TV Recap

Black Sails Season 3 Episode 2 Review – XX

The Walrus crew battles the elements.  Teach and Rackham have a disagreement.  Rogers and Eleanor set terms for their partnership.  Bonny fears for her future with Max.

(Summary provided by




Max!  I love her in this episode, both for her practicality when it comes to preparing for the future by converting bulky Urca gold into transportable black pearls, and for her selfless love of Anne.  She tells both Jack and Anne that she knows the two of them will wind up together, though she gives different reasons to each.  To Jack, she says it is because her months with Anne cannot compare to the lifetime the two of them have shared.  To Anne, she says that eventually, civilization will catch up and their love will not be allowed.

To Jack:  Of course she will choose you.  The fort is going to fall, tomorrow, next week, someday.  I do not believe for a moment you will let yourself be buried beneath it when it does.  It will pain her to leave me behind.  What we have shared these past few months, it will be very hard.  But without you, there is no her.  I am here in part to secure my own future; I will not apologize for that.  But that is not why I’m asking you to cooperate with me. I am asking because though I know we have our differences, I know there is one thing we share.  We both love her.

To Anne:  You and I spoke of what will likely happen the day England returns to this place.  We spoke of how I must stay, must find a way to enter into their world.  I believe you would want to enter it with me.  But if we are honest with each other, I think we both know sooner or later, the day is going to come when, no matter our feelings, the world will demand that you and I —



The guy cast as the Dumb Pieces of Eight Dude is PERFECTION.  The entire scene in which he requests a second bag of gold in as many days and completely misses Featherstone’s suggestion that he request less is pure entertainment.


One of season 3’s central themes is leadership, and in this episode we see how a Seasoned Leader and a New Leader cope with the reality of losing people under their care.

When it becomes clear that the top sail’s inability to come down will jeopardize the safety of the entire ship, Flint crawls across the deck to cut it loose, dooming men to fly into the sea with it.  He pauses for a moment, staring up at the men before he begins chopping the rope.  I read that as him acknowledging the consequences of his actions by seeing the men, but moving forward with no real hesitation.

In contrast, Silver finds himself stuck below deck with Muldoon, who drowns when he is trapped by ship parts and water rushes in through several holes.  Silver does everything he can to save his crew mate, ultimately holding his hand while he dies.  In fact, he holds it long after until someone else opens the hatch from above.

It isn’t that Flint or Silver has the better reaction.  Silver’s intimate connection to Muldoon’s death is obviously beautiful, but it is also the experience of one new to leadership.  Silver treats his crew mates as friends, whereas Flint has learned to emotionally distance himself from those he leads.  Suddenly the callousness he is so often accused of makes sense, and we are left wondering if Silver will toughen up, Flint soften, or if a middle ground exists between them.


  • Our absolutely stunningly blue intro quickly becomes creepy when Flint dreams that Miranda’s corpse crawls onto his ship and below deck.  I have a theory that her appearances become less horrific as Flint processes his grief, and right now it is bad.
  • As Flint sails directly into the storm with full sails, he sends men into the rigging so that they can bring the sails down as soon as Hornigold gives up the chase.  He asks Billy to lead them, and Billy hesitates for a moment.  I can’t help but wonder if he is remembering the last storm during which he did something dangerous with Flint…

“Flint had them exactly where he needed them: angry, resentful, afraid.  I understand why they would rather do battle with that storm, but he had me there too.  He had me there.  And that is not supposed to happen.”

  • Silver is unnerved by Flint’s power and how he, along with the men, was totally swept away by the speech at the end of the last episode.  He says “that is not supposed to happen” and I wonder if he is worrying about his role as quartermaster or his personal objectivity.
  • We meet Mrs. Hudson, and I immediately love her for calling out Eleanor’s privilege.

“My understanding is that your father built a criminal enterprise and you inherited it.  The only difference between you and the ladies I have served in the past is their families had better lawyers.”

  • Woodes Rogers shows off the fleet to Eleanor and tells her that he will send her back to London the moment he doubts her usefulness.  She calls his bluff with an amazing, “You don’t know, you don’t know, you don’t know…but I do.  To slay Nassau, you must know her.”
  • The scene between Silver and Muldoon while they plug holes below decks is so lovely.  Silver is desperate not to feel useless, and Muldoon tries to convince him that leg or not, he’s integral to the crew.  They share real vulnerabilities with each other, and they could have been such good friends if only!

Muldoon:  What part of ‘let us take care of you’ did you not understand?  If it wasn’t for you, we’d all be planted at the bottom of the Charles Town bay. We got a debt for that.  It ain’t right not to let us pay it.
Silver:  All the shit we been through the last few months, do you wanna know what the most terrifying part of all of it’s been?  ‘We’ll take care of you.’
Muldoon:  I get it.
Silver:  Do you?
Muldoon:  Course I do.  Look at me.  I know what it’s like to be afraid of being the one ain’t strong enough to stick.  But it don’t work that way here. And even if it did, it wouldn’t work like that for you.

  • Hearing Eleanor’s backstory of how she took over her father’s business as a 17-year-old girl by identifying her strongest opponent (Teach) and kicking him off the island makes me love her even more!!  Woodes Rogers is clearly very impressed with her too, though when he realizes she and Vane were lovers, he thinks her plan to make Vane a pardon exception is a lover’s quarrel.  Instead, Eleanor lays out a very concise description of the various kinds of pirates in Nassau.

“I know Flint is dangerous, but he can be reasoned with.  I know Rackham is devious, but all he cares about is his legacy.  And because I have history with Charles Vane, I know him most of all.  I’m all too aware what he is capable of destroying when he sets his mind on it.”

  • Of course, she is operating under pre-209 knowledge.  Is Flint capable of being reasoned with anymore?  And is Vane quite so destructive?
  • Her comment about mutual self-interest creating better partners sounds a lot like season one Silver.
  • The “slaves rebuilding the fort” plot continues to make me mad.  Vane (though none of his men) works alongside the slaves, but Mr. Scott (!!) tells him to stop in order to avoid a confusion of roles.  Which??  Nassau is a place where roles are reversed!  For everyone but black slaves, apparently.
  • Teach confronts Vane in THE most dramatic way possible, sliding a sword through a linen wall and under his throat, only to wind up hugging his old son surrogate.  It is so theatric, and I love it.
  • Jack’s expression when he sees Teach is priceless, especially after Teach says “Jack Rackham” out loud.  “That’s my name,” he responds in the world’s tiniest, most awestruck voice.
  • Unfortunately, Teach is very unimpressed by Nassau, and I am very unimpressed by his “good ol’ days” attitude.  Jack is talking about Nassau needing an identity, and Vane is talking about pirate alliances, but Teach wants it to return to its old lawless state.  Although I admit he has a point that the influx of Urca gold has made Nassau weak, his complaints do not take into consideration the very real threat of England’s return.
  • Although the sails are now down, the Walrus must still fight against the storm pushing them back into Hornigold’s path.  Billy takes everyone below, except for Flint, who is tied to the wheel alone and did I already mention WOW.
  • Hornigold arrives on Woodes Roger’s ship and is super annoyed that Eleanor has found a way back into his life (her appearance is such a gloriously non-verbal ‘fuck you’ to him).  He produces the Walrus’s pirate flag as evidence that Captain Flint is dead.
  • Not so!  He’s only dreaming that he met death.  When he awakes, he immediately knows that they’re not moving.  They’re becalmed, and with very few supplies.  Yikes!
The lighting in these dream sequences is really just fantastic.

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

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