LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
Movie Flick – The Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Elizabeth Swann: There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.
Jack Sparrow: I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.
Pintel: You know you can’t read.
Ragetti: It’s the bible, you get credit for tryin’.
“Funny what a man will do to forestall final judgment.” G.K. Chesterton? Soren Kierkegaard? Nope, Captain Jack Sparrow, bon vivant of the Black Pearl, desperate lover of his own hide, and armchair seminary professor in one of this summer’s most explicitly theological action comedies. Okay, so there may not be too many theologically explicit action comedies this summer, but that does not undercut the surprising opportunity posed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to discuss the state of your soul.
C.S. Lewis commented in Reflections on the Psalms that “A little comic relief in a discussion does no harm, however serious the topic may be. (In my own experience, the funniest things have occurred in the gravest and most sincere conversations.)” The converse is true as well; humor can be a fertile environment for the discussion of serious issues that might not be admitted otherwise. Laughter is an ideological lubricant.
The second of a three-part story, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest doesn’t provide all the answers (it must be saving them for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End due out next May), but it does ask some intriguing questions. Following in the footsteps of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which focused on the disintegrating sin of greed, and the need for a blood sacrifice to atone for it, this installment examines the value of the soul. It does so by making sure that all of its main characters imperil theirs. But it also suggests that saving those souls requires sacrifice – and that is important, for there will someday be a reckoning.
Souls Are Valuable
What makes all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films stand out from your average swashbuckler is that these movies are not primarily concerned with treasure maps and buried doubloons. As The Curse of the Black Pearl demonstrated, no amount of tainted gold is worth the soul-destroying effects of the curse. Dead Man’s Chest never even pretends to be about the more mundane aspects of pirating. From the beginning of the film the story arc centers on souls as the most valuable trading commodity. As Pintel and Regetti, two of the pirates from the first film who were saved from ghastly immortality, are rowing for shore, Regetti tells his partner that now that they are mortal again, “We’ve got to take care of our immortal soul.” Truer words you will not find spoken, even in more serious films.
Jesus taught His disciples that there was no possession on this Earth valuable enough to warrant risking your soul. He argued that there was no profit in gaining the world if your soul was the purchase price (Matt. 16:25-26). True worth resides in that which is eternal, not temporal. And when all is said and done, nothing material will make the final journey with you. Your soul will stand naked before God for judgment. It makes sense to take care of your soul.
Souls Can Be Foolishly Imperiled
There would not be much drama, however, if no one were in peril in a pirate film. There is plenty of swordplay, and a ship-crunching Kraken lurks in the deep, but such threats can only harm one’s body. The real danger lies in risking one’s soul. Dead Man’s Chest demonstrates that many ways can lead to the soul’s forfeit. Some characters literally sell their souls. Others wager them. Some are seduced by the hope of gain. But the most dangerous routes are the most subtle – doing wrong in the interest of a right end.
Some people think that the idea of selling one’s soul to the devil is a just a fictional device: think The Picture of Dorian Grey or Dr. Faustus. But the Bible is not silent on the subject. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, the devil offered Christ the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. Jesus refused, but many humans have succumbed to that temptation, selling themselves much cheaper. The Screwtape Letters, Lewis’ primer on demonic strategy, details a host of approaches to destroying the souls of humankind. There are a million ways to fall, but only one way to stand.
Souls are Worth Sacrifice
And some in Dead Man’s Chest try their best to stand, even when opposition is fierce and misery is in the offing in case of failure. One character, in particular, engages in heroic self-sacrifice, heedless of risk, to save a loved one from damnation. Viewers desperately cling to the idea that redemption will come to reward his offering, but this is only the second installment so it will have to wait, if it arrives at all.
Intuitively, however, viewers sense that sacrifice in service of the soul is worth it. When someone grasps the true value of the soul, and is intimately familiar with the incalculable horror associated with its loss, it is amazing the lengths to which they will go to save a loved one. The Apostle Paul understood the peril that faced his fellow Jews: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren…” (Romans 9:3). Jesus sacrificed Himself, even when we were the enemies of God, to save us. Loving sacrifice resonates with film viewers because they wish they were brave enough to do it, and wish that someone would be willing to do it for them. Many do not know that Someone has.
Souls Will Face a Reckoning
Dead Man’s Chest owes its pacing to the understanding that time is running out. This motif extends to Will and Elizabeth who are under a death sentence if they cannot procure from Captain Jack a certain item coveted by the East India Trading Company. Captain Jack has been marked with the Black Spot. Demonic Davy Jones and all his hordes are coming to collect their due. In the end no running will avail. The ravenous Kraken awaits like Davy Jones’ Locker – mouth agape.
The tension arising from Dead Man’s Chest comes from the knowledge that the end, or at least someone’s end, is near. The fact is that the end is coming for all of us. Souls will face a reckoning – “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This uncomfortable thought is shunted aside by most as they move through their workaday lives. But films such as these bring repressed notions of the certainty of death and the accounting of your soul to the fore. They need only a little encouragement to coax them out for discussion.
We Have to Throw Out the Lifeline
I am not going to argue that all of the theology in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is orthodox. But even in its humor it treats the Bible respectfully and gives viewers impetus to consider their own souls. We cannot expect Hollywood to do the heavy lifting in matters theological. It is the responsibility of Christians to seize the opportunities presented in films like these and run their own ideas up the flagpole. Where the plot lines about the soul are provocative, we should explore them. When redemption is conspicuous mostly by its absence, Christians should fill in the blanks. The fun in the film can give way to the fundamentals of the faith if we are willing merely to use Dead Man’s Chest as a launching ramp.
2.What is your reaction to the film?
Davey Jones: Do you fear… death? Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished?
Ahoy me mateys! Ye’ve all heard the tale of a movie what took the landlubbers by storm a few y’ars back. ‘Twas called Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl and it featured a hearty perfarmance by a hero of the cinematic seas, Johnny Depp. A film what were meant as a bit o’ fool’s gold, turned into a treasure chest loaded to the gunwhales with witty one-liners and spectacularrrgh special effects. It hauled in considerable booty at the box office. Does the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Dead Man’s Chest have what it takes to stand on ‘er own peg leg? Yarr, it certainly do!
Ahem… I will now revert from Pirate Speak for the sake of clarity. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 picks up shortly after the first film ended. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his fiancé Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) have been arrested for helping the drunken scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow in the first film. They now face the hangman’s noose if they don’t find him and convince him to relinquish his most valued possession, a compass that guides to your true heart’s desire.
Will and Elizabeth have an unwarranted trust that Jack will muster up some honor and do the right thing, but of course self-preservation is his number one motivator and greed is a close second. So when Jack learns that the devil of the high seas Davy Jones and his cursed crew are looking to settle a debt with him, he needs the compass to give him the upper hand.
This movie is at least as much fun as the first. Anyone who is disappointed must have tremendously high expectations! I realize it’s not War and Peace, but this is some serious summer entertainment. This movie has it all; a witty script; tons of action; eye-popping special effects; and the same dream cast as the original.
Johnny Depp is a joy to watch as he flaunts and flounces his way through a multitude of life-threatening situations. It’s a good thing he keeps that bottle of rum handy to numb the shock of nearly being barbequed, skewered, shish kabobed, or slurped up by a giant squid. Sparrow is an intriguing character who is sly and underhanded, but honorable in his own way. Orlando Bloom has filled out to fit the role of dashing young hero. In the first film he was still too boyish to be convincing as a blacksmith. Keira Knightley is good, but perhaps not as spirited as in the original.
The supporting cast is incredible, especially Bill Nighy as Davey Jones. The extravagant character is mostly computer-generated with a living tentacle beard and lobster claw hand, but those piercing blue eyes belong to Nighy. Computers may bring him to life, but the actor brings him his soul. The only comparison so far on film would be Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
Many characters from the first film make a come back including Jack Davenport as Norrington, Elizabeth’s original fiancé. I have a soft-spot for Davenport since he starred in one of my favorite TV shows, BBC’s Coupling. I want to cheer him on as if we’re old pals every time I see him in a film. He gets some prime moments in Pirates 2. One of the best and most original action scenes in the film is a three-way sword fight involving Jack, Will, Norrington and a wayward windmill!
Despite some minor flaws this movie had me completely involved the whole way through. My biggest complaint would be the length. Clocking in at almost two-and-a-half hours it could have used a bit of a trim.
Yaharrrr! Here me matey! Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Dead Man’s Chest be worthy of yer dubloons. Aye, it shivered me timbers.
Translation: I give it 8 out of 10 stars.
3. In the film how is The Law of the Sea administered?
Gibbs: So, we’re setting out to find whatever this key unlocks?
Jack Sparrow: No. If we don’t have the key, we can’t open whatever we don’t have that it unlocks. So what purpose would be served in finding whatever need be unlocked, which we don’t have, without first having found the key what unlocks it?
Gibbs: So, we’re setting out to find this key?
Jack Sparrow: Now you’re not making any sense at all.
The Law of the Sea
Davy Jones administers the trade in the souls of men.
If you wish to capitalize upon the success of your first movie, and put out a few more without risking the usual flop that sequels are known for being, just use the formula from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Since your audience loved the original story, don’t make the mistake of coming up with a new one. Retell the exact same story you told in the first film, but go into more detail. Then hide what you are doing with the simple trick of purporting to start the second film right where the first one left off, thus giving the surface appearance of a continuation. Spreading it out over two films makes it even less likely that your audience will ever wise up to the fact that they are enjoying your original story all over again.
For an added touch, put references to the sequels in the first movie, just to prove how certain you are that you will be putting out the sequels.
For instance, if the first film takes place in, say, the Caribbean, put in a reference to a place on the opposite side of the globe which has not the slightest relation to anything in the first film, but which will feature prominently at the opening of the third one.
Mullroy: I never would’ve thought of that.
Jack: Clearly you’ve never been to Singapore.
Or you could put in a reference to an entity that will have no role whatsoever to play in the first film, but which you will introduce right at the beginning of the second one.
Norrington: I believe thanks are in order. [offers his hand to Jack to shake; reveals “P” for pirate] Had a brush with the East India Trading company, did we? Pirate.
It does not hurt if you make movie-making history by blowing the budget ceiling of any previous film. Spending money like it was water is especially important if your film is about water and its point is to reveal a world where everything is free. It is then up to your audience to figure out that you already live in this world.
Now if the theme of your first movie involved walking dead who were under a curse, and the happy ending was that the curse was lifted, you can’t exactly recycle those undead guys in the second film without producing a guaranteed flop. So you need a whole new band of undead, and since your first film already got the point across about the walking dead, they need not feature so prominently in the second film.
They can still be the crew of a ship, but don’t make them pirates again. And since you are going into detail, put them into the background of the storyline, and tell the story through their Captain and one particular crew member as new characters you will develop as the story unfolds.
Of course you will bring back all the heroes, heroines, court jesters, and animals that everyone loved from the first film. And when bringing back previous characters, don’t forget to make sure you resurrect at least one of them from the dead. But to avoid predictability, bring the bad guy back to life who everyone was glad to be rid of, and make him one of the good guys.
Just like a coin, there are two sides to every story. In the second film, you will tell the dark side; not until the third one will you be able to turn on the light. This has the unfortunate effect of making everyone say bad things about your second movie, irrespective of how good it actually is, for the simple fact that no audience likes to be confronted with the darkness in their own hearts. However, as the “Pirates” franchise has proven, if you execute this properly, your audience will argue ever after about whether your third film was actually better than the first, a status which, of course, was formerly considered impossible for any sequel to achieve.
Oh yes, and always save the kiss for the end.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program . . .
The story told in Curse of the Black Pearl is how we lost the protections of the common law and became the walking dead operating under bankruptcy protection. This also made us pirates operating under maritime law.
The details of how this happened and how it works today is a tale worth telling. And it is a tale with enough twists and turns in it to fill some five hours of celluloid. Where to begin?
Well, why not begin with how the Governor, representing the common law authority in the colony, directly answerable to the King, lost that authority to a commercial entity, the East India Company operating under maritime law. This part is real history, as we already know that it is only the puny secrets that need protection. But since this historical company actually still exists, we need to add the word “Trading” to the name to avoid infringing on their trademark.
From the sea and onto the land come soldiers who look remarkably like British Redcoats. But at their lead is the new bad guy: Lord Cutler Beckett, head of the East India Trading Company, and the man to whom these troops are loyal. He puts an end to a wedding already interrupted by rain, and in place of the true love of Elizabeth and Will, hands them death sentences. But it is too early to suggest that commerce brings with it the inescapable choice to replace love with death.
Beckett pays little attention to the protests of the King’s Governor, and starts waving around a “warrant” or two for the “arrest” of certain persons on a “charge.” This is the authority he presents which trumps the Governor. To anyone with the slightest experience in a criminal court, or who has watched so much as a TV show about crime, there is nothing unusual about these words at all. But to anyone conversant in maritime law, these words have another meaning, because they are how you stop a ship from leaving port if you are bringing a lawsuit against the ship’s owner for damages. So Dead Man’s Chest starts with us witnessing maritime law being used against two subjects on the land, as if they were ships.
The fact is that the mighty British Empire, upon which the sun never set, was never actually the British Empire. It was the East India Company empire. Starting in 1600 with Queen Elizabeth I, the British figured out that private profit was a much stronger motive for conquest than the Monarch going bankrupt financing far-flung military expeditions of dubious merit. So inevitably, the first British ship to sail into port in any foreign land was a ship of the East India Company. And for those Americans who were taught about a certain tea party held in Boston Harbor, you were probably not taught that it involved three ships, all belonging to the East India Company.
The Company never challenged the ruler of the land directly. Instead it signed treaties securing sole jurisdiction over trade in that port. And in lands with few inhabitants, it founded colonies that were nominally under the King. The law in these colonies was a mix of commercial (maritime) law and common law from the day they were founded. And the Company’s flagship colony still bears its flag.
Lest there be any doubt, later we will witness the Governor surrender his last bit of authority under the common law to the authority of commercial law, as administered by the East India Trading Company.
Lord Cutler Beckett: So you see, Mercer, every man has a price he will willingly accept. Even for what he hopes never to sell.
“I wonder how they sleep at night. When the sale comes first and the truth comes second . . .”
There is now only one law in existence, the law of commerce. And that law seems to militate against the Mosaic Law. Put another way, we are tempted to ignore the Ten Commandments because that gives us an advantage in commercial transactions.
Death and afterbirth
Now before we’ve really explained anything, let’s visit a gruesome dungeon of death and despair, and offer no explanation at all as to its significance. Just like our “isle of the dead which cannot be found, save by those who already know where it is,” we will give no hints about where this place is or why it belongs in the film at all.
In addition to ravens plucking out eyeballs, we will witness only one other activity taking place in this house of horror. Men are throwing caskets into the ocean. Hmmm. Caskets = dead people = estate law. Ocean = maritime law. But don’t worry, no one will even make the connection. We zoom in on one of the caskets, and soon, “Bang!” Out pops our hero, Captain Jack Sparrow, complete with the appropriate music.
And what does he do next? Reach in a grab a body part off the dead body that is in there with him, and use that to navigate this vessel to the place he wishes to go. We have just witnessed the issuing of a Birth Certificate, and shown how a newborn baby gets removed from his normal place, under the common law, and tossed into the high seas of maritime jurisdiction from day one, complete with an estate that will follow him where ever he goes.
Which brings us to a little legal problem, and how it was solved. Back in the olden, golden days of 1933, on a particular day, an entire nation was declared bankrupt. To be precise, Executive Order 6102 was issued on April 5, 1933. That order did not use the term “bankruptcy,” yet it put into effect the requirements of a bankruptcy: the seizure of the property of the bankrupt. By removing all gold coins from circulation, this order seized the bulk of the nation’s money, save for a small fraction left circulating as silver coinage. Coincidentally, this bankruptcy declaration was issued a mere eleven days prior to the start of the Jubilee Year of the Redemption, as declared by the Pope. The bankruptcy applied to every man, woman, child, and dog alive on that day. But there was a problem. A minute later a new baby was born. That baby entered the world with no debt, so it was impossible to bankrupt him. What to do?
The answer is the stuff that conspiracy theories are made of. After all, who other than an evil, conniving megalomaniac bent on enslaving the planet would come up with the false presumption that is embedded into every Birth Certificate? To be a full participant in the now bankrupt society, this newborn baby needs his own personal bankruptcy estate. But we can’t give him one because we can’t declare him bankrupt. We can’t even create a credible presumption that he is in debt.
So we turn to the closest related law. We can create an estate based on a death that occurred within minutes of his birth, and then give him the same name as that estate. That estate (think casket) requiring a dead someone (think bones) can now be used by the living child (think Jack) to navigate the high seas of commerce that operate only under bankruptcy protection in maritime law. This is merely more detail on the Isla de Muerta where the Black Pearl “makes berth” in the first movie. This time we get to actually witness the birth being made!
But who died, you ask? Well, the birth registration law is clear. After all, the only thing registered is a “product of conception.” Does that describe a cute, cuddly new-born baby? No, not even to lawyers. It describes the afterbirth. Among the “signs of life” that a doctor is to check for, are such seeming anomalies as “pulsation of the umbilical cord.” That thing is guaranteed to stop pulsating, and we are thus guaranteed to have an estate we can register. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
Because the baby’s parents will make the mistake of calling their baby by the exact same name they registered for the estate, we can take every act of the man as being done in the name of the estate, as if he were the administrator. But not being schooled in law, especially estate law, he will probably never figure out that he is a trustee de son tort for wrongfully dealing with property that is not his. Oh yes, if you can’t remember “trustee de son tort,” just think “bloody Pirate”! So if, for instance, this pirate buys some land and registers it in “his” name, it becomes property of the estate of the same name, being a subset of the national bankruptcy estate, and will therefore never actually be owned by the man at all.
A world operating in bankruptcy is a whole new world indeed. Everything, everything down to the last grain of sand, has been claimed as an asset in that bankruptcy. And it has been locked away, in a chest, as it were. There is nothing left to trade for and no money left to trade with. Any attempt to claim private ownership of an item is now an act of piracy, as that would be running off with someone else’s property.
So the only job left in this new world is as administrator of the bankruptcy, but few of us know how to take advantage of the job offer. And thus we spend our lives on the outside, looking in at a brave new world that removes property from us and treats us like criminals at every turn.
Beckett: Letters of Marque. You will offer what amounts to a full pardon. Jack will be free, a privateer in the employ of England.
Will: Somehow I doubt Jack will consider employment the same as being free.
Beckett: Freedom. Jack Sparrow is a dying breed. The world is shrinking, the blank edges of the map filled in. Jack must find his place in the new world or perish.
As Beckett speaks to Will we witness a larger-than-life clock being raised as the new standard under Beckett’s world of commerce. Now every minute must be accounted for, as you will be paid an hourly wage. And ironically, Calvin will distinguish the new religion of Protestantism from its mother church, and create the “Protestant work ethic,” by portraying God as that great clockmaker, to whom every second must be accounted for on the day of judgement. Before the Swiss invented that infernal ticking thing, no one spent half their day worrying about what they were doing with the other half of their day!
When Jack is presented with an offer of the only legitimate job left, he is not quite ready to hang up his pirate’s hat. But it turns out that he owes a terrible debt on the high seas, so he heads to that ancient place of refuge from the tempests of the sea: Land. Any land. And how well that land treats him! In no time he is chief of the tribe of natives that are found there. Yes, we knew it all along. That maritime law was a bum deal. What a relief to finally regain our rights under the common law—the law of the land. . . .
. . . until we learn the full story. Things on land turn out to be not nearly as rosy as they first appear. And the natives are not particularly organized either. They are easily distracted, and have a funny idea of what it means to honor their chief. A brief visit is enough to convince us that the common law and native sovereignty aren’t nearly as good a deal as their proponents would have us believe. So its back we go to the devil we know on the high seas, never again to return to dry land under the harsh reality of the common law.
And now we are ready to get into the main objective of the movie: finding the Dead Man’s Chest. And what is in the chest?
Pintel: Gold! Jewels? Unclaimed properties of a valuable nature?
Cut! Stop the cameras! Mr. Pintel, where did that line come from? Have you been reading legal tomes again in between shoots? Listen, this is a Disney film, mate. No cursing while the camera is rolling. Right, take it from the top.
We are telling a tale about operating in bankruptcy as a nation, and the first film has thoroughly detailed the position of the bankrupt as the walking dead. So now we are going to flesh out the rest of the picture, which means we have to tell about the Administrator, the creditors, and the bankrupt’s property seized as assets in the bankruptcy. Could this last item possibly be described as “unclaimed properties of a valuable nature”?
If the bankrupt is treated as dead, then it follows that his property has been placed into the dead man’s chest. And it equally follows that we consult a voodoo woman when seeking to understand this chest. . . .
We all know about voodoo dolls, but what we forget is that for a doll to be effective, it must include a body part from the actual man it represents. Hair is a favorite candidate. But the most powerful of all voodoo spells, the one that controls someone’s life completely, is when you get your hands on the placenta and umbilical cord from their birth. So critical is this that any good parent eats the afterbirth just to ensure that their baby can never be controlled in this way.
Of course in civilised countries we don’t believe in such pagan superstitions. We merely control people for their entire life by registering all their property in the name of an estate created from their afterbirth. They never own a thing, and operate under bankruptcy protection, all the while blissfully unaware of how they are controlled by it. Or perhaps you don’t pay taxes on your wages, and you can build a house on “your” land without a permit? And you know lots of people with this exact same level of freedom, so this voodoo spell is indeed complete nonsense.
From the voodoo woman we also learn about the need to make “payment.” We are bankrupt because somewhere along the line we neglected to pay our debts. Let’s find out if we have ever paid anyone in our lives.
Tia Dalma: What . . . service . . . may I do you? Hmmm? You know I demand payment.
Jack Sparrow: I brought payment. [Jack whistles once, a crewmember brings in the monkey in a cage] Look! [Jack cocks his pistol, shoots the monkey. The bullet has no effect, but the monkey chatters in fright] An undead monkey! Top that!
[Tia lifts the cage door, the monkey scampers off]
Gibbs: No! You’ve no idea how long it took us to catch that.
Tia Dalma: The payment is fair.
Jack Sparrow: We’re looking for this. And what it goes to.
Tia Dalma: The Compass you bartered from me. It cannot lead you to dis?
So every deal done by the voodoo woman involves the exchange of value for value. She is not one for operating in bankruptcy. Bring something of intrinsic value, or it’s no deal for you. An undead monkey is a fair payment, and if you want a compass that doesn’t point North, you will need to barter for it, since there is no money in circulation with which you can “pay.”
Not long after, we will learn that Jack’s debt must be “settled.” It cannot be paid at all. Settling involves balancing books, as in making ledger-book entries only. Nothing of intrinsic value need change hands. Welcome to the modern world, where we all believe we are “paid,” and yet every debt can only ever be “settled” as we watch mere digits move around on paper or screen—and we actually believe that we are richer or poorer based on the final total at the bottom!
In the olden, golden days, the “bottom line” translated into actual gold or silver coins held in the bank’s vault. Coins of intrinsic value that you could demand at any time based upon the sum in your account. To this day, the only legal definition of money involves gold and silver minted into coins by a recognized authority. So how much “money” is in your pocket? Let me guess. Today your account is “backed,” not by any money at all, but only by your fellow bankrupts, who suffer under the same delusion as you, and will therefore trade their valuable blood, sweat, and tears for mere digits that are not redeemable by the bank in any form.
Not only do you not know how much debt you were bankrupted for, you are never going to accumulate enough real money to pay it off. Or have you forgotten Pirates I already? The curse cannot be lifted until every last gold coin is returned!
And now at last we get to meet the Administrator of the bankruptcy: Davy Jones. It will become apparent soon enough that it is his job to look after the undead: those equivalents to the crew of the Black Pearl who were undead in the first film. But to start with we are told this about him:
Tia Dalma: You know of . . . Davy Jones, yes? A man of de sea. A great sailor, until he ran afoul of dat which vex all men.
Will Turner: What vexes all men?
Tia Dalma: What, indeed.
Gibbs: The sea?
Ragetti: The dichotomy of good and evil.
Jack Sparrow: A woman.
Tia Dalma: A wo-man. He fell in love.
Gibbs: No-no-no-no, I heard it was the sea he fell in love with.
Tia Dalma: Same story, different versions, and all are true.
Tia goes on to explain how two of these stories relate: a woman and the sea. But she says that “all” are true, not just “both.” So we are dealing with four separate stories about what vexes all men, and then told that they are in fact the same story. So if you’re happy with her connection between the woman and the sea, then just how do “sums” and “the dichotomy of good and evil” fit into all this? Perhaps the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rings a bell? The first one to eat of it was a woman. Is it possible that this fall from grace had something to do with a fixation with sums?
Oh yes, this is a story about water, about your life today, and about how mankind got into our current pickle. To tell the whole story, you have to go back to the point of origin. And that origin, called “original sin” in theological terms, is told by way of a simple story in a place called the Garden of Eden. That garden was paradise, a cleverly veiled reference to Heaven being located right here on Earth. We are told that things started out far better than they are today, and that something happened that would wreck this paradise, and replace it with the world as we know it, full of problems.
What is clear from the story is that prior to partaking of the forbidden fruit, mankind only understood the concept of good. They knew no such thing as evil, so there was no dichotomy. Upon eating the fruit, an evil thought must have entered their minds. Let us imagine for a moment that the evil thought was that their Creator had not provided enough on this earth to meet all of their needs, and so a system of private ownership was needed to divide up the scarce resources and to decide who was worthy of their use, and conversely, whose children should be allowed to starve.
This would then explain their peculiar choice of name for their first child, the world’s first “bad guy.” Cain means “possession,” and to keep track of possessions requires sums. And if you are worried about scarcity, then you will be vexed by those sums. And you will get into disputes over them with your fellow man. Due to the unique challenges of carrying on trade by sea, the established body of law that is best equipped to deal with those disputes is maritime law, the law of the sea. And as it turns out, it is this law, and no other, that governs almost every aspect of our existence today.
Because we still wake up each morning vexed with only one thought. We ask the question “How much?,” and it is in pursuit of the answer to this question that we find the motivation to get out of bed each day. If you do not wake up with this one thought on your mind, then you already live in a world where everything is free!
But let’s get back to the real world, where you feel that strong need to keep track of sums. To do so whilst bankrupt you need the assistance of Davy Jones, a man of the sea, now become a creature of the sea, and administrator of your bankruptcy estate under maritime law. Or is he the reincarnation of Jonathan Edwards?
Davy Jones: Do you fear death? Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare. All your sins punished. I can offer you . . . an escape-uh.
Laying on the religious stuff pretty thick, aren’t you, Davy? This is supposed to be entertainment, not enlightenment. We’re here trying to have a good time, to enjoy life.
Davy Jones: Life is cruel. Why should the afterlife be any different? I offer you a choice. Join my crew, and postpone the judgment. One hundred years before the mast. Will ye serve?
One hundred years you say? Judgment postponed? As in, debts not collected? This wouldn’t have anything to do with a bankruptcy estate would it? So if I am a minor for twenty years, and therefore not legally liable until I attain the age of majority, and you will manage my debts in bankruptcy for 80 years, the statutorily prescribed maximum life of a trust or estate under the rule against perpetuities, that brings us to 100 years, does it not?
Is that why I get a letter from the Queen on my hundredth birthday? Does she need to keep personal tabs on me, now that I’ve survived long enough to be discharged from bankruptcy? Is she scared I might ask for a full accounting of the job she’s done? Oh well, most of us will never live long enough to find out, and the rest of us will no longer be mentally alert enough to ask those questions.
Soon we will see Davy Jones trading in the souls of men, and doing a deal with Jack, where it is established that all souls are not equal, and yet Davy has no interest whatsoever in “price.” A different reality indeed, to the one we are used to. Let’s rejoin our own reality on board the Edinburgh Trader:
Bellamy: It’s an outrage. Port tariffs, berthing fees, wharf handling, and heaven help us, pilotage. Are we all to work for the East India Trading Company, then?
Quartermaster: I’m afraid, Sir . . . Tortuga is the only free port left in these waters.
Bellamy: A pirate port is what you mean. Well, I’m sorry. An honest sailor is what I am. I make my living fair, and I sleep well each night, thank you.
Yes, pay your taxes, fees, levies, and duties, on top of the ever increasing base prices for life’s necessities, and at least you can sleep well at night, knowing you are an “honest” sailor. Ummm, working as a modern-day slave for the East India Company, of course!
Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13
But surely such employment ensures us a comfortable and guaranteed standard of living, so long as we do a good job? For the answer, we meet our former Commodore, now stripped of his crew, his commission, and his life because he failed to perform up to the Company’s expectations on one particular occasion. How has this commercial world treated its faithful servant, still in the prime of his life? Like so much human waste, ready to be thrown out as slop for the swine as soon as he is no longer considered profitable.
For a better deal we might consider employment under Davy Jones. What sort of terms does he offer? Loss of identity for a start.
Bo’sun: Secure the mast tackle, Mister Turner!
Exactly who is “Mister Turner”? Father Bill and son Will are confused as both race to do a good job for their exacting taskmaster. Imagine if there were a grandfather, an uncle, a brother, and a grandson on board as well. It could be total mayhem as all fight each other over who gets to fulfil the demands of the bo’sun. “Mister Turner, I find you guilty of crimes of the highest order, and I sentence you to a hundred years before the mast. Now which one of you will accept liability? Step forward!”
We see that out of compassion, fathers enforce the rules of the Dutchman on their children, or “issue.” And once you’ve signed up on the Dutchman, there is no leaving it “until your debt is paid.” But how to pay that debt? Because you aren’t earning any money during those hundred years of service. Davy Jones is clear: His offer is to postpone the judgment, not to save you from it. Later we will see the crew wagering, not with money, but with “the only thing we have: years of service.” So you will stay busy for a hundred years, and pay a price, but to what end?
This is bankruptcy protection, but without the elimination of the debt at the end. You will be judged, and you will pay—eventually. Perhaps we can’t eliminate the debt because it is a real one involving real money, and not merely an accounting exercise where everything already balances to zero under the double-entry bookkeeping system. What can you put on the other side of the ledger to balance your own books and make the debt go away? In the old days, under the Mosaic Law, all debts were forgiven every seven years. So is it really a new, improved system where we work under slavish conditions for a hundred years, and still don’t see the debt forgiven? Are we missing something?
Will has sworn no oath to the Dutchman, and is there instead to find a key. And not just any key. The key to the dead man’s chest. But his only clue is a picture of a key.
Jack Sparrow: No! Much more better. It is a drawing of a key.
Once he learns where Davy Jones keeps the key, he does an exchange, leaving Jones the “drawing” and taking with him the genuine article. This is banking procedure, and specifically bills of exchange law. “Drawing” is how one creates a bill of exchange. Once the drawer hands the bill over to another party, it has been “issued.” If you have never heard of a bill of exchange before, just think “check.” A check is the most commonly known form of bill of exchange, and check law is bills of exchange law. And this is more than some interesting trivia. Because in a world with no money, every “thing” that we think of as money is in fact one or another form of bill of exchange. Or it’s pure ether!
With key in hand, Will hears his father confess that he abandoned Will in order to pursue the pirating life he wanted. Do all parents unwitting turn their children into abandoned property, to be dealt with as such, when they register the birth? Is this how the State obtains a higher authority over children than their own parents? How else could they be uplifted at will, on the whim of a bungling bureaucrat? But in learning this, rather than accepting that he has no debt to his father, Will finds his mission and purpose in life:
Will Turner: I take this with a promise. I’ll find a way to sever Jones’ hold on you. And not rest until this blade pierces his heart. I will not abandon you. I promise.
To achieve this purpose, Will must now find the chest. But Davy Jones has hidden it, and now even he must go off in pursuit of it so as to keep it out of the hands of:
Gibbs: If the company controls the chest, they controls the sea.
Three parties after the same thing, and an administrator afraid it will fall into the wrong hands. So he sets sail for the Isla Cruces, which is Spanish for Island of “the Crossing,” where the chest lays buried. Another interesting name. . . .
At his command, Jones has a terrifying beastie, the Kraken. This entity can turn large ships into a pile of toothpicks in moments. And we watch it do so to the Edinburgh Trader soon after it “put in at Tortuga.”
Bursar: And we made a nice bit of profit there.
Bellamy: Off the books, of course.
In a world where everything is registered, it may come as a surprise to learn that there is only one type of registry: a ship’s registry. So whether you are registering a birth, a company, or something else, you are creating a new ship, to be regulated under maritime law. And should that company fail to follow the wishes of the administrator, such as by doing business “off the books,” it will incur the wrath of his terrible beastie which will take down that ship swiftly and surely. And as mortally terrifying as the Kraken is on the big screen, in real life most people fear the tax department far more!
Ignore the girl
The three parties arrive at Isla Cruces before Davy Jones, with Beckett represented by the disgraced but still loyal Norrington. He is not a man driven by ambition, but with an undying faith in “the promise of redemption.” Now whether you are redeeming a bond or redeeming a soul, redemption is a good thing. And these three parties have something else in common: They all want the same girl. She promised to marry Norrington, her true love is for Will, and yet she is also tempted to run off with Jack. But soon we will see them ignoring the girl altogether, as they battle each other for control of the heart in the chest.
Their battle soon proceeds to an old church, and immediately after gaining possession of the key, Jack finds himself lying in a grave. Why this fixation with the dead? Oh that’s right. That was explained in painstaking detail in the first film. Earlier we had a rather inept Bible reading, and far too many theological references for a Disney film. Does the promise of redemption have something to do with the church? Perhaps a church that holds the key, or keys? And would it be pure coincidence if those keys were crossed?
So now that we’ve been shown the chest, and given an idea of who holds its keys, the film will close with a string of hints and partial remedies for the pickle we find ourselves in. Remember, there is another film to follow, so for all we have learned, we are only ready for more clues to point us in the right direction. First, we must know how to outrun the Dutchman:
Gibbs: Against the wind the Dutchman beats us. That’s how she takes her prey. But with the wind . . .
Will Turner: We rob her advantage.
So let’s stop fighting so hard, and start sailing where the wind takes us! Or, as Jack reminds us:
Jack Sparrow: Why fight when you can negotiate? All one needs . . . is the proper leverage.
Unfortunately, Jack lost that leverage, so we don’t get to see how well it serves him. Next, let’s examine the heart of the problem. No pun intended. We are a bunch of pirates, so heavily addicted to rum that we cannot conceive of life without it. In fact, given a choice between death itself or life without rum, we cannot decide which is the worse fate:
Gibbs: There’s only half a dozen kegs of powder!
Will Turner: Then load the rum!
[Gibbs seems shocked, then turns to see the entire crew halted staring at him in stunned silence]
Have you figured out what rum represents yet? Are we in fact so addicted to this concept that we cannot imagine life without it? If so, we will forever remain willing slaves to a system based upon rum. Lest we imagine that the rum is real, Gibbs reminds us that we are all working for free:
Gibbs: Heave! Heave like you’re being paid for it!
And the only way out of this deal is to give up the game entirely, including our precious imaginary ship:
Gibbs: Abandon ship. Abandon ship or abandon hope.
It’s a rather extreme remedy, but the only one with any hope of success, if you believe Mr. Gibbs. Yet Jack “elected” to stay behind, and in doing so he must pursue a different remedy, and one that will take a third film to explain. In explicit detail, we will see him re-enter the womb of the Kraken, so that he might be born again.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (John 3:3–4)
Just in case you doubt the answer to that question, in short order we see that Tia Dalma has indeed brought Captain Barbossa back to life.
Judgment. Eternal damnation. Redemption. Resurrection of the dead. Most people would sleep through a two-and-a-half-hour sermon, but you didn’t, did you?
4. Can you provide a breakdown of the film?
Jack Sparrow: Is this a dream?
‘Bootstrap’ Bill Turner: No.
Jack Sparrow: I thought not. If it were, there’d be rum.
‘Bootstrap’ Bill Turner: [hands him a bottle of rum]
“Captain Jack is back.“
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is the second installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, released on July 7, 2006 as a follow-up to the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl. The film stars Johnny Depp (Captain Jack Sparrow), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann). It was directed by Gore Verbinski, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Dead Man’s Chest would be followed in 2007 by At World’s End.
Charming rogue pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back for a grand, swashbuckling, nonstop joyride filled with devilish pirate humor, monstrous sea creatures, and breathtaking black magic. Now Jack’s got a blood debt to pay—he owes his soul to the legendary Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), ghostly Ruler of the Ocean Depths— but the ever so crafty Jack isn’t about to go down without a fight. Along the way, dashing Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and the beautiful Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) get up in the thrilling whirlpool of misadventures stirred up in Jack’s quest to avoid eternal damnation by seizing the fabled Dead Man’s Chest!
“You look beautiful.”
“I think it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.”
―Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann[src]
Will and Elizabeth arrested by Cutler Beckett.
It is the wedding day of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). However, the arrival of Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) in Port Royal disrupts proceedings, as both Will and Elizabeth are arrested on the charge of setting free an enemy of the crown: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), whom Beckett also wishes to track down.
Jack has his own set of troubles to worry about, however. A debt he made with Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) to raise the Black Pearl from the depths of the ocean thirteen years ago is set to be paid, and Jack does not wish to bind himself to a lifetime of servitude as part of Jones’ crew. Instead, he sets out to locate the Dead Man’s Chest and the key that opens it, in order to gain control over Jones himself. Jack escapes from a Turkish prison with a drawing of the key, and sets off to track it down. Meanwhile, Cutler Beckett strikes a deal with Will Turner, wishing for him to obtain Jack Sparrow’s compass in exchange for a full pardon. Will remains dubious, but is left with no other choice.
The Search for Jack Sparrow
William “Bootstrap Bill” Turner marks Jack Sparrow with the Black spot.
“Time’s run out, Jack.”
―William “Bootstrap Bill” Turner to Jack Sparrow[src]
By this point, Jack has begun his voyage, though is unable to discern any resolute course from his compass. He descends to the lower deck to search for more rum, where he encounters William “Bootstrap Bill” Turner (Stellan Skarsgård). Turner had chosen to serve Davy Jones after being sent to the bottom of the ocean by Hector Barbossa—as a cursed man, unable to die. He warns Jack that his time is up, and that Jones has released the Kraken to bring Jack in. Before departing, Bootstrap marks Jack with the Black Spot, a sign that the Kraken is coming for him. Terrified, Jack orders Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin R. McNally) to head for land—any land—to avoid this terrible beast. In the confusion, Jack the monkey knocks Sparrow’s hat into the sea, where it is carried far from its owner. It ends up in the hands of two fishermen, whose ship is suddenly dragged under the water by an unseen creature.
Will Turner talking to Elizabeth Swann in the brig.
In the prisons at Fort Charles, Will informs Elizabeth of his plan to track down Jack, but Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) does not trust Will to free both himself and Elizabeth. As Will begins his search in Tortuga, Weatherby procures passage back to England for himself and his daughter. Will’s search ends on Isla de Pelegostos, where the Black Pearl has been beached. As he explores the nearby tropical forest, Will is captured by the native Pelegostos, and taken to a mountaintop village. There, he finds Jack acting as chief of the tribe, and though Sparrow does nothing to help Will in his predicament, he does whisper, “Save me!” before Will is taken away. Back in Port Royal, Governor Swann releases Elizabeth and makes for a rendezvous with Captain Hawkins, only to find Beckett’s henchman, Mercer (David Schofield), waiting for him. Elizabeth, however, uses Mercer’s appearance as a diversion, escaping back to Fort Charles, where she confronts Lord Beckett at the end of a pistol. Beckett makes a deal with her, giving her the Letters of Marque in exchange for Jack’s compass. She leaves, and stows away, disguised as a sailor boy, aboard the Edinburgh Trader.
“Don’t eat me!”
Meanwhile, another prison break has occurred, and now Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook) are making their way to Pelegosto Island along with the Prison Dog. They reach land, and set about preparing to take the Pearl as their own. Elsewhere on the island, Will Turner is being held inside one of two bone cages suspended over a ravine, along with the surviving crew of the Pearl. Gibbs informs him that the Pelegostos believe Jack is a god in human form, and intend to free his divine spirit by roasting and eating his “fleshy prison”. The crew attempts to swing their cages across the chasm to climb up the other side. However, Leech spurs his crewers on to compete with Will and the others, and in their haste, tumble from the side of the cliff and plummet into the ravine. This draws the attention of a sentry, who runs to warn the villagers.
Jack chased by the Pelegostos.
The sentry inadvertantly buys Jack some time, as his arrival coincides with the Pelegostos’ attempt to roast Jack alive. He escapes while the villagers race to kill their prisoners, but meets further resistance as he makes his way through the village. As Will and the crew roll through the jungle, still trapped inside their cage, Jack falls into a ravine, though his fall is broken by the pole he is tied to, and a series of wooden bridges.
The crew makes it back to the Pearl just as Pintel and Ragetti, recently escaped from jail with help from the Prison Dog, are attempting to commandeer the ship. Jack himself arrives, pursued by the entire Pelegostos tribe, though manages to board the ship before they can catch him. Instead, their attention is drawn by the dog, who runs off into the jungle, chased by the natives.
A Touch of Destiny
The crew during their meeting with Tia Dalma.
“You want me to find this?”
“No. You want you to find this, because the finding of this finds you incapaciatorially finding and/or locating in your discovery a detecting of a way to save your dolly belle, ol’ what’s-her-face. Savvy?“
―Will Turner to Jack Sparrow[src]
Once back on the water, Will reveals he requires Jack’s compass, though Jack brushes him off, instead ordering Gibbs to head upriver. He then proceeds to explain, using Will’s naivety concerning Davy Jones, that the key Jack is looking for will enable Will to rescue Elizabeth. Elizabeth herself has departed Port Royal onboard the Edinburgh Trader, and begins to arouse the crew’s superstitions when they come to believe her dress belongs to the spirit of a vengeful woman. By now, the Pearl’s crew has taken to the longboats and heads up the Pantano River into Cypress Forest, for a meeting with the voodoo priestess, Tia Dalma. There, Dalma senses a “touch of destiny” about Will, and tells the tale of Davy Jones to her audience. She reveals that Jones, once in love, tried to spare himself the heartbreak of losing his love by cutting out his own heart, and locking it away in a chest. She also informs Jack that Jones keeps the key about his person at all times, and offers him a jar of dirt, explaining that, as Jones is unable to set foot on land for another decade, Jack should keep land about him for protection. Dalma then divines the location of the Flying Dutchman, for which the Pearlsets sail.
Bargain with Jones
Jack bargains with Davy Jones.
“One soul is not equal to another!”
“Aha, so we’ve established my proposal as sound in principle. Now we’re just haggling over price.”
―Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow[src]
Will Turner volunteers to head over to what he believes is the Dutchman and negotiate for Jack’s soul. However, he is unaware that the wrecked ship he boards is not Jones’ ship, which bursts out of the water in front of him as Will explores the vessel. He is surrounded by Jones’ crewmen, who have served for so long on the Dutchman that various sea creatures have been assimilated into their bodies. Will is knocked out and lined up with the survivors of the wreck. Davy Jones reveals himself, proposing a deal with any who would rather serve aboard his ship than face their final judgement in death. One man refuses, and is killed, while others are forced to agree. Jones realizes Will is neither dead nor dying, and demands to know his purpose. Will reveals that Jack Sparrow sent him to settle his debt, and Jones uses his supernatural power to bring himself, along with his crew, aboard the Black Pearl to confront Sparrow himself. Jack tries to tell Jones that he (Jack) was only Captain for 2 years until Barbossa’s mutiny, but Jones refuses to accept that and reminds him he has introduced himself as Captain Jack Sparrow for all these years. Jack negotiates with Davy Jones, and is given three days to find one hundred souls to serve Jones—the first being Will himself, still aboard the Dutchman. Jones removes the Black Spot, and Jack immediately heads for Tortuga to harvest the souls.
James Norrington joining the crew of the Black Pearl.
“How are we going?”
“Including those four, that gives us…four.”
―Jack Sparrow and Joshamee Gibbs[src]
Elizabeth is also on her way to Tortuga, after again using the Edinburgh crew’s superstitions against them. She makes them believe the spirit is asking them to go to Tortuga, and writes the name in oil on the ship’s deck, setting it on fire to get their attention. As a pirate band played in the cantina, Gibbs recruited sailors to sail aboard the Pearl—and ultimately to be handed over to Jones—though manages only to recruit four. The fifth reveals himself as now-former commodore, James Norrington, having been disgraced after piloting his ship into a hurricane while pursuing Jack and the Black Pearl. He starts a bar brawl after attempting to shoot Jack, which is joined by Elizabeth as Jack and his crew sneak out. Elizabeth knocks Norrington unconscious before he can do any more damage, and he is thrown into the pigsty. Mercer watches these proceedings, and later offers Norrington a deal on behalf of Lord Beckett.
Night on the Dutchman
Will stealing the Key to the Dead Man’s Chest.
“I want this.”
“How do you know of the key?”
“That’s not part of the game, is it?”
―William Turner and Davy Jones[src]
Meanwhile, aboard the Flying Dutchman, Bootstrap Bill is reunited with his long-lost son after Jimmy Legs orders “Mr. Turner” to secure the mast tackle. Both Turners attempt the procedure, and when Bill encounters his son, lets go of the line, causing Will to drop a hoisted cannon into the deck. For his apparent mistake, Jimmy Legs prepares to whip Will, but Bootstrap intervenes, revealing to Davy Jones that he is the boy’s father. Cruelly, Jones forces Bootstrap to whip his own son, though Bootstrap insists it was an act of compassion compared to the severe lashing Jimmy Legs would have inflicted.
The Kraken destroys the Edinburgh Trader.
Back in Port Royal, Beckett meets with a manacled Governor Swann and informs him that Elizabeth has been sighted by Mercer in the company of Sparrow and “other fugitives from justice”. He convinces an extremely reluctant Swann to relinquish his authority to him, in order to assure Elizabeth’s safety.
On the Flying Dutchman, Will meets his father, and they both play Davy Jones at Liar’s Dice in an attempt to win the key. They lose, but Will later steals it and rows to a ship (the Edinburgh Trader). Davy Jones realizes this means that Jack is after his heart. He catches the Edinburgh Trader and summons the Kraken which destroys the ship and kills all aboard (except for Will, who escapes), while Davy Jones sets sail for the island the heart is buried on.
Jack opens the chest.
“The chest is no longer safe. Chart a course to Isla Cruces!”
―Davy Jones to Koleniko[src]
Both crews arrive at the island at much the same time, although Davy Jones sends his sailors to retrieve the chest as he cannot set foot on land for another decade. Jack, Norrington and Elizabeth use the compass to find the chest. Will appears and is reunited with Elizabeth. They embrace and Will kisses her. The chest precipitates a three-way duel between Jack, Will and Norrington for possession of it. As they are occupied, Davy Jones’s crew arrives and attack Ragetti and Pintel who have taken the chest while Jack, Will, and Norrington fight each other.
The Black Pearl flees from the Flying Dutchman.
Elizabeth chases both Ragetti and Pintel, eventually fleeing and fighting with them as Davy Jones’ crew catches up with the chest they were carrying. They manage to fight them as Jack manages to get away from Will and Norrington. He opens the dropped chest, taking Davy Jones’ heart and closing it again. He puts it in the jar of dirt he brought with him when he runs and makes it back to the longboat. Eventually, while Jack is distracted, Norrington sees both the chest and the jar of dirt in the longboat. He makes a “brave” gesture of taking the chest and running with it to draw Davy Jones’ crew away from the others to help them make their escape not telling them that he has already taken the heart from the jar. Jack, still thinking that he has the heart, agrees and the others flee. Norrington is cornered by Davy Jones’ crew, but plays the coward and drops the chest to run away while they laugh.
The Kraken attack the Black Pearl.
“Get away from the rail!”
“What is it?”
―William Turner and Elizabeth Swann[src]
Escaping the island, the Pearl is finally caught by the Kraken. After a vicious struggle, the jar holding the dirt is broken and emptied revealing that the heart is no longer in it. Jack frantically searches what is left (frantically exclaiming, “Where’s the thump-thump?!”) as the crew prepares to defend the ship from the Kraken. During the battle, Elizabeth catches sight of Jack rowing away from the boat, calling him a coward. Later on, as Jack is rowing away from the embattled ship, he is shown looking at his compass before deciding whether or not to go back and help. Will and the rest of the crew have managed to put together a trap to help defend the ship and it is during that final battle against the Kraken that Elizabeth runs into Jack who has returned. He fires a shot into the trap of gunpowder that drives the Kraken away for the moment, but it is enough to buy the crew time to escape. He gives the painful order to abandon ship.
The Captain goes down with his ship
“Jack Sparrow…our debt is settled.”
Jack Sparrow goes down with the Pearl
However, Elizabeth realizes the Kraken is specifically after Jack. She kisses him passionately, and as she does, Will (who is climbing down the ship to the wooden “lifeboat”) witnesses the kiss but says nothing, although he is clearly hurt. Elizabeth uses the opportunity to chain Jack to the mast as the rest of the crew escape from the ship. Jack has seemingly decided to show his good side by returning to help at the risk of his own life, while Elizabeth for once throws her own sense of honor and decency to the wind, both by kissing Jack, and by chaining him to the mast to save herself. She tells everybody in the lifeboat they escape in that Jack has “elected” to remain aboard and go down with his ship and they sail away from the Black Pearl. Jack manages to slip out of his shackles just as the Kraken appears on all sides of the ship, trapping him. Jack grabs a sword and the last we see of him he is smiling and saying, “Hello, beastie,” and attacking the Kraken as the monster destroys the Black Pearl and drags her underwater to her grave. Davy Jones sees this and proclaims Jack’s debt fulfilled. However, he then realizes that something is not right and asks to see the “chest”. After realizing his heart has been stolen and believing Jack had it when the Kraken killed him, he looks up into the sky and shouts, “Damn you, Jack Sparrow!”
Cutler Beckett being given the Heart of Davy Jones.
The Heart and a new Captain
“If you intend to claim these, then you must have something to trade; do you have the compass?”
“Better…the heart of Davy Jones.”
―Cutler Beckett and James Norrington[src]
Norrington is found by ships from the East India Trading Company and is taken to Port Royal. There, he reappears and reports to Beckett with the Letters of Marque. To Beckett’s surprise, Norrington does not deliver Sparrow’s magical compass as Beckett hoped, but another, more powerful item, the heart of Davy Jones.
“All right. But if you go and brave the weird and haunted shores at World’s End, then you’ll need a captain who knows those waters.”
―Tia Dalma to the survivors of the Kraken attack[src]
Hector Barbossa introduced.
The Pearl’s survivors revisit Tia Dalma where they drink a toast to Jack, during which time Will is still distrustful of Elizabeth following the kiss he witnessed. Will tries to comfort her, mistaking her guilt for sadness, by promising that if anything could be done to save Jack that he would do it. Tia interrupts Will before he can finish and questions how far he or the rest of the crew would truly be willing to go to save Captain Jack, Will, Elizabeth, and the crew unanimously agree to travel to the World’s End to save him. A now cheerful Tia explains that they will need a captain who knows those waters. Just as she finishes these words, footsteps are heard coming down the stairs.
The Prison Dog as chief of the Pelegostos.
Everyone gathers around to see discover, to their surprise, that it is none other than the formerly dead Captain Hector Barbossa who exclaims, “So tell me, what’s become of my ship?” before biting into a green apple, free of the curse that had plagued him once before.
Back at Pelegosto, the Pelegostos tribe is worshiping their new chief: the Prison Dog.