Picking up right where we left off — Ed is alive, awake, and gasping for breath as an overjoyed Stede clutches his hand still. Ed — still heartbroken and angry — headbutts Stede. As Stede delivers an update to the crew he uses a piece of meat on his face but yet again becomes the number one Edward Teach apologizer by saying it was an “accident.” The crew aren’t hearing it, especially those that faced the worst of Ed’s behavior. They insist on putting the decision as to whether or not to abandon Ed to a vote.
Buttons approaches a tied-up Ed who still cannot speak.
“You’ve been down to the gravy basket, haven’t ye? Been down there a few times myself …”
Izzy is drinking again (who can blame him?) when Stede approaches him to ask him to weigh in on the situation. Izzy has opinions, but not necessarily coherent ones. The crew ultimately votes to banish Ed. He approaches Stede last and looks him in the face as he mutters “You’re no fucking mermaid” before climbing down the ship. Buttons approaches Stede and says Ed is still half dead and that if Stede walks with him while he looks for a vessel so he can turn into a bird … he will explain everything.
Ed is on his own again and hiking through a heavily forested area (thank you Taika Waititi for that “Fuck off, nature” line delivery), ultimately reuniting with Mary Read. Meanwhile, Buttons is catching Stede up on what Ed has gone through in the gravy basket. The search for a proper vessel for Buttons continues … into Anne Bonny’s shop, who introduces herself as a collector. Mary returns with Ed at her side, and while he shares an exciting reunion (and a wonderful handshake) with Anne, the moment is spoiled by Stede.
“Jesus Christ, here we go. Hi.”
Anne and Mary are amused by the fact these two men know each other and invite the two to dinner. Ed tries to remain indifferent about Stede joining. Back on the Revenge the energy is still off thanks to Lucius, Izzy, Archie, Jim, Fang, and Frenchie. Black Pete points out there’s a feral quality about all of them. Roach says they just need to remind them that they have value and this ship is a safe space. Anne and Mary regale Ed and Stede with stories of their romance which Stede is interested in and Ed continues to behave uninterested.
Anne asks them to share how the two of them met and while Stede is excited to share the story we all know and love, Ed is quick to interject with negative remarks. To say there’s tension in this room would be an understatement. Anne goes to check on dinner and Mary expresses she misses Ed’s longer beard before joining her partner. Stede tries to comfort Ed about the “gravy bucket or something” but Ed changes the subject quickly, saying Stede shouldn’t listen to a man who’s turning himself into a bird.
The two women rejoin and it’s obvious there’s been a bit of a struggle because Mary has a knife sticking out of her back … but it seems that’s the kind of relationship dynamic they have, Anne the sadist and Mary the masochist. Stede offers to help, of course, but Mary shuts him down.
“Annie put it in there, Annie can take it out.”
“Aw … you want me to take it out now, do you?”
Instead, Anne repeatedly flicks the knife.
Back on the Revenge, Black Pete, Wee John, Oluwande, and Roach have put together a piñata for the rest of the crew … but that’s still a bit too violent and involves too many blindfolds for a group as traumatized as this one. Even the cake Roach baked causes flashbacks to the wedding the crew … crashed … in episode 1.
While Anne and Stede finish up dinner and talk about Stede’s sensitivities and the fact he doesn’t think he or Ed has fully let go, Ed and Mary smoke a joint outside. Ed reminisces on the time Stede stabbed him and Mary points out that he has a type, and that he’s caught up in Stede’s whirlpool just like she and Anne are with each other. Inside Stede has been sharing his story with Anne who declares him a “heartbreaker” and attempts to seduce him with a deep kiss. Buttons interrupts just as Anne is starting to feel sick, making a discovery about the drink Mary had served her.
“Aw, look … she poisoned me.”
On the Revenge, Black Pete, Wee John, Olu, and Roach are being held at knife/sword point while Jim insists it’s them that have the emotional problems. Thanks to Olu’s level head and calm communication skills the situation deescalates, everyone accepting the ship as a “safe space.” However, the situation quickly devolves again, this time to be stopped by Izzy dropping the wooden legs of the ship’s unicorn icon on the floor, shouting belligerently until his wooden peg leg snaps, sending him to the ground. At least one thing this crew can agree on is helping Izzy, rushing to his aid — but Izzy tells them to fuck off and starts to crawl away. Lucius points out that Izzy is definitely more disturbed than any of the rest of them.
Anne, Mary, Stede, Ed, and Buttons finally sit down to dinner and enjoy a pleasant meal with flowing conversation. In this conversation, however, Anne reveals that Stede left Mary twice, which confirms to Ed that when Stede abandoned him he returned to Mary. His heart breaks all over again and he excuses himself from the table, immediately breaking things when he stands in a fit of rage before exiting. Stede goes after Ed who is hiding under a blanket on the couch. The two finally let some feelings out and open up to one another.
“I’m such a fucking idiot. I trusted you. I trusted us. And I was just a whim, yeah, just a whim to you — another plaything, like your fancy toy unicorn boat and your wife.”
While Stede insists the two of them were in no position to run away to China, Ed insists he was all in on the plan. Ed makes another comment indicating self-consciousness about his short beard, which Stede is quick to silence.
“I love your chin. Naked or otherwise. Ed. I love -“
“No, don’t. You don’t get to say that to me.”
“I love everything about you. You don’t have to say it back to me.”
While Ed doesn’t plan to be quite that emotional again just yet, Stede is happy to continue confessing the things he loves about being near Ed again … which does earn him a small smile. Anne and Mary have been eavesdropping and make fun of the two men, the jokes and laughter increasing at the fact the two haven’t even had sex yet. Anne also taunts that Stede gave her a proper tonguing which Stede denies, leading Ed to declare the two women are using this whole thing as a sick game.
Ed sets off an argument between the two women which prompts Anne to leave. Ed and Stede have an air of smugness about them in their united front and Mary is quick to kill their vibe, telling them essentially that the honeymoon phase only lasts so long. Anne sets fire to the house and all of their antiques in a show of passion. While Mary and Anne embrace, Ed and Stede leave.
On the Revenge, the crew is working on something special. A drunken Izzy is talking to himself in a mirror while sitting in bed. He yells at the knock on his door but when he opens it he finds a new wooden leg propped against the wall for him — fashioned out of one of the unicorn legs with a note attached. He very nearly cries but holds it back (let it out, baby).
Buttons is chanting the beginning of his ceremony and Stede invites Ed to stay one last night on the Revenge since he has nowhere else, saying he’ll put it to the crew. Stede hurriedly runs off toward the ship. Buttons ultimately completes his ceremony and becomes a seagull so he can properly love the sea. Stede returns to officially invite Ed onto the ship. With his new leg and holding onto the note that says “For the new unicorn” still, Izzy overlooks the sea as a seagull flies by.
The first five episodes of Our Flag Means Death are streaming now on Max, with the next two episodes premiering next Thursday, October 19.