"Black Sails" returned to the high seas last week, and the once adrift Starz pirate drama finally got some wind in its sails.
In "V.," Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his Walrus crew set sail to chase the merchantman Andromache and take its big guns. Once Flint attacked the ship, viewers were treated to exactly what they thought they'd be getting—a pirate adventure.
It can't be said enough that any TV series needs to know exactly what it is and embrace that the best way it can. A pirate story has to have pirates pirating, not just landlocked while making and breaking political alliances.
Without delivering the action booty, so to speak, it's going to leave its audience disappointed. As I said in my original review, "Black Sails" opened strong, then sort of fell into a morass of overly detailed and talky plots on landlocked Nassau that, as the show's creators insisted, was building toward payoff. They just took way too long to get there.
The other smart thing "V." did, which continues in this weekend's "VI.," is give its main characters clear goals within the episode. Flint had the Andromache mission while Eleanor Guthrie tried to regain her control over New Providence Island’s commerce. The focus stays narrow in "VI." as well. As usual with this show, the episode is a little overstuffed with side stories and details that drag the action a bit. But most of those details feed into the main plotlines and don't jerk viewers around unnecessarily.
As you can see in the exclusive clip above, Flint is still struggling with the Andromache and with convincing Billy Bones (Tom Hopper) that he can be trusted—at least long enough to complete the mission. I won't spoil details about the letter of which they speak in the scene, or what happens next, but it's a doozy of a conclusion.
The plotlines of Eleanor (Hannah New) and Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) smash together, too, in a most surprising and satisfying way.
"Black Sails" airs at 8 p.m. Saturdays on Starz.
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