Eight moments in time in which a plan is formed, changed, and modified-- but ultimately, Jack Sparrow finds that even the best laid plans may fail. (Spoilers for DMC.)
Tia Dalma sits there, as enigmatic as ever, and tells her tale of the heartless king of the sea. A ring on the table catches his eye as she speaks, it is one he remembers wearing and later seeing on that man's hand, but this is Tia Dalma's house and Tia Dalma has everything. She seems to prefer things that remind her of him, of course, but that isn't too hard to believe -- she knew him for who he was, once, beneath the kohl and the swagger and the careless words. And Tia Dalma, though she may forgive, does not forget.
Tia Dalma tells of love, unrequited, wanted desperately, and his crew listens intently, Will staring outright, but he thinks a bit and realizes that for once she has let something slip. Something that he may possibly use to his advantage. Davy Jones, though he be heartless and a devil himself, still has a semblance of a conscience under all those slimy tentacles.
/Ah, Davy Jones, take mercy on my -- as you would have it -- immortal soul/, he murmurs, examining the black spot on his palm. This grim sight requires yet another drink, so he swigs down some rum, and hears a girl's laughter ring out into the night. Like a bell.
It causes him great displeasure to see that Will is still an idiot, even after spending a good many months filled with love and support with his adored Miss Swann. He's trustworthy, which is good; but trusting, which is bad, especially when one is dealing with pirates. Cunning pirates. Such as, himself. And although Will is more pirate than blacksmith, he isn't pirate enough to spot the trap that he has just walked right into. He wishes he wouldn't have to do this, sending this boy who could almost be called a friend-- if he wasn't so trusting-- to his certain doom, but it can't be helped. It's all part of the plan, the elaborate plan he has been concocting since they left Tia Dalma. The plan that plays off of Davy Jones' hidden weaknesses and ends in happy endings for all.
And then he realizes that he's been just as much of an idiot as Will, because apparently a desperate, lovesick fool isn't worth as much as his own contradictory soul made of 99-parts-rescued slaves and 1-part-pirate/idiot/dishonest liar/man; and Davy Jones' conscience isn't as active as he thought it might be. And the devil still smells like rotting fish.
/She did not love him back/, Tia Dalma sighs in his head, and after that the plan begins to change. Perhaps Davy Jones would feel pity when he saw a girl, desperate, dreamy, following her poor pirate to his unfortunate doom. If history were to tragically repeat itself, it might forestall the pending judgement hovering above his head. And of course, if things went well, there would be a heart in the negotiations.
By luck or ill fate, Elizabeth shows up, eager, and he almost doubts his resolve when she manages to get his compass to work. She is, perhaps, too perfect for his plan. And she's quite fond of Will.
But he doesn't want to die, so he begins to spin his metaphorical web and slowly draws her into it.
There is a distinct lack of Will's body on the ship, but his presence is everywhere. Perhaps because Elizabeth will not stop prattling on about how he went off so heroically/, or how she /does miss him, and how her wedding dress must have been sold off somewhere in Tortuga by now and what a pity that was. When she finally stops talking and sits down sullenly on the steps, he strolls over for a bit of conversation, barely resisting the urge to reach over his shoulder and swat the air to make sure that Will isn't there hovering. And although she continues to lament her un-married-ness, she is as susceptible as usual to his piratical charm-- perhaps because he was a dashing fairy-tale figure in her mind for so very long-- unless she's only acting. Which hopefully she isn't.
But soon enough he's got her right where he needs her to be, presenting the reasons why and wherefore she ought to consider him in a very convincing style. And then, in typical Lizzie fashion, she flips the tables on him and he does his best to keep up with the charade, pretending to fall for it.
And he's really only /pretending/, you see.
Everything is absolutely under control.
But, if Will were here, he probably wouldn't have seen it like that-- which makes it a good thing that he isn't-- and nor does Norrington, apparently-- which makes it annoying because he is here, and is going to be for quite some time. Only the ominously burning pain in his hand keeps him from tossing the smirking man overboard.
He thinks: The Pearl is made of wood and tar and cloth. He sees it in this new light, and realizes for the first time that it is not permanent.
He thinks: Once, that ship meant everything to him, because it represented freedom. But he has lost his freedom, by purposely chaining himself to a woman who is like the sea.
He thinks: He has let himself fall in love.
This is bad, part of him says.
This is interesting, another part says.
But mostly bad, says the other part.
He can do anything. He can fly, he can take back his ship, he can fight off the kraken left handed. He can get out of these chains, he can escape, and his plan has failed him once more. All of these thoughts collide in his head as threatening tentacles climb over the rail, but her curse stays with him, echoing trickery and admiration (/You're a good man/) and he wonders, wildly, when he became good and she became a pirate.
He can do anything because he's Captain Jack Sparrow who won't go down but fighting, and because he has a little bit of her heart with him, now. It's too late, she can't take it back - it thumps sadly, unevenly against his ribs, next to his own, and he feels almost like he's won, after all.
Somewhere at the end of the world it echoes in his ears: /his debt is repaid/. It is finished. Empty words for the empty vessel of a man who is leaning up against the broken boards of his once-proud ship. He loved, and trusted, and lost a part of himself by doing so-
In life, perhaps, he would have started again. Vowed not to make the same mistakes. Drank a little bit too much. But here, those things would take too much effort, so he sits and closes his eyes to the end.