Taboo Season Finale

Tonight is the finale of Tom Hardy’s BBC drama Taboo. Over seven episodes we have followed James Delaney in his quest against the infamous East India Company, as he spins plates with the British monarchy and American spies. It’s been a series of ups and downs, both within the narrative and the quality, but those who have stuck with the dark drama eagerly await the final instalment of the series.

In general, it’s felt like a vaguely aimless troop from one shocking event to another, but hopefully the final episode will answer some questions. Once we see the final destination of Delaney, perhaps the rest of the action will snap into clarity, and we can appreciate properly the point of everything that’s happened so far. The highlights so far have mostly consisted of Hardy’s performance, in which is is both incredibly unnerving whilst also being inexplicably appealing. Delaney isn’t by any means a likeable character, but he’s been masterfully written and performed so that he is totally enthralling. If it hadn’t been for this, I may have given up on Taboo way back at episode three, when the plot was lacking direction and the other characters seemed almost irritatingly blank and under-developed compared with the protagonist.

Although later, once the stage was set, the show started to really come into its own. It has felt at times like a jaded cousin of War and Peace, although it was at its core too bleak and subtle to reach those dizzying highs. It made up for this in other ways; it was hard lined, vicious drama that didn’t rely too heavily on violence for its shocks, but could have maybe benefited from being a tad more self-aware and tongue-in-cheek. Nonetheless, the last episode feels like the missing piece, and I am hopeful that a strong ending will make up for the things it’s lacked till now.