In this episode, we see the East India Company getting their just desserts and some really fucked up domestic violence.
Continuing from last episode’s cliffhanger, the duel didn’t end well for Lt. Geary, Zilpha’s husband. His second, who happened to be an EIC employee, did not load the ball into his gun. Hence, when he aimed and fired his gun at James, it did not result in any death, much less, injury. James, instead of firing his gun at Geary, fired it at the second, causing mortal injury and presumably, death. When Geary came home, he did not return Zilpha’s embrace. He accused her of being disappointed for not being killed in the duel by James.
Lorna found out from Brace the news of the previous night’s robbery of the saltpetre from the EIC warehouse. James later on confessed to Lorna that the saltpetre they’ve stolen already belonged to the Royal Navy. As a consequence, the Crown can sue the EIC for negligence owing to the loss of the saltpetre stocks. In the meantime, royal soldiers were sent to Helga’s pub and at James’ office by the docks to look for the stolen saltpetre. We would learn later on that one of Atticus’ men had tipped off the Crown. Needless to say, James found out who the traitor is, resulting in said traitor’s loss of a thumb (cringe).
The saltpetre were hidden in the grumpy guy’s cottage and mill where the chemist, Dr. George Cholmondeley, was hard at work manufacturing gunpowder. James warned Dr. C the Crown is looking for the saltpetre stocks. After warning the grumpy man and his kid brother about the stolen goods, he then made his kid brother Dr. C’s helper. After paying off Atticus for the robbery and calling off the traitor, he also paid Helga and her girls a visit. He gave them a piece of crystal in exchange for letting him know when an EIC man comes calling for information. One such thug called round and threatened one of Helga’s girls for information on James. Winter was watching them and quickly got Atticus’ men who “took care” of the thug. Winter put a paper with a writing “Died on Company Business” on the thug’s dead body.
James found his father’s old trunk waiting for him when he got home. Lorna brought it back to him upon his orders. He proceeded to burn the letters and drawings he found inside it, which deeply upset Lorna. After she walked out, he found the Nootka treaty hidden inside the trunk.
Over at the Royal palace, Prinny informed Coop of his desire to prosecute the EIC for the lost saltpetre. Coop then persuaded Prinny to go after Sir Stuart instead. He showed letters to Prinny from a certain George Chichester, Esq., the matter of which will be revealed in a minute.
James was summoned by Dumbarton, the American doctor/spy. Dumbarton informed him that the Americans are short of gunpowder and need him to supply it in 8 days. He also told James to ask Dr. C about the ”French experiment”. According to Dr. C, the “French experiment” refers to the disastrous attempt of the French to make gunpowder speedily by using chloride. He warned James if he wants to risk his life, including the life of his “son” (i.e., the boy grumpy old man was looking after and whom he pushed as Dr. C’s helper/apprentice), go ahead by all means. James opted to go ahead with the use of chloride.
Meanwhile, Geary caught Zilpha murmuring James’ name in her sleep. This made him very angry and he started slapping her. She tried to slap him back but to no avail. It escalated in him beating her up and saying to her that she needed a priest.
Now back to that matter that Coop raised to Prinny that can destroy Sir Stuart of the EIC. Well, Coop summoned George Chichester, Esq. It appears that this Chichester guy has been writing to Coop’s office to petition the Crown to look into the sinking of a ship called “Influence”, controlled by the EIC. According to Mr. Chichester, it illegally carried slaves from a port in Africa and when it sunk, 280 men, women and children drowned and perished with it. Coop informed Chichester that Prinny had agreed to said inquiry.
The news of this inquiry had sent Sir Stuart in a panic and ordered one of his execs to deal with it and “cooperate” with said inquiry and to wait for his orders on what papers to burn. James went to see Countess Musgrove to inform her the Americans’ gunpowder order will be ready in 8 days. She reiterated their offer to him of tea monopoly in exchange for Nootka.
True to his threat, Lt. Geary brought a priest into their home to do an exorcism on Zilpha. Zilpha was tied spreadeagled while the priest performed the exorcism. This is a pretty difficult viewing as it shows not only the physical but also the mental abuse suffered by Zilpha. The last scene shows Zilpha taking out some sort of sharp weapon from her dresser while Geary was in bed just waking up and asking for her.
Before I go, I just want to point out, first, I think James is developing some sort of feelings for Lorna. Why else would he be opposed to the interest shown by Dr. C to Lorna? Second, my suspicion that the kid brother being looked after by grumpy old man is actually his son might be true. He didn’t deny it when Dr. C put it out there. I suspect his son’s mother is Zilpha. Hmmm, what do you think? I cannot wait to have these suspicions confirmed. And for Tom to have some more nekkid moments. Until next week!
Hugs,Tags: carmela, Taboo, TV recap