SPOILERS BELOW, LOOK OUT
Excepting Eleanor, alas. I felt like everyone else grew and changed at least a little bit--or at least showed me layers I hadn't seen before, whether those were new layers or not. But not her. Her beats seemed pretty much the same every time. Especially in re: Charles Vane, except that their kiss-kiss/slap-slap escalated until it was fuck-fuck/kill-kill. Although then he capped that off with preeeeetty much the ultimate breakup note, so I assume things with them will at least be different now. (I am sadly not very interested in that particular thread, though.)
Vane is still not ranked super-high in my emotions I guess, but he did surprise me, which I appreciate! (I think he surprised Flint, too. :D ) I liked seeing Jack Rackham step out as captain, bringing his smart/dandyish masculinity into the shipboard world where we've usually just seen more typical rule-by-brutality, and showing them he knows how to do it. The Jack, Anne, and Max dynamic continues to get more complicated, which I like.
Flint remains my biggest draw, and of course season 2, with those linked flashbacks, is so much about him and what turned McGraw into Flint. His entire arc is SO PAINFUL though. It's a rule with me that I can no longer watch episodes on work days before bed, because I end up having trouble sleeping! He's just faced so much agonizing, intimate, unfair loss, both in his past and right now. And yeah, he (or the "Flint" he created) can inflict brutality and loss on others right and left too, so it isn't, you know, oh poor blameless woobie. But I can see how all that tragedy has helped create the Flint he enacts every day, and it's actually totally understandable. And then the way he makes himself potentially vulnerable with Ashe--actually considering going back to London and revealing his most tender secrets to the public!--and suddenly has that fragile trust pulled out from under him. And to hammer it home, forced to sit there and watch Miranda's body be defiled. Well. I mean. I'm surprised he can still form sentences after that.
Season 2 has also brought out and underscored something that movies_michelle has talked about, which is how much the show is about storytelling. The power of story, shaping story to your own ends, even the ways story can be terrible as well as necessary. It was fascinating to watch the theme emerge--at first it seemed to be more simply about reputation, what others think of you. But then the concept of reputation started to unfold and get layered, and bring in elements like narrative and persona and so forth. And then finally, Flint is talking about himself, and explicitly talks about how he created "Flint" (from a story he heard!), with a sense of self (I assume McGraw, unless there's a self even underneath that) who isn't Flint, who wears and enacts Flint every day, and who admits he has come to hate Flint.
Well, lemme tell you, it makes fascinating food for thought. And it also opens up all kinds of flexibility in fannish interpretations, too--as movies_michelle and I have chatted about it, you can even re-interpret the supposed end of Flint's life/story as told by Silver in the book Treasure Island, to which the show is a prequel. Silver's potential as the ultimate unreliable storyteller, for one thing, but also the idea of Flint's death--which could instead be "Flint's" death, or even "Flint's" "death". Seems to me that it's a canon that really welcomes and enables re-interpretation and levels of truth, "truth", and story.