Review: ‘Taboo’ 1.02 – ‘Episode 2’

I’m excited to start writing about FX’s Taboo. It combines the creative team behind Peaky Blinders, Tom Hardy and historical fiction. That’s a perfect mixture for me. The first episode was a mystery filled romp through a grime filled London. What I loved initially about the show is the time period. It is so fun to see the Revolutionary War from the other side. To see the English coming to grips with losing the American Colonies is so cool to see.

The second episode goes beyond the setup and lets us know why Tom Hardy is doing what he is doing. I was genuinely shocked by how many lines he had in episode 2. The Nootka Sound table is set and now we’re seeing a war of words over it. It is a testament to the writing that a show primarily about documents and English estate law feels so violent.

There were a few things that stood out to me during this episode. We get a glimpse into James’ goals, to set up his own shipping company and use the Nootka Sound as it’s cornerstone. On its face the plan is simple but with so many people fighting over a mad-man’s estate, nothing is easy. Tom Hardy’s performance lifts the entire show up and seeps tension into every frame he’s in. It really is astounding. I also loved the scene with the American spy, it’s just a glimpse into the larger game at play but it left me wanting to know more.

Quick thoughts:

  • How goofy was Mark Gattis as the ‘Prince Regent’? I love that guy on Sherlock, but I hope he gets it together for this show.
  • Cool to see my boy Stephen Graham (aka Boardwalk Empire’s Al Capone) back on TV!

Written by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore has a history in academic writing but has always had a passion for the media he loves. From music, to comics, to games, Chris looks beyond the page and searches for story behind the story.

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