Black Sails: Season 3
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Black Sails: Season 3

Pirates have held the fascination with public for hundreds of years. There been several scholarly examinations of this phenomena but the general conclusion appears to be that regular, law-abiding people enjoy living vicariously with the lawless men and women preying upon sailing ships weaker in armament yet laden with valuable cargo. Occasionally this is referred to as the ‘Walter Mitty syndrome’; where a milquetoast individual can imagine himself a man of action, unbound by the laws of the nations. In a fashion similar to audiences and saturation with gangster movies the fact that the apparent protagonist of the stories was criminals considered rape, murder, and torture in a necessary part of their vocation. Could very well be that the collective action of these groups is so heinous and beyond the comprehension of a regular citizen that it becomes a form of psychological protection to validate them into a form of fictionalized entertainment. One of the latest forays into the world piracy has been a series on the Starz premium cable network, ‘Block Sails,' created to serve as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel ‘Treasure Island.' There are some historical influences in the story lines and character development that are expected to withstand historical scrutiny. This situation is common to many historically based dramas.there was a considerable of the dramatic license has taken, and while some facts may be fairly accurately portrayed, as a whole the series is intended for entertainment not a documentary in any shape or form. This network may have entered the competition for a regional programming on the upper tier of your cable’s programming lineup, but they have already established themselves as a serious contender, particularly in the action/adventure genre instructed upon historical period associated with ruthless violence. They successfully delved into the world of Roman gladiators focusing their gained experience to the West Indies area during the 18th century. Undoubtedly this is an interesting point in history since although collectively they were considered a threat to humanity several pirate collectives represented some of the earliest endeavors to form a democratic society on this continent.

Major focal point for the first two seasons of the series followed a particular band of pirates the attempt to capture in the sack the largest treasure galleon in the Spanish Armada, the Urca de Lima, commonly known in piratical circles as ‘The Hulk.' It’s contained more gold and gems the most pirates would see in their lifetime once the Spanish they had been relieved of this’ burden,' Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens) led the crew of the Walrus to locate and plunder the Spanish treasure ship. Clint had been trained in the English Navy which helped him to become one of the most successful pirate captains in history as well as the de facto leader of the Pirates port of call in Nassau. The opening of the third season finds Captain Flint has begun negotiations with two powerful pirate captains. Captains Edward Teach (Ray Stevenson), better known as Blackbeard, and Charles Vane (Zach McGowan), to discuss the future of Nassau as a clearinghouse for the booty as well as some of the details of your future endeavors.

One of the most memorable of the fictional characters created by Mr. Stevenson's fertile imagination, John Silver (Luke Arnold), has been a devious player in the ever-changing machinations of the series. In this season he continues his most common attribute; a self-serving opportunist who views every person as another rung on his ladder to dominance. Officially John Silver is the Quartermaster on the Walrus engaging in terrorism accompanied by Captain Flint. Sailing along Carolina’s coast, they pillage the communities disrupting local order by murdering the town officials. There is a nicely placed little tidbit specifically targeting the literary fans watching. John Silver assures his enemies that he has a "long f%#king memory" providing a different origin of his familiar nom de voyage, ‘Long John Silver.'

Starz has already made the official announcement that Season four will be the capstone of the saga. As the penultimate season, the fan expectations understandable include amplifying the bloodshed, treachery, greed and even passion to previously unimaginable levels. As a side effect of this crucial position in the overall saga leaves a substantial number of unanswered questions and dire situations that place the primary characters in seemingly inexorable deadly danger. The audience, diverted from dwelling on the inevitable by sweeping us up into a whirlwind of activity. There is a definite advantage to living in an age where you can revisit past episodes of a television series at will. This show is such a magnificently crafted story containing such a myriad of individual threads that it is exceptionally beneficial to revisit specific episodes, significant sections of the story, to expedite understanding of the plot points as your continue to the conclusion.

Several of the plot points utilized in general character development assist in establishing the presence of some common pirate memes associated with the pirate persona. One that comes readily to mind in the crude, makeshift prosthetics utilized to replace a severed limb. Captain James Flint received a severe injury to his leg that became infected beyond salvation. The only treatment feasible to save his life was an amputation and being fitting with a wooden peg-leg. This season finds the pirate captain turn to a darker path than before. His control over the crew of the Walrus is increasingly draconian and absolute in his tyranny. When a government representative offers the men pardons for their crimes, Flint convinces then to refuse such an act of judicial mercy. He drives the crew beyond all sense of rationality. He readily achieves this by dividing the men into two factions. Those most critical to the operation of the vessel are given portions of their meager supplies while condemning the rest to starvation. Flint embodies the essence of the ruthless pirate captain. He sacrifices innocent people with no hesitation and during a storm to save the ship he saws off the topgallants when the crew hesitates. The action resulted in several deaths.

In a real yet violent fashion, one of the underlying themes crucial to the success of the series is a dark example of the ‘American Dream.' John Silver began his career as a British sailor with ambitions far beyond the station in life to which he has born. Working his way up from an inexperienced ship’s cook, despite a complete lack of culinary acumen, he lies, cheats steals and takes advantage of every conceivable opportunity to advance his position to obtain a significant share of power and wealth. In an odd way, most people can admire such ambition conveniently neglecting to notice the despicable actions employed to ensure success. There is a definite advantage to a series that knows the precise date of cancellation. The showrunner and his team of writers can plan for a satisfying conclusion that will not leave the fans with loose ends that will never see a resolution. Too many shows have been canceled after the final episode ends with a cliffhanger never to be resolved. This way exhibits a tremendous amount of respect for their loyal fan base.

bulletSeason Two Recap.
bulletBlackbeard: An 18th Century Pirate.
bulletThe Storm
bulletA Pirate's Last Words
bulletWoodes Rodgers
bulletInside the World of Black Sails

Posted 11/10/2016

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