Madness Runs Through the Umbilical Cord… Taboofx Episode 6 Theories

Taboo FX

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Hi again guys,

Before Episode 7, where I think (hope!) we will get some answers, I would like to talk about the theory that James’s mother actually did try to kill him.

I do enjoy the idea that she was actually trying to save his life instead of trying to kill him but I feel the need to look at other angles. I think that his mother trying to save him may be a bit of a stretch, and his reactions to the flashbacks of the event seem too traumatic for James if she did not have malicious intent. I also think it would fit well into the show’s overall narrative if James ends up being wrong about something so critical to his worldview.

We learned in the last episode, from Brace, that James’s mother tried to drown him in the river and this is the incident that got her sent to Bedlam. We can believe that this is true IF we trust Brace.

This is one of the major questions the show needs to answer – is Brace trustworthy and does he have James’s best interests at heart? I’ve always been inclined to believe that Brace does love the Delaney men even if I don’t necessarily fully trust him.

If James has misunderstood this family dynamic up until this point, and his mother really did try to drown him like Brace said, it would explain James’s severe breakdown during this episode and clarify Brace’s allegiances. I believe this would also shed some light on Horace’s decent into madness.

If Brace is telling the truth and James realizes he’s been idolizing his mother who tried to drown him, and hating is the father who tried to protect him from the truth of that, his whole worldview would be thrown into chaos. Hence the breakdown and complete new character/behavior we see from James in this episode.

Knowing this pivotal secret and shouldering James’s hatred could have possibly been enough to drive Horace mad as he wrote James letters that James eventually burned without reading and called out for him to no response in the fires on the foreshore. If Horace had told James’s about his mother would James have resented Horace less for the treatment of his mother (buying her for beads, driving her into madness, and committing her to bedlam)?

There are, of course, questions still left unanswered. Why would James’s mother try to kill him? Why would Horace “cover for” Salish and never tell James the truth about his mother?

Hopefully, episode 7 will address this, and we’ll have some resolution to discuss on the next podcast episode!

Thanks for reading and even more thanks for providing a wonderful platform to discuss this show!

With love from Chicago,

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