Black Sails ‘XVIII’ recap and review

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

The season finale of Black Sails Season 2 is here and a shift in power is upon us. Eleanor has been turned over to the British and is heading to London. With Richard Guthrie dead and Eleanor facing execution, the pirates of Nassau face a dire future once the British Navy arrives. All hope for reconciliation is lost with the death of Miranda and Captain Flint heading to the gallows. With Charles Vane intent on freeing Flint and saving the reputation of Nassau, he’s ready to ally himself with the other crews to defend Nassau should that day arrive. Tonight’s episode “XVIII” brings an end to Season 2 and leaves us with a potentially new leader of Nassau.


The trial of Captain Flint is about to begin. With the town gathering for his execution, Peter Ashe sends away his daughter, Abigail, so that she doesn’t see his execution. Abigail, on the other hand, suggest his request is to keep her from revealing what happened with the death of Miranda and Flint’s arrest. Vane is ready to free Flint and take a few men with him. With the remaining crew controlling the Spanish Man O’ War and holding Flint’s crew hostage, he tasks his quartermaster to stay until they return. Vane ensures the quartermaster that leaving will results in their deaths without the full crew aboard to sail the ship. Before leaving, Vane informs Billy that his crew will be under guard and tasks him to keep his crew quiet. Billy feels that they’ll be dead once they return but Vane refutes his claim with Nassau’s need of all men to defend it. Before Vane leaves, Billy provides Vane with something to assist Flint’s rescue.

With the trial commencing, Peter Ashe asks Flint to sign a confession and he’ll stop the trial and it’ll be done in private to save himself from humiliation and to spare Miranda. Flint responds with what Miranda wanted and deduced that Peter Ashe was a coward to stand up against Alfred Hamilton and even at that moment is afraid of telling the truth. With Flint’s ‘plan’ to conspire with a woman and kill the governor, Miranda’s body is revealed with the crowd yelling and throwing crops at her, visibly disturbing Flint. Max and Idelle discuss the events that recently took place. The town is celebrating the removal of Eleanor while the merchants live in fear. Max then asks what money is stashed and what can be brought together with Idelle questioning what she plans to purchase.


Vane’s crew is growing agitated with waiting and their desire to abandon Vane. While waiting, Vincent pretends to be sick only to send a message to one of Vane’s crew a plan which has John Silver removed from the crew with the rest trying to stop them. With Lord Kensington stacking charges against Flint and demanding a response, Flint’s only claims to regret is attempting reconciliation and bridging the two worlds together. A guard interrupts the proceedings and brings Vane to Peter Ashe. He offers testimony in defense of Flint. Peter asks why would anyone see him as a credible witness, Vane responds to the testimony and brings from his daughter a journal she wrote while heading back home. Peter and Lord Kensington speak in private on how to proceed given that Peter fears Flint can be freed.

Max heads to the tavern to meet with Fraiser and finds a dummy of Eleanore hung from a noose. She enters and offers to buy the tavern from Fraiser, given that the Guthrie Shipping concern has been disbanded and the crews leaving the island. Fraiser sees through her plan of gaining control and taking over in Eleanor’s place along with the Spanish gold. Max claims she has no interest in making the mistakes Eleanor did, drops her offer and leaves. John Silver and Vincent meet with Vane’s quartermaster with Vincent claiming Silver can provide a list of 10 men willing to defect and join the crew to leave. Silver refuses to help only to have Vincent killed in front of him and his leg being savagely beaten. With Flint and Vane sitting while the court reads Abigail’s testimony, Vane instructs Flint where to proceed once ‘it’ starts. Vane wishes to speak, gives a cryptic warning to the ‘survivors’ and signals his crew to launch an attack from the cannons of the fort. Vane and Flint begin to escape with Flint finding Peter Ashe and stabbing him through the stomach and leaving him behind.


While Silver’s leg is being beaten, one of Vane’s crew enters and informs them of what’s happening outside with the ships in the bay scrambling. With the order to hoist the anchor, he proceeds to kill Silver but is interrupted again at the door. Silver informs them of the missing keys and Flint’s crew breaks in, freeing Silver and killing Vane’s quartermaster. Flint’s crew takes back the ship and begin their assault on the ships in the bay, attacking before they can defend themselves. With Vane and Flint heading to the ship on a row boat, Colonel Rhett continues to pursue them and prepares cannons to fire. Before being launched, the ship whistles their target and proceeds to destroy the dock, killing Colonel Rhett and his men. Silver is taken below and is being treated for his wound, though given a dire message. Once back on the ship, Flint sees Billy in control of the ship and informs them to free Vane’s crew. He gives the order to sail toward the bay and readies the cannons. Billy asks what their target is with Flint only saying, “Whatever is left.” The city is left in ruins with Peter Ashe caught in the middle as everything crumbles around him, and appears to succumb to his wounds.

Silver awakens seeing the ship in opens seas. Flint informs him of their visit to Tortuga and provides news of Eleanor’s arrest. Flint also reveals Silver that he has been elected their new quartermaster. Silver warns Flint of what they may face in Nassau, and tells him of a confession that Vincent had told him before his death. He tells him of the ruse about the gold being gone and sold the information to another crew for a bigger share. Max is informed of Jack’s return with Jack claiming their delay was due to lots of healthy Spanish soldiers on the beach. Max sees the Walrus in the bay with Jack claiming they found it beached and rebuilt it to sail. With Max questioning why they needed a second ship, Jack asks Max if she wants to see something shiny.


Max is now on her way to takeover Nassau from purchasing all the merchant properties. With the gold now in her possession, she has nothing stopping her. Season 3 can bring us a power struggle between Max and Captain Flint, now seemingly teamed up with Charles Vane. One side has a new trade system in mind and has the money to back it up while the other side attempts to rally the pirates of Nassau for the coming war. But with Flint knowing the gold is still in play, it’s possible he’ll head back to Nassau, armed to take over. The balance of power will be tested once the two crews collide and whoever has possession of the gold will run Nassau. Blackbeard is set to make an appearance in Season 3, so Flint and Max may not be the only ones vying for Nassau. Season 2 started off strong with the introduction of Ned Low as the main antagonist and never slowed down with alliances switching from every direction. The revelation of Flint’s past brings new light to his character and what led to piracy, and the attack on Charleston cements his fate as a pirate. The Guthrie empire crumbling by season’s end brings new parties to claim Nassau. Well written script with great performances from the cast, Season 2 raises the stakes with an oncoming war and possibly every pirate for themselves unless Flint can successfully lead them. All in all, Season 2 delivers and has us clamoring for Season 3.

Season 2 review: 4/5 Atoms

 NR 4 Atoms - B

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