Thereâ€™s good TV, and then thereâ€™s TV that provides a sort of vindication and relief you didnâ€™t even think you needed. Black Sails â€œXXVâ€ is the latter, and is the best episode of the season to date. While the entire hour is worth your time once or twice over, here are five moments of goodness from â€œXXV.â€
#5 â€“ Featherstone Finds Some Gumption
Long have we watched as Featherstone takes what is being doled out, so long as he doesnâ€™t have to take any risks himself. Sure he vouched for Jack last season in order to secure a ship, but never have I seen a weaker Quartermaster. Iâ€™ve often wondered what real purpose heâ€™s ever served other than being useless, so I am happy to see some initiative.
Heâ€™s never been stupid, just cowardly. He can see that something foul is afoot, but doesnâ€™t really see a way to stop it until he is encouraged by Charles Vane to do something about it. He coordinates Idelle, Bonny, and Vane to change Flintâ€™s plan in the hopes that they will be able to both rescue Jack and secure the cache. I hope his defiant streak holds, because this is just the beginning.
#4 â€“ Jack Defines Rodgers’ Role
I canâ€™t help wondering how long Rodgersâ€™ â€œboy next doorâ€ faÃ§ade is going to last. While he is holding Jack against his will, there is no torture, which leads Rodgers to believe that if â€œno one is harmed,â€ then he wonâ€™t lose his modicum of credibility and there will be no change in the way the island sees him. But Jack explains, “We’re all villains in Nassau. Don’t think because you’re new you’re any different.â€
It is a short scene, at just under three minutes, but it is a powerful one that shows just how in-tune Jack is to the underhanded dealings that take place to persuade people to a cause. And it also shows that while Rodgers can play the game well for a new-comer, he shouldnâ€™t let himself think that heâ€™s doing things with the best of intentions. The Governor is being attacked from all sides as he tries to makes waves without causing a stir. Heâ€™s holding up well so far, but heâ€™s more fragile than heâ€™s letting on. However, Nassau is quick to prey on weakness, and Rodgers must be careful how much of his true self he reveals.
#3 â€“ Max Learns to Bear Her Crown
â€œOne day when all is settled here, we should burn that fucking chair.â€ Max has certainly had her fair share of hard lessons learned; but carrying the burden of power is a new responsibility that she still struggles with. Forced to lie to Anne about what is happening with Jack, Max is devastated that Spain has changed the terms, making her word null and void. Sheâ€™s doing everything she can to look out for her best interest yet is thwarted at every turn by another player. Knowing how industrious Max is, however, I have a feeling if things keep stacking up against her, sheâ€™ll find a way to circumvent everyone else to secure her best future. Her speech to the girls at the brothel was a great testament to her wielding her new power, and putting Ms. Mapleton back in charge was a bold (and potentially dangerous and desperate) move.
Sheâ€™s already started by planting the seed of dissent into Eleanorâ€™s head. They arenâ€™t so different like Max once they thought they were, but there is one glaring difference. Eleanor was always masterful and drawing people to her side by coercion; and Max is incredibly adept at creating opportunities and manipulating the situation to suit her needs. Both qualities make them better allies than foes.
#2 â€“ Rodgers and Flint Act as Reasonable Men
Governor Woodes Rodgers plays the game as well as anyone, yet Nassau is slowly chipping away at his calm demeanor. Not only are his men coming down with Yellow Fever, but after the ultimatum that was given in the tavern, heâ€™s got to make a stand against Flint. Instead of using a show of force, or threatening the people already on the island, he faces Flint man to man.
I had underestimated Rodgers, because I never imagined heâ€™d be brazen enough to set up a tent and wait for Captain Flint on the beach himself. Flint immediately calls him on his tactic, â€œSo that’s what this is? We’re all reasonable men, we all want the same things….”
Even more surprising was Rodgers kept bringing up Miranda and Thomas. He made the same argument I made about what it would be feel like to finish what Flint had started. â€œAll I have done here is finish what you began.” Playing the I wouldn’t be here without you card in the hopes of appealing to Flint’s sense of honor is a noble gesture, but it’s misplaced entirely. Having lost Thomas and Miranda has pushed Flint past the point of no return. After the conversation turns firm, I believe Rodgers finally sees a glimmer of the Flint that England fears.
I was worried Flint wouldnâ€™t be able to keep his cool had Rodgers kept throwing Miranda and Thomasâ€™ names at him like that. It would not have been a shock to see Flint take on Rodgers and his two guards; but Iâ€™m glad he didnâ€™t. This is going to be a battle of will, and Iâ€™m here for it. Tactician vs tactician â€“ and weâ€™ve only scratched the surface. I canâ€™t wait to see these two do everything in their power to tear the other one down.
#1 â€“ Long John Silver, the Legend, is Born
I despise Dufrense. I have hated him since he turned against Flint in the first season. From the moment we saw the Urca gold and realized that Flint had been right all along, I’ve wanted nothing more than to watch Flint wrap his hands around Dufrense’s neck and wring the life right out of him. Part of me wants to be disappointed that Silver dealt the death-blow instead of Flint, but how could I be?
The tavern scene was perfect! A culmination of all the things we’ve invested our time in came to fruition. Silver, ever the master manipulator, finally becomes the legend we’ve been waiting for. That speech, his delivery, and that exit? As a fan of Black Sails, what more could we have asked for? And of course Dufrense, the sniveling sycophant, opens his mouth when he thinks he’s got the advantage; so high and mighty, feeling untouchable as he taunts Silver, calling him no more than a witless puppet full of lies. How appropriate that Dufrense is brought down by the man he is trying so hard to emulate. As violent and sudden as it was, my only wish would have been for him to suffer longer. Good riddance.
Luke Arnold has taken Silver to an entirely new level in Black Sails. The change in demeanor, the new-found swagger, the confidence to walk into hostile territory and literally make a name for yourself — it’s a whole new ballgame! While other characters have matured, no one else seems to have come as far as Silver. What a treat itâ€™s been to watch him shed his old skin and blossom into a force to be reckoned with.
“XXV” left me beside myself by the end. The players have made their stands and things are not going according to anyone’s plan. How much longer will the alliance between Flint and the Maroons hold? Whose side is Eleanor really on? Now that they’ve felt each other out, how will this all play out between Flint and Rodgers?
Three episodes remain, so we’re running out of time to get answers to all of our questions. Keep watching as Black Sails returns next Saturday at 9/8c on Starz.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
Luke Macfarlane Talks Killjoys Season 5 [Exclusive]
As Killjoys winds down its run, I’ve been extremely fortunate to chat this summer with our onscreen and offscreen faves. I’ve said here a few times that Luke Macfarlane was my introduction into the show, and in the intervening five years, he’s been very kind to chat with me for…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…