(Includes Spoilers) When a show is cancelled there is always uproar from the fans upset that one of their favorite shows is coming to an end, but here’s why the ending of Black Sails isn’t such a bad thing. It’s official Black Sails will conclude after the fourth season. While many fans saw this coming, some fans were surprised by the news. There will be ten more episodes of the series in early 2017, which is indeed bittersweet. But if we examine the facts the ending is more sweetness than bitterness.
First off, Black Sails will be ending on its own terms. A lot of shows are not this fortunate and it allows the Black Sails writers to give the fans a proper ending. Black Sails has taken glorious side trips to the Ranger crew; has taken the time to dive into the intricacies of 1700’s Nassau and pirate politics, but most of all it is an in-depth look at the story of who James Flint is and how John Silver became Long John Silver, the only man Flint ever feared. If we take a look at the narrative, its apparent that this was intentional. The season three finale introduced this element, laying the groundwork for the final ten episodes. By its design as a Treasure Island prequel, black Sails is not sustainable to be a long running show. I’d rather it end then stretch the story out and half unnecessary fluff. Everything about its writing and plotting has been deliberate and thorough: Flint’s past, Silver’s evolution, Vane’s sacrifice, Rackham’s rise. In an era of television series being cancelled before their intended ending, it is good to see Black Sails get their chance to give everyone involved a proper ending to this great adventure.
Secondly, killing Charles Vane in the middle of the show wouldn’t have been right. Charles Vane is one of the shows most entertaining characters and the most honorable, pure-hearted, authentic pirates of the show. He had a different life path then most of the other characters in the show. He didn’t fall into the life by accident like Silver; he entered it with an agenda like Flint, or with an idea of legacy like Rackham. He was raised outside of civilization and simply wanted to live and die on his own terms. With his death, the show not only lost a great character, but lost on of the major threads of its exploration of what it means to be a pirate and the nature of the pirate lifestyle. It would have been weird having the show go on two or three more seasons without Vane. Now with only one more season we will be able to see the effect of his death has on other characters like Nassau- but the absence of his presence wont stretch out and negatively impact the show.
Lastly, the death toll is rising. Each season more principal characters are dying. Season one saw the early grave for Gates, Season two killed off Miranda and Richard Guthrie, and Season three axed a whopping four major characters: Hornigold, Mr. Scott, Dufresne, and of course Charles Vane. Logically we can expect a bloodbath in the final ten episodes. Black Sails stands out from other shows with its ability to balance action and quiet character development and navigates tragedy without getting grim.
Yes it is sad one of the best television shows on right now is ending, but it will get the ending it deserves, rather than leaving everyone hanging or stretching the story out too long and the writers run out of ideas. I’m glad Black Sails is not becoming a show where people say ““The first few seasons are fantastic…but then it all goes downhill.” The last season should be a proper send off and I look forward to the last season coming out next year.