Stirring the Pot

This episode is what this show needed. It had been a pretty good show up until this point but had some pretty cliche characters and worn out stories. But this episode really showed us the caliber of acting and storytelling that’s going on. Now up until this point, the show was really just Tom Hardy and everyone else. Sure, we got Jonathan Pryce, Oona Chaplin, and Michael Kelly here but the show belonged to Tom. This episode really fleshed out these characters in great ways. Especially Lorna Bow (Jessie Buckley), but more on her later.

We’re greeted by James who’s a little worse for wear after his run in with the Man with the Silver Tooth. Luckily, one of his new allies(?) was spying on him, as is a spies duty, and was able to patch him up before any lasting damage was done. I’m not entirely convinced that Dumbarton can be trusted as an ally though. He’s a spy for a very young U.S. very soon after the Revolutionary War, and he didn’t save James because of their budding friendship. Especially after a quick torture scene, can he be trusted? The big question coming out of tonight is what does James Delaney want for Nootka Sound? He’s offered the U.S. Nootka for trading routes with the Chinese, but information we find out later on leads us to believe there may be something else at work…?

As he has offered Nootka Sound to the Crown in exchange for trading routes with Vancouver….what is our old boy up to? I don’t think he would be stupid enough to think that the Crown would be willing to give up that much for Nootka. Nor do I think he would think they wouldn’t mention it to the EITC. What he has planned here is what will probably lead to the downfall of the EITC, but how that will manifest is anyone’s guess.

And in typical James fashion, he is one step ahead of his enemies. After his run in with the assassin sent by the EITC, he drew up a will stating that in the even of his death, Nootka Sound would be given to the U.S. For all that grunting and lurking, you wouldn’t think a man who seldom bathes would be capable of such trickery. This of course means that the EITC and the Crown can’t kill James. Considering that Godfrey (the minute-taker at the EITC) is now a spy for James, it would appear our hero has eyes everywhere. I was a big fan of this scene. It really showed a softer side of James and that he is willing to help those in need. Even if he did slap a crying male prostitute across the face, it was for brotherly love! Very cool to some kinda connection between Godfrey and James.

Unholy Union

This one was kinda obvious. As soon as we were introduced to quite possibly the ugliest ruler in history, it was almost expected there would be some kind of collusion between the EITC and the Crown against James. And now that the EITC is aware of James’ deal with the U.S. and the Crown, Strange has to be pretty butthurt he wasn’t included. It is interesting to see that the Crown was offered a different trade deal than the U.S., I’m not quite sure what the gameplan is there. But I am sure that it will be one piece of the puzzle that leads to the downfall of the EITC. Sneaky little reference amongst Zilpha and James that his main(?) goal is bringing down the EITC. We could see that there was some hatred from the get-go but that seems a bit too obvious for the end goal. Not selling Nootka Sound to the EITC for an asston of money just for spite seems a little fishy.

What was even more interesting and really tickled my balls was how much more we got to see of Lorna Bow. Last week I mentioned that James owning Nootka Sound shouldn’t be affected by Lorna’s stake in the estate. Flat wrong there. It seems that she owns at least half of it and is willing to part with it for the Delaney house. That’s all well and good and seems to be no issue for James, but it does paint a massive target on Lorna’s back, something that James really doesn’t have the time for.

Also last week, we took a guess that Lorna may have been swept up by the EITC and pitted against James. It would seem the exact opposite is true, which brings up a very interesting part of this show that I hadn’t quite noticed until now. This show does a fantastic job of making you feel like nobody is safe. The fact that they would have just tried to kill Lorna off instead of using her as a pawn was a bit of a curveball. Especially in the way they tried to finish the deed. Apparently she was sold to some big fat dude as a sex slave, however, the EITC knew she would fight back, giving the Duke a reason to kill her or have her hanged. Absolutely fucking brilliant. Such a sneaky way to dispatch a real threat to their plan. Obviously this means James and Lorna have a newfound alliance, which only spells more trouble for the EITC. A cornered animal is vicious, two cornered animals with a man on the inside, an underworld informant, an American spy, and a prostitute on the payroll is terrifying.

Shelly Draven

I don’t think it’s any breaking news to suggest James may have some kinda mystical powers. He demonstrated some mystical voodoo type shit last week on the ship, maybe trying to dismiss some bad juju and this week it was even more pronounced. He’s continually visited by some trippy Crow Lady, which has been a big question so far: who the fuck is she? Science seems to think she is James’ mom. James has the mark of something resembling a bird that was imprinted on to him by the tribe he was captured by. Coincidentally, the same symbol is carved into the chimney in his mother’s bedroom and one of the only consistent hallucinations are that of a Crow Lady…Even the mere mention of his mom but Lorna makes him hallucinate about the Crow Lady. There has to be some kinda deeper connection that might be revealed in the trunk full of mementos, but lets call a spade what it is. I don’t think you have to be fuckin Einstein to figure out this chick is definitely James’ mom.

Another bit of supposed wizardry seems to be Winter. My bets are still she isn’t real and just seems to be another hallucination. There’s no reason she would be in James’ basement and more importantly know about the bird mark on his neck as a real person. Although she’s black, she doesn’t seem to be from Africa. Maybe someone from before his time with the EITC? I highly doubt it’s some kinda illegitimate child of his, but there is definitely some kinda heavy implication that she is rather important.

Some tidbits for the road

Alright, so I think it’s pretty obvious now that Zilpha (Bray?) and James boned. There is no question in my mind. Especially after Thorne’s salty visit to James. No need to rub it in his face man, ease up on those wild mutton chops, simmer down, and move the fuck on! A little incest never hurt anyone.

TDR’s 5 Vegas Picks

Winter is dead:90/10

Zilpha and James are working together:30/70

Crow Lady is James’ mom:90/10

James was abandoned by Strange, leading to him being captured in Africa:100/0

James is great, great, great, great fuckin grandpa to Eric Draven:50/50

Rating

Bangers and Mash

(8.9)

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