Taboo (2017) is a drama set in 1814. Created by Steven Knight, Tom Hardy and Chips Hardy, this BBC series seems to be a passion project between the three. Currently available on Hulu and released through FX in the US, this series has one published season and a confirmed second to follow. This review will cover Episode 4.

The crown comes for Lorna Bow, but James has a plan. With the East India Company and the Crown in a secret war, the Americans enter the equation. James receives an offer and a challenge.

Michael Kelly as Dumbarton
Michael Kelly as Dumbarton

What I Like

Each episode seems loosely focused on one faction since this point. This episode introduces the American Secret Correspondence. While acting as the lesser evil, they are not without their immorality. I like how each faction holds different cards, playing them in ways only they can.

Putting James Delaney to the test, we find his common coping mechanism: push people away. We also find him in moments of anxiety when surrounded by people who indulge in leisure and pleasures. You know, rich people.

Tom Hollander’s George Cholmondeley steals every scene he’s in, a character who will likely play an extensive role. His eccentric behavior sets him apart from the others, while his opportunistic nature makes him a perfect fit for James Delaney’s crew.

Edward Hogg as Godfrey, deserving better than James Delaney
Edward Hogg as Godfrey, deserving better than James Delaney

What I Dislike

Sexual assault is alluded to and nearly acted on but not committed. Regardless, I will note it here for you. It is not horridly indulgent. To those who have understandable trauma triggers, this is little comfort.

James Delaney purposely misgenders Edward Hogg’s Godfrey, a transgender character. This seems to be Delaney keeping people away, but there is no apology or clarification.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

With the Americans now explored, Episode 3 reveals all the major players. James Delaney is a small fish in a giant pond. While I hope Godfrey will receive proper respect and a trigger warning, there are criticisms to consider. However, the episode is an enjoyable thrill.
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author

Zeth received his M.A in English with a focus in Creative Writing at CSU, Chico. As a human writer, he published in the 9th volume of Multicultural Echoes, served on the editorial board of Watershed Review, and is a horror reviewer for Haunted MTL. All agree he is a real-life human and not an octopus in human skin. Fascinated by horror novels and their movie adaptations, Zeth channels his bone-riddled arms in their study. Games are also a tasty treat, but he only has the two human limbs to write. If you enjoy his writing, check out his website.

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