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Richard Coyle as Tom Lowe in 'Crossbones' (NBC)

Image Credit: NBC

'Crossbones' recap: Jagger tests spy Tom Lowe's loyalties

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “The Return” | Aired July 11, 2014

When we left off, Lowe had abandoned his affair with Lady Kate, and Jagger had approached Antoinette—she of the Commodore’s ghostly visions—to aid in his search for Blackbeard.

Jagger now holds Antoinette, who here is fully corporeal, under water: “Will you speak to me now, Antoinette? Will you speak to me now? Tell me where he is!”

Lowe runs through fields, being chased and shot at by Red Coats—that is, his own guys. What possibly could have led to this?

“Two weeks earlier” flashes onscreen, with Fletch leading Lowe to the mysterious cave. Lowe dismisses him and enters the cave/laboratory. Fletch returns so that Lowe has someone to deliver his exposition to: The Commodore plans to lay waste to the English with all this gunpowder and the submersible. How are they going to stop him? If they destroy the explosives where they are, the explosion will take the town with it. “This is beyond my control,” Lowe says. He has to return to Jamaica.

Back at the Commodore’s place, Lowe tells the Commodore that his condition might be seen by some as demonic possession. The Commodore assures him that he is not possessed. Lowe quips that some might disagree. In any case, Lowe needs a special instrument to drill a hole in the Commodore’s head to “relieve pressure on the meat of the brain.” As no one can be trusted to know about the Commodore’s condition and to go to Jamaica to retrieve this instrument—one sec. The Commodore strolls out the door.

John Malkovich, Yasmine Al Massri in 'Crossbones' (NBC)Selima, who overheard the two men speaking, but not the crux of the conversation, is now in the library and speaks to Charles, who again starts with his “He knows!” about their angry sex. Selima again questions how it is possible that the Commodore would know they did the nasty, presuming, of course, that neither of them has been telling erotic tales of forbidden lovemaking. The Commodore comes in and dismisses Charles. “He’s out of sorts,” the Commodore notes. Selima says it’s because the Commodore hasn’t been confiding in his friends lately, but instead he’s been conspiring with Lowe. The Commodore takes exception to this characterization of his relationship with Lowe. He would only ever conspire with Selima. She says Lowe makes her blood run cold. “Perhaps that’s for the best,” the Commodore replies, “since your blood seems to have been running uncharacteristically hot of late.” While I probably would’ve thrown the collected works of Shakespeare at his head for that slut-shaming, Selima just hides a pretty grimace.

The Commodore brings Lowe a book that shows the procedure Lowe had described, and he tells Lowe that he’s going to let him go to Jamaica to get the instrument, because he knows that Lowe’s desire for Kate will bring him back to the island. He uses a telescope as a visual aide to represent Lowe’s—ahem—drive (it was an awkward moment) and sends him off. Lowe smirks as he leaves the room.

Speaking of angry-sexy, Kate flies into a rage in Lowe’s beach hovel, angry that he’s leaving. She accuses him of planning to betray the people of the island in some way. Lowe matches her passion and ups the angry-sexy ante by throwing her against the wall, gazing intently into her eyes and telling her that if he betrayed the island, he wouldn’t get to see her every day. A kiss later and methinks the affair is back on. Maybe. Or it’ll devolve into one of those “We shouldn’t”—”Yes, we should”—”No, no, we can’t”—”OK, maybe just a little” relationships. Or Lowe has been toying with her all along, and her affection and attention simply suit his current purposes. I hate to think that, because it’s despicable behavior in anyone, but he is the James Bond of this pirate island.

Nenna and Rose in 'Crossbones' (NBC)Nenna digs up her booty to gift some of it to her new lady love, Rose, who is not satisfied with “some”—she nuzzles Nenna threateningly—she wants it all.

In an interesting and unusual exchange, Kate meets with Charles to report back on what she’s discovered from Lowe—who’s the spy now, huh? But all she has to report is Lowe’s promise not to betray the Commodore, and by extension, the island. She tells Charles that Lowe is a better man than he is in every way. (Not helping, Kate.)

Selima has news for the Commodore: The Spanish treasure fleet is prepping to leave in a few days. “The game is afoot,” he replies gleefully.

Fletch doesn’t want Lowe to leave him behind. Lowe advises him to cooperate with the English when they arrive, and he’ll be fine. These pirates kill innocents. Fletch asks: But what of the people you’ve killed? “Conscience isn’t one of the burdens I carry,” Lowe replies. Then Lowe dares Fletch to betray him—he’ll find himself on that same list.

Nenna and Lowe take a ship to Cuba, where he slinks off to do mysterious business, and she meets with a businessman, who insults her before taking her money to acquire a plantation. Later, he will tell her that it’s not enough, and she will negotiate to get a bit more time to pull together the full amount.

After a swim, Kate stops for a chat with young, mopey Fletch, who assures her that Lowe will return. He makes a poignant observation that most people lie to seem kinder and better than they are, but Lowe lies to appear coldhearted, when in actuality, he is just the opposite.

When Kate rejoins James, he is pensive, dreaming of Scotland. He must be recovered from his opium withdrawal, because he and Kate get busy, and she doesn’t seem to be complaining. In their pillow talk later, he apologizes for being selfish and cheating her of a happy life, and promises to do whatever it takes to make it right.

The Commodore visits the wild man (Henry Hereford) and implores him to work quickly. He almost catches Fletch following him.

Lowe meets with Jagger, who interrogates him about where he’s been—they thought him dead. Lowe drops the bomb: “With Edward Teach.” Jagger drops his tea. Lowe shows him his drawing of Teach/Commodore/Blackbeard as proof. “Tell me about him,” Jagger says. Lowe is a bit more forthcoming than perhaps he ought to be—he comes off as sympathetic to Teach’s intention to create a nation without kings. Jagger is nearly apoplectic with indignation.

Commodore pads up behind Selima. He needs to tell her three things: 1) He admires her more that he loves her (and, he says, he loves her “a great deal”). 2) He’s dying. 3) The island will need a new leader, so basically, she needs to drop the agoraphobia and get out there among the people so that they accept her as leader when he’s dead. He says: “Selima, without you, it’s finished … and I leave nothing behind me but ghoulish folklore.” She wants nothing to do with this plan. He insists.

Back at Jagger’s, Lowe relays that island life is actually rather nice, and Teach has done a decent job of leading the people. Jagger accuses him of blasphemy. Lowe is just following orders to report back on Teach. Jagger corrects him: Lowe was ordered to kill Teach on sight. In any case, Lowe wants to tell him about Teach’s plan to attack English interests. Jagger wants to know where the island is so he can send his military might to kill everyone. Lowe negotiates on behalf of Kate and Fletch, and he wants to be far away when it happens. Jagger promises he’ll be sent back to England. “This will be the making of you, Tom. You’ll be able to step out of the shadow of your own infamy,” Jagger says. Lowe admits that he feels some responsibility for the people of the island, and he finally agrees to point out the island on the map. Jagger calls his bluff: He’s been to that island, and it’s all sand. Lowe explains that he’ll kill Teach, but he won’t condemn innocent people. They fight. Lowe gets stabbed, but prevails when he knocks out Jagger, and skulks back through the city to pick up the instrument for the Commodore’s procedure and some bandages for his wound.

An alarm sounds and Red Coats chase and shoot at him through the fields. He jumps from the cliff and bloodies the water. Me: Shark, shark, shark, shark. Start swimming! Thankfully, he does.

Selima works up the nerve to leave the compound and draws stares as she strolls through town. She acquires a mango from Kate’s stand. Commodore watches from the house and murmurs that she’s done enough and should come home.

'Crossbones': Antoinette (NBC)Later, as he’s enjoying a little opium high, the ghostly form of Antoinette visits, holding a squirming baby. The Commodore awakens to realize that the baby he’s taken on is crying in the other room.

Something to look forward to: The preview of next week’s Crossbones shows Blackbeard with a black beard!

Crossbones, rated TV-14, airs Fridays at 10/9C on NBC

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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