‘Our Flag Means Death’ Sneak Peek: Inside Blackbeard & Crew’s New Season 2 Looks (PHOTOS)

Taika Waititi as Blackbeard for 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Nicola Dove/Max; Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

Breakups aren’t easy, but that’s especially true for the new and improved — depending on how you look at it — crew of the Revenge in Our Flag Means Death Season 2 premiering Thursday, October 5th on Max, as Blackbeard, a.k.a. Ed (Taika Waititi) continues to unravel after Gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) abandoned him in Season 1.

As with the end of Season 1, Blackbeard recedes even further into the persona of himself painted by various wanted posters. He’s sporting the same black eye makeup as he did in the first season’s finale and also influencing the way his crew looks while serving him aboard the vessel previously helmed by Stede. Above and below, we’re delving into some of those details with exclusive photos, exclusive interviews, and a brand-new clip teasing the dynamic aboard the Revenge.

In the sneak peek, below, times are tense for Frenchie (Joel Fry), Jim (Vico Ortiz), Fang (David Fane), and the newest member of the team, Archie (Madeleine Sami), as they observe Blackbeard’s second in command, Izzy Hands (Con O’Neill). As seen in the minute-and-a-half exchange, Izzy’s getting testy with the shipmates when they question orders to throw treasure overboard. “It is not your place to tell me what does or does not make sense. It is your job to follow my f**king orders,” Izzy spits, emotion welling in his makeup-darkened eyes.

Fang is the first to note that Izzy doesn’t seem to be doing fine, and Jim steps forward to add, “Yeah, we think you’re in an unhealthy relationship with Blackbeard.” Additional tidbits from the crew include the fact that Blackbeard does “a lot of rhino horn” and he’s cut off more of Izzy’s toes.

In other words, Ed’s downward spiral is wreaking havoc on Izzy and the rest of the gang. But depending on how you feel about certain pirate looks, their exterior makeovers are sure to excite, regardless of the reasoning behind them.

“[Blackbeard] sort of has this Mad Max thing that we already established in Season 1, that’s so gorgeous and so unique to [him]. So I just wanted to up that ante,” costume designer Gypsy Taylor tells TV Insider. “We started with that Mad Max black leather violent side of him, and he’s sort of infiltrated this crew now. So they’ve taken it upon themselves to become Beard’s crew in whatever circumstance they’re in.”

“They’ve all taken to that color palette of the black leather and filth, which makes ’em look mean,” Taylor adds with a laugh, but makes it clear, “individually, I wanted to give [them each] a really unique look.” Teaming up with Taylor to accomplish that look is hair and makeup designer Nancy Hennah, who enhances the fantastic clothing ensembles viewers will see onscreen.

“We spent a lot of time working out what we were going to do for the raid makeups,” Hennah says of the Revenge crew. “Blackbeard in particular has lost it a bit and is really going off on a tangent, and the rest of the crew have kind of been pulled into that. We spent a lot of time working out what products were going to be good to emulate [something like the] grease found on the boat and they’ve smeared it on their faces.”

“Blackbeard is really struggling with having lost Stede and is leaning into that dark side, which is frightening for everybody else, but they’re sort of trying to play along,” Hennah continues. While fans may have already seen previously-released photos of the crew, Taylor and Hennah dug into their personal archives to share exclusive sketches and behind-the-scenes photos to provide a closer look at their process and each individual character’s look aboard the Revenge. Check them out below.

Our Flag Means Death, Season 2 Premiere, Thursday, October 5, Max

A Season 2 sketch of Vico Ortiz as Jim for 'Our Flag Means Death'
Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

“With Jim, that’s a huge transformation,” Taylor says about star Ortiz’s onscreen evolution. “It was a really exciting one. We talked about it a lot with Vico, and I wanted to bring in a whole lot of ropes and things that they would’ve found on the ship to make an outfit out of and a giant fishhook that we made a belt out of.” When it comes to the Revenge crew’s ensembles, there’s a focus on found materials doubling as clothing, “so sort of scrounging and finding elements around pirate ships that they could make a costume out of,” Taylor elaborates, noting that the pirates are being resourceful in “almost the same way that drag queens do.”

Vico Ortiz as Jim behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah

When it came to styling Ortiz in their costume alongside the other crew members, Hennah says, “Vico had a great new hairstyle, which we were really excited about, and we cut that early on in our testing phase. Then they had to hide [it]. Everywhere they went, they were wearing a hat.” It was all about “getting the right balance between the amount of hair on top and the amount of hair that we took [off] on the side,” she adds of Jim’s mohawk sported by Ortiz, which can be seen in the sketch and behind-the-scenes test photos.

A Season 2 sketch of Joel Fry as Frenchie for 'Our Flag Means Death'
Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

Similar to Jim’s found fashion, Frenchie’s sporting an edgier look this season that is supposed to look like stolen wares from another pirate. “Because pirates steal a lot,” Taylor says, “they’ve quite often got cool things that they’ve stolen off of other pirates.  And that’s where the inspiration for Frenchie’s jacket came.” As fans may recall, Frenchie found cats particularly terrifying in Season 1, so it makes sense that he’d emulate the feline, which has a motif on the back of his coat according to Taylor. “Maybe he stole it from another pirate ship, and then he made it his own by putting this sort of ode to Desperately Seeking Susan on the back of his jacket with this rearing cat, which in the first season, the cat was very innocent lightly licking his paw, and now we’ve gone really manic and bad,” says Taylor.

A Season 2 sketch of David Fane as Fang for 'Our Flag Means Death'
Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

Meanwhile, Blackbeard’s soft-spoken, but brutish when-needed crew member is enhancing his look from last season with some ornamental additions. “We didn’t want to change Fang too much, but I incorporated a whole lot of new elements to his costume,” Taylor teases. “So he’s got the teeth of sperm whales all around his necklace, and then he’s got walrus teeth coming out of his jacket. So he’s sort of made a new look based on animals that he might’ve found out in the open seas, like dead carcasses and things like that.”

David Fane as Fang behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah

This behind-the-scenes shot from Hennah offers a closer look at Fane’s Fang on set.

David Fane behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah
A Season 2 sketch of Madeleine Sami as Archie for 'Our Flag Means Death'
Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

An exciting aspect of the season for Taylor and Hennah was the addition of Archie to the crew, giving them something new to craft. “Archie’s now part of the gang, and she’s just a badass,” Taylor gushes. “We figured she was sort of deep from the dark alleyways of New York in her sort of street punk aesthetic.”

Madeleine Sami as Archie behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah

One piece of Archie’s ensemble is an homage to one of Taylor’s favorite films, The Warriors. “She’s wearing a little Warriors red leather gang jacket,” Taylor shares, adding, “Her t-shirt is a really cool, very subtle print of Blackbeard’s wanted poster.” Why? “She’s a bit of a fan girl,” Taylor notes. “She really looks up to Blackbeard and how bad he is.”

Madeleine Sami behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah

When it comes to tattoos, Hennah says, “I try to talk about their personal heritage and where they’ve come from and if there’s anything that they want in terms of tattoos.” For Sami, Hennah sought out designs with Fijian and Indian influence to reflect the actor’s personal heritage. “I approached a Henna artist, and we just got her to do a drawing of some designs,” Hennah reveals. “And then Madeline and a few of the other makeup team [members] and I spent about four or five hours just turning those little puzzle pieces into the tattoos.” Sami loved her tattoos so much that Hennah says she was told Sami “is thinking about getting one of the tattoos for real.”

Con O'Neill as Izzy behind the scenes of 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Courtesy of Nancy Hennah

And when it comes to Izzy, he’s not changing things too much. “He’s just a man of his own. He wouldn’t really listen to Blackbeard,” Taylor says. “So there were very subtle things [that we were going to do], like adding studs to his gloves so that when he beat up people, it was a little bit more violent. But in the end, we took it away. He’s enough of a badass on his own.” Ultimately, the only real change people will see on Izzy went the show returns is, “He got a bit dirtier from being at sea. We broke him down more, added a bit more sort of salt and all those crusty sort of overlays.”

A Season 2 sketch of Taika Waititi as Blackbeard for 'Our Flag Means Death'
Courtesy of Gypsy Taylor

When it comes to the crew’s man in charge, Blackbeard’s transformation has evolved a bit since viewers last saw him in Season 1. “I wanted to keep his leathers because pirates, as you see in Season 1, are at sea for a really long time. They don’t have a closet, unlike the Gentleman pirate Stede. So they’re always just wearing the same thing and getting dirtier and dirtier and dirtier.” When a pirate dons a new garment though, it’s usually stolen. Such is the case for Blackbeard, according to Taylor: “We figured he’d stolen this black leather jacket in a raid, but he’d sort of made it his own in his own manic way, much [like] he’s done with the ship where [things are torn down and burned].”

Taika Waititi as Blackbeard in 'Our Flag Means Death' - Season 2
Nicola Dove/Max

Wanting to reflect the season’s production design in Blackbeard’s coat, Taylor says, “We burned it, and we ripped it, and we added six different belts to the sides that are holding it together, which would be like he murdered six pirates and stole their belts. And he’s started to collect a little bit more jewelry. So you’ll start to see some new rings and a little lovely pearl necklace that he’s stolen off of someone at the wedding party [seen in the teaser trailer] perhaps.”

Taika Waititi as Blackbeard in 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2
Nicola Dove/Max

As for Blackbeard’s makeup and hair, Hennah says, “We stuck mostly around his eyes. It just looked more sinister, and he was a lot more disheveled. He spends a lot of time this season wet, which is a bit of a nightmare when you’ve got beards and wigs and drying and getting back to dry. He has always had two wigs, and we got an extra one made this season as well because we were having to swap between wet and dry a lot.”

Apart from the extra wig, it was the tattoos that made up Blackbeard’s biggest makeup change. “We added quite a few tattoos,” shares Hennah. “I think in Season 1, he had around 24 tattoos, but at times this season, we were up to 30, and three of them were the big chest tattoo and then a brand new back tattoo. I worked with Dean Sacred at Sacred Tattoo for the big back tattoo design. He did a beautiful drawing for us of the skull with the snake coming out, the skull’s eyes with the snake crying.” As fans can see, the snake and skull sit above another tattoo with the words “Trust No One.”

Will he ever trust again after Stede left? Only time will tell.