TV Recap

Black Sails Season 3 Episode 6 Review – XXIV

Flint challenges Teach over the future of piracy.  Rogers makes an arrest.  Rackham finds new purpose.  Madi comes to Silver’s aid.

(Summary provided by


His face, I think, just after he’s shot Teach.  He looks so shocked that he might have actually won the duel, and so easily.  Of course, nothing is easy for Captain James Flint.

Still, it’s a brief moment of vulnerability and hope, emotions he usually has a lockdown on in public.


Jack!  From deliciously nerdy shade to a sneaky plan to continue fighting England, Jack resists the allure of “order” to continue a fight for freedom…without Flint or Vane (the resistance’s leaders) or Anne (his personal support).  That’s bravery!  And, uh, the usual heavy dose of ambition that we’ve come to expect from Jack.

“One of two outcomes will result.  Rogers will understand his defeat to be ultimately inevitable and leave this place, in which case I’ll have it back.  Or he’ll stubbornly refuse and eventually Spain will raze this place to the ground.  The English flag will burn, and a second pirate republic will be born from the ashes of the first.  Only this time, every man who calls it home will know it came about because of me.”


Idelle and Featherstone are quick becoming the Merry and Pippin of Black Sails.

Idelle:  Well?  What do you think?
Featherstone:  You mean aside from the tit curtains?
Idelle:  It’s called a cravat.


I spent most of this episode frustrated with Silver’s hyper-masculine resistance to showing even the slightest bit of weakness.  It seemed ridiculous, because I have no doubt that the men of the Walrus would be understanding of, and even appreciate, his vulnerability.  “He’s not Flint!” I thought.  Suddenly Silver’s actions connected to his conversations with Madi in a way I hadn’t seen before.

In their first conversation, Madi realizes that Silver is new to power and doesn’t know how to “wear the crown.”  He has only ever seen leadership modeled by Flint, who is so concerned with creating a mythic character that he refuses to show doubt or weakness.  As an excellent observer, Silver tries to do the same.

In their second conversation, Silver confesses to Madi his fear of becoming so close to Flint that he is burdened by his descent into Flint’s wants, needs, and fears.  He believes he is becoming like Flint, and that this will be his end (though he doesn’t seem capable of just…NOT acting like Flint).  Fittingly, Madi offers him the thing he’s been denying himself – vulnerability, the admittance that Silver needs a tether to keep himself from getting lost in Flint’s psyche.


  • Silver’s forced to stay behind on Maroon Island while Flint and the Walrus seek Charles Vane.  Madi is pissed that he’s missed Mr. Scott’s healing ceremony, but he’s in a lot of leg pain.  I get the sense that there is a TINY bit of that brand of aggressive flirting where the boy you like isn’t where you think he is, so you use your Righteous Indignation to find him and talk to him.
  • Flint:  “If he tied it wrong, then you instructed him wrong.”  I know that his primary motivation in siding with the Maroon guy is to uphold the alliance between pirates and slaves, but it’s also really nice to see him standing against his crew member for a former slave.
  • I am aware that I am giving Flint all kinds of benefit of the doubt when I haven’t shown the same curtesy to other characters, but, well…I LOVE HIM, and love has made me an expert excuser of his potential faults.
  • We know Vane’s conscious is irking him because he’s not participating in the revels on Okracoke Island.  What a difference between this and his season 1 self, always lounging with topless women.
  • Teach at Flint’s resurrection:  “Jesus.”  LOL.
  • Mrs. Hudson explains that she became a spy because her children’s lives were threatened.  So soon after pirate Nassau feared an English invasion, English Nassau fears a Spanish invasion.  Everyone’s enemy has a scarier enemy.  The whole system is broken.
  • “If we can’t find Jack Rackham, we’re finished.”  Cut to:  Jack Rackham walking into the tavern.  LOL.

“I though as an added prize, I’d at leas be able to see it for myself.  The new governor up to his ears in the very same bullshit in which I’ve been drowning for the past few months.  And what do I find?  The streets are swept, industry is in fashion, you’re dressed like a Turkish whore, and all because a man arrived, stood on the beach, and said please.”

  • What is the show trying to tell us with this?  That people crave order?  That order brings out our better selves?  Or are we meant to see that this IS a benefit of civilization, but (as we have seen and will see), this benefit comes at a significant cost?
  • This scene between Silver and Madi, though!  SHE IS SO GOOD.

Silver:  For some time now, I have been holding my entire world together with both hands, keeping my men in line, seeing to their needs, and the only way that endures is if I look the part…
Madi:  No one prepared you for this, did they?  For as long as I can remember, I have been prepared for the day I would take my mother’s place.  To know that from that day forth, I would forever be the one who tends as opposed to the one who is tended to.  You’re frustrated.  You’re angry.  You’re tired.  Perhaps no one else knows why.  I believe that not even you know why.  But I know why.  The crown is always a burden, but it cannot be borne if you cannot stand.

  • A good leader cannot take care of others until they take care of themselves!!  It feels very right that it is a woman who teaches a man that self-care is a necessary part of leadership.
  • I could watch an entire episode of Flint and Teach talking to each other.  And I would give ANYTHING to have a flashback (or entire series!) that shows us Flint arriving in Nassau and telling Teach, Hornigold, Bellamy, and Avery that he’s got a better idea of how to run things.
  • Woodes Rogers and Jack!!! This episode is A++ on incredibly dynamic conversations between two people.

Jack:  I read your book.  Well, most of it.  I confess, I may not quite have soldiered through to the end.  But, you know, I got the gist of it.
Rogers:  If you don’t mind my asking, what did you take to be its gist?
Jack:  Wealthy son of a wealthy man takes to the sea to prove something to the parents, presumably.  Seeks adventure, finds the limits of his own capacity.  Loses everything in the process and then stumbles upon a hell of a story in the process.  Please understand, I’m quite particular about my library, but people seem to have liked it fine, and it seems to have done wonders for you.  So congratulations on all that.

  • BRUTAL, I love it.
  • The duel scene is perfect.  Starting from Billy’s perspective, who is not loyal to Flint (things just keep changing too fast for him to keep up!), then ending with Vane, who is not loyal to Teach.
  • The lack of music throughout is SUCH a good choice.  Even though I’d seen this before, it was still so stressful.
  • TEACH’S FACE when Vane jumps in to save Flint.  Oh God, the utter shock and betrayal.  I mean, I wouldn’t have wanted this to end any other way, but poor Teach!  Uuuugh, it’s so sad.
  • It is VERY interesting to me that Flint convinces Vane to rejoin him, not based on loyalty, but on revenge.  Fandom seems very into making Vane synonymous with loyalty, but here Flint explicitly tells Vane to think beyond loyalty.

Vane:  I gave you my word, shook your hand, pledged to defend the island with you.  But my pledge to him began a long time before I ever knew your name.  What I owe him –
Flint:  I don’t care that you shook my hand.  I don’t care what you feel you owe him.  This is too important to be clouded by any of that.  They took my home.  I can’t walk away from that.  Can you?  Forget me, forget Teach, forget loyalty, compacts, honor, debts, all of it.  The only question that matters is this:  Who are you?

  • Silver says that he’s not the first person to have descended into Flint’s depths and never resurfaced.  But is this an accurate reading of reality (keeping in mind that Silver doesn’t know all of Flint’s story).  I assume he is here referring to Gates and Miranda.  Was Gates dragged into Flint’s depths?  Into his orbit, maybe, but I never got the sense that he was emotionally burdened by Flint in the way that Silver is.  And Miranda?  If anything, they were thrown into the depths together, and they clung to each other down there.  If anything, she helped him climb OUT of the depths, if only for a too-brief moment.
  • Again, it’s so fitting that a man consumed in either/or and win/loss thinking is taught to see a gentler, more supportive option by a woman:  “Maybe to go to such a place, one needs another to hold the tether and to find a way out.”  Now that’s both/and thinking!
  • Love seeing Mr. Scott and Madi interact as father and daughter, and I love even more that Mr. Scott knew the best way to prepare her to lead in the New World was to give her stories.
  • Max’s betrayal.    She reasserts her worth to Rogers with, “If you have me, you have the street,” and officially choosing her ambitions above her relationships.  To be fair, while this makes me very sad (and a little mad), she is only joining the ranks of Flint, Eleanor, and many other characters I love.
  • It’s very fitting that as Max chooses her ambition above relationships, Vane does the same, for the very first time.
  • Flint and Vane talking quietly together in the dark, making little jokes, is SO cute to me.
  • Vane has changed so much, and this episode really highlights it.  No reveling, choosing revenge over loyalty, and saying with disdain about other men, “one piece of information everyone else was quick to dismiss as it held no value to them in that moment.”  He’s become a proper revolutionary.

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

2 comments on “Black Sails Season 3 Episode 6 Review – XXIV

  1. That Jack quote, the backhanded compliment to Rogers on his book, was one of our (husband’s and my) favorites of the entire series. Fantastically funny.

    Watching Silver’s character evolve over the series, as well as (to a lesser extent) Vane and even Jack, added to Flint’s obvious influence on Eleanor in the first couple seasons, my husband and I have taken to calling this phenomenon “Flint Syphilis”… where otherwise properly sensible and self-interested people develop Romantic Revolutionary Fervor Regardless of Personal Risk b/c they get sucked in by Flint’s super sexy notions and personal charisma and mythologizing, have a fun metaphorical (one assumes) roll in the hay with him, give him all their money, and subscribe to his newsletter, only to wake up shortly afterward with their lives completely fucked up and wondering what the hell happened to them. Even people who resist as hard as they can (looking at you Billy) end up getting sucked in. Flint’s like a black hole of destruction. It is awesome.

    We also keep laughing at ourselves as we watch. Every time Flint is off-screen, our logic circuits reboot: “he’s an insane, violent, megalomaniac OMG”. Then Toby Stephens starts talking and emoting and blue-steel-gazing all over the place and we immediately are back to :swoon: “He’s SO COOL! He’s SO BADASS! He’s SO TORTURED! He’s SO LONELY! WE WANT TO JOIN HIS PIRATE REVOLUTION!”

    It’s like a fictional Voice of Saruman come to life on our tv LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha, Flint Syphilis, that is exactly what is happening! Of course Silver would fall for it, because he also operates in the land of smooth talking, and he has so much Wants to Be/Wants to Be With Flint angst. But Vane always surprises me when he sided with Flint. They’re such opposites, and that’s why they make such a good team. And Eleanor! Gah, I love her so much, and her business partnership with Flint is so fascinating.

      As for being PERSONALLY afflicted with Flint Syphilis, I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean. I simply observe the factual truisms that Captain James Flint is the best human on the planet with the smartest ideas and if other people can’t keep up and die horribly in the process, well, that’s too bad. 😜

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: