29 Jan TV Recommendation: Black Sails
My dry spell of premium network tv has finally ended because Black Sails is back for its second season! If you haven’t heard about the show yet, it revolves around several characters living on the pirate inhabited island of New Providence in the West Indies. If you are a fan of Robert Louis Stevensons’ epic novel, Treasure Island, you’ll be interested to know that the show is considered to be a prequel, taking place almost two decades before the book.
The first episode opens much like that of the first season, with a merchant ship being commandeered by a pirate vessel. Instead of Captain Flint, who is currently stranded on some unnamed island, enter Ned Low and his crew. His harsh features are backed up by his ruthless behavior; taking the willingly submissive merchant crew and putting them to the sword. This scene shows the drastic character contrasts been Low and Flint, and it seems that their personalities will collide at some point in the future.
In the same breath Flint, who has been stripped of his power by a mutiny, is desperately hoping to gain back the trust of his crew. Shipwrecked, he volunteers for a suicide mission to capture a Spanish man of war that has been trusted protecting a treasure galleon that has washed up on the same beach (check out season one if you want more info on the significance of this treasure ). Unfortunately he severely underestimates the Spanish crew and he and his accomplice, John Silver, are taken captive. Lucky for them the pirate crew’s lack of trust for Flint causes them to launch an unexpected attack on the ship, saving the two captives.
Back on New Providence in Nassau, Eleanor Guthrie is having her own troubles. Captain Vane is not committing himself to his duties as the new harbormaster, causing problems for her business. Knowing their troubled past though, it seems she would look for any excuse to give him some flak. She also gets her first run in with Captain Low, when she refuses to pay full price for his blood-stained cargo. Usually an unwavering character, Eleanor seems truly shaken by her run in with the new captain. His ruthless nature shows through again as he subtly threatens her to cooperate with his future endeavors.
Meanwhile, Rackham has lost all respect within the pirate community, getting a thorough beat down as he leaves a public bathroom. His newly acquired brothel is doing well with Max now managing, but she oversteps her boundaries when they find out she sold info about the merchant ship in the opening scene to Ned Low. Her and Eleanor exchange some harsh words over an impromptu meeting at her bar. It almost seems as if Max sold the information to Low to cause problems for Eleanor. Again, not surprising with how things left off between them last season.
This ends up making Rackham look even worse, and he gets a lot of criticism from his partner Anne Bonny. She holds a lot of hostility against Max ever since she freed her from imprisonment last season. After threatening to kick her out of the brothel, everything gets resolved with a steamy, but not unexpected hook-up scene between the two ladies as a close.