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Black Sails - XXIV - Review: "Blackbeard vs. Flint"

Black Sails Season 3 Episode Guide
3.01. XIX - Review
3.02. XX - Review
3.03. XXI - Review
3.04. XXII - Review
3.05. XXIII - Review
3.06. XXIV - Review
3.07. XXV - Review Coming Soon
3.08. XXVI - Review Coming Soon
3.09 XXVII - Review Coming Soon
3.10. XXVIII - Review Coming Soon

Black Sails 3.06: XXIV
Directed by Lukas Ettlin & Written by Dan Shotz

This was very much a set-up episode with a couple of cool scenes at the heart of the hour, putting the focus away from the more action-packed drama that the show has given in the past in favour of to give us some quieter scenes as well as providing us with a conflict between Blackbeard and Flint as both pirates looked to seize control of their fleet. Flint wants Nassau back, and believes it can be won, but Blackbeard remains reluctant, and Vane has sided with his mentor, believing that there is nothing left for him. It sets the stage for a conflict between the two pirate leaders, with both Flint and Blackbeard being regarded as powerful characters. However, Blackbeard himself is the clear favourite despite, Flint insists, not being as well prepared for the fight as he is. That doesn't stop everyone else believing that it will be very much a suicide mission for Flint.

Silver meanwhile has a huge problem with his leg and is dealing with the consequences. He's slowly growing closer and bonding with Madi, who has been involved in his arc since he believed that she could be used for some leverage in the attempt to help him betray his mother. This was against the backdrop against the conflict on the island, which was executed very well indeed. The show itself pitted both Blackbeard and Flint against each other in an epic fight that had me worried for both of the characters and whether the series would actually kill off one of them, even though history (and fiction) says otherwise. The tension was ever present and the fact that Teach is suffering from a shrapnel wound that's getting closer and closer to his heart also added doubt to the equation, but that didn't stop Blackbeard from putting on a show, and easily schooling Flint even though the Captain of the Walrus may have caught him by surprise in the opening gunshot round. It remains to be seen where Blackbeard's arc goes from here, perhaps coming to rescue Vane and Flint later on in the season, but I doubt he's going to be around for the fourth Season regardless. Call it a hunch, but If there was one major character who wasn't going to make it out of this season alive, I'd put my money on the pirate that all pirates fear.

Then again, the writers could surprise us, and I certainly don't want Teach to go as Ray Stevenson has been superb in the series so far, and he feels like his character has been around forever even though he only appeared at the start of the season. The second betrayal from Vane meant that he sided with Flint over his mentor, finally coming round because of course Flint is able to talk his way out of a situation like this. He always is. Flint was always going to lose to Blackbeard in a drawn out fight and that was why he was hoping to have taken him out with the early shot, but missed. Vane's intervention meant that he had now picked a side, and whilst Blackbeard allowed Flint to leave the beach, it was under the assumption that he'd never return. The two characters are now headed back to Nassau, with the aim of toppling Woods Rogers, despite the fact that many of the pirates there are jumping at the chance to join the English and get their way of life back in order.

However Rogers has problems of his own in Nassau, and that's the Gold. Whilst half of it has been captured the other half remains in the hands of Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny, and Rackham believes that he can keep his name by accepting the Governor's Pardon. However what Rackham doesn't know is that Rogers wants the other half of the gold in order to stop the Spanish from attacking, and he's left the other half with Anne. The English of course are just about to learn just how badass Anne can be, killing the messenger who sent a request to the gold to be handed over. Rackham has now decided that because he can't have Nassau then nobody will have it, and is determined to engage in a mind game with Rogers seeing as he can't exactly escape. Rackham may well be an ally for Flint and Vane in the fight to come but for now he's informed Anne, who will inevitably have to make the choice between saving Rackham and keeping the Gold. So it's pretty clear that she'll get plenty to do in the next episode.

The flashbacks were also nice too as we seem to be getting a better portrayal of the spy within the Nassau Court, Juan Antonio Grandal, who is so far, a sole representative of the faceless Spanish threat. You get the feeling that the threat of the Spanish is like a ticking time bomb, and one that's just waiting to go off.

On the whole, XXIV was an awesome episode. It was a bit slower paced than the rest of the series being mostly set-up but did have couple of awesome scenes in the form of Rackham's betrayal and the fight between Blackbeard and Flint. It may have been one of the weaker episodes of the season but that didn't stop it from being an amazing one, and shows just how good this series has become.

Be sure to catch the next episode of Black Sails at 9pm tonight on Starz and remember to leave your comments on the episode below!

Overall Episode Verdict: B+
+Rackham twist.
+Blackbeard vs. Flint!
+Vane siding with Flint over Blackbeard.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Class, Hell on Wheels, The Knick, Murder in the First, Narcos, The Shannara Chronicles and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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