Sunday, March 1, 2015

Black Sails 2.6: Weighty Alternatives, and the Medium is the Message on the High Seas

A powerful, strategically complex episode 2.6 of Black Sails last night, which did what it does best - baring the clock-work machinations of piracy, the intricate mechanisms of thought and  plans and double-cross, which underly all the derring-do and bloodshed.

The main event is Flint's idea that he can buy some future safety for Nassau - at least from England - by returning Governor Ash's daughter to him in the Carolinas.   A good enough plan, except almost no one likes it.  Eleanor's father counsels Flint that he can't have the protection of Governor Ash and the Urca gold.  Vane doesn't like the plan whatever it does to the Urca gold, because its provision of a Nassau safe for piracy is at best hypothetical.   Fortunately, Eleanor's a believer - she doesn't want to risk Nassau brought down further by Flint's resumed attack - and sleeps with Vane, which  usually that would be very fortunate for Vane, but not this time, because she's going to free the Governor's daughter while Vane sleeps in the aftermath.

Now, while all of this fine piece of business and plotting and trickery is unfolding, Flint has another problem:  Captain Hornigold  doesn't like Flint's plan, either, and wants to keep him to his word to bring down Nassau, i.e., wrest it from its current control.  He pushes all of this to a vote that will soon take place - and which will include Billy, alive and apparently back in the fold.  He supports Flint's account of Flint not casting Billy into the water last season, but we learn that Billy may actually be in pursuit of a pardon from the British, at Flint's expense.

And, if that's not enough, we have this additional complication:  Flint will be short a vote in the upcoming contest with Hornigold, because Anne has killed one of his men, along with a blonde prostitute, whose legs we get repeated looks at on the floor.   In addition to the intricate plotting, Black Sails is animated by everyone being just a knife blade or a gun shot away from meeting their Maker.

As an excellent further example of that, we're treated to Rackham proving himself as a Captain, unwilling to accept a 50/50 split with pirate ship based on weight, in which he gets blankets and the other pirate gets that weight in sugar and tobacco.   It's a nice rendition of the medium being the message out on the high seas, and that whole thread last night is for some reason one of my favorites in the series.

More next week.

See also Black Sails 2.1: Good Combo, Back Story, New Blood ... Black Sails 2.2: A Fine Lesson in Captaining ... Black Sails 2.3: "I Angered Charles Vane" ... Black Sails 2.4: "Fire!" ... Black Sails 2.5: Twist!

And see also Black Sails: Literate and Raunchy Piracy ... Black Sails 1.3: John Milton and Marcus Aurelius ... Black Sails 1.4: The Masts of Wall Street ...Black Sails 1.6: Rising Up ... Black Sails 1.7: Fictions and History ... Black Sails 1.8: Money

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pirates of the mind in The Plot to Save Socrates 

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