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Black Sails - XXXVII - Review: "A Masterpiece"

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

Black Sails 4.09 XXVII. - Review:
Directed by Steve Boyum & Written by Jonathan E. Steinberg & Dan Shotz

The endgame has arrived. The Flint and Silver alliance has been shattered, at least for now, and Flint is on the run through the jungle of Skeleton Island with Silver's best men after him. The odds in Flint's favour don't look good and right from the start I was wondering whether or not this would lead to Flint's death. The suspense was running high consistently throughout this episode, especially with the heavy dose of flashbacks contained within that further fleshed out the Flint and Silver relationship during a sword-fighting scene on the beach as the two were preparing for war. And as usual, in true Black Sails style, the show went through a heck of a lot of content in this episode, which was another spectacular hour of entertainment.

Jack has left Max and Anne behind but now has run into further complications of his own in that he could potentially end up stranded at sea. The only person who knows the whereabouts of Skeleton Island has died mid voyage and his big mission to kill Flint now seems to be falling apart in true Jack style. We didn't necessarily get the biggest amount of time with Jack this week and Anne and Max didn't feature at all, but regardless this was a pretty effective scene that was played out well, especially as the revelation that Jack was stranded came just after he believed that he was actually capable of fulfilling his mission and killing Flint.

We got to see Flint unleashed properly this hour as he used all his cunning knowledge and experience in an attempt to throw Silver off his scent. However, Silver himself has learned from Flint and uses his own tactics against him, splitting group of soldiers in two to track down Flint knowing that one of them will likely die in the first place. Hands recognizes that something is clearly happening to Silver, and that he could slowly be transforming into Flint 2.0 which is exactly what Hands doesn't want. But regardless Hands is willing to go along with Silver and the two eventually work out that Flint is carrying the treasure elsewhere rather than burying it in the ground, and they set off after him as Flint dispatches both of Silver's men in the process, albeit with help from Dooley. Seeing Silver's men attempt to kill Flint was a highlight, especially as we also got to see Joji involved in everything as well, which was all the more awesome.

It was inevitable that Silver would catch up on Flint at some point and when he did, following Flint's defeat of Hands, the two came to blows properly. Flint remained convinced that he could still talk Silver back to his side, despite all that had happened, arguing that if Madi saw that Silver had handed over the gold and killed Flint in the process she would not accept who he had become. This didn't sway Silver however who unleashed hell on Flint and we got the confrontation that this season had been building towards in one of the season's best moments as it really delivered, not holding anything back. The fight opened with one of the best visuals that the series has given us to date, featuring Silver and Flint about to come to blows in the picturesque setting of the island and it was great to see them unleashed against each other. Ultimately the fight couldn't last long, with Dooley almost able to kill Silver in the process, but Flint, who still wished to achieve his goal of burning the British Empire to the ground, knew that he needed Silver alive and killed Dooley before he could kill Silver.

Meanwhile, the crew left behind faced further difficulties when Billy realized that it was likely that there was no guarantee of Silver coming through on his deal, as he could still be persuaded by Flint to return to his side or die in the process. And then came a heartbreaking moment of seeing Rogers and Billy unleash all hell on the Walrus, bringing the British soldiers into action as the same time the ship was slowly on the verge of exploding, forcing the pirates to abandon ship. A more realistically timed explosion rather than having the ship go up all at once (who'd have thought that this would have happened in a show that has Michael Bay's name attached?, the king of unnecessary, over the top explosions) really made the impact all the more effective, especially seeing how ruthlessly the crew were cut down with only Ned Lowe being spared by Billy as Lowe had saved his life back on Nassau, cutting him free before he could be killed by the Spanish soldiers. Unfortunately, De Groot couldn't make it out alive, but seeing that he went down with the Walrus was only fitting, and in a very similar manner to Eleanor, who went down with Nassau. Even though De Groot may have never been a major character in Black Sails he was still a key part of the series from pretty much day one, and his end was something that I didn't see coming, especially how quickly and unexpectedly it happened.

Either way, the sound of the Walrus and its crew going down was enough to prevent the fight between Silver and Flint, forcing them to race to the river where they saw the carnage unfolding before their eyes. This looks to be enough to end the potential infighting between Silver and Flint at least for now, but it'll be interesting to see how long it lasts, or even if it lasts at all. Seeing Hands potentially on the same page as these two united to take down Rogers and Billy will no doubt lead to interesting repercussions for the series finale, as the show still has a lot of ground to tackle especially with Rackham, Anne and Max still in play. It's still left me wondering how the hell the writers are going to wrap everything up in with just one episode remaining, and I can't wait to see how everything is handled. Hopefully we can get a satisfying resolution that sets the stage for the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island to take place properly.

Regardless though, one thing's for certain, it's going to be incredibly hard to say goodbye to this series and I am really not ready for this show to end.

What did you think of Episode 9 of Black Sails? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out the series finale tomorrow 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, Preacher, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Jack Ryan, Snowfall, Succession, Star Trek Discovery and Tales From The Crypt. He also contributes 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 300 favourite movies here.
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