Black Sails Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 are Remarkable & Intense Beyond Belief [Advanced Review]

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From Starz, creators Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine alongside producer Michael Bay comes the hit pirate drama series Black Sails. Starring Toby Stephens,  Luke Arnold, Zach McGowan, Tom Hopper, Jessica Parker Kennedy,  Hannah New, Clara Paget, Toby Schmitz, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and Ray Stevenson. The highly anticipated third season of Black Sails will première Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 9:00pm ET/PT exclusively on Starz.

In the wake of the burning of Charles Town, all the New World lives in fear of Captain Flint. But when his campaign of terror crosses over into madness, it falls to John Silver to locate the man within the monster before it’s too late. Meanwhile, with Eleanor Guthrie in prison, Jack Rackham oversees a new Nassau, hoping to secure his legacy as a king among thieves. All will be tested when a new threat arrives, one the pirates could never have anticipated. It knows them. It understands them. And in the blink of an eye, it will turn them against each other.

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Note – There are ZERO Spoilers in this advanced review – ZERO

I was lucky enough to get an advanced look at the first two episodes of the upcoming third season of Black Sails. Because they haven’t aired yet I’m not allowed to reveal ANY plot details whatsoever. What I will say is that they are action packed and loaded with some of the best special effects that I’ve ever seen in a television series. Black Sails is the new Deadwood – A period piece loaded with an ensemble cast of hooligans that each have their own intriguing traits.

Add to the mix Ray Stevenson – who plays Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard). If you had any doubt, and why would you, Stevenson is on fire. His portrayal of one of the most infamous pirates of all time is perfect. He’s quiet but he’s terrifying – you truly get this feeling every time he enters the scene that he’s capable of great evil and violence without ever really trying that hard. His integration into the cast is seamless.

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Toby Stephens was an astounding lead in season two – in season three he is unleashed. You have not seen Captain Flint this intense… His first scene in season three might be one my favourite moments of the series yet. After the devastating events on him personally last year, he is more crazed and bloodthirsty than ever in season three. Zach McGowan’s Captain Vane is still the badass that won me over last season. Toby Schmitz’ Jack Rackham is trying to deal with his glorious treasure findings in season two and his three-way relationship with the two ladies continues to be one of the most interesting romantic subplots you’ll likely see all year.

My one complaint in season two (and it wasn’t much of one) was the storyline concerning Hannah New’s Eleanor Guthrie. In season three – not the case – not what I expected – and I’m loving the direction they’ve taken her in. It’s almost as if someone was listening and granting my every wish when I asked for more Hakeem Kae-Kazim screentime. Awesome – thank you – he deserves it.

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More beards seem to be the theme in season three as well, McGowan’s got one and Luke Arnold looks great with the added face badassery. His John Silver is quickly becoming the pirate we all know and love with that signature peg leg. There’s a scene in the first two episodes that is so devastating and hard to watch… Arnold’s emotional performance adds so much weight to this sequence that I couldn’t handle it. Not only have the action and special effects been elevated to the heights of big-screen features, but the performances are better than ever as every cast-member is truly doing some of the best work of their careers.

Believe the hype – Black Sails season three is intense beyond belief and remarkable television, showing that Starz should be recognized alongside giants like HBO. Bravo Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine.

Rating:

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