Turn Review: Episode 1×02 — “Who by Fire”
Lot of suspense packed into this episode and the story was surprising at times and certainly not predictable.
Character connections aren't fully developed yet at times you get lost.
Perhaps Abe’s wife is right — a plague is upon the Woodhulls. If maggots infesting half his crop wasn’t enough, poor Abe awakens one night to witness a crowd of masked men burning down his crop stores. In light of the attack, Abe goes and makes amends with his father, Richard. Abe confessed the crimes he did commit to Richard and his father realizes that Abraham did not kill British soldier Captain Joyce. Unfortunately, now that Abe’s name is cleared Anna Strong is suspect number one! Robert Rogers is in town and you know what that means — things are about to get serious in New York. Meanwhile, in Connecticut Caleb and Ben interrogate Captain Simcoe hoping he will divulge the name of the spy in the Continental ranks. Let’s talk about this week’s episode of Turn!
Aye, Aye Captain
Robert Rogers, played by Angus Macfadyen, seems like a man who is used to having things his way. He put Major Andre in his place and pushed Major Hewlett around in his own camp! We have to admit — Rogers stole the show this week. He is sharp as a tack and seems to have a pretty good idea of what is going on in Long Island — pretty much everything short of Abraham being a spy! We can only sit white-knuckle in anticipation for when Rogers will discover Abe’s true allegiances because it clearly is bound to happen eventually! Nothing gets by Rogers. Let’s be clear though, if Abe is the good guy then Rogers is certainly one of the bad guys. He wants Washington’s head on a platter, after all. But we can’t help but love Rogers — he is a total bad ass! During his investigation, Robert Rogers is not afraid to get his hands dirty. This is crystal clear when he digs the dead body of Captain Joyce from a ghastly preserving barrel leaving Richard and Abe heaving in disgust. I really liked that this episode brought Rogers back into play. I loved every scene with Rogers, what can I say, he is an intriguing character and I can’t wait to find out more about him. If anyone is to discover Abe is a spy it will be Rogers not Simcoe and not Hewlett.
“For such a tiny hamlet, you’ve had an unusual amount of smuggling, arson, and murder.“ – Robert Rogers
Richard suspects Anna as the number one killer and Abe tries desperately to clear her name. Sadly though it seems that his efforts make her look all the more culpable. Anna discovers a love letter among Joyce’s things. Abe argues that the husband of his secret lover must have killed him. He brings this to the attention of Robert Rogers and Richard Woodhull over drinks one evening. Rogers does see promise in the new evidence, however, believes that a woman murdered Joyce. There was a clue in the letter — a secret signal based on the sound of the military drums, that would signal the mystery woman to meet up with Joyce. Both Hewlett and the drummer come to the aid of Joyce’s dignity and claim he only ordered drums to sound at late hours to keep the soldiers on their toes. Furthermore, only two women that could have possibly live within hearing distance of the drums which means Rogers and Richard have two suspects and one of them is Anna.
Rogers devises a plan to trap the supposed jealous husband or the guilty woman. He brings the drummer to a bonfire where most of the townspeople and company are present and has him play the secret code. Roger’s is convinced that no one responded to the drums in a way that made them seem guilty. By some inspiring stroke of luck, Abe realizes who is really the murderer and to our great surprise, it is no husband of a guilty woman. Abe devises a trap of his own and gets who turns out to be Joyce’s gay lover, Will Robeson, to confess. But Robeson brings back up, the drummer, who attacks Abe. Fortunately, Rogers is there to save the day and Abe’s life as jumps out of the shadows and kills the drummer before he can do any damage. Despite having heard the Robeson’s confession, Rodgers gives Will his life in exchange for a promise that he will spy for Rodgers and Rodgers alone. Abe is charged with keeping an eye on Rodgers’ new spy. A spy babysitting an enemy spy? Interesting for sure. I enjoyed this scene and I certainly couldn’t have predicted what happened! I totally expected Abe to essentially high five the guy and refuse to help Rogers a single bit. Furthermore, Abe had confronted Will in what we all thought was in secret, that Abe was offering Will a helping hand. But of course, there was Anna’s name to clear, so it makes sense that Abe would want Will to be caught. I thought this scene was important and interesting because it’s kind of a game changer for Abe. No matter how much he wants to get away from all the spying he is now forced into the middle of it all. I hope he even gets enemy intel that he can pass onto Caleb. There’s a lot of potential for future storylines that started off because of this scene. In all, the scene was incredibly well shot and written, so kudos to director, Ed Bianchi and writers, Rose and Silverstein.
“Meet me where you killed Joyce. Midnight. We can discuss where to go from there.”- Abe
A Tryst and Then a Goodbye?
Rogers can tell that something is going on between Abe and Anna within minutes of being in the same room with them. Abe is desperate to prove Anna innocent and when his father refuses to hear his pleas for understanding, Abe takes matters into his own hands. Abe is certain that there must be some evidence among Joyce’s belongings that will point to his killer. He is correct. Anna finds a secret love letter in Joyce’s bedroom. Abe and Anna meet in the forest to discuss their plan and the dangers that await them. The irony is not lost upon the audience nor Abe and Anna themselves that they are meeting as the secret lovers had — under a tree. Abe jokes lightly about how they are having a tryst of their own. Cut to noisy sex scene. “Don’t be Abe and Anna. Dear lord, don’t be Abe and Anna!” I’m sure at least some of you must have been thinking that with me for the many second that the camera refused to reveal the identities of the impassioned lovers. Luckily for us, Abe is still being true to his wife and family — shame on you writers for making my heart clench! Abe is our good guy and sure he will have his flaws but continue on like this — hint at his possible downfalls — but don’t let him fall completely yet, we still need our untarnished hero. The episode closes with a somber conversation between Abe and Anna. While speaking with Rogers, Abe discovered that Captain Simcoe’s body was not found in Connecticut — which was the whole reason Abe agreed to spy, Simcoe was to die! He tells Anna that he will not put her in any further danger and will not ask her to signal Caleb again. Abe gives Anna a meaningful look before telling her that it is best if they keep their distance.
“I’ve seen where that double life leads and it leads straight to hell.” – Abe
This week’s episode of Turn was definitely faster paced than the pilot and did a much better job of holding your attention. There was a lot of suspense packed into this episode and the story was surprising at times and certainly not predictable. Once again, my hat goes off to the writers and the director for presenting a refreshingly non-obvious story. We can’t wait for next week’s episode and we’re left wondering when Abe will get back into the spying business particularly with his new task of babysitting. This episode showed us more about the characters and their personalities and motivations — we are all eager for more, so keep it coming!