Episode three of Taboo, aptly titled, “Episode 3” is an episode all about secrets coming to light. Some of those secrets are for the profit of our main character and some for his detriment. We catch up with James Delaney getting stitched up by the American spy from the last episode. I didn’t expect to see him so soon and it felt a little forced that he happened to be the one to come to Delaney’s aid. Still, in the scene Delaney is forced to reveal his reasoning for not selling Nootka in return for getting stitched up. It makes sense that he would sell the land to the Americans for the exclusive rights to the tea trade from China. That business could make him more money than any piece of land ever could. This once again highlights how cool it is that a show filled with this much tension and gore is about import and export taxation holdings.
On the flip side, Delaney’s secret history with his half-sister comes to the attention of her husband. Though we come to learn that he has known for some time. Zilpha’s attempt to cut off communications with James and the eventual culminating church scene was all written really well. This show does a great job with using context clues to make scenes with average dialogue so much more than that. Even though the conversation isn’t particularly monumental, we get a feeling they’ve tried to cut it off before but only one of them knows it won’t work this time.
In a more big-picture sense, Taboo is becoming less of a character study of James Delaney and increasingly more of a regular serialized drama. The world is being fleshed out and we are learning about different character motivations that could all intertwine later in the season. That’s a good thing, because you can only watch Tom Hardy grunt and look crazy for so long. Though I haven’t tired of it yet…
- So Mark Gatiss is going to keep showing up in that goofy-ass makeup, huh?
- The action isn’t shot particularly well but I don’t think this show is about action.
by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on http://screeningclub.com/2017/01/26/review-taboo-1-03-episode-3/ on ScreeningClub.com.