We finally meet the mysterious General Kirigan on Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 2.
Better known as The Darkling, Kirigan is the general of the Second Army, a Shadow Summoner, and the most powerful Grisha before Alina comes along. He leads the Grisha military forces in Ravka's wars, serving directly under the King.
"We're All Someone's Monster" establishes the complex and compelling dynamic between Alina and The Darkling, while in Ketterdam, Kaz searches for a way to cross the Fold.
First, we have the long-awaited meeting between Alina and The Darkling -- a meeting with different repercussions for everyone, most notably, Alina.
She insists that she cannot be Grisha -- let alone a Sun Summoner -- even though she produces a burst of light in the Fold and Kirigan's tent.
Alina is reluctant to become the Sun Summoner even after the Grisha test. Alina seemingly does not want to be Grisha, something that has resonated with her since childhood.
Alina: Look at me. Do I look important to you?
Ivan: You look like trouble, which is nearly the same.
Initially, Alina does not want to be Grisha so that she and Mal could stay together. However, as Alina grows up, she develops a disdain for Grisha, as seen on Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 1.
We do not think Alina hates Grisha, but she is undoubtedly uncomfortable around them. She does not feel like she belongs, and no matter what Kirigan says, Alina still feels alone.
However, we recognize Alina's potential for character development. Right now, her circumstances thrust her into a new and scary situation. She will be among other Grisha, but this is the first time in her life she has done that.
Alina does not even get to say goodbye to Mal, the closest thing she has to family or friends. She does not get a choice in the life she is about to lead, which makes this situation an excellent opportunity to develop her character.
Grisha life is about to test Alina as no one has tested her before. Regardless of what other people think, she is the Sun Summoner now. She might have a responsibility to destroy the Fold, but she also has a responsibility to herself.
Alina has denied a part of who she is for her entire life, to the point where she became sick.
Now that she has freed her summoning powers, she can learn how to use them. Alina can become the Sun Summoner and Grisha on her own terms. She can incorporate her newfound abilities into who she already is and grow as a character.
We expect the show to pursue this route, and we are excited to see how it will play out.
The Darkling: Whatever their original mission was, they must have diverted to find you. That's why I'm traveling with you.
Alina: They're that scared of you.
The Darkling: I think they're more scared of you.
The Darkling: What your power means to us. You may well be the first of your kind, but we've always had a name for you. For what we hope you can do. Enter the Fold. Destroy it.
The Darkling and Alina's meeting also has repercussions for him, but they remain somewhat unclear.
That is because we do not know much about The Darkling himself. Those who have read the Grishaverse books remember the mystery and allure surrounding his character, even if they already know where he will lead.
So, right now, it isn't easy to figure out who The Darkling is because we do not know much about him. We can conclude that he is authoritative in a terrifying way, given how easily his people fall into line.
But Grisha also greatly respects him, which shows that they believe in his cause and the Second Army.
However, we also witness a darker side of Kirigan when he rescues Alina. A group of Drüskelle, Grisha hunters, attack The Darkling's coach, leading one of the hunters to trap Alina. She is at death's door until Kirigan swoops in on horseback and kills her attacker.
Yes, The Darkling saved her life, and Alina acknowledges that. But his darker side stands out because of how he chose to save Alina, even if he insists he would only do such a thing as a last resort.
Kirigan kills the hunter with the Cut, meaning that the shadows he summons will split anything in half. Of course, that includes a person.
Alina has known this whole time how powerful The Darkling is, but there is a difference between hearing about it and witnessing it in action. Like us, she is beginning to see who Kirigan is, and she is unsure of what to make of him.
Right now, he seems cold, powerful, and even ruthless -- but he is also greatly respected and admired by Grisha. Just as imagine Alina is, we are curious to learn more about The Darkling.
The Darkling: You would give up your gift?
Alina: Gift? You dragged me away from my only friends, and now, according to you, I'm gonna be a target for the rest of my life. You wanna know why you've never found someone with this power? Maybe it's because they don't want to be found.
The Darkling: I'm going to ask you again. Were you tested as a child?
Alina: We hid. We were different enough already. Didn't want to be even more alone.
The Darkling: You are Grisha. You are not alone.
Meanwhile, in Ketterdam, Kaz struggles with finding a way to cross the Fold. While he is eventually successful, the most rewarding aspect of this adventure is the relationship between Kaz and Inej. We witness just how much he cares for her, setting up a potential future romance.
Inej is stuck working at a brothel called the Menagerie. She only escapes part of the time when she works for Kaz. Unfortunately, Inej has to keep returning to the Menagerie until Kaz can pay off her boss, Heleen.
Of course, that means Inej cannot leave Ketterdam, which provides two challenges for Kaz -- find a way to cross the Fold and ensure Inej crosses with him and Jesper.
Kaz proves that there is nothing he would not do for Inej. Of course, he needs her skills to kidnap Alina, but it also seems deeply personal.
He is willing to trade the Crow Club, his most prized possession, for Inej's temporary freedom. If this was truly just about Inej's skills, Kaz could probably find a cheaper and less risky alternative.
But he is afraid to leave Inej behind. He does not want to leave Inej behind. Kaz wants Inej by his side, and if that means selling the Crow Club, for the time being, he will do it.
Kaz's devotion to Inej certainly piques our interest, and we wonder how this voyage will go down, knowing that feelings run deep between these two.
Never make decisions out of fear, Jesper. Only out of spite.Kaz
Over to you, Fanatics!
What did you think of Shadow and Bone Season 1 Episode 2? What did you make of General Kirigan?
Does his relationship with Alina intrigue you?
What about Kaz and Inej's relationship?
How do you think Alina will adjust to the Little Palace?
What do you think is in store for Kaz, Inej, and Jesper once they arrive in Ravka?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.