Review: Our Flag Means Death, "The Best Revenge is Dressing Well" & "The Art of F**kery" | Season 1, Episodes 5 & 6
Stede and Ed grow closer as the action gets funnier and sadder
In last week’s review, one of my stray observations from “The Gentleman Pirate” was that adding Fred Armisen as a guest star raised concerns that Our Flag Means Death was walking the plank into the territory of sketch comedy. It never went that far, but it did make it clear to me just how many tones this show is trying to juggle all at once. It wants to be a show about the innate silliness of a crew of incompetent pirates and at the same time create real life-and-death stakes for their piracy. It wants to laugh at Stede’s incompetence but also understand why he made the drastic decision to give it all up and take to the high seas. And it wants us to fear, pity, and be amused by Ed all at the same time, appreciating that the most feared pirate of all time is having an existential crisis.
Four episodes in, David Jenkins and the creative team have been maintaining that juggling act well, as while the balls may have wavered occasionally nothing’s been dropped to break the momentu…