izzy is white and participated in colonial violence against his indigenous friend/co-worker/whatever. he actively executed that colonial violence for his own means so he could have ownership over ed. how is ed cutting his toe off any worse than that?
I assume this is referring to this post?
So first, anon, I want you to take a second and reflect on why you feel like the logical response here is to rationalize how a man could morally deserve his boss permanently mutilating him and feeding him his own toe.
And then I want you to stop asking yourself that because it's insane, it's absurd, and mainly because this is completely the wrong show for either of us to be taking that question seriously. Or your original "how is this worse than that?", for that matter.
The point of the toe scene isn't to prompt us all to start digging into the nitty gritty of every interaction and implication and power dynamic present between Edward and Izzy and try to figure out who the real victim / bad guy is here. It's a shocking escalation that makes doing that ridiculous, and lampshades it if you try anyway. We were already skipping around the absurd situation line when Izzy's betrayal was undone in 24 hours by mugging a guy for a dinghy, and that just puts us firmly past it.
And in this kind of show it can be a really good decision to make a situation too absurd to approach realistically.
I'll put this under a cut because it got very long, but I am actually trying to explain how in-universe handwaviness is a good and fascinating thing, and why you might want to excuse a character from narrative consequences (and how that's different from excusing them from character growth).
So to start, handwaviness is normal in OFMD. This is because some narrative consequences are fun and interesting to play out - Izzy's rising frustration and tragic drama playing out in the background cumulating in a great raising of stakes and proper arc set up for Edward - and some narrative consequences suck and / or are boring - actually making Stede and Edward get stuck working for the King of England. So if you do it right you can explore the good bits and drop the bad ones without the audience going "Hey wait a second! That was way too easy." And adding a character level just makes things more complicated.
Outside of Edward and Izzy's everything, the character situations are a mess if we start bringing in consequences. Stede's entire crew save Buttons, Oluwande, and Jim wanted to murder him in episode 1. Jim tried to kill Lucius in episode 2 (while Stede wasn't very concerned by his potential loss), and Edward pulled off a much better attempted murder in 10. Buttons and Roach were actively trying to murder and cannibalize The Swede after Edward abandoned everyone but Jim and Frenchie to die, and the whole crew including Fang and Ivan also tied Izzy to an anchor and were seconds from murdering him. Given all that, how many of these people should honestly just never be in a room together again? For personal safety if nothing else?
Hell, even if your defense is that most of these situations were played for laughs - which they were and I love the mutinies in particular - there's still a glaring exception in Edward trying to kill Lucius. That was right in the middle of the "serious" set of actions that showed Izzy's scenes, so we're going to have to treat it similarly if we don't want the bad kind of dissonance... which you also get if the toe scene gets handwaved but Izzy threatening Edward is treated as serious harm. All three of these are linked. Either being sorry is enough for them all or it isn't, and I would not want to be the writer who had to figure out how to reckon with the long lasting effects of traumatic harm committed by someone you thought was a friend while in a romcom.
If we treat all of these things as serious, are amends even possible? Much less amends that can be carried out with destroying the lighter tone of the show? What about the people around them? What kind of person does it make Stede if he forgives / accepts Edward's treatment of Izzy and Lucius even if they don't? Even if Izzy doesn't realize it was fucked up in the first place (which is now less a funny masochism joke and more a giant red flag for abuse)? And Edward's marooning of the crew wasn't treated as seriously as the rest at the time, but can we really keep stretching handwaviness to cover that if Lucius is being treated as an actual victim right next to them?
And while I'm sure plenty of people would say that Izzy's situation is different because he's the antagonist, he's also an antagonist who has been treated with a lot of nuance and caution. If he becomes the sole member of the cast who is actually considered guilty of his own actions it will be fucked up, and that has some yikes implications too seeing as our main protagonist is a rich white guy who is getting to benefit from handwaviness around race. (Check the notes on that 2nd one too because there were multiple interesting threads.)
Protagonist centered morality gets very unfunny very fast if your protagonists start becoming hypocrites with wildly unpleasant implications.
For all of these reasons, it is a far better decision for the show to continue its policy of excusing unwanted narrative consequences as soon as it's reasonable - via keeping situations absurd enough to pull it off - and that includes letting Izzy off the hook as soon as he learns his lesson. Because this deliberately written and genre embedded handwavy approach is not the same thing as just blanket excusing a character.
I mentioned this in passing in my original post (to keep it short lol) and elaborated in the tags so I'll just pull those here:
Narrative consequences that lead to character growth are the fun and interesting kind. You don't wave those off. You want to explore them.
This is why despite the extensive collection of fix-it fics, fanart, jokes, etc. I doubt most fans would be satisfied if Stede shows up next season, kisses Edward, and all the events of episode 10 are forgotten. That would be a retcon, not a resolution. Edward has to face the narrative and go through the character arc that they've set him on, and he needs to get the development out of it. He just doesn't have to keep facing the consequences once they've done what they needed to.
He can regret throwing Lucius overboard, Lucius and the crew can forgive him, and they can all go right back to hanging out and shipping him with their captain. Hell, the comedy is dark enough they can make jokes about the attempted murder. But it won't make much sense to keep haunting him with it for the rest of his life, so I don't think they will.
Izzy? Is in a very similar boat.
He has to face first and foremost the toxicity in his relationship with Edward, and this will almost certainly necessitate addressing the racial elephant in the room if they do it right. That's the part where he figures out he fucked up and earnestly gets sorry about it.
The thing is after that bit, the logical progression is just making him behave better in the future. It would be weird and inconsistent if Izzy gets the character development but is still deemed "beyond forgiveness" somehow (ex: Edward being unwilling to mend their relationship while getting along with Lucius, or the writers never letting him out of the apology phase). They could maybe present it like racism is a special form of evil, but for Stede reasons that is a dangerous play on a thematic level (and also a bit fucked on a real life level, since they put so much effort into making Izzy nuanced presumably to make attaining racial awareness and growth feasible in the first place).
So yeah... I will very easily excuse Izzy's actions if he gets the "I fucked up" arc right alongside Edward's, because I know I'm going to very easily excuse Edward's actions and it does not make any sense for me to hold these characters to different standards. The show can still explore themes and character growth despite the handwaviness - in fact in part because of it giving them a way to cleanly exit a serious tangent without having to be completely serious about it. This is deliberate. This is fascinating. And this is fun.
(And tbh I have already excused specifically the Navy plot both because of the toe thing and because it very rapidly dropped in significance as soon as Edward signed the Act of Grace. It no longer matters as a specific thing that was done so much as just one of the steps in the collapse of Edward and Izzy's relationship.)
Also, as a final note... As with literally anything in fiction, people are going to react to things differently. Just like there's people who can't watch this show at all because Stede Bonnet was a real slaveowner, there are people who will not consider Izzy redeemable or who will be unable to handwave his actions to the extent they will other characters'. And if the show does go through with character growth, there is a good chance they won't be satisfied with what they get. It happens. There's not really anything to be done about it.