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Our Flag Means Death Season 2: Everything We Know So Far

Minnie Driver joins the cast for a season that's promised to be much larger in scope and scale.
  • Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Death (Photo: Aaron Epstein/HBO Max)
    Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Death (Photo: Aaron Epstein/HBO Max)

    Season 1 of the delightful HBO Max original Our Flag Means Death concluded in March 2022, which means the pirates of Revenge have been in limbo for more than a year. The queer pirate rom-com follows Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), Stede Bonnet aka The Gentleman Pirate (Rhys Darby), and their motley crews. And while the streamer officially renewed the show for a second season, it’s kept quiet on details about exactly who will be returning and when the season will premiere. In April 2023, the series was nominated for a Peabody Award, adding to the critical acclaim it has received since its debut, putting the pirates back in the spotlight.

    Our Flag Means Death has a staunchly devoted fanbase. Right off the bat, the series inspired some exceptionally good art and a fan-run renewal campaign that involved sending letters to Warner Media and HBO Max to ensure a second season. When HBO Max announced the series would be renewed for a second season back in June 2022, the show’s creator, David Jenkins, and HBO Max’s head of original content, Sarah Aubrey, both made special mention of the enthusiastic fan base. And those fans are eagerly awaiting Season 2 to officially drop.

    As with many TV developments these days, it’s hard to believe a show will actually premiere until it does, especially with the reinvention of HBO Max as Max. On social media fans have been celebrating that Our Flag Means Death was featured in past promos for the streaming service. On April 25, the HBO Max TikTok account published a Stede Bonnet appreciation post, causing fans to speculate in the comments about when a trailer, a release date, or any other morsel about the upcoming season. Here’s what we know so far.

    Where did we leave everyone at the end of Our Flag Means Death Season 1?

    Lots of wires were crossed toward the end of Season 1. Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet, having just escaped being executed, confess their deep feelings for one another and seal it with a kiss. They decide to run away together, starting fresh in a new country with new identities — as long as they have each other, they’ll be happy.

    But before they can follow through with the plan, Stede is overcome by guilt. Chauncy (Rory Kinnear), convinces Stede that he’s ruined the lives of everyone he knows just moments before he accidentally shoots and kills himself, just another death that Stede blames himself for. In an attempt to make things right, Stede returns home to his wife and children, leaving Blackbeard heartbroken and alone. With no other options in sight, Blackbeard returns to his crew on the ship Revenge.

    Back on Revenge, Blackbeard is a shell of his former self, depressed and hiding away in his cabin where he spends his time coming up with deeply melancholy songs. He encourages the other pirates to channel their creative talents as well, much to the chagrin of Izzy (Con O’Neill) who prefers the bloodthirsty Blackbeard over the kind, emotionally intelligent Ed.

    It takes only slight encouragement from Izzy to turn Ed’s heartbreak into Blackbeard’s rage — Blackbeard pushes Lucius (Nathan Foad) overboard and snips off Izzy’s pinky toe in a return to his violent ways. He abandons most of the crew — Oluwande (Samson Kayo), Roach (Samba Schutte), The Swede (Nat Faxon), and Black Pete (Matthew Maher) among them — on a deserted island, keeping only Frenchie (Joel Fry) and Jim (Vico Ortiz) as part of his new regime.

    Stede doesn’t quite get the warm welcome he was hoping for when he returns home. It turns out that his wife Mary (Claudia O’Doherty) was thriving as a widow, taking her painting instructor Doug (Tim Heidecker) as her lover. Even Stede’s children seemed to have forgotten him completely and turned to Doug as their new father figure. Stede is left unsure of whether or not there’s even a place for him in his old life, and Mary contemplates murdering him to take back the life she’s made for herself without him. The two make a compromise: work together to fake Stede’s death so that he can return to his life as the Gentlemen Pirate, with Blackbeard at his side.

    In the episode’s final moments, Blackbeard sobs in Stede’s empty quarters on the ship, obviously still heartbroken despite his hardened exterior. And while out at sea to find Blackbeard, Stede comes across the deserted crew, arriving seemingly just in time to keep them from turning on themselves.

    What is Our Flag Means Death Season 2 about?

    Executive producer Antoine Douaihy told Vanity Fair that this season fans will see a "marked difference between the two seasons in terms of the scope and the scale." It was also revealed that this season features two large armies — around 150 Chinese pirates and a fleet of 100 navy officers — and at least one large storm. Vico Ortiz says their character Jim "really evolves in Season 2." 

    Other than that, though, there are few details about the narrative. Filming on Season 2 wrapped in December 2022, so it’s only a matter of time before a trailer or more details drop. Creator David Jenkins did post a photo of the script for the first episode of Season 2 on Instagram in July 2022, but even the title of the episode is redacted. But don’t worry, Stede and Blackbeard ’shippers — in a March 2022 interview with Decider, Jenkins confirmed that “the show is the relationship.”

    “So, we end in a place where there is this breakup,” Jenkins told Decider. “What happens after a breakup between these two people who, one’s realized he’s in love and the other one is hurt in a way that he’s never been hurt before? What does that do to each of them in an action, pirate world with them trying to find each other again? So again, I really love those rom-com beats.”

    Who is in the cast for Our Flag Means Death Season 2?

    The focus on the core couple means that Rhys Darby and Taika Watiti will be returning. Samba Schutte, Vico Ortiz, and Con O’Neil all confirmed their returns with Instagram posts commemorating Season 2 wrapping.

    According to an exclusive first look from Vanity Fair, Minnie Driver joins the cast playing the real-life Irish pirate Anne Bonny, and Ruibo Qian (Black Mirror, Mozart in the Jungle) is playing a mysterious merchant named Susan. 

    As of now, the only cast member from the ensemble who is definitely not returning is Guz Khan, who played Ivan. He took to Twitter to say: “This is the industry sometimes, they might be choosing a different direction creatively, maybe it's a financial decision, maybe they weren’t feeling your boy. But it’s all part of the journey, and that’s where the fun is for me!”

    When will Our Flag Means Death Season 2 premiere?

    On August 30, Max announced that Our Flag Means Death Season 2 premieres Thursday, October 5 on Max. Multiple episodes will roll out weekly until the finale on October 26. Check out the official Season 2 trailer below:

    Our Flag Means Death Season 1 is streaming on Max. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Our Flag Means Death, HBO Max, Max, Con O’Neil, David Jenkins, Minnie Driver, Nat Faxon, Rhys Darby, Rory Kinnear, Samba Schutte, Taika Waititi, Tim Heidecker, Vico Ortiz