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Our Flag Means Death season 2 finale: Yes, that really happened

Yes, that really happened (Major spoilers ahead for Our Flag Means Death season 2)

Photograh still featuring David Fane, Samba Schutte, Joel Fry, Nathan Foad, Matt Maher, Vico Ortiz, Madeleine Sami, COn O Neill, Samson Kayo
Image credit: Photograph by Nicola Dove/Max

The second season of Our Flag Means Death has come to an explosive close, and the crew of the Revenge will never be the same. But one moment in particular made some serious waves, and that's what we're here to talk about today. Let this be your warning: This is spoiler territory! If you haven't finished out the final episode yet, proceed with the utmost caution.

Our Flag Means Death
Image credit: Max

What's the big twist at the end of Our Flag Means Death season 2?

At the end of the season, the final showdown between the pirates and the British rapidly becomes a wacky game of dress up when the pirates decide that their best bet is to steal the uniforms off dead British soldiers and lead a sort of impromptu sneak attack with Prince Ricky as their begrudging hostage. It goes about as well as you'd probably expect -- which is to say, actually pretty alright! Except for one major thing: Right as the final confrontation kicks off, Ricky blows the whistle on his captors and starts a minor panic. In that chaos, the first shot of the fight manages to land square in the gut of Izzy Hands. Despite this, the encounter seems to go pretty well for the pirates, who manage to win the day and reclaim their ship.

However, when the dust finally settles and the pirates go to make their grand escape, it becomes abundantly clear that Izzy won't be joining them in their victory lap.

What happens to Izzy Hands in Our Flag Means Death season 2?

Izzy's always been a contentious character within the crew -- not quite a villain, but certainly a darker and more serious energy than virtually anyone else. He's been positioned as a foil for Stede and the proverbial devil on Ed's shoulder from the very start in Season 1, but Season 2 saw him stepping further into the spotlight in his own right. He kicked things off at what should have been his highest point -- Ed ended Season 1 with a return to the norm that Izzy had been craving -- but we see almost immediately that things aren't going according to plan. Within the first three episodes alone, Izzy is maimed and nearly killed multiple times by Blackbeard, ultimately losing his leg in the process. It's only then that he begins to understand exactly how his toxic relationship with Ed is actually affecting the both of them.

While Ed and Stede then spent the rest of the season trying to figure one another out, Izzy stepped further into his solo spotlight as he tried to understand both his position in Ed's life and his position on the crew. It's slow going, to be sure, and not always linear, but eventually we do see him start to be rewarded by the narrative rather than punished by it. The crew fashions him a prosthetic leg, he begins to actually join in the community, he starts to both understand and communicate with Stede, rather than just flat-out wanting him gone. He never completely lets go of his surly, prickly, stand-off-ish persona, but he does wind up putting some clumsy drag make-up on and singing La Vie En Rose for the crew at a party, a moment that would have been absolutely unthinkable for Season 1 Izzy.

But, as it turned out, this upwards momentum had a destination. The gut-shot that kills him affords him an opportunity to put a final button on his arc, in an emotional conversation with Ed: "Blackbeard, it was us. You, me. But you're good now," he explains, then, with his last breath: "They love you, Ed. Just be Ed."

In that moment, Izzy gives his final, parting gifts to both Ed and Blackbeard: absolution from his past and whatever pain he may have caused, and permission to move forward into something new. It's heartbreaking, to be sure, but it's also the ending that both of them needed: The freedom to move on outside of one another's orbits; the understanding that they've changed one another forever.