Black Sails 1×3 Review: III.

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In this third installment of Black Sails, I was mainly hoping that the bit of a cliffhanger from the previous episode would lead to a bit of actual action.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

John Silver once again showed his incredibly predictable propensity for survival by withholding an important piece of information regarding the Urca d’Lima’s schedule. We even learned a bit more about Eleanor’s relationship with her father, though the episode balanced these revelations with providing a bit more mystery regarding Miranda Barlow – because we still don’t know exactly who she is, what she’s doing in Nassau, or much about her relationship with Captain Flint.

Additionally, while III. certainly added more depth to the character of Captain Vane, the fact that the episode spent so much time setting up a partnership between him and Captain Flint – only to tear it apart at the end and revert back to the earlier idea of Gates being captain of the second ship – felt more than a bit pointless to me. That said, I’m honestly holding out hope that there is somehow, some way, some reason for the partnership between Vane and Flint to have been set up and torn down in the course of a single episode.Black-Sails-103 2

(Side note: I’m also holding out hope that Rackham’s sunglasses were some sort of cruel joke and that we’ll never have to see them again.)

In terms of the Eleanor – Vane – Max ‘love triangle’, I must say that of the three, Eleanor’s actions and reactions are the most maddening. Vane captured Max because if he hadn’t, he would have lost the respect (and likely the support) of his crew. Max’s rejection of Eleanor seems just a bit extreme – especially considering that in doing so she is signing herself over to Vane for who knows how long – but Max’s decisions are a product of both her heartbreak and the horrible things that happened to her in this episode. On the other hand, while Eleanor may care about Max, she shows no understanding of her – and her reasoning for ending up in Vane’s arms are beyond my comprehension. For a woman who previously seemed, if not level-headed, at least intelligent and driven toward her own goals, her actions at the end of III. are at the very least disappointing.

In the end, I really am torn about this episode. It had some great moments, and some that were almost impossible to watch – the problem is that it was fraught with posturing that at the end of the episode seemed to be rendered completely pointless anyway. Let’s just say that I’m more than a little bit ready for them to leave dry land behind, to be pirates on ships, and to actually start the hunt for the Urca d’Lima.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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