Taboo Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: “I Have A Use For You”

Photo: Courtesy of FX.
Was I too quick to judge Delaney last week, assuming he'd murdered Winter? No more than he did himself. "I very well may have," he tells Lorna, who is perhaps the only person on the planet who believes he is innocent. Ironically, over the course of this episode of Taboo, as it becomes clearer that he's not guilty of disemboweling a child, he receives a great deal of punishment for his other crimes, which he most definitely committed. Not to worry; even this suffering is part of his plan. Winter's funeral is a heart-rending thing — the first moment when you feel that human life might mean something to all these twisted characters, even gruff Atticus. While she goes to her watery grave, young Robert arrives at his new home, where Lorna welcomes him without hesitation. Is she really as good as she seems? I find it hard to believe. Brace isn't very thrilled by this new arrival, but that may be because he's going through his own stuff right now. Drunk Delaney starts to ask his vision of Winter if he really killed her, but instead of an answer, he hears a knock on his door. It's George Chichester here to confront him about the hundreds of people he definitely helped to kill. I am so surprised that Chichester doesn't recoil at the smell of Delaney, who looks like he hasn't bathed or changed his shirt in weeks. Chichester is a cool customer on a mission, though, and he holds up a nail of the sort Delaney used to nail shut the slave hold on the Influence. Somehow, he also knows that Delaney stole those diamonds from another slaver. (Attention, FX execs, I would like a spin-off comedy about Chichester as an old-timey detective, please.) Delaney doesn't deny it. He goes so far as to say he enjoyed hammering those nails. He doesn't exactly want to give a testimony about his actions, because a pardon for those crimes won't do him much good in his grand plan. Instead, we later learn, he offers the testimony of Godfrey, who's been in on all the meetings where the Influence's cargo was discussed at length. That's a better deal, considering Delaney's fate. Delaney begins to act like a condemned man, tying up loose ends on his last day of freedom. He gives Robert the key to his safe, playing a little game of keep-away with the boy that's way out of character for both of them. He breaks things off with Zilpha rather harshly, telling her they are no longer "the same person" and giving her a diamond for her "widowhood." She's heartbroken, but he may have done this for her own good, considering the fact that he thinks he murders people in his sleep. He gives Atticus a good look at the Bedlam shackles that held his mother, a gift of sorts for the book he says he's writing. He also warns Atticus that Helga should not be harmed, nor prevented from going to the East India Company — at the time it seems like he's doing this to condemn himself, but in hindsight, not so much.
Photo: Courtesy of FX.
Pictured: Ed Hogg as Godfrey.
Brace has been moping because he's feeling guilty about poisoning the elder Delaney to put him out of his misery. "You came back too late, for both of us," he cries. Why is this just hitting him now? No matter, Delaney has figured this out, as he always does, and forgives the guy. All of these errands seem to have lifted his spirits (nothing cheers him up like scheming). Meanwhile, Sir Stuart is creaming himself over the intel from Helga and her prostitute that Delaney sold the gunpowder to the Americans. This is construed into not mere treason, but a conspiracy against the life of King George, which would mean none of Delaney's family could inherit his property after his conviction. This is the EIC's ace in the hole — now they can bargain with the Prince Regent to get a complete tea monopoly. Thankfully, Godfrey does not have a heart attack on the spot and manages to run full speed to Delaney, who, of course, seems to know everything already. It's all good. Godfrey is his last loose end, anyway, and he arranges for them to meet Chichester in the Molly house. After that bit's sewn up, Delaney just has to sit back and wait to be arrested, beat up, thrown in the tower, and tortured for 12 hours straight. Eh, what's a bit of waterboarding when the ghost of your mother drowns you regularly? While he's going through all that, the pieces just fall into place. Godfrey can tell Atticus where the EIC has the prostitutes imprisoned; Chichester can ruin Sir Stuart's golf game with news about Godfrey's testimony; and, bonus, Lorna can convince Winter's little buddy to tell her the EIC murdered the girl. Phew! Finally, Delaney gets his way again, and Sir Stuart arrives at his cell to hear those ominous words: "I have a use for you."
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