Delaney Plan #1: Keep humiliating your evil brother-in-law
In a nice twist, this episode kicked off soon after the last one ended, with Delaney agreeing to a Barry Lyndon-like duel against his brother-in-law Thorne Geary, who is still a little touchy about his wife and Delaney's incestuous relationship. Because nothing on Taboo can take place on a sunny day, the pair meet on what appears to be an island in some foggy marsh. You'd think they'd have a nice field to duel in. Poor Lorna Bow, who has become increasingly infatuated with Delaney, gets her dress soaked after wading through the water. "I was bored," she says when asked why she's there. "And I've never seen a man shot before." Fair enough.
The actual duel is resolved quickly: Geary fires and "misses" because his gun was tampered with and Delaney, proving that he's the better man once again, ends up shooting the company man who messed with the weapon. So, someone dies, but it's not Geary or Delaney. Logic suggests that this would have been an effective time for Delaney to kill his brother-in-law and end their feud once and for all. But that's not Delaney's style: he'd rather keep embarrassing Geary over and over. It's not enough that he clearly used to have sex with his wife. He needs to destroy him slowly and methodically.
It's a shame that the word "cuck," derived from the term cuckold, has taken on such a loaded political meaning in recent years because Geary, played with simpering cruelty by Jefferson Hall, is really the epitome of the term. Sorry, dude is a cuck. A good portion of this show is devoted to Delaney, the roguish badass with an occasionally discernible moral code, emasculating his brother-in-law by telepathically having sex with his wife while she dreams.
It's hard to know exactly what Delaney's plan is here. If he wanted to kill Geary, he'd be dead. Maybe the real "taboo" of the series is that Delaney just gets off on the humiliation. The only problem is that Zilpha might kill Geary really soon.