Shadow season 1 episode 8 recap: The Reckoning


As Zola goes in for spinal surgery, the truth about Shadow’s connection to the murdered woman and daughter is revealed. Shadow has his day of reckoning when he finally finds Cyrus.

The woman who came to Shadow for protection against Cyrus is really an old girlfriend of his named Ayanda. She apologizes for what she did to him. It sounds like she probably cheated on him with Cyrus. After she and Shadow broke up they moved in together.

She had a child, a daughter Zinhle, who Cyrus refused to acknowledge. Domestic abuse just became part of her life, until one day he crossed the line and hit Zinhle. She is determined to leave him but knows that she won’t be able to safely unless he’s in prison.

Domestic abuse cases are difficult to prosecute, but she knows a lot about his illegal diamond trading business. She’s willing to testify if it will help put him away. Shadow agrees to help and then Ayanda drops a bombshell. Zinhle is his daughter.

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Scully can’t find an address for Cyrus but knows he does business with a gem trader named Tau in Gaborone. If Shadow can make contact with Tau, he can likely find Cyrus.

Zola gets ready to go in for surgery as Shadow and friends gather to support her. Max asks her what she wants to do first if the treatment works and she says she wants to swim in the ocean.

Shadow is distracted by his own plans and doubts. He worked and fought so hard to give Zola this chance, but now he’s worried about how she’ll feel if the surgery doesn’t work. Max says he is getting way ahead of himself. Dr. Madi tells them that there was more spinal damage than they thought, so the outcome is even more difficult to predict, but that she’s recovering well.

Shadow tells Zola that he found Cyrus. He thinks she’s going to tell him to just let it go, but she doesn’t. If she can get a chance to start again, so can Shadow. But once it’s over, he needs to come back and start living his life. Zola points out that Ash is obviously in love with him and he keeps pushing her away.

Shadow takes off to confront Cyrus, but Max stops him and insists he’s coming to help. He actually knocks Max out and shoots his tires to keep him from following him.

Then there’s an unnecessarily long montage of Shadow driving into Gaborone. We get it, it’s a long drive.

He approaches Tau pretending to be a buyer. He says he wants a two-carat red diamond, which is pretty rare and pretty expensive. Shadow tosses Tau a wad of money, says he can keep that and if he gets the diamond they can do some real business. 24 hours and the deal is off.

Meanwhile, just so we know how ruthless Cyrus really is, he kills two of his diamond traders just for selling to other sources on the side. Tau, made reckless with greed, goes to see Cyrus to get a red diamond and leads Shadow right to him.

Cyrus is suspicious of this buyer of Tau’s. Tau says no way he’s a cop, but none of his reasons for thinking so makes any sense. He’s not from around here, knows what he’s looking for, and throws money around like it’s nothing – none of which goes to prove he’s not a cop.

Back at the hotel, Shadow starts daydreaming about meeting Zinhle for the first time and promising to protect her when Max shows up at his door. Max knows there’s something different about this case that has Shadow so worked up and he demands to know the truth. Shadow finally tells him that Zinhle was his daughter. Max promises that whatever he has planned, that he’s in it with him until the end.

The next morning Max and Shadow hijack a truck headed for Cyrus’ compound. When they reach the gates, Max is driving and tells the guards that he’s filling in for the regular driver who is sick. Shadow’s location is unknown, but it’s assumed he’s hiding in the truck somewhere.

The guards search the truck, but he’s nowhere to be found. They didn’t check the top of the truck, though, so he’s probably laid out up there. Max continues into the compound and is shown into a small building, and yup, Shadow’s on top of the truck with a sniper rifle. Word comes down to take Max into custody and then all hell breaks loose.

Shadow starts firing on the guards as Max struggles with his own guard. As he takes down the last man, he runs to help Max just as he’s stabbing his assailant with a handy rack of antlers. 30 seconds and Cyrus’ army is disposed of and Max only took out one guy.

Cyrus comes to see what’s happening and runs away as soon as he realizes Shadow is after him. A chase ensues which is complicated by Shadow experiencing an arrhythmia attack. He pushes on after Cyrus though and they mud wrestle by a pond.

Cyrus has a metal rod he’s using as a weapon and promises Shadow that he’s going to make him feel the same pain that “bitch of a daughter of yours felt when I killed her.” Dude, she was like 10. Not cool. But surprise! Shadow doesn’t feel pain, so he pushes the metal rod straight through his own shoulder and back into Cyrus’ own chest behind him.

I’m not really sure the otherwise useless detail of him not feeling pain or getting struck by lightning was worth the payoff. Or what about his arrhythmia? They don’t even address this supposedly serious medical condition in the end.

Anyway, Cyrus is dead and Shadow wakes up at the hospital. Max is there by his side, as always. Ashley and Zola come in to check on him. Ash and Shadow share an intense hug with surprises and delights Max and Zola.

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And Zola has something to show Shadow. She puts her feet on the floor, picks herself up, and with some effort walks over to his bed. Wait, how long has he been asleep? Has it been weeks or months? Or is this the most insanely fast recovery ever?

I have to say, there are about a million plot holes in this series, but this one is a doozy. Anyway, Shadow and Zola both get a fresh start and everyone lives happily ever after.

Shadow premiered on Netflix on March 8.