Taboo season 1 episode 3 review: A wicked viewing experience
So now we know what Delaney really wants. Why he is so stubborn not to sell Nootka Sound, that strategic piece of land everyone is after. It is all because he wants a monopoly in the tea trade with China. It was a disappointment to say the least, as I was expecting something more sinister as the motive, than money! But you can’t deny that Taboo Season 1 is meaty when it comes to visuals with some pretty oddball but pleasing ingredients.
One of those oddball sequences included crabs crawling through the innards of the assassin who was supposed to kill Delaney. It was creepy as hell but restrengthened the fact how engrossing the visuals of Taboo Season 1 are! There are other strong instances such as the heated discussion between Zilpha and her husband where she is shouted upon for having long periods and another one where we are shown a S&M club. It is challenging to show all this on screen and BBC is doing a good job at it.
James Delaney is at the center of it and it helps when Tom Hardy is playing that character. There is rarely any competition where Hardy’s screen charisma is in question. His mere physicality can get anyone’s attention and when it is not that, it is his conviction to do right by the role that balances it. His character being a complex one makes it more interesting. He is vicious but also kind. He is charitable but threatening to brothel madams. He gets sentimental when offered a pork sausage. He is loving, chivalrous, kind of a genius and possibly bisexual which we learned from this episode. He is a saint, and a sinner.
One peculiar thing about Taboo is the supernatural element present. The hocus pocus stuff done by Delaney are becoming a constant which caught my attention. It was present in this episode as well where he uses paint to find a hieroglyph kind of a mark made by his mother in the fireplace. Apparently, there is a similar mark on his back. He asks Brace what he knows about this but when he doesn’t seem expressive, Delaney warns him saying “You will give me answers”.
Meanwhile, The East India Company and The Crown are at loggerheads too when it comes to handling Delaney. Failing to convince James Delaney directly, they target Lorna Bow, his stepmother. She is coerced to attack a well known duke, which makes her a target in the eyes of The Crown. Thankfully, Delaney was prepared with his weapons to foil the attack on Bow. Delaney had offered Lorna to leave London, but she doesn’t. I am hoping she’ll come out as a strong female character, which Taboo is lacking right now. There’s another interesting aspect of Carlsbad, the american spy Delaney wanted to meet personally. After talking to the Edgar Dumbarton, Delaney smartly deduces that Carlsbad is a female. She is still in the shadows but I guess she’s going to show up soon. Questions are still abound in Taboo Season 1, and the answers are lurking around somewhere.