Season 1 | Episode 6 | “A Hole in the Head” | Aired July 18, 2014
Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, aka the Commodore, plans to live it up before his possible death, starting out the episode by entertaining a number of young, naked ladies in his bed. Selima lingers outside the door and cringes a bit before stalking away. The Commodore hears the ghost baby again, which kills the mood.
Poor Antoinette. She looks crazy, like a rabid hound dog. Jagger gifts her with the drawing Tom Lowe made of the Commodore, her husband. Jagger offers to take her to him, but he needs her help. She lunges at him instead (because Jagger is pretty much just a terrible person).
Charles meets Selima as she looks out at the night ocean. Mmm-hmm. She insists he never tell the Commodore about their tryst. He says he can’t lie to his boss. Speaking of, the Commodore is watching as the sun rises in front of the lovers, silhouetting them against its light’s nuclear bomb–like emergence. Subtle.
Later, Fletch spies on the Commodore consulting with his Wildman munitions specialist, who sets off a super-snapper firecracker—that is, a flashbang prototype.
Lowe returns to a joyful reception from Fletch and Lady Kate. Fletch gives him the scoop on the gunpowder stores, and Lowe asks him to steal another boat. Flech: Why? We never go anywhere. This time they will, Lowe promises.
Rose awaits Nenna in her beach house and immediately demands more money. I really don’t get this relationship. Nenna acts like a fool for this gal, but Nenna is no fool. She’s serious as a heart attack, in fact. Get it together, woman!
The Commodore rolls up on Charles, hints at his illness and says Lowe’s the only one who may be able to fix him. What does Charles think? “Kill him and be done with it,” says young Charles. I don’t think that was the correct answer, because the Commodore then says something about never giving a sword to a man who can’t dance. Does he mean that Charles is perhaps not too sharp? I’m going to go with that for now.
Jagger visits Antoinette for some additional torment. He shows her a drawing of Selima and says she’s Edward Teach’s new wife. Antoinette throws herself across the room and literally tears at her eyes until they’re bloody. I’m going to leave that alone for now.
Back at Chez Commodore, the man himself sits on his pirate throne when Lowe shows. He’s surprised to see Selima, who tells him she knows all, and by the way, why were you arrested in Jamaica and how did you escape? Lowe is impressed by the speed of her spy network. Lowe says he was trying to kill Jagger, there was a fight, he failed, he’s here now, let’s get busy skull-drilling!
In a quiet moment later, Selima forbids the Commodore to have the surgery. He notes that he offered her island leadership yesterday and now she’s telling him not to get surgery that might save his life. Her teary face amply expresses that she resents the implication, and she leaves without saying anything more.
Meanwhile, bloody-eyed Antoinette obsesses over her husband’s image.
Selima tests Lowe’s medical knowledge, challenging him to name and describe every treatment that he perhaps could have explored for the Commodore’s illness. If she knows the answers, would she not have tested all of those described on the Commodore before Lowe’s arrival? In any case, Lowe resents her games—lots of resentment going on this episode. He has his doodad with which he hopes drill into the Commodore’s skull. He can’t promise the efficacy of the treatment. She dismisses him.
When Lowe gets back to his hovel, Kate throws herself into his arms and kisses him. He confesses to having been a king’s man with orders to kill Blackbeard. “A spy?” Kate mewls, then spits on him. James overhears the exchange and hobbles directly to the Commodore. But Lowe continues, telling Kate of the Commodore’s insane plan to bomb Jamaica, which will kill thousands, and the island will burn. He forces a kiss on her and begs her to come with him. She: James. He: So? She: Loyalty. Me: You’re arguing with your lover, Kate. You’re not allowed to invoke loyalty when you’re trysting.
James hobbles in on Selima doing a little workout routine: The surgeon is an assassin. She lights out of there.
Kate threatens to sound the alarm and busts a glass container over Lowe’s head. He knocks her out by smothering her with his bare hands.
Selima leads the hunting party looking for Fletch and Lowe. Charlie, Nenna and James find Kate on her bed, dosed with wine and opium. James instructs Charlie to kill Lowe. “Oh, you can be sure of that,” Charlie promises.
A gun cocks at the Commodore in the gunpowder stores. Lowe requests that the Commodore come away with him.
“Please note my incredulity,” Fletch says to the band of pirate bounty hunters who come upon him at yet another boat that will not be used.
In the cave, Lowe lays out his plan to kidnap the Commodore and hand him over to the governor of the Carolinas, and so sorry they’ll hang you, but at least Santa Compana will be safe. He also plans to kill Jagger. Lowe makes the amateur mistake of standing too close with his gun, allowing the Commodore to set it off, rendering the early-model gun useless. Lowe and the Commodore fight, stumbling out of the cave just in time for the angry mob to witness the Commodore beat down sword-wielding Lowe with a torch. When Lowe is laid out, the Commodore says there’d be no profit in attacking Jamaica and that Lowe has been sorely mistaken in all of his assumptions so far. He asks Charlie and Selima what he should do with Lowe, but he already has the answer, offering Lowe a hand up: “Let’s go drill a hole in my head and let the demons out.” So that’s what they do.
Nenna had earlier slit Rose’s throat over her empty booty box, which Rose had followed her to. I knew Nenna wasn’t going to let that dysfunction go on much longer! She now tosses and turns over the letter Rose had threatened her with. Nenna goes to the brothel and starts rummaging for the letter.
Taking air near the water, Lowe confesses to Fletch that he made up the Commodore’s illness—he needed a reason to go to Jamaica! Who knows? The surgery may well cure the guy’s headaches, however.
Jagger’s last visit with Antoinette turns up a clue: a little riddle that leads him to the realization that Blackbeard intends to attack the Spanish treasure fleet. Blackbeard is going to sink the armada and create his own sunken treasure spot. They have to find that fleet!
Ghostly Antoinette rouses the Commodore: “The gift I gave is the gift I took.” He screams.
Crossbones, rated TV-14, airs Fridays at 10/9C on NBC.