The Reason Grown Men Lie Awake – Black Sails XXX


After last weeks harbor attack that left dozens dead and over 120 men captured (including Mr. DeGroot and Doc Howe), the pirates of Nassau remain defiant. Flint, Madi and the survivors of their small army hide out with Billy Bones and his men deep in the interior of New Providence. Max is facing her own struggle. Her desire to remain independent and powerful is putting her in jeopardy and therefore, those close to her who are not as squeaky clean as is required. On the sea, Blackbeard, Jack and Anne wait for their opportunity to strike. Blackbeard wants one thing…Eleanor at the end of his sword. And somewhere amongst all this is John Silver, captive of a dangerous stranger and presumed dead.

The episode opens up with Silver being dragged across the beach by a mysterious man towards some shipwrecks and chains him up. Silver awakens to find a Navy redcoat chained across from him and his “host” preparing to draw blood. The mysterious man turns out to be Israel Hands, former crewman of Blackbeard, tossed aside for Vane, and an extremely angry and dangerous man. Israel Hands is someone to fear. The thing is, John is not afraid. The man who coward at any sign of aggression has risen from the depths a changed man. He denies who he is to no avail. When this doesn’t work, he changes. He “becomes” Long John Silver. He snaps, the panic leaves his face and is replaced with confidence. “I am the reason grown man lie awake at night” he proclaims. Hands seems to believe him. John thinks he knows someone that owes him money…Max.

In Nassau, they are preparing the gallows proper for the impending trials. As Idelle and Featherstone watch, Max walks up and puts them on notice. Simply put, they are now informants of hers if they value their lives. I have been worried about Idelle and hopefully, as Max said, this will all pass. Time will tell. Max is in a difficult position made even more difficult by Berringer’s suspicion of her. I fear for them all with him in charge.

Governor Rogers, having revealed the amount of debt he is in, is desperate. He takes it out not only on Max but the reasonable man he once was is all but completely gone.  Eleanor realizes this and offers her family’s assistance. Rogers is to head to Port Royal, she to Philadelphia for aid. Before they can really take a breath, Captain Berringer comes in with disturbing news. A ship has drifted into the harbor, Rogers’ men hanging from the rigging by nooses. Blackbeard has made his move.

The episode comes to a head on two fronts as Billy and Flint take opposite sides on taking a plantation (specifically Mr. Underhill’s). A revolt would cause many deaths among the slaves. Billy needs the food and ammo for his men as well as the men power, Madi sides with Flint. What happens next has been a long time coming. Billy and Flint’s armies both pull pistols….and FIRE. Madi backs Flint so she is in the line of fire. I have no doubt that this incident will cause Billy’s eventual crippling fear of Silver.

With all this going on, it’s a scene between Anne, Jack and Blackbeard that has the most heart. The debate to kill Eleanor for Vane stirs up emotions in both Anne and Jack. Jack is ready but Anne puts it all in perspective. Nassau is a force that drives them to do things that they don’t want to do. What does killing Eleanor accomplish? Do we kill Max as well? As they debate, Rogers and his men prepare to leave for Port Royal. Important questions. So important that Jack and Blackbeard share a moment examining them and for the first time, it seems Jack has earned his respect. They set a course to pursue Rogers.

Finally, on the other side of the island, Max meets Silver, for the first time in maybe a year. Things do not go well. She refuses to give him money and attempts to detain him. Her men are cut down by Israel Hands and she barely makes it out with her life. John sees her as an enemy no doubt and Max gets a glimpse of the man he has become. It’s sad to see these former friends in this way.

That was a lot to cover but things are so intertwined now that it is all important. Once again, Luke Arnold owns the night with an incredible performance. John Silver drowned out there in episode XXIX. He sunk to the bottom and did not return. Long John Silver is who emerged and he is frightening. There is a moment when Israel Hands dismisses him that we see him making the change. He snaps and Long John takes over. It is a truly gripping scene that sent a chill down my spine.

Jack Rachkam’s scene with Blackbeard is also a high point. Watching Toby Schmitz and Ray Stevenson share a scene on sequel footing was a gift performed masterfully. As usual, Jack gets the moments that make us think and once again, Blackbeard delivers a story that is wise beyond reason, as riveting as one would expect.

There is death on the way for these characters and I don’t welcome it. Next week will be blood filled as our pirates race towards their destiny. What will happen when Blackbeard catches Rogers? When Silver reunites with Flint and Madi or even worse, when he reunites with Billy. If you thought this was intense, all I can say is be sure that your rum stores are stocked.

 

Into 60’s hotrod cool, 70’s horror and 80’s punk. comics, video games.
Favorite Movies:Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, Evil Dead, Texas Chain-saw Massacre, Murder Mansion, etc.

Favorite Music:The Misfits (Danzig era), White/Rob Zombie, X, Marilyn Manson