DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 6, “It’s Christmas,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
“Christmas time is here; Happiness and cheer…”
The Buccaneers dips their toes into the holiday TV episode pool with “It’s Christmas,” a deliciously dramatic installment with Christmas aesthetics that are to die for. It’s gorgeous. Thanks to this episode, I’m getting into the mood for the holiday season.
“It’s Christmas” boasts terrific performances, especially from Barney Fishwick, Aubri Ibrag and Imogen Waterhouse. Fishwick truly epitomizes the abusive, gaslighting, love-bombing asshole that manipulates and twists everything to his liking. I’ve been traumatized by people like him. His performance in that regard is uncanny. I haven’t seen a portrayal so painfully accurate in a long time. Ibrag tugs at the heartstrings as the vulnerable and empowered Lizzy, while Waterhouse breaks you as the embattled Jinny. Her work is understated and nuanced.
As for the narrative, Nan’s parentage secret finally sees the light of day, albeit not of her choosing. The story moves briskly in this outing, with a lot of plot stuffed into its 47-minute runtime. It makes me wish this season was 13 episodes instead of eight so we could take our time with this story. I’d love for our main American quintet to spend more time together and cultivate a closer friendship. Their bond should be the crux of this series, not having the men define them so much.
Ready to delve into “It’s Christmas”? Let’s get to it.
Snowballs and Tension
We open with Honoria (Mia Threapleton) sitting with the Dowager Duchess of Tintagel (Amelia Bullmore) and the other Brits while they listen to the Americans laugh outside. Then, we see Nan (Kristine Frøseth) throw a snowball at Theo (Guy Remmers), as Conchita (Alisha Boe), Lizzy (Ibrag), Mabel (Josie Totah), Richard (Josh Dylan) and Miles (Shobhit Piasa) join in on the wintry fun. After that, Nan and Theo head inside, where the latter declares they won that snowball fight.
Next, Jean (Francesca Corney) emerges with Guy (Matthew Broome) at her side. They arrived together. As expected, awkward tension bubbles between Guy and Nan. Theo states that Guy is his best man, which should come as no surprise to anyone despite Theo’s pettiness in episode five. Meanwhile, Conchita and Richard spend time outside with a gorgeous snowy backdrop. Again, the aesthetics in this episode are Christmas personified. They believe the others expect them to argue; however, their split was amicable.
Elsewhere, Seadown (Fishwick) dumps water on Jinny’s (Waterhouse) head while she sits in a bathtub. Even the way he bathes his wife is suffocating. He claims he doesn’t want to share her for the holidays. They don’t need her friends. It’s them against the world. Ugh. He sure knows how to isolate her to keep her under his thumb.
Then, Nan and the Dowager talk about gloves and snowball fights. Oh, and how much Theo loves Nan. The Dowager also explains how a glove can communicate different things. Who knew? Mabel tries to persuade Lizzy to consider marrying Miles, but when Lizzy expresses zero interest, Mabel starts mulling it over for herself. Mabel spends more time with Miles. The two even construct a snowman.
Later, Conchita and Lizzy spot Jinny and Seadown as the couple approaches them. Conchita and Lizzy encourage Jinny to play with them. When Lizzy falls, Seadown silently scoops her up, carrying her inside. Jinny watches in bewilderment. Once Seadown places her on her bed, he sits beside her. Creepy. Then, he not-so-subtly hints that he wants Jinny to steer clear of her pals. Seadown puts his hand on her ankle before departing. Lizzy sobs. My poor girl. When will she (and Jinny) be free of this abusive monster? Jinny sneaks into Lizzy’s room after Seadown leaves.
A Christmas Music Box
Next, Mabel reunites with Honoria. She apologizes for her behavior during the Bonfire Night celebrations. Then, she gives Honoria a sweet Christmas gift — a music box. The two dancers inside remind Mabel of her and Honoria. She reassures Honoria that she plans to stay in England. Regardless of whether it pans out, she hopes Honoria is happy. Aw.
In Lizzy’s room, she tells Jinny about what Seadown did to her at Runnymede. Side note: The acting in this scene, especially from Imogen Waterhouse, is beautifully and painfully layered. Of course, y’all know Aubri Ibrag knocks all her scenes out of the park. After Lizzy shares the truth, she confesses she worries about Jinny. That’s when Jinny pivots, claiming she doesn’t believe Lizzy and that she essentially asked for it. Oh, and Seadown was a “gentleman” for leaving Lizzy alone. Jinny declares her support for her husband before storming out. Girl, victim blaming is not cool.
Feel the Rain on Your Skin
Elsewhere, Richard and Miss Testvalley (Simone Kirby) dote over baby Minnie. Richard is happy Testvalley is there to celebrate the holidays with them. I need to know the real story between these two. Honoria visits Conchita in the latter’s quarters. She needs advice on how to be unreserved like Conchita. Conchita imparts wonderful wisdom about releasing your inhibitions that would make Natasha Bedingfield jealous.
Honoria, in return, informs Conchita that Richard misses her terribly. In another part of this massive house, we arrive at my favorite moment in the episode: Guy telling Nan he ate a walnut. Nan dryly expresses her happiness for him. Guy, save that sh*t for Twitter or snap a photo of your walnut for Instagram. I’m unsure if this is supposed to be hilarious or if it’s unintentionally cringy, but I dig it.
Guy and Nan shut out the world in an empty room, staring at a globe and talking about life. Guy admits he initially sought after a rich wife; however, once he met Nan, that objective went out the window. He can’t save his house now, but none of that matters when compared to his desire for Nan. Meanwhile, Conchita and Richard play with their adorable daughter. Testvalley eavesdrops outside their door. Honoria notices this. She strikes up a conversation with Testvalley, admitting that the governess was the closest she had to a mother.
However, Richard is growing up. He’s married with a child. Perhaps it’s time for Testvalley to move on. Honoria conveys this pretty subtly.
Charades and a Proposal
Later, Jinny asks Seadown why he married her. He claims he found the prettiest woman at Runnymede. Then, Jinny switches the subject to Lizzy and what the latter told her. As usual, Seadown turns on Jinny, claiming Jinny doesn’t support him. Way to never take responsibility for your actions, bro.
Next, after Honoria crashes and burns during a rousing game of charades (I say that with love), Mabel and Miles put their engagement on display when Miles proposes to her. Mabel makes it apparent that she’s excited to marry Miles and stay in England. Honoria’s face falls as the rest of the crew cheers them on. At the same time, Jean presents Guy with a Christmas gift — a massive wheel of cheese. Okay, dude, marry her right this second. Cheese is the only way to the soul. Guy invites Jean on a carriage ride the following day, Christmas Day.
That night, Jinny apologizes to Seadown, who challenges her to prove her love for him. It’s gross. She climbs into bed with a sleeping Nan for a sisterly snuggle.
Finally, Christmas is here, and the sweeping views of the snowy terrain are envy-inducing. While the servants set the table, Conchita and Richard smooch it up after a night of s-e-x. That spark has officially been rekindled. Miss Testvalley enters their room to announce her resignation and departure. She’s been called elsewhere. Testvalley insists it’s time for her to move on to greener pastures. Richard looks crestfallen.
Before breakfast, the Dowager informs Nan that she must pack her bags and leave immediately. Why? Because someone relayed Nan’s parentage secret. She claims that heredity means everything in England, and she’s not a fan of Nan lying to her son.
After Conchita and Minnie bid farewell to Miss Testvalley, Richard attempts to persuade the governess to stay. He claims he wants her to stay for Conchita and Minnie. Testvalley insists Conchita is another woman in a long line of those who don’t understand them. Then, her carriage whisks Testvalley away. Elsewhere, Nan pulls Guy into another room (I’m sensing a pattern here) to ask him if he disclosed her family situation to the Dowager. He insists he didn’t. She puts two and two together and comes to a conclusion, but not before telling him she’s actually relieved the wedding is off.
Nan and Her Truth
Nan confronts Jinny and Seadown. Seadown throws his wife under the bus, claiming Jinny did the right thing, as she always does. The Dowager deserved to know the truth. Nan states she’ll never forgive Jinny before storming off. It’s then we learn that Seadown imparted the news to the Dowager. Nan bursts into the dining room during the Christmas meal. She tells Theo the truth in front of everyone. Theo approaches Nan, insisting he still plans to marry her. The Dowager believes they should chat about this in private, but Theo’s made up his mind. They kiss while Mabel cheers for them. Aw.
We see Guy lingering outside the door, his hand hovering over the doorknob. Nan even looks toward that door from inside the dining room. However, when Guy opens said door, it’s none other than Jean on the other side. Oh, I love the editing here. Guy is ready for his Christmas with Jean.
Will Guy propose to Jean? Will the Dowager honor Theo’s wish and allow him to marry Nan? Can someone please slip something dreadful into Seadown’s drink to save Jinny and Lizzy from more anguish and trauma? Only time (and two more episodes) will tell.
The Buccaneers streams new episodes every Wednesday on Apple TV+.