This week’s Black Sails episode, XXXVI, was the expected turning point between Flint and Silver as seeded by Mr. Billy Bones.
The show opens with a cloaked Woodes Rogers who rides anonymously in the night, as he reveals himself in what appears to be his search for something valuable and enters the room where Billy is found tied up.
It appears that he is in Flint’s old home, being slowly consumed by jungle rot.
Rogers reminds Billy their fates are linked. Avery’s journals are discovered. More secrets spill as Billy cautions that the bad blood that “happened with Gates and Flint…will happen with Flint and Silver”.
Flint and Silver are together and Silver has questions. He makes a powerful statement, saying: “Assume your war begins and spreads throughout the new world.
“I saw what came of Nassau when it was touched by it — the first instant it was deprived of Eleanor Guthrie’s commerce, Jack Rackham’s prosperity or Woodes Rogers’ oppression.
“There’s nothing in Nassau but horror, so it’s just a transition, there’s something better, meaningful. But what if that isn’t so?
“What if the result of this war isn’t beyond the horror. What if it is the horror itself? Have you given this any thought at all?”
Ready for freedom and a break from the mothership of the British Empire, Flint takes it all in.
He says: “If we are to truly reach a moment where we might be finished with England, cleared the way to make room for something else…there most certainly lies a dark moment between here and there, a moment of terror where everything appears to be without hope.
“I know this. But I cannot believe that there is all there is. I cannot believe that we are so poorly made as that.
“Incapable of surviving in the state in which we are born? Grown so used to the yoke that there can be no progress without?”
Silver responds and agrees it is a lot to wager on blind faith. Their idealism is being stripped away. Cash is critical, as much as the notion of autonomy and self-governance that they cling to in hopes and dreams.
Our Bonny lass Anne is on the mend. Max tends to her in very intimate gestures as she shares she does not entirely trust Marion, Eleanor’s laser-intense grandmother.
She clasps Anne’s arm, who recoils. “Why you doing this?” Anne says. “Talking about us, like it’s a thing?”
At this moment in time, it appears their love is irretrievably snapped in two. She will not forgive Max, saying: “It broke. There ain’t no putting it back together again.”
Meanwhile, Rogers is on high alert to find the crucial stash of gems and money. He is getting pushback from his English troops and Mr. Soames (Adam Neill) warns him he will have a mutiny on his hands if he persists in his plans.
Mrs. Hudson appears to be packing up Eleanor’s effects. Ever the inquisitive one, she happens upon a diary. Rogers spies her reading Eleanor’s diary and asks her to ready his things, as he is setting sail suddenly.
Boom. That quickly, Rogers slips in behind Flint and Silver’s ship and Billy Bones’s treachery is now made evident by his accompanying Rogers.
Through the spyglass, they see executions one by one, and Madi makes her appearance on deck. Silver is stunned to see his lover alive, but now immediately in harm’s way.
Woodes is killing them all systematically with a firearm. Silver is desperate and despite Flint’s call to battle, he orders the men to signal the ship with Rogers and uses his spyglass to see the treasure hoisted high.
Madi is spared. Flint is enraged and walks away as Silver orders the men to set sail in pursuit of Rogers.
Back on Nassau, Mrs. Hudson pays a visit to the old madame. Using the lure of being included back on the council of Nassau, Hudson blabs about the journal and proposes a treason plot, all so she can go back to London.
Chortling to herself, the madame goes to open a door to reveal Jack Rackham on the lam, who was given the intel right from her mouth.
As expected, Flint and Silver are now at full loggerheads and argued over the cash, the revolution, and Madi. The journey to Skeleton Island is underway.
Silver is on fire saying how he had always dropped everything to follow Flint. “Goddamn it, right now you are going to return the favor!” he shouts at Flint — saying Madi was now his number one concern, not the war.
Flint acquiesces. He throws his support behind Silver.
Cut to Anne, more recognizable every moment in scene as she recuperates in Philadelphia. Using the world’s dirtiest knife she tries to cut a piece of bread. Not happening. She learns Jack went off to hunt Captain Flint. She also learns of the depth of Max’s love for her.
Back with Eleanor’s grandmother, Marion has got Max exactly where she wanted her for her purposes. She says to Max: “Walk with me.”
Off Max and Marion go, and she shows Max the pirates off the shore of Philadelphia. After sharing how prosperous her port was in relation to Europe’s richest port towns, she says: “There will be civilization here, where will the pirates be?”
Eleanor’s happiness is discussed. Marion wanted Eleanor to seek her out, stroll together in Boston and learn the ways of the world. Those dreams were dashed.
Now, Marion wants to cement her partnership with Max. A societal dope is marked at a party, pointed out by Marion to Max in hopes her plan will entice.
An elaborate plan to marry off Max to a well-heeled easily manipulated man emerges.
Calico Jack Rackham is shown an inebriated man said to know the way to Skeleton Island. He is trying to sort the machinations of Flint’s demise and end Woodes Rodgers’ run for the cash and gems.
Cut to Israel Hands. You know what I am about to say. The negative scheming pirate has totally poisoned the well of Silver’s truce with Flint.
Dashing back to Philly, and captured in a magical dancing snowstorm, swaddled in a coat and looking like an angel, Max tearfully tells Anne her true feelings for her, and says: “It happened.”
Marion was denied her plan, Max refuses the offer to marry the monied man.
Anne is silenced. Max says: “I said no to Marion Guthrie’s plan…despite having no alternative and at the risk of losing the entire endeavor because I refuse to situate a man in a position where he might interfere one day with my ability to repair things with you.
“You are the bravest person I have ever known. The truest person I have ever known and I betrayed you and it sickens me.”
Anne doesn’t know what to say. There is hope, apparently.
Flint tells us the best pirate story so far — the tale of Avery’s plans, a ship that set sail in 1636 where 31 sailors were slaughtered, found dismembered and ripped apart on the ship. Flint says: “They ate each other alive.”
Shrouded in an ominous fog, Skeleton Island is determined to be a haunted and evil place. Flint tells his closest crew what they are up against heading there.
He knows the lore. Whether fact or fiction he wants no part of it, and says: “Mr. Silver I fear is compromised in this regard. I find myself in need of a new partner.”
Guess who shows up to spoil the fun? Israel Hands, saying: “I tried to tell him. We fight, only two outcomes I can see. Either way, he’s [Silver] going to blame me.”
Hands tells Flint to go and they abscond with the treasure chests. Then Hands wakes Silver to show him Flint made off with the treasure.
Silver meets Rogers on his ship knowing Flint took the dough. He tells him his six best men are tracking Flint, saying: “I instructed them to kill him.”
Black Sails XXXVI airs Sundays at 9/8c on STARZ.