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Monday, March 21, 2016

Black Sails 3.9: Wither Vane

I entitled my review of last week's episode of Black Sails "Whether Vane".  This week's review - of episode 3.9 - is entitled "wither Vane," because--(spoilers follow)

Well, I put in a spoiler break, because, if you haven't yet seen Black Sails 3.9, you might not want to know what Charles Vane is hanged at the end of the episode.

Black Sails, as everyone knows, is a brilliant mixture of Robert Louis Stevenson characters (Flint, Silver) and real-life pirates (Vane, Rackham, Bonny, Blackbeard, etc).  The fates of the real-life pirates are constricted by history, to the extent that Black Sails wants to remain true to it.   The fates of Flint and Silver are constrained by the circumstance that Black Sails takes place 20 years before Stevenson's Treasure Island, not to mention that killing off either of them would remove a crucial character from the storyline, though that hasn't seemed to have damaged Game of Thrones too much.

Lesser fictional characters are fair game.   Mr.  Scott's death was slow and sad this season, just as Miranda's was sudden and shocking last season. But in both cases, Black Sails was entitled to play it that way, or whatever way it chose.

And Charles Vane?  Well, history tells us he was hanged as a pirate, but not in Nassau.  Black Sails is, after all, not a documentary, not even a docu-drama, which means it can be flexible with the dictates of history.   Hey, the series could have kept Vane swashbuckling instead of hanging from the gallows a few more seasons.   Which is why I found his death disappointing.

It also had the effect of making Eleanor a thoroughly unsympathetic character now, which I suppose is good for the edginess of the narrative.  But I liked Eleanor much better when she was in bed with the pirates, figuratively and literally.

The one indisputably good consequence of Vane's hanging is that it's pulling Teach (Blackbeard) back into the game.  I'm looking forward to the fireworks next week.

See also Black Sails 3.1: Restored ... Black Sails 3.2: Flint vs. Sea ... Black Sails 3.3: Gone Fishin' ... Black Sails 3.4: Mr. Scott's People ... Black Sails 3.5: Alliance ... Black Sails 3.6: The Duel ... Black Sails 3.7: The Blackening of John Silver ... Black Sails 3.8: Whether Vane?

And see also Black Sails 2.1: Good Combo, Back Story, New Blood ... Black Sails 2.2: A Fine Lesson in Captaining ... Black Sails 2.3: "I Angered Charles Vane" ... Black Sails 2.4: "Fire!" ... Black Sails 2.5: Twist! ... Black Sails 2.6: Weighty Alternatives, and the Medium is the Message on the High Seas ...Black Sails 2.7: The Governor's Daughter and the Gold ... Black Sails 2.9: The Unlikely Hero ... Black Sails Season 2 Finale: Satisfying Literate and Vulgar

And see also Black Sails: Literate and Raunchy Piracy ... Black Sails 1.3: John Milton and Marcus Aurelius ... Black Sails 1.4: The Masts of Wall Street ...Black Sails 1.6: Rising Up ... Black Sails 1.7: Fictions and History ... Black Sails 1.8: Money



pirates of the mind in The Plot to Save Socrates 

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