TV Recap

Black Sails Season 3 Episode 10 Review – XXVIII

Rogers and his forces come for the pirates.  Rackham and Bonny face impossible odds.  Silver demands answers from Flint.  Billy crowns a king.

(Summary provided by


Flint stares down a charging horse, kneels, reloads his gun, and shoots Hornigold dead.  This is just so perfectly symbolic of how unstoppable he is despite the odds being staked against him.


Anne!  It is so satisfying to see her being her best piratey self, swimming with the vanguard to board an enemy ship.  And SHE’S the one to call out the order for one English ship to fire on the others.


Cannonfire hits Teach’s ship, who stands at the bow unmoved.  Jack, meanwhile, ducks beside him, then quickly stands and glances at Teach to see if he noticed.  I adore the big dog/little dog relationship these two have.



Season three spent a lot of time showing us varying styles of leadership as we watched Silver struggle with his newfound authority.  We’ve seen him learn from both Flint and Madi, and in this episode, it seems clear that he has tried to carve out a path that incorporates the best of both of them.  Essentially, if Flint is feared and Madi is liked, Silver believes (based on his interactions with Dobbs) that he is both feared and liked.  Put this way, I almost believe that his leadership style is the most effective.

But there is another angle worth exploring.  In his conversation with Flint, Silver explicitly states what emotions he and Flint inspire in the men, and I will add my own thoughts about Madi.  Flint inspires resentment in his crew, likely because he withholds his intentions and affections.  Silver inspires shame in his men, explicitly because they’re desperate to please him.  Madi, I believe, inspires loyalty in her people, because they trust her family’s ruling ability.  In this light, Madi’s leadership style clearly seems the best option.  We’ve seen Flint lose and regain his position multiple times because of an ongoing cycle of silence and resentment.  The shame that Silver inspires immediately sounds like civilization’s ploy of offering comfort with the threat of punishment looming overhead.  Madi is the only one that seems even remotely healthy.

In summation, everyone should be like Madi.  Obviously.


  • Flint/Silver/Jack is a great trio that I wish we could have more of.

“You [Silver] they trust above any of us not to betray for money.  The irony wasn’t lost on either of us.”

  • Literally every line between Flint and Silver during these late night flashbacks deserves to be over-analyzed, but I’ll try to just pick and choose a few of the highlights.
  • Silver is having second thoughts as he thinks about the blood that’s about to be spilt.  Flint sincerely but kind of carelessly says that he just wishes it weren’t necessary.  This seems to me another example of Flint’s enormous experience with making life or death decisions, which just highlights Silver being new to the role.  Or looked at another way, Flint is so focused on the big picture that he doesn’t see individual lives lost, while Silver can.
  • Indeed, Hornigold says much the same thing to the English officer who asks, “Am I to believe he sacrificed over fifty of his men, led them into a massacre deliberately, just to entice us to chase him?”  “He’s quite capable of what you suggest and more.”
  • In another man, these decisions would seem reckless or evil, but Flint’s redeeming quality is that he never puts someone in danger without being in similar danger himself.
  • The partnership between Eleanor and Max is breaking down after the events of the last episode.  Max doesn’t want to make enemies if she doesn’t have to, but Eleanor is buying into England’s belief that making concessions equals weakness.

“You have enemies here.  Let them be my enemies as well.”

  • Okay, FINE, that was actually a really romantic scene between Eleanor and Woodes Rogers.  He supports her, and I’m really glad she has that.
  • Jack is super smart for identifying the pirate fleet.  Teach tells both him and Anne that Charles is dead.  Teach joins the cause, saying, “The governor in Nassau hung him in the square.  On the island I helped build, he thought he could do that and face no consequences.  He failed to account for me.”  *shivers*  I love badass Teach!  Not that there’s actually any other kind.
  • FLINT TELLS SILVER ABOUT THOMAS!!!  My heart explodes from pride at my good boy being vulnerable and my other good boy listening and empathizing and there being no shame between the two of them!!!

Flint:  So you see yourself as a potential fourth member of this class, concerned that your association with me will lead to your end.
Silver:  My association with you began out of necessity, but I’ve come to find a great deal of respect for you.  Perhaps even friendship.  Which is why I find myself unnerved by the thought that when this pattern applies itself to you and I that I will be the end of you.
Flint:  Is that so?
Silver:  Well, the three who preceded me all had one thing in common: they were vulnerable to you.  Had more to lose than you, less means with which to protect themselves than you.  Until recently, I thought that was me as well, but now I don’t know that it is anymore.
Flint:  It is natural for men new to power to assume that it has no limits.  Trust me.  It does.

  • God, I could watch entire seasons of these two talking to each other and engaging in sexy sexy power struggles.
  • The whole “is Dobbs betraying them or not” thing is done Very Well.

Teach:  You can count the things that Flint and I agree upon on one hand.  But among them is the sincere confusion as to why Charles invested any time and energy in you.  I suppose Flint’s come to see that there might be some capacity in you after all.
Jack:  And?
Teach:  And what?
Jack:  “And” as in it sounded as if there was more to that thought.  That you might see yourself agreeing with him again about my capacity.  There wasn’t any more to that thought, was there?

  • Jack’s fanboy adoration of Teach is SO CUTE.
  • And then we get his amazing, “To be underestimated is an incredible gift.”  What a perfect pirate position, to use England’s prejudice against her.  AND Jack gets the added bonus of acknowledging that Teach underestimates him, but that perhaps he shouldn’t.
  • Madi wants to be fighting beside her people, and when she appears next to Silver, he silently hands her a musket.  No trying to protect her bullshit, just respect for her decision and confidence in her ability.
  • Similarly, Jack wishes Anne well as she leaves to take over an English ship.  He knows she’s awesome, and his smile when she successfully uses one ship to attack another!!  He loves his badass partner!

“See you on the other side.”

  • Every time Silver talks about being liked and feared, I cannot help but think of Michael Scott’s “Would I rather be feared or loved?  Umm…easy, both.  I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
  • Honestly, this whole conversation is Shark Date 2.0 in which Silver is desperate for Flint to take him seriously (much like Jack/Teach).
  • Anne defeats the English ships!!  Flint defeats the English soldiers!!  It’s all so amazing and well planned and I looooove it.
  • Flint kills Hornigold, and no one feels bad about it.
  • “Tell your governor – you tell him I’m coming!”  Me: AHHHHH.

“In terms of our future and the danger that you believe you may pose to me, bear this in mind.  I have survived starvation, a tempest, pirate hunters, jealous captains, mutinous crews, angry lords, a queen, a king, and the goddamn British navy.  So to whatever extent you may be concerned that some day we will clash, worried that though today we be friends, some day you will have no choice but to be my end, I wouldn’t worry too much.”

  • Me, again:  AHHHHH.
  • I know that Luke Arnold claimed this scene was two friends sincerely concerned for each other, but in context, the whole thing reads as rather sinister.
  • Billy creates the legend of Long John Silver because he doesn’t want to hand any more power to Flint.  Interestingly, he seems to think the problem is Flint himself, when we have seen throughout this season that the problem is in the power itself, and how it forces men and women to make terrible decisions.
  • My bias is showing, but I can’t stop thinking that Silver’s legend is being built for him, whereas James fought to create his Flint persona all on his own.

“I was no one, and then you came, and my island fell, and I became something else.  On the night I confiscated the pardon rolls, the night I started becoming, I made clear my position that there would be two sorts of men on the island going forward: those like Captain Vane, determined to stand by their oath to the very end.  And those like Captain Throckmorton, happy to be the first to betray it.  Captain Throckmorton’s black spot will not be the last.  Ignore it, and join him.  Heed it, and reclaim your place amongst us.  Until then, I remain Long John Silver.”

  • THAT ROUND TABLE, with Flint, Silver, Teach, Jack, Anne, Madi, and the Queen standing together!!!  Me, again and always:  AHHHHH.
  • And that’s the end of season three!  We started with the lonely Walrus crew trying to survive against the elements and ended with a united pirate alliance with former slaves, determined to defeat the British empire.  THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.

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

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