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''Pirate Master'': Captain vs. captain

On ”Pirate Master,” former captain Joe Don is cornered at pirates’ court, consolidating the power of Azmyth and his officers

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Monty Brinton/CBS

Pirate Master

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Reality TV

”Pirate Master”: Captain vs. captain

As I watched Joe Don (you’ll always be Captain Cocky to me) sail away into the night on the raft of shame, I wondered if there was any way he could have been spared. Here’s what I came up with: (1) The pirates who voted him out could’ve grown a pair and realized that they were doing exactly what the evil triad wanted them to do by ousting J.D. instead of Louie (who Captain Azmyth openly admitted was a seat filler on the chopping block); and (2) before the teams were chosen for the expedition, the crew could’ve decided that whoever was on the black team with the officers would try to sabotage them. The losing crew members on the black team would then be given a cut from the red team’s booty back on board the Picton Castle. Genius, right? And totally pirate-y. (Granted, they would have had a hard time persuading Jupiter to go along with that, but maybe registered independent Laurel could’ve been swayed, since she’d like to see an all-female captain’s cabin.)

But let’s back up and bitch from the beginning: Azmyth continued to annoy everyone in the crew. He and his officers, Ben and Jay, are well fed and well rested while their crew members are hungry and (I believe this is the technical sea term) pooped. While I acknowledge that the greedy blue coats were smart to weaken Joe Don and Louie for the expedition by having them clean barnacles off the ship, I’m torn over the question of whether Jupiter ever steals food when she’s cooking. (I’d like her more if she did.) That woman can’t really believe that her being the one who cooks for the officers will save her when it’s her time to go, can she? Remember your kitchen buddy Sean?

This week’s expedition wasn’t flashy, but it did look physically and mentally exhausting. I, for one, have no idea what they were doing with those dials at the end, and my no-rewind policy for this show is still in effect. They rowed. They dove to find some bottle with a map in it. Azmyth told his crew that there was no walking, and none of them seemed to care. I thought the red crew might actually win this thing when the black crew couldn’t figure out the riddle that pointed them to some low-budget stick X on the beach. But no, they just followed the Joe Don-led red crew whenever they took off. Lame. I’m sure the producers send the teams to the exact same spot to be fair, but they might want to separate them in the middle section of the expedition to avoid said lameness and reunite them at the still surprisingly exciting side-by-side frenzied dig for the hidden treasure. Just a thought for season 2. (Ha! Right!)

The moment we heard that Joe Don had to sell the royal pardon, we knew he’d be getting a black spot. But let’s give it up to Kendra, who played the only hand she had — selling her soul and votes to Jay if he would agree to keep her off the list. It made her scum, but safe scum. Jupiter should never have told the crew that she wouldn’t try for mutiny (it showed where her loyalties lie); she should’ve just said they’d never pull a mutiny off since the officers have to go along with it, too. I wonder what would happen if the crew all voted for the captain and the officers shot it down. Would the captain choose who goes home, as he did when there was a tie vote?

God bless Joe Don for cutting to the point at pirates’ court. After hearing Nessa’s weak You don’t welcome the competition defense and Louie’s redundant You’re strong and courageous women who I consider to be daughters plea, we needed some straight talkin’. Okay, Joe Don ‘s prose was still a bit flowery: ”I don’t think the father can keep you safe. You’re gonna be picked off one by one.” But the self-proclaimed warrior’s personal appeal to Kendra to save him as he had saved her when he had towed her ass to shore during one of the swimming sessions was simple and bold. It worked; she was the one who voted for Louie. I suspect that goodbye kiss Joe Don gave his superdepressed ”sweet little girl” Nessa won’t be the last we see of him. I’m thinking the ghosts from the remaining pirates’ pasts being touted in next week’s promo are the booted crewmen returning to serve as the new jury.

So what do you think? Would you have voted for J.D., who wins expeditions, or Louie, who just prays during them? What could make Jay say he’d support a mutiny on next week’s episode? Wasn’t it nice to see host Cameron Daddo go all Probst at pirates’ court and actually ask some interesting questions? And doesn’t he realize that the only reason Nessa didn’t need her $5,000 pardon was because everyone knew she’d be buying it?