TV REVIEW: Black Sails Season 1, Episode 3 – “III”

Another strong episode this week – just 3 episodes in, this show is really hitting its stride.

Silver tries to prove to Captain Flint and Billy that he is valuable and trustworthy. He talks his way back onto the ship and helps Billy ferret out the remainder of the mutineers. Plans to take the Urca progress, but Flint soon realizes they’ll need help from a consort – another ship – if they hope to take the ultimate prize. They come up with a plan, but sly Rackham brings Gates another idea.

Captain Vane eventually agrees to help, which makes Eleanor feel much more kindly toward him. They rekindle their romance, but she soon discovers that he has offered Max to his crew as recompense for the money they lost in the botched attempt to get the schedule. Eleanor is furious and banishes Vane’s crew from the island – unless, of course, they join Flint’s crew and give him use of their ship.

Meanwhile, Eleanor’s father is recuperating, staying with a lady friend of Flint’s. There are hints dropped here and there throughout the episode, but we still don’t know who the mysterious Mrs. Barlow is.

Vane was really the standout of this episode. Historically, we don’t know much about him, but what we do know isn’t great – seems like he was a pretty ruthless guy. There’s definitely that element to the Black Sails version, his treatment of Max being the prime example. However, there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye. He’s hung up on Eleanor, to the point of teaming up with his mortal enemy to get her attention (I don’t care what anyone says, treasure aside, he totally did it to impress her). It worked, until she found out what he did to Max. 

Behind every good pirate captain, however, is a good quarter master. Rackham is really starting to grow on me. He’s very clever, hatching up the whole consort scheme on his own. Sure, it was born from self-preservation, but it was a pretty brilliant idea nonetheless. He’s very different from Gates, who is so loyal to Flint. I suspect the comparisons between the two of them will continue to grow as the season goes on.

Poor Eleanor. She finally gives in to the tension that’s been building between her and Vane, and then she finds out that he handed her lover over to his crew. Eleanor is tough – she has to be, to deal with pirates all day – but where Max is concerned, she just can’t seem to do the right thing.

It looks like the action picks up even more next week as everyone prepares to sail out after the Urca. It’ll be interesting to see where all the pieces land after the dust from this week settles!


Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

Catch up on everything Black Sails at Starz.

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