On Black Sails last week, we left with Flint handing himself over to Eleanor in a deal as Silver was adamant it was a bad idea. The damned Urqa gold! Everybody and their mother wants that booty.
Flint, as you remember, warmed to Eleanor’s collateral argument as she needs the money and he bought her “I want this all to end” speech.
Silver tells Billy Bones that the British, per Eleanor, will acquiesce and allow the pirates to take Nassau in exchange for the cash.
Eleanor’s handmaid Mrs. Hudson is the one who is sent to Woodes Rogers’ ship to deliver this news. “She has intended to surrender her position to secure your future together,” says the maid. Woodes loses his royal s**t.
The ever suspect (in my mind) Mrs. Hudson pleas with Rogers: “She says that she knows that you will be angry…[shots are suddenly fired] and you should trust that her loyalty to you remains inviolable.”
Meanwhile, Eleanor is watching all this unfold from the upper walkway of the fort. Flint is advising her as she commands that warning shots are fired at her husband’s ship.
They observe that Rogers appears now to be in retreat. His ship disappears off into the horizon as cheers and hurrahs are heard from the pirates who now think they have the upper hand.
Back to Silver. He painstakingly explains to a disbelieving Bones that an agreement based on trusting Flint’s judgment was made. None of this changes the fact that Bones hates Flint’s guts.
Madi and Silver have a private chit chat. He tells her Flint has given up the gold for this entire deal of Nassau becoming ground zero for the pirate-slave resistance.
No one wants to give up that dough! Madi is bereft. She says: “So much to give up… but I think you made the right decision.”
Silver is like, ‘You are the best girlfriend ever!”
Kidding. He’s pretty much in total shock. She tells him the sorry state of affairs in the alliance between the slaves and the pirates because, duh, Billy.
They have their first lover’s quarrel over Mr. Bones and how to handle him. Madi is given the “if we had to just walk away from all of this am I enough for you?’ test by Silver. She scored a C-.
We return to Flint and Eleanor, our educated and pragmatic duo, deep in the bowels of the fort and lost in a meaningful discussion.
They revisit the dead Mr. Scott, and how his family is still alive despite the tale told by Rogers’ men that they were all slaughtered.
An existential crisis erupts for Eleanor who doubts her very meaning and purpose in Nassau. She learns that Woodes is in the same woodpile as her dad, Charles Vane, and as she describes — “all the goddamned men here.”
Back with Woodes Rogers, he gives her handmaid Mrs. Hudson a speech despite her protestations about Eleanor’s motives. Woodes believes that Eleanor’s reasoning is flawed based on her lack of belief that Nassau is redeemable. Woodes is in it to win it fighting these pirates.
Rogers tells Mrs. Hudson: “There is very little I wouldn’t do to protect my wife.” Shock of shocks, we find out fast he has rolled up into Havana, Cuba!
Mind you that this is enemy territory. Spain and England are at war. Rogers is on an English Man of War ship, and he is smack dab into Spaniard territory.
Woodes Rogers speaks Spanish! They cruise into Havana with warships on each side of the ship and que sera sera, with a stiff upper lip as good British soldiers are known to do, a brave Woodes requests parlay with the governor there.
Edward Teach’s rotten head is his calling card. A smelly but totally awesome moment as Woodes’ dangerous bet that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ so to speak, will actually work. He is brought to the Spanish governor’s quarters.
Back to Nassau. Billy is now making his case with Silver. He’s not interested in upholding Flint’s deal and gives zero f***s about the slaves except he is happy if they want to chill and call New Providence Island home.
So Silver is back to square one. How to appease Madi, keep the peace with his lover and keep Flint’s head on his body.
While Silver sits alone in his study pondering this big fat mess, it becomes the perfect moment for Israel Hands to pop up out of nowhere and make a surprise appearance.
He can’t take a hint to leave and then offers his unasked-for advice.
All Silver’s dithering over this Flint-Bones situation has Hands lose his mind and bitch-slap Silver not once, but twice!
In the best line ever, Hands says: “Why should I follow you if you don’t know…f****** choose! Don’t make me suffer the thinking!”
Back in Havana, Woodes’ gamble so far is paying off. He meets the governor there and argues that despite their countries’ waging war, their immediate and localized objectives are more in line with each other’s.
Woodes says: “Their [England and Spain’s crown] war is meaningless to me…I came to Nassau to combat piracy, to defeat it…but my enemy has remade itself since then…inciting others, slaves to join their fight.”
Rogers argues that it won’t be long until the pirate-led insurgency that has the slaves all fired up, potentially causing the Spanish slaves in Cuba and other Spanish-held territories to rise up and revolt too.
After being asked why he didn’t seek help from the other British colonies, Rogers tells the Spanish governor that the New World [America] is useless in aiding his fight. Then he brings up that damned Urqa gold.
“They are paying for their war with your money,” says Rogers. That pisses off the Spanish governor to no end.
Woodes arranges a plan for the Spaniards to invade Nassau and spare the fort [and ostensibly Eleanor]. “I simply ask that you burn it all to the ground,” says a very-pleased-with-himself Mr. Rogers.
Okay, back to the tiresome Billy Bones show. Silver is listening to his argument to hold on to the money. He comes to an accord with Billy as Hands looks on.
Cue the roll up by Madi who says, “what was that?”
Silver kisses her then walks away. Knitted brow from Madi.
Inside the fort, Eleanor shares the money has arrived. “It’s across the island,” she says as Silver has arranged an escort.
Flint tries to assuage Eleanor’s suspicions of Silver. But even Flint looks like he’s worried.
It appears an ambush is arranged by Silver and Bones. The men lay in wait.
But wait! It is Madi who greets Flint and Eleanor. A chilling moment as Billy is at another escape tunnel waiting to capture and kill Flint. He is told of Silver’s loyalty to Flint, leading to a showdown as old man Hands fights Bones and nearly kills him handily. Despite those big Bones’ python-sized arms.
So Eleanor, Flint and Madi’s people head to where the gold is except…calamity! It’s not there. They do see Jack Rackham on the beach. Rackham escaped the governor’s ship as Flint tells him the whole story of why they are there.
Needless to say, Rackham is not happy Flint offered the Urqa treasure to Eleanor. He also downloads Woodes Rogers’ tenacious and cruel nature to Flint, telling him the harrowing tale of Teach’s demise and then educates him, saying: “Woodes Rogers will be returning, this fight isn’t nearly over.”
And guess what?
It’s Max who spies a huge fleet of Spanish Man of Wars with Woodes leading the charge sailing into Nassau from the fort.
See you next week, mateys.
STARZ’ original series “Black Sails” on Sunday, February 26, at 9pm ET/PT.