Everyone chases John Silver, but only because everyone just wants to settle down and raise a family.

By Darren Franich
Updated February 02, 2014 at 03:01 AM EST
Credit: Starz
  • TV Show
  • Starz

Pradha Mitchell woke in the morning nude and thoughtful. She perambulated in the altogether, her mind dark with bleak possibility. There were fearful rumors. There were unconfirmed sightings of British ships. Long ago, when her father first arrived at Pirate Island, it was populated entirely by leprous mole-people who used rat feces as food and as money. Now, Pirate Island was a burgeoning city of thieves. That could all disappear in a moment. Her naked fear was palpable, and also she herself was naked.

Fortunately, she wasn’t alone. Her raven-haired lover Fifi LaRue called her to bed. She told Pradha to calm down. She suggested that Pradha divest herself of her father’s support, and go into business for herself. It was just like that scene in Friends‘ first season when Rachel took a scissor to her parents’ credit cards, if Rachel had then proceeded to make out with Monica while Ross chopped Gunther’s head off with a sword. Pradha had to leave. “You’re too tense, ma cherie,” said Fifi frenchly. “Perhaps I can relieve your tension, oui oui oui?” Tension was relieved, sexily.

But not everyone was lucky enough to start the morning in bed. Some people were dead. Specifically, poor old Baritone Charlie, the would-be new Captain of the good ship Walrus, whose corpse has currently taken up residence on the ship’s main deck. His body serves dual purpose: It reminds people not to steal, and it’s also a one-of-a-kind non-flush toilet. (Since Baritone Charlie was one of my fifteen favorite characters, I’m hoping Black Sails goes full supernatural around episode and brings him back as some kind of zombie merman.)

Of course, the actual thief was Short John Silver, a fact which remained a secret for one whole minute. Then Captain Flint said: “Say, fellas is there anyone onboard this ship who could be the thief?” And trusty quartermaster Baldo McMutton responded: “Well, we searched everyone from that ship we robbed last episode…except for that one guy we didn’t search, you know, the guy with the perm.” “The guy with the perfect white teeth?” asked Captain Flint. Responded Baldo: “Sir, we all have perfect white teeth. This is Fun History. Speaking of which, has anyone seen any boobs lately?” They hadn’t, so when John Silver fled ashore, they happily followed him.

Meanwhile, we got to spend some time with Captain Vane’s crew. Let’s get down to brass tacks here, guys: The Walrus pirates are cool and all, but Captain Vane has a crew of badasses. Like, Flint’s crew is Street Fighter and Captain Vane’s crew is Super Street Fighter II Turbo. And the “Turbo” is Porno Sturridge. I don’t think I properly realized this last week, but Porno Sturridge is the most important character on this show. He has the facial hair of a ska bassist and the cranial hair of a guy in the front row of a Sex Pistols concert, but his accent sounds uncannily like Rex Harrison’s singing voice.

And it turns out that he has his own designs on power. He thinks Captain Vane is tanking. Y’see, Vane used to be boyfriend-girlfriend with Pradha Mitchell, and she used to give Vane’s pirates the Glengarry leads. Since they broke up, they’ve gotten nothing. So Porno Sturridge grabbed a few thousand dollars’ worth of pearls and made for Pradha Mitchell’s pleasure palace. Meanwhile, Vane went to go chat with his onetime lady crush. “Hey listen, it’s great to see you,” he said. “You look good. We’re both much happier now, right? Man, this is so awkward! Anyhow, can we just move on past the ‘you hate me’ part of this, and agree to be professional?”

Pradha Mitchell was just not having it. “I don’t f—ing like the way you run your f—ing ship. Your men are f—ing animals, and you f—ing encourage it, like the c—t—-ing piece of m—g—-ing s— that you are, you f—. You’re so vain, Yursa Vane.” Then she said the f-word like fifty more times, and when Vane didn’t get the message, she actually played him an old piano ditty, a classic pirate break-up song:

Oh farewell to you, my Pretty!

We’ve gone our separate ways,

And though you are quite witty

Next time I see you I’m gonna rip your eyes out with a lobster claw.

Captain Vane stormed out, getting the message sort of.

NEXT: Greek mythology is referenced openlyPoor Bendercumber Hiddlebatch searched high and low for John Silver, but he was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, savvy Baldo McMutton sat patiently, watching local appraiser. The appraiser’s keen eye for detail and his enjoyment of the finer arts had earned him the nickname Telescope Da Vinci. Ol’ Telescope tried to explain the difference between two similar paintings of a woman. A confused onlooker kept on yelling a naughty word for the female chest, which I’ll paraphrase as “Bosom! Bosom! Bosom! Bosom!” (You laugh, but this is exactly what it sounds like when Michael Bay goes to an art gallery and tries to decide what painting he’s going to get to decorate his panic room.)

Baldo and Bendercumber followed the art appraiser straight to Pradha’s place, where Porno Sturridge was having a meeting with Fifi Larue. This meeting was instantly broken up by Captain Vane, who thought Fifi was lying. John Silver was waiting in the next room, and he narrowly avoided being stabbed when Porno Sturridge noticed him. Returning, Porno twirled his mustache and twirled his sideburns and twirled his hair. (My working theory is that Porno Sturridge is a mustache who became a man.) Vane decided that Fifi was telling the truth, but swore to kill her if things went south. “They’ll go north, I promise!” said Fifi.

Meanwhile, Captain Flint was speechifying in Pradha Mitchell’s general direction. He told her about Vasquez and the Orca Delima or the Yurca Redeema or the Funky Cold Medina or whatever. “But the Erka Oreema is a floating castle!” said Pradha, and oh dear god I hope the season finale of Black Sails is a bunch of ships attacking a floating castle and then the final reveal is that the king of the castle is Bowser and this has been a secret Super Mario reboot the whole time.

But Captain Flint has plans. He doesn’t just want the money. He wants to take the money and turn Pirate Island into a new nation. he wants to train men to be farmers — a Nation of Thieves. He told a story about Odysseus, the famous mythic hero who you’ll recall was played by Sean Bean in Troy (the rare Sean Bean movie where Sean Bean doesn’t die.) Flint, it turns out, isn’t a man who wants power for the sake of power. He wants to find peace.

Something about that dream clearly speaks to Pradha Mitchell. She’s lived her whole life in her father’s shadow, on the edge of civilization. She wants to build something. So when Captain Flint’s men captured Fifi LaRue, she faced a quandary. Fifi told her: “Leave with me! Come to Port Royal! It sounds nice! It’s got “royal” in the name!” But Pradha Mitchell wanted to build something. A city of pirates — Piratropolis! Or Brigandia! Or New Privateeria!

I have to admit, I clocked Fifi all wrong. I figured she was just cozying up to Pradha because she was ambitious, dreaming of a day when she could own a pleasure palace of her very own. But I kind of believed it when Fifi opened her eyes wide and told Pradha, “I love you.” Maybe it’s because I’m a shameless romantic. Maybe it’s because this episode was positively chockablock with romantic stuff. If this whole “serialized pirate adventure drama” thing doesn’t work out, maybe Black Sails could just become a period-appropriate relationship sitcom. Like, the kind of show where Fifi and Pradha regularly grab lunch with Zorra Two-Swords, and Zorra says something like “I think my boyfriend is cheating on me” and then they all invent the cosmopolitan.

Everything came to a head in some dark corner of the island. It was all caverns, and in Sturridge’s words, it’s populated entirely by “Opium addicts, lunatics, and men who thought themselves too good to wear a condom.” Typical frat house, basically. Captain Vane didn’t like the scene. I’m worried we haven’t properly discussed just how intense Captain Vane looks. He looks a little bit like the war chief of a tribe of cannibals in an Edgar Rice Burroughs about cavemen on Mars. He exudes the aura of a man with whom one ought not trifle. His cologne smells like the blood of a grizzly bear, and possibly because it is the blood of a grizzly bear. Captain Vane’s bed is the hollowed-out carcass of the killer whale that raised him, and Captain Vane’s blanket is the skin of the Great White Shark that tried to kill Vane before his adopted-father killer whale sacrificed itself to save Vane. I’m not making this up, this was all in Treasure Island for all you know.

Naturally, everything went south. Flint and his men chased John Silver over the rocks. So did Vane and Sturridge. Alas, Sturridge fell into the water and dropped all his pearls, which is why you always get Pearl Insurance, guys. John Silver used his headbrain and memorized the page, and then burned the page. So it looks like Captain Flint is stuck with him now. Meanwhile, Fifi Larue tried to slip out of the pleasure palace, but her escape was noticed by Zorra Two-Swords. Apropos of nothing, I’m going to assume that those two will be kissing by the middle of next episode.

After a long day, Captain Flint needed some rest. So he took his horse inland, away from the sea, and arrived in a nice little house. Inside this nice little house was a woman. “Take off your boots,” she said. “I’ll boil some water.” Flint collapsed, looking tired but happy. Haha, you guys, Flint’s got a GURLFRIEND. What a loser.

What did you think of episode 2 of Black Sails, fellow viewers? Has anyone tried to grow out Porno Sturridge’s mustache yet?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

Episode Recaps

Black Sails

Michael Bay’s pirate adventure is a vivid prequel to ‘Treasure Island’
  • TV Show
  • 1
  • On Hiatus
  • Starz