Turn Season 1 Review “Who By Fire”

Turn Episode 2 Who by Fire (4)

The end of this week’s Turn episode “Who By Fire” ended with spy Abe being charged with making sure another spy stays in line. Oy vey. That’s what happens Abe- once you get in you can only dig yourself in deeper. He mentioned as much to Anna but is lying to her face now too.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Abe Woodhull as the protagonist. He’s the type of character that everything happens to instead of one that creates action. In a sense this works because we as an audience are going to empathize with Abe’s situation. These occurrences are not something most average people understand so having everything happen to Abe hits us the same way. On the other hand I find 90% of the other characters on the show more interesting. Jamie Bell does a fine job of portraying a fraught, conflicted man but lacks the charisma a main lead should possess.

Robert Rogers more than makes up for Abe’s lack of charisma thankfully. Anything centered around him would be riveting. He’s got a quick wit, is extremely intelligent, and has mad detective skills- basically the Revolutionary Jessica Fletcher! Setauket is lucky he won’t staying around. Abe is not lucky Rogers put him in charge of overseeing a new spy for the British, Will Robeson. Also, I’m pretty good at recognizing actors and didn’t realize until looking at Angus Macfadyen’s resume that he was in Braveheart and Chuck. So far, his Rogers is Turn’s standout character.

Anna Strong is the other person I’d like to spend more time with. One note I’ve mentioned in my Da Vinci’s Demons‘ reviews is Lucrezia’s lack of agency besides anything surrounding her father. I don’t know why Anna supported the Colonists before the pilot episode but don’t feel the need to either. She obviously disagrees with the British policies, and that was before they shipped away her husband to prison. She believes in the Revolution enough to lay her life on the line and assist the Colonial army. Anna’s new position of power is much more than running a tavern- she is helping to shape a frontier.

Captain John Andre made quite an impact tonight as well. We barely had a moment with him last week, and hopefully the rest of the season will be similar to “Who By Fire” in how much he’s involved. Andre only seduced an actress in the episode but now said actress will be spying for the British. Remember too that Captain Andre is closely tied to Benedict Arnold historically. The one thing that kept throwing me off is that JJ Feild looks exactly like Lee Pace. It’s uncanny.

It’s much easier to recognize everyone now that we’re one episode in which definitely helped with the plot’s pacing. Having more time with Rogers also made this outing stronger. If only I could care about Abe more. Oh and AMC, if Turn gets a second season don’t schedule it against Game of Thrones! I said that last week, and I’ll probably say it again. Stupid, stupid. Put it after The Walking Dead. And then air The Talking Dead after Turn.

Notes from the Dead Letter Box:

– Will (the drunk townsperson from the pilot) killed Captain Joyce. They were also lovers. Poor guy is now Rogers’ spy for the British. That’s what you get for offing people!

– Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot. Loved the Guy Fawkes bits tonight. Will wore a Fawkes mask while burning Abe’s barn.

-Captain Simcoe is unfortunately still alive. He reminds me of a Joffrey who is actually not stupid. He recognized Tallmadge as being a family name from Setauket. My guess is he’ll put two and two together soon about Abe being friends with Ben Tallmadge and Caleb.

-Favorite quote: “It’s usually only one man who takes the credit… and infamy.” “Or immortality.”
First part courtesy of Richard Woodhull. Second from Rogers (of course).