Black Sails XXXV recap and review – Nassau’s future in the crossroads
Losses have been felt throughout the war for Nassau. Each side has faced devastating hits and betrayals that teetered the power struggled constantly. Now, Nassau is in ruin due to Woodes Rogers plan with Spanish Governor Raja. The island has succumbed to Spanish control very easily, with Captain Flint and John Silver struggling to proceed with their original plan. Unbeknownst to them that Rogers brought Spain with him, eventually they see Rogers unrelenting will to rid piracy at any cost. That cost was Eleanor Guthrie and Madi, the two wives of the two leaders in the war for Nassau. With their losses, both sides are in mourning but rising up to pursue their next steps. Rogers now controls Nassau but his forces and resources are dwindling and he no longer has Eleanor and Max to assist his efforts. Flint and Silver see their numbers grow as word of Nassau’s fall spread across the islands and many came to join the fight. Jack Rackham seemingly fled the battle but in hopes to secure resources from Eleanor’s grandfather. Black Sails XXXV inches one step closer to the finale, but the sides fighting for Nassau will soon encounter a new threat from a familiar face.
John Silver mourns the loss of Madi, as does her mother, but Silver pushes to lead the new crew that has arrived. Flint informs Silver that there is peace among the different pirates seeing as they all share a common goal and no one wants to be that person who leads it to failure. They discuss their next plan based on the circumstances while Flint counters with more troops available based on the slaves they can recruit and that they can sack Boston. Julius refutes their plan seeing as he wants to stay a free man and sees it as too risky to proceed against the new world. Madi’s mother steps in and asks Julius to leave with her. John Rackham eventually lands in Philadelphia and meets with Eleanor’s grandfather and instead of making a plea for assistance, he provides an opportunity to retake Nassau by purchasing Rogers’ debts and imprisoning him. In regards to Nassau, they can purchase the land and shape the regime that controls it while bringing justice to Eleanor. Eleanor’s grandfather declines as he doesn’t see Eleanor and Richard Guthrie as their family. As Rackham leaves, Eleanor’s grandmother requests to wait outside for her. Eleanor’s grandmother tells Rackham that she is interested in the proposal and that he must prove to her that it’s worth the effort.
Rogers mourns Eleanor’s death but eventually starts putting pieces together that led to her death. After Governor Raja left, he spoke to him about the missing Spanish gold and bounty on Rackham. He reveals to Mrs. Hudson that the Governor had already written off the Spanish gold due to the war efforts between Spain and England, but that he never requested Rackham’s arrest. Rogers sees that as a ploy set by Mrs. Hudson to ensure her freedom and feels that she manipulated Eleanor into pushing the deal and firing on Rogers when he tried to return to Nassau. As Mrs. Hudson pleaded her case to him, they are interrupted by Mr. Rauls to inform Rogers that he has completed dressing Eleanor’s body. He then tries to provide more information but Mrs. Hudson pleads to not reveal the information, which is that Eleanor was pregnant. Rogers, devastated by the news, apologizes to Eleanor’s body and is interrupted by one of his lieutenants. Billy has turned himself in and seeks to speak with Rogers. He reveals himself as Long John Silver and that it was his exploits and planning that led the uprising in Nassau. Billy informs Rogers on how to defeat Flint and Silver by dividing the two, which he claims to have tried and failed seeing as he didn’t have the right instrument to do so, but that Rogers does.
Rackham returns to the ship and informs Max that Eleanor’s grandfather rejected the proposal but reveals that Eleanor’s grandmother is the one who controls Guthrie’s operations and is interested in the plan. Rackham is to meet with her later and decides to bring Max as a means to help win their case. While they meet with Eleanor’s grandmother, she seeks that Mr. Oliver be convinced of their proposal being credible seeing as he runs their operations. While he views their plans, Eleanor’s grandmother tells them of story about Richard Guthrie and a never-ending cycle of him feeding a tomcat at a young age and his father’s disapproval. He would kick the tomcat and punish Richard, but the tomcat would return and it would never change. Max acknowledges the story and tells of Nassau’s endless cycle of revolt and progress not being made. She sees Eleanor has came close but didn’t see the truth about progress not being made until someone goes into the woods and drowns the cat. Max claims that they will move Nassau forward, and while Eleanor’s grandmother is intrigued by the plan, she asks Max, “What will you do when the cat fights back?”
A British messenger arrives and gives a letter meant for Silver. The queen receives it and informs Silver and Flint that Rogers is requesting the cache of gold in exchange for Madi or she will be executed. Madi’s mother is torn on the decision seeing that she wants Madi home, but she sees the gold as critical to their cause and their war efforts. By sneaking the gold out, it will cause distrust among the people on the island though Silver says to present the case to them and provide a choice seeing Madi’s importance to their cause. Flint feels that option being brought up will cause fighting among the men with sides being chosen. Despite Silver’s plea, Flint doesn’t agree with giving up the gold which causes friction for Silver. Flint sees this letter as a means to divide them and promises them they will sail to Nassau and bring Madi home. Rackham and Max prepare to depart for Nassau, but before doing so, Rackham reveals to Anne Bonny that even though Eleanor’s grandmother agreed to assist them, she wants Rackham to kill Flint as a means to prove to them that he can be trusted. While sailing to Nassau, Israel Hands speaks with Silver about Flint’s confidence in his plan to free Madi. Silver acknowledges his confidence but also in his own plan, to which Hands sees it as Silver has prepared for Flint’s failure by bringing the cache of gold with them. Hands sees two roads for Silver: to either let Flint have his way when the gold is discovered or to kill him.
The life of pirates is not without treachery. These paths that Silver and Flint has been crossed many times, but now Silver’s hand is being forced to make a decision. In order to save Madi, he must return the cache of gold. Even if Flint rescues Madi, the sight of the gold will show Silver’s betrayal and mistrust to the plan. Flint can react in several ways, but Silver controls the pirates and can have Flint killed easily. A hard decision that will be made, with repercussions to follow. Rogers may now have the means to defeat Silver and Flint with both of them now seemingly divided, and with Billy’s help, it could be enough to end the pirate regime. With Rackham’s plan to control Nassau and instill a new regime, he could be the one to rid piracy and control Nassau and Rogers. The two-sided war is seeing a new threat from Rackham and the Guthrie family, but will he follow through or decide to aid Flint? There are 3 episodes remaining in Black Sails and we’re close to seeing who will remain on top of Nassau.