Looking up at the shore in Our Flag Means Death
(HBO)

Fans React to THAT Scene in ‘Our Flag Means Death’

Yeah. THAT scene.

The first three episodes of Our Flag Means Death season 2 are out, and they’re a masterful kickoff to what’s sure to be a great second chapter in the love story of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Blackbeard (Taika Waititi). The third episode ends on an especially powerful note—and fans are having a field day with it.

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Spoilers for Our Flag Means Death season 2, episodes 1-3 ahead!

Here’s a lightning-fast recap: in season 1, Stede and Ed finally acknowledge their feelings for each other. However, Stede gets cold feet after an old rival convinces him that he’ll ruin Ed’s life.

In season 2, Stede is back with most of his crew, first at the Republic of Pirates, and on the ship of Zheng Yi Sao, alias Susan (Ruibo Qian). Stede spends most of his time trying to puzzle out where Ed could be. Ed, meanwhile, has gone full Blackbeard again, committing atrocities and terrorizing his crew. Eventually, they can’t stand it anymore, and they leave him for dead.

Ed, stuck in a limbo between life and death with his sadistic former captain, has a breakthrough: he doesn’t want to be a murderous scourge, but he hates himself and thinks he’s unlovable. Stede finally finds Ed, thinking he’s dead, and the two have a strange reunion. Stede pleads with Ed to wake up, while Ed dreams that Stede comes to him as a golden merman deep in the ocean. Set to the tune of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work,” the scene is funny, moving, and cathartic all at once. It ends with a lingering shot of Ed and Stede gripping each other’s hands, and finally everything in the world is as it should be.

The reactions started pouring in this morning. Most people are just reporting how bowled over they feel by the emotional weight of the scene—especially since we’ve all been waiting over a year for that reunion.

The significance of the song wasn’t lost on fans. Can you believe this is the second Kate Bush song to destroy people in as many years? (The first one was “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” in Stranger Things.) I spent my lunch break today listening to “This Woman’s Work” on repeat. Thanks, Stede and Ed!

Of course, the fan art has already started to emerge. May there be a million more MerStede drawings to come!

Other fans are pointing out why the pathos of the scene works so well. Maybe, if Ed is worthy of love, then the rest of us poor messed up folks are, too?

Oh, my heart. Of course, there are still five episodes to go before the season’s over, so I get the feeling the drama isn’t over between Stede and Ed. After all, there’s the whole matter of Stede having abandoned Ed to go back to his loveless marriage. But at least they’ve found each other again! Aw, jeez, why is it so dusty in here?

(featured image: Max)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>