Black Sails - Season 4 Episode 2 "XXX."

Black Sails Review: Long John Silver Disrespected

Aside from the conflict between Flint and Billy, this was a quieter episode of Black Sails. There were a couple of memorable scenes though.

Black Sails - Season 4 Episode 2 "XXX."
Courtesy of Starz
The first, was the shipwreck Israel Hands called home. It was such a unique setting. “What is this?” is right, I thought to myself right before Silver uttered the words. Why the hell was Hands treating “Long John Silver” with such disrespect? Okay so the price on his head was part of it, but the fact Hands knew the “legend” was a lie was a much better reason. I figured if anyone could talk his way out of that mess, it would be Silver… yet he signed the note! What?!? Hands eventually came around, when Silver spoke of the past and Teach humiliating his second in favor of Charles Vane. It was terrific learning this new pirate’s tale, and a team up with Silver was the right move. I’m actually surprised the writers did not bring Israel Hands into the story sooner. Well, better late than never I guess.

I couldn’t remember exactly what became of Featherstone (Craig Jackson) in my last review, but he reappeared here briefly. Honestly, the fact he struck a deal with Max completely slipped my mind. He turned on his brothers to save his own skin. It’s pretty clear he’s not going to be around long.

Eleanor’s plan to seek her grandfather’s aid certainly seemed worth a try. Her story made me wonder if in reality all her moves were part of a larger plan. Did she marry Rogers with the intent of legitimizing the family name in London society’s eyes? Has she masterfully manipulated the man or does some part of her love him? Eleanor is a piece or work, so I wouldn’t put anything past her.

Of course Teach was no longer messing around, which was evident the instant that ship rolled in decorated with hanging soldiers. That’s the second visual that stuck with me when the hour ended. I was correct in assuming Blackbeard wanted to get his hands on Eleanor, but as Rackham pointed out Rogers would never willingly turn her over. Teach wasn’t fooling himself though, it was all just a distraction. The real plan was to sneak onto the island at night and kidnap the object of his vengeance.

Black Sails - Season 4 Episode 2 "XXX."
Courtesy of Starz

When Rogers mentioned his plan to Eleanor, my first thought was it was going to go very badly. However, we know Rogers outlives most of history’s legendary pirates. Teach’s out for revenge, so why would he chase Rogers? Would Eleanor make it to Philadelphia? The way Teach spoke of Charles Vane moved me. What a wonderful scene between Stevenson and Schmitz. Afterwards, Blackbeard’s choice made total sense somehow. Ray Stevenson’s portrayal of the notorious pirate has been much more reserved and poetic than the predictable psychotic Blackbeard we’ve met in other films/tv. I can tell you now, his ultimate demise is going to be hard to watch and quite emotional. I’ve grown fond of Black Sails’ take on the character. How about you?

Elsewhere, Flint had little choice but to attempt to take the plantation as Billy had suggested. They needed the manpower, desperately. Like Flint, I also wondered if Silver had indeed shared the whereabouts of the gold with Madi. Her little chat with Flint left me with doubts. One thing was certain though, the woman knew how to play the game. She recognized Billy as a leader, while Flint remembered the young man who always fell in line. Well, he’s much more of a threat these days.

Black Sails - Season 4 Episode 2 "XXX."
Courtesy of Starz

I’ve got to say, Billy is the character that has changed the most since the last time we saw him. The episode was dragging a tad, but the plantation battle delivered some serious action. I’m always so impressed by how tall Tom Hopper is, compared to everyone else. At 6′ 5″ he simply towers over Toby Stephens, who at 5′ 11″ is not a short guy. I loved the way Flint barked out orders, and Billy was visibly irritated by the man.

The twist that the slaves’ families had been distributed among several different plantations put a dent in Billy’s plans. Simultaneous revolts? Ah… not anytime soon, that’s for sure. A tactical retreat was the better option, but Billy was fed up by that point and stood his ground. He was done taking orders from Captain Flint. Damn, what a standoff! I can’t say I saw Billy and Flint coming to blows like that, but boy did the scene deliver. It was a moment the series had been building to for a while. Nothing will be the same between those two characters ever again.

Max sure was ballsy with “Long John Silver,” wasn’t she? I have no doubt she’s going to regret not taking his offer of friendship. While history tells us the pirates’ endeavor fails, there’s no way of knowing the fictional character’s fates. It seems like Max turning her back on Silver was a mistake, which only helped cement his alliance with Hands. Isn’t it frustrating having to wait a whole week for the next chapter in the story? What did you think of this week’s installment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Black Sails airs Sundays at 9/8c on Starz.