Our Flag Means Death Season 2 Review: Radical Freedom


wattSeason 1 has been a long, strange journey Our flag means death used to be. A period comedy that tells the biography of so-called gentleman pirate Steed Burnett (Rhys Darby), who abandoned his wife and children to live the life of an outlaw on the high seas. . It then unexpectedly evolves into a tender queer love story in which Steed becomes the soulmate of the infamous Blackbeard (executive producer Taika Waititi). But by the end of the season, Stadler returned home and took on the responsibility of caring for his estranged family. He and his wife Mary (Claudia O’Doherty) faked his death so that she could inherit his fortune and he could return to Blackbeard. She got the final words of the season: “To Steed Burnett: complicated, stubborn and sometimes really annoying – now free. May he roam!”

free is an operative word. Max’s story is more than just pirates, LGBTQ romance, or maritime history Our flag means death It’s about radical freedom. The concept’s universal appeal may help explain why the show became one of last year’s most unexpected hits. It returns on October 5 with impossibly high expectations for a second season that’s largely successful but fitful, complicating the liberating bliss of free love with the moral responsibility that comes with free will.

Taika Waititi Our flag means death Season 2Nicholas Dove-Max

It’s hard to imagine a richer context for exploring freedom, humorous or otherwise, than a 1717 pirate ship. Contemporaneous with the Golden Age of Piracy, on both sides of the Atlantic, was the Age of Enlightenment, when scientific reasoning and philosophers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Hobbes challenged religious dogma and discussed how best to balance the individual Liberty and the social contract that makes peaceful civilization possible. However, as their ideas penetrated the literate elite, society as a whole remained repressed. Couples like Stead and Mary are almost forced into loveless marriages. Sodomy is punishable by death. Of course, Britain’s colonial economy relied on chattel slavery.

Like the Wild West and 19th-century circuses, piracy attracted people who were unable or unwilling to assimilate—mainly men, but also a few daring women. our flag Creator David Jenkins has weaved this historical reality deeply into the realm of fictional fiction; as he admitted in an interview, “The real Blackbeard was a rapist who handed women over to His men. The real Stadler Burnett was a slave owner. We have to know what we’re doing when we tell these stories, because all of these people were despicable.” The pirates in the show were not psychopaths Or, their apparent lack of capacity for emotional growth makes them rather boring characters, rather misfit pirates warped by bad childhoods and rigid social roles. “I just don’t feel comfortable in my married state!” Steed exclaims in a guilt-driven fever dream. (As it turns out, this is a paraphrase of something the real Bonnet wrote in his day.)

When he does find comfort, it’s in the arms of the world’s most feared pirate.Tired of adventure, Blackbeard boards Steed’s ship revenge Plans to kill the captain and steal his nobility. But before he can do that, they slowly and imperceptibly fall in love. Both clearly cherish what they find in the other. Blackbeard admired Stadler’s peculiar style of combining innocence with sophistication. To Steed, whose real name is Ed, Blackbeard is everything he wants to be. The restlessness they share causes them to rethink the lives they have built for themselves. “Do you ever feel trapped, like you’re just treading water and waiting to drown?” Ed asked. This is not a story about two men coming out. In this story, two people, Steed and Ed, realize that they are meant for each other.

Vico Ortiz and Madeleine Sami Our flag means deathNicholas Dove-Max

It was love that (temporarily) liberated them. Piracy is just a means to this end. In the anarchic, brutal, haphazard, anachronistic fantasy world Jenkins has constructed—where Ed and his bitter first mate Izzy (Con O’Neal) wear motorcycle leathers and the Pirate Republic is a tourist trap—there’s not a single Pirates can be over an anomaly as benign as two men kissing.that’s all revenge A safe haven for queer and gender non-conforming people. Blackbeard Stan Big Pete (Matthew Maher) becomes boyfriend with Steed’s scribe Lucius Spriggs (Nathan Ford).Non-binary actor Vico Ortiz stars as Jim Jimenez, who is introduced as a female fugitive disguised as a man, but once his identity is revealed, he begins using they/them synonym. No one raised an eyebrow or asked for an explanation. A sweet romance develops between Jim and their best friend Oluwande Buhari (Samson Kayo); in season two, Jim has a female admirer. Spanish Jackie, the hilarious bistro owner played by Leslie Jones, one of the only female characters in the first season, had 19 husbands and counting.

Love is the most noble expression of freedom our flag, but, as Jackie’s dominance shows, it’s not the only one. In this imagined past, gender roles are as fluid as gender expression. When Steed returns to Mary at the end of season 1, he finds himself holding her back, too. After prematurely reporting his death, she finds herself hanging out with other widows, wearing androgynous clothes, hooking up with her art teacher (Tim Heidecker), and painting paintings that were ahead of their time A modernist masterpiece from about 200 years ago. Once he returns, the only way to free her from her financial dependence on his wife and break up amicably is to stage a death hoax with the help of many witnesses – including a cheetah, a piano and guest star Christine Johnston’s elaborate set design.In Season 2, liberated women abound, and one of the most exciting additions is Mozart in the JungleQian Ruibo plays the Chinese pirate queen Zheng Yisao. In this time-space transformation story, she uses her sympathetic ear as a weapon and has a soft spot for Oulu.

Leslie Jones at Our flag means death Season 2Nicholas Dove-Max

Not that these free women are necessarily happy. One of the best episodes stars Minnie Driver and Rachel House as a famous pirate couple who have retired as antique collectors and are now desperate for their relationship. To spice things up so much that they start poisoning each other, phantom line style. Their middle lives mirror that of Ed, who turned full-blown abusive after Stead’s disappearance – which happened on the night they were supposed to elope together. He’s heartbroken, but more importantly, he’s just as aimless as he was when he plotted to kill Stead and usurp his life. Faced with all the freedom in the world but no one to share it with, Ed chose nihilism. As one character observes, he must make a choice: life or death?

Jenkins is venturing into darker waters, especially when it comes to testing Stead and Ed’s love. Shippers who just want to see grimy pirates kissing under the moonlight have to be patient.because our flag Real conflict is needed to avoid descending into sub-Pythonic stupidity or fan service. It requires characters with free will to make stomach-churningly bad decisions as well as healthy ones. Ed needs to regress so far that he has to face the worst version of himself. In fact, by the time the sadness begins to dissipate, midway through the eight-episode season, the story is almost as bogged down in plot filler as it was at the beginning of the series. The show is still very interesting in this mode. It just doesn’t feel as bold or free as its best. our flag It means freedom – and freedom is the opposite of smooth sailing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *