TV Recap

Black Sails Season 3 Episode 8 Review – XXVI

Rogers comes under attack while moving a prisoner.  Violence erupts on the Walrus.  Silver and Madi are put to a test.  Billy sees a new role for himself in the coming battle.

(Summary provided by


That first scene between Flint and Vane in Miranda’s house is so great.  I love Flint’s growing comfort with vulnerability, first and foremost simply by allowing Vane, Anne, and Billy into his private world.


Madi!  God, she is such a great leader.  She makes it look effortless in a world in which we’ve seen leaders scrabbling to hold on to any scrap of power.  She’s so regal and confident, but when Silver assumes that is all there is to her, she reveals an undercurrent of deep emotion that she keeps at bay so that she can do her duty well.  I love her!


It’s tiny, but I love Flint’s frustrated snap, “Please, don’t touch that,” when Vane plays the same musical note over and over and over.


Here’s a question for you:  At this point in the series, does Flint think of VANE as his primary partner more than Silver?  I joked about Flint wanting his city-sacking buddy in my review of 305, but in this episode we see that he’s invited Vane into his private home.  This is a level of intimacy not afforded to Silver, though that’s arguably because there was never the need or opportunity.  I was also struck by Flint’s insistence on going after a captured Vane by himself and his conflicted decision to let Billy rescue him.

I don’t know, I just got a real “unlikely pairs” vibe from Flint and Vane discussing domesticity and comfort, and it made me think of their partnership as more significant than I previously assumed.  Maybe it’s not fair to compare Vane and Silver…but it’s kind of fun to!  If forced to choose between the two of them, which do you think Flint would choose as partner at this point in the series?



  • Vane makes a casually sexist comment about how men shouldn’t desire domesticity, and Flint doesn’t have time for that shit.

Flint:  You have no instinct towards earning for yourself a life more comfortable?
Vane:  I don’t.  And had I that instinct, I would resist it with every inch of will I could muster.  For that is the single most dangerous weapon they possess, the one they tempt.  ‘Give us your submission, and we will give you the comfort you need.’  No, I can think of no measure of comfort worth that price.

  • Thank you, Vane, for summarizing my conflicted feelings about civilization so well!  YES, England offers comfort (stability, etc), but at the cost of submission.
  • It’s fitting that a former slave would be the one able to see through the lie.  Huh, but it’s interesting that another former slave, Max, very much buys into civilization’s offer of comfort.  Wow, I continue to love how complex this show is!

Anne:  We miss that caravan, you lose what?  Money?  Your war?  What I got to lose ain’t something so easy to recover from.

  • Whereas previously people partnered because they shared the same immediate goal, the pirates of Nassau have evolved.  Flint says they’re all attacking the caravan for their own reasons, but that they must stay united.  It’s not necessarily unselfish, but it is a new level of trust.

“There’s a whole world out there that every so often rewards ambition.  Mark my words:  today the crumbs, tomorrow the loaf.  Perhaps someday the whole damn boulangerie.”

  • Jack uttering these words in a prison to a rat is the perfect blend of regret and hope.
  • Silver and Madi almost flirting about Silver’s nautical ignorance is lovely.  I love Madi for asking him about his descent into darkness (stomping in Dufresne’s head) to check in on his mental state.  It’s says a lot about his level of intimacy with both that he tells Madi it’s an experience he doesn’t want to repeat, but he told Flint that it felt good.
  • That scene with Max and the Eleanor surrogate is the most sexually explicit scene we’ve gotten in a good long while.  It’s interesting that this is an Eleanor surrogate and not an Anne surrogate – is that supposed to mean something?
  • Max realizes that Anne must have given up the cache for a reason, and she tells Eleanor and everyone else.  This is, to me, her real betrayal.
  • I am so torn between being mad at Max and Eleanor for trying to frustrate Anne/Flint’s plan and being mad at all the dumb men who don’t listen to them.
  • When Dobbs attacks a Maroon sailor, Silver has three options:  1) kill the Maroon, 2) let the Maroon attack Dobbs, or 3) let Madi decide.  My appreciation of him rises significantly for choosing option 3.  When an oppressed group is oppressed, the privileged people have to step back and let them explain what they want to be done.
  • Jack’s complete confidence in Anne’s love is *Chef’s finger kiss*
  • I just can’t be bothered to care about Hornigold even the tiniest amount.
  • We now know Jack’s backstory, which explains both his proclivity for fancy clothes and his preoccupation with establishing his name.

“‘You people, incapable of accepting the world as it is,’ says the man to whom the world handed everything.  If no Anne, if no rescue, if this is defeat for me, then know this.  You and I were neck and neck in this race right till the end, but Jesus, did I make up a lot of ground to catch you.”

  • That is, hands down, my favorite Jack speech of ALL TIME.
  • And Rogers’ response about “all you know about me is what I want you to know” is okay, whatever.  You’re scary.  But that does not at all address Jack’s accusation of privilege, you ninny.
  • That whole carriage attack!!  Excellent action!  Excellent tension!  Flint and Billy leave with the cache, assured that the rest will be right behind.  Vane, Jack, and Anne get a lovely triumvirate moment.  Jack and Anne leave, assured that Vane will be right behind.  Vane and Woodes Rogers fight and it is SO desperate and painful.  AUGH.
  • This deserves it’s own bullet point:  Anne’s look of horror when she thinks Jack is dead, and that A+ smooch when she realizes he’s alive.  Jack’s post-kiss “ow” is icing on the cake.

“You can just imagine what that was like, asking him to accept what was done to him at the hands of men who look so very much like those he watched murder his parents when he was a boy.”

  • I love that this show never lets us forget the risk the Maroons are taking by partnering with white pirates.  But Madi refuses to fight the small battles that will compromise the war despite her fear and anger.  She is the best leader we’ve had on this show.
  • Silver is clearly impressed by Madi, as he ought to be.  But he doesn’t trust his men to obey him with the same level of devotion and loyalty that hers have, so Dobbs is sneak-attacked belowdecks.  In the pirate world, fear is still more powerful than love.
  • Is the Flint/Vane ship tagline “I can’t let someone else hang you” because it should be.
  • Flint is pretty obviously comparable to Madi here, making the hard decision to give up the small battle (rescuing Vane) in order to keep the war going.  I love them both so much.
  • I like that Woodes Rogers knows Eleanor’s worth, but man, it’s annoying that he is still questioning whether or not he can trust her.  Although kudos to his concern:  “I’m asking you to tell me the truth about what you’re capable of right now.”  He’s worried about her power and how she’ll wield it, which earns him a few points.
  • Eleanor admits she first partnered with Rogers because she thought that would get her close enough to Vane to exact revenge for the murder of his father.  I like that she hasn’t forgotten.  So many horrible things happen in this show that it’s easy to think, “But that was last season.”  Let’s be real, though.  Bad father or not, Eleanor’s “boyfriend” straight up murdered her last family member because she rescued a girl who would have made him money.  I think that’s earned her a season’s vendetta.

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

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