Tonight CROSSBONES premieres on NBC with a premiere episode called, “The Devil’s Dominon”. Tonight, an important device called the Longitude Chronometer is stolen by pirates in the series premiere of this adventure that centers on notorious pirate Blackbeard (John Malkovich), who rules over a rogue nation in the Bahamas.
Crossbones is an American television series on the NBC network. The series is a fictionalization of the life of the pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach in and around the island of New Providence in The Bahamas. The show was created by Neil Cross, creator of the British television series Luther, and whose television writing credits include Spooks and Doctor Who. The series is based on the book The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard.
On tonight’s episode the Longitude Chronometer, a device that will change the world, is stolen from HMS Petrel by pirates working for the legendary but supposedly long dead Edward Teach – better known as Blackbeard (John Malkovich). On board the Petrel is Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), an English spy working undercover as ship’s surgeon. Lowe’s mission is to prevent the Chronometer from falling into the hands of pirates… and if the opportunity should arise, to assassinate Blackbeard. Also starring Tracy Ifeachor, David Hoflin, Yasmine Al Massri, Chris Perfetti and Claire Foy.
Tonight’s premiere is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it. So be sure to tune in for our live coverage of NBC’s Crossbones tonight at 10 PM EST! While you wait for our recap, hit the comments and let us know if you are looking forward to Crossbones?
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates
If you were watching #Crossbones in the Atlanta area, at least on Comcast, you may have noticed that there is no discernable audio dialogue until 15 minutes in – and then the audio is junk or non-existent. #ComcastFail
Schooners sail on the high seas. British soldiers in their red coats train. Many British ships were lost to pirates, starvation and storms in the era of the British empire’s mightiest moments. And so in 1712, the crown offered a reward to anyone that could invent a device to help them navigate the seas more precisely to expand the crown’s rule over the world and protect them from the terrors of piracy.
The HMS Petrel is Bound for England. They see a pirate ship in the distance and know they can’t outrun it. They take a hard turn and the men grab weapons. The device is ticking in the captain’s chamber. A surgeon – Tom Lowe – is working on Gadd and cuts into him. Bloody pirate rabble cheers on the deck of the other ship.
Cannons boom and the surgeon panics. He says we’re dead. The surgeon tells his assistant to finish up and goes topside. The pirates board the other ship. The doctor tells the men to fire and heads up into the fray shooting pirates as he goes. A she-pirate, Nenna, is taking redcoats down left and right. She stabs and slices. Rider, another pirate, fights at her side. They are a killing machine.
Lowe heads back down into the ship and she and Rider follow. Lowe tells the navigator – Nightingale – to let him in and he does. He takes Nightingale’s gun and blows apart the navigational device and sets fire to his journal. He says the pirates have been stalking them because they know Nightingale is on board. He says he won’t tell them anything but Lowe says he will because they will torture it out of him.
He kills Nightingale with fast-acting poison but tells him that he’s sorry as he does so. The pirates burst in and see that the device and journal have been destroyed. They ask who Lowe is and he says he’s the ship’s doctor. They tell him to save the guy and he says he can’t. They put knives to his face and he says he will do what he can.
Lowe treats Nightingale but he looks unsalvageable. His mouth is black with the signs of poison. The pirates clean up the decks and toss over bodies.
Eight weeks earlier in Port Royal, Jamaica at the Caribbean center of the British Empire, Lowe heads into the building. He goes to see William Jagger. He asks if Lowe knows about his next mission. He shows him the navigation device – a chronometer – a very complex device. Jagger says it lets a ship precisely calculate its location at sea.
Jagger says it’s one of a kind and that Lowe will travel with it to London disguised as a ship’s surgeon. He is told his assignment is to eliminate Blackbeard. Lowe says he’s dead and reminds him that Jagger killed him himself. Jagger says he was mistaken and says he is alive and hiding out. Jagger says Blakbeard will come for the chronometer and then they can kill him.
Lowe says it will be his honor. He is to escort and protect Nightingale and the device and make sure it doesn’t fall into the pirate’s hands. Back in the present, Lowe looks around the ship and Fletch asks him where they are. Lowe says they are in the Devil’s Dominion. We see an island in the distance.
At the docks on the island, Kate orders the pirates to sort the goods taken from the British ship into what they can use, sell and what’s worthless. They go to work. Lowe greets her and she notes that he’s in shackles. She asks who he is and he says he is at her service. Fletch says he’s never seen a woman like her and Lowe says she’s wanted for high treason and is notorious.
They are brought into the busy main part of the island. Fletch says this is the kingdom of a madman and Lowe tells him to hold his tongue or lose it. Rider and Nenna show Selima the remnants of Nightingale’s journal and the broken device. They tell her they can’t read it and she says that it’s a cipher.
Lowe and Fletch are marched up to the main house. Blackbeard stands and comes over to greet them. He says “allow me to introduce myself” and slits a prisoner’s throat while the men watch. Nice intro. Classy. The man bleeds out on the floor and Lowe grabs a gun and a candle and burns the man’s knife wound shut. Lowe says he’s Blackbeard and the pirate tells him they don’t use that name here.
He asks what drove Lowe to being a surgeon and he says the mechanism of the human body. He asks Lowe if he believes in God and he says he fears him but doesn’t love God. Blackbeard says that’s a great answer. Blackbeard wants him to call him Commodore and Lowe says it is said that he’s a devil that feasts on children.
BB says that he thinks God is a clockmaker who made the world and wound up creation and then is watching us unwind without helping or caring. Lowe says that’s a cold theory. He tells Lowe he isn’t the devil but has cast the devil out – the government of the British. Lowe says he’s not the king and BB says there is no king there that he serves at the pleasure of the people.
He tells Lowe that Nightingale had knowledge he wanted and his attempted suicide is troublesome. He tells Lowe that the inventor’s permission to die has been denied and that he will visit hell on Lowe if he lets him die. He says if the man dies, Lowe will be begging for death but won’t be granted. He tells him that not all of the scary legends about him are untrue.
Jagger gets word that the ship Lowe was on was taken. He’s got a pirate strung up by a noose slowly loosing his wife. Jagger says he can help him if he will ask for help. He asks where BB is and the man is choking when Jagger runs him through and wishes him a swift journey to hell.
Lowe and Fletch are shown to the room where Nightingale is. Lowe says he has to keep him alive and Fletch realizes that Lowe isn’t really a doctor and Lowe says that’s not all he is. Selima tells BB she thinks the cipher can be broken. She warns him that the British fleet will come for the device and the inventor. BB tells her to figure out how to unlock the cipher. He says she has a mind for puzzles and is beautiful, but smarter still. He tells her she can do it.
BB consults a globe and traces his finger along a line of islands. He hears whispers. He goes to the window. He opens the blinds and sees a floating dead woman in a white gown there. He’s terrified.
Lowe watches over Nightingale and sees Kate swimming in the ocean outside the window. Rider sits in his chair in the room and watches Lowe. Kate goes to her husband James who is rifling a book and he asks how her swim was. He kisses her. He rolls back and we see that he’s wheelchair bound.
Nightingale is not looking good. Lowe tells Rider that nothing has changed and says he needs more supplies to treat him. Rider asks what he needs. He takes Lowe to the market and he tells Kate he needs water, salt and vessels to heat the water in. He also needs ashes of burnt leather, castor oil, leeches and other. Kate asks if he has money and he says his ship was raided by pirates.
She demands 80 pounds and he says he’s lucky to have his teeth after the piracy. He says it’s usury. She says she doesn’t think he will live long enough to repay her. Lowe and Rider come back and find Nightingale dead. Rider asks how long he’s been dead. Lowe and Rider struggle. Lowe locks him out of the room and they bar the door with Nightingale’s bed and body.
Lowe looks in the man’s mouth and says he’s looking for a way to save them. He finds something in the man’s clothing as the pirates rush in. Lowe has a candle and holds the item to it and tells them to get the Commodore or he’ll destroy what he wants. BB shows up and says he’s heard Nightingale has died. He asks what’s in Lowe’s hand and he says it’s the key to the cipher.
BB asks what will stop him from killing him after he gives up the cipher. Lowe burns it and BB asks how that saves him. Lowe says he has memorized the cipher key and says for his life, he’ll decode the journal for him. BB asks if he would betray his king for more time on earth and Lowe says he absolutely would. BB tells him that he has something of the pirate in him and says he can come and bring along his “monkey” Fletch.
BB takes them to a chamber and Selima tells Lowe if he provides a false translation she will know. They lock them there. Fletch asks if BB will keep him alive until he translates it and says if the chronometer will put and end to piracy, why does BB want it. Lowe says he doesn’t know. Fletch says they should just burn the book and run away.
Fletch says he doesn’t want to be tortured or called a monkey. Lowe tells him there is work to be done and much to think about. Lowe tells him he has an assigned mission to kill BB and bring his head to the Jamaican governor. Fletch asks why they don’t kill him and go and Lowe tells him to quiet down. He says he needs time and access to certain materials.
Just then pirates burst in and give them a beat down. Selima and Rider come in and she says that the cipher is very formidable and says she knows the nature of the cipher. She says it is complex and only relies on one keyword. She says if he gives her the keyword she can decipher it and he reminds her that means his death.
The men hold his mouth open and stick a rag in. Rider approaches and starts to burn his hand. Fletch runs out and bursts into BB’s chamber and tells him the pirates are torturing Lowe and may kill him. BB walks in and asks Selima if he asked her to torture him. She says he did not. Rider says he was about to tell them and BB says that’s likely not what was about to happen.
BB tells Lowe to take a morning lie in and that he’s got a loyal fellow in Fletch. The pirates give him a beatdown on their way out. Lowe and BB walk on the beach and he says Selima thinks it will be faster to torture the information out of him. Kate comes out of the water naked and wraps a blanket around herself. She asks if he swims and he says only once and it nearly killed him. She says doing it naked is better. She tells BB that she’ll have the accounting from the Petrel to him later.
Kate comes in and James asks about Lowe. She tells him that Lowe and BB are sharks circling each other. She asks how his pain is and says he cried out in his sleep, no words just sounds. BB tells Lowe that Selima is traitorous to the core and he doesn’t want her to be right and him wrong. BB says that you can’t really torture a man until you really know him and his fears.
BB tells him that if he disappoints him, he will string up Fletch and torment him mightily. He says he will flay him slowly and visit hells upon him and will let everyone know that Lowe is solely responsible for what happens to the little guy. BB says he believes this will be the most effective way to torture Lowe. Fletch tells Lowe he hates it here and he says he does too. He tells Fletch that he can’t buy any more time and has to kill BB tonight.
Fletch and Lowe work when a pirate/servant brings in a tray of refreshments. Lowe thanks him and the guy glares and leaves locking them in again. As he goes, they go back to work on the windows. Lowe is trying to pick a padlock and says they need to get to the quartermaster’s warehouse. He creeps out the window and leaves Fletch there.
Lowe sneaks around and sees an empty hammock. He steals it to climb down but a guy sees him from below. He calls out and Lowe gives up the climb and just leaps onto the guy then chokes him to death. He kicks the body off the cliff into the sea. BB studies a diagram of the body’s nervous system and rubs his head.
Lowe hides as a pirate comes by with some whores. He peeks into Kate’s window and sees her husband smoking opium. He sneaks into the room and up to James who is obliviously high. He walks around the room and then sees Kate asleep in the bed. He looks down at her. He kneels by her bedside and reaches under her pillow to take her keys. He sneaks out of the room.
Lowe has a lantern and goes into the storehouse. He searches around in some chests and then opens one. I think it was his own trunk. Kate comes in and asks if he’s lost something and he says he had something hidden in it. She has a photo of his wife and asks if that was what he was after. He says she can have the keys back but the cameo is his. She hands it over and tells him good night. He leaves the storeroom. He makes it back into the room and knocks back some whiskey.
He opens up the cameo and Fletch asks if it’s his wife. Lowe asys he has no wife and the image could be of a whore for all he knows. He slides open the side and pulls out a capsule. He says it’s BB’s death. He goes to see BB who tells him that he has headaches. Lowe asks his symptoms and if the headaches are accompanied by visions.
BB says on occasion but won’t describe the visions. He shows Lowe a Chinese scroll that he uses to help himself. Selima wraps up something and tells Lenna to deliver it to the Spaniard and says no one must know. Lenna says no one will.
Lowe gives him the scroll and says this is how much he has deciphered. He says to BB that if he gives him the key to the cipher the work can be done more rapidly – in days. He says if he will promise to spare Fletch he will provide it and throw himself on his mercy. He hands over a paper that says Blackbeard Must Die. Lowe says he didn’t devise the cipher and that he inspires fear in those that did.
Lowe asks BB if he will drink to their deal and seal it like Englishmen. BB takes a goblet and holds it up – they drink to the cipher key – Blackbear must die. They both drink. BB sits back down and says to show him how the key works and then they can talk about Lowe’s fate. Lowe leaves him. BB flips through some papers.
Lowe is escorted back to his chamber. We see that he poisoned the edges of the papers that he brought to BB who licks his finger and turns the pages, exposing himself to the poison. Lowe tells Fletch that BB should be dead by daybreak. Fletch asks if they can go and Lowe says he thinks they ought to. They head down to the beach and find a very small boat. He sees Alvarado – a man of Spain and says that the pirates are conspiring with the Spanish. He says they can’t leave and says he has to save BB.
Selima comes in and finds BB on the floor very sick. She tells the pirate to bring the doctor. Lowe has the antidote and they try to break the door down. BB speaks Lowe’s name and she tells the pirate that BB is accusing him, not summoning him. She says that he needs to kill Lowe. Lowe comes in and says he can help him. He says that BB has the falling sickness and insists he can save him. He asks her to trust him. She shoots him instead.
He gets her gun and threatens her away He holds the gun to BB’s head as the pirates burst in. He tells them to stop and administers the antidote. He tells the pirates to wait. BB chokes back to life. Lowe slumps over from his gunshot wound. BB’s first words are fine fellow, exellent fellow. They lie on the floor side by side.
Next day, Lowe walks on the beach and pulls off his shirt. He wades into the water where Kate is swimming. He dives in and swims near her. BB asks James if he can rebuild the chronometer and he says he thinks he can. BB tells him that either Lowe saved his life or tried to kill him then changed his mind and tried to save him while his fellows were prepared simply to avenge him.
James asks what this makes Lowe and BB says they’ll see. BB looks out the window and sees Lowe swimming with Kate. His eyes narrow.