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1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Double Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Some thoughts about this episode.

We get some really good small comedic moments here. From John Silver's "maybe we'll be friends by then" to Gates having to take Flint outside to get him to stop starting arguments. "My fault, I should have specified that you were to keep your temper for the *entirety* of the meeting." His exasperation is hilarious.

Vane in contrast is at his most horrible here: while reasonable at the meeting, we see that his crew has been torturing Max. At the same time though, he also chooses to let Max go, and it's a pretty unexpected reaction just going by all we've seen so far.

Is it strange to say I like the Eleanor/Vane sex scene? Not because I ship the characters at all - definitely don't - but you actually see a lot about their relationship in it. They're both kind of jockeying for position the whole time, like they're playing a game of tug-of-war rather than having sex (and I like that you see Eleanor prioritizing her pleasure as well - that's not something you see in a lot of sex scenes). I mentioned in the patreon post that the writers of the show have described Eleanor/Vane as like a bad college relationship, and I think that's an apt way to put it. They're clearly bad for each other, but also just as clearly keep getting drawn back together for various reasons, such as attraction and circumstance.

But the biggest question raised by this episode is: who is Mrs. Barlow? We see bits and pieces of her this episode, and it is her reading aloud that we end on, but we aren't any closer to answering that question by the end. It's clear that there is more to her than there seems, even if we don't believe - like certain members of Flint's crew - that she's a witch who controls a zombie Flint's soul lol. It's kind of funny: Barlow is asked by the pastor if Flint is keeping her there, and she not only doesn't answer, but sends the pastor away after he asks. These outside perspectives have alternate interpretations: one thinks that Flint is being controlled by her, and the other that Flint is controlling Barlow. (Series spoilers) Xabjvat jurer Zvenaqn'f fgbel tbrf, vg'f ernyyl vagrerfgvat gb tb bire guvf fghss. Orpnhfr juvyr fur'f qrsvavgryl abg pbagebyyvat Syvag'f npgvbaf, ure bja npgvbaf nofbyhgryl fche uvz ba, naq ur znxrf fcrpvsvp pubvprf orpnhfr bs gur vasbezngvba fur tvirf uvz. Lbh pbhyq rira nethr gung "Syvag" vf obea va cneg orpnhfr bs Zvenaqn'f npgvbaf. Fb gurer vf n xvaq bs tenva bs gehgu va gurer.

And lastly, I have to say: poor Max. Even though she ultimately makes a choice at the end, she's in a terrible situation and didn't have a lot of options. I've seen some comments say that her actions at the end don't make sense, but I think they do. She loved Eleanor, and so expected everything from her (because that's what Max would give). But Eleanor betrayed her, would have let pirates hurt her for information. In contrast, Max knew Vane and his crew would *at the very least* probably try to kill her, so the way they treat her isn't outside of her expectations (which does not, of course, make it less horrific). But then Vane lets her go, and that's not what she would have expected at all. So, who does she go with? The person who was supposed to love her, who was willing to let her be hurt for information? Or the person who was supposed to kill her, but ended up letting her go? I definitely get what her thought process was.

Spoilers for S1:
Znex unq zr frevbhfyl ynhtuvat jvgu bar bs gurve pbzzragf gubhtu: "Vf Ze. Tngrf tbvat gb zheqre guvf zna ol gur raq bs gur fubj yby?" va ersrerapr gb Syvag. Naq, hu, lbh erirefr gung naq lbh'ir tbg n fbyvq cerqvpgvba unun.

1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Double Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Okay, I missed the liveblog today due to work, but I *did* update the character sheet. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xdKd9w2Wu4Nrl...

Mark has said the next one will be this Saturday, though a time hasn't yet been announced. I hope to see more of y'all there, and I'll still be posting some thoughts about the episode that was watched today.

2 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Double Shenanigans · 2 replies · +1 points

Black Sails Post-Liveblog Discussion Thread

[youtube XFTcA4QLHw0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFTcA4QLHw0 youtube]

Okay, this post will be for discussion any Black Sails episodes we watch during the next two weeks! Links to the liveblogs will be included in the replies. Remember to use rot13 for spoilers!

Looking forward to watching and talking about this show more with all of you!

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

All right, that's episode two down!

Right off the bat, this show is *great* about changing the status quo. Nothing stays the same, and the actions the characters take have far-reaching consequences. Killing Singleton and getting his crew to believe that he had been the one to steal the page won Flint his crew back after being on the brink of losing his captaincy, but that "truth" being out there changes the way other characters react as well. It leads to Vane believing that Max is lying about the location of the page (even though she isn't), and things continue to spiral out from there.

And spiral out they sure do. Eleanor begins the episode by talking about her fear of what she has accomplished in Nassau being taken away from her, and indicator of just how much the place means to her. And Max knows that - it's why she talks about the future of Nassau they could build together with enough money. However, it's the "together" part of that that is the most important to her...but that's not the case for Eleanor. It's why Flint's story hits her the way it does, why she tells Mr. Scott that she "needs" to do his plan. The idea that she could help to build a stable place here, after all the work she's already done, when right now she lives in a reality where people will credit her accomplishments to her Father...well, that's something she wants very badly. So badly, she'd even hurt someone she loves to get it. Of course, I think there's a little more to it as well. Max hits the nail on the head when she says "You've lost everyone you ever loved and it terrifies you": there is a part of Eleanor that wants to push Max away out of fear, and we've seen that since the first episode.

Of course, Eleanor promises to protect Max. But how can Max believe that, and how can that offer be worth anything, when Eleanor has made it clear that her personal ambitions are more important to her than Max's safety? When the implication is that she would have let the pirates beat Max for information? It's no wonder Max wants to leave now.

The idea of 'building' a place that is stable is a theme that comes up more than once here. After all, Gates makes it pretty clear that chasing after the Urca De Lima is about a lot more than just claiming treasure, but using that wealth to make something sustainable for themselves and the crew. Gates tells Billy "We can't thieve forever," and it's clear that this is something Billy has never even considered. Long-term plans are probably not a big part of pirate life in general.

Vane is someone who also doesn't seem to appreciate long-term plans. Jack lays out what he wants to do, but Vane doesn't like the idea of it at all. He's pretty clearly much more about immediacy than thinking about the future. Of course, there are times where that comes in handy: Silver probably would have just kept sending guys down to talk in his place if Jack had been there alone. And Jack in the end loses the investment he'd found so promising due to a poor immediate reaction on his part.

And at the end, we're introduced to a new character. Her familiarity with Flint speaks volumes, and already gets you wondering what exactly is going on with her.

The thing I most want to talk about though, is Flint's speech about Odysseus. "Pick up an oar, and walk inland, until someone mistakes that oar for a shovel. Then you will have reached a place where no man has been troubled by the sea, and you will find peace." He sits in that chair, still covered in blood from murdering Singleton, and talks about raising crops and animals. Building a nation. A home, where the people who live there can be free. Not exactly what we would expect to hear from a pirate captain.

(Series spoilers) Xabjvat rirelguvat nobhg Syvag, xabjvat ubj gur fgbel raqf. Gurer'f whfg fb zhpu *gurer*. Ur ernyyl vf ynlvat bhg n ybg bs vf zbgvingvba. Ur jnagf gb jnyx vaynaq. Ur jnagf gb furq gur anzr bs Syvag naq svavfu uvf ybat wbhearl ubzr. Naq ab znggre lbhe vagrecergngvba bs gur raqvat, riraghnyyl ur qbrf svaq n fbeg bs crnpr, naq n cynpr jurer gur frn ab ybatre gebhoyrf uvz.

Thanks so much to everyone who watched along! I'm really looking forward to the next one! And if you have any thoughts, please feel free to post them here!

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Oh, and here's the link to the post for today's liveblog: https://www.patreon.com/posts/mark-liveblogs-5428...

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

One a new post is up, I'll make a new discussion thread, but for those who join in today, I'll see you back here afterward!

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Oooh that's good to know! That's a really good price.

5 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +5 points

Posting this as its own comment since it might be missed in the replies of my discussion thread.

For those that were maybe interested in joining the Black Sails liveblog but missed the first one, Mark scheduled the next for this Sunday, at 3PM EST.

5 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

I hope you can join in! Mark seems to be enjoying it a lot already, and I hope these discussion posts will inspire others to watch, even if they miss some or all of the liveblogs.

6 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm not sure what the spoiler policy is for Treasure Island characters. It's a pretty old story, and most people have seen at leas some version of it (even if it's just Muppet Treasure Island, or Treasure Planet, as is the case with me). But if you're familiar with the story, you may have recognized more than just John Silver or Flint.

In addition to the Treasure Island characters, there are actually quite a few real historical figures in our cast as well. The only named ones we've gotten so far are Jack Rackham and Charles Vane: two real-life pirates. There was another in the episode, but they weren't named yet in-episode. I used the name in the character sheet if you choose to look at it, but I'll avoid it here in these comments to be on the safer side.