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TV Recaps

Taboo premiere recap: 'Episode 1'

The weird, possibly incestuous FX drama kicks off

Posted on

Robert Viglasky/FX

Taboo

type:
TV Show
genre:
Drama
run date:
01/10/17
performer:
Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin
broadcaster:
FX
seasons:
1
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

As if he hadn’t had enough reunions, Delaney is soon accosted by an old man who wants money. He’s not just some beggar, it turns out that he’s been raising Delaney’s brother for 10 years. Being a man of his word, Delaney later delivers payment “for past, present, and future.” He does want to catch a glimpse of the boy, but shares that he never wants to see him again. “I’m not a fit man to be around children,” he says as everyone at home nods along in agreement.

While Delaney has been off catching up with prostitutes, butlers, and illegitimate brothers, his sister has been home attempting to write him a note. Her husband, Thorne, who is rightfully worried about what Delaney’s sudden reappearance means to their claim on Nootka, has some rewrite ideas for the letter. He wants her to offer her half-brother 50 pounds to relinquish his rights and leave the country or he will kill him. “I’m tired of the empty threats you keep banding around,” she says, verbally jabbing her husband. As Thorne storms off, Zilpha stares off, presumably thinking of her brother and still giving off those Lannister vibes.

Suspecting foul play, Delaney digs his father up to have a doctor examine him. As the doctor does his work, Delaney begins having more troubling visions. This time, he rants and screams at the stiff bodies. “I have no fear for you and I have no guilt for you,” he says to one body, which seems to rise from the dead. Thankfully, he was imagining that and the doctor has the results. Tests show that his father was given heavy doses of poison over a short time, something that would affect his mind.

It’s now time for Delaney to have one final reunion. He goes to the East India Company to meet with Strange and his cohorts. Not one for small talk, the man who has seemingly been nowhere to be found for a decade reveals that he knows more than he lets on. He knows that Nootka is a point of contention between enemy countries Britain and the United States and that whoever has the land also has Vancouver, which serves as the gateway to China. Offended by his lack of patriotism, the group attempts to make an offer to him, but like Thoyt’s letter earlier, Delaney has no use for it. “I studied your methods at your school, and I do know the evil you do because I was once part of it,” he passionately states, not appreciative of the threats thrown his way. After the brash man storms out, Strange declares, “The son is as unstable as the father.” Even though we never met the father, that sure is saying something.

After a long day of catching up with old acquaintances, Delaney is greeted at home by a second letter from his dear sister, acknowledging that her earlier note was written under the supervision of husband. She shares that she was grateful that he left England for the both of their sakes. “I hope I can trust you to keep the secrets of the past buried,” reads the letter as he burns it. “Buried in a deeper grave.” Oh yeah, definitely a Lannister situation going on and that probably includes the brother from earlier being more like a son.

What did you think? Are you intrigued by the mysteries and Hardy’s performance?

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