Turn 1.09 Review: “Against Thy Neighbor”

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After this week’s episode, we only have one episode left of the first season of AMC’s Turnand from the looks of it, it’s shaping up to be a doozy! The stories that have oft been separated are coming back together in a big way, and next week, there may be war right at home in Setauket for many of our major players.

Last week, we left Abraham and Anna coming to….an understanding. As our episode opens, we find that their arrangement has continued and their relationship has blossomed once more.  The inciting incident of the episode, however, comes instead in the form of Major Hewlett’s horse being poisoned by an apple, that had been intended for Hewlett himself. Of course, the British soldiers are immediately up in arms about it (you can thank Simcoe for that) and before long Caleb Brewster’s uncle is taken into custody. Judge Woodhull serves his duty pretty objectively (which I was honestly a little surprised by) and doesn’t think that Mr. Brewster was the one who made an attempt on Major Hewlett’s life. He wanted to get a second opinion from someone about how the horse was actually killed. Then, of course, the unthinkable happens: Judge Woodhull is walking with Abraham and Simcoe back out to their carriage, and there is a gun fired. Judge Woodhull was shot!

Don’t worry, he lives. Simcoe runs off immediately toward the location from which the shot was fired. I simply think his bloodlust got the better of him, but some might view this as suspicious behavior as well.  Simcoe does not find the killer, but does find some gunpowder and a small bit of the Bible, torn from “Judges”, so whoever fired upon the Judge did so intentionally. With the attempted poisoning and the attack on Judge Woodhull, the Royal Army decides to confiscate the firearms of the townspeople, and make note of anyone who resists. Scary how that still seems relevant, isn’t it?

Simcoe’s investigation concludes rather quickly. when they raid the home of Reverend Tallmadge (who made a fuss when he turned in his gun) and “find” a bible half torn in the book of Judges. Of course, with the local magistrate being incapacitated, they must find someone to serve the trial in that capacity, and Abe steps up to the plate (having studied law, he was a prime candidate).  Anna, when she hears everything that has happened, comes to Abe and wants to take more action (especially since the petition that implicated Selah in the first place had been found), while Abe has a plan of his own. When the trial arrives, Abraham calls Mr. Brewster first, and interrogates the poor man. This makes the large audience sympathize with poor, frail Mr. Brewster (which Abe plans). Before the next witness is called, Simcoe stops him and basically says “I see what you did there”. The Reverend Tallmadge is called next, and Abe antagonizes him even more harshly. However, Abe pushes to demonstrate loading the bullet they pulled from his father into the Reverend’s gun, and it won’t fit (much to Simcoe’s chagrin). When Simcoe fails to load the bullet into the gun, Anna (and literally no-one else, except for possibly Simcoe) saw what Abe was doing, and it does seem to be working. Abe has Major Hewlett reconsidering his position and possibly showing the accused mercy, which I never would have expected.  Simcoe takes the opposite view, of course, but the two do not come to blows over it.

Mary, Abe’s wife, is still obviously suspicious/hurt by Abe’s constant attention to Anna (I guess that isn’t without merit, though). She moves back home in the episode, and after some ill-fated advice from a bed-ridden Judge Woodhull, she returns to look for Abe, who isn’t there (and his bed is still made). This makes Mary angry and as she rips the sheets off of the bed, Thomas (their son) finds Abe’s secret compartment with the decoder book in it! Plot twist!

Meanwhile, Ben, Nathaniel Sackett, and George Washington are working through the intelligence that Abe has gotten them from John Andre, and decide to sort of tip their hand in a battle strategy. This sends Ben, Caleb, and their men (including newly enlisted and dead to his wife Selah Strong), to Connecticut and Delaware to distract the enemy. While on their way, however, they run into an old friend who is fleeing from Setauket, and he tells them that Simcoe is responsible for the unrest and turmoil going on.  When they learn of the gun confiscation and the arrest of their relatives, Ben and Caleb gather their troops and changed direction to head home, to bring the war to Setauket. Crazy!!!

One of my favorite things about this show is the “historical easter eggs” if you will. I was really excited that George Washington actually appears in the show, rather than being a silent character (which was my original prediction). This week, however, Ben and Caleb were having a chat about the continental soldier named “Benedict Arnold”. Brilliant.

Acting superlatives are tougher than they ever have been, but I think this week just goes to the cast in general. Everyone in the cast in this week’s episode really furthered their plot and all had something important to do. Of course, Jamie Bell is always a standout, and in this episode, Samuel Roukin’s Simcoe created so much tension between Abe and Simcoe that I felt like I could cut the tension with a knife. I could just feel it.

The preview for next week looks epic, so if you haven’t been watching….CATCH UP!! You’ll learn a lot (almost all of the major characters are real people from our history) and the season finale should be a can’t miss episode. I know you all are much more obsessed with Westeros than Revolutionary War happenings, but there’s no reason that both can’t happen. Seriously, watch this show. You won’t regret it. One more episode left! See you all again next week!!

[Photo via AMC]

Nick Hogan is a TV and movie fanatic. He loves writing reviews, TV discussion, and is always looking for new things to watch. Follow him on Twitter @nickyahogan
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