When last we saw one James Keziah Delaney, he was ripping out a dude’s jugular and getting shanked in the gut. And thus, the opening scenes of “Taboo” pick up where Delaney was left off . Being sewn up (sans anesthetic, natch) by the not-so-friendly American spy/butcher/dentist/barber, Dumbarton, Delaney demands an audience with the U.S. emissary to Thomas Jefferson. Dumbarton isn’t having it and tells James in no uncertain terms that the information he has must go through him. It’s a power play…and neither dude will budge. The only reason Delaney wins the round is because Dumbarton lets slip the emissary is a woman. Armed with that knowledge, James sets off to discover her identity.
We need to talk about the basis of this series’s name. “Taboo” lends itself to many things but the absolute worst of the worst, is Zilpha and James’s relationship. Last week hinted at an illicit liaison between the half-siblings before Delaney shipped off to Africa-this week blew the roof off the sucka with confirmation. First off, Zilpha’s odious, racist, bombastic, misogynistic husband had a most inappropriate conversation with James, over coffee. Using language that would make any sane person blush, he hurled the accusation that Zilpha DESERVED punishment because of her disgusting dalliance with her brother. Delaney neither confirmed nor denied, but his correspondence with his sister put to bed any confusion.
Nuh-uh. Nope. No way. Hell to the naw.
Those were the exact thoughts I had while watching Zilpha and James hookup in a CHURCH. I mean, my heavens, bad enough that sibcest is up close and personal, but in a holy place?
With that out of the way, Delaney gets back to the tasks of 1) finding out whom killed his father, 2) protecting his interest in Nootka Sound and 3) dealing with a stepmother he didn’t know he had. Up against the East India Company, the Crown and his own personal demons, who knows what will go down in next week’s episode.