On Turn on AMC tonight, the episode is called Against Thy Neighbor. It is the second-to-the-last episode of the season. In it, British Captain Simcoe (Samuel Roukin) suspects that rebel conspirators have infiltrated the ranks in Setauket, so he begins what amounts to a witch-hunt in the attempt to get them to reveal themselves. Also, General Washington meets with Major Benjamin Tallmadge (Seth Numrich) and Nathaniel Sackett (Stephen Root), to discuss war plans, based on intelligence that the Culper Ring has gathered. The season will conclude next Sunday with the episode The Battle of Setauket.
Turn on AMC began with a scene set in the spring of 1777 in Setauket. Anna Strong (Heather Lind) sees sprigs of flowers that form a trail for her to follow. Abe has placed the flowers there, of course.
Simcoe meets with Major Hewlett, and attempts to warn him that the rebel conspirators are planning something, but he so far has no proof of it. In a barn, Abe (Jamie Bell) and Anna are having sex with each other. But, Anna tells him that he has “an obligation to his family” and she adds, also to Washington, “Mr. Culpepper.” They kiss each other, then….
The scene goes to Simcoe and the British officer discovering a white horse, in obvious pain, who possibly was startled or scared into injuring itself when it heard Anna and Abe making love with each other. The horse is lying on its side, too injured to continue on; so — the British officer Simcoe is with shoots it, putting the horse out of its misery.
Simco asks a doctor or veterinarian after the commercial break if he’s suggesting “poison.” Hewlett says that “of course, it was poison.” Simcoe asks where the fruit came from that was given to the horse, and he says that the real target was actually Hewlett, not the horse. The fruit came for the Brewster farm, Caleb’s family’s farm.
General Washington, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, and Nathaniel Sackett plan to “shore up their offenses on the Delaware” and try to convince the enemy “that their plan is working.” The British are moving many of their troops to Staten Island.
At Abe Woodhull’s house, Mary is with their son, who is now walking. Mary asks their British roomer if he would like her to cook for him; Mr. Baker says “Perhaps I should leave,” but Mary asks him “Why?” Maybe something romantic will develop between them….she makes him a meal.
Richard Woodhull meets with Simcoe, and tries to tell him that Brewster (Caleb’s father) has a “pasied hand” so couldn’t have committed the crime. Richard says that before a citizen of Setauket is hanged, their should be more proof.
Walking along with Richard and Abraham, Simcoe speaks of having learned about “patience and forbearance.” A shot rings out, slamming Richard Woodhull to the ground. Simcoe tells Richard and Abe, who has gone running to his father’s side, to “stay down.” He has his own gun out, ready to fire back at whoever had shot. Then, Turn on AMC went to another commercial break.
After the break, in side a house, a doctor removes the bullet. There is no anesthetic — he eventually passes out due to the pain. Simcoe has found some “evidence,” including wadding that was taken from the Bible, the book of Judges. Simcoe says: “I promise you I will find out who did this, and the rest of the League of Assassins.” The villagers are forced to turn over their weapons, and have their names recorded.
Nathaniel Tallmadge, Ben’s dad, turns in his weapons, but says he’s “never minded talking against an unjust cause.”
With no weapons left, the citizens of Setauket are pissed off. First, their church was taken; then, their headstones; then, their means of defending themselves. Those are the words of Nathaniel Tallmadge — Simcoe overhears him, and wants “to have a word with him.”
Simcoe claims that he found a Bible with a torn page from Judges in it. The British officer in charge of the proceedings asks for every name on a list that Simcoe has to be arrested, and they will have a gallows built. They even arrest Paine, who brought them evidence.
Hewlett says that Richard isn’t in the condition yet to resume his duties as a judge; Abe answers that he’s been to law school, and he can take over in his father’s steed. If he hadn’t spoken up, the plan would have likely been to just hang the people on the list, without them having had the benefit of a trial.
Washington’s army is on the move after the break. Ben tells Caleb that the enlisted men only need to know what they need to know. Caleb tells him, “Right — so Anna doesn’t need to know that her husband is still alive?”
Abe tells Anna that the “charges are false.” Abe says he will seek to prove that Caleb’s father wasn’t the one responsible. Anna tells him that “You will lose.’
The men whose names are on the list are arrested in the dead of the night. The gallows have been constructed, ready for the necks of those on the list. Abe prepares for the upcoming trial or trials, while Simcoe is still up to his old tricks, shooting someone else in the middle of the night.
Turn on AMC returned from yet another commercial break, Paine is shown is the stocks. Abe, to a packed court, presents his case, asking what the evidence is that the men are guilty. He suggests that they are guilty, but if they confess, they will be subject to being show a certain degree of mercy.
Abe asks an elderly Mr. Brewster is he was responsible for the deaths of the horse and the shooting of Richard Woodhull. Brewster says that the bottle of cyanide must have been planted at his famnr by the Redcoats. Abe, through hounding Brewster, actually gets the crowd gathered there to be sympathetic to Brewster. Simcoe believes Abe’s behavior is just for show; but, Abe tells him he hadn’t gone easy on him.
Abe does the same thing with Nathaniel Tallmadge, telling him “I’m the son of the man you almost killed.”
Nathaniel says that he “swore an oath” not to take the life of another man. Abe loads up the gun, and Simcoe comes over to offer assistance in ramming the load home. Nathaniel tells him that the round is a musket ball, one that the King’s Men would use, not one that would work in a grooved barrel like that of his own gun.
Nathaniel tells the gathered throng in the courtroom “If a man is not allowed to form his own opinions and make up his own mind, that is the worst form of tyranny.” He admonishes Abraham, but Abe was only acting as he was so that the truth would be revealed, but in a way that wouldn’t reveal who he was, one of the spies (a main one) in the Culper Ring.
Hewlett says that he thinks it would be best to “show a measure of mercy.” He suggests a sentence aboard the prison ship. Abe, having hoped that the “mercy” would mean not having the men on the list punished at all, says that it seems like the true assassin is out there, and he will make it his mission to catch him. He knows full well that Simcoe and his men have been behind all of the bad things that have happened, including one of Simcoe’s men having shot his father.
Major Benjamin Tallmadge, Caleb, and others of the Continental Army are headed to meet with Benedict Arnold, who is not yet the traitor that he later becomes. Benjamin learns that many of the men in Setauket have been arrested, and he’s not happy about it; but, he tells Caleb he doesn’t know what he should, or can, do about it, at the moment.
At the Woodhull house, Thomas — Abe and Mary’s son — lifts up on a loose board under the bed. Mary lifts the board, and discovers the code book that her husband has hidden there. Yikes! That’s where this penultimate episode of Turn on AMC ended, with her looking through the pages of the code book.
Will Turn on AMC become a victim of the ratings wars?
Will Turn on AMC become a victim of the ratings wars that are constantly ongoing, and that condemns both good and bad shows indiscriminately, based on how many viewers tune in to watch, week after week? Will yet another show with a small but loyal following be cancelled, due to its not having attracted a large enough audience?
With only more more episode of Turn on AMC to go, a lot of things happened this episode, Against Thy Neighbor, which will either be resolved during the season finale, or — will have to wait to be resolved until next season, if there is a next season. Despite Turn on AMC being an intriguing show, and a well-written one, it has not received the best reviews from many critics, and the TV ratings have been dismal, dropping to close to 1 million viewers the last two weeks. There might not another season of Turn on AMC — perhaps that means we will learn much, much more about the Culper Ring, if the finale will also be the very last episode of the entire series.
Written by: Douglas Cobb