Show: Black Sails
Character Status: Regular
Show Status: Over
Show: Black Sails
Character Status: Regular
Show Status: Over
Max was introduced in the pilot as a seductive and cunning prostitute with a knack for manipulating people, but who dreamt of a better life for herself through her powerful lover Eleanor. When Max and Eleanor’s aspirations started to conflict, their relationship, and Max’s well-being, took a turn for the worse. Max pleaded with Eleanor to leave the island with her and start a new life, but was turned down. Feeling betrayed, Max snuck out of the brothel but was caught and imprisoned by the pirate Charles Vane and his men.
While a captive, Max was routinely beaten and raped by Vane’s men, and after a failed escape attempt, they assaulted her in public; her screams attracted a crowd, and eventually caught the attention of Eleanor. Enraged, Eleanor beat the men off Max and announced that none of them would ever do business on the island again, unless they abandon Vane. Max, still hurt from Eleanor’s rejection and feeling guilty for Vane losing his crew, offered to remain Vane’s captive until her debt was paid off.
While “paying off” her debt, she continued to be abused by Vane’s crew, despite trying to convince them that they would get more pleasure from her if they treated her gently. Max’s abuse especially distressed pirate Anne Bonny, who was herself severely abused by her ex-husband, and, with Eleanor’s help, Bonny rescued Max. Once free, Max became far more assertive, and established herself as the new Madam, helping Bonny and her lover Rackham run the old brothel.
In Season 2, Bonny discovered that Max was making a deal behind their backs, and despite being furious with her, she allowed herself to be seduced by Max. Though Bonny became upset and confused after her night with Max, she continued to have a sexual relationship with her, even sneaking out of her bed with Rackham to be with Max. Eventually Rackham discovered the affair and confronted her, telling her that Max was only sleeping with her to drive a wedge between them and manipulate her, and a tense three-way sexual relationship developed between Max, Bonny and Rackham. In the scene, Max was shown as sexually attracted to Jack Rackham, with an upset Anne looking between them. When Eleanor was arrested by the English later in the season, Max was visibly upset, but her thoughts quickly turned to the future of the island. Max collected all the money from the brothel and bought the interest in Eleanor’s tavern.
In Season 3, Max quickly established herself as Eleanor’s replacement as the merchant queen of Nassau. When Woodes Rogers arrived with his fleet, intent of re-establishing English governance of the island, Rackham and Bonny fled Nassau overland while Max elected to stay and build a life for herself under the new English governance, ending their relationship. Max bought herself a place on a newly formed governing council, and to remain in power, she betrayed Bonny and handed Rackham over to the Spanish.
Over time, Max and Eleanor have grown closer again. When Vane was arrested, Max tried to warn Eleanor of the dangerous path she was following, though Eleanor refused to listen and ordered Vane to be hanged.
In Season 4, Max was still in Nassau, along with Eleanor who was newly married to Roger Woodes. In 4×03, Max was arrested while lounging naked in bed with a female lover, and threatened with treason charges. Max and Eleanor fled to Fort Nassau as Nassau was overtaken by pirates.
In 4×04, Eleanor took charge of the remnants of the Governor’s redcoats, and discovered Max was missing. She was offered a trade, 20 captured pirates for Max, and after the exchange she and Max shared a quiet moment. Eleanor revealed she was pregnant with Rogers’ child, and she and Max came up with a plan to leave Nassau for good, with Eleanor asking “Where would we have gone?” had she fled with Max in Season 1. Eleanor was killed off two episodes later.
In 4×06 Max was reunited with Anne Bonny, and tried to make peace with her but Anne rejected her and Max was left heartbroken. She, Anne and Jack Rackham left for Philadelphia to speak with Eleanor’s grandfather and secure his partnership in revitalizing Nassau (4×07). Instead, using Max’s financial ledgers, they made a deal with Eleanor’s grandmother, the real brains behind the Guthrie business. Anne and Max remained behind in Philadelphia while Jack went back to Nassau to try and kill James Flint, as part of the deal.
In 4×08, grandmother Guthrie tried to get Max to marry a man from society, someone easily manipulated that they could put in the Governor’s office. Max however refused, fearing it would ruin her chances of rekindling a romance with Anne Bonny. She told Anne:
“I said no to Marion Guthrie’s plan, despite having no alternative and at the risk of losing the entire endeavor, because I refuse to situate a man in a position where he might interfere one day with my ability to repair things with you. You are the bravest person I have ever known, the truest person I have ever known, and I betrayed you and it sickens me. I am so sorry for working so hard to protect the wrong things. For failing to see there was nothing important that does not include you.”
Anne did not respond, and the scene ended with the two sitting side by side, holding hands.
Anne and Max were then missing from 4×09 and did not get a scene together in the series finale. In the finale, after a time jump of a few months, Rackham presented Nassau as a flourishing port with Max as the real power running Nassau, and Jack and Anne still together aboard their ship, sailing into the horizon.
Executive Producer Jonathan E. Steinberg stated 4×08 was “a little bit of a finale for Max and for Anne Bonny”.
Relationship story arc with a woman: Yes
Relationship story arc with a man: Yes
Male love interest after being identified as a lesbian? Yes (threesome)
Storyline during sweeps? No
 A relationship story arc is defined as explicit, developed on screen, and lasting more than 3 episodes. It is listed as questionable or subtext if romance is only implied, mentioned instead of shown on screen, part of a dream sequence, or otherwise not explicit for the viewer.
 Sweeps episodes air in February, May, July and November, the periods when advertising rates are set. A character is marked as "sweeps" when there is a very limited number of episodes that address their sexuality, all air during sweeps period, and the storyline is otherwise ignore/dropped.