“Black Sails” recap (2.3): Turning the Tide

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Previously on Black Sails, Vane told Eleanor he wanted to be her partner, Ned Lowe stirred up all kinds of bloody trouble for Nassau, and Mustachio Jack decided to team up with Anne and Max to start a new crew, while Flint regained control of his old one.

Throughout this episode, we are shown flashbacks of how Flint first met Mrs. Barlow, how their flirting began over a Spanish translation of Don Quixote, and how she won him over despite his hesitancy to go against his honor.

Present day Flint is sitting pretty on his shiny new warship with his shiny old new crew. John Silver’s plan worked and his daily announcements are not only well-received, but the men are stomping for him in anticipation. Silver tells them of Flint’s plans, and at first they’re grumpy; they want to go home to Nassau, but Silver reminds them that they can’t just casually roll up to the island on a Spanish warship and expect it to go smoothly. Thanks to his quick thinking and silver tongue, the men calm down and no riot ensues.

Back on Nassau, Ned Lowe finds Vane and tells him that his reputation precedes him, and it is known that Vane is not someone you should cross. Ned knows Vane was in Eleanor’s bar when he slayed her bodyguard, and wants to know how much trouble Vane will be during this feud with “the Guthrie woman.” Vane promises not to get involved, and in return, Lowe gives him 10% of his latest haul. Vane keeps his cool until Lowe is gone, but then throws down the blood money, knowing it could be the mark on Eleanor’s head.

Mustachio Jack wakes up to find Anne not back in his bed like he asked her to be. He goes off to find her, and a prostitute tells him that they haven’t opened the door all morning. And Jack knows exactly why.

Black Sails 203-1“Lost in ecstasy, spread beneath my willow tree.”

Max and her tongue give Anne a lovely morning wakeup, and the pure joy of it almost too much for Anne to bear. Her chin trembles and she can’t even look at Max, but she reaches for Max’s hand and pulls it around her, and Max holds her, looking a little worried.

Black Sails 203-2“Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back…”

On the Spanish warship, Flint sends two men to watch the men who are watching the Urca gold, and then takes his own longboat to Nassau. None of this pleases grumpface Dufresne one bit.

On the quiet side of Nassau, Mrs. Barlow is fetching water from the well when men on horseback appear. Behind them, the lovely Eleanor Guthrie, here to pay Flint’s old flame a visit.

Mrs. Barlow tries to be sweet and praise Eleanor’s accomplishments, but Eleanor is here to talk business. She asks Barlow why she tried to sabotage her, and asks what Barlow holds over Flint. Barlow launches into a spiel about how she knows Flint’s demons in ways Eleanor never will, and that not one of them resembles Barlow whatsoever. Eleanor tells her that she’s here to get repayment for the damages Barlow caused, but not in money; Eleanor needs to talk to Underhill, but is having a hard time getting him to answer her letters. Barlow agrees to help her, and Flint’s favorite gals are officially in cahoots.

Black Sails 203-3“See my face? I’m enthused.”

Speaking of Flint, he’s having Silver get more rum for his men, because he wants them good and drunk when they find out they’re not going to be allowed back on Nassau until they’ve secured the gold; he can’t risk loose lips sinking ships. Plus, their window of opportunity here is only about a week at best, so they have to hop to. When they get to shore, they see that Vane and his men have taken over the beach, and Flint is none too excited about it.

Vane heads to the inn and finds Max, who hesitates as she watches him slowly approach. He tells Max that he heard that she has a way of getting secrets from men, and asks her to use that particular set of skills to find out what the asset Ned Lowe’s crew is hiding is. Max knows what he’s up to, and confesses that recently she let all her feelings loose on Eleanor, and got a strange thrill when it was obvious she was shaken by it, but that as soon as Eleanor started to walk away, her instinct was to rush after her and hold her again. She literally says, “It’s amazing, isn’t it, the spell she cast on us?”

Black Sails 203-4Says the girl who was a witch on “The Secret Circle.”

Max admits that she does indeed possess the aforementioned skill, and therefore she knows Ned loves talking about all the horrible things he’d like to do to Miss Eleanor Guthrie. Max is smarter than people give her credit for, and knows exactly what Vane is up to. Vane looks at her and pities the fool who takes her for granted, or worse, would dare cross her. Max knows finding the asset is pretense to call it business when really it’s just protecting Eleanor, but Vane knows they both have the same goals, so he gives her the purse of money Ned gave him and assumes they have a deal.

Max doesn’t want the money, though; she tells him that Jack and Anne want to form a new crew, but that it would be impossible with Vane’s very public disowning of them. She asks them to put them in good favor again to improve their chances. He takes back the money, a silent agreement. As he starts to leave, Max calls out and says she found a way to stop caring about Eleanor, and is willing to tell Vane how, but he is not interested.

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