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David T. Cole

Past Seasons Talk: Piracy on New Providence Island

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So true story, Black Sails episode titles are the roman numeral. Welcome to I.

While it suffers a bit from HBO whoring, this was pretty entertaining and it is so sunny! You don't realized how few dramas are shot "outside" until you watch something like this.

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I didn't read anything in advance about this show, so I went in with no preconceived notions other than "Well, it's got pirates. And it's on Starz. Which means there'll probably be lots of action and lots of boobies." I feel like I got about what I expected from the show. I was entertained enough that I'm committed to watching at least 2-3 more episodes.

Random facts that might only interest me:

  1. The lead pirate is the son of Dame Maggie Smith. Once you know that, you can't watch a scene with him without seeing the Dowager Countess looking back at you.
  2. The show is set 20 years before the events of Treasure Island. This has inspired me to re-read the book (free on Kindle!).

    Spoiler alert: Billy dies in the first 2 chapters of the book. So, I guess you can go ahead and not worry about him. Also, obviously Long John Silver makes it through the show.

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Hey mad typist should we convert this thread into a general season 1 discussion thread instead since the show is already done for the season? Delete this post of course after you've decided what you want to do.

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Eh, with on-demand in full effect, it's possible that people will discover the show, love it and want to do by-episode discussion. If no one jumps on new episode threads by the time Season 2 rolls around, we'll collapse this thread at that time into a general S1 discussion thread

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I liked the series,  especially all the scenes on the ships.  I agree with David that it was wonderful to see a show in broad daylight, and didn't like the night time episodes as well.  I think they tried to introduce too many characters for a limited series.  I don't know why Billy Bones/ Sir Percival never came back.  I thought they didn't want to bring two people back from the dead, and just went with Vane.  I would have skipped his whole storyline.  Zach McGowan should have stayed on Shameless. 

Edited by atomationage

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I loved it.  It wasn't without its problems but there was so much that was good (Toby!) that I'm hungry for season 2.  

The night scenes didn't bother me at all, but, yes I didn't realize how much was done in broad daylight until you pointed it out.  It is refreshing and demonstrates you can tell a dark and harrowing story in full sunlight.

Quoting people from TWoP because they said it best:

Flint is wonderfully insane. The way he just snapped when he decided to kill Gates and his quiet broken sadness afterwards. Toby Stephens is giving a quite excellent performance.

Mark Ryan who plays gates describes the scene as Flint being like a child who just broke his favorite toy.  He just murdered a good man and his best friend (after killing several others) and yet the one my heart broke for was Flint.  That's a hell of a feat.

His performance in this show is everything to me right now. I was all fucked up in the head when I saw him sinking in that water, thinking he might not survive. His character is awesomely complex, and it doesn't hurt that he's hotter than hell.

This times a thousand.  

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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If I may be allowed to resurrect this thread for a moment... I just heard about this show from comments made in the discussion of Crossbones. I can't tell you how happy I am that all episodes are still available on my cable company's free on-demand menu. At the same time I'm saddened by the fact that the discussion thread(s) here never seem to have caught on. Oh well.

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I am watching this now. I got STARZ in order to watch this. So far I'm loving it, not perfect but its hot and brutal and I love the opening credits.

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Keep posting. I'm sure others will want to hear about your viewing experience based on our hindsight. 

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Okay, I watched the entire series.  I LOVED it, so much so that I might have to swap out HBO for STARZ (at least until GoT comes back).  In a strange way, this show kind of reminded me of GoT with its different stories, political intrigue, everybody trying to "win" in this case not the Iron Throne, but Nassau.  

 

Maybe I'm totally nuts but I kind of saw Flint's point of view.  Everybody else was like, "let's spend the money of women and liquor" but he was thinking of the future.  He wanted the gold to arm Nassau and basically tell the British and the Spanish and whoever, "don't fuck with us."  

 

Now, what I didn't get was WTF was the deal with he and Mrs Barlow or Hamilton?  From what Eleanor's father, Richard said, Flint and Mrs. Barlow had an affair; she was married to a nobleman and he was a Naval officer; said nobleman found out about the affair and went to nut city, was hospitalized and for that Barlow and Flint were banished or something?  Damn, and people think that we're fucked up today.  I mean you have an affair with a famous person today and you get a book deal.  Anyway, I wasn't too clear what the deal was with them.

 

Also Charles Vane (who bothered me because his eyes were too close together and his nose was too big) was obviously sexually abused as a child when he was on that bizarre island with that big, bearded guy.  I got that from when he stared at that little boy, and when big bearded guy touched him.  YUK, I'm sure that shit went on a zillion times more than it goes on today because I don't know if there was an age of consent back then or if children were just seen as little adults.  

 

I liked Eleanor and Max together and I liked what Max told her at the end, that she learned from Eleanor not to let anything cloud your ambition.  Poor Max who went through so much.  I loved the actress, but I had to look her up because I thought she was Zoe Kravitz at first.  One thing I was kind of pleased with Starz about, strangely, was before the episode, after they said the show was TVMA and then told what the episode was going to entail (GV for Graphic Violence, etc), they actually had a "R" for rape.  I was surprised by that because I don't think I've ever seen that on HBO, even if rape happens on a show.  I was glad that Starz gave that warning, and I was also glad that Max's rape wasn't glamorized, it was ugly, horrible, violating, and that's how it looked to me on screen.

 

I also knew it wasn't going to end well for Gates when he told Flint, "I'll get you and Mrs. Barlow on a ship to Boston."  I was like, "shit, wrong answer."  I have to say that Billy annoyed me with his self righteous.  I mean Flint wasn't totally playing with a full deck of cards but the crew wasn't exactly a group of choir boys and the only way to rule a group like that is to be a badass that a they'll be afraid to fuck with.  Also the Quartermaster annoyed me too; I wanted to snatch his glasses off him, he thought he was all that because he went all "Dracula" in battle, and bit through someone's juggler (I didn't even know a human being's teeth were that strong).

 

Anyway, I loved the show, bring on season 2.

Edited by Neurochick

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Also Charles Vane (who bothered me because his eyes were too close together and his nose was too big

 

I guess I am sitting at a table for one cuz I kind of LOVE Vane! I thought for sure he was dead and buried and he did the Buffy thing and dug himself out of his grave. He won my heart for that alone.  That was a damn cool scene!

 

Well and when He told Elenore that the first time he laid eyes on her she was only 13 and trying to act all brave. and she smiled at him in a way that showed him her true spirit. Or however it was worded. Ok. Fine. he is an abusive asshole but damn. So are most of the men being portrayed from the time period. Woman were basically "things" Chattel. Whores. Worthless unless they came with money/property then they were only worth what their money/ property was worth.

 

I also am totally loving Flint. Again I thought he was a gonner but he survived! Can't wait to see what happens next season.

 

What is the character's name who is running the brothel? Anyway at first I wasn't so sure about him (he started out kind of annoying)  but the more he smoothed talked and justified his actions (to himself and to the audience) the more I came to like him. I am glad for now that Vane didn't kill him.

 

Anyway. I am in for a new season.

 

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What is the character's name who is running the brothel? Anyway at first I wasn't so sure about him (he started out kind of annoying)  but the more he smoothed talked and justified his actions (to himself and to the audience) the more I came to like him.

How dare you forget Rackham's name. Anne would kill you for that. 

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I love this show, and I hope this show's forums will pick up for season 2.

 

I can't get enough of the opening credits and song. Love the sounds of the Hurdy Gurdy, and knew they would have good music with Bear McCreary at the helm.

 

How dare you forget Rackham's name. Anne would kill you for that.

 

I think my favorite little moment from season 1, is when Anne is yelling at Rackham while he's in the bath, and they both say, "Fuck you, Jack" at the same time.

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I enjoyed the first season and I am looking forward to S2.

 

But I hope the show develops a little more of an edge, the first season seemed a little tame to me. These are Pirates, I expect them to act like it.

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Well, I just finished season 1.  I'll admit I had a hard time getting into it at first.  There were just so damn many characters and I had a really hard time finding one to root for.  I watched the first two episodes and then sort of forgot about it for a month.  But I watched the last six over the last two days and damn, that was quite a ride.  Now I'm tempted to go back and re-watch the first two.  I'm sure it will make much more sense now that I know who is who and the nature of their relationships.

 

So if anyone is reading this (getting excited for season 2 beginning next Saturday anyone?) I have to ask about that last scene.  The treasure ship is wrecked on the beach but what ship is off shore?  The guard ship?  It must be because I assume that Man 'o War made hash of the "consort" ship in exactly the same way it tore up the Walrus.

 

And can I just say that they did a great job teaching me naval warfare in this series.  I understood completely how clever they were to end up with the two pirate ships broadside to the guard ship, firing at it's bow and stern.  And I understood, based on earlier episodes and from the reaction of the cast, just how bad things were about to get once the guard ship turned its sides to face them and opened all those cannon ports.  In real life seeing all those doors slide open must have been fucking terrifying.

 

I'll tune in for Season 2.  But I have to go on record as saying the only character I completely liked was Billy.  So color me disappointed about his sudden departure from the show.  We didn't see a body so I assume he was taken captive by the English ship and will turn up eventually but damnit! he was he only character I was pulling for.

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Man I am really looking forward to the new season. Really disappointed that it doesn't look like Starz is going to offer the first episode online early like it usually does for its shows.

 

Season one and especially the first eps were definitely an intro to the world. We've only just dipped our toes in. I really do expect things to get amped up. Flint is out of power and having to rely on Silver. Vane now has power but to get it he has gotten a group of men who may not tolerate his obsession with Eleanor and now he has cast off Jack who was definitely his go between before. Eleanor is the head of the island but she is a woman in a world that really doesn't tolerate them in charge. Jack and Annie are on the outs with Vane. Max is working to gain her own security. Things are going to get messy.

 

Damn I want it to be next Saturday already.

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Also Charles Vane . . . was obviously sexually abused as a child when he was on that bizarre island with that big, bearded guy.  I got that from when he stared at that little boy, and when big bearded guy touched him.

I'm feeling a bit stupid that I did not figure that out myself but it seems clear, upon second viewing, that you are right.  I'm afraid that brand may be how the big bearded guy (who I'm fairly sure from IMDb is named Albinus) marks his favorite boys as his personal property.  Ew.

 

BTW, the reason I went hunting for the big bearded guy's name (which was never spoken on the show) was that I wondered if he was the pirate known as "Blackbeard."  That costuming choice (the mighty, black beard) seemed rather deliberate.

 

So I just finished re-watching the first season and I noticed something small but interesting.  After Billy "falls" overboard, Flint is the first one to call "man overboard" and to call Billy's name.  Is it an act?  Mr. Gates thinks so.  Days later, during the climactic battle in the last episode of season one, John Silver calls out (quite uselessly) for the doctor.  On the first viewing I thought that was a rather stupid bit of screenwriting.  Now I realize that even in the heat of battle John Silver was putting on an act before the other sailors, pretending like he doesn't know that the doctor is lying unconscious below deck, having been whacked in the head by Randall.  Whacked by the very artificial leg that he (the doctor) constructed.  How very unsporting.  John Silver acting out his "innocence" in the heat of battle -- a battle they look (at that point) unlikely to survive -- gives one some insight into just how crafty this fellow is.  He never stops thinking.  And he always thinks he has a way out.

 

ETA:  I was wrong.  It was De Groot who got whacked with the fake leg, not the doctor.  But I stand my my impression of John Silver (as borne out in episode I of season 2).  That guy is always scheming.

Edited by WatchrTina

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Is anyone else convinced that Luke Arnold (John Silver) is actually the  illegitimate child of Guy Pearce? His face, his voice, its eerie. 

Edited by sacrebleu

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In another scene, when Flint lays out to a scandalized Billy his intention of becoming "King" of the pirates, Billy protests, "We have no king!"  Isn't it interesting that at the end of 3 seasons Billy has come to realize that they do need a figurehead -- a "king" -- and he sets out to coronate, not Flint, but Silver.

 

 

It's interesting in that light that he would be willing to crown a king, so to speak. But I guess he got so tired of Flint's leadership that he was willing to take it back. Or maybe he used that word just to spite Flint.

 

I could not keep the relationships between them straight and I had the hardest time understanding their motivations.  Now it's really fun to watch and see the beginnings of all those relationships, knowing how they will wax and wane over the coming 3 seasons.

 

The show has pretty good continuity - I had watched/paid attention to more of season 2 than season 1, and when I went back to watch season 1 remember being surprised at how much stuff was already set up in season 1 and not a lot of retconning in season 2, as far as I could tell. 

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1 hour ago, Diana lee said:

Black sails season 2 question

Why did Silver not go get the gold from the Urca and why did he tell Max about it then went with Flint to Charles Town?

1.  In Season 3, when asked what he did with his share of the gold, Silver says that he gave up his claim because he saw no way to keep the gold and remain a member of the crew.  

2.  Silver colluded with the two scouts who were sent back to watch over the wreck of the Urca; they lied and said that Spain had already retrieved the gold.  Therefore, Silver and the other two had to remain with the Walrus crew to maintain the lie.  He went to Max and asked if she knew a crew that could go and retrieve the gold while he was traveling to Charles Town with Flint's crew.  Presumably, if he had left the crew right after they heard that the Urca gold was no longer available, Flint would have grown suspicious and moved to stop him.

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