Stede holds a sword out against a backdrop of a blue sky. He has a beard.

‘Our Flag Means Death’ Season 2’s Opening Scene is Pitch Perfect

Our Flag Means Death season 2 has arrived, and its season premiere, “Impossible Birds,” opens with a scene that captures all the madcap fun of season 1.

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Spoilers for Our Flag Means Death season 2, episode 1 ahead!

Stede is on an empty beach dueling with Izzy, who sold them out to Chauncey Badminton in season 1. Izzy raises a point that Stede would rather not admit: that Stede chose to leave Ed after Chauncey got in his head and convinced him he’d ruin Ed’s life. Stede kills Izzy, and then sees Ed running toward him in the distance. The two embrace so hard that they fall to the sand, and Ed forgives Stede for leaving him. Ed even compliments Stede’s new beard.

But wait! Just as they’re leaning in to kiss, Stede starts farting uncontrollably. Ed recoils and Stede apologizes, sobbing. Stede then wakes up to find that Wee John is farting on him in the crowded bunk where the crew is sleeping.

This dream sequence has everything that makes Our Flag Means Death great: riotous humor, genuine emotion, and lots of surprises. It’s a perfect kickoff to season 2.

Stede and Ed’s love story is the heart of Our Flag Means Death

Our Flag Means Death has a great cast of characters and a huge sandbox for them to explore, but the heart of the series is Stede and Ed’s love story.

The dynamic between the two of them is always a delight, breathing new life into the well-trodden odd couple dynamic. (Speaking of odd couples, aren’t we lucky that we get Crowley/Aziraphale, Loki/Mobius, and Stede/Ed all around the same time? Even if they’re all breaking our hearts?) As the Gentleman Pirate and the dreaded Blackbeard, Stede and Ed are able to peel away the layers of each other’s personas until they find the authentic personalities underneath. They’re both running from something—Ed from his traumatic past, and Stede from a marriage in which he felt trapped—and they understand each other in a way that no one else does.

The dream sequence is a signpost to that relationship, but it has other interesting details, too. Like Stede’s beard, for instance. Does it reflect his desire not just to be with Ed, but to be more like him? Then there’s Stede’s rage at Izzy, coupled with the sudden transformation into an anxiety dream at the end. Narratively, the dream is a great way to remind viewers of the major themes and conflicts that were brewing when season 1 ended.

What’s in store for our favorite queer pirates in s2?

Of course, the rest of episode 1 is great, too. Stede and his crew are eking out a living in the Republic of Pirates, with the Swede as Spanish Jackie’s 20th husband. Ed, grief-stricken over Stede’s betrayal, is on a full-scale rampage, terrorizing the seas and freaking out his crew. And Susan, the mild-mannered soup vendor? She proves that she’s more than she seems, especially after Stede and the others make off with Jackie’s priceless chest of indigo dye.

Our Flag Means Death season 2 is off to a great start, and with the first three episodes all out at once, we get to dive deep into the next chapter of Stede and Ed’s romance (not to mention some more wild dreams). Lucky us!

(featured image: Max)

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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=""></a>