Ramping up the action, the sixth episode begins with the Conductor being held captive as Kirigan questions him. Yet everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie, and they know it, since Kirigan is using a heartrender to figure that out. Kirigan believes that the Conductor has something to do with Nina, his spy, going missing, as she hasn’t been seen since she was supposed to meet with him and Kaz’s crew. Because of that, Kirigan believes they were meant to kidnap Alina too. The Conductor finally tells some truth, saying that he was offered one million from Zlatan, the Lieutenant who is against the Second Army, to kill Alina. In anger, Kirigan has him choke to death on shadow. We are beginning to see his true, violent colors.
In Rvevost, away from the palace, Alina uses light to unlock the trunk she hid in, only to find Kaz, Jesper, and Inej standing there. They tell her they can help her get through the fold to East Ravka, but Alina understandably doesn’t trust them, and uses light to escape from them and begins to wander the town. Kaz has now lost her again, and him, Inej and Jesper need to find her, otherwise his club is gone forever.
Kirigan finds out that Nina was captured by Fjerdans, and instructs one of his soldiers to find her. Nina, meanwhile, is in the middle of the ocean after the ship was completely destroyed by the storm. She gets herself onto a piece of wood where the Fjerdan who had messed with her lay passed out. She uses her powers to save him, and they make their way to shore as he swims in the cold water, pushing the wood she is on, and she keeps him warm. Once they find shore, she speaks Fjerden to him, which he doesn’t like. The more time we spend with these two characters, the more it seems like it’s turning into an enemies to lovers storyline, and this is one hetero version of that storyline I could get behind.
Back in the palace, Kirigan asks Zoya to lead a team to find Alina. She thinks Alina ran off, but we as viewers know that she is jealous of the special treatment she has received, especially from Kirigan. Zoya solidifies that stance of jealousy by coming onto him, but he dismisses it, only thinking about Alina.
As Alina continues to wander the town, she gets attacked by First Army guards, and defends herself by blinding one with light and runs away. But they come after her, chasing her through the town and into the woods. She slips down into a crevice to evade them, and to her surprise, runs into Mal. He reaches for her hand and she takes it, running off together. Be still, my heart!!
Returning to Nina and the Fjerden, she begins to undress out of her wet clothes so she can get warm, but he refuses to. She insists, telling him it is the only way to stay alive, and then she can use her powers to keep them both warm. He is hesitant but then undresses, and they lay next to each other, the sexual friction blaring off the screen. When they wake up later, they are spooning, and he freaks out a bit. He believes she is seducing him and that women are to be pious while men are meant to be the protectors. She quips that she wants him to be bested by a girl so he can see that they can fight too, to which he laughs.
Our other straight will they/won’t they couple, Mal and Alina, talk through the struggles of being apart. Mal thought the stag drawings were from her directly, but it seems like Kirigan had stolen them from Alina’s journal and assigned that task to find the stag. He mentions he had written so many letters, and she realizes that had been wrongfully upset with him when it was Kirigan messing with their relationship. “Thank you for finding me,” says Alina. “Always. I’ll always find you,” responds Mal. My Malina heart is healed, and my ship is beginning to sail again! The two of them them find a cave for some shelter, and Alina notices Mal’s injury on his shoulder. He brushes it off, but she knows he isn’t fine. Mal says the trick for the night will be not to freeze, but Alina says she can help, asks for his hand, and summons a small orb of light to bring them warmth.
As she does this, he is taken a bit aback, and you can see she thinks he is scared of her and her powers. Yet, it isn’t that. He looks at her intently and tells her directly, “I’m sorry that it took so long for me to see you, Alina. But I see you now.” The way they proceed to look at each other shows there is no doubt that they are in love with each other. I just hope they’re able to admit it at some point!
Danger is lurking, however, as General Kirigan arrives to Rvevost with Zoya and other Grisha to look for Alina. Kaz, Jesper, and Inej are still there, knowing that they would show up at some point. Their “alarm” (aka the carriage blowing up when the Grisha open it) goes off, and the trio begin to be chased by Grisha. Jesper and the Heartrender battle it out, and Jesper is able to shoot him three times, knocking him down. But, instead of killing him off, he knocks him out with the butt of his gun. Inej fights the Inferno and narrowly escapes, but gets hurt. The Inferno follows her and Inej then kills her—now the second person she has killed. Zoya, meanwhile, goes after Kaz, but gets tricked and loses him. Instead, Kaz runs into General Kirigan. He tells her that he had Alina, but she fled on her own and he doesn’t know where she is. Kirigan doesn’t believe him and begins to attack him with shadow, but before he can do anything, Kaz pulls something out of his pocket, throws it, puts his cane forward, and somehow disappears from sight.
It is now the next day, and Alina and Mal have a small fire going. Alina looks at Mal’s wounds and puts salve on to help them heal. She asks him what happened to him, and he tells her that he was caught on the wrong side of the Fjerdan border, and almost didn’t make it out alive. She then asks him if he told Kirigan where to find the stag, but he says he only pointed at a broad area and didn’t give him the exact location. Alina decides that they should head north and find the stag, that it might be powerful enough to destroy the fold, but would have another use for Kirigan.
Nina and the Fjerdan are trekking through the snow, lost, and bickering about how he doesn’t want to relax so he doesn’t begin to like a Grisha. Nevertheless, he admits that he likes her, but thinks its because she is using her magic to mess with his mind and make him think that. She jokes around with him, and suddenly the ground falls from under her. He catches her before she falls and pulls her up, saving her life. Then, he finally says his name—Matthias.
In Rvevost, Kaz, Inej, and Jesper steal Kirigan’s carriage to escape from him and the Grisha. Kirigan is still upset they didn’t find Alina, but David the Durast (the same one who made the enhancement gloves for her) tells Kirigan that Genya gave her a ring that allows him to track her once they’re only a mile away from her. Alina and Mal are making their way up north, and Alina knows Kirigan will track her, as she is now a threat to him. She realizes that the way he’s lived so long is that he’s taken power from other Grisha, and she is going to stop that.
But, it won’t be without a fight, as Kirigan now knows she fled into the woods and that she is with Mal to find the stag. In an almost venomous manner, he gripes about the two of them and they they’re just “an ordinary girl and an ordinary boy, just orphans reunited.” The facade of him caring about Alina has been destroyed.
We now see him in his true nature as a villain, and there is going to be one hell of a showdown between him and Alina as this season comes to a close.