TV Recap

Black Sails Season 1 Episode 1 – I

The once powerful Captain Flint faces mutiny by his own pirate crew.  John Silver joins Flint, hiding something of great value.  On New Providence, Eleanor Guthrie keeps order in the face of a resurgent Royal Navy.

(Summary provided by


Q:  When is the exact moment that I fell in love with Captain James Flint?
A:  Other Captain:  “I won’t give you the satisfaction of crying out.”
Flint, walking away:  “Good for you.”
Me:  Oh, he’s SASSY. 


I’ve got to go with Flint’s first real power speech, given only to Billy, nicely outlining the thematic plot of this show.

Flint:  There’s a war coming, Billy.
Billy:  One ship isn’t a war.
Flint:  One ship isn’t what’s coming.  That man Hume, captain of the Scarborough, told you as much.  When the king brands us pirates, he doesn’t mean to make us adversaries.  He doesn’t mean to make us criminals.  He means to make us monsters. ‘Cause that’s the only way his God-fearing tax-paying subjects can make sense of men who keep what is theirs and fear no one.  When I say there’s a war coming, I don’t mean with the Scarborough.  I don’t mean with King George or England.  Civilization is coming, and it means to exterminate us.

(Side note, this is VERY fun to read in light of what we later learn of Flint.  If only he had kept what was his and feared no one.  *sob*)


Max!  From the very beginning she’s presented as intelligent, which is something considering her first appearance is in the middle of an orgy. *eye roll*  Even there she is noticing where Silver’s attention is, and after that she is everywhere, talking to everyone,  holding her own and making sure people know she knows what’s up.


When Joshua, the fearsome pirate with terrifying jagged teeth, jumps out at Gates to scare him, then giggles and takes his teeth out.


  • WATER!  SHIPS!!  I’m so excited to re-watch all of this!
  • The Other Captain IS urged to surrender, but refuses.  I’m glad that is established early on, though I missed its significance the first time through.
  • We meet Silver before Flint – interesting.
  • “So you’re a coward, then.”  “Yeah, and you?”  LOL Silver, you’re so delightfully selfish.
  • Me in a pirate fight = the guy sitting in the corner with his arms wrapped around his legs, screaming.
  • In our first sighting of Flint (“It’s done”), he’s showing mercy.  INTERESTING.
  • Shirtless Billy does not want to be Silver’s friend, lol.
  • Why are they torturing the Other Captain?  This is not something that ever happens again and it only makes our pirates look like the monsters Flint later says they aren’t.
  •  Flint’s earrings,  Flint’s sleeves!
  •  Randall and his cat!
  • Flint definitely thinks he’s better than everyone, and usually he’s right.
  • Ugh, except this is not the Nassau that I’m actually in love with.  This is Edgy Nassau where boobs are everywhere and all anyone talks about is sex and Eleanor LOVES saying the word fuck while being sexually inappropriate toward her subordinates.  WE GET IT, this is an adult show.  I wonder when exactly they stopped this nonsense and let the story’s awesomeness stand on its own?
  • Mr. Scott, already establishing himself as the knowledgable one!
  • The first thing we see inside of a “civilized” home is a painting of Judith beheading Holofornes.  SALIENT.
  • Flint does know who Billy is (says he’s the bosun), so the whole “who’s Billy?” thing was just to fuck with him?  I like this even more than arrogant, distracted Flint.
  • Once Flint knows that his crew thinks he’s weak, the devastating beatdown is inevitable.
  • Love seeing Billy realize that Flint has a method to his madness, but still not sure if it’s enough to justify the madness.
  • “Gossip is what holds civilization together.  It reinforces shame, and without shame, well, the world is a very dangerous place.”  IMPORTANT QUOTE ALERT.
  • Jack, Anne, and Vane, how did you become three of my favorite people?  I don’t like you here.
  • “I am your king.”  LOL, okay, Tyrant Flint.
  • I still don’t get the feather thing.
  • “The most important thing in a ship is trust between captain and crew,” says Flint as he lies to his crew.
  • If I have a type, it’s people getting beat down and then raging back to a win.
  • But also, ewwww.
  • I LOVE the power play of Flint putting Billy on the spot like that.
  • Flint sounds craaaaazy, but let’s see where this story of a Spaniard named Vasquez leads us next!
Mother, Father, this is the man I have chosen to love.


Everything makes so much more sense, from the pirate codes (valuing freedom, democracy, loyalty, and equality) and roles (captain, quartermaster, bosun) to the politics of trade in Nassau.  I was so confused the first time through!  However, none of the characters really feel settled into who they are yet.  I enjoy them, but I don’t quite feel like I know these pilot-versions of people I love.  I know I soon will, though!

Other than that, I don’t have a lot of thoughts about this episode, because it’s mostly introductions and setups and not nearly as rich as the ones that are coming.


  • Who is Flint’s spy in Port Royal who first heard about the Urca gold?

Not done reliving the episode?  Listen to Daphne and Liz’s podcast at Fathoms Deep!

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