03x06 - XXIV.

Hudson: About six months ago, I was approached by the intelligence department of the Casa de Contratación.

They offered me a significant amount of money.

I said yes.

The department's spies had learned of an attempt to walk away with their money without them knowing of it.

If you do not return the entirety of the hidden cache, know that Nassau will likely burn for it.

With everything I've lost in recent days, I can't afford to lose the name, too.

We walk into the tavern, we sign our names, and then not only are we square with the law our money is, too.

The wound should be far further along towards quietening itself.

If the decay progresses, I'll have to remove more of your leg.

What does a colonial power do when they see a sitting governor deposed by an alliance of pirates and slaves bring down Nassau?

Maybe bring it all down.

What happens now?

Now we go find Charles Vane.

[drums beating]

[drums continue]

[rattles]

[grunting]

[grunts]

[chanting in native language]

[grunting, chanting]

[chanting]

Where is he?

[drums continue in distance]

[children chanting in native language]

[rooster crowing]

[dog barking]

[drums continue]

When you said that you'd be staying behind to solidify our new compact, I assumed that meant something.

For you to be seen as uninterested in what is happening for my father now, that is not going to help convince anyone here that you are serious about desiring their friendship.

It'll pass.

It's just a fever from the wound.

I'm fine.

[men shouting]

[shouting, grunting]

[grunts, shouts continue]

[wood snaps]

Christ!

I'm all right!

Man: Swing it down on deck!

f*cking idiot!

Listen, if you can't tie a rope, you shouldn't be on this ship!

Get astern. Calm down!

Hey! What's going on here?

His lashing came undone.

I f*cking showed it to him 10 minutes ago.

Someone could have been killed.

Then you showed him incorrectly.

It's a f*cking lashing. I know how to tie it.

If he tied it wrong, then you instructed him wrong.

You listen to me.

We persuaded them that they need us.

We most certainly need them.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

[men shouting]

[grunts]

[thuds]

Don't imagine that will be the last of those.

Neither do I.

So how exactly do you see this working?

They have their orders.

As long as we hold our end of the bargain, they'll hold.

Yeah, that wasn't what I meant.

I understood a war meant to antagonize England to frighten them, to prevent them from moving against Nassau.

But that isn't what we're talking about anymore, is it?

Now you're talking about a war meant to be won.

You convinced them.

Convinced Scott, his wife, their people, our people, even Silver.

But not you.

Everyone's wrong but you.

Maybe.

Man: Captain! Masts!

Captain.

Ocracoke Island. Teach is there.

A few hours' time, assuming he's there, I'm going to begin a discussion in which I'm going to ask him for something that he can't possibly give.

And the success or failure of this war will depend upon the outcome.

In a few hours' time, there's a good chance you're going to look awfully smart.

[shouting]

[laughing]

Man: What are you doing?

[men shouting]

Man: Bring him down!

[laughter]

[shouting continues]

Woman: You look good.

As handsome as ever.

You always were a gifted liar.

When you were still pirating, I was the woman who was Blackbeard's woman.

Put my services in great demand all men wanting what notorious men already had.

And then you leave and my business fades.

It's always the little people who get hurt the worst when the market turns.

So when are you going to tell me?

Tell you what?

What he's doing here.

Charles?

I remember when he had forced you from Nassau.

I remember how angry you were, how disappointed.

And I remember you telling me that you'd never make the same mistake again, that you had learned the hard way that only God made sons.

Things are different now.

Different how?

Doesn't need to last long.

A little Spanish shrapnel.

It went in here when I was not much older than him.

Once in a while it migrates, ticks closer to reaching its terminus and striking its chime.

Grim little timepiece whose ticking has grown louder to my ears of late.

Charles doesn't know, does he?

Man: Captain!

[man shouting]

Jesus.

Welcome to Ocracoke.

[crowd chattering]

[goat bleating]

Hudson: At first I was tempted, but in the end it felt wrong to betray the governor that way.

And it felt dangerous... so I declined.

Then how did this happen?

How does an honest chambermaid end up in the employ of the Spanish empire?

A few days after I declined their offer...

I came home late from the governor's service.

It wasn't unusual for me to return home to find my children long since fast asleep.

That night, my children were not alone.

The man who had approached me Grandal... was there... waiting.

In his left hand, a knife.

In his right, a purse.

He said my children would receive something from him that night.

He asked me to choose which.

These are the people whom I am beholden to.

This is what they are capable of doing.

I cannot imagine what they will do if the cache is not returned whole.

Ship's manifest, sir.

The entirety of the gold from the fort is now stowed and ready for transport to Havana.

We should be under way within the hour.

Put it in my office, please.

I just left Miss Hudson.

I had the instinct once or twice, the way she'd been watching me of late.

I dismissed it, just assumed it related to some concern over my relationship with you and its becoming inappropriate.

What did she say?

Did she report that we're earnestly attempting to find and return the missing money?

It's not about the money for them, not anymore.

When the gold from the Urca was stolen, it was bad enough.

Now they hear the gold is being converted into something more easily hidden from them, more easily smuggled away.

That isn't theft. It's an insult.

And insults to empires require answers.

So it's personal, then?

A binary question of my trustworthiness.

Either I return the full cache and prove it or I fail, and in trying to excuse the shortfall, only aggravate their existing suspicion that I am part of the pirate problem, not its solution.

And the dread fleet in Havana sets sail the very next day to raze all of Nassau to the ground.

Then we'll fight them, defend the island.

The odds would be dire, but we are not without resources.

No, not "we."

I mean, someone might fight them, but it won't be you and I.

If the result of my endeavor here is a Spanish attack against British forces, an act that threatens to drag the empire into a war, I would be recalled to London and likely debtors' prison and your capital sentence would be reinstated.

Now, I believe Nassau's best chance at survival is with me guiding it.

But if we cannot find Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny, if we can't find the cache in their possession, whatever happens to Nassau, you and I are likely finished.

[metal clanging]

[crowd chattering]

[chickens clucking]

Pardon me, gentlemen, if you don't mind me asking, where is this wagon headed?

To the fort.

To do what, exactly?

To fix it.

I see.

Just you two on the job, is it?

A whole gang of us up there.

Governor wants it shipshape by the end of the month.

[grunts]

Suppose that fort's not going to rebuild itself.

[scoffs] No, I suppose it won't.

[whistles] Hold still.

There.

Well? What do you think?

You mean aside from the tit curtains?

It's called a cravat.

You want to fit in with them, right?

This is what they wear.

"They" who?

Respectable men.

[groans]

All right, yeah.

[fiddle playing]

Place of birth?

Man: Bristol.

[crowd chattering]

Occupation?

Man: Ship's carpenter.

Ship served?

I used to serve the Buccaneer.

Sign here.

[fiddle continues]

Move on. Next?

What the f*ck are you doing here?

It's a cravat.

It's what respectable men wear.

It's... never mind what it is.

You're supposed to be long gone by now.

Why'd you come back?

Where we're going, it seemed better to have one of these than not.

I thought as an added prize, I'd at least be able to see it for myself, the new governor up to his ears in the very same bullshit in which I've been drowning for the past few months. And what do I find?

The streets are swept, industry is in fashion, you're dressed like a Turkish whore, and all because a man arrived, stood on the beach, and said please.

You're angry.

I'm confounded.

He offers them less in wages than I offered, demands more from them in labor, restricts more from them in license, and yet despite all of that, he's won them.

How can that be?

I know it may be hard to believe given my appearance at the moment, but the experience of it?

It ain't half bad, Jack.

Next.

Next man, please.

Your legal name?

John Rackham.

What?

The Lord Governor would like a word with you.

[people shouting in native language]

[breathing heavily]

Watch him, please.

I'll go fetch Fremah to tend to him.

I said no.

I know you did.

I don't want help.

It'll pass.

I'll just find a place to weather it for the night.

I understand that you do not want anyone to see you this way.

What I don't understand is why you choose to suffer in the first place.

You must have access to better medicines than that.

We've got access to better medicines than that.

This has nothing to do with medicine.

It has something to do with medicine...

I cannot look weak.

I cannot feel weak. I cannot be weak.

Not in front of my men. Not in front of your men.

Not at all.

For some time now, I have been holding my entire world together with both hands, keeping my men in line, seeing to their needs, and the only way that endures is if I look the part.

And I cannot look the part while being poked and prodded or while drooling through an opium haze saying who the f*ck knows what.

So I will endure this the way I have been enduring it.

No one prepared you for this, did they?

[breathing heavily]

For as long as I can remember, I have been prepared for the day I would take my mother's place.

To know that from that day forth, I would forever be the one who tends as opposed to the one who is tended to.

You're frustrated. You're angry.

You're tired.

Perhaps no one else knows why.

I believe that not even you know why.

But I know why.

The crown is always a burden... but it cannot be borne if you cannot stand.

[waves crashing]

Nearly dismasted in a storm... a storm you chased after.

Nearly starved to death in the doldrums.

Nearly executed by them.

Either you are unkillable, friend, or way overdue.

One way or another, I am here, and there is much to discuss about all our futures.

What kind of future do you propose that to be?

I intend to gather forces and move to reclaim Nassau.

The conquest is always weakest when the conqueror allows himself to believe that it is done.

For Nassau, that point is now.

Now, England may hold the island, but it still needs supplies brought in.

It is still dependent upon trade.

We will make that impossible for him.

We will harass his ships. We will plunder his supplies.

We will force him to bleed capital and support and the goodwill of the men surrounding him until he is weak enough to challenge directly.

Until we can bring the fleet to bear and retake the bay.

You know, when I called Nassau home, most of the men on this beach weren't even men.

I sailed with Ben Hornigold.

I sailed with Sam Bellamy. I sailed with Henry Avery.

Feuded with them, stole from them, questioned their motives, but we all knew what we were.

Then a man arrives who would explain to us that what we've been doing was wrong all those years, what Nassau ought to be, what he could make it if we would all just follow his lead.

And here you are again to do the same.

You let it go well before its time.

It was past its time.

That you cannot see this only makes it clearer to me that you never even knew it in the first place.

This fleet is all that remains of it, and as long as it's mine, Nassau shall remain in its past.

It isn't yours.

It never was.

Those ships, their commanders and crews, they were pledged to my command, not yours.

Oaths were taken, and I have come to see them honored.

Do you honestly believe that I would just step aside and let you make that claim?

I honestly don't give a sh1t what you would or would not do.

The decision isn't yours.

It's his.

I've come to resume our compact, the one we swore upon our lives to uphold.

If you stand up and acknowledge it, this fleet will follow us.

I'm certain of it.

You weren't there.

No, I wasn't.

But had I been there, there would be no question about any of this.

Had I been there, we would have mounted the defense that we had agreed to mount.

Had you been there, you would have seen their faces, the ones who laid their arms down and turned their backs on us.

The ones who took our money for months and were happy to try and deliver my head to our enemies for a little more of it.

Nassau is dead.

It doesn't deserve anything else from me or the men on this beach.

We are finally free from it, and I see no reason to change that.

If you wish to leave this place, I'll allow it, although somehow I don't think you have any intention of leaving.

No, I don't.

And I think you know that I would never allow you to call a vote to settle the matter of who this fleet follows and risk you depleting my force by luring away some misguided minority.

No, I don't imagine you would.

So we have one fleet and two men claiming it.

There is only one way I know of to resolve that.

Pistols, then swords.


Captain Rackham.

It's a pleasure to finally meet you.

Give us the room, please.

Drink?

Thank you.

I apologize for the strangeness of this meeting.

I know you and I don't know each other.

[door closes]

I know you... some.

I read your book.

Did you?

Well, most of it.

I confess, I may not quite have soldiered through to the end.

But, you know, I got the gist of it.

If you don't mind my asking, what did you take to be its gist?

Wealthy son of a wealthy man takes to the sea to prove something to the parents, presumably.

Seeks adventure, finds the limits of his own capacity.

Loses everything in the process and then stumbles upon a hell of a story in the process.

Please understand, I'm quite particular about my library, but people seem to have liked it fine, and it seems to have done wonders for you.

So congratulations on all that.

Thank you.

All of that notwithstanding... you and I share an experience in this place.

And as such, I'm hopeful that you'll understand why it is I brought you here today and what it is I'm about to ask of you.

What's that?

I know you removed a significant amount of gold from the fort.

I know it is in your possession, and I need you to give it up... or we're all dead.

[men muttering]

[seagulls screeching]

You can't win.

[grunts]

I hear you spent weeks becalmed, deprived of food and water.

At your best, it would have been a dogfight, but diminished...

I'm not that diminished.

He's been off the account for years.

He'll be more vulnerable than he remembers himself being.

He's not that vulnerable.

And for what?

You subject yourself to certain death for an island full of weaklings and ingrates?

Those men will go where they are led.

Rogers captured their minds before you could, but let's not pretend that they can't be won again.

And let's not pretend that either of us believes for a moment that I'm doing this for their sakes.

I gave you my word.

Shook your hand.

Pledged to defend the island with you.

But my pledge to him began a long time before I ever knew your name.

What I owe him...

I don't care.

I don't care that you shook my hand.

I don't care what you feel you owe him.

This is too important to be clouded by any of that.

They took my home.

I can't walk away from that.

Can you?

Forget me, forget Teach, forget loyalty, compacts, honor, debts, all of it.

The only question that matters is this.

Who are you?

Spain knows about the exchanges?

They do, and they are displeased.

How do you know they know?

So what does that look like?

Return it all or it's the Rosario raid all over again?

[pouring]

Something like that.

I understand why you did it.

I know what it feels like to lose everything and feel powerless to do anything about it.

The temptation to keep something to show for it all, I understand it.

But it does not change the reality we face.

That you face.

For I assure you, if Spain invades over this, yours will be the first face they see.

I heard Henry Avery's name when I was a boy, heard the way people spoke it... grown men in awe of it.

I came to this place so determined to do the same.

That's not going to happen the way I thought it was, is it?

It never does.

My advice?

You want some say in how they speak of you?

Write a book.

[laughs]

Right now, what do you want to do?

Do you have a pen?

Rogers: He's agreed to cooperate.

One man goes into the interior to deliver this, instructions written in his hand to his partner to return to Nassau and surrender the cache.

He said she may be wary, asked there be only one messenger to deliver the letter.

Give this to Lieutenant Hersey.

Have him prepare to depart for the interior.

I'll pass him details momentarily.

He should be made aware Anne will not be taken lightly.

Well, neither will Lieutenant Hersey.

I understand Jack was arrested today.

I would like to know why.

[crowd chattering]

[waves crashing]

[men chattering]

[seagull screeching]

[man mutters]

What happens if he loses?

If he loses, he dies.

I meant what happens to us?

I don't know.

Probably given a chance to join the fleet, fold in, and go back on the account.

When your men entreated me to join your crew, they said your captain was a man worth following.

A strong man, a wise man, they said.

But right now I can't tell which side of this contest you'd prefer to see prevail.

Can you help me make sense of that?

[men muttering]

A few days ago I could make sense of all of it.

He was going to die and we were going to be free, from the account, from him...

[sighs]

With all the sh1t he's done, the things he's gotten away with, that would have been fair.

That would have been right.

I think part of the reason I've been able to stand by his side is that I wanted to make sure I've got a good view of the moment the world finally catches up to him... and this story starts to make sense again.

This is a matter of honor to be settled once and for good in the here and now.

The parties have agreed to combat and have accepted common practice.

The parties have further agreed there will be no quarter asked nor given.

[exhales]

Man: Cock your pistols!

[hammer clicks]

[hammer clicks]

From this moment, there's to be no movement until a count of three.

One... two... three!

[gunshots]

[men gasp]

[gasps]

[men whispering]

[seagull screeching]

[gasping]

[gasping]

[grunts]

[men chattering]

[gasping]

[groans]

[gasping]

[exhales]

[both grunting]

[squelches]

[shouts, groans]

[grunts]

[grunting, panting]

[grunting]

Take him.

And get the f*ck off my beach.

[men chattering in native language]

If you won't take the opium, at least take this to bite down on.

Just do it.

[grunts]

[gasps]

[breathing heavily]

[grunts]

[squishing]

[whimpers]

[breathing heavily]

Silver: The burden I wasn't prepared for...

[distant drums beating]

Silver: it isn't the men.

It's him.

Flint?

What he wants, what he needs, what he fears... the depths of it...

they are profound and dark.

I serve the crew best by tempering him, steering him where he's needed.

I've descended into those depths and connected with him so that I might be able to do so.

But I am acutely aware that I'm not the first to have been there...

to have been a partner to him in this way.

And that the ones that have seen those depths before... they never surfaced again.

Maybe their mistake was in trying to do it alone.

Maybe to go to such a place, one needs another to hold the tether and to find a way out.

Maybe.

[door opens]

I know this cannot have been easy for you.

I know this is so far from how you thought things would end.

But I wanted you to know that the end of this may not quite be what you think it is.

How's that?

When Anne receives your letter and returns here with what remains of the cache, Nassau will be secured, and everyone will know that it is because of Jack Rackham that it occurred.

I'll have spared Nassau... and you think the story of it will be told long after I am gone?

I know it will.

I will make sure of it.

Sounds a lifeless story to me, and one that requires commitments before the fact to ensure its retelling.

When the current story unfolds, I assure you, it's going to get around all on its own.

What does that mean?

I walked into this place today stunned at how quickly that man downstairs had completed his conquest, how thoroughly he had seemed to win just about everyone I know over to his side.

The truth of the matter is there's been no conquest.

It's only the appearance of one.

For conquest is an either/or proposition.

Either you have it or you do not.

It would appear that without that cache, he most certainly does not.

Jack, what did you do?

I sent word to Anne to take the cache and disappear.

No. The governor saw your letter to her.

You don't think I can convey a thought to Anne comprehensible only to her?

A thought as simple as "run"?

A letter that said everything the governor wished it to say in exactly the way he'd want to say it would not sound like anything I'd ever say.

A thought here or two between the lines...

I assure you, she understood.

So I have begun the duel between myself and our Lord Governor.

The rules are simple.

I will deny him the cache.

No matter what sort of inducements he offers or pain he inflicts,

I will deny him the cache, and so I will deny him the victory.

And in doing so, I will ensure that whatever Nassau is come Christmas, English will be not it.

[silent]

Do not do this.

It's done.

Rackham: So, one of two outcomes will result.

Rogers will understand his defeat to be ultimately inevitable and leave this place, in which case I'll have it back.

Or he'll stubbornly refuse and eventually Spain will raze this place to the ground.

The English flag will burn, and a second pirate republic will be born from the ashes of the first.

Only this time, every man who calls it home will know it came about because of me.

[crickets chirping]

[people chattering in native language]

I worry... that we have made a terrible mistake.

I see what you see in them...

Silver and Flint.

But their relationship is so volatile and we have put our lives in their hands.

Those men rose to their stations because they are peerless when it comes to shaping the world to their will, in creating a narrative and wielding it to compel men's hearts and minds.

But the most compelling story requires a villain at its center.

And if either Captain Flint or Mr. Silver sees the other as a villain... or worse... us as that...

then all is lost.

They are of great value to us, but they must be managed by us to avoid that outcome.

How?

I wish... you and I had not been so separate all those years.

I wish I could have found a way to be a better father to you.

But over time, I was determined to leave you something behind, to give you the one thing that no one could ever take away... and that would make you strong enough to understand their world, interact with their world... wage war on their world.

But if their identity lies in their stories, I wanted you to know them so that when we are ready to call them enemies, you would be ready for it.

The villain makes the story.

So to manage our current partners, we must ensure that we all agree at all times who our common villain is.

Man: The fugitive's name is Anne Bonny.

She's going for a capture of £500.

[chattering]

Man: ... several miles away on the road out of town.

[chatter continues]

[horse neighs, hoofbeats depart]

Earlier today, before we knew Rackham was still on the island, you seemed confident that we could locate him and his friend in time.

You said it was possible because they didn't know that we were looking for them.

Why do I get the feeling, now that they do know, now that they've made it their personal crusade to see this regime fail, that your estimate will be far less optimistic?

The militia will help.

It will keep the pressure on, and perhaps we'll get lucky.

But if we don't, then you may have to be prepared...

Oh, I'm prepared to do anything.

Anne Bonny must be found.

The cache must be found.

Right now, that is all that matters.

And that said, the goodwill that we have engendered among the people of Nassau is not without limits.

The longer this drags out, the riskier it becomes, because if I find that money only to lose the street...

You will not.

If you have me, then you have the street.

I am all the reassurance they need.

Yes, Jack and Anne were my partners, my friends.

More.

But now they have made themselves something else to me.

I have sacrificed too much to build something here.

I will not let them take it away.

[bell ringing]

All he ever did was offer me his friendship.

I cast him aside once, spent years regretting it.

And now here we are again.

Tell me I didn't do it for nothing.

Well, I won't lie to you.

It would have helped having the fleet.

We have assets, we have allies.

The question is what we make of them.

I may be able to help in that regard.

Something to add to our pool of assets.

Before Ocracoke, we came upon a prize... a Spanish prize ferrying a significant trove of intelligence.

Most of it was destroyed by the time we found it, but among the remains was one piece of information, something everyone else was quick to dismiss as it held no value to them in that moment.

Information about what?

Money...

separated from the Urca gold within the fort and rendered into a new form... a cache of gems for which Spain is holding the new governor accountable.

A cache which, if used creatively, could be the key to defeating British forces in Nassau.

The only question is, can we find it before he does?