Turn Season 1 Review “Challenge”

Turn Episode 8 Challenge (2)

“You promised you’d stay behind.”
“Promises get broken.”

“Challenge” may not have given us the tense duel that last week’s episode did, but Abe’s answer to who he would kill no strings attached more than made up for it. We now know why Abe broke his engagement to Anna, and more than that, why he carries so much regret and guilt. The idea of our protagonist being responsible for his sibling’s death could come off cliché. Jamie Bell steers away from that route though in the honest hate and bile Abe feels towards himself. Thomas was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the spark was Abe placing the Phrygian cap on the liberty pole resulting in the ensuing riot. And perhaps more than honoring Thomas’ engagement to Mary, removing himself from revolutionary activities was possibly a way to ensure nothing of the kind happened again. Anna is not the type of person to back down in her beliefs and separating from her allowed Abe to honor both commitments. Interesting to note then that while Abe comes back into the fold to help Anna from Simcoe, the watershed moment was when Judge Woodhull tore down Thomas’ headstone. Abe feels the weight of his brother’s death on his shoulders every day, but he sure as hell isn’t going to see his memory desecrated.

It’s the same feeling that leads Anna into infiltrating John Andre’s party to seek revenge. Having no home, no crop, and no job is one thing, but being told her husband is dead is the final nail in the coffin. Anna played the King’s game and came up with nothing. To her, everything that Selah worked for has been tarnished. And another promise, the one of getting her husband back, has been broken. In a way, Abe’s admission about Thomas settles her finally. The most important promise of all was not ended because of something she did or believes in. With that she can finally forgive the man she has never stopped loving. Maybe Abe can actually start the healing process himself too. He may consider himself a coward in the situation surrounding his brother’s death, but he has the chance to actually fight for what he believes in now, something he deserves to acknowledge. Thomas died for his cause. Abe needs to live for his.

Under the Phrygian cap
– Sooner or later Papa Woodhull is going to discover Abe’s involvement in Thomas’ death and shit is going to hit the fan. Hard.

– Ensign Baker reminds me of Thomas, even though we’ve never met the latter. This is probably why he and Mary make such a good match. Both Baker and Mary seem like good people who could lead a simple life with a family and be satisfied.

– Simcoe met with Robeson (aka the townsperson who was the lover and killer of Captain Joyce) to question him about the Tallmadge and Brewster families. Remember that only Abe and Robert Rogers know of Robeson killing Joyce. The rest of the town believes it was Selah Strong.

– And Selah Strong is now Samuel Tallmadge in the eyes of part of the British army. “Challenge” showcased the formalities of war brilliantly first with Rogers violating protocol by firing on the prisoner exchange and then later with Ben, Caleb, and Selah being taken under the British captain’s care. Jamie Bell had the harrowing speech, but Angus Macfayden’s Rogers was not pushed to the side. The number one thing I’ll remember from this episode is him using squirrel brains to cover Awasos’ bullet wound. Inventive and gross. His remarks about Jordan breathing loud were great as well. Dude needs his own Revolutionary War reality show.

– Seth Numrich and Daniel Henshall continue to have a great rapport as Ben and Caleb.

– There was not enough John Andre for an episode that had a lavish party thrown by him #badform

– Finally, as someone who loves Anna Strong, her character always comes across poor next to Abigail. I wanted to smack her as she yelled to her former slave that she had nothing. Anna, at least you aren’t considered property by other people. On the other hand, I am thankful that Turn doesn’t shy away from showing that our heroes can be ignorant. Anna is sadly a product of her time in this sense.

Robert Rogers Quotes for the win
“It’s all my land.”
“That curious bearded bastard.”