“Black Sails” has used sex as a plot device throughout the show. On tonight’s episode, they did it again, but it wasn’t in a way that was expected. It wasn’t the threesome of Rackham, Bonny, and Max stirring up all the drama this time around. It was flashbacks of the tragic Lord Thomas, Lady Anne, and Captain Flint relationship riveting viewers.
Tonight’s episode of “Black Sails” revealed that Flint is gay (or at least bisexual), and he is the ex-lover of Anne’s former husband Lord Thomas. The homosexual romance with Thomas was with the full blessing of Anne. She loved Thomas, but she knew he had other physical needs that she couldn’t fulfill. That’s where then-Lieutenant Flint was able to fill a void in the marriage.
Unfortunately, this arrangement came crashing down on all three of them. Flint recommended to Anne (in flashback) that the trio go to Nassau, far from Britain, where all three could live as they wanted. He had dreams of Lord Thomas serving as governor of New Providence Island. Flint set about trying to make this dream a reality, but the fact that he was having an affair with Lord Thomas was leaked. The earl, the father of Lord Thomas, banished Anne and Flint from Britain. He then had his son Thomas taken to a hospital. The story the earl invented, which is supposed to be the more socially acceptable one for that time period, was that Anne had an affair with Flint, the two ran off together, and Lord Thomas had to be taken to a hospital to recover from his grief and shock. The knowledge that Thomas was taken away, and that he was being banished, is what changed Flint from an honorable British officer to an evil pirate. This backstory explains why he is set on taking over New Providence Island and rebelling against the British Empire.
Now that we all know why Flint is the way he is, it’s actually very unsatisfying. “Downton Abbey” has already been there and done that with Thomas Barrow. Thomas is the gay assistant butler at Downton Abbey. He is corrupt and severely personality disordered, because the stigma of being gay has tortured his soul.
Seeing this plot on “Black Sails” didn’t sit well with me. It’s not just that it’s an unoriginal idea; it’s also not a believable one. Thomas has suffered for being gay on “Downton Abbey,” and he does do a lot of amoral things, but his response has never been to blow up Downton with a cannon or become a career criminal. Captain Flint’s personality change was so dramatic that it is hard to fathom.