'Pirate Master': Greed is dull

Laurel_piratemaster_240 I know I'm hard on Pirate Master, having seen superior shows from the mind of Mark Burnett, but I have to say the ship looks really cool. During all those segments where we hear the rules three times, or when Jay deludes himself into thinking he's a latter-day Napoleon of Crime, I can at least admire the work of the set designers. Or I can admire Nessa.

But tonight's vice is greed, not lust. If you don't want to spoiled, put ashore now.

Louie starts the greedfest by saying he's been a fair captain, but on the next treasure he plans to take two shares, not just one equal. Way to think big, Louie. Joe Don's still around and he took half of each prize. Next up is Azmyth, sans accent, who also talks treasure. He doesn't make an impression on me, though, 'cause Christa finally talks for longer than one sentence. She's up in the rigging, but voiceovers how she has a fear of heights thanks to her grandfather's fatal tumble from a ladder. Then she talks about how her 6-year-old daughter deserves the treasure more than anyone. Christa, your daughter has her entire life ahead, and for all you know could someday be CEO of a major corporation.

Time for the challenge and it's a pilot who loved blackjack. Blackjack was invented circa 1700 and Henry Steel supposedly met his fate in 1726, so... okay. I'll give that a pass. The first leg is to row to shore, then enter a "voodoo forest" (a spooky-esque skull is nailed to one tree) and find a face card of the same suit as the original clue, which is an ace. Blackjack, in other words. I have to say, for once the red team looks stronger than the captain's men.

Black pulls ahead on the water and farther ahead on land... and then Nessa hits a tripwire, which springs some rope across the trail and trips pretty much that entire team. Red catches up and both teams hit the forest. Sean finds the clue for black, which tells the team to go back to the beach and use an included spyglass to find a heart across the water. They take off, but at the beach find Louie has let the spyglass get wet; there's water inside the lens and it's useless.

We see a map of the ocean, and there are only two islands to choose from. Still, Sean tries to shake the spyglass dry and red finds their clue. After commercial, it's Christa who points out the obvious -- they could row out, seeing as there are two islands to choose from, and try to see the heart from closer. They do, and they do, with red (whose spyglass worked) close behind. Black gets to the next clue, nailed to the inside of a coffin, directing them to look under the island's lone palm tree. Instead of just ripping the clue from the coffin, which must be against the rules, black lamely covers it with some scrub. That doesn't fool red, and both teams dig furiously under the tree. Christa negates her earlier brilliance by digging a hole and then giving up. Jay scrabbles around in it as soon as she leaves and finds the treasure. Red wins.

The treasure is big again, 40 large, and red votes in Azmyth as cap'n. He names Ben and Jay his officers. In a hilarious scene next, Nessa clambers onto the roof of the galley and eavesdrops on Sean -- who's cooking, so I guess his appointment as chef was permanent -- and Jupiter. They want Nessa gone. Joe Don just wants Nessa (and I can't blame him), so he offers to cough up $2,500 to help her bid on the pardon. She accepts, and bids $9,000.

Azmyth's accent makes a cameo during the marking strategy. Louie, Laurel and Sean will be marked. Nessa won't, even though she expects to, because that way she'll bid on the pardon and Sean won't get it and he'll be axed. Hey, it's actual strategy!

Sean_piratemaster_240 Pirate Court. Louie is up because he said captains should be, and he concurs. Laurel is up because, as Azmyth says, she won't take sides. Laurel quickly owns Azmyth by asking when sides were chosen. Oops! He backpedals, but the damage is done, and it's now obvious he has a nascent alliance. Sean is up because he breaks promises, a valid reason, and he says it's a game that involves trickery (like, ahem, Azmyth's alliance). The crew votes, and Laurel gets not a one. Watch your back, Azmyth.

Louie and Sean both got votes, but we're not told how many. Instead, we learn Nessa did win the pardon, so Sean's out. Azmyth casts him adrift, and he voiceovers about being blindsided, but come on. Far as I can tell, he still has a grand of Jay's money for a vote he never cast. That's a target right there.

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