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Black Sails - XXIX - Review: "The Final Season"

Black Sails Season 4 Episode Guide:
4.01 XXIX. - Review!
4.02 XXX. - Airs February 5
4.03 XXXI. - Airs February 12
4.04 XXXII. - Airs February 19
4.05 XXXIII. - Airs February 26
4.06 XXXIV. - Airs March 6
4.07 XXXV. - Airs March 12
4.08 XXXVI. - Airs March 19
4.09 XXXVII. - Airs March 26
4.10 XXXVIII. - Airs April 2

Black Sails 4.01 XXIX. - Review:
Directed by Lukas Ettlin & Written by Jonathan E. Steinberg & Robert Levine

After an explosive end to Season 3 it was only appropriate that we got an explosive start to Season 4 of Black Sails, which kicked things off with a bang. One thing that this show knows how to do really well is action and it was great seeing the conflict play out before us on TV, as Flint, Blackbeard, Silver, Rackham and Anne Bonney lead a combined offensive on an under-strength and vulnerable Nassau that wasn't even supposed to have a portion of its British soldiers defending it. Flint saw this as a perfect chance to strike fear into the heart of the British and get revenge for Charles Vane, but unfortunately, things didn't quite go as planned for them. After using the wreckage of destroyed ships to trap the flotilla of pirate ships in place, Rogers launched a surprise attack from the fort, that crippled Flint's ship and forced Blackbeard to retreat.

It's a hell of a way to begin the final season of the show and it's clear that nothing is being held back because some of the sequences here were spectacular. We got to see Silver struggle to escape his confined space and swim to safety, avoiding almost certain death. It was a great moment for the character and a highlight of the episode for me, particularly as the character is still getting used to his status as Long John Silver, the pirate that people are more afraid of than Flint. Whilst Avery's Black Spot no longer strikes fear to the people on Nassau thanks to the enhanced interrogation tactics of Rogers and his men, they now have the man believed to be behind them, Silver himself. His crawling to shore saw him separated from Flint, and as he attempted to crawl away from the wreckage, he was rescued by someone who believes in him. It's going to be interesting to see Silver's character continue to develop in these final few episodes of Black Sails, as he's already undergone such an incredible journey from the first time that we met him in Season 1.

Another character who has improved a lot from Season 1 is Jack Rackham, and here he is doing everything to become worthy of Vane's sacrifice (as a quick side note, isn't it cool how Zack McGowan is pretty much everywhere now? He's in both The 100 and Agents of SHIELD, two of my favourite network TV shows, which almost makes up for the fact that he's no longer on this show anymore), and as a result ended up getting injured in battle. It's clear that Anne isn't as keen as Jack is to throw herself into danger as he is, and we got some great scenes between these two characters as a result of this.

Billy Bones also played an important role in this episode as well, as he is essentially the leader of the Pirate Rebellion on Nassau after opting to remain behind in the attempt to create as much havoc as possible. He was the one responsible for putting Silver's Legend out there in the first place and it'll be interesting to see how long things go before he decides to go for Flint himself, who he still loathes. Flint himself will not take this lightly, and it's something that will no doubt be a source of tension between the two characters (and most likely, Silver as well) in future episodes as the show enters its final stages.

Max and Eleanor also got to share some scenes together this week even though Eleanor is now married to Rogers. It's going to be interesting to see how things play out for both of these two characters, especially as Max is starting to question that she couldn't have done more in the war. Sticking with the British it was also great to see Chris Larkin (Toby Stephens' brother) play Captain Berringer, who already emerges as a fearsome opponent for the Pirates on Nassau. We get a good idea as to how dangerous Berringer can be following the capture of Flint's shipmaster De Groot, who he first offers mercy for in exchange for the betrayal of Flint. But of course De Groot isn't going to turn on Flint after staying with him for so long so Berringer decides to use a tactic employed by the natives of the island that the British attacked, and that's cutting of De Groot's ear. It was a brutal, gory scene that really worked here and established yet another detestable villain for the British to have on their side.

On the whole then, this was a triumphant return for Black Sails that showed how good it can get as we enter the endgame for the series. With Rogers under more pressure than ever and the pirates one step away from turning on their own it will no doubt be interesting to see who emerges on top by the end of the season, as we're certainly going to be in for some great moments regardless. Even if it is the last season of this show, it's great to have Black Sails back and at its best.

What did you think of the Season 4 premiere of Black Sails? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for the next episode this Sunday at 9pm on Starz.

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, The Magicians, Narcos, Preacher, Star Trek Discovery, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV. He also occasionaly writes book reviews at his own site, The Fictional Hangout and ontributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 250 favourite movies here.
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