TV Recap

Black Sails Season 4 Episode 6 Review – XXXIV

Nassau is delivered.  Silver makes a painful amends.  Flint and Madi are separated.  Rogers searches for Eleanor.

(Summary provided by


Flint’s last moments with Eleanor is one of my favorite Flint scenes in the entire show.  Despite earlier trying to convince Eleanor that Woodes Rogers was likely responsible for the Spanish invasion, he lies and tells her it isn’t true.  Flint is not one to lie in order to provide comfort, and that he does so here shows just how much he loved Eleanor.



Eleanor!  She became one of my favorite characters during this rewatch, and if she had to die, I’m so glad it was a death like this that perfectly showcased her desperation, quick thinking, and resourcefulness.  She is a messy character, but she tries so hard, and I love her for it.  RIP, Eleanor.


I’ve been going on about the cycle of vengeance in all its iterations this season, and in this episode I find that they’ve tricked me!  Silver gives Billy to the slaves to be beaten within an inch of his life in repayment for Billy’s betrayal of their partnership with the slaves.  And…I love it?  I’m so GLAD that Billy is paying for his sins.  This is why vengeance always endures.  No matter how right we may think forgiveness is, there is something so entirely appealing about making someone suffer for their crimes.

I really love that this show dives into emotional and moral complications, insisting that the cycle of vengeance is inherently unhelpful while also reminding us why it is so attractive.


  • Slaves being freed from their shackles is a needed bright spot in a very dark season.
  • Another show would make the relationship between Eleanor and Madi a simplisticly happy reunion.  Black Sailsforces us to consider how privilege and inequality impacted their relationship in profoundly deep ways.

“My father didn’t mistrust Flint.  My father mistrusted all of you.”

  • Jack threatens to kill Eleanor and/or Flint, but Eleanor cannot be bothered to take him seriously and just walks away.  I feel like this perfectly summarizes the entirety of their relationship.
  • Silver giving Billy to the slaves to be tortured is…super dark.  Like, darker than anything Flint has done, right?

Silver:  I did not want this.  Flint is my friend, but I know what he is.  I have no illusions about it.  But for all the dangers he presents, for all his offenses, the one thing he’s never done is force me to choose between him and you.  That, you did.

  • Billy responding to Silver’s patronizing speech of ‘forgiveness’ with “You chose.  Live with it” makes me like him more than I have in a long time.
  • I would love to see this episode from Julius’s POV.
  • I continue to be fascinated by Max and Jack’s relationship.  They are business partners, sometime lovers, partners to the same woman.  Their reunion is gut-wrenching because Jack is all emotion, and Max is all logic.  Still, he rescues her (for the first of two times this episode).
  • Flint and Eleanor talking about their former partnership is my everything!!!

“You know, there was a time not so long ago when you shared their concern, when you saw what I saw.  The benefits of being free of British rule.  To make the new world something more than just an extension of the old.  Is it so unthinkable that that might happen again?  You were a pirate once.  Stranger things have happened.”

  • Although Flint has been betrayed by Eleanor just as much as Jack has been betrayed by Max, their reunion has had SUCH a different tone.  They are still civil, and they seem to still respect each other.  Why is this?  Because they always knew who the other was – someone ambitious and cunning and not above changing sides for a better outcome.  Flint and Eleanor knew each other so well that their relationship could survive betrayal.
  • Speaking of changing sides, in an instant pirates and British soldiers must work together to defeat the new Spanish enemy.
  • Silver needs to learn to read a room:  sitting in a throne in ominous lighting is not a great way to propose partnership with newly freed slaves.
  • Woodes Rogers gets on land, sees destruction, murder, and rape all around him…but it’s not until he learns that Eleanor is at risk that he actually begins to care.  What an asshole.
  • I will forever love Jack for deciding to wait for his former partners despite recently learning that they were willing to give up his cache without his knowledge or assent.
  • Max reunites with Anne.  Max is so defensive, but when she sees Anne’s brutalized face, she sees the full ramifications of her decision.

Max:  I loved you, and I betrayed you.  But I cannot apologize for it.  I did what anyone would have done when confronted with the same impossible choices.  If I apologize, you will know it is a lie, and I do not wish to lie to you ever again.
Anne:  Leave.
Max:  No.  I am going to stay with you.  I want to take care of you.
Anne:  Get the fuck out.

  • No, Max, you didn’t do what anyone else would have done.  PLENTY of people did the exact opposite, in fact.

Eleanor:  One can be happy that way, can’t they?  A life of isolation and uncertainty, as long as it is lived with someone you love and who loves you back.  It is possible, isn’t it?
Madi:  It is.

  • Who is Madi talking about here?  Her mother, and the life they had on Maroon Island?  Or Silver, and the life they might have in the future?  If it’s Silver, that seems to contradict her earlier silence when he asked if he was enough for her.
  • Silver hears the Spanish coming around the back over the din of battle?  Um, okay.
  • Madi and Eleanor share a smile, which is so great but FUCK FUCK FUCK you can see the Spanish soldier standing in the background flexing his hands and it’s so creepy!!!
  • Eleanor’s final fight is so desperate and beautiful.  She survives so much, and if that isn’t a symbol of her entire life, I don’t know what is.  I also really admire the show for how sexual assault is depicted:  we keep the female POV and never disempower her.
  • When she kills the Spanish soldier, she immediately goes to Madi, MY HEART.
  • Flint sees Miranda’s house on fire and Eleanor’s body.  The two most important women in his life.  😦

Eleanor:  Was he with them?  My husband?
Flint:  No, he isn’t.

  • MY HEART.  Flint cradles Eleanor’s face as she dies, and his own face is just utter devastation and hopelessness.
  • Eleanor’s last words are: “Madi.  I tried to save her.”  But it doesn’t look like Madi made it out of the burning house.
  • In the wake of Madi’s death, Silver says of the rebellion, “It’s over.”  But Flint orchestrates a tactical retreat, insisting upon saving everyone.  They’re acting as good partners here, even if they are not in emotional agreement.

“It wasn’t supposed to end like this.  How can we all have sacrificed so much and none of us has anything to show for it?”

  • Finally, some emotion from Max.  I think her fierce adherence to calm logic is why I have felt so disconnected from her.  Now that she’s drowning, I like her a little bit.
  • Continuing with the theme of “emotional investment changes everything,” Max finally sees civilization’s true face and wants revenge.  But…by going to a different version of civilization.  What makes her think this time will be any different?
  • Honestly, I understand and almost agree with Max’s “fight civilization from the inside” philosophy.  But…it didn’t work.  Not that fighting from the outside worked either.  The moral of the story?  Changing society for the better is messy and complicated, and it takes all kinds of people fighting all kinds of battles.
  • Woodes Rogers finds Eleanor’s corpse.  By bringing Spain to Nassau, he murdered his wife, and none of his enemies were killed.  YOU IDIOT.
  • Silver is absolutely gutted and is grieving for Madi.  Flint puts his hand on Silver’s shoulder.  I can’t read whether or not Silver’s “It wasn’t your fault” is truthful or just a means to get Flint out of the room.  My poor babies!
  • BUT THEN.  The pirate revolution has grown enormously on Maroon Island!!  The first time I watched the series I was SUUUUPER depressed by this point, and seeing all these pirates determined to join the cause gave me hope so intense it felt physical.

“They came from other islands, the colonies, maroons from camps like this one, pirates from as far away as Massachusetts.  They heard that Nassau had fallen, and they came to join us.  The revolution you promised has begun!”


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

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