Taboo S01E05 review: Twist in the Tale 


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Series: Taboo

Director: Anders Engstrom

Cast: Tom Hardy, Jessie Buckley, Oona Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce, Michael Kelly and David Hayman

With an episode that was filled with twists, both expected and unexpected, Taboo continues to impress with its latest instalment.

James Delaney was expected to mow down his annoying brother-in-law at the end of last week’s episode but while there is a death, it isn't who you expect. The East India Company (EIC) is clearly desperate to keep Delaney alive. Hence, they sabotage his opponent’s gun, which our hard-nosed protagonist doesn't appreciate. So with both men walking away from a duel to the death in the opening sequences itself, the stage is set for a barnstorming episode.

And Anders Engstorm doesn't disappoint with his direction, which make you gasp as the plot starts to make sense even as new characters come in to add to the mix.

Now, Delaney’s masterstroke of pitting the EIC and the Crown against each other is beginning to come to fruition, as the Prince Regent proves he isn't as useless as he is made out to be. With a direct attack against Sir Stuart Strange imminent, it could just be the beginning of the end of the EIC’s worldwide reign, a compelling reason to watch Taboo alone. 

With so much at stake, it is obvious Delaney’s ship isn't watertight, as is told to him midway during the episode. Taking measures in the menacing manner, we have come to know and love proves that he isn't a man who will back down with the ultimate prize in sight.

And, with yet another masterful showing, we come to grips with a side of Delaney that has just been glimpsed upon: His connection to his mother. A tasty reveal crops up as perhaps the real reason behind his dogged persistence of the Nootka Sound treaty is told, revealing a tender scar that, quite obviously, never really healed.

The Americans seemed to agree to his terms, but with many a twist in the road before crossing the finish line, it remains to be seen if Delaney Shipping Company will be the next trading power in the world.

The exorcism ritual with Delaney’s half-sister, however, was a noteworthy blight on the episode, failing to serve any real purpose and one which could well have been skipped past.

Apart from it, it is a flawless episode which as we have been accustomed to on Taboo, packs in a solid piece of everything from action, drama, intrigue and some dark humour.