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This third season premiere of Black Sails opens with three unknown men boarding a ship. They blow past an obvious underling pirate and barge their way into the captain’s quarters of an unknown ship. The Captain in question keeps his back turned to the men the entire time as they question him as to why he left their sister after marrying her. He proceeds to explain how he never honors any contract with the word “Forever” in it and how their sister failed to mention that his name was Teach. He then gets up and reveals himself to be Ray Stevenson. Yes guys, Blackbeard has made shore on Black Sails.
After the credits we find a town getting sacked by some hooded figures. It’s Captain Flint and his men, who since last season have gone on a binge of murder and looting any east coast town that dares raise a hand against a pirate. The town they’re currently at, Bath, NC, had three pirates hung and left for show outside the town. Flint calls the town regent out on it and then proceeds to murder him and his wife in cold blood. When he gets back to the ship, Billy and newly elected Quartermaster John Silver see the look on Flint’s face and know it hasn’t gone well. They discuss amongst themselves that the raids might be getting to Flint. Later in the episode John Silver confronts Flint about not going on the raids anymore but Flint shuts him down.
We also see Charles Vain sailing towards a ship ripe for the taking but the ship is tossing people over the side. We get a little more backstory on Vain as he hates slavers due to him growing up as a slave. The ship’s cargo was slaves rather than the timber that Rackham had told him it was. Vain collects the slave cargo and tosses the ship’s captain down to Davey Jones’ locker. When he gets back he confronts Jack about why he lied to him and Jack proceeds to tell him how every worker in the town refuses to repair the fort for him no matter how much money they throw at it and their only alternative was to acquire a bunch of slaves to do the job. Vain reluctantly agrees to use the slaves knowing they have no other choice.
Back to Captain Flint and his ship. We see them coming up on a ship that’s not moving at all or scrambling to get away from them. They board the ship and find no one but a dead captain. As the ship is being investigated, John Silver sees another ship on the horizon. The entire thing is a setup by the newly appointed British pirate hunter Captain Hornigold, who has turned Ms. Guthrie in for clemency from the king since we saw him last season. Captain Flint chooses not to engage, as against that ship it would be suicide and not to surrender, but instead to run directly into a “ship-killing” storm. More on this next episode.
And speaking of Ms. Guthrie, we see her in a dungeon in England where she is given the offer of leniency for giving up the names of all the pirates that would help take back Nassau and those that would be a problem. She immediately writes one name down which we don’t see but we can guess as it immediately cuts back to Charles Vain.
The episode ends with the Captain Teach landing in Nassau and asking if someone can help him find an “old friend” Charles Vain.
This episode was a great season 3 opener for me. Lots of action, story progression and it showed a little time jump from last season that I think was needed. The best part about this entire show, to me, is the fact that these are all real pirates. This is history come alive and with the vague backstory already there, the gaps are filled in. That being said having Edward Teach, “Blackbeard” show up is a most welcome addition. Ray Stevenson makes the calmly spoken Blackbeard just as menacing as he needs to be as I’m sure we’ll see his bloodthirsty side rear its head throughout the rest of entire season. A definite strong season opener and setup for a season I’m excited for.