Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper (Recap/Review)

Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper (Recap/Review)
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.

Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper (Recap/Review)

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

22 Responses to "Turn on AMC: Mr. Culpepper (Recap/Review)"

  1. Penny   August 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

    It wasn’t clear at all, but that will do 🙂

  2. Margo   June 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Love this show and all the history, but as others have said, sometimes hard to tell what is imaginary and what actually is happening. Still an excellent show that I hope continues – very addictive once you get into it. I appreciate the summary of the episodes!

  3. AmyANSKY   May 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I love this show!! Grateful for DVR and repeated broadcasts tho. It helps tremendously to watch and re-watch to catch all the historical references and tidbits. Love it!!

  4. Ruth Ann McDonough Aufrecht   May 12, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I libe watching a TV show where I can google and discover facts as I watch.

  5. Aunt B   May 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    My closed captioning and I agree that the thief was hanged for stealing spoons, not screws. It was, “…several spoons, silver dollars and wearing apparel”.

  6. Tiger   May 12, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Great show that gives us insight to the gritty world of early spy work. Fairly true to the facts, I love it!

  7. Simon   May 12, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Can someone explain how abe was shot at the beginning and then was fine riding his cart? I would say that first scene was from the future but the other spy who dropped the egg in the basket (With the pinky finger ring and scar) was killed by Simcoe at the dinner table.

    • Jeff   May 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

      That opening scene never really happened. That was Sackett trying to develop a strategy to conceal and transfer information. Once he played out the scenario to the conclusion that the agent would probably get caught, he crumpled up the paper and threw it away.

      • Mike   May 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        Wow. I was just trying so hard to figure that out. Thank you.

      • Christer Dehlin   May 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

        Thanks. I couldn’t make sense of that either. I like this show, but at times the story telling is somewhat clumsy and confusing. I suspect a lot of people struggled with that one.

  8. Robert   May 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Turn is a tapestry of woven secrets that makes for a great spy series…mostly watched by quilt makers and crossword puzzle geniuses.

  9. Phil olsen   May 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I love it, I am hooked. I have a little bit of an advantage in having studied history in college but a viewer must be willing to follow and not always comprehend…it’s as if the producers made it so confusing to tease us… Also most tv shows nowadays are for lowest common denominator!

  10. Kidd   May 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Somebody tell my wife witch character Stephen Root is playing? She don’t believe her eyes are worse! LOL

    • danielhts   May 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Kidd’s Wife, The incomparable Stephen Root is playing Mr. Sackett. As always he has disappeared into the part. I am a “fan” of very few actors but Mr. Root is an exception and I was delighted when I heard he was in Turn.

  11. Neil Allen   May 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I really enjoyed it, but it is a little complicated. I’m a history nut and study history ion school and for fun and I have some trouble at times following the story, so I can see how someone like my girlfriend would have 0 interest. Now she would though if it was written Alittle more simple.

  12. Mo   May 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I think Mr. Cobb has it backwards. It was the ambusher who called Woodhull a tory bastard just before stepping out from behind a tree to commit suicide by the King’s men. The ambusher and Woodhull were both pretending to be loyal to the crown but as they both learned about the other, each was actually a rebel. Calling Woodhull a “tory bastard” was to protect Woodhull and let him continue his spy work for the Americans.

    • Mo   May 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      The Declaration of Independence and the war against the British redcoats was not supported by most colonists. Those colonists called themselves Loyalists. The supporters of the Declaration called themselves Patriots, but the British called them rebels. Patriots used the term Tories for those colonists who remained loyal to the king and who opposed the revolution against British rule of Americans.
      So when the ambusher called Woodhull a tory bastard, he did it to convince the redcoats that Woodhull was a tory, loyal to the king of England, and not a supporter of the rebelling Americans.

    • Douglas Cobb   May 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. My computer doesn’t face the TV as I type, though I try to turn around to catch all of the action that I can. I am not a hundred percent sure that the man who ambushed Abe said what he did just to “let him continue his spy work for the American,” but that could be a possibility.

    • Mo   May 12, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Not sure why the system does not allow me to continue my comment. I’ll try again later.

    • Mo   May 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

      just a snippet…
      The man with the pistols behind the tree quickly surmised that even though he might survive for a while as a prisoner of the British, an investigation of the circumstances plus evidence in his camp would surely prove to the British that he, and most likely Woodhull too, deserved to be hung as spies. He decided to sacrifice his life for the cause of liberty. His last words. “You were right, Mr. Woodhull, you tory bastard!”, was a 2-part farewell: a final salute to a most worthy comrade and a dying man’s testament to ensure that the British do not suspect Woodhull of any wrongdoing.

    • Mo   May 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Woodhull, upon first being captured by the redcoat, tried to save his mission by professing to be a tory, loyal to the king, and a supplier of meat to the king’s army. While switching into Woodhull’s clothing, this redcoat revealed he was actually the lone survivor of a Continental (Patriots) Army unit which the British had decimated, and that his ultimate goal was to somehow work his way out of enemy territory so as to rejoin with the Continental Army. Woodhull then confessed his own secret, that he too was a Patriot and was a spy for the Continentals.

  13. j roach   May 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    This episode finally brought things together. It is to the bad that is has taken this lo ng for things to start jelling. Now I feel like watching.


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