TV Recap: Taboo S1E3

January 25, 2017 5:37 am Published by 2 Comments

This episode sees a clever Tom holding his own against the mighty EIC and English crown, more weird flashback episodes and bizarre incest love.

Remember Winter, that “mulato” kid who gave James a tip on the silver-toothed guy last episode? Well, the first scene sees her with three other street urchins who came across a dead body washed up on the shore by the docks. It is the Asian guy who’ve attacked James last episode and gasp! he is the silver-toothed guy Winter has told him about! She ordered the other kids to take the silver tooth off the dead guy. Next, James lays on the table of the American doctor/spy he propositioned last time. He told James he’ll stitch him up in exchange for James disclosing what he wants in exchange for Nootka. James said he wanted the Americans to give him a monopoly of the tea trade with China. In the process, the doctor revealed the spy called Carlsbad(?), whom James had previously referred to as a sort of emissary-spy, is a woman.

With the recent threat on his life in mind, James ordered his servant, Brace, to have a carpenter board up the windows of his house. He’s had his lawyer draw up a will, making the sovereign state of America the beneficiary of Nootka in the event of his death. This news gave the EIC pause as it meant they had to stop trying to kill James but must actually keep in alive. At the same time as the drawing of the will, James sent Brace to give a letter to Prinny. In it, he offered his trading company to be incorporated under the English Crown as long as he is granted a trade monopoly to China. The meeting between Sir Stuart and Prinny’s secretary, Solomon Coop, brought this information to light and found them a common ground to go after James. Coop reminded Stuart of Horace Delaney’s widow, Lorna Bow.

James, while looking around his cellar and suffering flashbacks, encountered Winter. She gave him the silver tooth that was taken out of the Asian dead guy. She’s told him she saw what he did to the dead guy and asked him to teach her how to do “magic”. James told her to go home as it wasn’t safe in his house. Next, he searched his mother’s old room. Inside the wall of the boarded up fireplace in the room, he saw a carved marking. He’s confessed and showed Brace the same mark carved on his back during his time in Africa. He accused Brace that the latter knows the answer to that coincidence and that Brace should tell him instead. When he was searching the room, he repeatedly suffers flashbacks of a woman dressed in all black with a full face white paint on.

In another effort to fight the EIC, James sought an old friend from school who happened to work at the EIC as a note taker in their meetings. He offered to pay him £1.00 every month in exchange for information from the EIC. The friend reluctantly agreed after James reassured him of his safety and protection.

After prodding from the Crown through Solomon Coop, Lorna Bow presented James with correspondence from her lawyer stating her legal right to one-half of Horace Delaney’s house. She likewise claimed her entitlement to half of Nootka but said she’ll be willing to trade it off for his half of the house. James let her stay in the house, to Brace’s disgust.

Meanwhile, James wrote to his half sister, Zilpha, revealing his future plans of sailing away and of his desire to take her with him. Zilpha, of course, rejected his invitation and have asked him to stop writing to her. Subsequently, her husband paid James a visit in his office under the pretence of selling him insurance for his ship. It turned out that he wanted to wind James up by telling him how much he “enjoys” “fucking” his wife since James had been back. Adding to this bizarre encounter is the next one where Zilpha had summoned James in a church as her way of driving him away. Before leaving, she lifted up her skirts, straddled him while he sat on the church pew and kissed him passionately. Afterwards, she told him she doesn’t want to see him again. He replied that they will speak again and to which she snapped, “No, we won’t.” And to which, he whispered, “Oh, but we will.”

James advised Lorna Bow not to go outside the house, which advise, she did not heed and ordered Brace to get her a carriage to the theatre where she was due for a performance. After a hastily ended play, Lorna came out of the theatre nervously. A woman in a carriage offered her a lift and she accepted. The woman propositioned her for sex but she refused. She noticed the carriage wasn’t taking her home but instead, brought her to the Duke of Richmond’s place. The woman with her told her that she’s joining her and the duke for sexual acts, to which Lorna protested. The duke tried to restrain and attack her but she was able to stab him first. The sound of a gunshot is heard and they all saw James pointing a gun at the duke. James took Lorna away and gave her a diamond to take with her to Paris until such time this “business” is done. Back at home, James asked Brace how many people knew that Lorna stays over at the house. He explained that his enemies had planned what had happened to Lorna (her fighting back from the assault, stabbing the duke) as their way of getting to her and they will get her. The last scene of the episode saw Lorna contemplating on James’ mother’s bed.

 

Hugs,

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2 Comments

  • Jo says:

    Another concise wrap-up Carmela!

    I so enjoyed watching James wandering around without his pants!! However, between his general uncleanliness and his dip into the waters of the cellar, I was worried he’d contract sepsis into his abdominal wound!

    Many of Winter’s comments made me wonder if she’s real of a figment of James’s imagination – how does she know so much??

    Thorne is a very nasty man! The scene where he brags to James about his sex life with Zilpha was chilling – I thought James was going to leap over the table and throttle Thorne! And then when Thorne confronts Zilpha about getting her period? Guy is a total ass.

    There is a book series by C S Harris – the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries – that are set in the same time period (Taboo is 1814, the CS Harris books start in 1811). I HIGHLY recommend this series if you love Taboo. While not quite as dark as Taboo, the stories are just as gritty, atmospheric and twisted. The romantic elements are subtle and complex. The first book is What Angels Fear. This series (which is still on-going with one book published each year) is one of my top reads every year.

    Until next week….

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