Black Sails Episode (1×05) Review – “V”



Flint and Billy Take Time Some for Honesty in “V”

After last week’s practically boring episode, STARZ’s Black Sails decided to give viewers what they’ve been waiting for with an angry mob out for Eleanor’s blood, Vane deciding to go to war against Flint and Eleanor, and a bloody sea battle. Not only that, but we finally learn a bit about Anne Bonny’s life and Mr. Scott’s fate. “V” finally lived up to the freshman series’ potential. With less exposition, the series is now rising towards this season’s climax, which will hopefully lead to either the capture of the Orca or Vane’s revenge against Eleanor Guthrie. So jump aboard as we discuss this week’s swashbuckling episode, “V.”

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“Our problem isn’t there. It never was.” Now that Vane has taken out Noonan, Rackham decided taking over Noonan’s brothel was the next step towards repairing their current financial problems. This story has yet to grow wings, but it did allow Vane, Rackham, and Anne a place to regroup and plan their next steps. For Rackham, it was trying to put food in their stomachs, and enough money in their pockets so they can get another ship. For Vane, their new endeavor gave him an opportunity to decide his next course of action, which seems to be some sort of revenge. Initially it appeared Vane wanted revenge against Eleanor, but by the end of the episode it seemed like Vane had discovered a new course of action or a different target. Now that he’s hopped aboard a skiff and set out to sea, we’ll have to wait another week to find out the extent of Vane’s plans. All season long, Anne Bonny has skulked around corners and sneered as people walked by. This week, we discovered she was raped by one of the crew and was also the one who threw Max to the men. The fact the men have used Max for their own pleasure instead of killing her is what’s made Anne feel guilty. She never wanted anyone to suffer what she’s suffered. Just wanted to take Max out of the equation.

Black Sails Episode 1x05 3

Rackham: Nothing can ever be simple.”

Anne: I can make it simple.

“I think he’s talking about you.” Eleanor Guthrie’s problems just keep mounting. Since the show started she’s lost her woman, fallen out with her ex-boyfriend who just also happens to be the most profitable captain in the seas, and been betrayed by her most trusted friend. Now, Eleanor’s father has exposed the truth about his situation to everyone on the island, and pinned a target on his daughter’s back in the process. Last week, Richard told Mr. Scott that he wanted to save his daughter from herself, but this week he’s almost killed her. Eleanor spent the episode stuck inside her business surrounded by an angry pirate mob, and it was great. This allowed us to see just exactly what this lass is made of, and why she’s so feared. With her back up against the wall, Richard thought Eleanor would break under the pressure. Instead, she gathered her strength and tried to rally the other most powerful captains to her cause. Unfortunately, Eleanor’s greatest weakness seems to be her pride. When told to make amends with Vane and diffuse the angry mob, Eleanor told everyone to fuck off. Hopefully John Silver’s sage advice sinks in. Punishing Vane for harming Max is only going to get Eleanor killed, and won’t change Max’s situation. Max could have been free, and chose her own path. By restoring Vane, Eleanor can bring the other Captains to her side, and make her dream of a free New Providence a reality.

“Max chose. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was spite. Maybe it was strength. Maybe it was who the fuck knows what? To be perfectly honest, I don’t care because the moment I start making choices based on her decisions I start ceding more power then I’d like to a perfect stranger. Guilt is natural. It also goes away if you let it, but losing your life’s work? That doesn’t go away.”

Black Sails Episode 1x05

“We will adapt. We will survive.” In a fight sequence that echoed the opening scene in “I,” we got to see a sea battle, but this time it was shown from Flint’s perspective. Flint’s done a lot of losing this season, but this week he successfully captured the Andromache in order to commandeer her guns.  Unfortunately, he underestimated Capt. Bryson, and is at a stand-off with the veteran seaman, while the Scarborough comes to Bryson’s aid. This spectacular battle gave viewers the pirate fun they’ve been clamoring for, and also introduced two interesting new characters – Dufrain the accountant and Mr. Beauclerc. Dufrain got the opportunity to board his first ship, but will undoubtedly prove his worth by going through Bryson’s books. Maybe Dufrain will find something that could help Flint’s situation. Mr. Beauclerc is one hell of a sharpshooter and helped the crew take the ship. With another on the horizon, he’ll probably have a big role in next week’s events as well. Besides getting the action kicked into high gear, this battle also managed to reinforce the time period by revealing that Capt. Bryson traffics in the slave trade. It will be interesting to see what becomes of these men and women when the Scarborough arrives and Flint’s surrounded by enemies on all sides.

“Mr. Scott, you sided with his daughter against him. You forgot your duty. You must have known there’d be consequences. But we men of duty must often put our differences aside as you’re about to witness.”

“V” was a breath of fresh air, and breathed new life into this series after last week managed to deflate my excitement for Black Sails, by finding a balance between exposition and action. Poor Mr. Scott has been double-crossed by Richard and sold into slavery and is now held captive aboard Capt. Bryson’s ship. This revelation still came as a surprise despite the fact that Richard had screwed over Eleanor in the beginning of the episode. Max is still in bad shape, but now that Anne has decided to be proactive and offer her some help, hopefully this sex kitten won’t stay down for too long and will get back into the game. All of our characters managed to turn things around for themselves to some degree, and it was good to see Silver and Eleanor getting the opportunity to know one another. John’s talk with Eleanor showed another side to the silver-tongued con man, and may have helped to put Vane back on the seas. Billy and Flint began the episode making end roads towards trusting one another, but by episode’s end Billy had learned a terrible truth about Flint’s relationship with Mrs. Miranda Barlow. After a dull episode last week, it seems this series is now moving full steam ahead.