In the words of Ed Zeddmore from Supernatural, “Gay love can pierce through the veil of death and save the day.” That’s what happened in Our Flag Means Death 1×03 “The Innkeeper.” Ed was on the brink of letting go and drowning in his own pain. And in that darkness, he heard the voice of the person that he loves. He even saw a physical manifestation of his love in the form of a mermaid. It was beautiful. It was tender and heartbreaking. And it was so gay in the most delightful way but I can’t believe that we’re actually getting content like this in 2023 and that the writers went this hard for Blackstede.
In “The Innkeeper” it was easy to think that Ed was lost forever.
The crew of The Revenge had finally been reunited but Ed was missing. And after the events of “Red Flags,” we can understand that they did it for survival. Ed was a danger to them all. And even in purgatory, he was lost. The physical manifestation of someone he hated, and who was a previous captain, kept pushing him into something he didn’t understand until he was on that cliff. Ed hates himself. And it’s not something that is new or suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He has felt this way since he killed his father and he has carried it around for a very long time. It also helped that we had some flashbacks about how he thinks he’s not a good person. That’s why he jumped. Or why at least the physical manifestation of his ex-captain who is actually him pushed him off.
When Ed was in that water, he felt the weight of not liking himself pull him down. And those of us who have mental health issues, we feel his pain. We understand how loneliness and pain can wrap themselves around us and make us feel like there is no light. Luckily Stede was there and he poured his heart out, admitting his mistakes and hoping and praying that Ed would come back. So Ed, like any of us, started fighting for that light. Because Ed might be tired but I don’t think it’s over for him. And I’m glad he decided to live. It doesn’t mean that everything is going to be rainbows and butterflies when he and Stede actually talk. And he will need to take some time to work on himself without Stede. Because in the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
As for Stede, I’ve been asking for him to take accountability in my previous reviews. In a way, I think I was being a little harsh because he wasn’t facing the facts of what he had done. But it’s actually kind of more realistic that he was trying to pretend like everything was okay. Stede is not exempt from making mistakes. He will fuck up and he knows he fucked up with Ed. So him begging for Ed to wake up means something. It meant something when he literally jumped off the Pirate Queen’s boat to get to Ed or when he took The Revenge crew back home to their ship. Stede made mistakes and he’s ready to own up in a way that he has never done before. For his crew and for Ed.
Ed and Stede weren’t the only romantic situation of “The Innkeeper.” Jim came back into the picture and they had a reunion with Olu. And instead of it being awkward and weird, they kept going. They are best friends and they will always be. And it shows the strength of their relationship that they can accept that months have passed and they have changed. But what hasn’t changed is how much they care for each other. But I do feel bad for the Pirate Queen. She’s fierce in a way that I have never seen on this show and I think they will have an enemy to contend with in the future. But I hope it’s not all just about a woman being scorned. She’s a businesswoman who wants to conquer. She knows what she’s doing and will hopefully be as multifaceted as I hope she is.
Then there’s Izzy. I don’t think I’ve ever spent time in my previous reviews or even in my viewing of season 1 thinking about Izzy Hands. But something about “The Innkeeper” broke me. I think it was because Izzy himself was broken. He fought so hard and so long and season 1 to get Blackbeard back. But when he did he realized that was the wrong move. He ended up being part of a mutiny that took Ed down and resulted in him losing a leg. Izzy is tired and he is heartbroken that this happened to Ed but also to the relationship with his best friend. Hell, even Izzy telling Stede thank you, I never thought that would happen. But here we are and I am now a ride or die for Izzy Hands. How times have changed?
At this point in Our Flag Means Death 2×03, it all feels like a season finale. The two lovers are reunited and the family is back together. And there’s the fact that there are five episodes still left in season 2. But if there’s anything that I’ve come to expect from the writers of Our Flag Means Death is that they’re willing to explore topics that other shows haven’t in an unapologetic way. I am looking forward to seeing how Ed and Stede work through the issues that they have. I’m also looking forward to how the crew integrates. They’re not the people they were in season 1 and they never will be. So they have to compartmentalize, talk, and listen to each other. They all do. And I’ll be here watching.
Our Flag Means Death season 2 episodes 1-3 are now available on Max.