TV Club: Is Taboo ever going to get to the fireworks factory?

Is there a more on-the-nose image for Taboo than James Delaney, blank-eyed with torment, compulsively sparking a flint as he sits amid his own supply of legendarily volatile gunpowder? It’s a scene that should be full of portent, but it isn’t. We know James won’t blow himself up or there’s nowhere left for the story to go. It adds nothing but a pretense of tension that can’t possibly pay off and another long, brooding look at the protagonist in a show already overstuffed with long, brooding looks. Worse, it undercuts the later scene in which the EIC blows up The Felice Aventurero, because an actual blown-up ship looks like a wet squib compared to the imagined explosion of a warehouse full of gunpowder.

Midway through “Episode 6,” James Delaney shrugs off Lorna’s warnings of his inevitable capture with the weary challenge, “You name me …

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