Black Sails Wiki
Season 1
Number 1
Date Aired January 18 2014
Writer Jonathan E. Steinberg
Robert Levine
Director Neil Marshall
Previous N/A
Next II.
"Civilization is coming...and it means to exterminate us."
―Captain Flint[src]

Captain Flint leads his crew aboard the pirate ship Walrus in the search for the treasure galleon Urca de Lima, faces down a mutiny, and accepts into the crew a rogue who carries with him something of great value.


The Walrus attacks the merchant ship.

The episode begins with a pirate ship, the Walrus, in hot pursuit of a merchantman commanded by Captain Parrish. Despite the protestations of his first mate, Parrish decides to fight the oncoming ship. Below decks, a cook and a member of the deck crew, John Silver, bar themselves in a room in hopes of avoiding the fight. During the attack, an item falls out of the hands of the cook who immediately scrambles for it as if his life depended on it. Silver recognizes that it must be of some value and threatens to take it from the cook, who retaliates against Silver with a cutlass. The merchantman is soon overwhelmed and boarded by the pirates, led by Captain J. Flint. During the mêlée, Parrish shoots one of the pirates, and is attacked by an aggressive looking pirate named Singleton, but is saved by a masked pirate who soon reveals himself to be Flint, who tells them both the fight is over.

Silver surrenders.

When the fighting is over, Silver is discovered by the Quartermaster, Gates standing over the body of the cook. Silver tells them the man killed himself, then asks to join the crew of the Walrus, claiming to be an excellent cook. Above decks, Singleton is giving a speech to the captured seamen, claiming that his fight was never with them, but with their "tyrant captain", who is tied to the main mast awaiting torture. Back below decks, Flint reveals to Gates why they attacked that specific merchantman: He is looking for the shipping schedule of a Spanish galleon, Urca de Lima, which was apparently contained within Parrish's logbooks. However, he reports to Gates that the page is missing, having been torn from the book. When Flint interrogates Parrish about the missing page, Parrish feigns ignorance. As Parrish is about to be tortured, a British Man-of-war appears on the horizon and the Walrus is forced to flee.

With the Walrus safely away from the British ship, John Silver is accepted into the crew as the new cook. Alone for the first time, he opens up the item that the cook had fought him for and it is revealed to be the page torn from the logbook that Flint is searching for. In the Captain's quarters, Gates informs Flint that he believes Singleton is very close to having enough votes to depose Flint from his captaincy. Gates states that the crew is desperate for larger prizes and feels that Flint is no longer effective. With the schedule seemingly lost, Flint tells Gates that he plans to get a copy of the schedule from Richard Guthrie, the chief black market merchant in Nassau.

Arriving at Nassau, Silver is confronted by two pirates who tell him that all new recruits must meet Blackbeard. Fearing that he is about to meet the infamous pirate captain, Silver is relieved to discover that Blackbeard is actually the name of a uniquely endowed prostitute who, along with other prostitutes, begin an orgy with Silver. One of these prostitutes, Max, notices that during the affair, Silver's attention is focused on a particular item that is lying on the floor with his clothes despite being surrounded by beautiful women. When Silver wakes up, Max is standing in possession of the item. She has divined that the item must be of great importance for him to have paid such attention to it and proposes to Silver that she can help him sell whatever it is, as long as she can keep half the profit. When she asks Silver what it is, he responds that he honestly does not know. Believing that the document came from a logbook that is in Captain Flint's cabin, Silver and Max row out to the Walrus, which is anchored and sitting empty while the crew is ashore. Once in the Captain's cabin, Silver discovers the logbook hidden in a drawer and only then figures out what he has in his possession. Unbeknownst to Silver, a small white feather falls to the floor when he opens the drawer.

Also in Nassau, Gates enters a tavern run by Eleanor Guthrie, the daughter of Richard Guthrie. Eleanor is a hardnosed businesswoman who finances many pirate crews, including Flint's. Gates meets with Eleanor and her adviser Mr. Scott and explains that there is an agitator on board, Singleton, who is about to unseat Flint as captain. Gates asks Eleanor for money to pay off bribes that he must give out to keep the votes from swinging in Singleton's favor. Gates claims that she should give him the money as a "sort of investment" because if Singleton were made captain, he would surely be a disaster, therefore Eleanor's profits would diminish. Against the advice of Mr. Scott, Eleanor agrees to pay the money.

Leaving the tavern, Gates goes and talks to Mosiah, who is the de facto leader of the African members of the Walrus crew. If Gates can get Mosiah and the other Africans' support, Singleton will be one vote short. Mosiah agrees to put his support behind Flint. As Gates is leaving his conversation with Mosiah, he is spotted by Rackham, the quartermaster of Captain Charles Vane's ship the Ranger. Quickly understanding what he has just seen, Rackham goes and tells Singleton. Singleton sets up a meeting on the beach with Mosiah, who brings another African member of the Walrus's crew named Levi as protection. When questioned by Singleton, Mosiah admits that he is backing Flint in the upcoming election. When Mosiah and Levi turn to leave, they are confronted by Rackham, Anne Bonny, and their Charles Vane. Levi attempts to attack, but is quickly killed by Anne. They then kill Mosiah.

Anne and Rackham S1E1.png

Back at the tavern, an African member of the Walrus's crew, Joshua, tells Gates that he has found Mosiah on the beach. Joshua, Gates, Mr. Scott, and Eleanor rush down to the beach where they see the corpse of Mosiah. Joshua explains that before Mosiah died he uttered one word: "Vane". Eleanor immediately runs back up to her tavern where she finds Vane and punches him in the face. He responds in turn by punching her in the face. Vane later enters Eleanor's room and asks why she punched him. She explains that he has screwed her over with his attempt to put Flint out of business by backing Singleton's efforts. When she threatens to not sell any more of his captured booty, Vane scoffs and states that it is her father, not her, who commands the black market. He also states that even though he once loved her, if she ever strikes him again in front of his men, he will not be so forgiving.

Eleanor goes to her room, where she meets Max, who becomes upset when she sees Eleanor bruised from her encounter with Vane. She comforts Eleanor, telling her that when things become hard, that she can come to Max, who will be her shelter from the storm. She then kisses Eleanor, and they spend the night together.

Billy And Flint S1E1.png

Meanwhile, Captain Flint is making good on his attempt to get Richard Guthrie to duplicate the schedule. With the Walrus's Boatswain, Billy Bones, accompanying him, Flint arrives at Guthrie's mansion and requests an audience with Guthrie. At the meeting with Guthrie, Flint tells him about his desire to capture the Urca de Lima and about his pursuit of the missing schedule. When he asks Guthrie to introduce him to his Spanish contacts so he can recreate the schedule, Guthrie refuses, stating that the risks are far too high to get involved. Flint attempts to physically coerce Guthrie into giving up the name of his Spanish contact in Havana, but before he succeeds he is interrupted by several members of the British Royal Navy, led by Captain Hume of the Scarborough. When confronted by Hume, Guthrie pretends that Flint and Bones are just sugar merchants. Hume, who suspects that Guthrie is running a black market alongside pirates, sees through this rouse and orders that they all be arrested. As Flint and Bones are about to be apprehended, they attack Hume and his crew, disabling them. However, during the mêlée Guthrie has been shot in the shoulder and has fallen unconscious. Flint decides it is best to take Guthrie with them back to the Walrus. As they approach the Walrus, Bones expresses some apprehension toward Flint's leadership. Flint tells Bones that they are going to need to rally behind him because he can get them through the war that is coming, not someone like Singleton. When Bones responds that they are not at war with anyone, Flint states that they are about to be at war with all of civilization. Before they reach the ship, Flint stripes Guthrie of his clothes and wig, hoping to disguise Guthrie's identity since no member of the crew has ever actually seen Guthrie in person.

Once aboard the ship, Gates tells Flint that it is time for the vote. Before the vote, Flint retires to his cabin for a moment, where he discovers the white feather. Flint had placed the feather in the drawer as an alarm to alert him if somebody had opened the drawer. Realizing that it is likely that a member of his own crew has the schedule, Flint devises a scheme that will hopefully help him defeat Singleton. Back up on the boat deck, Flint accuses Singleton of having undermined their effort to capture the treasure ship by stealing the schedule from the logbook. Gates explains that a conviction of theft carries with it the death sentence, as well as does a false accusation of thievery. Gates tells Singleton that he can either have a trial, which Singleton promptly rejects believing it would be rigged, or he can have a duel against his accuser. Singleton gladly accepts a duel against Flint. During the fight, Singleton initially has the upper hand, but Flint recovers after he strikes Singleton across the face with a small cannonball, the fight ends when Flint beats Singleton to a death with the cannonball

Flint handing the "stolen" page to Billy.

Still hovering over the defeated Singleton, Flint pulls a piece of paper from the clothes of Singleton and hands it to Bones. Bones opens the paper and sees that it is blank. Bones's loyalty is effectively put to the test by Flint handing him the paper. Bones can either expose Flint for being a liar or can claim that it is the missing schedule, exonerating Flint. Bones chooses to stick by Flint and tells the crew that it is indeed the missing schedule. Flint then pumps up the crew when he, for the first time, is honest with them about his mission to capture the Urca de Lima. He claims that the ship is of such value that it will make them "princes of the New World". The crew, having their morals boosted, begins chanting his name in support.

Back at the tavern, the prostitute, Idelle, approaches Max and tells her that the man she is looking for is downstairs. Max goes downstairs and climbs into the lap of Rackham, stating "I think I might have something you might want to buy."


  • During the scene where Silver snoops through Flint's cabin, one of the books seen in his library is De Jure Belli Ac Pais, by Hugo Grotius. The two on the desk are the Republic by Plato and Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes.





  • Fisher
  • Parrish
  • Singleton
  • Merchant Ship's Cook
  • Boatswain
  • First Mate
  • Peter
  • Duffy
  • Levi
  • Mosiah




Behind the scenes[]


Previous Next

External links[]