Taboo: 1.07

To what does the show title refer? Which taboo is meant to be the thematic backbone of Hardy's gutter romp?

James Delaney's relationship with his sister Zilpha? The root of at least one of James' obsessions? Well at least that is one problem that can be paid off. One of his endless supply of diamonds, to turn her into the kind of woman who can be paid to go away.

Perhaps the titular taboo is that of slavery? The act of slavery that haunts James Delaney, the part of his history that ties him to Chichester's quest. Delaney, a former slave, was responsible for nailing shut the hold of the illegal Company slave ship. And so a new alliance is formed. Another nail in the coffin of the Honourable East India Company.
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Last episode ended with the death of Winter, Helga's daughter, possibly at the hands of a drunk and maudlin James Delaney. But in actuality yet another Company plot. An act apparently meant to divide James from his allies. Successfully so, as he's charged with treason, thanks to the testimony of the angry Helga. A seemingly impossible situation for our protagonist, his lands and riches seized, allowing the Company to secure a valuable trade treaty. A treaty that will of course follow whoever finally owns the lands of Nootka Sounds. A situation bound to benefit the Delaney trading company. Eventually.

First though there is the Tower. There are beatings. There is prolonged torture including water boarding. Because nothing says 'gritty modern drama' like a bit of torture. But of course our Sulky Superhero is far too tough to succumb to such travails. Anything to get Strange in a room with him.

With only one episode to go, it's easy to see how most of the plot lines will be resolved to the satisfaction of James Delaney, and to the detriment of the East India Company. What remains open is whether the rumours of two more seasons of Taboo are true, and so what plot lines will remain tantalisingly open to tease us for the next year. Perhaps they might even finally make it across the Atlantic? It all depends on whether the haemorrhage of viewers can be staunched as easily as James Delaney's many wounds.