Starz‘s Black Sails XVI. TV Show Review. Black Sails: Season 2, Episode 8: XVI. housed the moment where other people recognized John Silver (Luke Arnold)’s oratory gift for the first time. XVI. was also where Silver was made aware of his influence with more than a few of the members of Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens)’s crew. It was beginning of Silver seeing how he could shift the crew’s loyalty to him as long as he set their goals above his own or aligned his goals with theirs (unlike Captain Flint and his Nassau dream).
Captain Charles Vain (Zach McGowan) has been the silent surprise of the season, growing in competency, cunning, and viciousness as the season progressed.
Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), Flint, and Silver have all proved that they can look at the chess board and think ahead logically, knowing what move their enemy might make, could make, and planning a counter-move proportional to it. Vain never showed this capacity until this episode, which was why its impact was so great. Vain rose to the occasion, rose to the previous betrayal, and out-maneuvered them all.
Flint nor Eleanor saw Vain’s moves coming. Vain has proven that he is a person not to be trifled with and one that collects on his debts. Unfortunately for Ms. Guthrie, the debt that she now owes Vain is his third priority in the world (Nassau’s future being number one and Flint’s current ship being number two).
Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and John Silver’s plan being pieced together, at least in part, was inevitable given the fact that Captain Jack Rackham (Toby Schmitz) had his ship’s hold emptied onto the Nassau beach. If Rackham had been as clever as he usually was presented, he would have had the hold of the ship emptied into the bay at night via the side of the ship facing away for the beach. He and his men are about to be rich. What do they need with the contents of the hold? They can re-buy new whatever it is they are discarding when they return with the gold.
It was a blunder on Rackham’s part, one that should have been avoided (though it seemed like the show’s writers implanted this scenario so that other characters would notice it [the ship unloading], defying the intelligence that Rackham had shown all the way up to this point).
Condemned Eleanor Guthrie has to once again tap into her unscrupulous nature to do what has to be done against Max and all those that know about the gold, at least forty people in total. Max will never give up the Urca de Lima gold. Eleanor knows this. Max doesn’t give a damn about the dream of a self-governing Nassau that Flint and Eleanor harbor. Max cares about being rich via the Urca de Lima gold. It’s a prize that Max had never dreamed of and one that is inches from her grasp. She will never let it go.
That leaves only one option.
I am looking forward to seeing how Eleanor multi-tasks: a.) “dealing” with Max plus her Urca gold conspirators and b.) preparing for Captain Vain’s return in the next episode. My guess: she has Max, Captain Rackham, and his crew killed (by whom is the question since there are so many of them) and hires more bodyguards and men to deal with Captain Vain once he returns. Eleanor will install her own men in the Fort and possibly herself to await Vain (if she stays in her tavern, she would be a lordly fool).
That is the pragmatic, cold-blooded approach. It will assure success or at least preserve the hope it. It is what Captain Flint would do.
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