Our Flag Means Death – Season 2 Episode 5 Recap & Review

The Curse of the Seafaring Life

Episode 5 of Our Flag Means Death Season 2 begins with Ed speaking to the rest of the crew. He admits that what he did was wrong and thanks them for letting him on board again. Even if he has to wear a cat bell around his neck so that he can’t sneak up on anyone. He says all of his bad behaviour is in the past.

A new flag goes up on the ship and things seem to go back to normal but Lucius is incensed about it. Jim, Archie, Izzy and the others seem happy with Ed’s apology but Lucius stays hung up on the fact that he never actually said the words, “I’m sorry”.

While on their own, Ed encourages Stede to behave more like a captain and speak with command. Stede commands Ed to fit in and help the others.

Ed indeed does help about and even fixes a door latch. Seeing that it doesn’t account for much in Lucius’ books, Ed gives him the opportunity to take revenge and push Ed off the ship. If it will make him feel better. Lucius agrees.

Stede finds Izzy practising his sword-fighting skills on his new leg (he’s still much better than Stede ever was). Stede admits that Izzy is the one who taught Ed how to be a good captain and asks for the same training. Surprisingly, Izzy agrees to try training Stede. A short montage shows us that it doesn’t go too well.

Lucius does actually push Ed off the ship but it doesn’t exactly make him feel better. While hanging on to the side of the ship, Ed comes across Fang who is headed out on a dinghy to do some fishing. Ed joins him.

Izzy is fascinated by Stede’s utter lack of talent and wonders how he’s survived so far. Stede says when he’s in the field, his body just takes over. They then come across another ship and Stede is ready to do some pirating. They leap on board only to find everybody killed in a horrific way. Somebody’s drawn a huge pentagram on the deck. Stede and Jim head to the captain’s quarters where a dying priest tells them the ship was cursed and points at all the objects in the room.

Jim legs it but Stede comes across a handsome red jacket and immediately falls for it. He tries it on as Izzy comes by to tell him they should move on. He’s enjoying the feel of it when someone jumps out of a hidden door with a knife in hand. Instincts take over and Stede has him down in a single punch.

Back on The Revenge, the crew celebrate Stede’s jacket but Jim insists that it is cursed. Izzy warns Stede to take heed of whatever superstitions the crew might believe.

Black Pete is posing for Lucius’ drawing but realises that the latter isn’t paying attention to him. He grabs Lucius’ notebook and sees that all the drawings of flower and dogs and even Black Pete bear the resemblance of Ed’s face. Black Pete calls Lucius out for only focusing on his near-death experience and not appreciating the fact that he lived through it all.

Jim, Olu and Archie sit behind a salt line, wearing necklaces of garlic. When Stede pokes his head in they all scream and ward him off with the symbol of the cross.

Frenchie eats one of Roach’s new concoctions which he calls Peanut Paste. Stede comes by to see his men of ‘science’ but it doesn’t last long since Frenchie’s skin becomes red and itchy. Naturally, this convinced them of Stede’s curse.

Out in the middle of the sea, Ed asks Fang if he was a jerk. Fang says he was. Ed defends himself saying he was simply assertive. He then recalls a game they used to play called knife parade that they really enjoyed but turns out, Ed mistook Fang’s screams for joyful laughter. He then asks Fang how he got over Ed’s behaviour. Fang says he took it all out of his system when they were beating Ed up.

Izzy figures that Lucius has not been able to let go of his trauma yet. His own take on things is that his leg was taken by a shark, not Ed. It’s fiction but better than not moving on at all.

Stede tries defending his reasoning to the crew about their superstition but they are convinced it’s a devil suit and attack him.

Ed claims that he doesn’t know where to start making amends. Fang suggests that Ed loves the sound of his own voice and should try and sit in silence with himself for a while, as they catch fish.

Stede, now just wearing a red shirt, tells his crew that he’s kept the suit aside and is willing to destroy it. But how? They figure that the best way is to hand it off to someone else. Soon enough, another ship turns up. Stede and his crew bind the members of the other crew.

While discussing what a good job they’ve done, one of the men tries to attack Stede from behind but the latter realises, flips around and shoots a warning gunshot. Izzy seems impressed. Stede then hands off the red suit to one of the crew members and the group take their leave.

On The Revenge, Lucius shows Pete a large drawing of him on one of the walls inside the ship. He then says that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Pete and gets down on one knee. Pete, of course, says yes.

Later on, Ed proudly shows Stede the spoils of his time with Fang — a single fish. He praises Stede’s red shirt and Stede tells him about the cursed suit. Ed says Stede wears fine things well, referring to the time Stede had said those words to him in a similar situation as they stood under the moonlight. This time, Ed leans forward and they kiss. Stede kisses him back and Ed asks him if they can take it slow. Stede links his hand with Ed’s and they smile before continuing to talk about their day.  

The Episode Review

Episode 5 gets back to the classic Our Flag Means Death structure of shenanigans coupled with romance. We have a cursed suit, Izzy training Stede to become a good captain, Ed and Stede’s first kiss since they made up, and a proposal from Lucius to Black Pete! No other show can bring all these separate elements of comedy, romance and pirating together in the same way.

Ed trying to make amends with Lucius and learning to be with himself while hanging out with Fang are some really fun ways of showing his growth. I’m also glad the writers haven’t stretched out the conflict between Ed and Stede. Their reunion feels a bit speedy but they said what needed to be said and it’s satisfying to see them come together. This will hopefully give way to more development of them as a couple over the next few episodes.

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