Black Sails, S2 E3- XI

Black Sails S2E3- "XI"

The first thing we see in this episode (and throughout as well) is a flashback of James McGrew’s pre-pirate days, like we have over the course of these season 2 episodes. What I really admire from these flashbacks, is not only actually seeing history played out before us, but also seeing how much character growth James has actually overcome. For instance with the opening scene, a still-happily-married Miranda suggests her favorite book, which happens to be in Spanish (which he can’t read in). Cut to the present day, and he’s holding that book and I’m guessing he’s now very well-versed in Spanish. It’s small scenes like this that makes me love analyzing writing/TV shows like crazy.

Below with the crew, John Silver’s announcements have become a hit and I couldn’t be more proud. The crew anxiously stomp their feet along with Silver and it’s the cutest thing ever. What’s not so cute is Flint’s order to not return to Nassau like originally planned. Uh Flint, can’t you see that your crew wants to return home?!

Speaking of Nassau, after fighting several men for yolos, Charles Vane gets interrupted by the horrible man himself, Ned Low. In a nutshell, Ned Low explains that he’ll back off on Vane because he knows his reputation and respects him. Eleanor Guthrie, however, is on his hit-list. Just ugh, I’m really not fond of Ned. Who is?

Remember how Jack wanted Anne to be back in their bed at some point that night? Yeah, that didn’t happen. Jack finds Anne’s side of the bed untouched and Max’s door completely shut. Inside her room, either Max is giving Anne a serious wake up call, or the two have been at each other all night. Regardless, as each episode passes I grow more fond of them. Take note in how Anne places Max’s hand around her. This is all new to her, but clearly she’s enjoying herself and wants Max to know that.

Black Sails S2E3- "XI"

“Silver, I don’t think we’re in Nassau anymore.”

On the warship, Silver’s found two men that are up to the task on spying on the treasured gold and the soldiers guarding it. Bros Silver and Flint in the meantime (much to Nerd Pirate 2.0’s dismay) take a longboat to Nassau. They get a mighty big awakening as to what’s been going on there.

In the more countryside-esque part of the island, Eleanor visits Mrs. Barlow, Flint’s lover. She’s not here to make small talk, she needs Miranda’s help. After she royally sabotaged and screwed over Eleanor, Miranda should be happy to partake. Her task: to contact a once enemy for Eleanor, Underhill (letters were unsuccessful for Ellie).

Later at the inn, Vane and a-finally-out-of-her-bedroom Max cross paths, and Vane has a task for her. Get as much information on Ned Low (and his assets) as possible and she can have this sack full of gold. She’s not interested. Well, she’ll do the spying on Ned of course, but she would much prefer if the bans were lifted from Jack and Anne so they can start their own crew. It’s a deal. Personally, what I found most appealing in this scene is their talk of Eleanor. See, these two have her in common; they are madly in love with that woman (yes, I believe that Max still loves her!). Max tried to let her feelings for her go, but that only made her want her more. “It’s amazing, isn’t it, the spell she casts on us?” she says. If that isn’t hope for Maxanor to set sail again, I don’t know what is.

Black Sails S2E3- "XI"

“What did you do?”
“What was necessary!”

After Eleanor obtains a new body guard she returns to her tavern. There, she’s reunited with Flint! His entrance reminds me of a gender-swapped Cady Heron reconciling with a broken Regina George, that’s how quiet the room is. Upstairs, Flint reveals that nothing went according to his plan. He’s especially peeved that Vane’s here and on the board. Eleanor explains he wasn’t here and that Vane isn’t that bad of a guy. I second that! Flint returns to Silver stressed because he has no clue where Eleanor’s loyalties lie anymore. That’s what you get for going out to sea, Flint. Things change.

Meanwhile, Anne witnesses Jack trying (and failing miserably) to get a crew together. She’s pissed that he started without her. Can you blame him? You were kinda busy. Jack asks if Anne realizes how manipulative Max is. Of course she can, does it change her predicament- absolutely not. When they return to the brothel, they find Vane there. It’s time for them to reclaim their status from Art Freak to Plastic, and simply just them being in Vane’s presence and a casual handshake and bear hug suffices. Jack asks why here and now, and as if on queue, Max saunters over and whispers Ned’s asset into Vane’s ear. What is it?! I find it humorous that all that needs to be done to save Jack and Anne’s reputation is just being in Vane’s presence.

Black Sails S2E3- "XI"

Ding dong! This brute is dead!

Now that he knows Ned Low’s asset is real and legit, Vane meets with him on his boat. Vane suggests a partnership, where Vane basically gets everything. Here’s the twist: it isn’t a partnership. It’s a tactic while Vane’s crew silently kills numerous amounts of Low’s crew. Once suspicious, Ned and Vane fight it out but Ned is unsuccessful. Very much so. As in Vane decapitates him (deja vu, Ned? Meeks?), shows it off to the crew and also leaves Ned’s head on a sword for the town to see. A note’s attached: “I angered Charles Vane.”

The second Eleanor sees it, she runs to Vane’s and jumps his bones. Not kidding, she doesn’t even let him explain. Once they get that out of their system, Vane shows Eleanor, Ned’s asset. It’s the daughter of Lord Ash, a governor, who easily would pay 250 pounds for her safe return. Don’t worry, she’s fine. When this was revealed, I was surprised with how surprised I was. These past few episodes, I’ve been wondering what Ned’s asset was and I come to find the audience has known all along. Did anyone else feel this way or am I just the minority? Anyone have any other guesses on what Ned Low had? Mine thoughts were like a weapon or a tough crew member.

Back at the inn, congratulations are in order for Jack and Anne. They now have six crew members! It’s a start! Celebration time! Jack is surprised when Anne reveals that not only does she want to spend the night when him but also with Max as well (other words: they’re threesomin’ it up). Who else found this scene oddly beautiful? These three are really becoming a force to be reckoned with.

You know who else is? Flint. Once Silver announces they’re going after the gold instead of returning to Nassau, everyone’s bummed. That is until Flint conjures up another idea. They’re not going to get the gold and have nowhere to come back to. It’s time to take Vane down once and for all. The following morning, Eleanor and Vane wake up to see Flint’s stolen Spanish ship heading into the harbor. Eleanor’s face is all, “Not again.” Just when a problem gets fixed, two more appear for her. Let the battle of Vane vs. Flint begin.
Who’s side are you on? I’m so conflicted! I love them both equally and Vane is doing good things for Nassau (Ned Low anyone?). Everyone should just get along.

What did you think of XI? Leave a comment below.

The next Black Sails episode, 2.04: “XII”, airs next week at 9/8c on Starz. A trailer can be seen below.