Crossbones, “The Man Who Killed Blackbeard”

“The Man Who Killed Blackbeard” went better than I expected. It seemed like everyone was going to be sleeping around and that it would break the main drive of the story to provide some sort of romantic angle, but that wasn’t the way it went and I think instead it managed to make the story stronger. I’m ecstatic that the writers get what this story should be as a historical re-imagining. It isn’t about the love story, it’s about a man with a dream. Blackbeard desires a place where he can be free from the tyranny of the system he was born into, and he will do everything in his power to maintain his freedom.

He and Tom continue to have a discussion about religion, including the idea of original sin. Blackbeard hopes to avoid this on his island, and even confesses to Tom that he doesn’t believe he is evil. A man who has committed dreadful acts, but not incapable of becoming a benevolent ruler. It’s an interesting idea, but he is worried that the sickness will not allow him to complete his idea of a perfect society.

When Kate is captured by redcoats, Blackbeard must decide how best to protect his paradise. He knows that torture is in store for Kate, but he and Tom concoct a scheme to best the redcoats and rescue her before she spouts the location of Blackbeard’s island. The man who allegedly killed Blackbeard (or a look-a-like since Blackbeard is very much alive) turns out to be Tom’s boss, William Jagger. He believes Blackbeard is still alive and is determined to find and destroy him, if only because it will, in his mind, restore his dignity and honor. This of course shows his motivation to be difficult to run up against, but Blackbeard also has a purpose, one that he will give everything for, one he is willing to die for, and that is not something to be taken lightly.

“The Man Who Killed Blackbeard” also introduces us to an interesting problem with Blackbeard’s advisor and not-quite-mistress, Selima, who will not evacuate with the rest of the island’s population. In an effort to escape the redcoats’ notice, they take to ground, but Selima stays behind and Charles is tasked with watching over her and killing her if necessary. He can’t, and it seems as if a bond has developed between them. This is a potential issue because of her link to Blackbeard. She also seems to suffer from a condition where it “vexes” her to step outside and be with people. While she is calm and articulate inside, she has a strong fear of the outdoors. I am curious as to how this will affect her character arc.

As the story continues, Blackbeard will have to make decisions that will push him one way or the other in his desire to become a recluse from the world in order to create a new Eden. Will he continue to appear benevolent while scheming behind the backs of his people, or will he end up having to return to his old ways to save his skin? If Governor Jagger has his way, Blackbeard’s head will be hanging from the rigging sooner rather than later. It also depends on what Tom Lowe will ultimately decide. He has managed to force Blackbeard’s hand and uncover a plot to attack Jamaica, but will Tom eventually side with Blackbeard when he realizes that Governor Jagger is a more cruel and evil man than his new boss?

“The Man Who Killed Blackbeard” continues to showcase the best of writing, solid acting, and some wonderfully rousing music. I am puzzled as to why more people aren’t watching this show, and why it is getting a lower than deserved rating online. With people of color, women who are billed as main characters, and philosophical, religious and political themes, it’s a show that balances heavy ideas with action and wit, and I’d hate to see it go away anytime soon.

Treat yourself to a viewing of Crossbones. Who doesn’t love a good pirate yarn?

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone is a story nerd, particularly for the episodic stories told via the medium of television. When not parked in front of the TV, K.M. Cone can be found writing kooky urban fantasy on her personal site, attempting to learn German, or making a huge pot of soup for her friends, who are probably coming over to join her in her latest TV or animated film obsession.
K.M. Cone

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