Monday, March 14, 2022

What I’m Watching: Our Flag Means Death

Our Flag Means Death: Season 1, Episode 4 “Discomfort In a Married State” (B+)

Sure, Blackbeard being as Black Pete described him might have been appealing, but there’s really nothing better than Taika Waititi’s interpretation of the character. Insisting to an unamused Izzy that the clouds looked like frankfurters was a perfect introduction, and learning that he was bored and would be willing to try anything he hasn’t done yet – including dying – was quite informative. Answering that he does in some way work for Blackbeard when Stede asked him demonstrated that he is both a literal and eccentric personality, and he seemed genuinely fascinated with Stede’s array of clothes and his many books. Switching names was an odd game, one that turned very serious in an instant right before Blackbeard’s plan showed his brilliance, and the final scene suggests that he isn’t actually intrigued by Stede’s idea of retirement but instead using him to fake his own death so that he can live a free life. Given that he’s the main character, I don’t think Stede’s going anywhere, and they probably can do what Blackbeard posited, which is that they could teach each other about being an aristocrat and a bloodthirsty pirate. The flashbacks to Stede’s life with his wife were interesting to see, and he really seemed to try to bring his family along for his adventure, capturing his excitement best when he played pirates with his kids. Bonifacia is also struggling with her own adjustment to her true identity being revealed, assuring everyone that she’s always been a woman and them knowing about it doesn’t make her presence any more threatening to them.

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