Category Archives: Taboo FX River Rants

Delaney Wont Die: Reasons

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I don’t think Delaney will die. This is why:

We’ve seen just snippets of the “voodoo” or magic or whatever Delaney actually does. But there hasn’t been a central moment ( More powerful than the voodoo sex). Like that takes up 20 minutes of an episode. I think what will happen isn’t so much him dying, but as he gets closer and closer to death, he enters some sort of trance. And while he is in this trance, we will actually see what magic he actually does, and grows more on his name as the African Devil.

Yours Truly,
Andrew Arbogast

You asked if we wanted James to live or die?

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Good afternoon Gents,

Just a couple of thoughts for you but I must ask this first because it seems another mystery is afoot – what happened to The Rog?! Did he get “cholera”? Was he gunned down at the OK Corral during his Tombstone trip? Or did he actually just decide to bail on Taboo?

You asked if we wanted James to live or die? When this series started, I honestly was under the impression that it was only an eight-episode miniseries, meaning it was going to end. While I am enjoying it(especially because of your analysis) and I like getting insight into this time period, I especially appreciate television that has the courage to say ‘when.’ Just for the reason they give awards for editing, less is often more. Too often, as you have discussed, good shows get diluted because of a money grab. It would seem the only fitting end(or at least the best ending) for this show would include Delaney’s death and likely many others in the process. But hey, if it’s solid, I’m sure I’ll continue watching because they have an interesting time period and terrific actors who really chew the scenery.

To that end, while I appreciate the grunt montage(gruntage?), the clips I really want to see collected and strung together are the brilliant F-bombs of Sir Stewart Strange. They are lip-smackingly exquisite executions of the finest word English has to offer. I was relieved to see him back on track after they skipped a week the previous episode. I got really worried but it appears order has been restored. This might sound strange, no pun intended, but back in the day when dictionaries were actual books, I dropped good money for a 2 volume Oxford English Dictionary set(that probably weighs about 50 lbs) simply because of it’s a complete attention to the word and its linguistic flexibility. Oh, what I would give to hear Jonathon Pryce read that entry out loud…mmm a man can dream… In the meantime, there are a couple parts of speech still available to him; here’s to hoping he gets it in before his (hopeful?) demise.

Lastly, I must say that if I were Sir Stewart Strange, I would see absolutely no reason to go into a locked cell alone with James Delaney. I guess he is stuck following the Prince Regent’s orders or risking losing the trade monopoly but still! I don’t know what James’ end game is but I would pretty much assume the worst if I was Ole Stewie. James is, for all intents and purposes, a dead man and literally has nothing to lose. Just saying,

Keep up the good work; always look forward to all of your work. And for what it’s worth, I ripped through your movie collection – well done; can’t wait for more!


(aka Your Ice Cream Man for reviews)

Prediction and Process

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Prediction: James Delaney will be alive at the end of episode 8.

End game: Violence, destruction, and life-shattering vengeance for all the people responsible for the derailing of James’ life in 1800 which led to him going to Africa in 1802. If he “wins” this, we will see him, Zelpha, and a few other’s escape London. Why do I think this? Because of the Sankofa on his back. The brand symbolizes consideration of the past to build a successful future.

Process: It has been a game of moves and countermoves. To win a game you have to concentrate and focus on the process. Dedication to the mechanics of the game and the process of the game creates the desired outcome. Much like the process of making the gunpowder. Do it right, a little luck, and you win. Strange himself has called all the intrigue activity a game of chess. In chess, you sacrifice pieces (some of them even painfully so) in order to win the game. In poker, you throw in cards to build a better hand.

In Taboo, people are the chess pieces or cards as a part of the process to win the game. James has surrounded himself with people he is willing to sacrifice and tried to push away those he views as innocent. The loss of Winter created the need to be harsh with Zelpha (although I suspect it didn’t work), he’s repeatedly tried to push Lorna away. After briefly using young Robert he has him sent to the house and away from the rest of his league of the damned. We WILL lose more characters we enjoy, but so be it!


On the end game

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Hello from your regular listener, sporadic river-ranter.
I’ve just finished the last episode. “Born to grunt” is a wonderful slogan for a t-shirt. Or a tombstone.

To answer your question: I think James should die, it makes a lot of sense plot-wise, and I honestly don’t see any other satisfactory resolution. But I really, really don’t want him to, it seems such a waste, and I’d love to see his character explored further. However, Steven Knight is involved here, and knowing what they did on Peaky Blinders, I’m more hopeful for an unexpected ending. If you’re not familiar with that show – they managed to get the protagonist out of certain death in a way that doesn’t insult your intelligence or make you quit watching.

Moving on to my main point – I’m really worried about Zilpha. I agree with you: James is obviously trying to push her away for her own good, but we’ve seen her become both more resolved and reckless. I’m afraid that she might do something drastic either to convince him they do belong together or in retaliation for the perceived rejection. To be pushed away after overcoming all her moral and religious inhibitions, after breaking several taboos, she must be justifiably devastated. And in the midst of James’ intricate plan she seems to be a rare unpredictable factor, the only thing that surprises him. I don’t have any concrete ideas as to how, but I just wonder if she will be the one to bring about the fall of the house of Delaney?

I both want and don’t want the next Saturday to come 🙂
Keep up the good work,