Episode 402 – XXX

Flint acedes to Billy’s authority.  Eleanor has a plan for Rogers.  Silver seeks help from an unlikely source.  Max is put on notice.

(Summary provided by starz.com)

WATCH NOW AT Starz | Hulu


BEST FLINT MOMENT

If I thought it was fun to see Flint scream at Giant Billy in the last episode, WOW it is great to see him defeat a man seemingly three times his size in one-on-one combat.

TODAY’S RUNNER UP

Billy!  I don’t actually like him in this episode, but he deserves some credit for FINALLY standing up to Flint after 30 episodes of doubt and distrust.

“I’m through following you down a path only you seem able to see towards a victory only you seem able to define.”

LOL MOMENT

Israel Hands:  You talk too much.
Silver:  *keeps talking*

WELL-FORMED THOUGHTS

Anne once again shows us a way out of the cycle of revenge, and this time Jack listens and passes her wisdom on to Teach.  What is especially interesting is that she articulates why choosing not to pursue vengeance is for her own good.

“I go looking for Eleanor Guthrie, you know I’m gonna find her too.  Max.  Said if I turned over the cache, you’d be safe.  And it ain’t just the lie.  She tried to take you away from me.  When I left that island all I could think about was having a chance to make her pay for what she done.  Now that we’re here it would be so easy.  And I don’t wanna do it.  Don’t wanna live with it after.  The sight of her hurt in that way.  Just don’t want it.”

Anne has every reason to wish pain on Max, even more than Teach or Jack with Eleanor, because her reasons are personal.  But she is able to think beyond the anger to what will come after: the regret, the images she can’t forget, the knowledge of what she’s capable of.

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FRAGMENTED THOUGHTS

  • The Wrecks look a million times better than in season 1.
  • Israel Hands’ character is a fascinating glimpse of a possible future for Silver.  He is also smart and opportunistic, but as a result of being passed over by a captain he admired, he has turned bitter, hardened, and ruthless.
  • When Max confronts Featherstone and Idelle with their treachery, she is SO calm and powerful.  Unfortunately, we just learned that she is the reason the amazing s4 opening attack failed, so I have no positive feelings for her.  She is merciful to her people, but she doesn’t care about the bigger picture.  I don’t find an attitude of “This will all pass soon enough if we let it” admirable at all.
  • Eleanor straight up says that the only difference between pirates and powerful men of civilization is time.
  • Holy shit, Teach’s ship of hanged men is a very effective scare tactic.
  • I like that in the pirate world, Eleanor is held accountable for killing Vane, when civilization’s story is that Woodes Rogers is responsible despite being unconscious.
  • #TriumverateWatch:  Flint calls Madi out on her claiming to know the location of the cache.  Madi calls Flint out on his tendency to overlook Billy.  They are clearly equals at this chess match, and I love them.
  • Max is saddened that everyone else in Nassau won’t roll over and submit to English rule like her.  Oops, is my bias showing?

Max:  When you condemn a dozen men in as many hours, perhaps remorse is a bit much to ask.
Berringer:  You object to these trials.
Max:  I do not object to trials, I do not object to hangings.  What I do object to, however, is spectacle, certain to increase defiance and anger rather than sooth it.  We should be moving past this, not wallowing in it.

  • I can see the appeal of her strategy, though it is steeped in privilege.  With England in control, she maintains power and influence.  But people JUST LIKE HER remain slaves, and that disconnect feels awful to me.

Eleanor:  We are so very close to winning this war and finally bringing Nassau out of the dark.

  • THIS LINE.  First of all, it directly compares to Flint’s similar line in 401 about being so close.  This puts the two of them as the true opposing strategists here, which I have been screaming about ever since I realized every one of Rogers’ good ideas was actually Eleanor’s.  But the thing about bringing Nassau out of the dark?  I’m trying to make these spoiler free, but those who have finished the series know why I am flailing with emotion.
  • Eleanor thinks that Nassau needs someone to be in terror of (Berringer).  It strikes me that this has always been her strategy, using men like Flint and especially Vane to be big enough and bad enough to defend her plans.
  • Silver is so smart for figuring out who Israel Hands is, and for telling his story in such a way as to get what he wants.

Hands:  Who are you that I ought to pay you any mind?
Silver:  I’m no one from nowhere belonging to nothing.  I’m a wretch like you.  And yet mountains of gold have changed hands because I chose it.  Thousands of men in Nassau are living in fear of my return because I decreed it.  Hundreds of dead redcoats in a forest not far from here because I made it so.  I’m the reason grown men lie awake at night.  I am a new beginning for Nassau.

  • This is a very good self-promotion, much like Flint’s “I survived everything in the world” speech in 310.  But I’m struck by how many of the things he lists as his accomplishments are actually the result of Billy and Flint’s work.  Silver’s tragedy is that he’s struggling to live up to the fiction other people have created for him.
  • I like that we see the plantation owners being tender and humorous while also very much relying upon slave labor, even in the same scene.  They are humanized, which reminds us that in this show, there are no cartoonish villains.
  • Flint spares the mother and child, which is in direct contrast to his actions in 301.  He is no longer a broken man.  He’s found a purpose, and with it, his moral compass.
  • Woodes Rogers looking at his own book, contemplating the story he told about himself, about who he wants to be, would be really moving to a viewer who is not adamantly opposed to him.  Ditto for his goodbye with Eleanor.
  • Although…is that the first time we’ve seen Eleanor cry?  Surely not, but I can’t think of another moment.

“That fucking island.  Makes you do shit you don’t wanna do.”

  • What is it about Nassau that makes people do “shit they don’t wanna do”?  I think the stakes are so much higher there, the possibility of so much available.  Whether it’s a life of freedom or a prosperous trade route, Nassau is valuable, and people will do terrible things to capture or keep something they value.
  • If anyone was in doubt as to the goodness of civilization, now we know that slave families have been torn apart and threatened should anyone help the revolt.  Gross.
  • Billy wants to take the plantation despite the implications for slave families and against Madi’s wishes, which shows he values the rebellion over the partnership with the Maroons.  Which is understandable, I guess, since he wasn’t there for most of the partnering.  But still, it’s not a good look for him.
  • #TriumverateWatch:  Madi is the one to call men to Flint’s defense, and I’m DYINGGGG.  She thought Silver and then Billy was the one to trust, but Flint has proven that his values align with hers:  this actually is a revolution to free oppressed people, and she is here for it.
  • Billy is not playing around when he fights Flint, even aiming a shot directly at his face.  I mentioned this above, but I LOVE watching Flint take down Billy the Giant.  And notably, he doesn’t kill Billy even though he could.
  • Love the comparison between Anne and Vane who share a “mistrust of sentimentality” to Jack and Teach, who could sit and talk about symbols and memories for days.
  • “He and I were somehow fated to matter to each other” is an absolutely LOVELY statement.
  • Jack and Teach bonding over Vane’s memory is a far healthier grieving tactic than vengeance.  It’s fitting that, having let go of their anger for a moment, they are both able to see that killing Eleanor is the exact last thing Vane would have actually wanted.
  • Max watching Eleanor be in love with someone else is a little bit heartbreaking.  I really like their relationship dynamic – I never get the feeling that they’ll wind up back together, but their past is layered into everything they do together.
  • Then Max slips away to meet up with Silver, and their simultaneous familiarity and unfamiliarity is gorgeous to watch.  They’ve both grown so powerful since last they worked together.
  • God, I wish Max would join the pirate revolution and be a voice of reason for them rather than for England.  She is SO great when she interrupts Silver’s intimidation tactics with a firm “no.”

Silver:  No?
Max:  I am tired of this.  This thing that perpetuates itself with anger and bluster and blood.  I do not want to be your friend.  What I want is for all of this to end.  For it to end, you must end.

  • Why am I so enamored with Anne’s desire to stop the cycle of vengeance, but I can’t stand Max’s similar desire?  I think it’s because Anne wants peace by escaping from the chaos, while Max wants peace by getting rid of people.
  • Silver and Hands make a formidable team, and Max flees from the massacre with a look of “oh shit, I just made it worse.”
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Do I want them to be in love?  No.  Yes?  No.  …Maybe.

Not done reliving the episode?  Listen to Daphne and Liz’s podcast at Fathoms Deep!

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