Taboo – Just Need to Get It Off My Chest

Taboo FX

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Sorry for the length of this – just need to get it off my chest.

Tom Hardy gave quite an interesting interview indicating that as the story unravels, the intention is that we go back & look at things which might have seemed inconsequential initially but reveal more importance. He also referred to a turn of the century play, Spring Awakenings, as the inspiration for the relationship between Delaney & Zilpha.

The play is about 2 teenagers in a sexually repressed society experimenting with sex with the girl getting accidentally pregnant. The boy is sent away as punishment. The girl dies in a botched abortion. The boy returns looking for her & wanting to raise the child with her only to discover her demise. I think it’s also significant that one of Tom Hardy’s first outings on television in the UK was as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, another tale of a potentially incestuous relationship, the bastard’ brother returning seeking vengeance.

Looking at the incidents which may have a different meaning later:

– the shillings on Horace’s body. Note Delaney’s reference to these when he spoke to Zilpha at the wake (having taken them from the body himself). Does he know that she put them there contrary to her assertion at the funeral that she hated her father and that she only asserted her dislike for him as a ruse in front of her husband.

– Delaney suspects Brace is Horace’s killer

– his questioning regarding food in the household but also various references to Delaney not eating Brace’s food, eating outside the house. He eats an apple in front of him (an apple could not be poisoned) etc etc.

– Brace could be feeding the Americans information. Delaney is aware he opens his letters and therefore has seen the correspondence with Zilpha. This would explain how the Americans became aware of their relationship.

– there’s a massive amount of detail in the EIC’s first discussions on Delaney giving dates which will presumably turn out to be very significant, particularly that he left 10 years ago.

– Is the gift of the diamond to Zilpha actually a sign to her. The EIC talk of Delaney’s ramblings of hidden treasure as a boy. Presumably if this was folklore in the Delaney household, Zilpha would have also been aware of these stories so the diamond signifies something else.

– the boy Robert is of course 10 years old, born just as Delaney went away. Delaney changes his mind & decides to visit. Is this because he actually wants to see what/who the boy looks like? The boy is very dark like Zilpha.

– On timings, we know Horace got Nootka in 1780 & got Anna (Salish) at the same time. She died in 1795. Another wife is on the scene when Delaney goes in to the EIC in 1797 at the age of 11. Did Horace dump Anna in the asylum to marry again? My guess is Zilpha will turn out to be about 13/14 when Delaney went off.

– Why is Zilpha struggling to get pregnant again? Is it because of something previous? A difficult pregnancy?

Again sorry for the length. It’s a relief to get this stuff off my chest.

Clare (London)

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