Our Flag Means Death – Season 2 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained


Episode 8 of Our Flag Means Death Season 2, the season finale, begins with Ed musing about how living amongst nature brings him peace. But we soon realise this is only his romanticised version of the truth. The fisherman and his son who have been staying with Ed complain about him being a bum and not doing anything.

The fisherman gets angry when Ed calls him ‘simple’ and ultimately the father and son see Ed off in a small boat. His parting words to Ed are a suggestion that Ed should go back to doing what he was actually good at.

We then see the aftermath of Richard Banes’ explosives. The Republic of Pirates is in shambles and has been taken over by the British. Even Spanish Jackie must play host to the whims of the soldiers while the Swede is being used to test wine for poison.

Zheng and Stede have managed to escape the radar of the Brits so far. Zheng is disheartened at losing her crew and Auntie. When two soldiers come their way, Stede tries taking them on but naturally, fails, and Zheng is forced to step in.

Ed returns from his fishing life to find carnage and screams in place of the Republic of Pirates. His first thought is of Stede, of course, and the second is to murder the two soldiers who taunt him when they come across him. He remembers the fisherman’s words about doing what he’s good at doing and dives into the sea to retrieve his leathers.

Richard meets the rest of The Revenge’s crew who are locked up and gives them the delightful news of the upcoming hanging. He then invites Izzy upstairs for a chat. There, he boasts about defeating all the pirates. Izzy says Richard doesn’t understand what piracy really is. It’s not about stealing, it’s about finding where you belong. Meanwhile, Spanish Jackie tells Roach to bring out a special brandy from her bar.

Two soldiers read one of Stede’s letters, which they found in a washed-up bottle. Ed gets there and their laughter is cut short as he makes quick work of them. He reads the letter and Stede’s description of his feelings for Ed makes him smile and then tear up.  

Zheng is on her way to kill Richard in spite of Stede’s protests. On their way, they are suddenly ambushed by a group of soldiers and forced to fight them. A little way away Ed is also fighting a group of soldiers. Stede and Ed run towards each other and Ed kisses him passionately before telling Stede that he loves him. They then rejoin the fight to give Zheng a helping hand.

In the prison, Olu finds Auntie. She’s injured and has lost a lot of blood but Jim helps pull shrapnel out of her shoulder and bandage her up. She admits that they aren’t as bad as she thought and calls Olu soft. Olu tells her that most people need softness in their lives.

Ed and Zheng manage to kill all the soldiers attacking them, with a little help from Stede. The three of them barge into Spanish Jackie’s, ready to fight all the soldiers. But it turns out that they don’t have to since the soldiers begin to foam at the mouth and collapse one by one.

All except for Richard. Jackie’s brandy was really a type of poison. The Swede worries since he was being used as a poison tester but Jackie claims all her husbands are poison-trained. Zheng reunites with Auntie and guided by Olu’s advice about being soft, Auntie tells Zheng that she’s proud of her.

For the next steps, Stede has a plan but the others are doubtful about it working. Nevertheless, they give it a shot. The pirates steal the all soldiers’ clothes and wear them. Holding Richard at gunpoint, they head outside and meet the other soldiers in the woods. Izzy forces Richard to tell them to stand down but Richard breaks free and shoots Izzy.

A shootout follows but the pirates get the better of the soldiers and make it down to the beach and eventually to the ship. Sadly, Izzy is heavily injured and losing a lot of blood. Ed holds on to him and Izzy apologises for egging Blackbeard on when he shouldn’t have. Ed says Izzy’s his only family but Izzy reminds him that the crew of The Revenge love him and are his family too. Izzy tells him to just be Ed now and then takes his last breath. The crew buries Izzy.

Afterwards, Zheng offers Ed and Stede a partnership since she thinks they work well together. On the ship, Lucius and Pete take their marriage vows and are officially wed. The Revenge sails off with the crew in high spirits but the two co-captains, or rather ex-captains, are not on it.

Stede and Ed are on the piece of land where they buried Izzy, standing by a ramshackle house, watching the boat sail away. They’re going to be innkeepers and both seem happy with the decision. Our Flag Means Death Season 2 Episode 8, and this wonderful season comes to a close as they enter the house and a seagull lands on Izzy’s grave marker.

The Episode Review

Our Flag Means Death Season 2 Episode 8 closes out a wonderful season of the show, ensuring that it’s just as good as the first. It’s a more hopeful ending this time as Ed and Stede are together even if they have parted with the crew. They finally seem to be on the same page which is a satisfying note to end the season on.

That said, I wish we had gotten more insight into Stede’s decision to stay behind. He’s just gotten a taste of fame and competence as a pirate, so it would have been nice to see how he went from that to making a decision to not be a pirate anymore. A little more communication on that end, even a conversation between him and Ed, might have sufficed. As of now, it feels a little abrupt.

But in the end, Our Flag Means Death has managed to win hearts with its humour, wit, constant toeing the line of absurdism (was that Buttons in the end who sat on Izzy’s grave?), and its strong sense of camaraderie. The show’s take on love and family is what rises above all else.

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