Our Flag Means Death has simply wrapped up its sophomore season, and it’s time to say goodbye to our favourite pirates for, properly, at the very least one other 12 months. Streaming service MAX hasn’t renewed the workplace comedy/action-adventure present for a 3rd season, but when the numbers are something to go by, they might be silly to not begin speaking about it.
David Jenkins, the author/creator and someday director of Our Flag Means Death, did a finale postmortem interview with io9, and we discuss endings, piracy, and the way comedian actors and critical actors mesh. A fast warning, this interview is actually concerning the final episode of Our Flag Means Demise, and comprises spoilers. Proceed with warning.
So, right here’s the factor; Jenkins and I’ve spoken just a few instances about Our Flag Means Demise. He is aware of that I am keen on this present. He additionally is aware of that I am keen on Izzy Palms (Con O’Neill), the beleaguered first mate and jilted lover of the central couple of Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) and Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby). He has additionally been conserving a secret from me for months: On this final episode of season 2, Izzy Palms dies.
“Are you mad at me?” Jenkins requested, virtually plaintive as we mentioned our ‘Hey’s underneath the auspices of the designated MAX PR individual. “Oh, properly. I’m not likely mad at you, however I’m disillusioned,” I responded. “I feel I’m unhappy at you.” This, he says, is worse.
On the finish of the season, Izzy Palms dies in Blackbeard’s arms, giving Blackbeard permission not solely to “be himself” however to depart piracy behind for good. It occurred within the sort of cruelly random method that individuals typically die on this style of motion/journey tales. That didn’t make it any simpler although. And on the finish of the season, Blackbeard’s incapability to save lots of Izzy meant that there was merely no extra cause for him to be a pirate anymore. Who was he doing it for? What extra did he need to show?
Whatever the narrative the explanation why Izzy Palms died, I used to be devastated. Did it make sense within the context of the present? Sure. Was it a deeply transferring and extremely well-acted second? Additionally sure. Was his dying made all of the extra affective due to how Izzy had been ingratiated, accepted, trusted, and even, at factors, cherished by his crew? Completely. So, after all I teared up slightly.
Jenkins seemed barely unhappy himself, saying that “Ghosts exist on this world.” I informed him to not make guarantees he couldn’t hold. At this level such a remark feels prefer it was made to make me, personally, really feel higher. I’m undecided Izzy might make a return in some unspecified time in the future, nothing is definite about Our Flag Means Demise’s future proper now. It virtually looks like Jenkins feels dangerous that he made me unhappy. I don’t know if he realizes how unhappy he’s going to make lots of people.
This isn’t going to be an interview completely about Izzy Palms, however he’s a giant a part of it—in any case, his dying is arguably one of many present’s largest shocks but. Trying again at Izzy’s arc over the 2 seasons, Jenkins mentioned that he doesn’t see Izzy as a pure antagonist in season one as a result of on some degree… Izzy was proper in his hesitations about Stede. “His boss is falling for this manic pixie dream woman, and he’s obtained to maintain his boss protected as a result of that’s his job,” Jenkins explains. “After which he has to get this ship to function like a standard ship would function. And so they’re all weirdos. So he’s obtained the worst center administration place. And on prime of that, his boss is a lunatic.”
In the direction of the top of season one, Izzy does have a flip away from ‘fairly upset at Blackbeard’ to ‘critical antagonistic power’. However when he will get what he wished–Blackbeard again to legendary type–it doesn’t actually work out. “Watch out what you ask your God for, since you simply may get it,” Jenkins warned. “Izzy will get it and it activates him. That poisonous relationship that he wished have been all his, turns into all his… he’s crushed by it, and each he and Blackbeard each need to rebuild themselves.”
In Izzy’s case, the rebuilding is kind of literal–his leg is amputated and changed with a wood prosthetic, carved from the unicorn figurehead of the Revenge. After this, he has to undergo a change, Jenkins mentioned he has to ask himself “What am I going to do with myself? You already know, who am I going to be? After [the crew] makes him the Unicorn leg, I feel he sort of sees like, ‘oh, this crew cares for me’. And I don’t suppose he’s ever felt cared for in that method.”
This season additionally noticed lots of Izzy interacting with Stede, typically in additional enjoyable conditions than the snipes forwards and backwards within the first season. When requested about how Con O’Neill and Rhys Darby obtained alongside on set, Jenkins simply laughed. “I actually love constructing a present with actually humorous actors after which actually critical actors. And the humorous persons are often terrified of the actual critical folks. And the actual critical persons are terrified of the humorous folks. They terrify one another.”
For people who may not know, Darby is a get up comic and has been in a lot of Waititi’s darkly comedian movies. O’Neill, alternatively, has been taking dramatic roles since his twenties, and has lately appeared in productions like The Batman and Chernobyl. “I feel from the start folks noticed Con and have been like, ‘Oh, man, I obtained to be like, actually need to be in my recreation’,” Jenkins mentioned, imitating Taika Waititi’s lilting Kiwi accent. “After which Con was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what he’s doing, he saying I ought to simply observe together with the improvisations’—” once more, imitating O’Neill’s raspy drawl. “After which they’re each so good that by the top of the season they’re not scaring one another as a lot. However that admiration stays, and I feel that was very a lot true between Rhys and Con.”
The choice to have Izzy die wasn’t one which Jenkins took evenly. “It was exhausting. It was exhausting to kill off Izzy. It was exhausting to inform Con that he was going to die. And he was so pretty about it. However, on the similar time, he took it exhausting,” Jenkins mentioned. “Like this factor we constructed collectively goes to die. It’s one factor to put in writing it, it’s one other factor to supply it, and to see Con carry that information via the episodes, figuring out what was going to occur to that character. Con took it actually critically.”
Jenkins additionally thinks that Izzy was in a position to say precisely what he wanted to on the finish of the present. “I feel he provides his personal eulogy. It’s about belonging to one thing. And that we do that for one another, you already know? He got here to view piracy as a factor we do for each other. And being on a crew is one thing you do for one another… he will get to a spot the place he finally sees that it really works as a result of everyone helps one another. Everyone cares for one another, and there must be some construction, however for him, it turned much less about dominance and extra about belonging to one thing.”
The ultimate shot of the season is definitely Izzy’s grave, exterior of Ed and Stede’s cottage. “I feel him being buried close to them is a stunning picture,” he mentioned. “And there’s a cause that that occurred. I feel they each have been unhappy to see their buddy go. And I feel they’re each pondering, ‘let’s make this work not only for us, however in reminiscence of Izzy’.”
One of many prevalent rumors about Our Flag Means Demise this season was that it was initially presupposed to be 10 episodes reasonably than 8. However Jenkins says no; it was at all times going to be 8. They have been on the lookout for methods to chop funds, and transferring the manufacturing to New Zealand and reducing down the episodes actually helped with the underside line, in addition to being higher for the solid and crew. “It takes a lot to make one episode occur. Each division is strung out by the point you get to the top of the season,” he defined.
“The story of Stede and Blackbeard is a three-season story,” Jenkins mentioned, looking forward to the place the present might go from right here. When requested if the ending of season two–Frenchie taking on as Captain of the Revenge, Stede and Ed in a shack on the seashore, getting ready to open their inn, and Izzy Palms buried in entrance of their house–was a sort of “safeguard” in case the sequence didn’t get that third season, Jenkins shrugged. “In a method,” he mentioned. “The primary season ends on such a downer, so it made sense to finish the second season in a kinder spot.”
However he says that he “nonetheless has questions” about what occurs subsequent. The Republic of Pirates has been destroyed, Izzy’s killer remains to be on the market, and does Frenchie have what it takes to captain a pirate crew? Our Flag Means Demise is just not an entire story but. “I feel there’s loads of story left for season three, however I feel that it was essential to finish this as if it was the top of the present, and on upbeat word and keep away from the sort of “kill your gays” trope. I don’t wish to see Steve and Ed punished for giving it a go. I wish to see them actually say, ‘yeah, we’re going to we’re going to attempt to have a relationship’.”
When requested how he would strategy the third season , Jenkins considered it for just a few seconds earlier than answering. “I might very very like to see pirates come to America. Traditionally, they have been in New York Metropolis and the Carolinas. And now, within the story, the Republic of Pirates is gone… I feel that tales about piracy are slightly bit like tales concerning the West. They’re tales about this stuff which are going to finish inevitably,” he mentioned this sadly, just like the inevitability comes from trying again on the previous and pondering the current couldn’t come out some other method. It’s a little bit of a eulogy. “In some methods, I feel then seeing them need to cope with a few of these issues in a rustic that’s coming collectively can be good. And I feel it will be a great way to finish the season, and see how they regulate to it.”
The ultimate scene with Izzy and Blackbeard is extremely, desperately unhappy, and clearly required rather a lot from each O’Neill and Waititi within the second. “When Izzy died, I mentioned, ‘Would you wish to play music on set?’” Jenkins recalled. “ He went ‘Yeah’. And so I made an Izzy Demise playlist and put it on throughout the takes.”
That is the second time I’ve been teased with an Our Flag Means Demise playlist. The primary time was from music supervisor Maggie Phillips after the primary season had ended. I needed to ask for this playlist, however Jenkins didn’t wish to share. He talked about Carole King, implying that “Bitter with the Candy” was performed. I used to be not doing properly with this info, particularly after I put my face in my palms. He tried, as soon as once more, to console me however I used to be misplaced in my Izzy Palms emotions. Perhaps taking the great with the dangerous was private recommendation. Or, extra actually, I simply suppose he felt slightly unhappy too.
Each seasons of Our Flag Means Demise can be found to stream on MAX.
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