BLACK SAILS is the biggest show on TV! This week’s episode, BLACK SAILS XX will blow you away! Flint and the crew of The Walrus enter a HUGE storm pocket while fleeing Captain Hornigold, who is in pursuit. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back a bit, shall we?
This week kick’s off with death. Captain Flint is dreaming he is wandering the ship alone when out of the water comes…Miranda. Mouthing words that are unheard, her head shot visible. She disappears below deck with Flint following. What he finds is the embodiment of what appears to be death. Is this simply a dream, a remembrance of what has happened…or is it a premonition of something to come?
It is indeed a premonition as The Walrus heads into the storm. As usual, Flint’s orders are obsessive and with little regard for others. He orders the sails stay up so that men go into the beams to help drop the sails once Horigold, who is still in pursuit, turns away. This is a full on hurricane that matches the maelstrom seen in Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End. Flint gets his way, people die. Where once he was a man obsessed with the greater good, he now is a man obsessed with revenge. Both are costly but the deaths now have no reason behind them, other than to feed Flint’s reputation.
Meanwhile, on land, Jack is faced with the near insurmountable task of repairing the fort. With an island of thieves drunk on power…and rum, no one is a hurry to do anything. Both Max and Anne are concerned but fail to realize that Jack does not command respect. However, Jack does have a plan. Cut to Charles Vane and Featherstone aboard The Ranger in pursuit of a ship that turns out to be a slave ship…much to Vane’s chagrin. Jack’s plan, to employ slaves to get the fort repaired.
It’s within all this turmoil that in walks Blackbeard. Turns out that he left Nassau because the choice was killing Vane. But he has returned and is not happy with its new found prosperity. Sitting down with Jack and Vane, he listens and is less than impressed. The nation of thieves has turned into a giant frat house, only concerned with sex and alcohol. They are living off the fear created by The Walrus crew’s raids and murder. Nassau is in a bad way and Woodes Rogers and his fleet is on its way.
This week’s episode will blow your mind. This show surpasses any feature film in the genre. The storm sequence alone may be the biggest single scene we’ve ever seen on TV. It’s awe-inspiring, terrifying and brilliantly acted. It details the reality of seamanship in this era and the real danger that not just pirates, but all men, faced. It is truly spectacular.
The storm may be the center piece may be the storm, but it is surround by another great episode’s worth of writing. There is turmoil brewing underneath the calm and like Port Royal before it and a dozen lost cities, Nassau will indulge until its end is upon them. The pirates are oblivious to the coming storm that is England, and with Spain’s gold sitting in the bowels of the fort, sooner or later, Spain will come knocking as well.
There were great character moments with Ray Stevenson (Blackbeard), Richard Wright-Firth (Muldoon), and Luke Arnold (John Silver) leading the pack.
Blackbeard is a volcano building towards its inevitable eruption. Ever calm but increasingly disgusted by what he sees around him, it is only a matter of time before the monster is unleashed. Stevenson is definitely playing the role in the right way. Badasses don’t announce that they are badasses, you don’t know until you are in a fight with one, similar to the idea that people don’t do things to be evil, they do them because they think they are right. Stevenson gives a masterful performance that will only get better as we peel back the layers.
Every season so far has allowed different characters their moments and this week was Muldoon’s time to shine. One of the most endearing crew members stole the show with a monologue that will be remembered along side Mr. Gates “No monuments” speech from season one. It is a thought-provoking and moving moment that not only shines the light on him, but also is the springboard for a turning point in Silver’s character.
Speaking of Silver, John Silver is the soul of Black Sails. His growth as a character has been the core of the show. He has two key moments this episode that really stand out. His talk with Billy illustrates his acceptance of responsibility. He has grown into someone who cares and in turn, is cared for. The other key scene comes with Muldoon below decks. Silver gets real in a moment between the two and says “With all we’ve been through, you know what the most frightening thing has been…we’ll take care of you” For a man who has never had anyone, the idea of family and of having to rely on someone else for survival is terrifying and unacceptable. That combined with just plain losing a limb. It’s a very honest scene. There are moments like these that elevate Black Sails above all other drama on TV.
Black Sails leaves our characters all across the Caribbean this week. Everyone is heading towards bloody times, but not everyone is aware. This was the most amazing episode yet and with this only being the second episode of the season, you can be sure that the best is yet to come!