Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Following 3.1: Miasma of Terror

The Following was back for its third season last night, with an episode entitled "New Blood".  The acting was strong as always, the scenes lurid as expected,  little about the story was new - but it still had something indefinably unique.

Mark, the surviving psycho from Season 2, is masterminding a series of tableau recreations, most importantly of his beloved mother Lily, replete - of course - with suitably freshly killed bodies and all.   Ryan Hardy, predictably wanting to get away from all of this, is drawn back in.

One nice change is that he decides not to push his love interest away from him to protect her, as he wanted to do, at first, and indeed did on and off with other women in previous seasons.  Hanging over everything Ryan does, of course, is the possibility that she's a follower of some lunatic herself.   That, too, has happened in previous years.

Still and all, The Following has something very compelling going for it.  The combination of the acting, memorable characters - good to see Mike and Max back, if not (yet) together - make the horror and paranoia of these stories almost believable, and certainly more than enough to carry the narrative.

The question now is where will Season 3 go from here?   We were given an inkling last night, with the revelation that the couple working for Mark are really serving some other master.   Would that be Joe?   Or some other demented genius who gets his or her kicks from clever murders.

The key to The Following, what makes it different from other shows about criminal psychos, such as Criminal Minds, is that The Following creates a miasma of terror, on the verge of erupting any time, in supermarkets, park benches, and book stores, permeating every moment of the show, which is somehow believable and thereby worthy of further watching, which I'll certainly be doing.

And see also The Following Is Back for Its Second Season ... The Following 2.2: Rediscovering Oneself ... The Following 2.3: Coalescing ... The Following 2.4: Psycho Families and Trains ... The Following 2.5: Turning Tides ... The Following 2.8: Coalescing? ... The Following 2.9: The Book Signing ... The Following 2.11: Lily not Joe ... The Following 2.13: The Downfall of Mike ...The Following 2.14: Twists and Deaths ...  The Following Season 2 Finale: The Living

And see also The Following Begins ... The Following 1.2: Joe, Poe, and the Plan ... The Following 1.3: Bug in the Sun ... The Following 1.4: Off the Leash ... The Following 1.5:  The Lawyer and the Swap ... The Following 1.7: At Large ... The Following 1.9: All in a Name, Or, Metaphor in the Service of Murder ... The Following 1.13: At Last Something of a Day for the Good Guys ... The Following Season 1 Finale: Doing Dead

#SFWApro


Like a Neanderthal serial killer in the current world? Try The Silk Code
   

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Walking Dead 5.12: The Other Shoe

The Walking Dead 5.12 gave us something we apparently haven't seen before - not in the Governor's town, not in Terminus, not in the hospital - a community not run by one species or another of human psychos.

If you think about it, there have to be some normal communities left in this plague-ravaged world, shouldn't there?  Why shouldn't it be Alexandria?

And yet, there has to be something wrong with this place - it can't be that, after just three tries, our heroes found a safe place, right?   So I was waiting throughout the episode for the other shoe to drop, to find some monster, worse than the walkers, lurking in this gated community.

And it didn't quite arrive - not yet, at least.  Sure, some members of Alexandria are a little jumpy, but the Congresswoman is glad to see Rick and his people take some command.   And that's certainly not a monster lurking in the shadows.

Carl and Carol think maybe the monster is the very humanity of this community, which will cause our people to let their guard down, and become weak.   Rick, at the end, addresses this, when he says that they've seen too much to become weak - and, they'll take over the community themselves, if need be.

And maybe that's the other shoe, after all.   That Rick - shaven and sheriff again - and our people could become the very psycho killers that they've been contending with, in addition to the walkers, all along.

Nah, I don't think that's quite it, either.   What I do think is that The Walking Dead has taken a most interesting turn - maybe the best we've seen all season - and I'm looking forward to seeing where it leads.

See also: The Walking Dead 5.1: The Redemption of Carole ... The Walking Dead 5.3: Meets Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone ... The Walking Dead 5.4: Hospital of Horror ... The Walking Dead 5.5: Anatomy of a Shattered Dream ... The Walking Dead 5.6-7: Slow ... The Walking Dead 5.8: Killing the Non-Killer ... The Walking Dead 5.9: Another Death in the Family ... The Walking Dead 5.11: The Smiling Stranger

And see also The Walking Dead 4.1: The New Plague ... The Walking Dead 4.2: The Baby and the Flu ... The Walking Dead 4.3: Death in Every Corner ...The Walking Dead 4.4: Hershel, Carl, and Maggie ... The Walking Dead 4.6: The Good Governor ... The Walking Dead 4.7: The Governor's Other Foot ... The Walking Dead 4.8: Vintage Fall Finale ... The Walking Dead 4.9: A Nightmare on Walking Dead Street ... The Walking Dead 4:14: Too Far ... The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale: From the Gunfire into the Frying Pan


#SFWApro



no cannibalism but at least a plague in The Consciousness Plague

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Black Sails 2.6: Weighty Alternatives, and the Medium is the Message on the High Seas

A powerful, strategically complex episode 2.6 of Black Sails last night, which did what it does best - baring the clock-work machinations of piracy, the intricate mechanisms of thought and  plans and double-cross, which underly all the derring-do and bloodshed.

The main event is Flint's idea that he can buy some future safety for Nassau - at least from England - by returning Governor Ash's daughter to him in the Carolinas.   A good enough plan, except almost no one likes it.  Eleanor's father counsels Flint that he can't have the protection of Governor Ash and the Urca gold.  Vane doesn't like the plan whatever it does to the Urca gold, because its provision of a Nassau safe for piracy is at best hypothetical.   Fortunately, Eleanor's a believer - she doesn't want to risk Nassau brought down further by Flint's resumed attack - and sleeps with Vane, which  usually that would be very fortunate for Vane, but not this time, because she's going to free the Governor's daughter while Vane sleeps in the aftermath.

Now, while all of this fine piece of business and plotting and trickery is unfolding, Flint has another problem:  Captain Hornigold  doesn't like Flint's plan, either, and wants to keep him to his word to bring down Nassau, i.e., wrest it from its current control.  He pushes all of this to a vote that will soon take place - and which will include Billy, alive and apparently back in the fold.  He supports Flint's account of Flint not casting Billy into the water last season, but we learn that Billy may actually be in pursuit of a pardon from the British, at Flint's expense.

And, if that's not enough, we have this additional complication:  Flint will be short a vote in the upcoming contest with Hornigold, because Anne has killed one of his men, along with a blonde prostitute, whose legs we get repeated looks at on the floor.   In addition to the intricate plotting, Black Sails is animated by everyone being just a knife blade or a gun shot away from meeting their Maker.

As an excellent further example of that, we're treated to Rackham proving himself as a Captain, unwilling to accept a 50/50 split with pirate ship based on weight, in which he gets blankets and the other pirate gets that weight in sugar and tobacco.   It's a nice rendition of the medium being the message out on the high seas, and that whole thread last night is for some reason one of my favorites in the series.

More next week.

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!

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

#SFWApro

 
pirates of the mind in The Plot to Save Socrates 

British Invasion 50th Anniversary Concert in Tarrytown, NY: A Review

Tina and I just got back from the British Invasion 50th Anniversary Concert at the Tarrytown Music Hall on Main Street in Tarrytown, NY - a few miles from home, attended with tickets she bought for my birthday this month - and we loved it!

Lots of highlights, but here are some that were especially standing-ovation outstanding -

  • Chad and Jeremy, the original duo, in good voice and humor, singing their songs.   The harmony rang true and haunting and beautiful in "Yesterday's Gone" and "A Summer Song," just as it did in the 1960s.  I sang some of these songs with my group, The New Outlook, in the Alcove at CCNY (instead of going to classes), and Chad and Jeremy's performance tonight was the closest I've actually come to taking a time machine back 50 years.
  • Billy J.  Kramer was in great baritone voice, and altogether excellent. Hearing him sing "Bad to Me" and "From a Window" (a fabulous, under-appreciated song) was about the closest anyone can come in 2015 to hearing an early Lennon and McCartney performance - though I guess McCartney could do it now if he was so moved - and "Little Children," not by the Beatles' writers, was grand, too.   He also did a fine job on "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" - better known as by the Walker Brothers - which just happens to be one of my favorite songs.
  • Speaking of McCartney, Denny Laine was on hand, as well, singing "Go Now" - from the original Moody Blues, i.e., before "Nights in White Satin" - and "Band on the Run," from his tenure in Wings, in a great closing encore with all the artists on stage. 
  • The Searchers' "When You Walk in the Room" - written and first recorded by Jackie DeShannon - has also always been one of my favorite all-time songs.  Mike Pender of The Searchers gave it a rousing performance at the concert, along with their more famous "Needles and Pins" (written by Jack Nietzsche and Sonny Bono).
  • Terry Sylvester of the Hollies delivered a pitch-perfect "Bus Stop".
  • Peter Asher mc'd, provided witty repartee and sage musical history, and did a great job with his own hits - "I Go to Pieces," "Lady Godiva," "I  Don't Wanna See You Again," and of course "World Without Love" (the last two by Lennon & McCartney) - sadly without Gordon, who died in 2009.  But the backup band sang and played perfectly, and made every performance worthwhile.
  • On a more personal note, it was good to say hello to Andrew Sandoval, who put my "Hung Up On Love" on the Rhino Record compilation album Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vaults (my group The Other Voices sang that - actually, another name for The New Outlook - and I co-wrote with Mickie Harris).

Time's winged chariot forever hurries near, making concerts like these rare and wonderful.  If you came of age in the 60s, and loved this kind of music, give yourself a treat and see this concert if you get a chance.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Banshee 3.8: What Did Rebecca Find with Burton?

Some memorable scenes with Hood versus Chayton in tonight's walloping episode 3.8 of Banshee - memorable, to say the least - but the scene that most provokes is what Rebecca found with Burton, when she tried to seduce him, and put her hand down his pants.

As is so often the case with Rebecca, the expression on her face tells much of the story.  In this case, it was one of, well, horror may be too strong a word, but is in the right vicinity.   She certainly didn't find what she expected, and what she found was ... well, more than enough for her stop the seduction.

My first thought was that maybe Burton is a woman, but that doesn't seem quite right, either.  What happened to him in prison - in another strong scene in which Proctor discovers him - is likely the source of the answer.    And, not to be too graphic about it, but likely something was badly maimed, or worse.   Leave it to Banshee to bring us down this path, as we struggle to learn the origin of this charismatic character.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Chayton put up a better than good fight, but the inexorable logic of the narrative - meaning, Hood couldn't die - not to mention moral justice, demanded that Chayton be the one who was ended.   The coda, of his body with the fish, provides a good couplet with his rising out of the water the last time we thought he might be dead.

So a major bad guy is gone.   But the heist last week has set a new enemy against Hood and his friends.   And this one combines not only considerable strength and savvy - as did Chayton - but a team who can help him figure out what happened, i.e., how he managed to be robbed.

As we see in the diner, he's well on the way to figuring this out, and acting upon it.  Should be a strong two concluding episodes of this season, as Hood struggles to stay on top and ahead of this.

See also Banshee 3.1: Taking Stock ... Banshee 3.2: Women in Charge ...Banshee 3.3: Burton vs. Nola ... Banshee 3.4: Burton and Rebecca ... Banshee 3.5: Almost the Alamo ...  Banshee 3.6: Perfect What-If Bookends ... Banshee 3.7: Movie with Movie




Like crime stories that involve the Amish? Try The Silk Code

#SFWApro

Friday, February 27, 2015

12 Monkeys 1.7: Snowden, the Virus, and the Irresistible

All hell - i.e., the deadly virus - almost breaks irrevocably loose in episode of 1.7 of 12 Monkeys tonight, as Cole races back - a week back - to stop this in 2015.

Here's background story, clearly revealed at last: There's an ancient virus, dug up, then genetically modified to be the stone cold nearly instant killer which, as we know, all but wiped out the world.   It all starts when the CIA sends the virus to Chechnya to kill Edward Snowden - in this story, one Adam Wexler, who even looks like our Snowden, though.   Wexler's story - as we soon learn, and as he comments near the end of the episode - hinges on a real virus, in contrast to a computer virus, in a nice play on words and reality.

Now, in order for Cole to stop the plague, he has to destroy to the virus in Chechnya before it spreads any further.  To do this, he has to travel a week into the past, as I said.   But here's the kicker: Cassandra knows that Cole will stop the virus from spreading, all right, but by sacrificing his own life.  Should she warn him, in the hope that Cole can somehow still stop the virus without losing his life?

In a lesser, more conventional narrative, she would have figured out a way to warn him, in the hope that she would be able to have her cake and eat it - that is, save the world and Cole, too.  But this 12 Monkeys series pulls no punches, and provides no easy outs.  So ... it looks at the end of the episode as if the virus is stopped and Cole indeed dies.

So, for the second week in a row, one of the two major characters has died.  Except, with Cole on the loose last time, he was able to save Cassandra.   Will she be able to bring Cole back now?

But there's an even deeper question: would Cole even exist in a world in which the virus was stopped?  12 Monkeys has already indicated the most fundamental reality about time travel, with the saving of Cassandra:  no one is unalterably dead in a world animated by time travel.   But will Cassandra have the memory to change Cole's death, in a world in which the virus and therefore he never arose in the first place?  This, by the way, is just one iteration of the heart-breaking deepest truth of all that, even if the virus and plague are stopped without Cole dying in the process, Cole still therefore wouldn't exist as we know him in the plague-riven world in which time travel was perfected and enabled him to go back in time and meet Cassandra - because a world without the plague would not have created our Cole.

There are, fortunately for the narrative, several ways out of at least this episode's rendition of the paradox.   One is that Cole didn't die when the rockets hit, because he was pulled out of that time by Jones in the future. Another is that, for reasons we don't quite understand, Cole's death did not result in the virus being eradicated - maybe there is another test-tube of it somewhere -  which means that the plague will still happen, which means that Cole will meet Cassandra, which means she can figure out a way to save him.

Ain't time travel grand?  I don't know, I've never done it, but it sure is something irresistible in 12 Monkeys the series.

See also 12 Monkeys series on SyFy: Paradox Prominent and Excellent ...12 Monkeys 1.2: Your Future, His Past ... 12 Monkeys 1.3:  Paradoxes, Lies, and Near Intersections ... 12 Monkeys 1.4: "Uneasy Math" ... 12 Monkeys 1.5: The Heart of the Matter ... 12 Monkeys 1.6: Can I Get a Witness?

podcast review of Predestination and 12 Monkeys



 three time travel novels: the Sierra Waters trilogy

 photo LateLessons1_zpsogsvk12k.jpg
What if the Soviet Union survived into the 21st century,
and Eddie and the Cruisers were a real band?


The Chronology Protection Case movie 

~~~ +++ ~~~

#SFWApro

Bosch: Second Half: As Fine as the First

I saw the rest of Bosch on Amazon  Prime last night, and, like a fine bottle of wine, it was as good as the beginning, which I reviewed here a few days ago.

Speaking of libation, I even learned something new in the series.  Bosch orders a "flat tire" bottle of beer.  I looked it up, and I'm going to try one myself at the next suitable occasion.

The story continues with its two-edged plot - that is, two kinds of murders, which may or may not be related, but continue to intersect almost until the end of this first season.  I won't tell you the ultimate outcome, but will say it that we get a great ride, alternately harrowing and satisfying, to get there.

What is most memorable and appealing about Bosch the character, and therefore Bosch the series, is the integrity he's able to maintain amidst the corruption and lies and near-corruption all around him. And he does this not in a high-handed way, but as someone who truly struggles with the difficult decisions and choices constantly thrown in his way, and pertaining not only to his professional but his personal life, which are almost constantly intertwined in this story.

Indeed, we learn more about Bosch's personal story in the second half of the season, with more about his former wife - a former profiler now working the people and odds in Las Vegas - and their daughter.  The acting continues to be top-notch, even in the smaller roles, including Scott Wilson (the memorable Herschel from The Walking Dead) and Alan Rosenberg (L.A. Law).   And the story lines of the supporting characters are rich and intriguing, including at least one unexpected affair with a colleague.

In addition to all of this, Bosch provides a complex political chess game, the outcome of which we don't discover until the very end.   Bosch the character is almost perfectly situated on this board, right in the middle, between the street and the upper brass, each of which want a different piece of his soul.

I'd now rate Bosch as one of the best cop shows ever on television, right up there, in different ways, with The Shield and The Wire.

See also Bosch: First Half: Highly Recommended


                   another kind of police story 

#SFWApro

Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy

News of Leonard Nimoy's passing came just as I was starting to write a review of the excellent episode 3.2 of Vikings, on the History Channel last night.   In many ways, the spirit of going beyond the well-trodden universe depicted so well in Star Trek, with Leonard Nimoy's Spock at the intellectual helm, is derived from the real Vikings in our history, whose story is now being told so compellingly in the TV series.

Of course, the Starship Enterprise never approach a planet or a shore with heads of their vanquished enemies hanging from their ship.  This was one of the most powerful scenes, not just in last night's episodes but in the entire series, because it showed, without words, just how brutal and frightening our Vikings could be.

Who would be the Spock in our Vikings crew?  He would have to be Floki, who has a lot of Spock's smarts, but is far crazier than Spock, except during the Vulcan Pon Farr mating frenzy.   But Ragnar is closer to Kirk, more violent than the Enterprise captain, but equally strategic and brilliant, and probably better adjusted, emotionally, in terms of wives and families.   Back to Floki, he also bears a resemblance to Scotty, since Floki's knowledge of boat craft helped launch our Vikings across the waters in the first season.

Other than the heads on the ships, the most memorable scenes in last night's episode were of women, in various stages of dawning love and other emotions.  My favorite, for some reason, was of Althelstan, practically being propositioned by conventions of that time.  I'm wishing nothing but the best for him. Meanwhile, Lagertha and Ecbert are clearly moving closer together, and there's some sort of early chemistry between Princess Kwenthrith and Ragnar.

One of the big difference between Star Trek and Vikings is that women have much more major and active roles in Vikings.   This reflects the difference, not in the past and the future, but in the 1960s and the 2010s - or the time the two series were and are being created.   Were Viking women really that prominent in our history?   Probably not, but they're great to see in this series, as exhilarating and cosmic in its own way as  Star Trek.  I hope both live long and prosper.

See also Vikings 3.1. Fighting and Farming

And see also Vikings 2.1-2: Upping the Ante of Conquest ... Vikings 2.4: Wise King ... Vikings 2.5: Caught in the Middle ... Vikings 2.6: The Guardians ...Vikings 2.7: Volatile Mix ... Vikings 2.8: Great Post-Apocalyptic Narrative ... Vikings Season 2 Finale: Satisfying, Surprising, Superb

And see also Vikings ... Vikings 1.2: Lindisfarne ... Vikings 1.3: The Priest ... Vikings 1.4:  Twist and Testudo ... Vikings 1.5: Freud and Family ... Vikings 1.7: Religion and Battle ... Vikings 1.8: Sacrifice
... Vikings Season 1 Finale: Below the Ash

 
historical science fiction - a little further back in time

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more about Star Trek in this anthology:  Boarding the Enterpise

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bosch: First Half: Highly Recommended

I binge-watched the first half of Bosch on Amazon Prime Instant Video last night.  Herewith a brief, nonspoiler review.

The series is superb, and a worthy addition to streaming masterpieces such as House of Cards and Peaky Blinders on Netflix, and what The Man in the High Castle promises to be on Amazon.  These shows are spearheading a new revolution in television viewing, as far ahead of most cable today as cable was to network television when it first unveiled The Sopranos in the late 1990s.   The capacity to binge watch - available with cable usually only for series already aired, or after the DVD was released - has been coupled on Netflix and Amazon with a pace in the narrative that we've not quite seen before on the television screen.

All I'll say about the narrative of Bosch, at this point, is that it's a story that seems old for an instant - about a Dirty Harry kind of cop - which quickly pivots to originality, and surprises with twists and turns in every episode.   The writing is joyfully literate.  In the very first episode, a character asks, can you "humor us about the humerus bone"?   Bosch's love interest, a lawyer turned cop (itself a pretty original character) who wants to be a detective, is said by Bosch to have gone from "the briefcase to the billy club".   And there's a meta-quality that runs through the entire story - Bosch lives in a fancy apartment, with a great view, far above his pay grade, because he was paid a lot of money by Paramount for a movie about one of his cases.

The acting is outstanding. Annie Wersching - of 24 fame - plays Bosch's aforementioned love interest, and she's never been better.   Titus Welliver puts in the best performance of his career in the title role, and that's saying a lot, since he hit the note so well in his stint on Sons of Anarchy.  Jamie Hector from The Wire plays Bosch's partner, and Lance Reddick of Fringe as well as The Wire is on hand as the Deputy Chief aka Bosch's main boss.

It's tough, as I said, to get a fresh take on a police procedural, a genre as old on television as Dragnet in the first golden age of TV in the 1950s.  But Bosch - based on the novels by Michael Connelly, who co-created the series with Eric Overmyer (The Affair, Treme, and Boardwalk Empire are some of his credits) - has somehow managed to give us a police story we haven't seen before, and it's a riveting tale indeed.

See also Bosch: Second Half: As Fine as the First


                   another kind of police story 

#SFWApro


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Walking Dead 5.11: The Smiling Stranger

Another thoughtful episode of The Walking Dead this Sunday - 5.11 - in which our heroes are given the dilemma of what to do with someone who shows up, out of the blue, proclaiming and seeming to only want to help them.

Rick, unsurprisingly, is on the verge of killing this smiling stranger, and restrains himself to the point of just punching him out.   But Michonne and Maggie think otherwise - and, for some reason, trust the stranger.   In the end, their take carries the day, and the only one who supports Rick's distrust at all is Carol, who helpfully tells him even when he's wrong, he's right.

And I'm with Rick and Carol - why should our people trust anyone, after what they've been through? Michonne's argument that there has to be a better way may be true in the abstract, but what is it about this stranger which leads her to believe that he's the one?

Presumably what's going on here is that Michonne is so weary of leading this crazy life - and who can blame her - that she's willing to throw good caution to the wind, and Maggie, Glenn, and even Daryl apparently agree with her.  But surely this is a very dangerous gamble.

In something of a denouement, it turns out that the strange is gay - which is an interesting twist (and the second twist of this sort in this past weekend's television, the first having been on Black Sails) - but does this make the stranger, or his partner, more trustworthy?  

Significantly, the episode ends before we see who and what resides behind the locked gates.   So we've yet to get a definitive answer about whether Michonne's trust is justified.   Kudos to The Walking Dead for setting up, out of almost nowhere, a very compelling scenario, even if it did get off to a slightly shaky, not fully motivated start.

See also: The Walking Dead 5.1: The Redemption of Carole ... The Walking Dead 5.3: Meets Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone ... The Walking Dead 5.4: Hospital of Horror ... The Walking Dead 5.5: Anatomy of a Shattered Dream ... The Walking Dead 5.6-7: Slow ... The Walking Dead 5.8: Killing the Non-Killer ... The Walking Dead 5.9: Another Death in the Family

And see also The Walking Dead 4.1: The New Plague ... The Walking Dead 4.2: The Baby and the Flu ... The Walking Dead 4.3: Death in Every Corner ...The Walking Dead 4.4: Hershel, Carl, and Maggie ... The Walking Dead 4.6: The Good Governor ... The Walking Dead 4.7: The Governor's Other Foot ... The Walking Dead 4.8: Vintage Fall Finale ... The Walking Dead 4.9: A Nightmare on Walking Dead Street ... The Walking Dead 4:14: Too Far ... The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale: From the Gunfire into the Frying Pan


#SFWApro



no cannibalism but at least a plague in The Consciousness Plague



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Black Sails 2.5: Twist!

Black Sails 2.5 was chock full of surprises and revelations, tonight - the first and foremost being -

The affair that Flint was having in London before he became Flint was not with Thomas's wife Miranda but with Thomas.  This explains a lot of things, including the somewhat strange relationship he had with Miranda last year, and the way Flint was drummed out of town by the British Admiralty earlier in the show tonight.  They wouldn't have been anywhere near as angry or disgusted with him, if he had been in bed with a married woman.   Score one for Black Sails in the unexpected, very well played twist department.

And in a lesser but still significant surprise,  Rackham decides to take Max not Anne with him on his ship, when given the choice (according to what he tells Anne) of being able to bring just one of the women on board the ship.  I discount his convoluted explanation to Anne, and assume his decision reflects how much more he enjoys Max and her charms in bed.

And, if that's not enough, we find that Billy is not only alive but freed, after all.   He was one of the top three or four excellent characters last season - bringing him back into the action promises to be good.

The powerhouse revelatory episode ends on a cliff hanger, as have most of the episodes this season. Vane has realized that there's no way he can beat Flint's superior forces, so he goes for the strategy of cutting off the head of the attacking force.  This one-on-one contest couldn't have happened at a worse time for Flint, as he's just come back in touch with his love for Thomas, thanks to Miranda.   There's no way the series will allow Vane to kill Flint at this point - not to mention what that would do to our novelistic knowledge of the pirate - so it will be interesting to see who and what gets Flint out of this.

But he will now be a different, far more complex character in this series, not just interested in gold, but in finding some equilibrium for himself in this unforgiving world.

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!"

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

#SFWApro

 
pirates of the mind in The Plot to Save Socrates 


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