Review: Black Sails S3E6

Review: Black Sails - "XXIV" & "XXV"

By: Jenny Robinson

Doubling up this week on the past 2 episodes of Black Sails. WOWZER!!! A lot has happened.

S3EP6 (XXIV) has started to move everyone into their strategic place. The episode primarily focuses on Flint’s journey towards Vane & Blackbeard in order to gain their fleet. It doesn’t pan out exactly as he had hoped though (an on going theme of this recap).

What is truly entertaining about this show is how well they tell the story of a pirate. You can’t assume you will succeed with what you are expecting.

Captain Flint  (Toby Stephens) anticipated meeting Charles and Teach (Ray Stevenson) to join in on his crusade to take back Nassau. Unfortunately Teach doesn’t much care for the island and Flint has a tendency of letting his mouth get the best of him.

Teach - “This fleet is all that remains of it, and as long as it’s mine, Nassau shall remain in it’s past”.
Flint - “It isn’t yours. It never was.”

OUCH! So a duel it is!

Two opposing pirates with very similar skill and determination.  Flint scores a minor hit with the gun, Teach with the sword.

Captain Flint’s words earlier to Charles “The only question that matters is this… who are you” must have hit a nerve. Flint who was still struggling from his weeks of malnutrition, looked to be failing. It was a spectacular surprise to see Vane go against his mentor and battle Teach to end the fight, saving Flint.

Blackbeard storms off the beach and tells Flint to take Vane with him (his heart scorned and patiences depleted). As a viewer, this can’t be it! We need more Blackbeard for Pete’s sake! Teach keeps the fleet but Flint gets Vane. Pretty even trade if you ask me. 

I have a sneaking feeling that it is not the last we see of Blackbeard - fingers crossed.

We end with Vane telling Flint of the intelligence that was found on the commandeered Spanish ship. The Urca Gold has been divided and Vane knows exactly where to find it. 

Speaking of which, Jack Packham’s attempt for pardon did not work so well since he is now prisoner to the new Governor. MAN O MAN.

Moving on… S3EP7 (XXV)

The momentum keeps picking up! The politics and character development of this show improves every episode. This season alone has had so many well thought out plot diversions that I have bounced from one to another for what my be my favorite part.

At this point, Flint is heading back to Nassau (minus a fleet but plus a new crew from the Slave Island). Flint’s idea of approaching the pardoned pirates of Nassau to strike fear in them is amazing pirate mentality.

As I have noted in the past, Billy Bone’s (Tom Hopper) responses and facial expressions are hands down the best addition to this show. Billy says to Flint - “You’re returning from the dead. No ghost story I’ve ever heard of begins with the ghost introducing himself”.

So the revised plan to send John Silver (Luke Arnold) onto the island instead of Flint is perfect.  The objective was to provoke fear into the debunked pirates. GENIUS! It doesn’t hurt that he has emerged in the plot with a tongue as sharp as Flint’s. 

His speech was so intense (again - pan to Billy’s expressions - PRICELESS) that even as a viewer we knew not to mess with him. Of course the angry Harry Potter doppelgänger Dufresne enters. From the measly accountant in Season 1, Dufresne (Roland Reed) has become quite unlikable. I wasn’t sure ol’Silver had it in him but a peg leg face stomp put the end to that (and to Dufresne), proving the point that Flint’s crew are true ruthless men.

I am still astonished that John Silver in Season 1 & 2 was such a weak character but BOY has he changed this season. He is proving to be a force to be reckoned with and has progressed to become my favorite character (although I still have a soft spot for Blackbeard). 

This brutal attempt to sway the pardoned pirates also did not go exactly as designed. Instead of the pirates heading to join back with Flint, they were discourage by the new governor, sitting non-aggressively on the beach. This is another prime example how the writers of this show can derail your expectations while still adding so much substance to the political overtone of the show.

So although it was a verbal duel between Governor Rogers (Luke Roberts) & Flint, it ends up being more of a reflection of the two characters. Rogers is there to do what Flint originally came to Nassau for so many years before. The writing of these two similar yet very contrasting personas was so well established in this scene that I must give props to the writing and acting (again).

The best part of this episode must be given the genius of Charles Vane (Zack McGowan). We leave this episode with Anne (Clara Paget) giving up the chest of pearls to the British without them returning Jack, as agreed upon.

Vane’s plan? He will just take the gold, pearls AND Rackham while they are in route with the British to be returned back to the Spanish. This giving both Vane and Flint more money and power than they could have ever gotten if they went directly up agains the Governor. It appears Flint may be on the road to financing his long awaited war with the King.