Review: Taboo Season 1 Episode 5 “Episode 5”

‘Taboo’ seems well aware of its lack of pace, mentioning that there is very little time to be spared before the gunpowder is needed and all out war ensues. In contrast, however, the show never uses this as an opportunity to stop meandering and to pull the trigger. The conflict created between the Company and the Crown is well justified and explained, working its way towards an actual culmination, but unfortunately ends up placing Delaney on the sideline as he waits for his gunpowder to be readied. Delaney here is rarely involved in what is making this show engaging; the historical developments and the political deceptions. Tom Hardy continues to brood well, while also concealing the character’s deeper secrets, and the duel that begins the episode continues to persuade the audience of the show’s supernatural aspects, but Delaney just isn’t given enough to do except organise (though this is accompanied by a suspenseful score that does provide some sense of momentum). The tedious pace this creates allows the audience the time to become bored with the show’s lack of answers about the wider mysteries, so while the characters seem to think their lives have urgency, this simply is not being realised by the writers. It should be noted though, that this episode once again delivers sensational cinematography, particularly in the first sequence. The misty, rotting river and forest hosts the aforementioned duel, and the use of lighting to capture the shadows and gloom is exceptional. 6.4/10

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