In tonight’s episode of Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper, Abe is ambushed by a desperate patriot while he is on the way to New York. Also, General Washington, who is the person in Epiphany who asks Captain Benjamin Tallmadge (Seth Numrich) who Abraham Woodhull is, charges Ben with the task of creating America’s first spy ring, known as the Culpepper Ring. Though Ben had the idea of doing just that already, now is when he receives the blessings of Washington (Ian Kahn) to go ahead with his idea.
Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper follows the season’s lowest-rated episode yet, last week’s Epiphany, which attracted only 1.24 million viewers. Abigail (Abby, played by Idara Victor), a house servant/slave of Anna Strong (Heather Lind), told her that she will spy on her future employer, Major Andre (J.J. Feild), if Anna protects Cicero (King Hoey, a slave she loves, while she’s away. Also, Roger Roberts (Angus Macfayden) learned the name of the dragoon who escaped his massacre of a band of Continental Army soldiers from the traitorous General Charles Lee (Brian T. Finney): Benjamin Tallmadge. Epiphany, as well, marked Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River, and Abe almost succumbing to his desires and having sex with Anna Strong.
Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper opened with Abe Woodhull headed to New York. He stops at a tavern, and picks up an egg there, that’s a part of the code. A Redcoat sees Woodhull leaving the tavern with the egg, and asks him how much it costs. Abe just wants to get away. They have a scuffle, in which the egg Abe has falls to the ground, and the shell comes off, revealing a secret message. The Redcoat shoots Abe, and yells out “I’ve killed a traitor!” Abe is on the ground, wounded, holding onto his stomach.
After a commercial break on Turn on AMC, the prisoner exchange takes place, where Simcoe is turned over. General Scott tells Ben he’s going to “leave nothing out of his report.” Ben informs him that he’s already told Washington everything.
Also, we hear a sentence being carried out, in which a person who stole spoons, wearing apparel, and other items, is sentenced to death and hung by the neck. Trenton was being prepared by Gen. Howell as a launching point to attack New Jersey. General Washington has gathered certain people together to find out if information he got “was a fluke, and more importantly, if the fluke can be repeated.”
General Scott is obviously ticked off that Ben Tallmadge is being asked by Washington to continue on and form a spy ring. A Mr. Nathaniel Sackett, also in attendance, seems to annoy Gen. Scott, as well. Ben asks Washington how he got the name of Abraham Woodhull; Washington tells him that Mr. Sackett could tell him if he wished to; but, Mr. Sackett doesn’t want to tell him how he found out that information.
Woodhull, in the back of a wagon, crumpled up and unconscious from his wound, continues on to New York.
Major Andre tells Abigail that he has “important company” coming, and he tells her that “you’ve got everything wrong,” when it came to setting the table. He showed her the correct way, the way he wanted her to do it, and then he asked her how Anna cut her meat up. Abby demonstrated, and Andre came up behind her, holding onto her arms, showing her how it’s done in Europe, “using the dominant hand.” It seemed pretty flirtatious.
Robert Rogers tells Jordan “Freedom never smelled so sweet.” A fight erupts between one of the black soldiers working for the Crown, and Jordan. Jordan defends himself using wooden sticks. Rogers asks him where he learned to use the sticks, or “thinbles,” as he calls them. Rogers calls him “Snowball.”
Ben meets with Sackett, who tells him about how to arrange “dead drops,” and also encryption. He asks Tallmadge “what encryption method” he’s been using; Tallmadge hadn’t been using any. Mr. Sackett said that “the brilliance of Mr. Woodhull is his life,” that he seems like everyone else, a farmer. Washington wonders how Woodhull will be able to pay for his expenses, while he’s being a spy, and how he can come up with money for bribes. He doesn’t believe that the Continental Congress will approve any expenses to be paid to Woodhull.
After another commercial break, Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper is back with Abe waking up, lying on the ground. A man tells him that he’s a “loyal subject to the Crown” and that he’s been “out here for five months” ambushing people. He kicks Woodhull in the ribs, demanding information. Abe seems willing to spill the beans, as he tells the man that he’s a spy. The man tells Abe “You’re going to tell me what you know, or find your body liberated of its skin.”
Mr. Sacket tells Ben “It’s time to give Mr. Woodhull an alias,” and says that there’s already someone he has “working right under the enemy’s nose.” He says that he’s a “master at the art of concealment,” and peels back an eggshell, showing him the words Mr. W, which he wrote there. on the outside of the shell, and has gotten to appear on the inside, after he’s cooked the egg over a fire.
Captain Simcoe mets with Major Andre, and Andre asks him for information. Andre asks Simcoe is he’d like a “transfer.” but Simcoe says that no, he wants to return to see a lady in Setauket, New York, meaning, of course, Anna Strong. What a jerk Simcoe is, to put it mildly!
“Tell me what I need to know, or I kill the fire before I go. No. Have it your way, then,” the man who ambushed Woodhull says. Abe tells him who his father is, and the man asks Abe why he didn’t join up with the Patriots.
Abraham tells him “What I do, I do for my son.”
“Does he know you’re a liar? If I had a son, I’d tell him I fought and died for my beliefs, so he could rise up and defend me.”
The man cuts the ropes binding Abe, and tells him to fight him. He says “Prove your worth — fight me! You want to kill me, no?” They engage in a rather one-sided fight, as Abe is wounded already, and has said he didn’t want to fight him.
Then, we see Redcoats approaching the camp. They have been looking for the man who ambushed Woodhull. “You were right, Mr. Woodhull,” one of them says. They call the man who ambushed him a “Tory bastard.” They shoot him, then stab him with a bayonet, killing him.
Major Andre speaks to people gathered for a meal, and Simcoe lunges out, killing a person dressed as a Redcoat, saying that “This man didn’t know the motto of his regiment.” Andre is enraged, saying that the man he killed was a part of his plans of redundancy. He tells Simcoe to go back to Setauket, where hopefully his rage would be more in control.
Ben meets with General Scott, Washington, and Mr. Sackett, saying that “absolute trust” would be needed. Ben says that Scott doesn’t trust him, that Sackett thinks he’s too young, and that Washington doesn’t rust him enough to reveal where he got Woodhull’s name from. Thereforre, he didn’t think that the spy ring would be very successful, as there wasn’t trust between everybody involved.
After yet another commercial break on Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper, there’s a bare-knuckle boxing match between Cicero and the black man who he’d had a beef with, earlier. An Indian whispers information in Robert Rogers’ ear, that Abraham Woodhull has a brother, Samuel, on a prison ship. That information will likely be important in a future episode of Turn on AMC.
General Washington speaks with Ben, telling him that Nathaniel Hale died, because he didn’t have friends to support him. He says that “Mr. Culpper will never use the name ‘Woodhull,’ again.” In other words, Abe Woodhull/Mr. Culpepper will have friends who support him, like Ben Tallmadge.
A Redcoat questions Woodhull, asking him if the man who ambushed him had told him his name — Abe says “No.”
Major Andre asks Abby about her son, and Abby tells him that he has a birthday coming up. Captain Andre, the manipulative person that he is, says he will have a birthday present sent to him.
General Washington tells a ticked-off Gen. Scott that he’s promoted Ben to the rank of “major” Ben asks him what will Abe’s first name be — they settle on “Samuel.” Ben asks Washington what the significance the name of “Culpepper” is, and Washington answers “That’s an excellent question.”
That was the end of the Turn on AMC: episode Mr. Culpepper. Again, it was somewhat difficult to follow parts of the plot, which might be one reason Turn on AMC doesn’t have the highest ratings in the world. However, it’s a very interesting telling of how the first spy ring in America, the Culpepper Ring, was formed, and it’s a fairly addictive series, once you get into it. If ratings for the series don’t pick up, though, it’s likely the series won’t get picked up for a second season. Perhaps one season will be enough to tell the entire story. What did you think of this episode of Turn on AMC, America? Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb