Black Sails S4E4 Episode: XXXII

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Warning: Spoilers


I can say, without hesitation, that this was my favorite episode this season. I know we’re only four episodes in, but with the fights, revelations, and movement going on in this hour–I don’t see how anything could have been better.


We start with what we were told would happen, if the Underhill estate revolted: Slaves being tortured. It’s only a short scene, but it’s brutal.


Back in Nassau, things are intense as Eleanor finally gets to the fort in the midst of British slaughter. She immediately takes control, saying that until Governor Rogers returns, the town is lost. Despite her attempts to get Max to the fort safely, though, she hasn’t arrived–so she sends out someone to find her, once more.

The pirates are looting and pillaging where they can, while Flint and Silver try to form crews without ships. It’s clear that Silver doesn’t fully understand the power he wields yet. Flint doesn’t understand, either, clearly. A note comes with an offer from Eleanor: if the pirates find and give up Max, they can have 20 of their men back. Not a fair trade, really. There’s only one issue: they don’t have Max.  Silver also wants to know why Billy isn’t around, and once he finds out, he’s annoyed, to say the least. I wonder if this is the stuff that starts the break that exists within Treasure Island.


What I’m actually surprised about is that Flint tries to talk Silver down regarding Billy. Considering their current situation, and that Billy tried to kill him, it’s more than a bit magnanimous of him–and that isn’t something he’s known for. Billy walks in, then, and announces that he has Max as a prisoner–he’ll give her over to Silver, if he’ll talk to Billy in private.


Meanwhile, back at sea, Rogers finds out what happens in Nassau from some people who got away in a small boat–and that Eleanor never escaped the town, either. So he has little choice–he has to save her, while he allows one of his other men to take the prisoners to Port Royal. The man he puts in charge, though, has a serious attitude problem, and is determined to take out as many prisoners as he can by having them fight one of the soldiers. The guy is huge, and also has a giant mallet. Rackham is forced to choose who fights one by one, lest Anne be the one who goes immediately–it’s bloody, brutal, and isn’t going well for any of the pirates.


It all comes to a head when Anne decides that she needs to take care of things–the man won’t know how to handle fighting a woman, let alone someone like her. Once she gets into it, she gets beat up badly, but manages to grab some glass and not only injures the fighter, but also gets the keys away from one of the soldiers to free the others. As usual, Anne knew what she was doing. This isn’t without great sacrifice to herself; the entire fight is brutal, and by the time the revolt is over, Anne is barely alive, covered in blood, cradled in Rackham’s arms.


Once we head back to Nassau, we see that Max hasn’t been harmed; but I wouldn’t think Billy would do so without a trial. But yes–the talk between Silver and Billy. He simply wants Silver to see that Flint is dangerous, and can and will take anyone out that gets in his way. His needs and desires consume everyone, and while Silver might end up surviving, Madi, who is clearly starting to believe in Flint, might not. Silver has no answer, and without any other comment, he leaves the room.

While this is going on, Israel Hands and Flint talk; Hands says that Flint should be mindful that he’s been telling Silver what he wants, instead of trying to help Silver with what he wants. It’s only a matter of time before he’s thrown out. Which, of course, just feeds Flint’s paranoia.


Eleanor, for her part, is just having a crisis. She feels that she is right back where she started, despite all she has tried to do. Her servant suggests she go back to England with her, especially because she knows Eleanor is pregnant. So that’s a big revelation. Despite this, Eleanor says she doesn’t want to leave Rogers without a way to deal with his debts–so there are no real options.


Before Silver hands over Max, he goes to speak to her. She’s completely stoic, and completely over the entire situation. She never wanted to live with killing Silver, which is why she spared him–and it is why she wanted to send him away. She tells him of a place where convicts work the land, where rich men send family members away to be never seen or heard from again. Are you thinking what I and Silver are thinking? Yeah, that’s right: Thomas Hamilton, Flint’s former lover, the one who set him on this path, might actually be alive. Holy crap!!


As the trade is going down, Silver asks Flint if he would trade everything away if he could have Tom back; Flint simply says Tom wouldn’t want him to. That isn’t an actual answer to the question, though, and Silver knows it.


Madi arrives on the Underhill estate where she finds out that while the revolt did cause the punishments that were promised–instead of settling the slaves down, they revolted. They are being lead by a slave called Julius who wants to take Nassau, too, who holds the British and the Pirates as enemies. So the slaves are now split. As one slave tells Madi, “When you wage war on the world, the world fights back.”


Back at the Fort, Max says she has been warning Eleanor that this would happen for months, but she wouldn’t listen; Eleanor finally apologizes for all of it, for what happened from the very beginning. Everyone just seems tired, but Eleanor says she has a plan, as the Governor’s sails are spotted on the horizon.


As Billy prepares for the fight, Silver and Flint are called by a note to the underbelly of the Fort–to Eleanor. She suggests that they avoid the fight entirely: she will give up the forces, the Fort, just for the cash, since it will pay their debts. Silver says this is a horrible idea and doesn’t want it, but Flint says yes, giving himself up as leverage.


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