interrupts Alina’s dress fitting to taunt and remind her that Nikolai will always be a second son, and only he can make her a queen.

The Darkling attacks

Nikolai gives Alina a ring, the Lantsov Emerald — she can console herself with the knowledge that she’ll likely take his eye out if she ever punches him while wearing it. As they make their way downstairs, they coyly discuss the rumor that Nikolai is likely a bastard. As they walk into the “small” gathering to celebrate their engagement, Alina is immediately concerned that she doesn’t see Mal. Meanwhile, Nikolai is bothered about how overzealous the invites for the party were, because it’s far too dangerous for so many people to know where they’re hiding.

As Vasily smugly steps up to make a speech, the Darkling’s nichevo’ya come crashing in through the windows in the ceiling. One of the shadow monsters tears Vasily in half. Alina and the Grisha quickly work to try and figure out what the creatures’ weaknesses are so that they can fight back. As they run through the halls, Alina spies Kirigan, and she chases him down, confused as to whether or not he’s real. She freezes in fear as he approaches her with a promise that he’ll be back for her.

Kirigan finds Tamar, Alina, Nadia, and Adrik again. He tries to convince them to come to his side, where he and Alina can rule, rather than her future that will find her married to Nikolai with Mal curled up at the foot of her throne. Alina holds the shadow monster back as Tamar and Nadia help carry Adrik and his injured arm away. She manages to throw the Darkling off and escapes just as the hallway begins to cave in.


I have seen what you truly are, and I have never turned away. I never will. Can they say the same?

– The Darkling


After her attempted escape, Genya is now locked up in a cage beside Baghra, and her face is ruined. Baghra berates the Darkling for what he’s done to the girl after years of loyalty, and during the attack on the Spinning Wheel, she manages to set both herself and Genya free.

Kaz’s ruthless retaliation

Dávid Lukács/Netflix

The Crows prepare for their next move. They’ll outfit the Dregs — which is now their gang — with costumes and bottles of a compound that is to be sprayed across all of Pekka’s businesses. Kaz comments on how quiet Nina’s been after sharing the plan, and she punches him in the face. The Heartrender drags Kaz to Pekka, keeping him down by slowing his heart rate. Elsewhere, Inej is in the midst of spreading the compound on a ship when she finds women being kept as prisoners.

Pekka begins to beat Kaz, but suddenly, chaos erupts around the city as firepox mysteriously begins to spread. It’s then that Kaz stands and tells Pekka what he’s done — they meticulously placed a trail so that it’s clear that a ship in his harbor spread the disease to all of his clubs. We flash back and see crucial parts of the plan unfold: Kaz’s promise to Nina that he’ll find a way to get to Matthias once Pekka is out of the way and Wylan’s task to create a fake version of firepox that will only last a day or so. Pekka loads his pistol, holding it to Kaz’s chest, and then Kaz reveals his wildcard: Alby.

Kaz tells Brekker that if he kills him, he’ll never find his son in time. He buried him alive. And then … Kaz implores him to remember a con he ran on two farm boys long ago as Jacob Hertzoon. If Pekka can remember Kaz’s brother’s name, he’ll tell him where Alby is. But he doesn’t remember it. Pekka’s men watch on as he gets down on his knees and begins to beg. Kaz pulls out two papers for him to sign in exchange for his son — a confession for the murders he framed the Crows with and the ticket to Inej’s freedom.

The Dime Lions rush to Black Veil in search of Alby, but the stadwatch arrives to arrest Pekka while he’s digging through the dirt. Kaz’s bluff is revealed when Alby comes running for his father just as he’s being taken away.

Jesper and Wylan

Jesper and Wylan continue to dance around their feelings for one another, and Wylan admits that after they spent their first night together, he didn’t think Jesper would want anything more — given his reputation and all. Jesper can’t deny who he is, but now that he knows Wylan, he feels differently. He can’t guarantee what will happen between them, but he’d like to find out. After a few beats of silence, Wylan rushes forward and kisses him before they collapse in bed together.

One Crow down

When Inej finally returns, there’s cold, quiet fury in Kaz’s voice as he demands to know where she was. She admits that she discovered the Drakonasha was trafficking indentures and had to set them free. He accuses her of choosing strangers over her own crew. Regardless of the fact that the plan worked out, Kaz doesn’t care because the real issue is that he didn’t know if she had been killed. He tells her that he can’t have a weak link in his crew, handing her the signed paper that guarantees her freedom not only from the Menagerie … but from the Crows as well.

Shadow and Bone season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Make sure to follow along with all of our episodic recaps!

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By Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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