GallowKnight

[SPOILERS] Black Sails Season 4: All that glitters is not Silver

311 posts in this topic

10 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

I'v read them Astromech. Yesterday, Sunday night and now again. All they're saying to me is that they wanted to create a story bridge how characters end up thinking in TI that Flint died drinking himself to death in Savannah. Because of obviously if Flint did indeed end up in the penal colony, then TI's tale about Flint must be a lie. And if the second is a lie, the first can be a lie too. Both stories can be seen as a lie, but the lies still connect and place Flint in Savannah. Very obvioiusly they do play around with the TI canon with Billy washing ashore on Skeleton Island and Ben Gunn not on the boat. The writers pointed out several times before the finale that there are unrelaible narrators in TI.

Most things turn out to be lies. Woodes goes down in Nassau history as the man who repelled the Spanish from invading Nassau. BS has him being the one who invited them to invade Nassau and New Providence.

I actually like the various interpretations of the finale and feel they add more layers to already complex characters. There is a lot of interesting symbolism (really like the mythological take on Elysian fields and paying Charon his toll) and lines from the various characters there. My disagreements aren't so much with your interpretation of the finale as it is reconciling those with the showrunners comments. In all honesty, I wish the showrunners wouldn't have responded to the questions in the way they did. It kills much of the fun of the speculation and theorycrafting. I would have preferred them saying it was open to interpretation or just prevaricating and obfuscating. I'm actually hoping they walk back those statements later.

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16 hours ago, Astromech said:

 In all honesty, I wish the showrunners wouldn't have responded to the questions in the way they did. It kills much of the fun of the speculation and theorycrafting. I would have preferred them saying it was open to interpretation or just prevaricating and obfuscating. I'm actually hoping they walk back those statements later.

For all the stick the sopranos creators got for their lack of clarity on the finale, I respect them allowing it to remain up in the air. Like you say, the interviews do make it seem like what we saw (and heard) was what happened and that feels a bit like telling a kid that Santa isn't real.

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7 hours ago, red snow said:

For all the stick the sopranos creators got for their lack of clarity on the finale, I respect them allowing it to remain up in the air. Like you say, the interviews do make it seem like what we saw (and heard) was what happened and that feels a bit like telling a kid that Santa isn't real.

Yeah, my discussion with Sweetsunray about it was more me venting my frustration with their responses than with any ambiguity and interpretation of the finale. But to be fair I have read another interview since those first ones where they talk about wanting it to be ambiguous. I wish I had seen that interview before the other ones.

The finale does hold up extremely well to multiple viewings. As fantastic as Flint and Silver were in that episode, I really think Jack stole it. His rogueish, cheekiness brought a lot of levity to a rather heavy finale.

I noticed the Latin inscription on the gates of the prison in Savannah, non sibi sed allis,(Not for oneself, but for others) is the motto of the Trustees and seal of Georgia 

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17 minutes ago, Astromech said:

I noticed the Latin inscription on the gates of the prison in Savannah, non sibi sed allis,(Not for oneself, but for others) is the motto of the Trustees and seal of Georgia 

Those gates looked so much like gates into an afterlife, and the handing over of the money like an allusion to paying the ferryman.

Yes, I have seen that interview too.

I wonder if their initial interviews were based on the initial reaction of so many who wanted Flint to be alive and have a happy ending. And it's on the first watch when you still have to digest so much scenes and dialogue, that you think "Flint's alive!" It's only later that stuff starts to sink in, and you don't have a Keiser Soze scene where they spell it out at the end. The "Silver actually shot him" interpretation didn't really start to get traction on the internet until a day after, when those interviews already got out. Heck some reviewers even did an extra review, because they didn't consider it until they began to read comments. Just look at that afterbuzz live review - Lauren sort of had an inkling that it might be ambiguous, but Nadine didn't begin to realize it until JPK started to explain it more.

So, with the first reaction of the many who wanted Flint to have a happy ending, they sort of went with it, leaning more to "that was what we tried to do", and then when the "ambiguity of it" got traction and was seen as what makes the finale so masterful, they came out that was the intention. ???? :dunno:

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In hindsight and with subsequent viewings of the finale, ambiguity seems to have always been their intention. There is just way too much obfuscation, misdirection and the repeated emphasis on narrative and who controls it for the intention of the finale to be anything but ambiguous. I think the showrunners just had a few poorly worded responses in interviews that pointed to a more concrete answer for the finale. But we also tend to overanalyze any statements showrunners, actors, authors make these days. Either way, the buzz surrounding it sure helps get the word out over this criminally overlooked series.

I still lean more towards the prison fate of Flint than his death at Silvers hands. It just works better for me. I like the figurative death of Flint and the literal reunion of McGraw and Hamilton.

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Posted (edited)

RE: Flint 

With days to think and talk about it, I think it all related to how it was filmed in that almost sepia tone compared to the rest of the episode. It could mean it's a placating tale and Flint is dead. OR it could mean that Flint is dead but James McGraw is alive and with Thomas for reals. Because if Flint the person and not just the persona is dead, why show Israel Hands and the other dude doing the handoff? Anyways, I liked it because no one had a completely happy ending and no one got justice except for Rogers' trial maybe. Everything kind of fit together as it should. 

Edited by kairparavel

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3 hours ago, Astromech said:

 

I still lean more towards the prison fate of Flint than his death at Silvers hands. It just works better for me. I like the figurative death of Flint and the literal reunion of McGraw and Hamilton.

It's like Jack says "we choose the truth/story that suits us best".

I also agree that Jack got a lot of the limelight. I wonder if it was intentional that they had a historical figure say the things about history, legend and truth over the fictional characters of Flint and Silver? It was nice how the character striving for fame/infamy got it at the end (however short-lived) and I loved how the thing that would become more memorable than him (the Jolly Roger) was something he was essentially "meh" about.

58 minutes ago, kairparavel said:

RE: Flint 

With days to think and talk about it, I think it all related to how it was filmed in that almost sepia tone compared to the rest of the episode. It could mean it's a placating tale and Flint is dead. OR it could mean that Flint is dead but James McGraw is alive and with Thomas for reals. Because if Flint the person and not just the persona is dead, why show Israel Hands and the other dude doing the handoff? Anyways, I liked it because no one had a completely happy ending and no one got justice except for Rogers' trial maybe. Everything kind of fit together as it should. 

because Silver is telling a tale that has to be as beleivable as possible to Madi. I guess it helps that we didn't see Hands again, other than that?

I agree the ending felt more "real" in the sense no-one really got a happy ending, at best people got to be where they were from the start. I guess the new Governor of Nassau did ol :)

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, red snow said:

because Silver is telling a tale that has to be as beleivable as possible to Madi. I guess it helps that we didn't see Hands again, other than that?

Hands is in the little canoo to the Maroon camp, but that's before the tale is told.

Silver is on the cart, but doesn't go through the gates. Israel and Morgan do the handing over. Morgan pays the "toll". And from there it's only Flint and the plantation people.

But I agree that if Silver is telling a vivid tale, so vivid that we get a visualisation of it, this certainly works.

Some argue: but they never "lie" visually. Well they played around quite a lot with the manner of storytelling from S2 on - flashbacks for 5 episodes, 1 time voiced-over by Abigail, then 5 dreams and or hallucinations of Miranda, hallucination/visions again with Woodes, and then this sepia Elysian Fields type of thing. Visions and hallucinations certainly are a form of visual "lie".

I certainly like how it ties in with Silver telling BIlly that if he were to say the sky's red, people would believe it. To have Silver tell it, and then show us the fantasy ending, including a kiss in the middle of the fields, is Silver making the viewer believe the sky is red. (which is the reason why I wrote that chatline in the afterbuzz chat).

Edited by sweetsunray

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, red snow said:

It was nice how the character striving for fame/infamy got it at the end (however short-lived) and I loved how the thing that would become more memorable than him (the Jolly Roger) was something he was essentially "meh" about.

Yes, that was funny. I was also reminded of S2 when Charlotte was drawing it for him, uhm right about before she got murdered by Anne.

BTW every actor and writer live tweeting during the airing of it, said something abotu Anne having her old hat back again, and saying "remember where she lost it?" As if it was something uber-special. But I'm not sure. I know that after Charlotte's murder, they burn her clothes, but Max saves her hat from being burned. Is that the old hat, or did she lose the old hat someplace else? Then eventually she wears a hat again, but it's a darker leather hat. I don't think Max giving the washed old hat she saved from the fire in S2 is uber special. Anyway, next re-watch I'll be making note of the hat.

Before S4 they had quizzes of the actors, and one was about the number of Jack's moustaches, and Toby Schmitz answered correctly that Jack had 8 or 9 different moustaches. And you see it in S2 when you pay attention. The scenes in the inn (the brothel) his moustache is closed (no gap in the middle), and then in scenes outside of the inn it's a moustache with a small gap in the middle. And so you have a scene inside the inn, then outside, inside again, and outside once more. And you can count that as being 4 different moustaches in say 2-3 episodes. LIkely caused by having been filmed on different days, and the make-up department having done two types of moustaches on different filming schedules.  

Edited by sweetsunray

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Finally finished the season, what a great way to end it, slightly open ended but everything felt satisfactory. I felt a level of closure that most shows don't give you.

Anyway could write something longer, but my main gripe with the show was that it seemed to expose it own inability to write dialogue more and more towards the end.

instead of two people talking it was mostly two people delivering wordy monologues at each other, mostly it seems to fill time. If they'd managed to fix that problem then the show would be an absolute classic. Right now it's just in the 'very good' category 

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I've finally been able to watch all of season 4, with the final episode still to go, for tonight.

Woo!  This isn't like any other period television or film I've ever seen.  Particularly this season -- I was particularly impressed with the scenes in Havana.  I've actually been on la bahía de habana! and in the fortelezza!  Talk of making one's bargain with the devil.

An yah, there sure was a lot of talk, but then there was constant talk -- and ranting -- in this period, which ushered in the era of Revolutions, which lasts at least through the time of Bolivar.

I loved this, particularly as it was made so clear to the viewer that the the push for revolution and independence came at least as much from an informed proletariat, the motley crew, that did indeed include the bottom -- women, slaves and pirates -- many of them deeply connected to the sea and ships and naval commerce (which in many ways piracy - privateering was also).

One more episode to go!

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