Shadow and Bone: Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – There are moments of absolute joy and action, but it does get bogged down in a story that does not reach the heights of the world’s potential.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this show.

Alina tries to collapse the The Fold

Shadow and Bone Review

A while back, I caught up on some of the Fantasy series I had missed and stumbled upon an exciting delight. It was a show that took queues from a more Slavic inspiration, creating a universe that felt like we were not just running over the same cultural touchstones. Well, the show’s second season has now dropped, and I didn’t wait to give it a watch this time.

So to set the scene, Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) and Malyen “Mal” Oretsev (Archie Renaux) have escaped overseas after defeating General Aleksander Kirigan / The Darkling (Ben Barnes) but not having the power to stop the Fold. But they are still being hunted, this time by a charismatic pirate (Patrick Gibson) and the nation they just abandoned. Meanwhile, the Crows have returned to Ketterdam only to find that someone has bought their club out from underneath them, and some people are mighty upset that they did not bring back the prize they were hired for. Now from here, we will be looking at the series as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

the Darkling poses
This is a show that continues the be both moody and thirsty.. Image Credit: Netflix.

Shadow and Bone shines when it revels in the slight absurdity of its premise. There was absolute joy when Alina and Mal ended up on Nikolai Lantsov’s flying pirate ship. It was a delight because it was full of charm, and Patrick Gibson, Lewis Tan & Anna Leong Brophy perfectly worked in their roles on the ship. Another excellent example is the heist later in the season when the Crows go to Shu-Han to steal the sword Neshyenyer from Ohval Saran (Tuyền Đỗ), only to discover that she is a Saint with immense power. They all get wrecked, and it is nice to see a power showdown like that.

Additionally, one of the strengths from the first season we see here again is the show’s production. You can feel the strength of the location scouts, costume and set designers in the fact that every place feels like an actual location. On that front, we also get to travel a bit more this season and start to see more of this universe’s broader world, which is why I am glad to say that they have fixed one of my big problems with Season One. They do a fantastic job of locating you in this world so you know where you are geographically.

Nikolai Lantsov
I enjoyed all the new characters. Image Credit: Netflix.

However, I did also find some frustrations as well, as I watched through the second season. There were parts in the story where you could feel the narrative screech on the brakes. Like, fun time is over now we have to get some of the plot out of the way. You could feel this happen when Alina and Mal return to Ravka, and we have to go through many of the same political manoeuvres as the first season. Another is the tension between Kaz (Freddy Carter) and Inej (Amita Suman), which came out of nowhere and felt deeply forced. This season, the Nina (Danielle Galligan)/Matthias (Calahan Skogman) storyline flounders around. Also, you can feel when the two books get crushed together and don’t quite line up. While these and other moments were frustrating, the one thing that helps is that it feels like the cast has a strong bond, which helps smooth over some of the rougher edges.

In the end, do we recommend Shadow and Bone – Season Two? Well, it is not without its issues, but it is an absolute delight to watch when it is going at full steam. You can feel the cast’s bond, and exploring the world is fascinating. Add an interesting note to end the season that I am sure will play out extensively next time.              

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Shadow and Bone yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    
Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Shadow and Bone
Directed by
– Bola Ogun, Laura Belsey, Karen Gaviola & Mairzee Almas,  
Written by – Eric Heisserer, Nick Culbertson, Shelley Meals, Christina Strain, Daegan Fryklind, Vanya Asher & Erin Conley  
Based offShadow and Bone and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Created by – Eric Heisserer
Production/Distribution Companies – 21 Laps Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Patrick Gibson, Daisy Head, Danielle Galligan, Calahan Skogman, Lewis Tan, Jack Wolfe, Anna Leong Brophy, Zoë Wanamaker & Ben Barnes with Sean Gilder, Dean Lennox Kelly, Joanna McGibbon & Luke Pasqualino and Vigág Bárány, Fflyn Edwards, László Hajdú, Janet Kumah, Seamus O’Hara, Tommy Rodger, Iliász Shweirif, Jonathan Slinger, Hugo Speer, David Wurawa, Wayne Allan Brett, Tumi Fani-Kayode, András Korcsmáros, Pääru Oja, Robert Papdi, Shobhit Piasa, Tim Plester, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Rachel Redford, Tommy Rodger, Tijan Sarr, Keir Charles, Sujaya Dasgupta, Tamas Farkas, Taylor Fay, Bence Ferenczi, Zoltán Hetényi, Zsolt Kemenesi, Tamas Nemeth, Alistair Nwachukwu, Christine Grace Szarko, April V. Woods, Edward Davis, Mátê Haumann, Georgia Reece, David Verry, Tuyền Đỗ, Bálint Antal, Simon Armstrong, Louis Boyer, Vanessa Grasse, Sabrina Javor, Rhoda Ofori-Attah & Kevin Eldon
Episodes CoveredNo Shelter But Me, Rusalye, Like Calls to Like, Every Monstrous Thing, Yuyeh Sesh (Despise Your Heart), Ni Weh Sesh (I Have No Heart), Meet You in the Meadow & No Funerals


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