Captain Vane ponders a merger with Captain Flint, while Eleanor ponders a merger with Captain Vane, huh huh.

By Darren Franich
February 09, 2014 at 03:01 AM EST
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Given Captain Flint’s reputation as a vicious bloodthirsty uber-ambitious go-go bang-bang buccaneer, you probably figured he was a ladies’ man. With a girlfriend in every port, and a mistress in between every port, and maybe a friend-with-benefits he visits whenever a girlfriend breaks up with him because she found about a mistress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Turns out Flint is in a long-term relationship with a genuine lady. This isn’t, like, just physical or anything guys. This is a deep connection. He brought her a copy of a book by Milton — which, let’s assume that was Paradise Lost, unless Flint is a real heartbreaker and he got her the Areopagitica.

Miranda is in on the whole “find the treasure galleon, make millions, and start a nation of pirates” plan. And she’s very understanding about some of her boyfriend’s personal failings, like his tendency to show up with a recently deposed blood-spattered politician. “Hey hon, think you can take care of this guy for awhile?” said Flint, sounding a little bit like the proverbial bachelor who asks his fianceé to take care of his drunken friend while he goes back to the strip club.

Flint’s fortunate to have such a supportive partner. Poor Pradha Mitchell woke up in the morning with nobody to love her. Fifi LaRue had fled in the evening for parts unknown. Worse, she had to look at Fifi’s blackmail partner, John Silver, who bought himself a stay of execution thanks to his perfect memory of the schedule. And worse worse, John Silver is no dummy. He refused to mark down the point of the schedule where the Treasure Galleon will be most vulnerable to attack. He promised to tell Flint & Co. that information when the time came, on the assumption that they couldn’t kill him until then. “Why won’t I just kill you afterwards?” asked Flint. “We might be friends by then,” said John Silver.

Flint agreed. They began the process of arming up for Pirate War. Flint had a wishlist of supplies: “100 casks of powder, a thousand rounds of shot, new twelve-pounder guns, a couple automobiles that we can flip end-over-end because it looks cool, a truck that transformers into an intergalactic giant robot, Mark Wahlberg’s biceps, The Rock’s biceps…” Pradha told him that he drove a hard bargain and then agreed to buy everything.

This didn’t sit well with her assistant, Mr. Scott, who I’m henceforth going to nickname Scotty. Because, just like the engineer on the U.S.S. Enterprise, the Scotty of Black Sails exists for two reasons: #1. To tell the main characters that they are making a huge mistake, and #2. To clean up the various messes made by the main characters when they go ahead and make those mistakes they warned him about. So Pradha Mitchell is plotting a massive assault on the treasure ship, and Scotty says, “Say, shouldn’t we be worried about people finding out about your father? And the general crackdown on piracy in this area? Also, maybe you’re a little bit personally invested in this, and you should work on developing healthy relationships outside of the workplace?” And then Pradha says “f—” a couple dozen times and Scotty has to solve again.

Speaking of Pradha’s favorite word! She paid a visit to Casa Miranda to have a conversation with her dear old deposed dad. They had one of their trademark daddy-daughter conversations. She said “Hi, dad!” and he didn’t respond and then she said “Listen to me you bloody f—ing pantywaist s—k—r, you’re a little c——sw——-p and I’m not going to rest until your a——–e gets l——d by a f—ing t——–r.” Guys, it’s hard running a family business.

On a slightly more diplomatic note, Baldo McMutton once again spent the day wheel-dealing his way around Pirate Island. Smart man, Baldo McMutton. Canny fellow, Baldo McMutton. Knows how to operate the levers of power, does Baldo McMutton. So he paid a visit to Captain Hornigold, a name which sounds made up but isn’t. Hornigold sits on a fortress overlooking Pirate’s Bay, and generally gives off the impression of a man who knows exactly who he is, and who he is is Pirate Gandalf. He smoked his pipe and sat in a chair that once belonged to Sir Francis Drake. Baldo wanted his ship; he agreed to give him a significant cut of the Treasure Galleon heist.

“And who is going to Captain my ship under these arrangements?” asked Hornigold. That would be Baldo McMutton. Surprisingly, the old fellow seemed quite all right with that. We got a quick bit of his backstory: He started pirating for a good cause, telling his men they were a part of a “rebel navy” and that they would restore a rightful king. This old idealism seems to have faded: “No matter how many lies we tell ourselves, we’re all just thieves awaiting a noose.” Captain Hornigold had beautiful green eyes that looked like sea beams glistening in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. I’m convinced that everyone who auditions for Black Sails needs to have blue eyes, green eyes, or the willingness to have an eye transplant.

NEXT: Mrs. Barlow’s Book ClubBilly Biceps did not trust John Silver one bit. Did not trust his naturally curly hair, did not trust his wide-open grin, did not trust anything about him. That lack of trust initially seemed justified, when Silver had a chat with the Anti-Flint brigade — the very few members of the crew who still feel like ol’ Baritone Charlie got a raw deal. (For some reason, all of these guys were wearing beautiful vests. Long live the Vest Mafia!)

But it turns out that Silver was just cozying up to the Anti-Flint brigade as a way to further cozy up to Flint and his gang. He told Billy Biceps about the potential mutineers. He also told Billy that local madman Randall thinks that Captain Flint is an undead zombie controlled by a witch deep inside the island — which seems like an unlikely story arc for Black Sails, since there was nothing in that explanation about bare breasts.

Meanwhile, Miranda decided to spend the day hosting the world’s first ever book club. She visited her guest/prisoner, Chelmsley Wiggenstern, and recommended a book for him written by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. “It’s a personal favorite. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, you might find it helpful.” Now, handing Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations to a recently-sacked politician and saying he might find it “helpful” is sort of like giving your recently-divorced friend a copy of Scenes From a Marriage and saying “This will show you what you did wrong.”

Later, Miranda was joined by local preacher Father Littleman. He tried to chastise her about something, but quickly lost interest, because Miranda started quoting some serious stcripture: “Thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies/Thy breasts are like two fawns.” Father Littleman’s attention wandered. He had two particular fawns in mind. Check back again next week for the TV season’s most exciting new love triangle: Pirate/Priest/Witch.

Meanwhile, Porno Sturridge was hustling, and nobody hustles better than Porno Sturridge. He shaved his sideburns into sharpened katanas and he carved his mullet into a lion’s mane and he waxes his mustache until both sides pointed towards magnetic north. His shipmates wanted their pesos back. Fortunately, Porno Sturridge always has a plan. He convinced Baldo McMutton to give up on his dream of captaining a ship. Captain Flint would need to partner up with a serious ship, populated by serious men and at least one double-sworded woman.

So Baldo McMutton told Captain Flint that it was time for a partnership with Captain Vane. Nobody really liked this idea, least of all Captain Vane. But Porno Sturridge told him that this could be a great way to get back together with Pradha Mitchell. So Vane showed up and agreed to all terms, even though Flint kept on bringing up all kinds of annoying things, like That One Guy Vane Killed and That Other Guy Vane Killed and That Other Other Guy Vane Killed. “Also, why do you always look like you just came from a Beastmaster-themed orgy?” asked Captain Flint. Vane sloughed it all off. He acted like a gentleman. Pradha Mitchell was impressed, or possibly just lonely. She hadn’t been naked in hours.

The terms agreed to, Captain Vane and Porno Sturridge walked outside. They said something, but I wasn’t paying attention, because all I could see was Porno Sturridge putting on a pair of wraparound sunglasses that sort of looked like they were designed specifically for a mid-80s club kid who was born with a rare genetic disorder that gave him four eyes. These sunglasses, guys. I’m sure they are period-appropriate, but also want to think that Black Sails is arguing that Porno Sturridge actually invented the sunglasses. I hope this will be a running thing. I hope at some point in the season, Porno Sturridge calls everybody into his tent to show them this great thing he just invented called the cellular phone, which will let them communicate over long distances, and then John Silver accidentally drops it in the toilet. Hilarity ensues!

It was at this point that we learned what happened to our poor beloved Fifi LaRue: She’d been captured, tortured, and worse by Captain Vane. Bad vibes all around.

NEXT: Things get worseCaptain Vane took pity on Fifi LaRue. Maybe it was because, deep down, he’s a nice guy. Maybe he could relate to the fact that they both got their hearts broken by the same woman. In any case, he commanded that she be put on a boat later that night.

After a long day of pirating — or rather, a long day of hanging around on land and going to long meetings in inexpensive locations — Captain Vane likes to lounge around his living space without a shirt on, staring up at the ceiling and dreaming of the jungle that was his home. He received an unexpected visitor: Pradha Mitchell. Maybe she thought Captain Vane had finally gotten his act together. Maybe she had too much wine. Maybe she told Scotty that she was considering an assignation with the Captain, and Scotty told her she really ought to consider going on a date with that nice O’Malley boy from down the street, and she decided to do the exact opposite. For whatever reason, she ripped off his pants and commanded him to hasten up the mizzenmast, if you know what I mean (because I don’t!)

So it was a great day for Captain Vane. He got his girlfriend back. He went halfsies on a totally sweet score with a nemesis-turned-ally. His friend Porno Sturridge invented sunglasses. Then everything went to hell. The crew noticed that Fifi LaRue was being taken away by Porno Sturridge. They immediately assaulted her — which, I sort of was hoping Black Sails was the kind of show where that wouldn’t happen, but then again I also keep hoping this is the kind of show that just says “screw it” and throws in a giant squid.

Whatever: The aftermath of the event was believably disastrous. Pradha Mitchell declared that the crew of the Ranger would be finished on Pirate Island unless they agreed to join the crew of Captain Flint. Having repudiated one lover, she turned to her other one. But Fifi was not impressed by this show of power. To her, all of this was caused by Pradha Mitchell. They could have run away. They could have moved to Cuba. They could’ve opened a chain of artisanal ice cream shops. They could’ve gone to Florida before it was cool. Now that’s all shot to hell. Tragically, Fifi decided to stick with Captain Vane “until the debt is paid.”

Watching all of this, Baldo McMutton and Captain Flint had the same reaction: “What the hell just happened?” They just got a ship handed to them, is what: And it’ll need a captain. Good luck, Baldo! PS: Has anyone else noticed that Baldo has a Freemason Eye tattooed on his back-head? Could this all be a set-up for a Dan Brown-esque twist, where it turns out that Captain Flint is the last scion of the Christ? Just throwing it out there. THEORY.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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