Our Flag Means Death 2×08 “Mermen” felt like a rushed disservice with a side of “what the fuck did you do to Izzy Hands because he deserved so much better than this bullshit.” It did a disservice to Ed, who had to watch his family dying in his arms and then leave The Revenge like nothing. It did a disservice to Stede who wasn’t given the time or writing to work through how he was being an ass lately. And it did a disservice to the relationships that we have loved within this show. It all felt rushed and I honestly can’t wait for fanfiction to step in and fix this mess. Because right now, it’s giving Killing Eve series finale. It’s giving Teen Wolf: The Movie. And nobody accepts those as canon.
Izzy Hands Deserved Better *flips table*
I knew from the very moment that I started liking Izzy Hands that they were setting him up for the slaughter. Even then, it didn’t make his passing in “Mermen” any easier. Because I was hoping against everything that I’ve learned from TV that Our Flag Means Death would do something different. Unfortunately, they didn’t. They set up Izzy Hands to be someone who worked through his pain and became the new unicorn on The Revenge. He was someone you could cheer on and that you loved wholeheartedly because of the potential that he had for greatness and the fact that he represented everything when it comes to why people join piracy aka family and belonging.
Izzy Hands deserved a family and a life beyond season 2. He deserved to smack Stede upside the head again and get him to get his shit together when it comes to Ed and the heart of piracy. He deserved to be the fun uncle if Ed and Stede or any of the other crew decided to have kids. He deserved to fall in love and have someone accept him for who he is. He deserved to be the captain of The Revenge with a crew that loved him as much as he loved them. And I am so mad that they brought him to a place where he was the crew’s unicorn for him to die like this with no one else saying anything or being able to mourn him on screen.
Even writing this, I’m brought to tears again. Never has a show seamlessly made me fall in love with a character and taken them away so cruelly. This show had an opportunity to show that transformation happens in different ways and it doesn’t always end in a tragic death. And I feel like they completely botched it and shook my face when it comes to Our Flag Means Death. If anything, I’m going to seek out fanfiction after “Mermen.” Fanfiction knows what it’s doing, it has from day one. I have faith that they will fix this mistake in the same way they fixed it for the Killing Eve series finale and the Teen Wolf: The Movie.
Those fanfiction writers, they understand the pain of losing Izzy Hands. And they will fix it and we will never think of the season 2 finale as canon ever again.
Ed Saying Goodbye to His Past
Continuing on this Izzy Hands train, I think it was especially cruel for Ed to watch Izzy die like that. It was even more cruel that Ed didn’t say anything back to Izzy besides that he was Ed’s family. Ed was broken at that moment. And I feel like Our Flag Means Death 2×08 didn’t give him the time or the dialogue to express how losing someone like Izzy Hands is devastating. Because Ed and Izzy have been traveling the seas for a very very long time. And in season 1, Izzy was very adamant about getting Ed to transform back into Blackbeard. Their relationship was complex but they were family. And I think it’s a disservice to Ed himself that he was being comforted by the person dying with no dialogue for him to say something back.
And I get what the writers were doing with the passing of Izzy Hands in Ed’s arms. This is his past. This is the last real person that has been close to him, that has been family, and knows the ins and outs of Blackbeard. With Izzy dying, he’s saying goodbye to his past and hello to his future. That future is apparently with Stede in a shock that will one day be an inn, but it’s his future. I just wish they would have given us more of Ed and Izzy because you don’t shoot someone and be the cause of them losing their leg or all this other crazy shit they went through, for a goodbye like that.
In addition, my biggest hope when season 3 of Our Flag Means Death comes around is that Ed confronts Stede. Because “I love you’s” are great but they don’t fix the fact that Stede was rude and condescending when it came to Ed and how he wanted something more than piracy. Conversations have been key to the show and I do feel like 2×08 brushes through that like nothing. I appreciate a happy ending. I will always take a happy ending. But Our Flag Means Death has been giving me quality TV and this season finale feels like drive-thru McDonald’s. I can taste the difference. And it’s disingenuous to Ed, the man who walked away from the love of his life because he felt like he was being disrespected and not being understood, to just settle and leave the family Izzy Hands told him he had on that ship while he stays on an island with Stede.
Ed deserves better.
My Faith in Stede Has Been Shaken
In all honesty, I feel like season 2 of Our Flag Means Death did a disservice to Stede. Because by the time we got around to the season finale, I kind of didn’t like him. He was very relatable in season 1 and you could see him come to some big realizations about his life in the season 1 finale. But there’s something about season 2 Stede that is arrogant in a way that isn’t endearing at all. Stede from season 2 is full of himself and looking for compliments left and right. Even if those compliments are over the grave of Izzy Hands, the best friend and family of the man that he loves.
And I’ve been trying to be patient in the same way I was with Ed. After Stede chose his old life instead of running away with Ed, the latter went on a furious rampage where there was a lot of pillaging and killing. That was raw pain. But I feel like he pulled back and tried to find his place in the world. I don’t know where Stede stands in this world. Because just a couple of episodes ago he killed someone who hurt his crew and then crossed the line with Ed even though the latter had said he wasn’t ready and wanted to take things slow. And then they broke up and went their separate ways. So Our Flag Means Death wants me to just believe that they said “I love you” and everything was okay?
Love declarations are great and I really appreciate that scene where they ran into each other’s arms. But they need to talk. Because as much as I love Our Flag Means Death, they can’t just have them reunite in the middle of this beach and the pain is just erased. It doesn’t work like that. And I feel like it does a disservice to Stede, Ed, and the rest of the crew that they just decided to leave their crew and open up a little inn. We’ve got things to talk about when it comes to Stede. He’s changed and there is just something so off about him to the point where he went and was trying to get the Pirate Queen to thank him for saving her when she had lost her entire family and army.
By the time that we wrapped up season 2 of Our Flag Means Death, I felt like the sympathy that Stede was known for, kind of went out the window. Why weren’t they talking it through like a crew? Where was the community and the found family found in piracy? Because Stede was acting a little bit too pompous and like that guy who lost his nose. And I don’t like that Stede. I don’t want that Stede. And the show can keep that version if that’s what they’re going to do when season 3 comes around, if it does come around. But just like I gave Ed leeway and time to grow, I’ll do the same thing for Stede. I just wish this season was more balanced when it came to both Ed and Stede and that that ending did not feel so rushed.
Give Me More of the Pirate Queen
If there’s anything that Our Flag Means Death needs more of, it’s the Pirate Queen Zheng Yi Sao. I feel like she’s only been here for 2.5 seconds and I would already join her crew and help her seek revenge against those who hurt her. She’s endearing but so fucking fierce in every single moment that she is on screen. And I literally wanted to protect her from Stede when he was looking for compliments as she was mourning her army and her family. She’s an extremely likable character and this show needs more complex female characters getting the revenge or the adventures that they want.
Keeping that in mind, I think it’s a really big disservice to not have the Pirate Queen and Spanish Jackie spending time together and conquering the world. Do you mean to tell me that these two baddies didn’t get together during Our Flag Means Death to discuss world domination? I don’t believe it. I will ignore it. And I hope that fanfiction writes them destroying their enemies together. If you throw Auntie into the mix then the men, aka the British and the French and the Spanish, have no chance. They will be destroyed. And they will change the world for the better. I just know it.
Our Flag Means Death didn’t give her and Olu enough time either. Because as much as I loved her, I can acknowledge that we did not get enough screen time with her and they pushed her towards Olu after his relationship ended with Jim like Olu is only good enough for relationships and women are only interesting if they’re in relationships. And I’m all for people moving on and starting new relationships. But where was the time and the nuance given to them in the same way that it was Ed and Stede or Lucius and Black Pete? Because this show, especially in season 1 and the beginning of season 2, did a good job of balancing things. But the further on we got into season 2, the more I felt like they lost themselves.
Hopefully, when season 2 of Our Flag Means Death happens, we will see more of the Pirate Queen. I need to see more of the Pirate Queen. And I need to see how she gets her revenge and conquers the world. Because I don’t care about what history has to tell me. I’m watching a gay pirate show for the kind of world I want to see. And in that world, badass women like the Pirate Queen have changed history for the better.