TV Recap

Black Sails Season 3 Episode 7 Review – XXV

Flint and Silver return to Nassau, and a legend is born.  A change in terms put Rackham and Bonny in jeopardy.  Vane’s mission evolves.  Eleanor confides in Rogers.

(Summary provided by


The entire scene in which Flint and Woodes Rogers face off is A+ Excellent, but the part that really destroys my soul is when, ten years after the first Great Defense, FLINT IS STILL DEFENDING THOMAS.  Woodes Rogers claims that his goal is the same as Thomas’s, and Flint is all, “Let me tell you what Thomas wanted!!”

My heart!


Silver!  This guy is unraveling as he keeps being thrust into positions of power, but it is so compelling to watch.  It’s especially interesting that as he descends into “Flint’s” darkness, Flint himself is doing much better.


When Max tells her that it was John Silver who stomped a dude’s head in and scared a tavern full of soldiers and pirates, Eleanor’s face is so confused!  You can see her flashing back to the man Flint stashed in her office to keep him out of the way and thinking, “That guy??”


I keep wanting to prove that “civilization” is bad and the pirates are good.  And I can definitely make arguments to that effect:  Just this episode, we saw that civilization (personified by Woodes Rogers) is polite and reasonable when everything is going his way.  He’s happy to let Jack go, “no harm done,” so long as he gets his cache.  But as soon as he finds out that Spain wants Jack as well, Rogers easily betrays his promise to Jack.

There’s also Flint’s line about Rogers keeping the pirates from the beach by “keeping them in line with shame.”  The perks of civilization are upheld by shaming people into submission.  And when Flint refuses to submit to him, Rogers revokes pardons to the Walrus crew, thus explicitly making the pardons a means of control rather than of forgiveness.

But on the other hand…I don’t think it’s meant to be so simple as “these are the good guys and these are the bad guys.”  I believe Rogers when he accidentally repeats 210 Flint:  “If you insist on making me your villain, I’ll play the part.”  He doesn’t WANT to do bad things, just as Flint doesn’t.  This show is all about putting people into impossible situations so that their true feelings are revealed.

Perhaps the reason I empathize with the pirates so much is that they wear the worst of themselves on the outside, and slowly we see their goodness underneath, whereas civilization wears its goodness on the outside, and slowly we see its underbelly.  Like Jack said, “We’re all villains in Nassau.  Don’t think because you’re new you’re any different.”  At least the pirates are self-aware about their darkest impulses.



  • Max is once more trying to convince Anne to go with her plan rather than Jack’s, and I GET IT.  She’s scared that Spain is going to destroy Nassau if they don’t turn over the cache.  But I’m totally empathizing with Anne’s pain and confusion here.
  • Flint standing at military attention while reporting to the Maroon Queen is Doing Things to my heart.  Of course, he’s doing less fun things to the Queen’s heart when he suggests turning her home into a battlefield and answers her very good questions with “I don’t know yet.”
  • Madi joins the Walrus crew!!!  But as an equal to Flint!!
  • Woodes Rogers wants to be the good guy so badly.  But Jack eloquently and brutally puts him in his place.

Jack:  Do you have a wife?
Rogers:  I do.
Jack:  How do you imagine she would feel if she were told you were suffering some awful, degrading abuse and that the only way she could end it would be to betray your trust?  How do you think she would feel if she betrayed you, knowing she likely lost that trust forever, and then learned the whole thing was based on a ruse?  And no one was harmed.  We’re all villains in Nassau.  Don’t think because you’re new you’re any different.

  • Max is legitimately upset that Spain now requires Jack along with the cache, meaning she lied to Anne.  Eleanor fights to protect Anne, knowing how much Max loves her.  THIS IS JUST SO GOOD.  This is how exes should treat each other.

“That fucking chair.  To gain it, it demands you win partners, call them friends, make them promises.  To keep it, it demands you break them all.  One day when all is settled here, we should burn that fucking chair.”

  • Max discusses the cost of becoming Eleanor in the same episode that Silver realizes the cost of becoming Flint!  Good writing.
  • Max warns Eleanor that Rogers will abandon her if she continues to compromise his position with his men…so Eleanor sleeps with him (her go-to desperate power move).  And I just?  I know some people see their love story as great, and I can see that Eleanor does love Rogers.  But this is not real love.  She doesn’t trust that he loves her back.  This is just Vane 2.0!  I don’t ship it.
  • Vane finds Featherstone, who gets Idelle.  I love this new, temporary triumvirate.  Featherstone is worried that Rogers is a shit, and I am too!
  • Madi and Eme!!  I love that Eme is still around, and more than that, that she’s secretly Mr. Scott’s agent!  Black Sails writers, continuing to ask the good questions: “How can we make our female characters even more awesome?”

“I undertand this is the place cowards come to beg forgiveness from a king.  Sign your name to sleep easy, thinking all your sins have been absolved.  But some sins even a king can’t make clean.  You, all of you, every last rotten fuck on this island has crossed a man far less forgiving than old George will ever be.  I come as his right hand.  I come on a mission of mercy, to show you a path to his forgiveness.  I come on behalf of Captain Flint.”
“Captain Flint is dead.”
“Not anymore, he’s not.”

  • It is VERY GOOD to have Dufresne pop up and remind us of who Silver used to be, right before Silver reminds us who he is now by stomping Dufrense’s head in.  Repeatedly.
  • “Contented men have short memories”  vs. “My name is John Silver, and I’ve got a long fucking memory” is SO GOOD.
  • Caregiver Flint is ALSO my favorite (along with Revolutionary Flint and Strategist Flint, if you’re keeping score), and his going to Silver and asking, “Are you alright?  I wasn’t asking about the leg,” does so many things to my heart!  And just like Eleanor and Max, we get two colleagues discussing the cost of power.

Flint:  You were right.  About the toll it took, playing this part.  Losing Miranda, the things that losing Miranda drove me to.  So I know what you’re feeling in the moment.
Silver:  I perceived its effects on you.  What I assumed was sorrow, loneliness, and worst of all terror at the thing you were becoming.  There is an element of this journey into the dark that I’m only now beginning to appreciate.
Flint:  What’s that?
Silver:  How good it feels.

  • My question is:  is this true of Flint as it is of Silver?  Did Flint enjoy the darkness?  He explicitly told Miranda that he hated his role as Flint more and more every day.  We’ve seen him do horrible things and then hide somewhere to cry.  On the other hand, I have a hard time believing he doesn’t derive SOME satisfaction in what he does (especially things like destroying Charles Town).  What do you think?  Is Silver misreading Flint and experiencing something separate?
  • Mrs. Mapleton is madam again, and she reveals the origin story of Eleanor/Max!  Which is basically that she suggested Eleanor get her rocks off with no emotional attachment, but then Eleanor got emotionally attached.  This makes me love her even more, actually?  It’s very Moulin Rouge.
  • Flint smiling at Rogers sitting on the beach oozes “Finally, a match for me.”  This is made extra satisfying when we remember that Rogers’ plan actually came from Eleanor!
  • Flint’s FACE when he’s greeted with Rogers saying, “Lord Thomas Hamilton.”  He was NOT expecting that.  But as he is phenomenal, he regains his footing and smirks a, “Clever” at Rogers’ transparent ploy to align Flint with him.

Flint:  So that’s what this is.  We’re all reasonable men, we all want the same thing?  You offer me a pardon, I accept it, this all ends?
Rogers:  Maybe.  The pardons are on the table.  No one is being hanged.  No one’s even being tried.  They’ve all been forgiven, just as you wanted.  Just as Thomas Hamilton wanted.  So what is it that you’re fighting for that I’m not already offering?
Flint:  Thomas Hamilton fought to introduce the pardons to make a point.  To seek to change England.  And he was killed for it.  His wife and I went to Charles Town to argue for the pardons, to make peace with England, and she was killed for it.  England has shown herself to me, gnarled and gray and spiteful of anyone who would find happiness under her rule.  I’m through seeking anything from England except for her departure from my island.

  • It must feel so good to say Thomas’s name out loud, to school some arrogant guy who thinks he understands Thomas and get to say, “I know every nuance of Thomas’s plan, LET ME TELL YOU IT.”
  • I totally forgot how that scene with Anne played out!  I was so upset for her, and then Vane appeared, and I was so relieved!
  • Anne and Vane (and Featherstone and Idelle) are very smart!  Now that Jack and the cache are in the same place, it forces people who couldn’t care less about Jack (i.e. Flint) to rescue him in order to retrieve the cache.
  • It’s VERY enjoyable to see all my favorite pirates on the same ship.  Jack isn’t there, but they’re talking about him, which I feel he would find satisfactory.
This whole “Flint jumps into the seafoam and the camera pans up his body” shot was wonderful.

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

0 comments on “Black Sails Season 3 Episode 7 Review – XXV

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: