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.
AIRED ON 3/26/2016
Season 3 : Episode 10