Someone has to pay for what happened to the Cornwallis
The last few episodes of Taboo have focussed on the controversial sinking of the Cornwallis, an East India Company vessel that was illegally involved in the slave trade and intentionally capsized by its own crew to avoid prosecution. As we've seen in stormy flashbacks throughout the show, Delaney was a member of the Cornwallis crew, and guilt over the incident fuels his personal grudge against Jonathan Pryce's Sir Stuart Strange, who covered up this inhumane act. As often happens in the final hours of any prestige drama, these long-buried secrets are now coming to the surface.
But why now? It's mostly because of the presence of George Chichester, played by a droll Lucian Msamati. On the orders of the prince regent's Secretary Coop, the lawyer has been building a case against the mighty East India Company, and in last night's episode, finally found his key witness: Michael Godfrey, the minute-taker for the Company and Delaney's old naval school friend. With Godfrey's testimony -- not to mention the information provided by Delaney -- Chichester should be able to take down Strange and his stuffy goons rather quickly. That is, as long as their punishment is still in the interest of the British government.
All this business leaves Delaney in a rather perilous position. For one thing, he was involved in the horrific sinking of the Cornwallis. Also, by involving Michael in the case, he's putting his friend at great risk. Towards the end of the episode, Michael is forced to go into hiding, climbing aboard a boat headed to some secret location. "I suggest that you leave very quickly -- and very very quietly, " Delaney tells him before he departs. "Or you can stay for the extreme violence that is coming your way." Anyone who watched the rest of the episode knows Delaney wasn't kidding around.