Black Sails Season 4 Episode 2: XXX Review

The lines have been drawn and the war over Nassau is far from being over. This episode was not as explosive as the last one, but didn’t need to be. With most of the introduction to season 4’s set up was in episode XXIX, episode XXX was able to hit the ground running, with a decisive battle (halfway through) as well as a couple of character moments and the introduction to a new character.

As we saw in the last episode, Billy Bones is starting to become more defiant with Flint as Bones has become more powerful figure (amongst the men and the slaves), with the notion of trying to cut out Flint all together. This all came to a head here as they tried to take one of the plantation in the island’s interior. While the taking of the plantation went smoothly and to be expected, they learn that the family of slaves (from this plantation and the other ones as well) were dispersed across the other plantations in order to silence a revolt amongst them, making them (out of fear for their families) not to join with the pirate resistance.

Thus, Flint sided with Madi (Zethu DLomo) on the matter to leave the slaves and the plantation and try to take Nassau, with the mentally of retaking the plantation after seizing control of the port (as a sort of rallying point to the resistance of the island). Unfortunately, Billy didn’t feel the same way and blinded by his hatred and resentment towards Flint, went against Flint’s suggestion and as the two sides engaged in battle with one another. Like I said, it wasn’t as exciting as opening sequence of the last episode, but it was still a good actions scene as we (the viewer) finally get to see Flint and Bones have it out. In the end, their spat wasn’t resolved, but now it seems like the pirate resistance is now going to divide, with members choosing to side with either Flint or Bones. What will unite them? I guess that rest with the return (and rumored legend of the Pirate King) Long John Silver.

Speaking of Silver, we find him in this episode in the hands of Israel Hands (ha-ha…I made a pun). Yes, some might know that name from both real life as well as the Treasure Island cameo appearance by Hands. In real life, Israel Hands worked alongside Teach (for a time) and worked alongside Silver in Treasure Island. His appearance in Black Sails, signifies the two as the creators’ sort of create a bridge between fact and fiction in servicing his own origin story for the show. Israel, played by actor David Wilmot, was a great new character, finding Silver as a “means to an end”, but the tables turned as Silver (after saving Israel’s life) now finds himself a new ally, bringing him one step closer towards the Treasure Island Long John Silver character. Silver has always been a resourceful character and quick with his tongue and he definitely used that towards his advantage in persuading Israel to his side.

Back in Nassau, Woodes is still trying to solve his recent financial problems that’s due to his recent divorce to his wife in order to marry Eleanor and his loan payment that funded this expedition to Nassau. He ultimately devises a plan to get Eleanor past Edward Tech’s ship (which is right outside of the harbor) in order her to meet with her uncle in Philadelphia (presumably to aid in their money woes). However, Woodes’s ploy puts him in harm’s way as Teach take the bait and pursues him. With Woodes gone, the military control of Nassau belongs to Captain Berringer, who seems to be setup as a main antagonist character for Max in the season. Its kind neat to see that both sides of the war to take control of Nassau are barley clinging on, with both sides having problems that could tear them apart in an instant. It’s going to be interesting to see how it shapes up throughout the course of this season.

Lastly, there was a great seeing that involved Jack and Teach, with Jack monologuing in an attempt to persuade with legendary Blackbeard into chasing after Woodes instead of seeking revenge against Eleanor. The scene was good and worked as the two seem a bit odd working together (with the only lingering thread of Vane’s memory tying them together), but it was effective in both narrative and character performances. My only gripe is that it was a bit too long, especially coming right after the whole Flint / Bones fight.

Episode XXX of Black Sails is the Pirate resistance torn asunder by Flint and Bones’s disagreement in a very dramatic way, while Woodes and Eleanor plan to keep their future control of Nassau and Silver makes a new ally with Israel Hands. With the story now setup, the next episode will be exciting as many events will (presumably) come to a head. Will he see the death of Woodes in episode XXXI? Will Flint and Bones reconcile? What will become of Max under Captain Berringer control of the port? And what will Silver do next? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Score: 8.0 / 10

If interested, check out my movie blog @ Jason’s Movie Blog for my reviews of current movies.

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