Even though “Black Sails” may air on Starz, there are actually some aspects of it that remind us more of a show like “Homeland” or “Dexter” from Showtime when it comes to how it crafts a season. While its premieres are in no way restarts, they do each present a few new themes, feature a slightly-altered trajectory, and then wind things up so that everything that happens following that can be truly spectacular.
This is what we got out of the season 3 premiere the most: We’re steering in a new direction, and we’ve got some exciting things to look forward to. Perhaps for us, what did stand out the most at present was getting the opportunity to see Flint be a completely different man in the wake of Miranda’s death. No longer does he hold much respect for anyone, and at this point, he’s rather ruthless to anyone who gets in his way. Toby Stephens was spectacular in bringing out this side of the role, and we’re starting to feel that the show’s title is now more emblematic than ever of the darkness that is looming in this story. He pushed his crew hard in the premiere, and it will not be the last time we see this.
In regards to seeing the debut of Ray Stevenson as Blackbeard, we’re starting to understand precisely why the producers have to be thrilled with the casting. He gets lost in the role for one, but also still has a swagger about him that makes you want to trust and believe him. He’s more of the pirate you envision in the stories: Violent, and yet still charming and capable of using his brain to get what he wants.
Story-wise, we’d say that Eleanor giving Vane’s name up is one of the key events of the episode, but we think more so than anything else this premiere is meant to be the true sea change in ideology as to who pirates are, what they stand for, and also how dangerous they can be. It’s time for matters to start bubbling over in the high seas. Grade: B+.
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