TV REVIEW: Black Sails Season 1, Episode 7 – “VII.”

In the penultimate episode of Season One, the Walrus returns to Nassau to prepare for its voyage against the Urca.

We pull back a bit from the action of the past few weeks in Episode 7, with the crew back on shore. Gates confronts Flint about the letter Billy found, and about Billy’s fate. Flint finally comes clean, but at what price? Eleanor fills Flint in on what happened while he was gone. When he speaks to Mrs. Barlow, she reveals she was trying to find a way out for them. He refuses to accept it.

Silver gets into a spot of hot water when Randall reveals that he heard Silver talking about the plot to steal the page. He accuses Silver of being a thief to the new quartermaster Dufresne, but he schemes his way out of it…or so he thinks. Dufresne approaches Flint about setting Billy’s fate right. Finally, we learn a bit more about Vane’s past.

This episode was definitely a slow burn, but wound up being a good run in to next week’s season finale.

It seems that Flint’s deeds are finally catching up with him, with both Gates and his crew. Billy’s apparent demise has hit everyone hard, and the crew is determined to have justice for it, as is evidenced by the final conversation between Dufresne and Gates. Funny that Flint’s actions to keep the men from finding out about that letter may winding up bringing the exact fate of which the letter warned.

And how about Dufresne? He’s gone from being the equivalent of a pirate accountant to ripping out a man’s throat with his teeth to quartermaster in about 3 weeks. That’s a pretty impressive character arc, don’t you think? The amazing thing is that all of it is completely believable. He showed his mettle in battle, and he’s been rewarded for it. Now, he’s going to repay Billy for that loyalty the best way he knows how.

Randall was another surprise – this character, who we’ve all been led to believe is a half-wit, completely outsmarts and manipulates Silver, who is arguably the most clever character on the show (aside from Rackham). It never occurred to me to take him at anything other than face value, so it was a delight to realize, along with Silver, that I’d been underestimating him all along. Well done, writers!

Finally, we learn about Vane’s past. If you’d already written him off, as I’ve been tempted to do these past couple of weeks, you were sorely mistaken. We find out that he was a slave, and the place he’s gone back to is where he spent his childhood working for the big, scary dude (who I am still calling Blackbeard in my head). In typical Vane fashion, he gets ahead of himself a bit and is punished for it. But he gets his back in an incredibly powerful final scene, and you just know that vane is back and he is going to cause one hell of a sh*tstorm for Eleanor. Good thing, too, because Rackham – for all his brains- seems a bit lost without him.

I can’t believe we’re almost to the end of the first season. It looks like next week’s episode will be a doozy, so get ready!


Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

Catch up on everything Black Sails at Starz.

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