Costly decisions for Nassau – Black Sails XXXI Recap and Review

War is not without costly decisions. In the heat of battle, many decisive victories have been won due to quick thinking and tactical planning. Other times it’s due to mistakes that lead to defeat. But there is no defeat without its cost, and in Black Sails XXXI, we see the cost of the war on both sides. Woodes Rogers, Governor of Nassau, has left for Port Royal in an effort to lure Edward “Blackbeard” Teach away from Nassau. His efforts are to allow Eleanor to flee to Philadelphia and secure resources from her grandfather and the wealthy Guthrie family. But we see that Rogers doesn’t want to lure Teach away and escape to Port Royal but instead has a plan to capture the feared pirate. Flint and the pirates are in a crippled position, with few resources and divided among each other. That is until the opportunity presents itself.

The alliance between the slaves and pirates are slowly breaking apart. Billy has abandoned Flint’s cause and divided the troops, dealing a heavy hit for Flint. But with their forces dwindled, Flint still sees an uprising in Nassau possible but needs more information about Nassau. Captain Berringer summons Max and questions her meeting with John Silver. Slowly Captain Berringer is connecting the dots to who is supporting the pirate uprising and believes Max is its leader. He demands to know who her source is, seeing as he/she will be the key connection to the pirates. She refuses and Eleanor intervenes. Not being able to stop Captain Berringer, Eleanor pleads to Max to provide something that will help her get him off her back. Madi heads for Nassau to gather information regarding its current state, how many soldiers remain and what support still remains for their cause. While in Nassau, Madi learns of a group sent to capture John Silver, finding out that he is still alive. While the group of men searches for Silver, 3 soldiers find him as well as Israel Hands. Before any side can fire, Flint and his men intervene and rescue Silver as well as Hands.

Teach catches up to Rogers’ ship and begins to attack. On two longboats, Teach and Anne Bonny board the ship while Jack Rackham provides fire from the ship. When they board the ship, many men lie dead and the ship seemingly abandoned. From the deck below soldiers spring up top and come from the main captains quarters with Rogers leading them. During the battle, Rackham watches on as he sees Bonny nearly killed and Teach overpowering Rogers. Despite a blow under his arm, Teach effortlessly defeats Rogers but is disarmed by a soldier and struck to his knee by another. Rogers has captured Teach and his crew raises the white flag to surrender to Rackhams dismay. Rogers proceeds to keelhaul Teach, a form of punishment in which a person is dragged under the ship from one side to the other. With barnacles covering the bottom, Teach is brought up severely injured but alive. Rogers sends him again and sees Rackhams brokenhearted face. When Teach is brought up, he is appeared to be dead and Rogers commands for Rackham to be keelhauled. Before he can be strung up, Teach coughs up water and is again thrown back under the ship. Brutally injured with lacerations all over his body, Teach is still alive to Rogers’ surprise. He then pulls a pistol and shoots Teach in the head.

Back on Nassau, Captain Berringer moves with the executions set for the pirates they captured. Eleanor attempts to delay them and not make them public knowing that Berringer is trying to lure Long John Silver. Eleanor provides Berringer with routes provided by Max, the routes that the pirates use to sneak in and out of Nassau. She asks Berringer to send men to stop John Silver before he arrives. Berringer decides to proceed with the executions and his plan to lure John, as a means to show control in Nassau. Eleanor flees to the fort just before John and Flint arrive with their men. Just as Berringer commands his men to raise their weapons, a whistle is blown signaling the people of Nassau to join the fight against Berringer. The two sides collide and overpower the remaining English troops in Nassau but attempt to attack from above. Billy and his men intervene, joining Flint in the uprising. Israel Hands sees Berringer alone and proceeds to attack him. Hands defeats Berringer and looks for confirmation from Silver to slice his throat, to which Silver grants.

Two decisive battles have been won on each side of the war. The problem is that each side doesn’t know of the other yet. Rogers has hit the pirates with a blow that could end the war. With Teach dead and the remaining pirates captured, as well as the Spanish Man O War ship, Rogers doesn’t need the support from the Guthries anymore and can finish off the remaining pirates. Flint has successfully caused the uprising in Nassau and it is under their control again. Billy has joined the uprising in a crucial moment to tip the tide in Flint’s favor. But has he fully rejoined Flint or just taking advantage of an open opportunity? Regardless, with the united forces of Flint, Billy, the slaves, and with Long John Silver alive and leading them, they could have enough to withstand Rogers when he returns. On top of that, they now have Eleanor trapped in the fort.

Two major characters have met their end. Teach was a surprise but expected, but not as shocking as Captain Berringer. And each will have consequences that both sides will soon face. Captain Berringer had a short run similar to the pirate Ned Low, who was killed off early as well. Teach’s capture was displayed right out of history besides his execution. I was on the edge of my seat seeing him fight Rogers as it was played out exactly as his last battle. From the arrival of the ship, the sneak attack and the several soldiers taking him down, every detail was there in his last fight. He was instead stabbed to death by the soldiers but met a far worse fate in Black Sails. Rogers showed the remaining pirates that he is not to be messed with and soon enough will have to encounter Flint, unknowingly seeing as his return to Nassau won’t be a welcome one.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 288 posts

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

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