[This is a review of Crossbones season 1, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]

Crossbones continues to be a difficult nut to crack when it comes to plotting a course toward the series’ future. This week’s outing, titled ‘The Return,’ is no different, as our reluctant spy/physician Tom Lowe struggles to determine whose side he’s on.

Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach understands that Lowe’s fate is tied to Kate Balfour, which unfortunately for us, continues to be a predictable and mundane love affair unworthy of the attention it has been receiving.

One positive aspect stemming from their romance is that there will be plenty more discourse between Teach and Lowe in the weeks to come. His loyalty to Kate has kept him from revealing Blackbeard’s island to William Jagger, who is probably the greater of the two evils. If we’re using the devil analogy, Lowe most assuredly feels more comfortable with the pirate (the devil he knows) than the Jamaican governor. Both men are capable of all manner of horrific deeds, yet Blackbeard is the only one who appears repentant. Will Teach learn to become a better man, or will his villainous nature consume him before he has a chance?

If there is a theme from ‘The Return,’ it would be that of “new beginnings” for some of the main characters. Lowe had a chance to start over and step out of the shadows if only he gave up the island, but that was not meant to be. Selima has finally ventured outside Blackbeard’s compound and into the streets for people to see her. The dark-haired beauty is a mythical-like creature to the island’s inhabitants, but if she wants to lead, then this was the next logical step for her. Why is Teach so fascinated by her, and do you think he knows about her affair with Charlie Rider?

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Nenna’s arc this week was the most surprising, as it appears that her interests lie outside the world of pirating and reside in something more legitimate. With Rose blackmailing her into giving up the treasure, perhaps Nenna feels pressured to accelerate her plans and start a new life of her own in Jamaica? It’s still unclear if Rose actually has any affection toward Nenna, but like most of the romances on Crossbones, does it really matter?

Antoinette (The Woman in White) is the one character who is most in need of a new beginning. While we don’t know much about her, she can’t deserve the kind of treatment she’s been receiving from Jagger. As Blackbeard’s visions of her become more visceral, it makes sense that Antoinette may be a former lover of his. Could they have lost a child together, or is she another monster like Teach and Jagger? Only time will tell.

Crossbones qualities still outshine its shortcomings and make for an enjoyable viewing experience. With that being said, Neil Cross and his team need to work on improving their provisional character if this series is ever going to gain any true momentum.

Crossbones continues with ‘A Hole in the Head’ next Friday @10pm on NBC.

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