Black Sails Review: S4E2 Review, XXX

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Warning: Spoilers

 

We start the episode where we left off last week: with Silver. He’s been dragged to a strange atoll where it seems dozens of ships have been stranded. It’s desolate, remote. Perfect to keep someone hidden, which is exactly what the mysterious man plans to do with Silver, it seems. He chains him up and reveals that he knows exactly how much the bounty on Long John’s head is worth, and it will soon be more after he kills one of the Governor’s red coats. But wait–Silver didn’t kill a redcoat! …No problem; this pirate has a red coat tied up, and he slices the man’s throat, then demands Silver write a note saying that he was the one to do it, in retribution for the lost ships. Welp. Guess he doesn’t have much of a choice. Although, given how Silver usually is able to spin most things his way, I have no doubt he’ll find a way to sort this, in time.

 

Meanwhile in Nassau, Max is watching the gallows being constructed. We find out that the reason word never got to Flint and Silver wasn’t because they were betrayed. Well–not exactly. Max intercepted the note and destroyed it. She’s basically sick of everyone’s shit and wishes everything would calm down. If that means the pirates lose, well then they lose. It’s pragmatic on her part, and true to her character, but man I do not think that is going to go well for her, in the end.

 

Eleanor and Rogers formulate their plan to save Nassau by means of her Grandfather. He has money, but no standing in society due to the way he gained it–and Rogers has a title. It would be a perfect trade. However, before they can speak more they are interrupted, and are brought out to the harbor where Teach has sent his message: a ship with all of Rogers men dead in the rigging.

He is holding another 60 captive, and if they don’t give up Eleanor, he’ll kill them all. On top of this, he’s also blocking the harbor, not about to let any ship in or out until he has what he wants.

 

On Blackbeard’s ship, we find out that the crew knows very well that the island won’t turn over Eleanor, but will have to go and grab her themselves under the cover of night. However, Bonny speaks up and says the way they want to go is a poor route–that she has a better way. Teach says she can lead the charge, then. There is a darkness hanging over her, different than usual–more on that later.

Back with the Pirates, we see Madi watching Billy conversing and basically organizing with all of his men. He’s on horseback and man, does he look good. Flint comes up to speaks with her, stating they’ll be leaving for the Underhill plantation tonight. She confesses that she may have been lying about knowing where the treasure is, but she had to–Flint was acting like a petulant child, and it’s clear that Billy is the reason that the pirate enclave is still alive. The men look up to him, not to Flint. The fact that Flint wanted to destroy that because of his issues with Billy couldn’t be allowed, so Madi stepped in. I’m glad that at least she sees Billy’s worth.

 

Back in Nassau, Rogers plans to potentially sacrifice himself to save Eleanor: he’ll sail out at night and attempt to get Teach to chase after him, while Eleanor sails out in the morning for the Americas and her grandfather. It’s a risk, but one that might work. Say what you will about them: they do truly love each other and I think that’s admirable.  In the brothel, Max is watching people being condemned before the court. Colonel Berengier says all of them are savages, but hey, you’re also going against your orders so maybe you should watch your mouth. Apparently the note that Silver was forced to write has been found, which threatens more reprisals if there are more hangings.  Max is simply sick of it all, and tries to say she’s done her part when Berengier asks her to do more.

He reminds her, however, that when the Governor and Eleanor leave the island he will be in charge–which means Max is in trouble. Trouble Eleanor can’t help her with. She’s on her own, again stuck on the middle ground that no one wishes to exist on.

 

Back in the shipwreck earlier, we finally learn who the mysterious captor is: Israel Hands. If you have ever read Treasure Island, you would know that Hands is one of Silver’s pirates. Historically, he was Blackbeard’s second in command. The show mixes fact and (possible future) fiction together in the story John Silver remembers. Hands was Blackbeard’s second in command, until Charles Vane came into the picture. He didn’t quite cotton to the young man being raised as Teach’s successor, and challenged Teach to a duel. As you can suspect by his current position in this outcasted area, it didn’t go well for Hands. He lost, and was forbidden from ever joining another crew. This scene was great to watch, as Silver uses his brilliant mind to manipulate Hands, and show why Billy chose him to be the Pirate King over Flint.

At the Underhill plantation we see the owners, who seem to be relatively nice people, aside from, you know, owning slaves. The pirate attack begins, and man Billy looks awesome. He goes to free the slaves, as Flint and Madi go to the owner’s quarters. That situation is over quickly, but the head slave there tells Madi that while she is very happy that she came to free them, they need to leave, immediately. Before she can explain, Billy returns, saying that while there is a lot of food and weapons for the pirates to have, they found the slave quarters locked from the inside. Well–after Madi’s revolt, all of the plantation owners got together and separated families and spread them out across plantations. If one plantation revolted, the other plantations would exact revenge against the slave’s families. It is a means to keep complete control, and is utterly horrifying. It means that if the pirates can’t free all the plantations at once, there is no point.

 

And here is where the huge rift begins. Billy refuses to leave. He wants to free the slaves anyways, or at least try and do something. He feels it is a betrayal if he doesn’t. Flint, however, wants to cut and run, take Nassau, and then hope that it proves to all the plantation slaves that they can help–then free them all. They all head outside and it seems like it might be okay for a moment, but when Flint gives orders to retreat, Billy says they are done following Flint and to hold off the incoming militia–and pulls guns on Flint and his men. It was always going to come to this, sooner or later. Flint had betrayed and belittled Billy too many times. Eventually he was going to have to assert himself in the most brutal way possible.

 

Flint tries to talk Billy down, and in response, Billy orders his men to fire, and a fight ensues. It’s brutal, and is only broken up when the militia arrives.

 

On Blackbeard’s ship, Anne admits that she doesn’t want to go after Eleanor because she’ll find Max. While Max tried to take Rackham away from her (and it’s so clear how deeply she loves him), she doesn’t think she could kill her. Her feelings towards the woman are too complex, and she doesn’t think she could live with the feelings she’d have, afterwards. It’s real growth for Bonny, and I’m proud to see it happening. Nassau makes people do things they don’t want to do; she doesn’t think she or Rackham should have returned.

On that note, Rackham goes to talk to Teach regarding Anne’s feelings and the situation with the Governor. He says Anne was right: they probably shouldn’t be working to win the admiration of a corpse. Vane wasn’t sentimental, and they shouldn’t be, either. That prompts a really touching story from Teach from when he and Vane first met, regarding his lack of sentimentality. It’s sweet and sad, and really made me miss Vane; his spirit has been truly hanging over the last two episodes. Rackham also does an amazing job trying to talk things out as well, regarding what Vane would have truly wanted them to do. In the end, they decide they already know: they go after the Governor.

 

As all of Nassau watches the Governor leave, Max receives a note. It was to go to Silver–who is waiting for her on the beach with Hands. They have a discussion where neither of them are willing to give an inch. Max, in her arrogance, says that she is going to take Silver into custody, and that goes about as well as you expect: Hands shows that he’s an amazing fighter and takes out almost all of Max’s men save one, whom Silver shoots. With that, she escapes, leaving her realizing that she is going to be an enemy to the pirates if they ever gain control of Nassau.

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