If there’s anything that Our Flag Means Death 2×02 “Red Flags” did for me, it’s made me understand that Ed is tired. Not the kind of tired that he experienced in season 1. This is a new kind of tired where he thought things were getting better. Wrapped up in darkness, he saw a light with Stede. And when that went away, he got incredibly sad. And now that sadness has transformed into destruction. Not even just destruction of himself. He’s trying to destroy every friendship he has, any connection that will bring him back from the sadness and destruction, and even his very self.
Plainly put, Ed wants to die. And I know that the show is a comedy and it’s very haha a lot of the time. But this is some heavy shit being covered by Our Flag Means Death. Because even though we’re not pirates, we go through pain that tears us apart and makes us wonder why we’re even here. And sometimes that pain transforms into us trying to destroy others or ourselves as a means of making others feel what we’re feeling. So it’s really sad to see Ed in this place where he is drowning and not taking the hand of those who want to help him.
In a way, it kind of hurts my heart to see Ed like this and I don’t know what’s going to pull him back. Because it can’t just be Stede. Love shouldn’t be the only thing that pulls you out of the darkness you’re in. You have to pull yourself out of that darkness and see that you are worthy of happiness and love and that just because one thing didn’t work out doesn’t mean others won’t. And I’m really hoping that the people who know Ed, don’t give up on him and that Ed turns a corner. Because yes he’s in pain. But he is one of the strongest people on this show and has continuously proven his strength in various ways. The return of Stede could help. But I hope he finds that inner light or goes to therapy.
As for the rest of the crew, Stede is still living in a little bit of a fantasy world. All he thinks about is Ed and he is very very focused on getting back to him. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t make some progress in 2×02 “Red Flags.” The return of Lucius kind of snapped him out of it. And his focus is no longer on just getting back to Ed. Instead, he wanted to make sure that Lucius didn’t make the same mistakes that he did when it came to Ed. And that shift in focus reminded me of how much I loved the dynamics between Stede and the crew in season 1. Because these are his crew members. But these are also members of his found family. And he’s kind of their dad.
Back on the tumultuous Revenge, it’s really nice to see Jim still finding the light. Like a lot of these other people, they have experienced heartache and loss that would break anyone. But here they are, after chopping someone’s leg off, kissing someone. Later on they have a battle to the death and Jim decides not to go through with it, sharing a moment where they lean their foreheads against each other aka the epitome of romance. And even though I’m sad that Jim isn’t with Oluwande, they’re still thriving. Even Oluwande himself Is thriving and continuing to be the great man we know as he bonds with the pirate Queen. There is still light.
Our Flag Means Death 2×02 also has some really hilarious moments. Buttons being thought of as a sea witch in a new form, totally tracks. I believe it. And I think Buttons believes it in some way. I also thought it was funny and kind of sweet when Roach was so enamored with the flavor profile of the food that they were receiving on the Pirate Queens ship. Even the reunion between Black Pete and Lucius was so heartfelt and joyous that I couldn’t help but smile instead of crying because they had been separated for so long. And it’s proof that this show knows how to balance some really serious topics with moments of laughter. Because that’s just what life is.
At the end of this episode, we did see Jim take Ed down. And Stede is God knows where with the Pirate Queen. They are leagues apart as far as we know and I’m having trouble seeing what comes next. But I’m okay with that. Too often TV is so predictable and it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while. And Our Flag Means Death continuously surprises me and makes me want more shows like this. Because we all deserve some grace, love, and understanding. Plus queer representation. God this show is doing a really great job at giving us queer representation and I need more.
Our Flag Means Death season 2 episodes 1-3 are now available on Max.