Join The Conversation...
I was not prepared and I blame Johnny Deep.
I’ve watched a Starz original series before; and still… I was not prepared. I had planned on watching Black Sails because it looked intriguing but I had not planned on liking it. And I do. I like this show. It has everything – great looking men, great looking women, sex, violence, alcohol, sex, cursing, lesbians, and sex. Because I am so slow in emptying the shows that fill my TiVo, by the time I got to the first episode, the second was airing and I was able to watch. Let’s get into both shows huh?
Episode 1 - “I”
The first episode of any show to me is like the first day at a new school. Trying to remember the names of classmates and teachers; Who are friends with whom, who hates who, and who sells the good weed.
Like any good pirate show, “Black Sails” begins on the seas. An English ship is desperately trying to avoid being ran down and boarded by pirates – and they fail. Miserably; the pirates board and we meet Captain Flint’s crew. You see the cook run tear a piece of paper out of a book then runs below deck to hide. He runs into another ship-mate hiding out, avoiding the pirates above. We learn that the man hiding is John Silver. The cook calls Silver a coward and casually mentions that he probably won’t be killed with the rest, as good cooks are notoriously hard to find and he can probably get a job. The ship rolls and the cook falls – dropping the paper he tore out of the book. Silver asks what it is and a fight starts. With John trying to take what the cook has, the cook ultimately ends up dying trying to hide his secret.
The Pirates are here and immediately Silver calls himself a cook and asks to join Flint’s crew. Flint, meanwhile, is downstairs with the ship’s accountant calculating what they’ve made on this ship and each man stands to get $8 for their trouble. How do you go about applying for the accountant’s job on a pirate ship? Are you kidnapped? Flint doesn’t seem to give two shits about the low pay the crew is about to get because he’s looking through the English captain’s books for that missing page that we saw the cook tear out. Also, Flint hasn’t told anyone exactly what he’s looking for so his ship is very close to electing a new captain – Singleton.
Flint’s first mate is Boone, and he goes to Flint to warn him that Singleton may have the votes to get rid of him as captain. Flint knows that he can find the missing page from the Captain’s Logs and asks Boone for a few more days. The ship docks in Nassau which the pirates call “home” and some of the crew decide that it’s time to initiate John. They tell him that Black Beard wants to see him. How many organizations initiate their new recruits with orgies? I want to say none, but we all know that it’s probably a lot.
While John is practicing something that George Clooney probably does every night, Captain Flint is on his way to see someone called Richard Guthrie. Flint wants Guthrie to tell him the what the missing page in the Captain’s Log said, as Guthrie – according to Boone – knows every ship that comes in and out of the port. Boone sends Billy – one of the ship’s mates – with Flint just to make sure that Flint behaves himself.
Oh my God you guys, shut up. We’re about to meet who I think is going to be my favorite character. Boone walks into a bar and asks a man to speak with his boss. The camera then pans to a woman telling a patron to get “the fuck out.” This must be the boss. And we learn that her name is “Eleanor Guthrie.” Boone asks her for a loan – calling it an “investment in the future” as he is sure Flint is about to stumble upon a great prize. Eleanor ain’t scared though, and she lends him the money. When Boone walks out Eleanor’s employee warns her that her father would not approve of her investment.
Flint shows up on another island to meet with Guthrie. Guthrie is Eleanor’s father and he doesn’t seem too pleased with Flint showing up at his house, but speaks with him anyway. Flint tells Guthrie what he’s after – a Spanish ship that is carrying cargo in excess of $5 million. Flint says that he can take the ship with Guthrie’s help. Guthrie tells Flint to GTFOH with that bullshit. He isn’t helping him. Flint tries to rough Guthrie up but Billy stops him.
Singleton is steady trying to get some votes and has a meeting with a man on the beach who tells him that he’s sticking with Flint. When out of the shadows appears a man so strange looking, that he is beautiful and I immediately fall in love. Anyway, my baby daddy kills the guy right in front of Singleton so that now he neither Flint has the votes.
Someone tells Boone and Eleanor what happened and after seeing the dead body in the sand, Eleanor walks into a bar and punches my baby daddy right in his face and you know what he does? That’s right, punches that bitch right back. “Now, would you like to tell me what that was all about?” he asks after their little spat in the bar and she tells him that he just fucked up her business arrangements. He basically tells her that he doesn’t give two shits because he’s the future. Oh! And y’all, guess what? He implies that they were in love once.
One of the whores from John’s orgy earlier in the day sees Eleanor all torn and sad after her fight, and goes to her. She takes her by the hand and leads her to the bedroom. When she sees the bruise on Eleanor’s face she asks “why would he do this?” She already knows what’s up. But I was not prepared for what happened next. Man… some lesbian action started up and I was … um … moved.
Flint has kidnapped Mr. Guthrie and an unconscious Guthrie, Flint, and Billy are on a boat on their way back to Nassau. Once there, and on the ship, Boone tells Flint that Singleton has called a vote for Captain and probably is going to win. Flint tells him that he needs “a minute.” Boo take two, cause this isn’t looking too good for you right now.
Flint walks to the deck holding a Captain’s Log, he makes a big speech to the crew. After apologizing to the crew for his shadyness, Flint tells the crew that they’re chasing a very big prize, but someone stole the page from the captain’s log and that someone is Singleton. Meanwhile John is in a corner look like he’s about to shit himself. To prove who’s lying they decide on a trial by swords. ION know why this is a good idea, but ok. Singleton and Flint go at it with the crew cheering them on, when all of a sudden Flint loses it and begins beating the dog shit out of Singleton. It was so much blood that I had to put my snack down y’all. Flint looked like Jesus in “The Passion of The Christ” with all that blood.
So he beats Singleton to death and then pulls a paper out of the lifeless Singleton’s pocket. He hands the paper to Billy who then says “It’s the stolen page.” And we see that the paper is blank.
Episode 2 – “II”
I’m going to take a minute and talk about how good the opening credits for this show is; The sculptures are just beautiful and … are they real or CGI? It doesn’t even matter I just want one of them so bad.
So we’re back with Eleanor and the prostitute – whose name we learn is Max– they’re in bed together and like Kelly Price once crooned “it’s morning…” Eleanor is scared that the British Navy is back and today is the day that she’ll have to leave Nassau. Oh, and there’s nudity all up and through this scene.
The accountant of Flint’s ship is trying to explain to the crew why they shouldn’t deplete their supply of rum, and I’m like dude… are you trying to talk micro and macro economics with pirates right now? Billy is looking depressed as hell in a corner and is still holding the blank piece of paper.
Flint and Boone deduce that it must be John that has the missing piece of paper, as he’s the only one new on the ship and none of their men would know what exactly it is that they have. John, seeing them walk towards him, jumps off the ship. He arrives on shore and runs to Max’s room where she is entertaining a client and tells her that he needs the money to leave that night.
See what had happened was, John gave Max the paper to sell. Max took it to Vane’s right hand man and he has bought $5 thousand of black pearls to pay for the paper. Vane goes looking for Eleanor and asks her to squash the beef between them. Eleanor isn’t having it and basically sings “who shot ya” to Vane.
Flint shows up wanting to talk and tells her that her father has been arrested but he has him on his ship. Eleanor is panicked because once word gets out, no one will do business with her anymore. Flint goes on to tell her the same story that he told her father about the Spanish ship, and unlike her father, she’s in.
Boone bursts in and announces that they have found John, he says that he was hiding out in the brothel. Eleanor hears this and goes to Max. She asks Max to give her the missing page. Max asks Eleanor to leave Nassau with her. Eleanor tells her that she can’t leave because she has spent her life trying to build something here. Max tells her that she loves her; but Eleanor doesn’t leave with her. Instead she calls in Flint, Boone, and Billy and asks Max in front of them where the page is. Max ain’t no snitch though and tells Eleanor to “get the fuck out.” Heartbreak then ensues. Man I hope that love affair wasn’t just for two episodes.
John is hiding in some rocks then Vane and his ship mate show up with the payment for the missing page. But Billy shows up too and fires a gun at him. John, Billy, and Vane and ‘em go running through the rocks. John running from Billy. Billy running behind John, and Vane and ‘em running because – child I don’t know.
John pulls out the page and memorizes it then throws it in the fire. So when Flint finally catches him there is no page, only what is in John’s head. Thus ensuring his survival. While running through the rocks, Vane’s first mate falls in the ocean and the pouch on his waist – that is holding the pearls – pops open, and $5 thousand worth of jewels fall to the sea floor.
Episodes 1 and 2 were great, I hope the show’s quality keeps up. I hope Eleanor and Max work things out and I hope that Vane’s fortunes are not all lost. With only six episodes left, Black Sails may just be the roller coaster ride show that we’re all looking for.