I’d suggest going over to read a very interesting interview on Entertainment Weekly with with Taboo co-creator Steven Knight about episode 6, if you’ve seen that episode. Otherwise, it’ll be quite substantial spoilers. But it’s no spoiler to say that in it, Knight keeps hammering home an idea that might not be readily apparent to American viewers but is more likely to occur to British viewers: this show is about “misfits and America”. That means that, ideally, multiple seasons of the show could run that more fully explore where all this craziness is going in the conflict between James Delaney (played by Tom Hardy), the East India Company, the British crown, and more.
Americans might not realize the importance of their country to this show because though America is of great significance to the plot, it’s not yet a setting for the show. While Delaney’s mother is supposed to have hailed from the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest, the immediate impact of Delaney’s own time spent in Africa seems of more pronounced influence on him. British folks are more likely to realize America’s important since having such focus on the outrageous behaviour of James Delaney makes him feel like an inveterate “misfit” who captures the spirit of distant colonies and the chaotic “otherness” they tended to suggest to settled British life in the 1800’s.
At any rate, there are two quite different trailers for episode 7, which aired on Sunday in the UK, and will air on Tuesday, February 21st in the USA on FX. The contrast is pretty extreme. The American trailer focuses on a wide swath of different conflicts suddenly coming to a head for Delaney–and they are dramatic. Everything seems up in the air and there is definitely “violence coming”, as Delaney says.
The British preview for episode 7 focuses in heavily on Delaney’s need for a ship and his strangely quiet belief that he’ll secure one in time. Why focus in on that? Well, the ship is the key to this whole American theater that may or may not play out in future episodes.
But it’s also an excellent dramatic scene that shows Delaney’s state of mind. And it’s a very odd state of mind considering the way things are exploding around him:
But in our American trailer, it’s all about the build-up to the season finale as all the ravens come home to roost for Delaney. Can he continue to spin his strange spell to come out on top? Episode 6 showed he is not invulnerable to misfortune the way he seems to believe himself to be. As Knight says in the EW interview, Delaney is not afraid to die, which makes him “invulnerable”, but is he afraid to fail? That may be a hidden weakness. Having his will crossed at a key juncture has certainly set him back a little and made him very, very angry.
Here’s our highly charged American trailer for episode 7: