Black Sails ‘XVII’ recap and review

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


Captain Flint, Miranda and Peter Ashe finally meet face to face to discuss Flint’s plan of bringing a new Nassau and New Providence for the pirates that inhabit the island. Eleanor is in Nassau mourning the loss of her father Richard Guthrie, and Jack and Max are almost set to claim the Urca de Lima gold. Charles Vane eyes the Spanish Man O’ War and is within his sights as he tries to claim what he’s owed from Flint. Tonight’s episode, “XVII”, aims to close one chapter in Flint’s life while opening a new one for others. And be warned, do not read on if you have not seen “XVII” as this recap will contain a huge spoiler.


With many people paying respects to Eleanor with the death of her father, Richard Guthrie, Max pays a visit and offers her sympathies, though Eleanor suggests that her visit, as with others, is their way of showing Eleanor that they are not the enemy. Max leaves and talks to Jack Rackham about their conversation. While requesting when they can leave, with Eleanor watching through a window, Max urges Jack to leave right away. Once they depart from Eleanor’s sight, two men enter her room. Asking them if they know why they are there, she commands their plan begins that night.

Eleanor, Captain Flint, and Peter Ashe begin discussing Flint’s plan for the pirates and New Providence. Before Peter wants to hear more of his plan, though he is grateful of his daughter’s rescue, he states he cannot fathom how the two friends he knew became the two pirates before him. From there, Flint begins to answer any question Peter has starting with his arrival to Nassau. His questions eventually lead to the murder of Alfred Hamilton, with Miranda claiming it was her fault. By receiving a letter of Alfred’s travels, she claims to have encouraged Flint to kill Alfred. While standing up accepting blame, Colonel Rhett raises his weapon towards Miranda and gives his only warning toward them both. After she sits, Flint claims that after receiving the letter of Thomas’ death, their anger drove them to darkness. Asking not to be judged by what he’s done, but to judge him by his goal: Nassau’s redemption.

Back at the ship, Billy looks into getting the top sail foot rope repaired with the riggers of the ship not wanting to go near it. Fearing it since a man was killed, Billy decides to fix the foot rope himself. While Billy climbs up, John Silver asks Vincent if Billy will find any evidence up there regarding his sabotage. Vincent assures that nothing will be found. As Mr. Scott walks by he notices one of the crew staring into the water. Asking what he sees, he claims to have seen something though brushes it off as nothing. With Richard Guthrie’s funeral proceeding, he is buried with Eleanor throwing the first shovel of dirt. She steps away and finds Mr. Underhill, to which she requests a meeting before he departs home.

After hearing Flint’s plan, Peter Ashe has doubt that 500 pirates will step down and volunteer their labor. Flint assures them that most will, providing that a good majority will help convince the rest. Flint also claims it’s the same plan that Thomas Hamilton had come up with before. With Peter asking who will lead New Providence, Miranda focuses on a clock to the point of losing her train of thought in the conversation. Flint suggest that he can help structure the island but that ‘Captain Flint’ will leave and James McGraw will retire with Miranda in peace. John Silver still watches Billy through the night as he repairs the foot rope. He figures if anything was suspicious Billy would have come down. John heads into the ship to find Randall dead and hides with Vincent as the ship is being attacked. Billy sees the attack and joins in to fight off the crew. Eventually he fights Charles Vane directly, and though he has the upper hand, he ultimately surrenders once Vane’s crew has killed enough of Flint’s men.


With only John and Vincent completely hidden, they feel their fate has been sealed: stay and die or head to the beach and face the noose. While trying to sneak away, John sees Randall hunched over dead and asks for Vincent to follow him so they can force Vane to surrender the ship. With Eleanor and Mr. Underhill meeting, he questions why he should trust a pirate. Eleanor claims she intends to end piracy on the island, starting with the crew seeking the Urca de Lima gold. The two men from earlier begin to kill key members of Jack Rackham’s crew. With Anne Bonny returning back to Jack and saying she never should’ve left the way she did, Featherstone and Jack are ambushed by the two men. While fighting them off, Anne kills both men. Meeting back with Max, she claims others being dead and asks if they can sail without them. Anne answers they can and suggests to leave now.

John and Vincent argue about their options with John wanting to sabotage the ship, preventing the ship from being able to sail and leaving Vane in danger of the Navy not far from their location. Vane meets with Billy and claims he always wanted Billy in his crew based on his reputation. Billy rebuffs his comments with Flint’s plan of saving them. With Vane suggesting the threat being imaginary, Billy assures him the threat is real by seeing it himself and claims when they strike, the Navy will see no difference between him or Vane.


While eating dinner, Peter Ashe feels the only way to succeed with Flint’s plan is to go to London and tell his story, every detail including his affair with Thomas and what drove him toward piracy. When Flint and Peter shake on their agreement, Miranda questions where she got the clock, seeing as it’s the one she had in her home. Peter claims it was a gift from Alfred Hamilton, to which Miranda deduces that Peter was the one who accused Flint and Thomas of their affair. Without accepting blame, Peter claims this as an opportunity for forgiveness and claims he had no choice. He apologizes for his role in what happened and their suffering, but Miranda screams toward Peter and wants to see him hanged in his own gallows with her pulling the lever. As she finishes screaming, Miranda is shot in the head by Colonel Rhett. As Flint attacks Rhett, he is ambushed by two guards and knocked out cold while Abigail Ashe screams at seeing Miranda’s body.

As Mr. Underhill and Eleanor finish their meeting, they are confronted by Harnigold, Dufrense, and several men. Claiming no quarrel toward Underhill, Harnigold states he can go but they will be taking Eleanor with them. With Vane searching the ship for whoever sabotage the sails, a trap is set with John and Vincent capturing Vane. A small boat arrives with a message claiming Flint’s capture and trial, and will sink or capture the ship if it remains in the morning. Once the message ends, Vane manages to escape and leads Vincent and John to the deck. Vanes warns his crew that Nassau would never be feared should they execute and make a trophy of Captain Flint. To keep Nassau strong, they must free Flint. On the beach Harnigold meets with Captain Hume and offers Eleanor for the 10 pardons he offered for Flint. Harnigold claims Eleanor runs the island of piracy and won’t function without her. With choice words from Harnigold, Captain Hume tosses the pardons toward them and takes Eleanor.


Dufrense’s and Harnigold’s plan has been revealed, and with Eleanor’s capture, Nassau is up for grabs for anyone who has enough power to claim it. Seeing as how Eleanor hinted at a war between herself and Vane, Vane can now claim the island for himself. With Vane’s biggest rival about to be executed, Vane understands Flint’s power and needs him alive, but is he truly willing to help Flint? Or is Vane attempting to save Flint from execution but ultimately kill Flint himself? It seems like they could join an unlikely alliance at least until their return to Nassau, though Billy’s plea toward Vane could have worked in how important Flint is to their survival. Every crew for themselves is Vane’s idea but will lead to their deaths at the might of the British Navy. Teaming up together to face the Navy can ensure Nassau remains controlled by pirates. The season finale is upon us with one big unanswered question: who will end up controlling Nassau? The joint crew of Vane and Flint or Jack Rackham and $5 million in gold? And will the pirates be facing extinction from the British Navy in Season 3?

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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.