In typical Mark Burnett fashion, the opening sequence of Pirate Master is mystical looking, full of fog blowing across the water under a moonlit night as the show contestants row towards their new home aboard the Picton Castle. The show’s host is Cameron Daddo who welcomes the crew onboard but warns them that this will be no pleasure cruise. The ship is a working vessel and while they’re on board they are expected to work. If they don’t there will be consequences.
The first task they have is to pull an old treasure chest out of the water. Cameron tells the new crew that the discovery of the chest, the Chest of Zanzibar, confirmed the legend of captain Henry Steel. In 1726 Captain Henry Steel looted over 100 ships. Everyone was after him. There was no way he was going to let anyone get him so he divided his treasure into 14. One for him, and one for each of his 13 pirate crewmen. They arrived at the island of Dominica where they all then went ashore and buried their treasure, coming back with two maps to their location. Those maps were then locked inside the chest. Now these contestants are on the hunt for this treasure which is now worth $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) which, any of it they find, they can keep.
They have all been trained in sailing and will only be aboard the ship as long as their other shipmates deem them worthy.
Let’s meet the contestants:
Alexis Shubin is a 26 year old Fashion Publicist from Laguna Beach, CA
Azmyth Kaminski is a 26 year old Music Producer from Los Angeles, CA
Ben Fagen is a 23 year old Musician from Charleston, SC
Cheryl Kosewicz is a 35 year old District Attorney from Sparks, NV
Christa DeAngelo is a 29 year from Tamaqua, PA who is Ex-Military
Christian Okoye is a 45 year old from Rancho Cucamonga, CA who is a Former NFL Player
Jay Hatkow is a 37 year old Automotive Parts Salesman from Plymouth, MI
Joe Don “J.D.” Morton is a 36 Smoke-jumper (firefighter) from Fairbanks, AK
John Lakness is a 25 year old Junior Scientist and Chippendale Dancer from Carlisle, MA
Jocelyn “Joy” McElveen is a 21 yead old Receptionist from West Columbia, SC
Elicia “Jupiter” Mendoza is a 30 year old Bartender from Los Angeles, CA
Kendra Guffey is a 38 year old Dive Master from Los Angeles, CA
Laurel Schmidt is a 21 year old Glass Blower from Los Angeles, CA
Louie Frase is a 43 year old Marina Owner from Fishing Creek, MD
Nessa Nemir is a 29 year old Make-Up Artist from Berkeley, CA
Sean Twomey is a 27 year old Bartender from Venice, CA
Once they set sail, Joy gets seas sick and is obviously without seas legs.
Cameron calls everyone on deck and opens the first compartment of the chest where they find two maps and two compasses. Time to split them up into two teams.
Those picking the red ball are: Joy, Azmyth, Jay,
And those picking the black ball are: Joe Don, Jay, Christian, Ben, Louie, John, Cheryl
The crew that finds today’s treasure, keeps it. The other, comes away empty handed. The crews each head to their long boats to follow their maps. They must then travel up the indian river and turn at left at the fork to find a dead man’s tree. They must then travel on foot and find three buried keys which will help them unlock and lower a dead man from a cage and find their next map.
The red team paddle off course and lose time. Ben from the black team loses his shoe in the mud and the rest of them beg him to forget it and move on. He eventually pulls it out and they head off east again.
With the new map, the black crew head back up the river. The black crew are first to reach the sabotage point and chop through a rope that releases a giant net across the river. The black crew reach the Crocodile’s Lair first and search frantically for the treasure. The red team get through the net and the pressure is on to find the treasure. John pulls the treasure out of the water and hands the black team the victory.
Back on the ship they open the box and Cameron tells them that the large pieces are worth $500, the smaller pieces are worth $100 and the smallest ones are worth $20. They count it all up and there’s $40,000 worth of gold on the table.
Cameron asks the team to elect a captain. The majority votes Joe Don but John isn’t happy. As captain, Joe Don takes half the bounty. He can do whatever he wants with it. Cheryl and Ben are selected as officers. They both share in half of what is left, getting $5,000 each. Everyone else shares what is left and get $2,000 each. They are demoted and much obey the captains orders and they’re all sent downstairs with their gold.
John is upset that he did everything to get the treasure and got nothing in return. Cameron hands Joe Don the keys to the captain’s quarters. The captain’s quarters are pretty lavish and the other crew who aren’t living in luxury aren’t happy. A mutiny is afoot.
Cameron comes in and tells the captain that he must mark three pirates with a black spot. Tonight in Pirates Court those three will have a chance to defend themselves before their fellow pirates vote for them. One of them will be cut adrift. However, if the pirates mutiny, and the officers agree, then it will be the captain that is cut adrift.
Joe Don wants John off the ship as he’s been doing his own thing since the start of the voyage. They’re also worried about Laurie as he’s also been planning his own mutiny. The third person who gets a black mark is Joy. They hand out the letters and tell them that if there is a black spot on their letters then they will be up for being cut adrift but if they all choose to mutiny together then it will Joe Don is gone.
John attempts to get everyone to join him in a mutiny and uses his ownership of the compasses as leverage.
At the pirate court, Louie says he’ll miss everyone if he’s cut adrift and just wants to be paid. Joy says she has done everything she could and that she’s not ready to go and that she doesn’t think they want her to go. John admits that he hasn’t been supportive of the captain and says they should get rid of the captain rather than lose the compasses.
Joe Don says that he can tell the direction but because the moon is behind the cloud, he can’t tell which was is north. The pirates make their votes by taking one of the cards in their wallents on the dagger.
Cameron counts the ten ballots and announces a clear decision. He asks Joy to rejoin the crew as her journey will be continuing. He also tells Louie to rejoin the crew. The decision was unanimous. John is being cut adrift. John is lowered onto a raft with a solitary lantern and with one chop of his sword, the captain cuts him adrift.