Black Sails: "XXII" Review


Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Black Sails continued its strong Season 3 steak this week as Flint, Silver, and the rest of the crew found themselves held prisoner on a proto-Treasure Island – while back in Nassau, Vane narrowly escaped with his life after having a price put on his head. But before I dig into any of that, I want to talk about…

…Mr. Scott. So, I did NOT see that coming. The end reveal that Scott was the “away” King of the slave island. Husband to the mysterious, harsh Queen (Moshidi Motshegwa) who seemed dead set on either killing Flint and his men or hard labor’ing them into an early grave. Granted, there wasn’t a ton of lead time for this build. We just learned about the Queen and the absent King this week. In the same episode. But even still, I assumed that the non-present King was a made up story used to help legitimize the Queen as a solo ruler. I didn’t even think of connecting it back to Scott.

Of course, Scott is a character whose stock really plummeted over the course of the series. To the point where I don’t even remember him doing anything last year, in Season 2. So if Scott IS the die here, from his gunshot wound, the reveal would certainly help retroactively texturize his character in a nice way. Even if he didn’t have all that much to do after Season 1. Yes, he could survive, but it’d be a stretch given his current state vs. the time it takes to get to the island.

Now, over to the island, where the marooned pirates quickly found themselves taken captive by an isolated nation of former slaves. And where Silver seemed to have lucked into a family power struggle between the Queen and her daughter, Madi (Zethu Dlomo). One that he hopes he can use his talent for talk to exploit. Even though Flint is sort of resolute in seeing all options as a dead end. Yes, Flint is still in a bad place. Still visiting with Miranda. And now also keen to Woodes’ plan to civilize Nassau as it was the plan that HE originally developed for his attempt.


With Scott now representing a more direct connection between the island and Nassau, and Madi eyeing a possible coup (she seems to agree with Flint’s “make England fear us” approach), I now have a much better idea of how our heroes might find their way back home. Back to the conflict. So this episode did a great job of tying these two separate Season 3 stories together.

Speaking of Nassau, there was a lot of movement this week what with Jack blowing up the fort he had desperately tried to rebuild, Vane (and Blackbeard) fighting their way past nefarious thugs out to collect the bounty (with The 100, this marks the second big fight scene for Zach McGowan this week), and a giant water-bound battering ram in the form of a flaming ghost ship – sent directly at Woodes’ fleet! Of course, that fiery power move came after Vane actually SAW Eleanor on Woodes’ ship and easily figured out that she was the reason he was a marked man.

So there was a lot of action, with the promise of more action to come. Though one of the best “home base” moments came when Jack and Vane bid farewell to one another. A surprisingly touching moment from two men who only recently came to respect one another on a semi-equal level. And, of course, the moment when Jack opened the fort doors and shot the man point blank in his head made for a violently amusing scene.

And, in closing – and not for nothing – Ben Gunn (Chris Fisher) was on the island. Famous Treasure Island character AND star of his own prequel book, The Adventures of Ben Gunn. He was the one who was already in the cage when Flint and his men were shoved inside. And who warned them about everything and made the situation seem even more hopeless. Actually, he was filled with so many grim tidings that I felt like he could have bene a plant. Placed inside to make everyone more afraid.

The Verdict

Chapter XXII was an exciting, action-filled episode that – with one smooth reveal at the end – worked to tie together what seemed to be different/separate Season 3 arcs.

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