Bold decisions often bring bold consequences, and episode 404, “XXXII” is not an exception. Last week’s episode saw some major power shifts, and this week is all about the fallout from those. Some are left with broken faith, some with broken hearts, and some with broken lives. The one thing that they all have in common is that everyone is scrambling to pick up the pieces.
Spoiler Warning: the rest of this review contains spoilers from Episode XXXII. Do not read further if you wish to avoid spoilers. You’ve been warned.
The action opens with Eleanor and the rest of Nassau scrambling for safety after the pirate’s siege. Eleanor makes it to the Fort and immediately starts barking orders. Her rule comes to a quick end when she realized that Max is nowhere to be found. Assuming that the pirates have her, she fires off a message to Flint and Silver, offering to exchange 20 captured pirates for Max’s safety. The only problem is that Flint and Silver don’t have Max. Luckily for them, Billy does.
This forces the much-anticipated confrontation between Billy, Flint, Madi, and Silver. It’s one of the best scenes in the season so far simply for amount of sarcasm that the two sides throw at each other. A tenuous truce is finally reached: Billy will release Max to Silver and Flint, but he wants five minutes alone with Silver first. He uses his time wisely. He blames Max for the failed attack on the Fort and wants to make a scapegoat out of her. Silver accuses Billy of trying to drive a wedge between him and Flint. Billy reminds Silver that they once stood united against Flint, and points out that Madi is now the most vulnerable to Flint’s chaotic plans. That sticks with Silver, and leads to a very important conversation with Flint later on.
While Billy and Silver are having their heart-to-heart, Madi is trying to save their position with the slaves of Nassau but she arrives too late to do more than just hear the stories. A slave named Julius led his fellow slaves in a revolt against their masters. They were successful, and now Julius’s army is growing by the day. The slaves that witnessed Billy’s mutiny, or those that endured punishments because of it, no longer trust the pirates of the Resistance. Taking matters into their own hands, Julius and his men have pledged war against both the British and the pirates in the name of freedom for their people.
Out on the high seas, word of Nassau’s fall reaches the Governor’s ship. When Rogers can’t be assured of Eleanor’s safety, he immediately sets a few of his men to take the remains of Teach’s crew to Port Royale and races back to Nassau. The lieutenant left in charge takes a page out of the Governor Rogers Big Book of Pirate Torture and orders Jack to start choosing men to fight Mr. Milton- a giant man with an equally giant hammer. After they are forced to watch several of their men die, Anne convinces Jack to send her up. She succeeds in freeing the pirates, but is grievously wounded in the process.
Among those trying to put themselves back together is Max herself. After she’s released from Billy’s charge, Max and Silver have a chat. There’s been a huge power reversal between them since Israel Hand tried to get Max to pay Silver’s ransom, and Silver intends to get all the information he can out of her before handing her over to Eleanor. That conversation is nothing compared to the one Max has with Eleanor, however. Eleanor is trying to come to terms with the complete loss of her power as well as the bombshell reveal of her pregnancy. Max isn’t in the mood to make up and that rejection may be what pushes Eleanor into her final action of the episode.
Eleanor meets with Flint and Silver in a tunnel underneath the fort. She offers them a deal- she’ll ensure the surrender of all remaining British soldiers and weapons in exchange for the remains of the Urca gold. She demands a quick answer from them. Silver balks, but Flint agrees. He turns himself over to Eleanor as collateral and sends Silver to go inform the men. It’s a decision that could mean victory or disaster for the Resistance, and only next week’s episode will tell.
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.