Black Sails "V." Review: Back On Course

By Tim Surette

Feb 23, 2014

Black Sails S01E05: "V."


It finally happened! The pirates of Black Sails finally did pirate-y things—most notably, getting on a boat and hitting the water. Captain Flint hadn't even gotten his feet wet since partway through Episode 1; as of late, he's spent more time on a horse than he has aboard a ship. So I was just as shocked as you were to see The Walrus finally set sail, given that Black Sails has spent its last few episodes embroiled in pirate bureaucracy. And ultimately, I think the wait was worth it, because "V." was Black Sails' best episode since the series premiere.

A busy week means I can't put together a more in-depth review, but there are a few things I'd like to discuss before I leave the floor to you. Flint's siege on Captain Bryson's boat was incredible, and proved that when Black Sails wants to put together a sea-bound action sequence, it's perfectly capable of doing so. I loved how the attack was shown mostly from the perspective of The Walrus (in contrast to the premiere's choice to show an attack from the victims' point of view), and I also loved how, when it all went down, we witnessed the conflict specifically through Dufresne's eyes. I'll go ahead and assume that most of us haven't ever aggressively boarded a giant ship in the middle of the ocean, so Dufresne became our avatar, and really nailed the way a man must transform himself into a savage beast to survive such an attack. Dufresne, who usually sinks his teeth only into numbers as Flint's accountant, ripped out a man's throat with a bite! YESSS!


Even the preparation for the big battle was fun to watch. Seeing how much work goes into gaining an extra knot or two in speed and watching Billy Bones lay out the plan of attack is the kind of inside-pirate-baseball stuff that I'm interested in. Ultimately, Flint took control of Bryson's ship but also fell into a trap. Bryson and his men fortified themselves in a reinforced hull while another ship from the Royal Navy bore down on the dock boats, stranding Flint in the middle of the ocean with some difficult decisions to make. Whatever happens when the action picks up again is going to be very interesting. 

As for the rest of the episode, it was generally overshadowed by the big battle. I found myself dozing off anytime Eleanor's business problems came up, and I don't think there should really be a question for her—lift the ban on Vane, it's that easy! And sorry, Max, but let's be honest, the worst has already happened to her. Rackham's takeover of the whorehouse was slightly more compelling, but I agree with the disgruntled crew: Let's get Captain Vane on a ship, because I want to see what this guy can do. Oh, and we saw a pirate abortion. Yikes.

Well, that did you think of "V."? For me, it mostly brought the series back on course, and I can't wait to see what happens next.


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  • sangbaran Feb 28, 2014

    The best episode by quite some margin.
    Flint finally showing what makes him a great captain. Billy is awesome, a natural quartermaster. Next episode should be even better.

    PS: Pirate abortion...seriously? by using a cylinder pump!!!

  • laineyro Feb 28, 2014

    Eleanor and Vane is what's driving it for me. I guess it's not a surprise for the female audience. I hope their story will build up more in the (near) future!

  • woz22 Feb 25, 2014

    Oh ARGGGHH what a fantastic episode best one so far , It really needed two barrells because if stayed on that bloody island too much longer they would ended up with verbal diarrhea or of a biblical proportions. I liked the storming of bryson ship very well done action scenes although i agree the vampire bit was primal to say the least. I assume Vane will speedboat down to help flint as I find hard to believe that the other ship turned up at the exact moment Bryson Ship was in trouble that Satelitte phone came in handy LOL. I am not really bothered by Elelanor story she made her bed she lies in it although could'nt done without the abortion scene that had Micheal Bay written all over it. Still looking forward to next adventure OHHH ARGGGGHH (By the way a lot more interesting then the Walllowing)

  • klotensen Feb 24, 2014

    There was no need to dose off during Eleanor's sequences because they were directly connected to what happened off-shore, adding a lot to the increasingly perilous situation Flint and his gang are in.

  • anthonyclay37 Feb 24, 2014

    they finally get on the boat and the episode was good.

  • JJanpheng Feb 24, 2014

    Every Episode was great, not only this one

  • MarlboroMagpi Feb 23, 2014

    Good Episode but not as best because I still liked episode 3 better. One thing I am still wondering is that Jack seems very loyal to captain Vane even though he is now. Are they changing history? As far as I know, Jack led a mutiny on him. I liked both characters but the writers should really give them something to do beside buying whore house.

    Lastly shouldn't more pirate captains be trying to snatch the log page (in this case John Silver) from Capt Flint since they are so much money at stake? Or is it because no one actually believes they can successfully hunt down the ship.

  • DavidJackson8 Feb 23, 2014

    Yarr, 'tis was a really jolly episode, most likely th' best 'o th' season. Finally thar was some dead serious piratin'.

  • dodge_hickey Feb 23, 2014

    I've remained patient throughout the first 4 episodes, I quiet liked them. This episode was the best, I knew it as building to something awesome. If the momentum keeps from this episode this could be a bloody great show!

  • MandySCG Feb 23, 2014

    Great episode! I love how they showed it from Dufresne's POV. I was thinking the whole time that he was going to die, lol. I was really relieved when Billy found him and helped him up.

    I was a bit annoyed with Eleanor for being so stubborn about Vane. I know she's pissed, but hopefully she will see reason before it is too late. I like Eleanor for the most part, but sometimes I don't think the character is written very well.

    I really want more Anne Bonny! I hope they give her more to do on the show soon.

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