TV Recap

Black Sails Season 2 Episode 5 Review – XIII

Miranda embarks on a journey to save the island.  Eleanor opens old wounds.  Rackham sniffs around a big secret.  Vane must take matters into his own hands.

(Summary provided by


How can I choose?  Is it his shocked face when Thomas moves to kiss him?  The montage of his private interactions with Thomas in which he is oh so soft and vulnerable?  Or is it the palpable grief with which he touches the inscription “My truest love, know no shame” in the present day?

Trick question, it’s EVERYTHING.



Miranda!  She is phenomenal in this episode.  We’ve been seeing her take more and more of an active role in the events of Nassau as the show goes on, and I am here for it!  In the flashbacks we see her desperately trying to tell Thomas and James that their plan will end in ruin.  She is ignored but proven right.  Then in the present day she decides to try again.  She sees that Flint has gone beyond their original dream, so she leaves the house to go into Nassau (so great to see her there!) and confront Flint.  This time he listens to her, and we will see what happens as a result.


Jack, Anne, and Max’s threesome is interrupted by the fort being attacked, and Jack’s response is, “It would appear we lost track of time.”  LOL.


Are you kidding?  How can I have well-formed thoughts about this episode when my emotions haven’t stopped shrieking?

Instead of finding something intelligent to say, I’d rather share this GORGEOUSLY PAINFUL short James/Thomas fanvid.  Prepare for your heart to be shattered all over again.


  • The placement of Miranda’s thumb is beautifully subtle, and my God, how it drastically changes Thomas’s inscription!  Watching this episode a second time, it is so sad to see Miranda sitting by a rain-spattered window looking at the book that her husband has dedicated to James, his “truest love.”  I know that the three of them have a no-shame policy and an open relationship, but it has to hurt to know that Thomas’s and James’s connection was deeper than hers.
  • Silver is using all of his Storytelling Powers, but Billy is unmoved.  Did Silver really think that he could convince Billy to pity Flint re: Gates’ murder?  Luckily, Silver always has a backup plan, and Billy realizes he is in chains.
  • When James returns from Nassau, he is so eager to enter the house and see Thomas again.  And Thomas’s heart eyes from across the room!  Oh man, the CHEMISTRY between the two of them as they stand beside each other and share the same dream.

“Three months…feels like twice as long.”

  • James’s role has changed.  Instead of countering Thomas’s position and revealing weaknesses, he is totally on board with pardoning the pirates and will do his part to get the British Navy’s support.  Miranda tries to separate them and talk sense into James, unable to understand why he would risk so much for some pirates.  What she doesn’t realize is that James has a personal stake in the matter now.  He’s seen the freedom in Nassau and realized that the three of them could live there without fear of discovery and punishment for their relationship.  Oh, JAMES.  Oh, MIRANDA.  Oh, THOMAS.  This is all agonizing.

“We all have the same swords out there, we all have the same guns.  But great art has felled empires – therein lies the difference.”

  • Jack knows the importance of art, even if his pickiness is driving Charlotte the Artist crazy.  He’s also very pragmatic.  While his island is being blown apart, he sees an opportunity to get some planning done.

Jack re: Vane

“Given the choice between capitulation and survival, I don’t imagine that to be a choice for him at all.”


  • I love Vane for ensuring that Abigail remains safe and untouched when he leaves the fort.
  • Daddy Guthrie is making a play to come back to power.  I really feel for Eleanor, because like her, I sense that he’s skeezy but I can’t quite pinpoint why.
  • Flashback to everything falling to shit.  I kind of hate Hennessey for letting James go on about his plan when he knew the whole time that Lord Hamilton was waiting for them.  I definitely hate him for how he talks about James’s relationship with Thomas, saying things like “flaws, weaknesses,” “but not this, it is too profane,” “this is your end,” and “be grateful it’s not on the gallows.”  UGH, this from the man James considers his father-figure!

“He told me what you did after he invited you into his home, trusted you to assist his son and daughter, and you flagrantly violated his trust.”

  • James’s face and voice as he realizes he has been discharged from service and exiled from London, knowing that everything has been taken from him.  Including Thomas, who has already been taken to Bethlam before James can return to the house.  They never got to say goodbye!!

James:  I’m not leaving.  I’m going to get him out of there.
Miranda:  You can’t.
James:  Watch me.

  • James’s Flint voice makes its first appearance.  Hello darkness, my old friend. *weeping*
  • Now I remember why it took me a while to like the adorable Featherstone – his introduction occurs when he forces Jack to decide between Anne and Max!  I’m firmly empathizing with Anne here – despite the logic of Jack’s long term plan, it absolutely feels like a betrayal.

Billy:  You thought Flint killed me, then Gates, and you queued up to be next to fill the post?
Silver:  I’m certain I won’t make the mistake you both made.  I don’t believe in him.  To me, he is the means to securing a very valuable prize, no more, no less.

  • BILLY WAS THE ONE TO PUT THIS THOUGHT IN SILVER’S MIND??  WOW.  Wait, why am I surprised by this?  Billy is always the one placing thoughts in Silver’s mind.
  • Much like the appearance of Flint in McGraw, here we get the first appearance of (Long) John Silver when he casually threatens Billy’s life.  But Randall is there with a quick reminder, “We like him too.”
  • I’m really not a fan of men who ignore other people’s pain (like, their children’s pain) because theirs is just “Too Much”.  Poor Eleanor.
  • Love that Eleanor kicks everyone out of the tavern when Miranda says she and Flint need privacy.

Flint:  I think that I’ve made my intentions very clear.
Miranda:  No.  You’ve been anything but clear!  You say you fight for the sake of Nassau, for the sake of your men, for the sake of Thomas and his memory.  But the truth of the matter is, it isn’t for any of those things.
Flint:  What the fuck do you think I am fighting for?
Miranda:  I think you are fighting for the sake of fighting.  Because it’s the only state in which you can function.  The only way to keep that voice in your head from driving you mad.
Flint:  What are you talking about?  What voice?
Miranda:  The one telling you to be ashamed of yourself for having loved him.  You were told that it was shameful, and part of you believed it.  Thomas was my husband.  I loved him and he loved me, but what he shared with you…it was entirely something else.  It’s time you allowed yourself to accept that.
Flint:  The only thing I am ashamed of is that I didn’t do something to save him when we had the chance.  That instead I listened to you.

  • Oh, my HEART.  There it all is.  There’s the reason behind their bad sex and Flint’s passive-aggressive leaving all the time.  He resents Miranda for convincing him not to attempt to rescue Thomas (and as much as I would have loved to see that, I do think she’s correct that it would not have worked and would only have made things worse).  But more importantly, James hates himself.  His whole Flint persona is a mixture of attempting to bring about Thomas’s dream (I do think that is partly his motivation) and masochism toward himself, forcing himself to do horrible things because he believes he is a horrible person.
  • But Thomas reminds him, “Know no shame.”
  • Excuse me, I’m weeping again.
  • THAT MONTAGE.  Tears tears tears.  Where is the good fanfiction of this time between James and Thomas?  Recommendations very much appreciated!
They’re so peaceful and happy!!  Boyfriends reading books to each other in bed!!  AUGH.

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

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