Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The Small Screen: Taboo Episode 8
The good news is, the first season finale of Taboo was the best episode of the show thus far. The bad news is even with that being said, it wasn't without its flaws, but it was a mostly riveting, beautifully shot and exciting final chapter to a mixed bag of a season overall.
It was a pretty safe bet that the Taboo crew, starting with creators Steven Knight, Chips Hardy and Tom Hardy (whom also stars) on down, would close out this eight episode run with some explosive stuff considering all the time and effort it took to build up these characters, their relationships and the feuds that would inevitably turn deadly. I just wish I didn't feel the time and effort getting there as much as I did throughout the first seven weeks. Perhaps had these eight episodes been six instead, with some trimming done to a bit of the storytelling fat that completely failed to engage me, I would be far more positive about the series as a whole, but that being said I know a lot of people loved Taboo from start to finish, so perhaps it's just me.
This show has always been bleak, which is actually just fine by me although at times it played a little too one note which created the notion that getting through a particular episode felt like a bit of a slog (looking all the way back at you, second episode). I loved every inch of the cold, joyless aesthetic and when you get to know these characters, it only makes sense that this would be the world they would occupy. The finale utilizes the best traits of this show, from the photography to the production design to the solid performances and tosses in some brutal, bloody war that piles up the bodies by the time it ends.
When I started watching Taboo I was under the impression that it was only eight episodes total, a limited series never destined to continue on beyond that, but now that I have seen the finale and the way it concludes I feel pretty confident that we will see more of James Delaney in the future. While I didn't always love what I was seeing during this season, at least it ended on a high note.
Episode Grade: B+
Season Grade: B-