In the fifth episode of season 2 of Shadow and Bone, “Yuyeh Sesh (Despise Your Heart),” Alina tries to utilize her connection with the Darkling, familiar faces make their way to the caves, and the Crows head to Shu Han in pursuit of the Neshyenyer.
Genya and Baghra arrive
Those who survived the Darkling’s attack are hiding below ground in the caves, and Alina is still concerned because she hasn’t found Mal yet. Nikolai reminds her that she needs to focus on the task at hand: saving Ravka. Baghra and Genya arrive in the tunnels, the former’s wit still very much intact. Nikolai is furious when he realizes who Genya is, but Alina steps in to defend her — she did what she had to in order to survive. He relents and guarantees her safety.
After doing what she can to heal what’s left of Adrik’s arm, Genya tries to hide from David, not wanting him to see the scars on her face. She runs into Tatiana, who immediately calls for the guards. But then Genya stares her in the face as she tells her that she put the poison on her body for weeks — all the king had to do was stop coming to her bed. Nikolai approaches, taking Genya’s side, berating his mother for her complacency in what happened. Afterward, David finally gets Genya alone, and she admits that she was able to find the caves because Baghra amplified her to seek out familiar heartbeats … his.
Tricking the Darkling
Alina tells Baghra about how she keeps seeing the Darkling as a projection. Baghra warns her that he will continue to invade her thoughts, so she must find a way to block him out. Instead, Alina projects herself to where Kirigan is, and she tells him he was right, she was meant for more. Despite Vasily’s attempts to get rid of him, Mal finds his way to the tunnels. He, Baghra, and Nikolai rush in as she’s in the middle of reaching out to the Darkling with the tether. Alina cradles the Darkling’s face, pretending that she’s about to kiss him, but instead, she directs her powers to his hand. However, she loses her focus and fails. This trickery infuriates the Darkling, seemingly severing what was left of his hope to pull her back to his side. Meanwhile, rather than a tender reunion, Alina and Mal have a bitter argument instead.
Baghra confronts Alina about the true nature of her connection with the Darkling afterward, and she admits that every time she uses her powers, she feels him. Alina goes on to open up about her complicated relationship with him, the way her powers and so much of what she’s become and done are all tied to him. But Baghra assures her that her will is stronger than her son’s. It’s up to her to heal the wound he’s left on the country. She tells her that despite her feelings on the abuse of amplifiers, she’ll help her find the firebird.
Alina shares her worries about Mal with Nikolai because he’s never walked away from her like that before. Nikolai assures her that Mal loves her, and with her journey to seek out the firebird ahead, she hands him back the engagement ring. In return, Nikolai puts his lucky compass around her neck.
In search of the Neshyenyer
Kaz wakes with a start after a nightmare about floating in a pile of dead bodies following the firepox outbreak, Jordie’s corpse included. He furiously scrubs at his hands. Elsewhere, Jesper and Wylan are in a far better state as they wake up in bed together. Unfortunately, their morning plans are interrupted by Kaz knocking at the door. Tolya and Zoya have arrived in Ketterdam with their latest assignment for the Crows: retrieve the Neshyenyer.
The Crows are shocked to discover that both Alina and the Darkling are alive, and the latter now touts an indestructible army of shadow monsters. Though Tolya and Zoya already knew this, Kaz confirms that the Neshyenyer located at Ahmrat Jen is definitely a fake, but his contacts believe it’s been stolen by the Disciple. Inej walks into the Slat after Jesper and Nina’s visit, and Kaz can’t understand why she’d return to the Crows if she’s free now. She assures him that she didn’t come for him, she’s there for Sankta Alina.
Off to Shu Han
Tolya, Zoya, and the Crows arrive in Shu Han. As Kaz and Nina sit down for tea in hopes of learning the Disciple’s location, there’s a rare moment where Kaz takes off his gloves. Their plan seemingly fails, and Kaz begins to panic, making his way through the streets with his hands still bare. Inej follows Kaz and brings his gloves to him. The Crows reconvene, sharing the information that they’ve gleaned throughout the tea debacle — Ohval isn’t just a fence, she’s the Disciple. So they’ll need to break into her house to get the blade.
Zoya and Nina keep an eye on Ohval in the city while Tolya, Kaz, Inej, Wylan, and Jesper go to her house. As they’re in the midst of the break-in, the awkwardness brewing between Jesper and Wylan comes to a head. Jesper tries to downplay the revelation that Wylan can’t read, and Wylan demands to know why he hides the fact that he’s Grisha. Meanwhile, Ohval catches Nina, and Ohval’s house turns out to be a trap. Gas pours out from the ceiling, and everyone passes out.
Pekka arrives in Hellgate
Pekka Rollins arrives at Hellgate, and Matthias’ cellmate immediately strides forward to attack him. Unfortunately, Pekka beats him to a pulp and paces the room, making promises to gain the loyalty of the prisoners. Matthias rushes to his cellmate’s side, prepared to get a doctor for him, but he succumbs to his injuries.