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Black Sails – XXII Review

"The ship, the ship, the ship is on FIRE!"

So this week’s episode of Black Sails was definitely a little bit faster paced, but not by much. The crew of the Walrus has now been captured by a colony of former slaves on an island in the middle of nowhere, and Charles Vane has to get off the island of Nassau because England put a bounty of 10,000 pounds on his head. There’s a great fight scene where Vane is escaping the island and Blackbeard shows up at the last second to make the save as he’s outnumbered. Blackbeard starts pulling pistols out of everywhere and dropping people in an almost John Woo (albeit prate-like) action sequence. Ok, maybe it wasn’t as cool as that, but it was still pretty cool to where I was still cheering YES after seeing zero action in last week’s bore-fest.

I’m not sure where they’re going with the storyline of Flint and his men though as it seems a little too convenient that John Silver smiles at the Queen’s daughter and then all of sudden she’s having him brought to her quarters to talk. The introduction of Ben as the sole survivor of the previous crew of slavers that showed up to the island seemed contrived, and the whole sub-plot probably won’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things. It will more than likely go something like this: The crew of the Walrus will make an escape attempt and the Queen’s daughter will end up going with them as a captive. Or the Queen’s daughter will turn against her mother and have the entire island of slaves join the crew of the Walrus with the promise of revenge on England and the promise of freedom in Nassau. Either way it’ll become a forgettable sub-plot by the end of the season. I could be wrong, but it just seems like nothing really important and just a way to keep Flint and company away from Nassau.

*************** TV PREVIEW FOR JANUARY 5, 2014. DO NOT USE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.**************From left, Toby Schmitz (Jack Rackham) Zach McGowan (Charles Vane) Clara Paget (Anne Bonny star in Starz Entertainment's series BLACK SAILS. Photo Credit: Starz Entertainment.

This episode worked for me but the island part is there for a reason, I’m just not sure what yet. I’m also getting bored with Flint’s dream sequences where he talks to the dead Mrs. Barlow. OK, we get it, he feels guilty she died while going along with him to Charleston. For a man who has killed so many people in the coldest of blood, to constantly harp on her death just seems a bit out of character. I get that he was originally a good guy turned pirate and that makes him open to more of “The Feels” but the dream sequences do nothing to further to plot at all. She’s not even giving him good advice in any of them. I could see if she was helping, or even if his continual dreams coming back to her was in some way slowly driving him mad, but there are no more signs of madness in Flint than there ever were before and his luck still sucks.

I did like the interaction between Jack Rackham and Charles Vane before they decided to blow a hole in the fort to make Vane’s escape doable. It’s an honest interaction where Jack pretty much tells him he took a bunch of the gold and he’ll more than likely never see him again and good luck. He and Vane give a manly hug and then Vane tells him to Eff off. Good friends till the end.

OH, and I almost forgot. Charles Vane and Blackbeard lit a ship on fire and sailed it directly into one of England’s war ships in order for Blackbeard’s fleet to make its escape. That was actually pretty damn cool. They flew the white flags so the British thought they were surrendering and at the last minute brought the fire from below deck up on deck and dumped it so the entire ship became a raging inferno. Crashing it into the other ship then of course had that one catch fire and the entire thing was a big huge pirate-y escape. It was a pretty ingenious plan that neither pirate had tried before as Blackbeard asked Vane if he’d ever even done it before to which Vane just shook his head and shrugged. It’s the little bits of humor mixed in with the pirates and action that make this series just that good.

Rating
9.0
Pros
  • Chares Vane & Blackbeard vs. a bunch of pirates.
  • Vane & Rackham BFF's forever.
  • Pirates sailing a burning ship into another ship and wreaking havoc.
Cons
  • Flint's dream sequences.
  • The Walrus crew getting captured by an island full of slaves.

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