Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for “Mermen,” the Season 2 finale of “Our Flag Means Death,” now streaming on Max.

What is on the other side of the Golden Age of piracy?

Every character on Max’s “Our Flag Means Death” faces that question after the Season 2 finale saw the destruction of their safe haven known as the Republic of Pirates, the death of an unexpectedly beloved member of the crew and the Revenge sailing off into the sunset –– without Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) or Blackbeard aka “Ed” (Taika Waititi) on board.

That’s right, after two seasons of swashbuckling and swooning, the two pirates reunited after Ed found the message-in-a-bottle love letter Stede cast out to sea in the season premiere. Ultimately, they decide to put the pirate’s life behind them, and forge ahead as a committed couple working as the innkeepers of a dingy abode overlooking the vast ocean.

Back in Episode 4, they witnessed firsthand what happens when two pirates sacrifice their bloody ambitions for love. The contentious yet devoted Anne Bonny (Minnie Driver) and Mary Read (Rachel House) proved domesticity isn’t an automatic happy ending, eventually burning down their home just to prove the fire was still alive between them. It was a rude awakening for Stede and Ed, and they struggled against it ever since Stede’s star and ego rose. But providing a persuasive counterpoint was the joyous wedding between Pete (Matthew Maher) and Lucius (Nathan Foad) in the last moments of the finale.

“They realize [Anne and Mary] were right, relationships are hard work, but they are going to try it anyway,” series creator David Jenkins tells Variety. “These are very flawed people though. They are sweet together, but they are going to have to grow a lot, because the last time Stede did this, he ran out on his family. He liked it so much, he did that twice.”

This new adventure of growing up and growing together will be the decisive test for Stede and Ed, whose story is coming to a close –– at least in Jenkins’ mind.

“Our Flag Means Death” has not yet been renewed for Season 3 by Max. But if it is, Jenkins confirms the third installment would likely be its last.

“I love things in threes,” he says. “That first act, second act, third act structure is so satisfying when it is done well, and you don’t overstay your welcome. I think this world of the show is a big world, and if the third season is successful, we could go on in a different way. But I think for the story of Stede and Ed, that is a three-season story.”

While the series has proudly never adhered to the real histories of Stede and Blackbeard, the deaths of these two pirates in 1718 were among the inciting events that signaled the end of the Golden Age of piracy. Being able to document the demise of pirate supremacy on the sea –– at least this take on it –– is another reason Jenkins wanted to do the show.

“I love the idea of a ‘golden age’ of anything, because just the existence of a golden age means there will be an end,” he says. “‘Mad Men’ is about the golden age of advertising. Basically, any show we love that idealizes something is about a rarified golden age of it, and it is about feeling that it will end and hoping the characters are strong enough to survive it and thrive even as it changes.”

With a finish line in sight, the events of the Season 2 finale carry even more weight, especially for the crew of the Revenge. The surviving members joined forces with Zheng Yi Sao (Ruibo Qian), Auntie (Anapela Polataivao), Spanish Jackie (Leslie Jones) and The Swede (Nat Faxon) in pursuit of vengeance after Prince Richard (Erroll Shand) ambushed and set fire to the Republic.

However, one notable vacancy on that mission will be Izzy (Con O’Neill), the reformed grouch who took a fatal musket ball to the stomach during the gang’s harrowing escape from Prince Richard’s men. Back on board the Revenge, Izzy and Ed share a doozy of a final moment as the crew sobs around them. But unlike much of the series, the moment isn’t played for comedy. Jenkins wanted there to be a real sense of loss for the characters, who embraced the icy Izzy even when he’d rather walk the plank than be counted among them.

“To kill a character is such a big thing, even in a world that is this violent,” Jenkins says. “We had to do justice to Izzy, and to that relationship between he and Ed. There is a nice parallel to have Ed treat him so badly at the beginning of the season and then come all the way around to where Izzy is this sort of father figure he doesn’t want to lose — because Ed usually kills his father figures.”

A funeral, a wedding and two parents handing their kids the keys to the car –– or ship, in this case –– are the kind of moments that strengthen a family, Jenkins says. Good or bad, “these are family milestones.”

How this plundering family and their shacked-up father figures will fare as the sun starts to set on their moment in history would be the makings of Season 3.

“Piracy doesn’t end with the destruction of the Republic of Pirates, but a home was destroyed,” Jenkins says. “It’s what Izzy says in the finale: ‘You can’t kill us, it is about belonging to something.’ These dumb motherfuckers just won’t give it up! I like the idea that something near and dear to them is gone but what they find with each other lives on and so piracy lives on. It is just going to be more perilous for them.”

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The post ‘Our Flag Means Death’ Creator on That Finale Death — and Why He Thinks a Third Season Should Be Its Last appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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