TV Recap

Black Sails Season 1 Episode 6 Review – VI

The costs of chasing the Andromache continue to mount.  Eleanor needs Silver’s help.  Billy wants Gates to confront Flint.  Bonny takes a stand.

(Summary provided by starz.com)


REWATCH Q&A

Q:  Why doesn’t Mr. Scott help the slaves on the Andromache?

A:  He says it’s because Flint’s plan to pursue the Urca gold and establish a self-ruling Nassau will lead to Eleanor’s death, and I think he’s telling the truth.  But I also think he’s hurt by Mr. Guthrie’s betrayal, and feeling rather hopeless.

“I know what he says.  He says in Nassau a slave can be free, get a job and a wage.  Maybe for him, he’s strong.  A few others.  The rest of you, don’t kid yourselves.  You are cargo in Nassau or otherwise.”

BEST FLINT MOMENT

Flint didn’t really have a fists-in-the-air moment this episode, but he did look HELLA FINE when he went to investigate the slaves’ secret flag message.

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TODAY’S RUNNER UP

Anne!!  FINALLY our girl gets her moment to shine.  From the first time we see her guarding Max’s tent against Asshole Pirate (I accidentally learned his name this episode, but I refuse to use it) until she jerks her hand away from Max and says, “I didn’t do it for you,” she gets some CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!  She feels so strongly about protecting Max from further rape that she even teams up with Eleanor, a pairing that is quite formidable.

Why did she do it?  We know from a previous episode that Anne has experienced sexual assault in the past (and Jack warns her that her actions might end with her in the tent being abused with Max), and she likely feels guilty at her role in putting Max there in the first place.  Is there something more?  Time will tell, and I’m thrilled to finally know her a little bit more.

LOL MOMENT

No real laugh-out-loud moment in this episode.  It was excellent, but pretty bleak.

WELL-FORMED THOUGHTS

From my actual notes:

  • YASS slave revolt!!!
  • YASS pirates helping!!!
  • YASS awesome slave woman!!! (later discovered her name is Eme)

This episode gave us smart, ambitious, fierce African men and women!  I loved the conversations between Mr. Scott and Eme as she tried to convince him to help their efforts to escape.  I loved the reality of his hopelessness, but more than that I loved Eme’s insistence that even if they are not all free in Nassau, it is still a better option than remaining chained.

The fake-out (“Mr. Scott NO – Mr. Scott YES”) was handled so well, and it pained me to realize that this was probably the first time he’d ever killed a man.  Later when Eme is given the narrative privilege of killing Captain Bryson and she exchanges a look with Mr. Scott?  WOW.  She is everything.

I also really loved the unspoken cooperation between pirates and slaves, beginning with a white flag, then a dropped iron peg.  The scenes in which the pirates rhythmically chop the hull to pieces to cover the sound of the slaves escaping their chains actually made me cry.  And although the pirates could have left the slaves to fight the Andromache crew alone, they burst in to fight together!!  It’s SO GREAT, and I *ahem* am so excited for similar events in the future.

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FRAGMENTED THOUGHTS

  • This episode is DARK – thematically and visually.  It all takes place at night, and the scenes’ darkness feels pretty oppressive at times.  I’m ready for some sparkling blue water again, please!
  • I didn’t realize in the last episode that one of the pirates Eleanor chooses for the consortium is Tits Pirate, and I love it.  He is excellent in this episode, countering everyone’s pessimism with a bleary, “I don’t know.  Perhaps you need to have a little more faith in people.”  And he’s proven right!
  • We get a real sense of what kind of couple Jack and Anne are in this episode, and the kind they are is Awesome.
  • Anne plans to murder eight of their crewmen without Jack’s knowledge, but her plan includes him backing her up.  This is the first instance of the blind faith they have in each other, and it never fails to make me feel all the Feelings.
  • “When you and Miss Guthrie were plotting this little coup, when she asked you, ‘Well shit, Anne, what makes you think old Jack will go along with this plan of ours and not plead the truth to his men as he’s most certainly going to feel duty-bound to do?’  What did you say?”
    “I told her given the choice between them and me, you’d choose me.”
    “That’s very fucking touching.”
  • Jack/Anne, proving you can be touching and sweet without being sickeningly sentimental.
  • Miranda and Pastor Lambrick talk again, and we get more information about her life with her husband.  It’s also super interesting that she’s betrayed Flint but is completely sure that he will not harm her.  And then, you know, the sex.  I still don’t know how to read this.  Is she trying to shame him?  Free him?  Is she just lonely?  Her face as she holds him looks pretty happy, but I just can’t understand why she wouldn’t go for literally anyone other than him.
  • The melody that’s been paired with Max several times throughout this season sounds so much like the hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This” which includes the really haunting verse: “When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down / When I was sinking down, sinking down / Beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul.”  The imagery definitely fits Max’s story so far, but I’d love to know if Bear McCreary intentionally chose this melody to be her song!
  • Silver realizes that Eleanor helped Anne for two reasons:  to rescue Max, and to reassure the pirates revolting against her that she is not to be taken lightly.  I’m appreciating Eleanor so much more during this rewatch!
  • Flint shows that he definitely does know the names of his crew members, which means that scene in episode 1 where he said “who’s Billy” was indeed just him fucking with Billy.
  • Speaking of Billy.  RIP.  I would feel worse about it, but he doesn’t know how to leave well enough alone!  Gates was COMPLETELY right that this was neither the time nor place to be investigating a mysterious letter whilst in battle.
  • POOR GATES.  Billy was a son to him, and his face during the burial at sea definitely showed he has his doubts about Flint’s role in Billy’s death.  Flint’s face is giving nothing away, but we have to wait to know how this will all pan out!

ACCUMULATING QUESTIONS

  • Who was that other man (not Jack) with Anne when she murdered Asshole Pirate and friends?

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

3 comments on “Black Sails Season 1 Episode 6 Review – VI

  1. Q: Why doesn’t Mr. Scott help the slaves on the Andromache?

    I think he’s telling the truth that he’s afraid of the consequences if Flint and Eleanor get their plan in motion, but something about the way he phrased it early in the ep: It’s going to get someone I love killed, or something slightly ambiguous like that…I read it as he’s not only worried about Eleanor, but about some as-yet-undisclosed characters being hurt if the pirates start a revolution likely to draw the attention of England.

    Nice to see Anne acting autonomously, as opposed to being mostly silent ‘muscle’ for Jack. I had forgotten she and Eleanor team up, which is formidable.

    “I told her given the choice between them and me, you’d choose me.”
    “That’s very fucking touching.”

    But that IS touching, Jack! It’s SO TOUCHING. :wipes tear: As to who the guy is whose helping murder the pirates, I think it’s Eleanor’s Scottish ‘muscle’ from the bar. He seems to be her enforcer, anyway.

    Billy’s being a dumbass, pushing into dangerous territory while ‘on a battlefield’ so to speak. I also think it’s interesting how all of a sudden the existence of this letter not only creates all this paranoia for Billy, but it creates a ton of new paranoia for Flint! Billy just assumes Flint knows what’s in the letter, and of course Flint has no idea wtf Billy’s talking about. The recent turbulence in his dynamic with Miranda now suddenly seems like it might be running a lot deeper than he realized. She’s the one person he seems to trust and be really vulnerable with, yet now Billy’s talking about a letter she’s written behind Flint’s back…on first viewing I wasn’t following the letter plot very well, I think, and I didn’t really understand what frightening and destabilizing alarm bells must be ringing in Flint’s head, which sets up his actions in the rest of the season.

    Re: Miranda and the priest. This baffled me on first view, but here’s how I read the scene now, without being too spoilery. Miranda has clearly been getting restless and uneasy with her situation/arrangement with Flint for some time. I’m guessing it’s been an undercurrent for a few years, but probably only started to really surface with the Urca hunt, so maybe the last 6 months? Her agenda seems to be diverging from his, and emotionally she’s clearly feeling isolated. Apart from missing Flint himself (he’s presumably been gone longer than usual and more frequently than usual), she’s also been missing her life with her husband (esp her intellectual life). That appears to be a taboo topic with Flint, which makes sense given the info we as viewers have, but SHE appears to resent it and I think her sparring with the priest and the opportunity to talk about her husband and her former life with ANYONE is kind of irresistible. As is confirmed throughout, Miranda is a straightforward and practical person, and someone who hates hypocrisy and the lies people tend to tell to themselves and others. She’s also somewhat of a free spirit (intellectual, rumored to be the ‘cheating sort’ and perhaps somewhat rebellious). I think the combo of 1) being able to discuss her husband freely; 2) being able to channel her husband’s intellectual interests (and hers) in theological debate; 3) the opportunity to expose the priest’s hypocrisy (he’s clearly fooling himself about the interest he’s taking in Miranda); 4) her desire to ‘rebel’ a bit and just generally have some agency instead of waiting passively at home while Flint works on their grand plan; 5) she’s had either bad or no sex since Flint’s previous departure and is likely a little pent up; and 6) she probably thinks that fucking the priest will either make him easier to manipulate, or make him feel so guilty that he’ll leave her alone.

    LOVE the super dramatic shot of Flint walking out on the beam to look at the slave signal, with his coat all swirly. They make everyone look so amazing and sexy on this show, and I love the costumes (esp the diversity of styles). But having done work that involved hard hiking in the Caribbean for many years, the clothes are objectively insane. NOBODY would be able to function for any extended period of time wearing most of what the leads wear. I’m a very slight person, not much body fat to heat me up, but I used to regularly stuff a couple tissues down my cleavage to prevent pooling sweat just when I was sitting quietly reading or doing data entry. I used to take several rinsing showers every day just to cool down my core temp. Any physical activity beyond a ramble and you absolutely stream sweat in sheets, and I used to spend a good portion of my downtime naked or nearly in my room (shade) under a fan to stay tolerably cool. Still, I can’t help absolutely loving the long black coats, leather pants, high boots, silk brocade gowns, etc. My husband looks good in pirate get up, and we were joking that we should dress up as Flint (him) and Jack (me) for Halloween. I want to be Jack mainly for the mullet and the sunglasses LOL.

    Tracy

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    • That is a great point about Miranda. I think you’re correct about all of her motivations, and the important thing I take away from it is that she had multiple and varied motivations! It wasn’t a simplistic action, which is why it’s confusing on first watch. You have to know her character and situation better to understand what might be going on for her.

      I also LOVE your point about Mr. Scott being concerned about people we haven’t met yet…good catch!

      And PLEASE send me pics of your husband and you as Flint and Jack for Halloween if you do it!!! @roarcatreads.

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  2. ugh grammar errors

    Like

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