Having debuted in January 2014, the voyage of Starz’s Black Sails is coming to an end, with the premiere of the fourth and final season of the pirate drama set for Sunday. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of wind at the back of the Emmy-winning Treasure Island prequel’s final 10 episodes, and not many waves to be made by its exit.
As I say in my video review above, with Power and Outlander now generating much of the heat for the now Lionsgate-owned Starz, it makes strategic sense for Black Sails to get out of the way. I’ve long been a fan of the series executive produced by Michael Bay, but with another installment of the Steven Soderbergh-EP’d The Girlfriend Experience coming and the debut of American Gods in April, the harbor is pretty packed over at Starz.
Even with all that, led by the intense Toby Stephens, the war against civilization and a war on terror 18th century-style that makes up Black Sails’ final season — where shades of grey and buckets of blood are the only certainties — has been bleached out and the plot lost (at least on me). It’s as if in tying up loose ends with new alliances of convenience, the battle for Nassau, Long John Silver and century-crossing politics, the sole goal of this final season of the Jonathan Steinberg- and Robert Levin-developed show is to get to the end in one piece. In relative terms, it’s a lackluster conclusion for the now-decommissioned old boy.
After becoming the first Starz original series to go beyond three seasons and setting course for the current original programming slate of the Chris Albrecht-run premium cabler, Black Sails has become a convoluted narrative set between an exceptional action sequence every couple of episodes.
Click on my video review above to see more of my take on the last season.