tv review – Starz’s Black Sails, episode 1.5

So far Black Sails‘ first episode had been the most action-packed of the series, but ‘V.’ came very close. Flint and his crew hunted down the Andromache, captain Bryce’s ship that still carried the guns and supplies Flint was promised, in an effort to take over the vessel and take whatever they needed for their Urca de Lima treasure hunt. But things didn’t go as smoothly as planned: upon arrival on Bryce’s ship Flint found out that Bryce had locked himself in and had plenty of aces up his sleeve too, one of which an entire boat load of slaves to command at his will. Episode 1.5 was an episode with plenty of thrills and turns, with an exciting naval battle and the subsequent hijacking attempt that lead to an effective cliffhanger. The characters and relationships also get fleshed out some more, with Billy and Flint getting closer to an understanding and Billy looking after Dufresne who had never been in a fight before. It was good stuff.

Back on New Providence Island Eleanor was thrown to the wolves by her father: he declared he disbanded the trade operation the island had going and referred an angry mob to his daughter because she would settle the debts, or so he said. With no possibility to do so, Eleanor was left scrambling for solutions, ultimately deciding on restarting her father’s operation, but without him involved. There was one hiccup though: she needed the help of several captains and one of them demanded Vane would be reinstated to show the people on the island that business would not be hindered by petty animosity. Eleanor, stubborn and proud as she is, refused, but I suspect she will give in eventually. She really doesn’t have many other options left.

Meanwhile Rackham, Vane and Anne Bonny took over the local brothel to make some coin until they can get back to their seafaring ways. As ‘IV.’ hinted at, Anne has taking an interest in Max and is looking after her for now. It’s good to see her character being developed some more, because she had very little to do in the first few episodes. While she was away Vane left the island on a small boat, after he’d said he’s going to try and change how things are handled on New Providence. It’d be interesting to see what he has planned.

As we’ve come to expect from Black Sails, V.’ was another well-crafted balancing act providing thrills, character development and intrigue. As good as ‘V.’ was, it was definitely setting the board for whatever’s going to happen in ‘VI.’. Chances are it’s going to be big. 8/10

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