Crossbones "The Man Who Killed Blackbeard" Review: Soul of a Pirate, Brain of a Frenchman

Crossbones S01E03: "The Man Who Killed Blackbeard"


One thing’s for sure: Edward Teach certainly does NOT want Santa Compana to be discovered. As "The Man Who Killed Blackbeard" taught us, Teach would rather murder every last one of the island inhabitants than risk having the land he calls home subjected to so-called modern governance. Sometimes even I, shrewd-minded as a fox, have found myself drawn in by Teach’s promises of freedom and fun in the sun and prostitutes as far as the eye can see. However in my weaker moments, all this sounds like the kind of lofty vow a middle school kid would make during a campaign for class presidency: "...and the water fountains shall dispense naught but soda, and ye olde homework shall be ABOLISHED!" Ladies and gentlemen: This. Is. Crossbones.

So here’s what you need to know: Fletch has not been ejected from this watery gravy train. IMDB was wrong... dead wrong. I am boycotting that site now and I invite you all to join me. Fletch was actually alive and well in this episode, joining in the chaotic evacuation that befell Santa Compana once Kate got kidnapped. Yes my people, Kate the quarter master/Lowe-kisser went off to a place called Adderlay Cay to sell precious gems to a sleazebag man of the cloth named Father Daniel (Hamilton Clancy—or CO Kowalski for you OITNB fans). Father Daniel was a father in two senses: actual religious priesthood, and because he fathered thousands of children. So a very trustworthy individual. If he were alive today he’d have his own show on TLC.

Actually he was a total sandy prick because he sold Kate out to William Jagger. That’s right: HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNOR. Jagger had planted several pieces of jewelry on the HMS Petrel in a sort of breadcrumb maneuver, and now he wanted Kate to give up her secrets. I think this is sort of related to why I never pick up Band-Aids off the city bus, but I forget why. Anyway, Jagger punched her to the floor which was totally befitting of an evil Englishman. Then after we the viewers thought this was the worst he could do, Jagger leaned in all creepy and was like, "Before we proceed, you need to understand that I know a lie as readily as I know the kiss of my own mother." Dang man. I guess he kissed his own mother a bunch? I guess he cherished his mother’s kisses? I guess he memorized his mother’s kisses and invokes this fact every once in a while to scare prisoners?


Back on the fantasy paradise that is Santa Compana, trouble was brewing like coffee (P.S. what is coffee?). A prostitute was having stomach troubles and another prostitute thought it might've been shellfish. Actually it was an upside-down baby that Lowe helped deliver. Look, sometimes you don't know you're pregnant okay? TLC had a whole show about it. Anyway, it was all to the good though, because Teach took that youngling into his linen'd arms and gazed a thousand gazes. The dread pirate king was like, "In your eyes, the light, the heat, in your eyes, I am complete." Then the baby was all...


Good one, Island Bastard Baby, you're right Teach is always being positioned as some ex-monster saint. A male bitch goddess even. On the one hand, Edward "Blackbeard" Teach has a history of shameless brutality such as flaying, but on the other, he’s a city father who only wants the best for his people and schools for the children and a dog park. Sometimes he gets terrified by ghosts with bleeding eyes just outside his balcony, while other times he gouges out priest-eyes and uses the corpse to help detonate hellburners. What I mean is, the Commodore is complicated. 

Like, we learned this episode that the happy hookers only came to Santa Compana to escape a far worse fate as king’s strumpets in India. That’s... good? Yes. But at the same time, Teach gave orders to kill Selima, for worry she’d give up his location. Same went for Kate. It took the intervention of Charles (and his muscles) and Lowe (and his puffy sea curls) to prevent both women from turning into beach ghosts.   

To Kate’s credit, she did not spill any beans whatsoever even while being buried alive. I have been buried alive more times than I can count, and contrary to popular opinion it is scary. The darkness, the dirt, the "fear-smells." Thankfully, her stint beneath the earth gave Lowe and Teach the time they needed to rig a boat to explode as a diversionary tactic. Sure! The two rescuers then partook in some first-class swashbuckling with a dab of derring-do, while back home Fletch saw a beastly manimal stalking around the shores of Santa Compana. For the record, I am pro-beastly manimals stalking around shores, but knowing my luck this abomination is probably just some regular human who has dirt on Teach or Jaggers or something. Something not cool, is what I'm saying. 

And so, as another sun set on the sleepy island nation of Santa Compana, the people and their rights were safe again. But for how long? James certainly won’t be happy to find out that his wife-by-law is cheating on him. That's the kind of news drives a man straight back to the pipe. The opium pipe. And what of the socially anxious Selima? Now she and Charles have shared carnal knowledge, have knocked the sand off each other's boots. But she visibly shuddered when Teach tickled her shoulders with his imposing touch. Then again, that could’ve just been the actress reacting to John Malkovich’s ice cold tips. Thank you and good night.   


What did you think of "The Man Who Killed Blackbeard"?

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Jun 26, 2014
I thought I'd pop a positive comment here in this sea of negativity, but I don't suppose I can do that. I'm sorry to say that this show is simply becoming too cluttered; there are too many things going on for one 43 minute episode. There is subplot upon subplot, with no unifying purpose (except Teach wanting to keep his little community plus one new baby a secret). Not only do the stories seem to compete with each other for attention, it's getting hard to care about any of the characters.
The ghost/apparition scenes are excruciatingly long and uninteresting. We don't need to see the ghost again, once was enough. What happened to the story of the Spaniard? Did Tom Lowe lose interest in finding out why the Spaniard was there? Is the purpose of his spying mission to draw sketches of Kate and Kate's key? Hmmm... is he writing a book?
This show has become less of a swashbuckling adventure and more of a soap opera, because of the attention given to the relationships between the characters and because they all seem to be keeping secrets from one another (and keeping secrets from the viewers, like Mr. Manimal).
This episode was too predictable, of course Tom would rescue Kate, of course he would have to kill one of his own, one of Jagger' men. But this has been done a thousand times before, hero rescues damsel in distress. It seemed as if too much time was spent on Kate's torture and mistreatment, and not enough time to explain how Teach and Lowe managed to get onto and off the island where she was being held. Another secret.

A question do I dare ask ?: What are we to assume happened to Kate after Jagger kicks her to the floor (and then he talks about knowing what a lie looks like)... but before he drags her off to be buried in the sand? Just wondering how others interpreted that scene.

The relationship between Selima and Teach is curious. How is Selima on the island in the first place if she has agoraphobia? Why is Teach is so smitten with her, and allows her to tell him what he should do, and what he should not do (place himself in peril when he set up those men to attack him in the last episode). How did she earn such power and influence over him?

From the second episode,
Selima: “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds .Lay first the foundation of humility.”
Teach: “I swear to God, if you'd only lay with me now, I'd give you what? Whatever there is to give.The world. The skies and the sea. The moon. But I'm only human.”
Selima: “And when your passion was spent, you'd see that and lament such reckless generosity.”

Yet Selima gives herself so easily to Charles? Huh? Wait til Teach finds out. Well, I have already forgotten. This is Crossbones, the soap opera.

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Jun 23, 2014
I quit. Listening to Malkovich do that hideously bad accent was painful.
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Jun 22, 2014
This show requires too many people to be stupid to make the silly plots work. I'm pretty much done with it. Malkovich is just too old and stiff to make a swahbuckling pirate thing work. His "sword fight" was laughable. Then the show has to explain everything they did since they can't write it in a way so the viewer catches on to what just happened. Bad - Bad - Bad.
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Jun 22, 2014
I don't understand how the British navy can't find an island that's within a day's sail, and within range of a homing pigeon, from a trading post that they've been to.

I also don't understand how Blackbeard & Lowe got from their ship to the trading post & then got away from the trading post while the British ship was right there.
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Jun 23, 2014
I didn't get that too. Obviously, we must use our fantasy. I have plenty, but couldn't come up with something substantially convincing.
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Jun 22, 2014
Selima and Rider: "I said NO!" "This doesn't make any sense to me!" "That's not my concern!"
Sounds pretty much like every time I tried to argue with my ex. :)
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Jun 22, 2014
Yeah, Black Sails this ain't, but they sinking money into it and there's something about quality actors having to deliver bad lines that's entertaining.
When Teach is confronted by his horrific visions I do like his blank stare, kind of like...floating bride weeping blood... yeah I give that about a two on the Blackbeard horrific scale.
Julian Sands looks like he's having fun and continues his girl/box thing, that guy was made for historical fiction/merchant ivory stuff.
Does Lowe have to be so goddamn heroic? Crippled husband asking him to do his natural heroic thing, Fletch/Lee Evans/Pinky also talking up his daring-do like he's Lowe's agent, yeah he's Dr. Action Man in shorts we get it.
Social vexation? Oh no you didn't Charles and Selima [snap snap] !!
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Jun 22, 2014
I really try to give Crossbones a chance because of John Malkovich, but so disappointed. The 1st episode, try not to judge, 2nd episode I was already bored, and by the 3rd episode I barely made it through.
I thought some of the episodes of Black Sail storytelling was frustrating and a bit cliche especially with some of the characters on the show, but I don't think I was ever bored, but man does Crossbones take the cake. I know I will be back watching Black Sail for season 2, but after 3 episodes of Crossbones I'm out.
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Jun 22, 2014
And the recap is up.

Shouldn't this review be on the episode page?
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Jun 21, 2014
..... and not a single fuck (tent) was given.

I see what i did there.
Blacksails FTW
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Jun 21, 2014
I thought Teach told the dude to kill Selina if they were close to being captured just so she could avoid the brutal torture, not so he could make sure his location was secure. Because he had no location. Selina didn't really have any information he was worried about. He just didn't want to see her suffer.
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Jun 21, 2014
This is the "rescue kate" episode

+ many sex scenes with clothes on.

Seriously, how can this show be better than black sails?
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Jun 21, 2014
Is this show/series better than the pilot yet?
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Jun 22, 2014
No.
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Jun 22, 2014
Bummer. :(
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Jun 21, 2014
Must be ice cold Malkovich finger tips!
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Jun 21, 2014
"while back home Fletch saw a beastly manimal stalking around the shores of Santa Compana."

What's mildly irritating is that the end credits spoiled who he is. :(
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Jun 23, 2014
They did? Figures..
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Jun 23, 2014
Well, you had to pay attention and realize that one actor they credited under a different name, had already appeared on the show.
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Jun 21, 2014
means they have ZERO faith anyone will return for next week unless viewers are given answers
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Jun 21, 2014
I doubt viewers that bored are only going to come back if hints are buried in the co-star credits.

More likely the SAG required that they credit the actor, and they figured no one would notice.
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Jun 21, 2014
Eh? I doubt that's what it means.
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Jun 21, 2014
or they just don't think that people actually read the end credits.
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Jun 22, 2014
I rarely read them unless I want to know who some actor is, because spoilers. Same for IMDB: more than once it has said basically, "that character you thought was dead/gone will be returning for the final episodes." And it can be almost as wrong as Wikipedia.
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