Black Sails Season 4 Episode 9: XXXVII Review

We’re almost there, guys. Black Sails is coming to an end in the next episode. However, before we reach the series finale of the show, we have one more episode to go through, with this episode acting as the penultimate entry towards this season as well as the entire series. Tension were high in this episode and for good reasons as we still only one episode away from the finale.

To be truthful, this episode primarily focused on Flint and Silver. Naturally, the show has always been about them, but this episode was about their relationship (friendship) as well as their rivalry. Their story thread was split into two narratives in this episode, one in the present (on Skeleton Island) and one in the past (presumably set sometime before the start of season 4). In the present, we see Flint and his fellow pirate crew member conspirator fleeing into the jungle, while Silver and his men search for them. As one would expect, while Flint is outnumbered and perhaps at a disadvantage, Flint has more experience of such tactics and does away with Silver’s men, even besting Israel Hands (although he lives).

In the past flashback scenes, we see Flint instructing Silver on how to duel with a sword with his recent handicap (having only one leg). This was probably the best scene in tonight’s episode as we see two pirates exchange words that resonate in their character. Perhaps the most interesting part was what Flint said to Silver, exclaiming that, while he (Silver) knows everything about Flint’s past (Thomas, Miranda, etc.), he still doesn’t know anything about Silver’s past. To be honest, neither do we. Silver brushes it off, but I kind of wonder what it is, but it’s probably one of the mysteries of the show that will probably never be explained.

Of course, everything culminates with the pair fighting each other (present day) on Skeleton Island. Even Flint killed his own man (the pirate who was aiding him in fleeing with the treasure), who was about to shoot Silver in the back. Thus, this shows us (the viewer) that Flint, despite his anger and frustration towards Silver’s recent decisions and reasoning, still holds some type of value on friendship (or at least some loyalty of honor) towards him. Unfortunately, their duel is cut short due to Woodes Rogers sneak attack, leaving the pair to be allied once again to deal with the governor. I wonder how long this truce will last?

Woodes Rogers in this episode was up to his old tricks of trying to backstab everyone, which he does as he instructs his men (with some hinted advice from Billy Bones) to betray the agreement that he had with Silver, openly attacking the pirates on-board their ship (the Walrus) by ways of setting fire to the ship in a sneak attack move. This, of course, causes mayhem for the pirates on the Walrus as they flee their burning ship (jumping into the water), but only to be shot (and killed) by Roger’s men. However, before that maneuver, Woodes confronted Madi, trying to (in a sort of last-ditch attempt) to persuade her to give in his demands. Unfortunately, unlike Silver and more like Flint, Madi believes in the “cause” of the pirate rebellion and (once again) declines his offer. This scene was kind of interesting to see as we Woodes still grieving over the death of Eleanor (a figurative shadow that still lingers in the dark corners of his mind) and Madi basically telling him (point blank) who was actually responsible for her death (i.e. him).

And then there’s Jack Rackham (poor Jack). This episode finds Rackham at sea with the man who sailed with Avery (a pirate who’s been to Skeleton Island) as Jack continues his plan to find Flint and kill him, fulfilling his end of the bargain to Eleanor’s grandmother and their move forward with their plan to reform Nassau (although given the outcome of the last episode with Max decline Madame Guthrie’s proposal, I’m still curious to know if their whole “reforming Nassau” venture is still intact). Anyways, Jack, being on the cusp on completing his task (en-route to Skeleton Island), gets some unfortunately (and unexpected news) that the man who’s been guiding them (and who knows the location of Skeleton Island) is found dead. Luckily, the man passed on the information to Jack’s trusted ally companion (Mr. Featherstone), so they might completely their journey. But will that be enough? I kind of wonder how Jack’s narrative thread will end in the next episode.

Although this episode was interesting, I was expecting a bit more to it. I don’t know why, but maybe I was expecting a lot more “big, bang, boom”, especially since this is the second-to-last episode of the season as well as the series altogether. This episode also didn’t turn its gaze to some of the other narrative threads, including the Max / Anne Bonny story in Philadelphia nor did we see the Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Mapleton story. I guess they’re saving those storylines to be wrapped up and concluded by the end of next episode…. hopefully.

All in all, this buildup episode to the show’s series finale, was an interesting one, delving further into the relationship between Flint and Silver in both past and present timeline tenses as well as Woodes decision to betray Silver and their agreement. I am definitely curious to see how the next episode will play out, for there are so many story threads that need to be concluded that I wonder how it’s all going to fit into an hour show. I do hope that everything gets finished and told properly (everyone getting their due / payoffs), with a series send off that’s worthy of a pirate’s legend.

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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