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Black Sails Recap: XXX

If last week’s episode was all about creating strategies, “XXX” is all about the trash talk between opponents. Everybody is talking this episode, and that means that the action is a little bit lacking. Don’t mistake that for a slow episode though. All that talk comes with some major revelations, and by the end of the hour, everything on the island has changed.

Spoiler Warning: the rest of this review contains spoilers from Episode XXX. Do not read further if you wish to avoid spoilers. You’ve been warned.

The first major conversation is between John Silver and his mysterious captor. The man makes it pretty clear early on that he’s after the bounty on Silver’s head. In order to further drive up the bounty, the man kills another of his prisoners, an English soldier, and orders Silver to write a note claiming responsibility. It’d be a bad day for Silver if he didn’t know exactly who his captor is.  He recites the legend of Israel Hand, and then tops it by owning his own legend. By the end of his speech, Silver is free and he and Hand have a plan to bring in at least double what the British are offering.

While Silver is negotiating for his life, Eleanor and her husband, Governor Woodes Rogers, are having a talk about his financial situation. It’s been established that Rogers is in dire straits with his creditors. Luckily for him, Eleanor’s grandfather has the money and the power to save him. It’s uncertain if Grandpa Guthrie will agree to help out, since he hates what Eleanor and her father have done to the family name, but Eleanor plans to set sail for Philadelphia to plead her case anyway. To ensure her safety, the Governor plans to also sail on a decoy ship.

Out in the harbor, Captain Teach has parked his ship at the entrance and sent the British an unpleasant present in the form of one of their ships with British soldiers from the rigging like ornaments on the world’s worst Christmas tree. He demands that the British turn over Eleanor to him, or else the 60 soldiers he still holds will meet the same fate. Knowing that the Governor will refuse to turn over his wife, Teach has a back-up plan involving Jack and Anne.

This naturally leads to a conversation between Jack and Anne. Anne refuses to go in search of Eleanor as ordered because she doesn’t want to face Max. Anne knows that she’d have to kill Max for trying to kill Jack, and she doesn’t want to have to live with that on her conscience. This then leads to a long conversation between Jack and Teach about honoring the dead and future strategies. The gist of it all is that no one ends up sneaking onto the island to capture Eleanor. Instead, they turn and go after the Governor’s ship.

The final important conversation of the episode takes place between Billy, Madi, and Flint. They try to take over a plantation to better secure their position. Once there, they discover a British plan to ensure that the slaves don’t rise in revolt. They’ve been separated from their husbands, wives, and children, and everyone will be punished if one plantation is taken. Madi and Flint agree to leave in order to save the lives of the slaves. Billy isn’t as willing to give up on a secure piece of land though, and rather than talk about it, he and his men launch a full mutiny right as the episode closes.

The episode comes with a lot of talking, but no one is wasting their breath. Traitors have been put on warning, deeper layers to the plans on both sides have been discovered, and all those words have broken apart some very key alliances. What remains to be seen is if they will change the tide of the war.

Black Sails airs on Starz on Sundays at 9pm eastern/8pm central. Viewers can catch up anytime online or on the Starz mobile app. Check back here to FanFest.com each week for episode previews and recaps.

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Katie Anderson

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Katie Anderson is good with the term nerd. When not running disability services for FanFest events, she lives in Atlanta, GA and plays a lot of video games. Her work has most recently appeared in Forbidden Future: A Time Travel Anthology. If you'd rather read more but in a shorter format, her Twitter handle is @kdidd.