Black Sails Season 3 Finale: The Rise of Long John Silver

[This is a review of the Black Sails season 3 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]


A frenetic descent into madness is what best describes this incredibly rich and vibrant third season of Black Sails. Captain Flint and John Silver spend their time talking about philosophy and morality as the world around them prepares for war.

There are so many threads to untangle in this excellent finale, but Flint and Silver are the ones who steal the show. These two men have been at odds ever since they met, but an unexpected friendship may be looming over the horizon when season 4 premieres in 2017. As the weary pirates share rum over a camp fire, the two realize that they may have more in common then they initially thought.

Silver is a fascinating study in character development and progression. He began the series as an opportunist and thief, but has now emerged as a strong leader and tactician. He is the one man on Flint's crew whom everyone trusts. Even Mr. Scott's people trust him, which is saying a lot. As Silver so eloquently stated, he is both feared and loved, which is what gives him his power. Flint's speech about descending into that dark-madness was captivating, especially when you see the fear in Silver's eyes as he slowly realizes that he might be turning into the man Flint has become. One of the best lines is when Silver asks Flint if his speech was a warning, or a welcoming. Much like Daredevil and The Punisher, Silver is just one bad day from turning into Flint.

Back on Nassau, Billy Bones is crafting his own story about John, as he plants the seeds of revolution among the former pirates. John is now "Long John Silver." It will be interesting to see how he takes to his new title when and if he ever returns to the island. It was sad to see Charles Vane go last week, but like Billy said, it was a necessity to make the men and women of Nassau remember who they truly are.

This finale definitely had its grand battles at sea and on land, but it was also setting up what should be an exciting fourth season. Eleanor Guthrie and Woods Rogers are shaping up to be the villains next year, especially now that Edward "Blackbeard" Teach is aware of Vane's death. We all knew Teach wouldn't stay isolated on that island forever. Ray Stevenson is a talented actor, so it will be nice having him around next year.

Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny had some spectacular moments in this episode as well. Anne's long swim to the enemy ships was thrilling to watch and the joy on Jack's face at her success was priceless. It seems that Jack sees Blackbeard as some kind of surrogate father, since Vane was like a brother to him. You can tell he wants respect from the legendary pirate, and by the episode's conclusion it looks like he may have received it.

After their victory against the British Navy, the pirates, along with Mr. Scott's people have formed a kind of Arthurian knights of the round table, where all voices will be equal in the coming fight. There are so many unique individuals at that table. Jack and Teach are most likely seeking revenge, while Silver and Flint have promised to help the people of the island. Presumably their paths will all take them back to Nassau in search of Eleanor and Woods. Max is the one character that is difficult to figure out. What role does she play in all of this once Flint and his newly acquired armada storm the Nassau shores? Only time will tell.

Black Sails season 3 delivered the goods in every way possible and there is little doubt that season 4 will do the same. What did you think of this season and what do you think is in store for our pirate friends next year? Stay tuned to see what happens next.

Black Sails will continue in 2017.

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