Feb 16 2017

Taboo ― “Episode 6” Review. Devil in a Black Dress.


Season 1, Episode 6

Air Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 10PM ET/PT on FX



“Take that dress off. Take that fucking dress off now.” – James Keziah Delaney


Zilpha is revealed. No longer will she hide behind her veil.

So, that was awkward. I’ve never seen two people with less chemistry on screen than James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) and his sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin). Them having a taboo relationship doesn’t resonate well on screen … until this episode. I’m not sure if it’s the tear streak left on James’ face or his forceful tone when requesting Zilpha to remove her dress but I get it. His desire overwhelms him and can be seen as well as felt. I almost feel sorry for the two because of the way things play out between them. James finally gets what he thinks he desires but does he actually get what he wants? Something, or is it someone, haunts James. Will we ever find out the truth behind his visions? Taboo takes us there and further with this week’s look into the Delaney household.

But Wait It Gets Worse

Most people don’t remember being born or the first few years of their lives. How screwed up is it that James can remember being a baby? Not only that, he can remember a traumatic event that happened in his life as a newborn. I wonder if the reason he has flashbacks of a pond and drowning is because of how traumatizing it was for him. His drowning as a child explains a lot. He has mommy issues, which probably leads to his incestuous relationship with his half sister. He has no respect for familial bonds; he’s been scarred by the idea of family without really knowing why. Does this realization make him cray-cray, though?

Zilpha has been wearing a mask. The face she shows everyone in public is one of complacence. She’s been screaming on the inside, waiting to break free from her life with her husband, Thorne Geary (Jefferson Hall). Now I know she wanted James to kill her husband in “Episode 4” because she wanted to be free of Geary. Our first introduction to Zilpha should have revealed all to us. She came to life once she saw James walk into the church in “Shovels and Keys.” She’d been sleepwalking and his reappearance woke her up. That said, her actions in “Episode 6” are not surprising in the least. What I don’t understand is why she says, “I’ve done what you asked me to do.” When did James ask and why would he need her to do his dirty work when he’s clearly capable of committing murder?

Tom Hollander is quite the scene stealer. He brings so much to Taboo.

Lorna Bow (Jessie Buckley) seems worried about her stepson, er, ex-stepson. Don’t get it twisted though; she is more concerned with her well being than his. As soon as something happens to James, Lorna is as good as dead. She’s smart enough to know it too. I’m curious to find out what precautions she’s put in place to protect herself should she end up alone, without the Delaney name to hide behind. Oh, and do you think she’s pregnant? In last week’s episode, Lorna looked to be a little round in the belly. Could there be another Delaney heir on the way?

Hardy does the scare-you-shitless stare beautifully. I’m shaking in my boots after watching him remove something from a man that should still be attached to him. I don’t know what it was nor do I want to know. I’m afraid James is able to cut into people too easily for my liking. He doesn’t flinch when slicing his blade through a man’s flesh. How ever did those rumors of cannibalism follow him, I wonder?

Cholmondeley (Tom Hollander) is creepy as usual. I’m inclined to believe he knows more about what’s going on in London than he will admit to. While his character is an unconventional one, Cholmondeley offers up a bit of comic relief when Taboo leans more toward its mysterious and dark side. Hollander and Hardy are quite the dynamic duo. I love watching the two as they play off each other so well. It’s fascinating to watch two actors bring so much to every scene they happen to be in together. They use body language and facial expressions to say what words cannot, particularly in the scene where they are wearing masks up to their eyes. I could sense their frustration and fear when being held up by the company. I knew bloodshed was on its way and was a bit disappointed when nothing much happens. Oh, well. There’s always next week.

Here I was beginning to warm up to Winter (Ruby-May Martinwood); she is the only person who understands James. What I want to know is if his connection to Winter is coincidental; did she know things about him because she’s like him; and did James do something unforgivable in his drunkenness? Like begets like and it appears death follows James Delaney wherever he goes. What does that mean for the other people in his life?

Isn’t he quite the picture…

Overall, “Episode 6” is fulfilling. I’m more intrigued now by the deaths that have occurred, and the declaration of war on James. Will he prevail or will the East India Trading Co. get what it is after? And what about the status of James and Zilpha’s reconciliation? Will there be more choking involved or has Zilpha lost her taste for kink? After all, it wasn’t planned or expected by either one of them.

Let me know what you think about “Episode 6” by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.

Tune in to Taboo, Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT, only on FX. For more info on Taboo, visit the official site.

Photo credit: Robert Viglasky/FX ©2017 FX Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.





© 2017, Elle. All rights reserved.

Writer, mother, realist, cloud lover, daydreamer, dessert enthusiast, sweet tea addict, perfectionist, and lover of life and Christ, but not in that order. http://www.fanfiction.net/~vikingloverelle

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