Black Sails ‘XXIII’ recap and review

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The future for the pirates of Black Sails looks grim. Once Woodes Rogers released his trump card against Nassau, the majority of pirates took the pardon while Vane and Rackham looked on. To make matters worse, a bounty was placed on Vane’s head for £10,000 sterling (roughly £1.3mil to £18.69mil in current currency) for his capture – dead or alive. Rogers’ hand was swift as everyone turned on Vane, even his own crew wanted him gone from the fort they were protecting. Once the dust has settled, Vane and Teach escaped the grasp of Rogers and fled Nassau for good. Rackham and Anne Bonny are nowhere to be found but remained on the island. Flint is left in an uncertain future with his hope dying as his options run out. Luck headed their way with the arrival of an injured ally who happens to be the king of the island they are stranded on: Mr. Scott.

Badly injured from an encounter with Rogers’ troops, Mr. Scott clings on to his life. His survival is uncertain to the point where Flint is allowed to visit his friend. On his arrival, Mr. Scott dismisses everyone from the room, including his wife, the Queen of the island. Mr. Scott reveals what has happened on Nassau and how Rogers defeated the island without a single shot fired. Asking about what happened to Vane, Mr. Scott revealed he escaped with Teach to Flint’s surprise. Mr. Scott also reveals how the island came to be and his influence on both this island and Nassau. And without Nassau, their supplies will be limited and requires someone who can help the island and offers a partnership with Flint. Without full authority, Mr. Scott will arrange a meeting with the Queen to pursue the partnership and necessity to their survival. And if Flint is unable to persuade the Queen, he uncovers a knife he stole and will threaten the Queen to release Flint and their crew. Woodes Rogers and his men are quick to clean up Nassau down to the furnishes of the original governors’ home. Hornigold informs Rogers of the excavation of the fort and discovery of the Urca de Lima gold. Before departing, Eleanor questions Hornigold about the whereabouts of Rackham and replies that it is unknown. Puzzled, Rogers asks to which Eleanor responds that she would need to know where key players are of the game they are about to play. Eleanor pays a visit to Max and announces the upcoming governing council as part of the new government. The council will be 12 members, 6 appointed by Rogers and 6 selected from merchants of Nassau blessed by Max. Max assumes she is offered a seat but is denied by Eleanor due to her rank in piracy. Max challenges the request to the point of opposing the council but Eleanor urges her to concur.

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In pursuit of a Spanish ship, Vane recalls the unspoken rule of avoiding Spanish ships. Teach, on the other hand, presses on since the fear of Spanish ships were due to any retaliation against Nassau. During the battle, Vane encounters a fierce sailor who appears to overtake him. Vane is eventually able to parry and mortally wound his opponent. Before delivering the final blow, the sailor requests a final drink and mentions to Vane his faults in combat and how he could’ve won the fight. Vane acknowledges his death was close. While thinking of everything they fought for, the sailor sheds light on their thirst for money, why they fought instead of fleeing the pirates. With their captain shamed and their wages cut, they had no choice but to fight even in certain death. And for cargo more valuable then their lives that disappears before they knew it existed. Vanes questions what the cargo is but the sailor succumbs to his wounds. Teach discovers Spanish intelligence that Spain has been transporting and proclaims they could literally be about anything. When Vane’s name appears on one of the papers, Teach reads that they are notes of his expeditions in the Bahamas. Vane assumes they are plans to invade Nassau based on the English operations and information on governor Rogers. When wondering how so much has been gathered on Rogers, Teach reveals the same way Spain knows about every British Governor, with a spy in their office.

Max meets with Rogers and offers to buy her spot in the council, knowing the power and influence that comes with it. By providing a gem, Rogers assumes it from the profits but Eleanor knows that it’s from her share of the gold. She offers it to Rogers as an investment that can help him on Nassau. With her fortune displayed on his desk, Rogers proclaims the value would equal to 5 years worth of taxation in a single day. Eleanor and Rogers share an intimate moment but are interrupted by Mrs. Hudson. She reveals herself as an informant to a man named John, who was interested in Rogers expedition, but turns out his real name is Juan Antonio Grandale, a man employed by the intelligence department of the Casa de Contratación – a government agency of the Spanish Empire. She reveals that Spanish spies discovered transactions of gold exchanged and wanted to know if Rogers was aware of these transactions.

Knowing the danger they face, Rogers states the gold and fortune from Max will be gathered and sent to Spain, but Mrs. Hudson says she cannot inform her contact since the wealth provided by Max was only half of what was exchanged. Rackham and Bonny are shown with the other half of the fortune and ponder their future. But Rackham feels a step they missed where they need to change their names. Rackham is unable to move with it and aims to head back to Nassau and accept the pardon. That way he can be who he is and keep what they stole.

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Flint meets with the Queen. Knowing all the lives of him and his men are at the mercy of the Queen, Flint attempts to convince her to allow the partnership, but doesn’t go forward with the plan Mr. Scott wanted of being suppliers for the island. Flint offers something bigger, a way of life that far surpasses their need to hide. He offers them Nassau, and island that can defend itself and has thousands of pirates ready to defend it. The Queen counters that the pardon has removed that ability and Rogers has a tight grip on it. Flint will ensure that once he arrives in Nassau he can reawaken the pirates who pledged to fight for him and the defeat of Nassau and Rogers will gather people willing to defend Nassau against the British. The next morning Flint and his crew are freed. Fighters of the island arm themselves while Flint informs John Silver of their next move. Gather what they can, find who’s willing to renounce the pardon and find Charles Vane.

What appears to have been a one-sided defeat is starting to turn over. Rogers has his hands full with not just returning the Urca de Lima gold back to Spain but also reestablishing a stable government in Nassau that will effectively control the Bahamas. Rogers faces several deadlines before Spain comes for the gold themselves. And with the threat growing as each day pass, Flint’s return to Nassau may be at the ideal moment when Nassau is at it’s weakest. Vane appears to be a key player in Flint’s plan but we’re still uncertain if he’s willing to go back to Nassau with his betrayal from Eleanor out in the open. We are half way through the season and so far Season 3 of Black Sails has been slowly building up toward a confrontation, a collision course that has tensions from all sides rising to what could be a dramatic fall for Rogers, Vane, or even Flint himself.

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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.