Black Sails ‘XVI’ Recap and Review

Warning: Contains spoilers for tonight’s episode of Black Sails


With Flint’s grand plan in play and a future for the pirates and New Providence, the crew sail toward Charleston with Abigail Ashe. With one plan set in motion, another one brews with the gold still on the beach ready to be taken by whoever seeks it. John Silver tasks Max with finding a crew willing to retrieve it and split the share. With Jack Rackham stepping in to claim it, the only obstacle in his way is his own crew seeing as Jack can’t include them in the share. Episode ‘XVI’ is one voyage toward salvation and another toward riches, but both leading on a collision course to each other.

With the start of the episode, we see Abigail writing in a journal about her adventure back home. With comparison from the stories she’s heard from her father and her previous captors, she sees the pirate crew of Captain Flint as sailors with the task of delivering her and ensuring her safety. Though what good treatment she receives from the crew appears to be a sign of their past lives, she fears that Flint may choose to allow them to harm Abigail. Her narration shows she’s truly unaware of what the crew has been through and what salvation lies ahead of them should Flint succeed.

XVI-1While Flint and his crew sail toward Charleston, Featherstone is agitated with Jack and Max giving his orders to empty their ship, the Colonial Dawn. Given that there is no real reason to empty ship than to fill it with a huge load later, Featherstone is unsure he can convince the crew that he ‘needs to refigure how the ship carries the weight’ without doubting. Besides that, he also is concerned of bringing back the gold without no one in his crew knowing it’s there. And where do they unload it and keep it? With Max’s persuasion, she urges Featherstone to keep unloading as planned.

While Featherstone and Idelle argue, a prostitute overhears their argument and is revealed to be an informant for Mrs. Mapleton and heads to her with news. She informs her that Featherstone, Max, and Jack met behind doors again. With this news, she heads to Eleanor and informs her of everything she has put together from her informant. She brings up news about Charlotte leaving with supposedly a man she fell in love with who happens to be a member of Flint’s crew. She also informs Eleanor that she left without her savings, to which she states what she thinks has happened: Logan arrived with news of the gold, disappeared and the next day, and the gold is now heading back to Spain. Eleanor doubts that Max killed Logan and one of her own workers to keep the information and asks how she convinced the island the gold is missing. Though she doesn’t know, Mrs. Mapleton informs Eleanor that Jack had his ship emptied and supplied with water and preparing to sail with the intention of bringing something  large back. She warns of Max’s plan in which she believes she knows of the gold and their plan to retrieve it, and Eleanor’s plan for New Providence would fail if they return with the gold.

XVI-4On Flint’s ship, John Silver preps the crew to what comes ahead. With a story of his past in which he was in Charleston, he warns the crew of what lies ahead: Charleston wants each one of them dead. With that possibility at hand even though they return Abigail, he tasks the crew to be ready in case they must fight. During his speech, he sees Vincent and Nicholas, the two tasked to keep watch on the gold, laughing among each other. Silver berates the two seeing as they are making light of the situation, which in turn can reveal that they are hiding something from the crew. Silver gives a stern warning to Nicholas while he rebuffs the situation and storms off claiming no one knows anything or is asking questions. He warns Vincent of the trouble Nicholas he can bring, and Vincent mistakenly believes it to be an order to kill Nicholas. With Vincent telling Silver of Nicholas stubborn ways, Silver states to find reason with him to keep quiet with Vincent, claiming they are beyond that point. With Nicholas scheduled on the main mast, Vincent sabotaged the ropes allowing Vincent to fall to his death.

With Max, Jack, and Featherstone in discussions on where to store the gold once they arrive with it, Jack recalls the damage Eleanor has done to Charles Vane and the position he’s been put in: Vane is either trying to find a way to get a large fortune to calm his crew, or he’s been killed and a new captain is figuring the same situation. He suggests to use the fort to store the gold, providing Vane’s crew with a vast fortune while providing a safe haven for the gold. Jack and Featherstone head to the main door with no response from their knocks. Though Featherstone believes if a new captain is being chosen, they should leave them be. Jack believes the fort is empty. Though their ship is still in the bay, he points to the birds in the sky.

Upon seeing the funeral and the crew mourn the loss of a crewmate, Abigail is drawn to warn Flint of what could be in Charleston for them. Seeing that the death of Alexander Hamilton appears suspicious, that he was killed by Flint’s blade viciously as if he was being hunted, Peter Ashe saw that act incompatible with civilized society and law would be brought to America the day Captain Flint swung over Charleston. She urges Flint to turn around and sail away once she’s been returned home. Upon their arrival, they are greeted with a small crew and several ships along the shore. With a man asking for Charles Vane and accepting his demands, Flint claims he has no demands but wants to meet Peter Ashe. While heading toward Peter Ashe’s home, he is attacked based on Ashe’s order to once they have Vane on the island, he is to never leave it and believing it applies to Flint as well. With Abigail ordering the men to stop, they proceed on with Abigail reuniting with her father as well as Flint meeting with Peter Ashe.

With Jack and his crew breaking into Hornigold’s Fort, they enter to see the fort in shambles and what appears to be Charles Vane crucified. With Eleanor arriving past the crowd that has built up, it’s revealed to be Richard Guthrie with a note pinned to his body. With Eleanor reading it, the note reveals Vane’s knowledge of Guthrie betraying Nassau in his attempt to return it back to England, to which he has been killed due to Eleanor’s betrayal. With Abigail no longer in his possession to receive ransom, Vane made it clear he wanted Flint’s ship and reveals to Eleanor that they too left to Charleston and are waiting in the water to take over the Spanish Man ‘O War. From there, he’ll return to Nassau to settle everything else, hinting at his warning from the previous episode.

XVI-7Vane is now in a position to claim the Spanish Man ‘O War with Flint ordering his men to not be prepared to battle. Wanting to show Charleston good faith that their intention is not to fight, he left his ship and crew without a means to defend themselves. With Richard Guthrie’s death displayed, it seems that Dufrense has something else planned, giving that it was hinted at his kidnapping in the previous episode. The ambush was in fact led by Vane instead of Dufrense and Hornigold, and with both not in this episode, it’s yet to be seen what they have planned. Eleanor is now in a position to which Max and Jack can take over Nassau with retrieving the gold and no way of stopping them, unless killing them and their crew to which she refuses to do. With the death of her father, the potential return of an angry Vane, and Jack ready to sail soon for the gold, everything is piling up against Eleanor with no option for her to pursue. Even if Flint succeeds, what can be done to ensure Nassau isn’t ruled by pirates on his return, and if he returns with his ship? With John Silver with Flint’s crew, he may have to fight along side Flint to keep his betrayal under wraps should Flint’s and Jack’s crew collide. There are only two episodes left and everyone’s loyalty is quickly fading. Flint has only once chance in Charleston and Nassau will soon see what future brings to it.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.