In this penultimate episode, we hear Tom saying “I have a use for you” three times, some violent torture scenes, some surprising twists and over-all “WTF is James trying to do” moments.
The episode opens with the sad funeral of Winter, with her mother, Helga, Atticus, some of Helga’s prostitutes, Winter’s street children buddies and the minister in attendance. James was looking on from a distance. While this was going on, Dr. C., upon James’ orders brought Robert to the Delaney house. Robert was gladly received by Lorna. She then went to tell James, who was still witnessing the funeral, about Robert’s arrival. She assured James that she didn’t believe he killed Winter as Winter had regarded James as a kind and good man. When James left her to go home, she saw one of Winter’s street urchin friends and asked him if he’s a friend of Winter’s. The boy ran off without speaking to her.
Atticus took Helga and Winter’s body in a boat in order to cast Winter’s body out to sea. He told Helga there’s no certainty that James had killed Winter, to which she replied that there’s a lack of certainty that he didn’t do it. Chichester pays James a visit and revealed his desire for James to testify before the Royal commission against Sir Stuart Strange in the latter’s involvement in the illegal shipment of slaves and subsequent cover up of the facts surrounding the former ship Corn Wallace’s (re-named Influence) sinking. We learned from Chichester that James was the sole survivor of the ship’s crew who had followed the captain’s orders of nailing the ship’s cargo hold that locked in the subsequently drowned slaves. After Chichester told James of his proposal, James tells him he has an alternative suggestion.
James delivered the first “I have a use for you” line to Robert by giving him a key that he said is for the safe. When James tried to go to Helga, the latter tried to shoot him and shouted “Murderer!” Zilpha paid James a visit for reconciliation but was rejected by him and given a diamond for “her widowhood”. Later, James went to the Bethlem Hospital, an abandoned mental hospital where James’ mother was confined when she was alive. It is there where James had stored the remaining gunpowder. He met Atticus there, who lost no time in warning him of Helga’s impending betrayal. He warned Atticus that Helga is not to be touched as she was acting within her maternal instincts.
Now comes one of the surprising twists that I didn’t think about. When James came home, he saw Lorna hard at work in the kitchen with Robert. She informed him that Brace has been indisposed. When confronted by James about the presence of rats around the house despite the large quantity of arsenic Brace had purchased from the local chemist, Brace broke down and confessed to giving them to James’ Dad. Brace, clearly heartbroken with what he did, told of Horace’s downward slide that necessitated him to do such thing. James obviously understood it, as he replied “It was kindness. You did him a kindness.”
Helga and one of her girls went before Sir Stuart and the EIC to tell them of her personal knowledge of James’ involvement with the gunpowder and the subsequent transaction with the Americans. Sir Stuart rejoiced with such an info and held Helga and her girl until such time that they could testify against James for his treasonous acts. In exchange, they could be pardoned as James’ accessories. Sir Stuart wasted no time letting Coop know of this development. Through the EIC lawyer, they’ve pointed out to Coop that Nootka will pass down to the Crown once James is found guilty of treason and any claim by his heirs will be voided as a result. In exchange, Sir Stuart wanted EIC monopoly of the tea trade with China. Convinced, Coop ordered James’ arrest.
The EIC note taker, Michael Godfrey, rushed to James to let him know of Helga’s betrayal. Calmly, he said to Godfrey the second “I have a use for you” line. He took him to Chichester to let the latter man know that Godfrey can testify before the Royal commission on account of his personal knowledge of the EIC’s concealment of the facts surrounding the Influence sinking. At first, Godfrey nervously refused. James had a private word with him whereby, James promised to take him away with him in his ship to the New World and all he had to do is to give his promise to Chichester that he would testify and not necessarily actually do it. He reasoned to Godfrey that it would take a long time before the commission is convened, and by then, they would be far away. With this in mind, Godfrey promised Chichester of his written testimony, signed, sealed and delivered within the week. James then forced Godfrey to quickly pack his personal belongings and told him to go somewhere. Dressed as a woman, Godfrey was picked up by a man who took him out to sea. Meanwhile, James stayed and waited at Godfrey’s club for his arrest.
He was taken to the Tower of London where he was beaten up and tortured in Coop’s presence. Coop demanded the names of the people who had helped him with the gunpowder, the Americans and members of the Secret Society of Correspondents he dealt with. James said he’ll give the info only if Coop will produce Sir Stuart in his cell for a private word with him. Coop brushed and laughed off his demands and continued with the physical torture. Dr. C and Countess Musgrove, upon news on James, started burning documents in their respective turfs. Dumbarton was warned to leave but did not. Lorna encountered the little boy again who told her he witnessed Winter’s killing in the hands of, not James, an EIC man. When she went home to tell James, she came across Brace who was clearly very upset of the news of James’ arrest and incarceration.
Hours passed and James did not fold. It is interesting to note that during his torture, he had hallucinations pertaining to what appeared to be the shipwreck and of his time in Africa. Prinny ordered Coop to give James what he wants. When Sir Stuart came in James’ cell, he asked James what he wants. James, looking straight at him, said, “I have a use for you.” And this is where this episode finished.
Much as I hate to see this series end, I cannot wait to find out what the freaking hell is James cooking up with that last bit with Sir Stuart. Any theories, ladies? Obviously, he’s been brewing something from the time he told Atticus not to touch Helga. He’s not dumb to not realise that Helga will stitch him up with the EIC after what happened with Winter. Now that we’re clearer that he’s got a massive axe to grind with the EIC, I want answers on what happened to him during the 10 year period following the shipwreck until the time he went back to London. I’m guessing his hallucinations are either part of the mysticism/occult he picked up during that time or he is just plain going insane like his mother and father? I don’t know what to think anymore. We just have to find out at its conclusion next week.
Hugs,Tags: carmela, Taboo, TV recap