Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the HBO show Our Flag Means Death.
Despite being a gut-busting period romcom full of hilarious pirates, HBO’s Our Flag Means Death has some truly tear-jerking moments. These sad, serious, or somber scenes often come with some unforgettable lines from the pirates, most of whom fans have grown to love by the end of the first season.
From Blackbeard’s confession about his sadness to Lucius’ insightful advice about moving on, the scenes that come with surprisingly profound quotes can sometimes be more memorable than the show’s more hilarious moments. As fans wait for details about a potential second season, it’s the ideal time to recall some of the deepest lines on the series.
Blackbeard (Edward Teach):
“It’s Just F*****g Hard Sometimes, You Know? You Ever Feel Trapped, Like You’re Just Treading Water, Waiting To Drown?”
When Edward Teach drops his persona as Blackbeard, fans get a glimpse into his more vulnerable side. This is exactly what happens during one of his earliest conversations with Stede, which shocks the gentleman pirate since he expects Blackbeard to live up to his badass reputation.
In truth, Ed is sad, bored, and deeply unsatisfied with his life as a pirate, which is what motivates him to learn the ways of a gentleman. His jarring line from him about just “treading water” likely makes fans want to reach out and hug him, which is something Stede thankfully does eventually.
“I Know We Never Would’ve Chosen Each Other, Not In A Million Years, But All We Have Is This One Life.”
It would be an understatement to say that Stede and Mary Bonnet have a complicated relationship, as the two were forced into marriage by their parents for their own selfish motivations. The effects of this partnership haven’t been the same for both of them, though, which is clear in the way Mary puts effort into the partnership.
Ironically, Mary’s line about living their one life together is what Stede recalls during his discussion with Ed about running away to China. At first, it seems as if it inspires him to live out his days of him with Blackbeard, but its true meaning becomes clear when fans realize that Stede has run back to his old life of him.
“Some Men Are Not Built For Adventure. Some Men Should Concern Themselves With Gentler Things.”
After Stede and some members of his crew are captured by locals on what they thought was a deserted island, he’s forced to confess in front of the group’s leader. It’s the first time he admits the fact that he has murdered Captain Nigel Badminton to strangers, and it shakes him to his core.
Before leaving, an islander who acted as Stede’s counselor and even held him as he cried gives him some well-meaning advice that he quickly dismisses. Stede will likely never believe that he’s “not built for adventure,” not after everything he has sacrificed to become a pirate.
“The Only Good Captains Are The Ones That Hate Being Captains.”
Buttons isn’t often considered among the smartest characters in Our Flag Means Death, as the eccentric pirate is usually talking to birds or bathing in moonlight. He has his rare moments of insightfulness, though, with one taking place as the crew is deliberating who their next captain should be.
When Oluwande insists that he doesn’t want to be captain, Buttons helpfully points out that’s the kind of trait good captains have. His words from him prompt the rest of the crew to cheer and finally decide to make Oluwande their new leader.
“We Are To Be Lighthouses For Each Other, Remember?”
It’s almost too painful to watch some scenes with Mary, as it’s obvious that although she may not want to be married to Stede, she’s still trying to make the best out of her bad situation. Stede, on the other hand, just shuts her off completely.
During the scene where Mary gifts Stede a painting she made of a lighthouse, fans can see how hurt she is by Stede’s confused reaction. He doesn’t realize it’s a reference to their marriage where the priest instructed them “to be lighthouses for each other.” Her heartbreak de ella does not end there, unfortunately, as Stede confesses soon after that he wants to live on a ship instead of in the home they’ve made together.
“All The Revenge, And Rage, And Anger, It Ages You.”
Spanish Jackie is responsible for some of the best quotes in Our Flag Means Death, as she’s a hilarious badass who never hesitates to speak her mind. This is why her uncharacteristically serious conversation with Jim is so powerful, as it highlights the business owner’s different and more mature side of her.
After Jim makes a terrible guess about her age, Jackie reminds the pirate that holding on to “all the revenge” will only hurt more in the long run. It sounds like she’s speaking from experience, and Jim has hopefully taken her words from her to heart.
Blackbeard (Edward Teach):
“This Is Who I Am, Stede. Can You See Me Now? You Were Always Gonna Realize What I Am.”
Calico Jack is easily among the most annoying pirates on the show, as everything seems to go wrong after his arrival on the Revenge. He wreaks havoc wherever he goes and makes sure to take Blackbeard along with him, making Stede feel isolated and irritated by Ed’s actions.
When the trickster asks Blackbeard to leave the ship, no one likely expected Blackbeard to respond in that way. It’s clear that he’s still deeply insecure about some aspects of his personality, which he’s afraid Stede may never fully accept.
“I’ve Seen Death. I’ve Been The Cause Of Death – It Changes You Forever.”
Although the comical scenes that depict Stede’s unintentional murder of the Badminton twins are hilarious for viewers, no one can deny that those events are terrifying for the still-naive Stede. He admits this himself when he’s questioned by old friends who doubt if he’s really capable of killing anyone.
The sudden shift in his voice and his dark expression tells them everything they need to know, and reminds audiences that Stede is still struggling to come to terms with his violent and sometimes murderous side.
“What If It’s Not A Death? What If Life Just Begins Again?”
It’s easy to see why Lucius has become a fan favorite among the cast of Our Flag Means Death. The lovable scribe has shown that he knows exactly what to say at the right time, especially when it comes to giving meaningful advice about heartbreak and relationships.
One of his most memorable scenes takes place during Ed’s darkest moments on board the Revenge. When the captain calls Lucius and invites him into his blanket fort, it’s clear to the crew member that Blackbeard needs help. Ed misunderstands Lucius’ advice about letting go at first and wonders if it means dying, which prompts the profound response from the scribe about life beginning again.
Blackbeard (Edward Teach):
“There’s Always An Escape.”
In one of the most emotional scenes in Our Flag Means Death, Stede and Ed finally share their first kiss and talk about running away with each other. They want to “start over” and “reset,” which perplexes Stede at first, as Ed seemed to be adjusting to their new situation as servants of the crown so well.
Ed reminds him that “there’s always an escape,” which speaks volumes about how far he has come from feeling trapped as Blackbeard up to that point. It’s sad to think about what happens next, as all the work he puts into their escape only ends up in heartbreak.
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