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''Pirate Master'': A new twist

On ”Pirate Master,” J.D., feeling pressure from Captain Louie, buys himself immunity, then learns he didn’t need it

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Monty Brinton/CBS

Pirate Master

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

”Pirate Master”: A new twist

For the second week in a row, this show didn’t suck. For the first time, I’m not embarrassed to tell people that I watch it.

Here’s what went down on the Picton Castle this week: Captain Azmyth’s reign (and, sadly, fake British accent) came to an end when the underdog red crew defeated his black crew in the expedition. That row-and-run-and-dig challenge was actually dramatic this week — not because Azmyth led his crew in the wrong direction or because Joy again dragged behind (and had to lean on her red-crew mate Sean) but because we knew Sean could go home if the red team lost. Though he and Jay talked about Sean’s pirate-court betrayal like gentlemen, Jay told the camera Sean was dead to him. (Anyone else wonder if Sean gave Jay back his bribe money? I guess we would’ve seen it if he had.)

I fully expected the red crew to name Sean the new captain, but they went with Louie. He chose Sean, the Picton‘s cook, and Nessa, the ship’s flirt, as his officers. I’m so over Nessa already, and this was the first episode in which she had any story line to speak of. (The only reason I’m okay with Joy’s still being in this game, by the way, is that she appeared to share my opinion.) Louie also decided to split the weak $5,000 booty evenly among his winning crew. In addition to the gold, the treasure included the newest twist to the game, the royal pardon. The paper is immunity for whoever owns it, and last night, Louie had to relinquish it to the highest bidder, his nemesis Joe Don, who forked over seven grand for it. (I wonder if the People’s Captain will share that with his crew.) Though it turned out J.D. didn’t need the pardon this time, it should make things interesting next week: J.D. has to transfer it to another crew member before the next pirate council — and it’s not clear whether he has to accept the highest offer, or whether that was just a one-time mandate that came at a most opportune time. The show would be nothing without J.D., who, of course, happened to have the most dough on board thanks to his days as Captain Cocky. (Now, if the producers could just find a way to sneak him rum again, I’d be happy.)

Another wish: To have seen more footage of Cheryl in the first few episodes, so I could tell whether she did actively alienate the crew as one of J.D.’s officers or whether Louie is just being a d—. I was sorry to see Cheryl cut adrift — but I don’t think you can use her being marked because of her association to J.D. as a reason to nickname Louie ”Angry Captain.” Isn’t it good strategy to gun for your enemy’s closest ally if you expect that he will be untouchable? (Shouldn’t that have been something host Cameron Daddo pointed out, since he was Mr. Chatty last night? Nice to see him having more to do than count votes.)

Also disappointing: The usually decent Azmyth, who received the third black spot, having to be coaxed into admitting that he’d blown the expedition. He didn’t deserve the raft of shame for that act alone, but after his line about the memories being worth more than the actual treasure, I would’ve considered it for him.

So, what do you think? Should every defeated captain face judgment by the crew, as Louie suggested? Are you on Team J.D. or Team Jay, now that their alliance is seemingly broken? What did Azmyth and God talk about (besides how to keep morale up with crab racing)?