As Kirigan takes Alina into his confidence, Mal volunteers for a dangerous tracking mission, and the Crows plot a heist to get into the Little Palace.
Mal is on a mission to do something heroic to get an invitation to the Little Palace, so that he can be reunited with Alina. He decides to search for a mythical stag, which is said to be a powerful Amplifier for Grisha. He and his friends track the stag to Fjerdan territory, where they’re ambushed, and Mal gets shot. The Fjerdans kill both of his friends and Mal breaks down into tears. When he looks up, he sees the stag.
Alina goes riding with Kirigan, who asks her to call him Aleksander. They ride to an old fountain that he says he visited constantly as a child, once he discovered he was a descendant of the most-hated Grisha to ever live: The Black Heretic. He’d toss a coin in the well and make a wish, the same one, every time- “to be anyone else.” Alina remembers the story of the Black Heretic. The Heretic was once the king’s military advisor, but he was hungry for power. The king, concerned about a coup, put a bounty on his advisor’s head. That’s when the Heretic fled and attempted to use the power of Amplifiers to create an army. When he failed, it accidentally created the Fold instead, and he was killed by it.
Alina tells Kirigan that she’s worried if she fails, she’ll become the new Heretic. “If you believe anything,” he says, “believe I will not let that happen.” He takes her back to the palace for her lessons with Baghra. Baghra ends up giving Alina a special tea that unlocks some of her memories about her power. In a flashback, Alina was tested as a Grisha, but she hid those powers so she could stay with Mal. She tells Baghra all of this.
That night, she wanders the palace and goes to see Kirigan. They talk about the map he’s studying and an uprising in the west, led by an esteemed general. He starts to spiral, saying that the coffers have run dry and Ravkans are now turning against the Grisha as their king once did. Alina reaches out to him and touches his wrist, flooding the room with a burst of light. “You’re not alone,” she tells him, to which he responds, “I’ve been waiting a long time for you.” He brushes a few strands of hair away from her face and they almost kiss, but she says she has to go.
The next day, Alina asks if there are any letters for her and is disappointed to not see anything from Mal. Mentally, Alina leaves Mal behind and goes to Baghra, where she shows her powers in full force.
Kaz and his crew have a new mission— they need to break into the palace archives to steal the maps of the place. Inej will sneak into the archives through a dome, while Jesper disguises himself as a palace servant so he can turn off the lights at the dome. Kaz pretends to be a sculptor who needs the dimensions of the entrance to ensure his creation fits. He attaches something to the archive receptionist’s foot that leaves a trail for Inej to follow once she’s in. She’ll then make a copy of the blueprints, and leave the way she came in. However, the plan gets interrupted when the guards almost find Inej while she’s there. She’s still able to make a copy and Jesper shoots the lock on the door to get them both out. Finally, to get into the palace, the Dregs decide to pose as performers with a troupe that’s been invited to perform at the Winter Fete.
Meanwhile, on the boat, Nina makes friends with Matthias. He offers her food in exchange for answers, but they end up asking each other questions and answering nothing. Matthias asks her to tell him about the man she serves, Kirigan, and she assumes he only gave her food to betray her people. But he gives her the food anyway. Later, the ship sails into a storm, and the captain orders Matthias to kill all of the prisoners. But he looks at Nina and considers sparing her.
- Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
- Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev
- Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker
- Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
- Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
- Zoë Wanamaker as Baghra
- Ben Barnes as General Kirigan
- Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik
- Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar
- Simon Sears as Ivan
- Daisy Head as Genya Safin
- Andy Burse as Dubrov
- Kaylan Teague as Young Alina
- Cody Molko as Young Mal
- Howard Charles as Arken
- Elizabeth Rider as Ana Kuya
- Hugo Speer as Lieutenant Bohdan
- Julian Kostov as Fedyor Kaminsky
- Jasmine Blackborow as Marie
- Pedro Lloyd Gardiner as Marko
- Angus Castle-Doughty as Mikhael
- Jimmy Clark as Tofin
- Kelly Banlaki as Raisa
- Gabrielle Brooks as Nadia
- Jim High as Sergeant Yure Kuznets
- James Jaysen Bryhan as Archivist
- Sándor Csongor Torak as Royal Security Guard #1
- Tamas Koszoru as Royal Security Guard #2
- Marton Nagyszokolyai as Fjerdan Ammo Carrier
- Robert Beck as Quartermaster
- Emily Lawrence as Grisha Tester #2
- Michael Adamthwaite as Captain Nilsen
- Shadow & Bone - Writers Guild of America West. Accessed 29 October 2020.