Black Sails Season 4 Episode 8: XXXVI Review

Wow! It’s all coming to ahead…the season finale for Black Sails, with this episode acting as the gateway to the final several episodes left in this tale of pirates (of the Caribbean). Like the last episode, chapter XXXVI didn’t have a whole lot of action, but played another key role of advancing the narrative forward (in a very cool way) and giving great character moments.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of chapter XXXVI was the fact that (with the series ending shortly) the narrative is starting to wrap, with all the story threads beginning to slowly drawing to a close (and some apparently are going to be colliding). However, what’s interesting is that the show has finally arrived on the doorstep of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book…. Treasure Island, finding Flint, Silver, Billy, Woodes, and their whole crew arriving on Skeleton Island. This, of course acts like the famous island where the treasure in Treasure Island is buried, so the show is starting to blend the historical events with Stevenson’s novel. Even the presence of the island has that sort of “spooky” supernatural look to it, kind of something out of a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, but it works well, especially since this is where I presume that final battle of the show is going to take place.

But before the characters reached Skeleton Island, this episode had a lot of character moments and some decisive choices that several individuals had to make. Naturally, I’ll start with the two main characters of Flint and Silver. Given the dilemma of the last episode, with Silver learning of Madi’s capture by Woodes Roger’s men and Flint’s plan to see the larger picture in front of them, Silver choose love over ambition. After a ploy by Woodes’s into delivering an ultimatum (by killing the pirate prisoner he recently captured, including Madi), Silver signals a white flag (both parties are on ships at sea) and brings out the gem cache that he secretly brought on-abroad without Flint knowing. Because of this action (their surrender and with the cache present), Woodes halts his execution ploy and leads them (his ship and the pirates) to an undisclosed location that’s only known by a few (aka Skeleton Island), where the two groups will bargain (i.e. the cache for Madi). Of course, I can’t forget that Billy Bones played a part into this and is currently on-board with Woodes’s men.

As one would expect, Flint is super pissed about Silver’s maneuver, a move that spells utter doom for the pirate rebellion against British rule over Nassau. The two of them have it out (with words of shouting and anger), which was a great scene, but, in the end, Flint somewhat agreed to Silver’s actions…at least to his face. Naturally, Flint is reeling on the inside and (just like how I predicted in the last episode) is the final straw in their alliance, with Flint secretively gaining trust a fellow crewman to take matters in their own hands. When the two ships arrived in Skeleton Island, Flint spirits away (with his loyal crew pirate crew member) the gem cache off their ship and disappears into the island’s jungle interior. Being discovered by Israel Hands, the somewhat foreboding force of nature pirate who always knows what to say, Silver now knows of Flint’s betrayal, presuming to end their friendship / alliance with Flint. This is made clear on the last scene of the episode as Silver boards Roger’s ship and informs him (and Billy) that he has sent six of his loyal men to track Flint down and kill them.

So yeah…. that’s the main story thread in this episode, finally seeing an alliance between Flint and Silver finally dissolve and are now seeing each other as enemies, propelling events for a pirate showdown on Skeleton Island. Naturally, it was cool to see this happen (one that many viewers of the show saw coming), but it was still cool nonetheless. It was also cool to see Flint up to his old tricks of manipulation of luring his fellow pirate crew member onto his side.

The other major important storyline in this episode was the events that transpired in Philadelphia, finding Max still in deep conversations with Eleanor’s grandmother on formal agreeing to their business proposal to reform Nassau. The most interesting part of this storyline was what the grandmother offered Max…. a full agreement to move this venture forward if only she (Max) would marry a somewhat weak-minded son of a promising family to govern Nassau. Naturally, Max would wield power through, lending her counsel and advice to him to govern Nassau correctly as they see fit, but that means that Max would have to marry the man (in name only). Now, throughout the show’s entirety, we’ve seeing Max rise to power, ascending from station to station in each season, so I was definitely thought that Max was going to accept the station (it was suit her perfectly). However, much like Silver choose love over ambition, Max declined the offer. Why? Because of what I assume is her feelings towards Anne Bonny as the pair have a touching moment together, with Max inform her of why she declined Eleanor’s grandmother proposal. Will the deal still go through or has Max’s love for Anne ruin what Jack Rackham had started? It’s somewhat unclear at the end of the episode, but I assume we’ll find out in the next one.

Rounding out the storylines in the episode, we see Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Mapleton plotting something (undetermined at the moment) to foil Woodes’s plan in Nassau. That’s probably going to play into Woodes’s downfall in the coming episodes. As for Jack Rackham, we see him and Mr. Featherstone arriving back in Nassau and finding someone who can leading them to Flint’s whereabouts.

So, there you have it. That was a lot of ground to cover in this episode, which was full of character moments and further advanced the plot. As I stated at the beginning, with the show coming to a close (with only a few episodes left), events on Black Sails are going to heat up and escalate quickly. With Flint running away with the cache on Skeleton Island, Silver wanting Flint dead, Billy wanting to see both Flint and Silver dead, Jack wanting to kill Flint to hold up his head of a promising business deal, and Woodes wanting to see all parties hang. I, for one, am definitely excited to see where the next episode (or rather the rest of the season) goes from here….

Score 8.5 / 10

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

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