TV REVIEW: Black Sails Season 1, Episode 4 – “IV”

Surprisingly, we’re halfway through Season One of Black Sails. Now that Flint’s plans are finally coming together, we see the action start to pick up.

With Vane out of the picture, someone has to captain the Ranger. Not surprisingly, that honor goes to Gates, who selects Billy as his replacement quartermaster. This goes over well with the crew, and Billy leads the crew in getting the ship ready for the perilous journey ahead. Things take a dangerous and deadly turn, however, and Billy, who has been talking to some of the remaining mutineers, is left wondering whether Captain Flint has their best interests in mind after all. Silver notices and brings it to Flint’s attention.

Eleanor is busy trying to secure guns for Flint’s mission. She wants to take them from one of her father’s supply ships, but fears she’ll have trouble convincing the captain. She convinces her father to help, and against Mr. Scott’s wishes she puts a backup plan into motion in the event that Captain Bryson refuses. But in the end, it’s not Bryson she should havebeen worried about.

Vane is left reeling after Eleanor’s betrayal, and Rackham and Anne Bonny are left to try to keep the remainder of the crew on their side. Also, we find out more about the mysterious Mrs. Barlow.

This was an interesting episode from a character perspective, but I am really starting to feel the lack of real pirate action that we got in the first episode. After they took that first ship, they’ve just been wheeling and dealing on New Providence Island.

I am really enjoying Tom Hopper’s turn as Billy Bones – he’s definitely the least vile of the pirates, and spends a lot of his time trying to make sure he’s doing the right thing. His leadership skills really shone in this episode, despite the tragic outcome. I would love to find out more about his back story – how long he’s been a pirate, what drove him to it, etc. Tom Hopper is great in the role, and I’m glad to see him with a substantial role after his turn in Merlin.

Captain Flint remains a mystery, and kudos to Toby Stephens, who continues to straddle that line between mysterious and infuriatingly arrogant. Even the peeks we get into his private life don’t give us much information – he’s incredibly difficult to read. On the one hand, when you hear the mutineers talk about his ulterior motives, it’s not at all difficult to believe. On the other, when he’s talking to Billy, it’s also easy to believe that he’s looking out for his men. Is it any wonder that poor Billy is confused?

I am finding Eleanor less likable with every episode. I really want to learn more about her motivations, but she really does seem to use and cast people aside as she sees fit – though, to her defense, she seems genuinely horrified by what’s happening to Max. I really want to know why she so adamantly believes in Flint and is so much in support of his plans. Hopefully we’ll get the answer soon.

 

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer:
 Mirjana

Catch up on everything Black Sails at Starz.

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