Black Sails Episode (1×06) Review – “VI”
Lots of revelations, pirate sea battles, and revenge.
Only 2 minutes of Vane and Billy's decent into Davy Jone's Locker. RIP Billy!
Man Overboard! in this episode of Black Sails
After last week’s less than stellar episode, this week’s episode of Black Sails was definitely better. Not only did we see pirates doing more piratey things, but we also delved deeper into the various intrigues that run throughout the show. It was these intrigues, manipulations, and revelations that made “VI” worthwhile. Last week, Mr. Scott found himself aboard a slaver after Richard Guthrie stabbed Scott in the back for Scott’s lack of loyalty towards him. Capt. Vane had set sail for parts unknown leaving Anne to look after Max and protect her from Mr. Hammond. Eleanor was locked away in her bar trying to make a deal with the pirate captains to maintain control of the island, only to be forced into a decision. Lift the ban she placed against Vane or get ravaged by the rowdy pirates at her door. While “VI” was more interesting than last week’s episode, it’s starting to become apparent that the show’s MacGuffin won’t be obtained this season at the pace the episodes are going. In spite of all this, let’s go ahead and discuss this week’s episode.
“A happy life can often be a dangerous thing.” One of the bad things about taking the Andromache for Flint turned out to be Billy discovering a letter Mrs. Barlow wrote to the ship’s captain explaining how Richard Guthrie was going to make inquiries on Flint’s behalf for position in Boston society. While Flint was busy trying to figure out what to do about Billy (knock him overboard), Mrs. Barlow was screwing the preacher. I think it’s already been established that Miranda is a tramp who cheated on her husband with his best friend, and now that she’s slept with this supposed man of god, no one should have been surprised. But I was. With all of her and Flint’s plans, I find it hard to believe Miranda cheated on him for kicks and giggles. Unless she believes Flint won’t care. If she’s wrong, Barlow runs the risk of being left behind or worse. She should know better than anyone how quick Flint is to dispatch with those who stand in his way.
“Both of us are in this hold, but we’re not in the same place.” Amidst the pirate battle above, the people in the cargo hold below tried to get Mr. Scott to help them escape. This was actually the most interesting storyline of the episode until Eleanor and Anne’s revenge scheme took off. For most of the episode Mr. Scott appeared like an Uncle Tom, but then when the captives needed him the most, Scott came through and helped them escape the cargo hold. Now that the people are free, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if their dreams of freedom become a reality, or if they’ll find themselves once again cargo aboard another slaver.
“Good news everyone! The cunt’s knuckled over. We’re back in business.” After receiving an ultimatum to lift the ban on Vane, Eleanor finally came to her senses and agreed so she wouldn’t end up raped and murdered by an angry mob. This was unexpected in a way. Sure, giving in seemed like the best option, but Eleanor is so stubborn that I wouldn’t have put it past her to try and fight off every pirate on the island. Now that Vane’s crew is back in business, they’ll be able to get back onto the high seas instead of yelling in the streets. However, Eleanor’s deal with Anne will probably end up putting Eleanor’s life in danger once again.
“Perhaps you need to have a little more faith in people.” I don’t know when it happened, but John Silver is beginning to grow on me. After Eleanor gave in and let Vane get his sea legs back, she and Anne decided to pay Hammond back for the way he’s been abusing Max while she’s been “working” off her debt. This gave Silver the chance to get back into the game. One of the highlights of the past two episodes has been Silver and Eleanor’s conversations during his captivity. Eleanor Guthrie is stubborn and hot tempered, and it seems that Silver’s words of wisdom is what’s kept Eleanor from rushing into her decision. Now that Eleanor’s pulled John into her and Anne’s vengeance scheme, it will be fascinating to see how John talks himself out of this one when Vane learns of their betrayal.
“You’ve had your say, now I’ll have mine.” Not only did we finally see Max returned to the brothel and away from Mr. Hammond and his crew, but we also we also learned a bit more about Anne and Rackham this week. Thanks to Anne and Eleanor’s schemes, this episode revealed that Rackham never lost all of the pearls that night on the rocks, but Anne had stolen the half of them that Rackham paid Max in advance. This was utterly unexpected, and fit nicely with the other reveal regarding Anne and Rackham’s romance. Even though all the seeds had been planted about their relationship practically from the very first episode, it was still a surprise to see these seeds actually existed, and wasn’t just me reading too much into their relationship. The great thing about this reveal is how Anne never even bothered to fill Rackham in on her plans, so he was completely blindsided. Though we’ve just gotten confirmation that these two are an item, Anne’s hard attitude about stabbing him in the back will most likely cause a rift in their relationship, and if it doesn’t, that will surprise me even more.
“VI” offered up many revelations and propelled the show forward in a way that wasn’t anticipated. Now that we’re down to the last two episodes, it’s beginning to appear that capturing the Orca isn’t what’s important, but it’s the journey these people take that is significant. While everyone steps on one another to climb to the top, Vane apparently has the ace in the hole that will take Eleanor out of commission once and for all. Now that she’s lifted the ban against him, though, whether or not Vane continues on his decided course remains to be seen.