Taboo S01E02 review: Still slow, and still interesting!
Nothing much happens in Taboo Season 1 Episode 2, frankly speaking. The premiere was a set up to introduce us to James Keziah Delaney but at the end of episode 2, I still don’t know much about him. There have been additions where mysteries are concerned but no real answers have come up. All said, I am still in love with the way the show has been made and with Hardy, who carries Delaney like a boss!
There are a number of other characters that join Taboo in this episode. We are introduced to Atticus, played superbly by Stephen Graham, who is a leader of dock workers and also connected to London’s criminal underground. He claims loyalty to the Delaney’s but I think there’s more to than what meets the eye. An interesting character was that of Edgar Dumbarton (Michael Kelly), who is a doctor at St. Bartholomew’s bone infarction’s ward and also a spy for America. James keeps a proposal in front of him but is ousted from there at gunpoint. This element is going to be good in my opinion! Winter’s (Ruby May Martinwood) character was strange as she meets up with James, stalking him through nighttime and leading him to the ship which might be the base of the assassin who’s out there to kill him. And when Delaney returns after torching the whole vessel, she has disappeared from the rowboat! Mark Gatiss definitely is unrecognizable as Prince Regent, the George of Wales. The introduction of his character looks like a dark comic relief given to the show amidst all the nasty stuff.
The problem with episode two of Taboo is that it doesn’t allow the screenplay to grow. I thought we’ll get some insights into Delaney’s past but introducing so many characters and different layers to the story line adds to the unnerving mysteries. James going to the ship, finding the beads and performing some ritual, stripping himself down to nothing looks visually appealing but means nothing to the viewers. I could only understand that his new asset used to be a slave ship. Then comes the last act where the assassin who has been following Delaney closes in on him and bang! Who’s dead? The assassin obviously duh! In a stunningly choreographed gory sequence, Delaney kills his attacker and chews off a part of his neck but is gutted in the process. The episode ends with James sitting on the sidewalk, with a knife stabbed in his gut, bleeding. I think he’ll make it, simply because it is only the second episode out of eight. Taboo should seriously consider answering some of the questions that has been piling up, otherwise it is going to get on the audience’s nerves. Too much of build-up and self indulgence might spoil the show which would be sad. For now, Tom Hardy is keeping things under control.