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S01.E04: Otkazat'sya

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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.

 

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Finally heist time! Not that elaborate but hopefully more to follow. 

I guess Alina's ready to take that black kefta now. And who can blame her, the Darkling is a dreamboat complete with magic brooding. But poor Mal :(

The outdoor shots of the Stag hunting party were beautiful. The scenery for that deadly skirmish was not quite as impressive. Damn Fierdans, bringing a machine gun along. Show's not throwing any punches. Glad we finally got an answer for Alina's scar and why tiny Mal was having a bandaged hand.

The plot on the doomed ship is dragging a bit. No book knowledge required to see where this is going.

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Apparently Alina is a going to be written as a moron...shame they use the facile trope of “they’ve forgotten me so I’ll fall for obvious bad guy.”

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4 minutes ago, magdalene said:

Girl, don't you know Ben Barnes always plays the bad guy....

Yeah but did it have to be so obvious.  Let's see his power is shadows! He dresses in black!!  I mean they couldn't have telegraphed it more if he was wearing a blinking sign saying "Beware! Bad Guy!"  Why not just give him a mustache to twirl? I didn't read the book and knew nothing of the story and it was like "Oh I guess he's gonna be the villain".  I was hoping it was some clever ruse and it was actually going to be switched up but nope, it really was THAT unsubtle. LOL

 

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7 minutes ago, tessathereaper said:

Yeah but did it have to be so obvious.  Let's see his power is shadows! He dresses in black!!  I mean they couldn't have telegraphed it more if he was wearing a blinking sign saying "Beware! Bad Guy!"  Why not just give him a mustache to twirl? I didn't read the book and knew nothing of the story and it was like "Oh I guess he's gonna be the villain".  I was hoping it was some clever ruse and it was actually going to be switched up but nope, it really was THAT unsubtle. LOL

 

Well, it's YA - maybe subtlety and complexity not a thing in that genre? I wouldn't know, when I was that age I went straight from children's books to adult fiction.

 

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General Hot Topic is dreamy and all but just say no Alina. No good can come of this. Also, she really should guess that something is up with not getting letters from Mal beyond him randomly deciding he doesn't care about her anymore. Even if it wasn't part of some evil scheme, he could just be off on a mission (like he is) or the mail is really slow given the war and everything. The last time she saw him he was running after her screaming her name, that doesn't scream "already forgotten you". 

Is this story of the ship and the kidnapped Grisha and the guy she is totally going to hook up with going to actually meet up with the other two stories, or is this just going to be a random subplot? I guess that the Ketteram crew and Alina will cross eventually, given they are trying to find her, but is that story going to be relevant, or is it just some part of another book they added here or is setting up for future events?

The stag hunt was shot really nicely, but it sucks that Mal's two friends died, I enjoyed their comic relief Greek Chorus. Those Fierdans don't play. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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2 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

General Hot Topic is dreamy and all but just say no Alina. No good can come of this. Also, she really should guess that something is up with not getting letters from Mal beyond him randomly deciding he doesn't care about her anymore. Even if it wasn't part of some evil scheme, he could just be off on a mission (like he is) or the mail is really slow given the war and everything. The last time she saw him he was running after her screaming her name, that doesn't scream "already forgotten you". 

Is this story of the ship and the kidnapped Grisha and the guy she is totally going to hook up with going to actually meet up with the other two stories, or is this just going to be a random subplot? I guess that the Ketteram crew and Alina will cross eventually, given they are trying to find her, but is that story going to be relevant, or is it just some part of another book they added here or is setting up for future events?

The stag hunt was shoot really nicely, but it sucks that Mal's too friends died. Those Fierdans don't play. 

Nina was supposed to meet up with the Crows before they crossed the fold.  

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So does this mean that Mal is Grisha? Because he healed himself? I'm still trying understand everything.

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5 minutes ago, MaggieG said:

So does this mean that Mal is Grisha? Because he healed himself? I'm still trying understand everything.

I don't think he healed himself. He was wounded and lost consciousness, then was still wounded when he came round, but not so badly that he couldn't fight. He was clipped by the bullets, it wasn't a kill shot.

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8 minutes ago, MaggieG said:

So does this mean that Mal is Grisha? Because he healed himself? I'm still trying understand everything.

Being Grisha does not make one less susceptible to injury.  Some Grisha are healers, but they need to practice their magic on someone.  Mal is injured, but it's not life-threatening.  

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10 minutes ago, Llywela said:

I don't think he healed himself. He was wounded and lost consciousness, then was still wounded when he came round, but not so badly that he couldn't fight. He was clipped by the bullets, it wasn't a kill shot.

 

1 minute ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Being Grisha does not make one less susceptible to injury.  Some Grisha are healers, but they need to practice their magic on someone.  Mal is injured, but it's not life-threatening.  

Thanks! It looked like a lot of blood, that's why I was thinking he healed himself. Like I said, I'm still trying to understand all the magical rules from this world. I am enjoying the show though.

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1 hour ago, MaggieG said:
1 hour ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Being Grisha does not make one less susceptible to injury.  Some Grisha are healers, but they need to practice their magic on someone.  Mal is injured, but it's not life-threatening.  

Thanks! It looked like a lot of blood, that's why I was thinking he healed himself. Like I said, I'm still trying to understand all the magical rules from this world. I am enjoying the show though.

I don't blame you because it looked like he got shot multiple times with a machine gun to me. I too believe he should be dead but is not for some Grisha reason.

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3 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I don't blame you because it looked like he got shot multiple times with a machine gun to me. I too believe he should be dead but is not for some Grisha reason.

His special super power is being protected by plot armor.

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Jesper saying a tearful farewell to the goat was pretty hilarious. Loved everything about it.

Baghra is a hardcore Mr. Miyagi. I love that she set bees on one of Alina's entourage. 

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His special super power is being protected by plot armor.

This made me laugh! I know that Mal has to survive because of Tru Wuv but he was shot with a machine gun. C'mon, show. 

Am I the only one that thinks that Alina and Mal's relationship is a bit toxic. The codependency between those two is no bueno. I understand that they've been each other's "North Star" and all -- can I get an eye roll for that one, please? -- but those two make terrible decisions just to be together. Alina denies her power -- not that being Grisha doesn't come with challenges -- to stay with Mal which sucks. Honestly, so much of their issues could be solved by some space so they could find themselves or just having sex already! They'd get over the constant starry-eyed pining, and get on with their relationship. 

His Gothness, General Kirigan is so good at this, and Alina is so naive. Like he is evil in the most charmingly evil and obvious way. First it starts with getting her to wear black, then it's being all broody about his dark past that he can't escape, then there is coins in a fountain foreplay, and then "call me Alexander." If she's not listening to The Cure and joining an Anne Rice book club by the end of next episode I'll be shocked. Also, Alina girl. Get it! Sure, it will end badly because Kirigan is manipulating you but who doesn't want to hook up with a bad boy? We all agree that Kirigan is totally intercepting the letters between Alina and Mal, right? 

Sassy Grisha Nina, and witch-hating Fjerdan guy are totally going to fall in love when he saves her from going down with the ship, right?

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8 hours ago, ZeeEnnui said:

Jesper saying a tearful farewell to the goat was pretty hilarious. Loved everything about it.

Baghra is a hardcore Mr. Miyagi. I love that she set bees on one of Alina's entourage. 

This made me laugh! I know that Mal has to survive because of Tru Wuv but he was shot with a machine gun. C'mon, show. 

 

The writers would have hopefully read all of the books before adapting book #1.  It really is a mistake to use automatic weapons in that scene when they know Mal is not dying anytime soon.  Also, the stereotypical shoulder flesh wound would make riding on horseback incredibly painful if not impossible.  There were multiple ways the show could have had that scene go down without having Mal get shot and still able to trek all around Ravka.

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37 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

The writers would have hopefully read all of the books before adapting book #1. 

I have seen enough TV adaptations where that was clearly not the case (yes, I am looking at you, Poldark) to know that it is entirely possible that they didn't!

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Ack, I'm so conflicted. There are some beautiful things about this show (not least its production design, costumes, and gorgeous cast), but then we get some really ham-handed bad acting and writing, and I'm yelling at the screen. But so far I still want to know what happens, so here I am to complain about it while I keep watching. 😉

Also, can I just rant that the show's constant dependence on flashbacks to things we have already seen is driving me absolutely bonkers? Because it is. It's like the show thinks we're stupid, so it has to incessantly remind us over and over of past events, some of which occurred in the very same episode. Aaaaagh.

On 4/25/2021 at 2:35 PM, staphdude said:

Apparently Alina is a going to be written as a moron...shame they use the facile trope of “they’ve forgotten me so I’ll fall for obvious bad guy.”

THIS. I can't stand her. She's not remotely interesting to me, and it doesn't help that Jessie Mei Li, while beautiful, is just not a good actress. Her performance of Alina seems to move between three moods: petulance, stubbornness, and a vacuous dreaminess.

I love a good heroine so the fact that I do not like or care about Alina really bothers me. At least I do love Inej, Nina, and Genya.

On 4/26/2021 at 9:12 AM, magdalene said:

Girl, don't you know Ben Barnes always plays the bad guy....

Not always! He was a lovely Prince Caspian.

Meanwhile: I'm probably a nitwit, but I haven't really decided the General is irredeemable or Eeeeevil with a capital E. I haven't read the books, but I thought they were kind of going for Kirigan as this interesting antihero or as a kind of sympathetic villain who maybe redeems himself? No?

Sigh. The bummer is, I'd much rather watch that story. I really hope this isn't going to be that predictable -- if Kirigan is just plain evil, and the story is just going through the paces until Kirigan goes full-on villain before Mal can save Alina and declare his love for her -- I'll be bummed. Oh well.

On 4/26/2021 at 9:32 AM, tessathereaper said:

Yeah but did it have to be so obvious.  Let's see his power is shadows! He dresses in black!!  I mean they couldn't have telegraphed it more if he was wearing a blinking sign saying "Beware! Bad Guy!"  Why not just give him a mustache to twirl? I didn't read the book and knew nothing of the story and it was like "Oh I guess he's gonna be the villain".  I was hoping it was some clever ruse and it was actually going to be switched up but nope, it really was THAT unsubtle. LOL

But a good person having to deal with or overcome shadows as his superpower would be an awesome thing for a hero to have to overcome -- basically, overcoming the darkness in himself, etc. If it really is just blatant villain-stuff I'm gonna be so disappointed!

On 4/26/2021 at 9:46 AM, magdalene said:

Well, it's YA - maybe subtlety and complexity not a thing in that genre? I wouldn't know, when I was that age I went straight from children's books to adult fiction.

As a fantasy and YA fiction writer, I have to note that there are a ton of superb, subtle, complex and literate books in the YA genre -- among the best I'd include works like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword (among many), LeGuin's Earthsea series, A Wrinkle in Time (among many of Madeleine L'Engle's books), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events series, Turner's The Queen's Thief series, Beagle's The Last Unicorn, plus literary fiction like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, Monster, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Book Thief, many more. (I'd add in the Harry Potter and Hunger Games books to the fantasy list as well, since I think they're entertaining even if flawed.) Plus tons more. (No pressure!)

On 4/28/2021 at 12:25 PM, AnimeMania said:

I don't blame you because it looked like he got shot multiple times with a machine gun to me. I too believe he should be dead but is not for some Grisha reason.

This was my impression of the scene too. It looked like Mal was completely mowed down by bullets there. I was surprised when he survived (much less got up and around).

On 4/28/2021 at 11:04 PM, ZeeEnnui said:

Jesper saying a tearful farewell to the goat was pretty hilarious. Loved everything about it.

Baghra is a hardcore Mr. Miyagi. I love that she set bees on one of Alina's entourage. 

This made me laugh! I know that Mal has to survive because of Tru Wuv but he was shot with a machine gun. C'mon, show. 

Am I the only one that thinks that Alina and Mal's relationship is a bit toxic. The codependency between those two is no bueno. I understand that they've been each other's "North Star" and all -- can I get an eye roll for that one, please? -- but those two make terrible decisions just to be together. Alina denies her power -- not that being Grisha doesn't come with challenges -- to stay with Mal which sucks. Honestly, so much of their issues could be solved by some space so they could find themselves or just having sex already! They'd get over the constant starry-eyed pining, and get on with their relationship. 

I loved Jesper's "I'll never forget you!" goodbye to the goat! So cute!

I don't like that Baghra abuses her students to get results. I always love seeing Zoe Wanamaker, but to me, she's honestly just a really bad teacher.

And YES on the toxicity of Mal and Alina's tedious, eternally boring relationship, which has -- let's face it -- caused HOW many deaths so far? I can't wait until the two of them reunite so they can shut up about each other. 

It's really funny because I am the shippingest shipper who ever shipped, normally. I love shipping a couple in books, movies, shows, games, etc. But I find Mal and Alina so boring because they seem to bring out the worst in each other, as you mention, and the show still gives us nothing about their actual intellectual connection. Instead they're just presented as being each other's personified security blankets or something.

And I'm also anti-shipping them because if I have to watch that fricking "TWO CHILDREN LYING IN A FIELD WITH THEIR HANDS TOUCHING IN TENDER SLOW-MOTION" flashback ONE MORE TIME I will shriek. I mean, we have seen that identical flashback multiple times, in episodes 2, 3, and now 4. Just in case we didn't get that they truly love each other so so so so much. Gah.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:11 AM, Ohiopirate02 said:

The writers would have hopefully read all of the books before adapting book #1.  It really is a mistake to use automatic weapons in that scene when they know Mal is not dying anytime soon. 

For me the most incomprehensible thing about that entire sequence is that we have tons of loud screaming, combat, and shooting, ending with MACHINE-GUN fire, and somehow the Magical Moose strolls slowly out seconds later to happily greet Mal? I mean, come on. Any animal in the area would have run a thousand miles away at that point.

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On 4/29/2021 at 1:04 AM, ZeeEnnui said:

His Gothness, General Kirigan is so good at this, and Alina is so naive. Like he is evil in the most charmingly evil and obvious way. First it starts with getting her to wear black, then it's being all broody about his dark past that he can't escape, then there is coins in a fountain foreplay, and then "call me Alexander." If she's not listening to The Cure and joining an Anne Rice book club by the end of next episode I'll be shocked. Also, Alina girl. Get it! Sure, it will end badly because Kirigan is manipulating you but who doesn't want to hook up with a bad boy? We all agree that Kirigan is totally intercepting the letters between Alina and Mal, right?

Cosign. Alina's position as a perceived outsider/orphan who's recently been separated from the only person she considers family would probably make her an easy mark for manipulation and exploitation no matter what, but Kirigan can do this in his sleep. His shadow powers get him the creepy action scenes, but his powers of manipulation should never be counted out.

On 5/2/2021 at 12:32 AM, paramitch said:

Meanwhile: I'm probably a nitwit, but I haven't really decided the General is irredeemable or Eeeeevil with a capital E. I haven't read the books, but I thought they were kind of going for Kirigan as this interesting antihero or as a kind of sympathetic villain who maybe redeems himself? No?


Sigh. The bummer is, I'd much rather watch that story. I really hope this isn't going to be that predictable -- if Kirigan is just plain evil, and the story is just going through the paces until Kirigan goes full-on villain before Mal can save Alina and declare his love for her -- I'll be bummed. Oh well.

But a good person having to deal with or overcome shadows as his superpower would be an awesome thing for a hero to have to overcome -- basically, overcoming the darkness in himself, etc. If it really is just blatant villain-stuff I'm gonna be so disappointed!

My thoughts exactly. I'm making my peace with him being totally Eeeeeevil, but it just seems like it'd be so much more interesting if he wasn't. I guess the real "problem" with that is that it would make Kirigan a threat to the Alina/Mal OTPness beyond just being a sexy/seductive detour for Alina, and goodness knows we can't have THAT.

I was indifferent to Alina/Mal before, but like some of you, I'm getting less interested in them as they get more people dragged into their codependent recklessness. I liked Mal's army buddies, and it sucks that they had to die for the Alina/Mal love story. Come on, people!

Loved all the Crow shenanigans. I live for them skulking around being sneaky and tricky. This episode was all about the Inej-Jesper team-ups for me, between that perfectly-timed shot to give Inej the assist when that security gate locked on her at the archive and their double-act audition for the player troupe. But I also loved Kaz being all, "I'd rather die, I'll find my own way into the Little Palace" when the troupe player was wanting him to perform.

The stuff with Nina and the Fjerdan Grisha-hunter guy on the ship is obvious with the whole "enemies forced to see each other as people (and then they fall in love!!)" thing, but it's done well. I like the characters' interactions together, and Nina is great.

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