Starz‘s Black Sails XXI. TV Show Review. Black Sails: Season 3, Episode 3: XXI. featured chess moves on both sides of the high-seas adventure series. As was mentioned previously, the transfer of the gold was the smartest play that its holders could make, especially considering that an English fleet was on its way. Two incidents of note occurred during the transfer: oral sex gratitude and a allusion to Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy)’s heritage. When the trader, after receiving oral sex (in front of everyone), began offensively probing into Max’s past, making crude assumptions about her lineage, he showed his lack chivalry and refinement. Even if he was of the purest, most unblemished product for his particular race, only an unself-respecting mutt would indulge in any form of coitus in public.
That discourse, with Max putting the deal above a retort to the trader’s provocations, did open up Max’s past, deepening her character to the viewer, and showing the two different paths she and Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) were on.
Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens) and his delusions, like Rick Grimes’ from The Walking Dead, are increasing in importance for his character. They were also becoming more intrusive, penetrating his consciousness in the light of day while he was wide awake. The most poignant of these moments was when Captain Flint had to kill two members of his crew during XXI. and Miranda Barlow (Louise Barnes) took one their places. It was like she was silently begging him to be compassionate, to be lenient with that crewman. The viewer saw unguarded emotion in his eyes in that moment. Captain Flint dearly missed his friend but he could not show compassion or leniency in that moment for his crew.
Quartermaster John Silver (Luke Arnold)’s lifeboat confession also tested Flint’s leniency and reason in XXI., but it was a calculated disclosure. Quartermaster Silver wanted Flint to know that he was no fool and that it was silly for them to be adversaries when a union between equals would be mutually beneficial. I don’t believe Flint has ever seen any of his crew as an equal or as intelligent as he is. How Silver so completely deceived him about the Urca gold showed Flint that he was wrong, at least about Silver.
Silver revelation about his need for the crew, his invalid status, and his treasure share were surprising but honest and had there intended effect on Flint, almost to Silver’s chagrin (Silver was ready to mortally defend himself if it came to it). The two of them jointly feeding the crew through teamwork served to further ameliorate their burgeoning positive working relationship.
The blockade was a brilliant show of force by the Nassau pirates that no one expected, making it that much more impressive as it thwarted their adversaries original plan and forced them to come up with something else on the fly. While they improvised, the pirates hunkered down. The person that would eventually lead the blockade was obvious and the viewer was simply waiting for that person to make his entrance, which he eventually did, employing leverage to get what he ultimately wanted – a son.
The deal on the beach (the pardons), presented by Captain Benjamin Hornigold (Patrick Lyster), spelled doom for the Nassau bay blockade and the ground fight on Nassau. Most if not all of the men on that beach had a death sentence hanging over their heads, many could never return home. With the pardon, that death fear was gone and some could go home or where-ever they liked without the dread of someone discovering who they really were or what they had done.
It was a outstanding chess move by Woodes Rogers (Luke Roberts) – kill the fight before the fight began. At least one of the pirates on the Nassau beach was a captain of a ship in the bay. Why was he on the beach instead of on his ship? Will he pull his ship from the blockade now that he has taken the pardon? I imagine he will try but there is Blackbeard (Ray Stevenson) to contend with. I doubt Blackbeard will take betrayal laying down.
From the looks of it, it seemed most if not all of the pirates on the beach would take the pardon deal, leaving the men in The Fort to fend for themselves. Though The Fort’s walls had been rebuilt, Captain Hornigold knows everything about The Fort having held it himself for years. He will be able to envision a way of taking it and the what’s left of the Urca gold within.
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