TV REVIEW: Black Sails Season 1, Episode 5 – “V.”

We’re kicking off the second half of the season this week, and if this episode is anything to go by, we’re in for a fun ride the rest of the way!

Flint and his crew set off in pursuit of Captain Bryson and his guns. While they prepare, he and Billy take a moment to clear the air – he tells Billy about Mrs. Barlow, and explains why he’s been less than honest with the crew. Billy doesn’t seem entirely convinced, but the honesty (if we believe him) pays off in the end. Billy also helps a less experienced crew member through his first battle.

Back on New Providence Island, Mr. Guthrie announces to everyone that he’s a fugitive and that their enterprise on the island is finished, which whips Eleanor’s detractors into a frenzy. Desperate to save her empire, she concocts a scheme with some of the remaining captains to keep the business going. Captain Hornigold tells her that he won’t agree unless she lifts the ban on Vane – this puts her in a difficult spot because she needs Hornigold for her plan to succeed, but she cannot lift the ban without feeling like she’s betraying Max. Meanwhile, we find that Mr. Guthrie has also betrayed Mr. Scott, giving him to Captain Bryson as a slave to sell.

Rackham, Vane, and Anne Bonny try their hand at running the brothel to make some income, and Vane finally decides that enough is enough and sets off on his own, presumably to do whatever he needs to do in order to bring Eleanor down. Meanwhile, back on the Andromache, Flint discovers that Captain Bryson has put them all in a very dangerous situation.

Well, I wanted some pirate action, and the show definitely delivered this week. It was a lot of fun to watch them do what they do best – Billy continues to shine, successfully leading the boarding of the other ship and helping Dufresne through his first battle. Even Flint seems to realize how important Billy is to his cause – he goes out of his way to talk to him before the battle, trying to get him on his side. I am hoping he continues to play a big part going forward.

While Mr. Guthrie’s actions are undoubtedly underhanded, especially regarding poor Mr. Scott, I am having trouble finding any sympathy for Eleanor. As I mentioned last week, I find her utterly unlikable – her only redeeming quality is the fact that she seems to genuinely care for Max. It remains to be seen whether that will win out over her desire to keep her empire running.

I was glad to see Vane drag himself up out of his funk and decide to do something about Eleanor. Early on, it felt like he was one of the big players. That’s really been missing these past few weeks and I would love to see him get back into the action. Given the real Vane’s reputation historically, it’s been interesting to see how low they’ve taken him – and how they will have him exact his revenge.

Three episodes left – with a limited amount of time to get to the Urca and the Scarborough nipping at their heels, I can’t wait to see what Flint does next.


Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

Catch up on everything Black Sails at Starz.

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