Tonight is the season finale for Turn on AMC, and the episode is called The Battle of Setauket. It is sure to be an action-packed show, and some, but not likely all, questions from earlier episodes will be resolved. Turn on AMC has not gotten as high of ratings as AMC had hoped — last week, just 1.17 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, Against Thy Neighbor — so it is uncertain if the show will return for a second season.
In the last episode of Turn on AMC, Against Thy Neighbor, Major Richard Hewlett (Burn Gorman) issued a decree that the Setauket residents shall surrender their firearms. Reverend Nathaniel Tallmadge, father of Major Benjamin Tallmadge, was not happy about this, and told Hewlett that the church was once his. Later in the episode, Nathaniel Tallmadge tells tavern patrons that the British took their church, their headstones, and now their guns.
Simcoe had Nathaniel Tallmadge arrested, claiming that he is the one who shot Richard Woodhull. Major Hewlett tells Abe the evidence points to Tallmadge as the sniper, though Abe doesn’t believe this at all, as he knows that Simcoe has it in for him, and Ben Tallmadge is his friend and fellow conspirator in the Culper ring.
Major Hewlett is given the petition Simcoe has drawn up listing possible names of rebels on it, and he tells Simcoe to arrest everyone on it. Richard, badly wounded, can’t serve as the magistrate in the trial, so Abe offers to take his place as the magistrate in prosecuting the rebels.
Abe interrogates the elderly Brewster, the uncle of his friend, Caleb, knowing that he is actually getting the onlookers to sympathize with Brewster. Afterward, he interrogates Nathaniel Tallmadge, and insinuates that he became resentful of his father, Richard, after his congregation left the church. Abe pretends to struggle with loading Nathaniel Tallmadge’s gun, and Simcoe comes over to assist. Simcoe then realizes that the bullet that was used to shoot Richard couldn’t have been fired from Nathaniel’s rifle. The bullet doesn’t fit the rifle at all.
Abe is hoping that Major Hewlett will show mercy on the people whose names are on the petition, especailly as it’s now apparent that the bullet which hit his father was not fired from Nathaniel’s rifle. The “mercy” that Hewlett suggests is sentencing everyone whose name is on the list to 10 years aboard a prison ship. At the end of the episode, Abe and Mary’s son, Thomas, stumbles across the trap door which, as Mary finds out, hides the codebook that Abe was given to use as a spy in the Culper Ring.
In tonight’s episode of Turn on AMC, Mary has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Abe has been leading a double life and is a spy. Also, Ben and Caleb have been given the responsibility of leading a raid on the town of Setauket.
Turn on AMC opened with Mary staring into a fireplace and lighting a candle. She reads out loud from the codebook, the names of spies and the numbers used to represent them.
Caleb and Benjamin talk about their next move, and how to prevent their fathers and all of the other people whose names are on the petition from being sentenced to 10 years aboard the prison ship.
Mary tells Abe that she’s afraid, afraid of the traitor who is still lurking around who shot his father. Abe tells her that Captain Simcoe used an accomplice to shoot his father. Mary doesn’t believe him, but then says if she went to Hewlett, and told him the truth, Abe would be hung as a traitor.
Mary accuses Abe of sleeping with another woman. He tries to prove that he still loves Mary, by making love to her. He says: “This is still my house,” and she tells him “Prove it.” They then make love to each other, and Turn on AMC goes to the first commercial break of the evening.
Meanwhile, the boy who saw Ben Tallmadge and the rest of the men he led reports to Simcoe what he saw. Simcoe has the men whose names are on the list strung up by their wrists to rafters, but then has them cut down so that Ben can see his father hung. One of the men whose name is on the list gets his neck put in the noose; he says “by whose orders” is this happening? Simcoe tells him “Mine,” and proceeds to have him hanged by the neck.
Ben Tallmadge and his soldiers come riding up, too late to save the man who Simcoe had hanged. Simcoe has taken the other men he was about to have hung, into the church, to use as hostages. Mr. Strong walks up to Anna and kisses her, much to her surprise. She has believed that her husband had died aboard the prison ship.
Major Ben Tallmadge and Caleb notice that it’s true that some of the town’s gravestones have been ripped up. Hewlett tells Simcoe that “I cannot abide” having the prisoners executed. He doesn’t appear happy with Simcoe, and tells him “You secured the prisoner, but not the powder.” They get their cannons ready, and Hewlett tells the men that they can “fire when ready.”
Mr. Strong is angry that Anna was forced to sell the tavern. The man she sold it to tells him to “take it up with the judge.”
Richard walks up, still wounded an not fully recovered. Benjamin tells Mr. Strong that Hewlett has them in his sites. He tells Mr. Strong that they will take the church back. Abe says that “You will never take the garrison.”
Benjamin tells Mary: “I seem to remember your husband as being a much quieter man.”
When Turn on AMC comes back from another commercial break, Hewlett is searching through his spyglass for reinforcements. Simcoe tells him that he seems to be doing fine without them, and then, the Continental Army opens fire on them. Simcoe uses the prisoners as a barricade. Abe tells Benjamin that Simcoe will kill all of the prisoners, and Hewlett will never surrender.
Benjamin tells Abe that “You are the perfect man to deliver our terms,” as his father is also held at the church. Abe tells Ben, in a barn, that “there were no hangings, until you showed up.”
Benjamin tells Anna “Your husband is alive because my brother is dead.” He adds that “This raid is famliy business.” Abe tells Ben to inform Washington that his “precious Mr. Culpepper is finished.”
Abe walks up to the church holding a white flag in his hand. He tells Simcoe and Hewlett that there are “more than 60 but less than 100” Continental Army soldiers in place outside.
Richard asks him “What are their terms?”
Abe tells Simcoe and Hewlett that they will withdraw from the field, if the 8 prisoners are exchanged. Simcoe says that it will be showing a “weakness.” Simcoe takes Brewster’s elderly uncle outside of the church, in front of everyone there, and shoots him, yelling out at the same time. Blood splatters are on his face.
Caleb runs up, but Ben tackles him before he can get very far. Hewlett has Simcoe restrained and gagged. He says that they will have to “fight to the death now.”
Instead, Richard tells him that if the prisoners are released, they might end any further violence. Caleb breaks free and approaches the church, as the prisoners walk out, free men. They carry the body of Caleb’s father with them. Ben Tallmadge tells Abe to express his thanks to Hewlett. Abe tells him in a soft voice that his name will now by “Culper” not “Culpepper.” He has decided to continue being a spy.
Hewlett, looking through his spyglass again, finally sees the approach of a ship, though the reinforcements have arrived too late. Nathaniel and his son, Benjamin, embrace each other. Then, Benjamin departs, along with his men, Mr. Strong with them. Anna is aboard with her husband, but jumps out, to instead stay in Setauket with Abe, who goes out into the water to help her out.
When Turn on AMC comes back from a commercial break, Major John Andre and Robert Rogers are discussing Rogers’ insubordination at the last prisoner exchange. Rogers tells him that he’s always had it in for him, and he says he refuses to have any man tell him his business. Andre tells him that the people Rogers commanded have been given a new leader now. Rogers says that they won’t obey anyone else but him.
Rogers tells him, laughing, “What goes up must come down.”
Back in Setauket, Mary asks Abe “How’s your father?” He answers “He’s safe at home.”
He asks her if she’s all right, and she tells him she’s “tired.” Abe goes to his hiding place, where he usually hides the codebook, and sees that the it is no longer there. When he returns to where Mary is, she is burning the book in the fireplace. He yells at her that he didn’t know that Major Tallmadge was coming.
Baker walks in, and says he always seems to walk in when he’s not wanted. Baker tells him that “You may be a person who commits treason, but I can’t be.” Baker is about to get his gun ready, but Abe shoots and kills him. Mary makes up a story about how Baker died, trying to protect the house from the rebels. Though she doesn’t like what her husband did, she is willing to lie to protect his life. She tells Ben to go get Thomas, and then she lights fire to the house with a candle, with Baker, dead, inside.
That scene marked the very dramatic ending of Turn on AMC The Battle of Setauket. It would be great to see Turn on AMC continue on for a second season, but if it is picked up, it will be despite very lackluster ratings. Some fans have blamed the low ratings on a seeming lack of AMC to publicize Turn very much. Perhaps, if the ratings had been initially higher, AMC would have thought it worth it to publicize the show more. Still, whatever the case might be, with luck — and if enough fans of Turn on AMC maybe email their support of the show to the network — it will return next season.
Written by: Douglas Cobb