“Our Flag Means Death” Review


The crew of the Revenge watching as Roach the Cook scales the mast of the ship. Photo by Aaron Epstien.

Our Flag Means Death” is the newest addition to Taika Watiti’s collection of shows he has directed and starred in. The latest episode was released on March 24, and it was an immediate booming success. According to Parrot Analytics, the show has a higher demand for a new season than 98.3 percent of all action and adventure shows in the US.


Being set in the golden age of piracy in 1717, it follows Gentleman Pirate Stede Bonnet on his adventures and travels with Blackbeard himself. Starting as a simple pirate show, it expands into love, loss, family and friendship. It has only 10 episodes at the moment. However, the internet and world are demanding a season two as soon as possible because of the cliffhanger it ended on and the absolute brilliance of the show. As someone with a keen knowledge of pirates and media, here is the official review of “Our Flag Means Death.” Major spoilers ahead!


All the characters are super relatable and work their way to your heart. Not to mention, they are also incredibly likable and funny. Even some of the antagonist characters are likable. Izzy Hands is one of the main antagonists you see, and even as he does things to harm the protagonists, you can see his reasoning and still find him funny. They all click with you and feel real, and their conversations and interactions seem personal. Most people end up finding one person they relate to. You start to genuinely care for these characters and become invested in their lives and pasts. So when important people die or get hurt, it hurts all that much more. 


The historical accuracy is incredibly on point–especially the little details. It’s mentioned that Stede Bonnet gives his crew an allowance, which was true. Even the finale of season one was all true. In the show, Bonnet and Edward Teach get pardoned by the English. But afterward, Bonnet and Teach get separated and Teach returns to piracy alone. Angry about Bonnet leaving him behind, Teach steals his ship, throws all of Bonnet’s things overboard and maroons the crew. The only major historical inaccuracy is character ages not being historically accurate. For example, Izzy Hands is played as an older man, greying with a scratchy voice. But the real-life Israel Hands, who traveled with Blackbeard, was around 16 at the time the show takes place. 


The writing is absolutely fantastic. Written by David Jenkins and Waititi, it was already set up to be stellar. Waititi, also known for his FX show “What We Do in the Shadows,” is incredibly talented. Paired with Jenkins, the show would be unstoppable. It is a wonderful mix of humor and sorrow, hitting you where it hurts and making you laugh right after. One of my favorites is the symbolism they use. The red cloth symbolizes the love between Bonnet and Edward, and orange represents hope for a character named Jim, who is trying to avenge their family. It is all so beautifully done. 


Lastly, the representation of races and sexual identities is phenomenal. The show is full of beautiful queer relationships, specifically queer relationships between people of color. It is incredibly refreshing to see loving and healthy relationships in media that do not make it all about the intimate bits, but are all about the casual love they have for each other. The show also features a non-binary character played by a non-binary actor. I do not recall ever seeing a character like that who was not a robot, an alien, or a celestial being. To see a non-binary human on television is such an incredible thing to witness. Their identity was never a huge deal, which I loved! They just existed, and the characters loved each other unapologetically. 


Sophomore Jackson Doyle said, “I love the realness. It’s not a forced relationship that happened for the diversity. It has love without the gay stereotypes that went with it.” Doyle also states, “I would recommend this show 100 percent. It is such a good show that has taken up my entire mind.”


This show means so much to me, and I have only known about it for a few weeks. It is still up in the air if we will get a second season. With Waititi currently working on season four of “What We Do in The Shadows” paired with the unending demand for a new season of “Our Flag Means Death,” who knows what will happen? All we can do is hope and rewatch season one, constantly refreshing news sources for updates on this absolutely out-of-this-world show.