TV Recap

Black Sails Season 1 Episode 7 Review – VII

Flint tells Gates the truth.  Randall puts Silver in a bind.  Eleanor suffers a loss.  Max comes to Rackham’s aid.  Vane enters the fight of his life.

(Summary provided by


This whole episode is Best Flint Moment!!  I’m going to discuss what we learn about Flint in more depth in the Well-Formed Thoughts section, but his conversation with Miranda deserves to be here.  He is at his most vulnerable with Miranda (consider this scene compared to his tightly-wound conversation with Gates), and it’s beautiful to watch him fall apart.  

Flint:  What was your intent?  What was it?  To destroy everything we have tried to build here for the last ten years?  Or was it just to embarrass me?
Miranda:  To show you a way out of all this.  To free you.
F:  A way out?  Have you no memory of how we got in?  Of what they took from us?
M:  What does it matter now?
F:  What does it matter?  (Sidenote, HIS FACE HERE)
M:  What does it matter what happened then if we have no life now?  Because there is no life here, there is no joy here, there is no love here.
F:  WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  What do you think I’m out there fighting for but to make all those things possible here?
M:  You’ll fight a war so we can make a life?
F:  You don’t get one without the other, my sweet.
M:  No.  You’re wrong.  I sent that letter to show you that you’re wrong.  There is a life in Boston.  There is joy there, and music, and peace.  The door is open.  I’ve opened it for you, and it requires no war, no blood, and no sacrifice.
F:  It requires an intolerable sacrifice!
M:  To accept a pardon?
F:  To apologize!
M:  Apologize?  Who will you be apologizing to?
F:  TO ENGLAND.  They took everything from us, and then they call ME a monster?  The moment I sign that pardon, the moment I ask for one, I proclaim that they were right.  This ends when I grant them MY forgiveness, not the other way around.
M:  This path you’re on, it doesn’t lead where you think it does.  If he were here, he’d agree with me.

Oh my GOD, this scene is devastating.  It was beautiful the first time I saw it, intriguing with all my confusion, but now that I know what Flint is talking about, WOW.  Wow wow wow.



Silver!  From his reunion with Flint (coughing to Eleanor to remind her to be his defender) throughout his almost-accusal by Randall, he is scrambling to stay alive.  I continue to enjoy his unsuccessful attempts to charm Randall, and it is very telling that it is only when Silver is vulnerable, honest, and thinking of someone else’s benefit that Randall sides with Silver and takes back his accusation.  This is Silver’s first opportunity to grow past his compulsive selfishness!


Definitely Silver’s wondering aloud at whether Randall is a half-wit or a genius, only to be answered with…a massive fart.  LOL, Randall.  I love you.


We get so much good Flint material here, both in revelations as to his motivations and in revealing his vulnerabilities.  In three scenes (with Gates, Miranda, and Eleanor), we see him searching for a partner who shares his vision.

First, with Gates:

Flint has kept many secrets from Gates, and now that Billy is a casualty of those secrets, Gates is done.  It’s telling that for as close of friends as they seem, Flint hasn’t told Gates much of his story.  In a last ditch attempt to win Gates to his vision, Flint tells him of his plan to sequester part of the Urca gold so that Nassau can be stable.

Flint:  I’m quite serious.  Who loses?  Absent their worst instincts: their pride, their greed, their suspicion, in the light of pure reason, who says no to this?  They’ll be rich men in a safe place rather than dead thieves on a long rope.

But it’s too late.  Flint opening up about a piece of his grander plan is just one more secret Gates doesn’t want to hear.


Second, with Miranda:

I quoted the whole scene above, and I love it all.  Contrasted with Gates, Miranda KNOWS all of Flint’s plan (though we still don’t), and apparently shared it at one time.  The fact that she has given it up and wants to move with him to Boston is therefore a much bigger betrayal.  While Miranda has emotionally moved on to the point that she can say, “What does it matter?”, Flint is still living in the trauma of what happened ten years ago.  This too feels like abandonment and betrayal to him.  Flint is overwhelmed by all this, so he goes to the tavern to get drunk.  It is there that he finds a new visionary partner.


Lastly, with Eleanor:

These two betrayals by his closest friends has led Flint to doubt himself, and it must be bad because he opens up about it with Eleanor.

Flint:  Tell me we’re not crazy, you and I.
Eleanor:  Crazy?
Flint:  To put ourselves through all of this, when the outcome’s so uncertain.
Eleanor:  The outcome is only uncertain for those who disbelieve.  I believe in this place, and I believe if there’s anyone who can do what’s necessary to make it something better, it’s you.

This is exactly what Flint needs to hear.  He needs someone to believe in him and to stand beside him.  His reliance upon a partner is his greatest weakness and greatest strength, and I’m so excited to watch the series while tracking Flint’s highs and lows as compared to the state of his partnerships.



  • So far we have seen people question Flint’s loyalty (as it pertains to his crew), but he’s clearly VERY loyal to Miranda at least.  He consistently defends her against those who want her to answer for her letter.  She wasn’t wrong in a previous episode when she assured Lambrick that Flint would never hurt her.
  • My favorite sex scenes in this show are the ones with really bad sex!  Love the mundane relationship sex between Anne and Jack, who can’t keep it up because he’s busy worrying and thinking.
  • Dufresne was elected quartermaster by the crew, and it was so cute watching Gates and Flint giggle together about Dufresne “chewing a man’s throat out.”
  • Mr. Scott and Eleanor reuniting was bittersweet.  Eleanor is so self-focused on what seems like his betrayal that she doesn’t even show concern that he was sold as a slave.  When he points out his true relationship to her family, she is touched.  So much so that she manages to free all of the slaves from the Andromache and find them paid work.  Yay Eleanor!  It is tragic that now, when they best understand and support each other, they must part ways.  Eleanor is pissed, but I think Mr. Scott is right.  They can’t sustain this healthy relationship if they continue to work together.
  • Flint does NOT handle being accused by Gates very well.  It was totally uncalled for when he, in turn, accused Gates of being a bad father to Billy.  It was a low blow to hurt Gates, though I also think he was displacing the blame he feels himself.
  • Flint really is shocked that his crew would think he sees them as expendable.  This makes what will happen in the next episode extra heartbreaking.
  • Also re: Flint’s lack of self-awareness, he extols “the light of pure reason” with Gates, but his conversation with Miranda reveals that he operates almost entirely upon emotion.  I don’t think he realizes that about himself.
  • Flint kisses Eleanor on the forehead, just like he did to Miranda a couple episodes ago.  Hm!
  • Um, also, while Flint is being accused of keeping secrets “for the good of the crew,” Dufresne, DeGroot, and Other Guy are doing the exact same thing!  They know that if they brought Silver before the crew, he would be hung and the Urca location would be lost.  So instead they act alone!  Which is, I think, the right decision.  So why are they all so hard on Flint?  Because they don’t trust him.  😦  TRUST HIM, YOU FOOLS.
  • Jack is really bad at running a brothel, so Max steps in to show him how it’s done.  While this ought to feel empowering and awesome, I don’t love how she goes about it.  In an attempt to distance herself from her past and her shame, Max 1) slaps a coworker and 2) says, “In my experience, if you do not discipline a whore she will always take advantage.”  Which is just…very dehumanizing?  I’m all for Max rising in station, but I don’t love that it comes at the expense of others.
  • There’s a mutiny against Flint, not just to oust him as captain, but to kill him!!  NOOO.
  • Finally, Vane!  This episode gives us a fascinating glimpse into his past, and while I don’t fully understand it, it’s clear that he’s conquered his demons and literally risen from the grave a stronger man.  It was bizarre to see him stutter and avoid eye contact, and I love the vulnerability that returning to the place where he was a child slave brought out of him.
  • This is the first we see of Vane’s lack of self-preservation in the face of a cause he believes in.  Even when the slave master knows Vane was a slave, he gives him the men Vane needs to take Nassau.  This could be enough, but a “good” slave master is still a slave master to Vane, so he gives a rousing speech of freedom to the men and is “killed” as a result.  But not for long.
He looks really good for a recently dead guy.

Every episode is stronger than the one before it, but this is where I get REALLY emotionally involved in this show.  It’s full-blown obsession from here on out, and I can’t WAIT to rewatch it all again, though hopefully at a slower pace than my first time through!

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

3 comments on “Black Sails Season 1 Episode 7 Review – VII

  1. Thanks for a thought-provoking post. About the Flint/Eleanor non-kiss: it may reveal something about him but it may also reveal something about her. If he had, she looked as if she would have kissed him right back. Was she attracted to him or his power?


    • Thank you for the comment, Tina!

      I agree with you-the scene reads as though Eleanor would have kissed him if he’d tried. I think this is partly because she tends to combine her sexuality with business, so it wouldn’t feel unusual. But more than that, she and Flint share a vision, an intimacy, that is in the process of being categorized. I think they are attracted to each other, but this show allows for nuanced attraction – from platonic to sexual and stages in between. He is also one of the first men to treat her as an adult, as someone worthy of collaborating with, and that has to be a heady feeling. There is so much in this little moment-thank you for encouraging me to dig deeper! What do you think?


      • I like the idea that when it comes to her male partners she combines sex with business, as if their power is a turn on for her. The show indeed treats attraction as fluid—Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Love is love is love” refrain at the Tony Awards ran through my head repeatedly as I watched the show. And I hadn’t thought about it but he treated her as an equal as you noted. Sigh. I could think about this show often.

        Liked by 1 person

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