TV Recap

Black Sails Season 4 Episode 5 Review – XXXIII

Silver takes Flint’s life in his hands.  Billy drives a wedge.  Eleanor risks everything.  Rogers makes a stunning appeal.

(Summary provided by


What does Flint do while locked up in prison?  Read!  The fact that he keeps his finger in his place while talking with Eleanor proves that he is a true Reader, and my love for him therefore increases immeasurably.



Eleanor!  She is losing everything she worked so hard to achieve, and here at the end of all things, she’s acting more like a leader than ever before.  She’s level-headed, self-aware, and confident in a way that is truly beautiful to see.


FINALLY we get a break from the relentlessly gruesome violence of the last two episodes.  But our meditations on revenge continue, seen especially in Woodes Rogers’ meeting with Governor Raja in Havana.

In previous episodes, we learned Rogers’ tragic backstory about his brother dying, and this is the fuel that enflames his bloodlust.  But without all the drama Rogers demanded for his big reveal, Raja admits that he shares the exact same story, but worse – Rogers personally killed his brother under a flag of surrender.  Yet instead of becoming a blood thirsty maniac, Raja makes a calm decision for the good of his country.

Everyone has trauma in this story.  It’s what they allow that trauma to drive them to that really matters.  The fact that Rogers is wallowing in his is why he’s stuck in this desperate cycle of vengeance that actually leads to his betrayal of his own country, partnering with an enemy empire out of a misshapen pursuit of justice.


  • Silver is pissed after Flint made a deal with Eleanor in 404, and this entire episode is one huge question:  How will Silver react to Flint making a decision without him?
  • Eleanor refuses to allow Mrs. Hudson to tell Rogers about their baby.  She doesn’t want to use it as a pawn in this power struggle, which seriously shows how much she’s grown.

Billy:  Guaranteed?  When is anything ever–?  And you agreed to this?
Silver:  I didn’t agree to anything.  The offer was put to Captain Flint.  He had little time to decide.  I trust his judgment.

  • The crux of everyone’s relationship with Flint is whether or not they trust his judgment, but my favorite example of this is not with Silver.  It’s when Eleanor asks Flint how to fire warning shots at her husband’s, his enemy’s, ship.  Now THAT is trust.

“She says she knows that you will be angry, and that this will be hard for you to understand.  But she said…she said you should trust that her commitment to you remains inviolable and that this is no betrayal but an act of love.”

  • It seems as though Rogers stops his mania when reminded of Eleanor’s love for him.  It almost makes me like him, but then it’s revealed that he didn’t stop his attack but instead went for the kind of backup that literally haunts his wife’s nightmares.  What an asshole.  His arrogance and desperation have made him dangerously reckless.
  • I love how Silver talks to Billy carefully, but when relating everything that’s happened to Madi, he allows himself to be emotional.

Madi:  You know as well as I Billy cannot exist alongside Captain Flint for long.  Sooner or lager, one or the other must go.
Silver:  If we win Nassau even through surrender, we are still going to have to control it.  Without the resources afforded by the cache or the force supplied by Billy and his men, how the fuck do you imagine we’re going to do that?
Madi:  We will struggle through it, train men, gain strength through numbers, hunt for that which we need.  It will be difficult, but since when did we expect this would be anything else?
Silver:  Jesus.  You sound exactly like him.

  • Silver also loves them both because they are the same person, but unlike me, he is just now realizing that he’s fallen in love with a female Flint.
  • Actually, Madi is better than Flint.  She’s able to bring empathy and emotional connection to her cold-blooded tactical decisions, and this is what makes Silver trust her.

“If this goes away, Flint’s war, if it all ended and we had to walk away from it, would I be enough for you? … You know what?  You don’t have to answer that.”

  • Silver wants to be someone’s everything, but he keeps being drawn to people with big ambitions and ironclad wills to pursue them.
  • My love for Eleanor skyrockets when the first thing she asks Flint is to tell her about Mr. Scott.  And then I’m devastated as she realizes her father figure was using her.  And then I’m even more emotionally destroyed when Flint calmly reaffirms her.  And then I love Eleanor for her new self-awareness, and then Flint challenges her to look even harder, and GUYS THIS IS SUCH A GOOD SCENE.

Eleanor:  For so long, I thought I knew what I was.  A daughter who usurped her father.  A woman who had taken control of a wild place.  Scott was proof of that, the one who saw me that way too, who substantiated it.  And all that time, all he saw was a girl so ambitious she would never doubt his story.
Flint:  You did do all those things.
Eleanor:  I know I did.  But always with a man behind me doing his damnedest to bend it all to his benefit.  My father, Scott, Charles you.  So many goddamned men here.  Too many goddamned men here.
Flint:  Woodes Rogers.  He’s really so different from the rest of us?

  • Billy appeals to Silver’s self-importance by claiming he is a “rational man to lead Nassau.”  What?  I would never think that “rational” is Silver’s primary characteristic.  Billy doesn’t know Silver, which, uh, is going to be made even more evident very soon.
  • Silver sees through this, however, and calls him on it.  Everybody wants Silver on their side because while he’s still not a very good leader, he’s an incredible quartermaster.
  • Israel Hands is out to make him a better leader, though, taking a much more Tough Love approach than Flint ever did.  “I don’t give a shit what you choose, but fucking choose!  And don’t make me suffer the thinking,” is SUCH a great line.  Poor Silver, though.  He’s so conflicted.  He just doesn’t see what Flint and Madi see. (“The road they intend to travel is one I’m losing the ability to understand.”)
  • Rogers keeps talking about disorder in Nassau, as though that is its primary sin.  But I suppose that makes sense, because it clearly isn’t the murder or greed that offends him.  He knows civilization is built upon murder and greed, but disorder is one step too far.  I mean, he’d never do something so disordered as ask his country’s enemy to raze his citizen’s land to the ground, right?  UGH, you fucking hypocrite, Rogers.

“Flint will just keep pushing for these things, costly things that we pay for with our own suffering, with our own lives.  You know this.  You’ve always known this.  Sooner or later, it has to end.”

  • Billy isn’t exactly wrong, but what he doesn’t see is that Flint entirely believes in his vision to the point of suffering and offering his life along with his men.  He wants them to share in his dream and willingly give up their lives too.  In season 1, he hid his true motivation from his crew.  But now he’s a (mostly) open book.  He wants to lead an army of pirates and slaves to rebel against a corrupt empire that they all hate.  Billy is a few seasons behind.
  • But Silver isn’t.  He just doesn’t know if he hates England the way Flint does.  And I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen the first time I watched this.
  • BUT IT’S MADI WHO GREETS FLINT!!!  And it’s Billy who is betrayed!  This was all so well done, wow, A+.
  • Billy created “Long John Silver” and this was his own undoing.  Poor Billy only has one (1) supporter.  After Israel Hands is done, Billy has zero (0) supporters.
  • Jack’s on the beach instead of the cache, which is confusing for everyone involved.  Max appears in the fort and I realize that I completely forgot about Jack, Anne, and Max.

Flint:  It’s already agreed to.
Jack:  She agreed to it.  Her people agreed.  You’ve agreed.  But it’s all meaningless until he agrees.  Woodes Rogers.
Flint:  He left the island for Port Royal, as she asked, to await her arrival with the money.
Jack:  No, he hasn’t.  I watched him defeat Edward Teach in battle outnumbered and through sheer force of will.  I saw his bloodlust with my own eyes.  That man will never surrender his position here.  He will never allow himself to be defeated by you or I. Not because we bribed him, not because Eleanor Guthrie told him so.  He simply will not allow it to happen.  I don’t know where that man went or what designs drew him there, but this I know.  Woodes Rogers will be returning and this fight isn’t nearly over.

  • Flint trusted in civilization AGAIN, and once more it fucked him over.  Even when he gives it a cache of money and simply asks, “Go away,” civilization refuses to compromise.
  • THAT SPANISH FLEET THOUGH.  *covers eyes*

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

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