Thursday, March 24, 2016

Eleanor is making Cersei-like Decisions on “Black Sails”

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see last week’s ending on Black Sails coming. Not at all.

The queen of Nassau?
I had no idea what to expect when Eleanor encountered Charles Vane in Nassau’s dungeon, and I wasn’t too surprised by her initial reaction. But by the end of the episode two things were clear. First, Eleanor is all-in with Woodes Rogers. And second, she’s now making the type of decisions that made Queen Cersei famous on Game of Thrones

The queen of bad decisions.
There have always been a few similarities between Eleanor Guthrie and Cersei Lannister. After all, both are strong and beautiful women with lots of cunning and ambition. Until now, however, Cersei has been much more ruthless and vindictive, but she’s also been a master of bad decision-making. These include giving the High Sparrow an army, alienating Highgarden by imprisoning Margaery, ensuring war with Dorne, and ignoring the threat beyond the Wall, just to name a few. And thanks to last week’s episode, both she and Eleanor have something else in common: very bad decisions.

Max was the first to recognize it. By summarily trying and executing Charles Vane, Eleanor has broken Rogers’ bargain with the men of Nassau. Vane saw it too, and it allowed him to complete his character arc from Season 1 villain to Season 3’s noble hero. Now, as Billy Bones recognized, the “the resistance in Nassau is now underway.” Count this as the first consequence of Eleanor’s bad decision.

Unintended consequences!
Consequence #2 is that Edward Teach has been motivated to become Blackbeard again in all of his ruthless, most-notorious-pirate-ever, glory! I guarantee it was a consequence she failed to consider. The third consequence, of course, will be Flint’s wrath. Last episode, I even think Mr. Scott realized that Eleanor is beyond hope. While at his deathbed, Madi refers to Eleanor as Mr. Scott’s other daughter, and says “she’s one of them now” (meaning the English). Madi warns her father that now he has daughters on both sides of this war. But to this, he responds, “Only you.” 

One thing that Game of Thrones has taught us is that Cersei always rebounds. After everything she’s set in motion, I suspect Eleanor Guthrie will only wish she could be so lucky.

* Photos courtesy of Starz and HBO.


Bill said...

I couldn't comment until I saw the episode. I think you're right - she's messing up.

I still can't read your next Black Sails post until I watch that.

Joseph Finley said...

Bill, you will love the finale!