TV Recap

Black Sails Season 1 Episode 3 – III

Flint and Gates seek a partner to hunt the Urca d’Lima.  Silver helps Billy with a morale problem.  Vane impressed Eleanor by being reasonable.  Gates gets a promotion.

(Summary provided by


Q:  Now that I know the characters and plot, does the rape scene serve any real narrative purpose?

A:  I’m going to have to say yes, even though I still truly hate this scene.  On rewatch, without the shock value, I can even appreciate that they made clear what was happening without lingering on Max’s pain or turning it into rape porn.

But the thing that really stood out to me this time was how much this was of Max’s choosing, and what this reveals about women’s options during this time period.  Eleanor keeps trying to save her, but Max’s relationship with Eleanor has always had skewed power dynamics.  First Eleanor is paying for the privilege of sleeping with Max, and it seems that also being rescued is too much for Max.  By saying, “My actions cost you your pearls.  Until my debt is paid, I am yours,” Max is asserting what little control of the situation that she can claim.  I really think the show is trying to highlight just how shitty it was to be a woman at that time while allowing her some agency.


We are introduced to Unreasonable Rage Monster Flint in this epsiode!  We saw him rage in episode 1 when he fought Singleton, but that was strategic.  Here he is just pouty and furious and I love it!  It is also a wonderful glimpse of Flint’s relationship with Gates (father and emo teenager), and honestly, the comedy in this moment is just delightful.


Gates!  He is a first-class quartermaster in this episode, conferring with Hornigold and Jack, negotiating, appeasing Billy, and ultimately being handed captaincy of Ship #2.  He really is the only reasonable person in the show right now who’s focused on doing his job.  I love Gates!


Randall’s scream!!  “That’s what I’ll do if he should wander.”


Let’s talk pirate alliances!

It’s clear now that although each pirate captain is fiercely ego-centric, they must rely on each other in order for Nassau to survive.  There’s so much that must be navigated: captains, crews, ships, supplies.  As Flint, Gates, and Eleanor plan to take the Urca gold, they must form alliances with first Hornigold and then Charles Vane in order to have everything necessary.  It is fascinating to watch their negotiations, and to take note of whose decisions are based in reason, whose are based in emotion, and whose have a little bit of both.  I love watching these fundamentally different people try to find a way to work together…at least until it all falls apart.


  • We see a lot of Miranda Barlow this episode, though we don’t actually learn all that much about her yet.  She’s clearly very intelligent, and she seems rather sad.  Her relationship with Flint is a Mystery:  she’s comfortable seeing him half-naked and bleeding, he’s making intense eye contact, and she seems very familiar with his plans to take the Urca gold.  Just when she starts to open up and admit she’d hoped to spend more time with him, they’re interrupted and we must wait for more information until another episode!
  • Silver is still being smart, revealing only part of the schedule and helping Billy ferret out potential mutineers.
  • Flint:  And when the Urca’s ours?  What’s to stop me from killing you anyway?
    Silver:  Well, it’s a few weeks from now.  We might be friends by then!
    Flint:  *smirk*
    Silver:  *face falls*
    Me:  Hehehehehe!
  • Speaking of Silver’s attempts to win people over, his trying to charm Randall is so rewarding.
  • Pirate fashion includes:  billowing shirts, earrings, necklaces, ponytails and braids.  ❤
  • More statements on women’s roles during this time period when Eleanor talks to her dad:  “We made you into the man you always insisted to us that you were.”
  • Hornigold wants so badly to be important, but he’s just, like, sitting in a tent.
  • “No matter how many lies we tell ourselves or how many stories we convince ourselves we’re part of, we’re all just thieves awaiting a noose.”  (Callback to previous episode when Flint says the pirates are men in need of hope.)
  • FLINT’S LAUGH WHEN GATES SUGGEST THEY WORK WITH VANE!  I tried very hard to find a video clip of this, but failed.  Anyone who can will earn major brownie points with me!
  • This is the episode I started to like Vane, first with his “Be honest.  Are you as surprised as I am that I’m the only one here behaving myself?” and then with his empathetic talk with Max.  Although I don’t love his assertion that he had no choice in letting his men assault her while she’s chained up.  YOU HAD A CHOICE, VANE.  Sexual assault should never be a form of debt payment.
  • “You’re too clever for your own good, Jack.”  Truer words.
  • There’s a lot going on with Miranda and Pastor Lambrick, but I’ll stick with this:   Lambrick’s assertion that “It is Christ’s love of sinners that gave him strength to endure his agony” sounds a lot like Flint, and it’s telling that Miranda takes issue with this!
  • Eleanor rewards Vane’s good behavior with sex.  Vane continues to grow on me as he makes it clear that he wants to cuddle with her afterwards.

“How should you be?  You should be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continually pouds.  It stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet.  I hear you say, ‘How unlucky that this should happen to me.’  But not at all.  Perhaps say instead, ‘How lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened, and I’m not afraid of what is about to happen.  For the same blow might have struck anyone, but not many who would have absorbed it without capitulation or complaint.”


  • Are men ever forced to repay their debts through sexual favors?
    I thought not.
A rare Smiling!Flint appears ❤

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

0 comments on “Black Sails Season 1 Episode 3 – III

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