Black Sails S4E9 Review: XXXVII

XXXVII

 

This is it, guys, the last two episodes of Black Sails. I can’t believe we’ve reached the end of the road, almost. This episode was truly one of the best the series has ever produced, but it was one of the most gut-wrenching, as well.

 

The episode starts with one of many flashbacks, as Silver learns to fight from Flint. It’s not only about sparring, and fighting, of course–but a meeting of the minds. Something that is so far gone at this point, where they are now.

 

Back on Skeleton Island, Silver and Hands arrive on the shore; Governor Rogers has given them until sunrise to find Flint and bring back the treasure. However, Silver (rightfully) is worried that Rogers is going to make a move before then, so they need to act quickly. Flint has already split up–or appears to have split up. Frustrated, Silver makes his men split into two groups, knowing that he’s going to send at least one group of them to their deaths, but only hopes that their deaths will let them know Flint’s location. I feel for him–he clearly doesn’t want to stoop to Flint’s level, but then again, if he had listened to Billy and Hands at the beginning, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

 

On Rogers’ ship, the Governor asks Billy who will win between Silver and Flint. My (former) favorite pirate says he doesn’t know–Flint is too unpredictable to give a honest answer. As it is, Rogers should assume the worst and act before he finds out, one way or another. As a result, Rogers goes to speak to Madi, one last time. He rants at her, threatens violence, and then offers her the same treaty he did before, but this time says he will allow Silver to live. But of course, Madi is like Flint–she cares more about the cause than actual people, so of course, she refuses. I feel bad for Silver, really. When it comes down to it, no one truly cares enough about him to sacrifice for him. Billy did, perhaps, but he betrayed him. To further anger Rogers, Madi also says that Eleanor’s death is at his feet, no one else’s (she isn’t wrong). I don’t know what her fate will be, but after those comments, I doubt it will be good.

 

We cut back to the sparring flashback, where Flint tells Silver that in any fight, it is important to know who an opponent was yesterday, and who he is today. This opens up an interesting dialogue, as we learn that Silver has been lying to Flint (and subsequently us) about his past this entire time. Normally, this would be the point where a large confession is made, but the show bucks that trope, and Silver still refuses to give his true backstory. He’d rather lie, and says it’s not relevant. He walks off, unwilling to share that part of himself with Flint, regardless of the openness that Flint has provided him.

A quick mention on what is going on with Rackham: things are going well on his ship with their guide leading them to the Island. Things are looking up, and Rackham is feeling confident that things could truly change for once. Except, well–the guide dies, so they are going to have to attempt to get to the island by memory alone. There is your comedy for the episode, folks.

 

It’s no surprise that when some of Silver’s men come across Flint, they end up dead. Silver ends up finding them later, and while he laments their loss, Hands simply isn’t having it–he knows that when they come face to face again, Flint is going to try and get into Silver’s head and turn him back towards his side. I’m so glad Hands is there to try and be the voice of reason, even if it might not work. It’s in this moment Silver realizes that Flint must be trying to hide the treasure–and we cut to the man doing exactly that.

 

In another flashback, Silver almost decides to tell Flint about his past, but in the end decides against it. He says that he always wanted some sort of relevancy, but he knows now there isn’t any to be found–it’s all just nothing. Which is so nihilistic, but I love it, really. Silver tells Flint that he knows everything Silver wants him to know,, and he hopes that Flint can trust him–cause he’ll never have any more. Surprisingly, Flint does seem to accept these terms, and they start sparring once more.

 

Back on the pirate ship, everyone seems incredibly spooked–they are hearing and seeing things. Flint’s little plan worked, but seemingly too well. The first mate gave probably the most important line of the episode, and perhaps this season, “There are no monsters in the dark–though there are dangers. Take care to tell the difference.” That has been the struggle all along, hasn’t it? That everyone has been looking for the monster in the dark, and instead missed the more important danger all around them.

 

Meanwhile, Rogers and his men finally make their move–they set out into the water with explosives, setting the pirate’s ship on fire. Once the hull is in flames, boats are set out into the water to start to pick off the men that abandon the ship.

It’s an utter massacre, and horrible to watch. Billy is among the men, cutting down his former friends. It’s terrible to see how far he’s fallen–a true tragedy in action.

 

Silver’s second group of men find Flint and the fights that ensue are really great. The fights are well choreographed and show different styles of combat over rough terrain. I’m really impressed with it! Flint barely gets the best of both of them, and as he kills the last man, Silver and Hands see Flint in the distance. So the final confrontation is on.

 

Flint gets the drop on Hands first, and tries to reason with him, saying that they need everyone for what comes next. Luckily, Hands isn’t having it and engages. Still, the fight isn’t long and Hands is knocked out as Silver arrives, demanding to know where the treasure is.

 

Flint starts trying to persuade Silver, as he always has before.  As this occurs, we get flashes of them sparring on the beach, with Flint besting Silver each time . It’s a great juxtaposition and really ratchets up the tension.  Silver finally bests Flint in the flashback and then pulls out his sword in the present, and the fight finally begins. There are no words, no, just music. It’s intense and beautiful, and everything I wanted. However, it’s cut short by the sound of a ship exploding. The fight is given up between them both as they run to go see what happened. But, well, it’s over. Silver, Flint, and Hands watch their ship in flames, their men being shot all around.

 

We end with a flashback of Silver and Madi. Silver speaks about his true friendship with Flint, and how they have a connection nothing can break. Right as that is said, the ship fully explodes. Well. I guess that’s a big giant symbol, isn’t it?

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