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This post contains spoilers for season 2 of Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone.”

“Oh, I do love a challenge,” says Jesper Fahey (Kit Young) in season 1 of “Shadow and Bone,” before twirling his dual pistols and blasting away at enemies. An expert sharpshooter who never misses his mark, Jesper is a vital member of the Crows of Ketterdam, who are on a mission to aid Alina Starkov (Jesse Mei Li) in the latest season of the Netflix fantasy series. When not busy gambling his hard-earned Kruge away and hugging Milo the goat, Jesper spends most of his time being effortlessly skillful during tense shootouts and dangerous missions. 

While the first season hinted that there’s more than meets the eye to Jesper’s impressive abilities, season 2 confirms that he’s Grisha — a Fabrikator who can manipulate metals, among other things, to change their texture and composition.

Those acquainted with Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” duology will already be aware of Jesper’s latent Grisha abilities, and the reason why he actively chooses not to use them even when he’s in danger. As season 2 of the show combines various storylines from Bardugo’s novel series to create a more cohesive (albeit rushed) storyline, we are privy to what this revelation means for Jesper, and how this impacts his role in the events of “Shadow and Bone.” 

What makes these developments interesting is that Jesper is aware of his powers throughout, unlike Alina, who is surprised after learning that she’s Grisha with the ability to summon and manipulate light. Also, the reason why Jesper chooses to conceal his powers is a deeply personal one, as it can be traced back to his life as a child while growing up on a jurda farm in western Novyi Zem. 

What Do Fabrikators Do?

The Grisha, although formidable in all ranks, followed a strict hierarchy when they were under General Kirigan’s (Ben Barnes) leadership. The Materialki, also known as the Order of Fabrikators, are generally considered the lowest-ranking Grisha, but this outlook is a byproduct of a corrupt hierarchical power structure, as opposed to a true assessment of their abilities. Thanks to Alina and Nikolai’s efforts, the Fabrikators — which includes Durasts and Alkemi — now enjoy greater involvement in the Second Army and play a significant role in altering the history of Ravka. The latest season is a testament to this change, as we see more Materialki helping out both Kirigan and Alina in their respective plans for Ravka’s future.

Alkemi, as the name suggests, are experts in crafting alchemical formulas and potions (like Vladim), while Durasts can manipulate metal, glass, and steel (among other materials) to attack, defend, create, and transform. Both Durasts and Alkemi have contributed to Ravkan commerce with the invention of corecloth, reinforced steel, and blasting fires that mimic liquified fire.

The events of “Shadow and Bone” seasons 1 and 2 indicate that Jesper is a Durast who is able to transform small objects by changing their shape, texture, and composition. This is also the reason why he never misses his shots, as he is easily able to manipulate the trajectory of metal bullets even amid impossible odds. Although Jesper is careful to hide his Grisha origins, his fellow Crows are quick to unravel the truth; while Kaz mentions it briefly as a matter-of-fact observation, Wylan (Jack Wolfe) confronts Jesper about hiding who he truly is. Interestingly, Jesper undergoes an intense emotional experience right after this exchange with Jesper, where he is nudged into accepting his roots and stepping into the full extent of his powers. 

A Life-Altering Poison Gas Trip

After Tolya (Lewis Tan) and Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) join the Crows on a mission to retrieve the Neshyenyer, the gang travels to Bhez Ju to retrieve the mythical sword from its current owner, Ohval (Tuyen Do). Unfortunately, most of the team are incapacitated by a poison gas inside Ohval’s home, which is meant to gradually kill them whilst inducing vivid hallucinations. While Kaz and Inej experience visions that are either deceitful or deeply traumatic, Jesper’s poison gas trip involves something cathartic and beautiful. This is when the details of Jesper’s past are revealed, along with the reason why he never uses his Durast powers.

In the vision, Jesper sees his Zemeni mother, Aditi, who used Durast powers to draw poison from a child into her own body — saving the child, but at the cost of her own life. Scared that his son would also suffer a similar fate, Jesper’s father forbade him from Fabrikating things, which instilled deep-seated guilt in the child, who grew up to believe that Aditi’s Grisha powers were responsible for her death. 

While Jesper’s emotions are understandable, Aditi appears in the vision to tell him that someone had to save the child, and that it is how we choose to live, as opposed to how we die, that defines our legacy. Jesper is transformed by this emotional reunion; it helps him better understand the grief that he always carries with him, and approach healing and acceptance on his own terms.

However, while his spirit may now be willing, his Fabrikator abilities are largely untrained. During an intense fight with Ohval, Jesper does not think to use his powers, even though they could have helped to shift the odds in favor of the Crows. Ohval, who is revealed to be a Saint, advises Jesper to catch up to his skills after she hands the Neshyenyer over to him. And so, he does. 

Hiding No More

Even before Jesper experiences his vision, he uses his Grisha powers to transform and fix small objects to aid his friends. Apart from fixing Kaz’s cane and transforming a ring into a key to escape Pekka Rollins, Jesper also mends a piano wire while scouting out Rollins’ home with Wylan. After his conversation with Ohval, Jesper decides to no longer hide his Grisha abilities from the world and dedicates himself to training in the small science for greater skill and accuracy. Although our favorite sharpshooter still has a lot to learn, he proves to be instrumental in the fight against Kirigan’s amplified Grisha. Thanks to his Durast skills (and Wylan’s explosives), the gang is able to make it through another day and advance into the Fold to aid Alina.

The second season of “Shadow and Bone” ends with the Crows going their own ways, but Jesper is most likely to stick with both Wylan and Kaz, with Inej and Nina hopefully reuniting with them for the teased jurda parem storyline. As this is not the end of the road for the Crows (with a potential “Six of Crows” spin-off currently in development), there are ample opportunities for Jesper to dazzle folks with his Fabrikator powers, and prove himself useful when the gang finds itself trapped in tight corners. Till then, his dramatic, hyper-stylized gunslinging shall continue.

“Shadow and Bone” season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

Read this next: 14 Underrated Fantasy Shows That Deserve Your Attention

The post What Jesper Fahey’s New Abilities Could Mean For Shadow and Bone Season 3 appeared first on /Film.

/Film – What Jesper Fahey’s New Abilities Could Mean For Shadow And Bone Season 3
Author: Debopriyaa Dutta
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March 17, 2023

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