Black Sails Series Finale Review

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A pirate’s life for me.

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below. Black Sails wrapped up its epic and exciting four-season run with, of all things, a feel good episode that delivered hopeful and surprisingly happy(ish?) fates for our remaining main characters. This was a soulful, thoughtful and powerful tie-off for a series that, more or less, made me think we were surely steering into a storm.

Before Flint, Silver and the rest could survive to be with their loves however, things had to get mighty bloody and mighty suspenseful. There was still Woodes Rogers to deal with and the fate of Flint to handle. Would Madi it make it out alive?

Would both Silver and Jack conspire to eliminate Flint even after he’d led them to victory over Rogers? This was a heavy crucible. Not showing what Bones did, or didn’t do, to Madi made it all even more harrowing.

He just walked out of the room and we had to wait for Silver to find her in order to discover her true fate. It was a fake out, sure, but a really well done one. Especially when, right before Silver saw Madi, he ran into a cowardly cook.

The exact same type of man he was when the series first began. Then there was the battle itself. A monumental spectacle that took us way up high, to the top of the mast, for a diabolical fight between Flint and Bones.

One that echoed their Season 1 encounter and saw Bones going into the deep yet again. And surviving again too, though now marooned on Skeleton Island. Of everyone here, considering the characters in Treasure Island, Bones and Silver were a lock to make it through.

That being said though, this series finale was still so well presented and performed that it had you deep in its grip no matter what you may have known about the show being a prequel to the book – and this ship battle was outstanding.

Black Sails Season 4 2017

These characters, respectively, landed exactly in their right places. And that’s really hard to do with an ensemble. Flint, though now condemned to a prison plantation, found his thought-to-be-dead love, making for a very emotional reunion that far and away completed his journey.

Forced to give up his war, and his dream of an independent pirate nation, Flint was taken back to the start, and to the source of his initial rage. Thomas was indeed still alive. Silver too wound up choosing love over change, though initially Madi wanted nothing to do with him.

By the end though, that final shot of them on the bluff by the shore, it felt like she’d returned to his side. Rogers disgraced, Jack and Max triumphant in their deal making, Flint trading execution for exile, Featherstone becoming Governor (hah!) – this series ender contained many memorable moments and beats. All of them made sweeter by the fact that there was a looming presumption of doom and gloom.

That Jack would never make it back to Anne. That Max would never again wield power and influence. That Silver would kill Flint.

The very end too, which was almost cutesy in its crowd-pleasing reveal of the new Nassau World Order and (*pirate nerd squeee*) Mary Read — posing as Mark Read, naturally — and the final shot of the Jolly Roger flag (which Calico Jack did design), was a delight to behold. The Verdict Black Sails treated its remaining main characters immeasurably well in its thrilling and moving final chapter, putting them through hell in order that they survive to make various compromises and deals, placing them on potentially happy paths toward the future.

It’s a strangely hopeful finale, despite Flint actually being a prisoner and the real future fates of Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny (and Mary Read) being just a google search away.

Still, the show didn’t always adhere to history, so why must we?

References

  1. ^ Matt Fowler (people.ign.com)

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