Starz‘s Black Sails IX TV Show Review. Black Sails: Season 2, Episode 1: IX began with a mystery wrapped in the prettiest of enigmas. The episode also served as the introduction for a person who will probably be a key character in the upcoming season.
Unlike Captain Charles Vain (Zach McGowan), who wears his intimidation on his sleeve, Ned Low (Tadhg Murphy) is a quieter menace.
Through a story he tells to disturb, the viewer knows that Low has no emotional reaction to killing, setting him apart from Vain, Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens), and 99% of the other buccaneers in Nassau, Bahamas. Low is able to unsettle with words (Flint and Vain primarily unsettle with past deeds and the gravitas surrounding their names) but is not above acting violently either.
Besides the primary new character introduced, IX boasted one of the best scene-before-title-sequences (theatrical in cinematography) that the viewer may have seen in recent months.
The structure of IX was that of Boardwalk Empire‘s final season (showing how the main character rose to his present station) and thus was a highly effective buttress to events. The flaw was that though they showed the year for the past events, they did not do so for the present events, depriving the viewer of the knowledge of how much time had passed.
The most entertaining moments in IX were those between Flint and John Silver (Luke Arnold), boarding on comedy during two specific instances. Silver’s perception of events was completely different than Flint’s, infuriating Flint until Silver explained his thinking multiple times. Flint could barely stand the presence of Silver but they both eventually saw each other as a means to their own end, Silver more quickly than Flint.
IX was the episode where the relationship between Flint and Silver began to build, where the two men saw what the other was worth or potentially worth to the other. Flint had to see Silver’s brains and his ability to quickly think on his feet. Silver knew what was on Flint’s mind before Flint said a word, an ability he has shown previously with Randall (Lawerance Joffe) and Eleanor Gutherie (Eleanor Guthrie). Silver observes and extrapolates accurately, a very useful skill to have, especially for a criminal (or whatever Silver sees himself as).
Flint and Silver can trust each other as far as their own self-interests go. Since they know each others’ immediate interest, capturing the shipwrecked gold, they at least have a common goal until that milestone is reached.
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