Turn S1E1 - "Pilot" Recap

Autumn 1776 - Insurgents have declared war against the Crown. Following a successful naval landing, His Majesty's Army has forced Washington's rebels into the wilderness. New York City serves as military base of operations for the British. The Loyalists of nearby Long Island keep a vigilant watch out for sympathisers, and spies...

Setauket, Long Island - Abraham Woodhull (Jamie Bell) is a humble cabbage farmer with a wife and a baby son learning to walk. He's content to live a quiet life with his family and wait out the end of the Redcoat occupation of New York. However, while visiting a tavern owned by a man to whom he owes money, he ends up in a scuffle with some drunken Redcoats and apprehended. His father speaks on his behalf to get him released, and Abe is able to return home.

Abe's father comes to his home and offers to help him with his financial problems. He tells him he has a responsibility and that legacy is everything. Abe was just trying to do right but Abe's father advises him that it would be better if he obeyed the rule of mother England. Abe doesn't want to accept the financial help, preferring to get out of it himself. He takes some cabbage and trades it on the black market to a childhood friend named Caleb for some silk and cash.

Abe is stopped in his boat heading back to Long Island by colonial soldiers who suspect that he is a British spy in addition to being an illegal trader. He is nearly tortured but Ben Talmadge stops is. Ben is an old friend of Abe's who is now serving as a Connecticut dragoon fighting against the British. Ben wants to enlist Abe to become a spy to help them learn what the British are up to. Seeing no other way to get his freedom, Abe agrees to help, while refusing to give up the name of the person he sold the cabbage to.

Abe returns to a bit of a mess, not realising that he is the primary suspect in the recent murder of Captain Joyce. Even his own father suspects that he is guilty. He is apprehended by Redcoats. He tries to claim that he was mugged, and even has a head-wound that he inflicted on himself. He admits to the selling of the cabbage and says that he was taken captive by the enemy who beat him and threw him overboard. He is permitted to leave after providing something "stolen" from the ship, though he is warned he will have to pay for the crime of smuggling as well as return to provide more details on his assailants.

Abe visits his former fiancee Anna, the tavern owner's wife, who tells him Simcoe has been trying to make a move on her while her husband is still jailed. Simcoe was also one of the men that assaulted Abe in the tavern and has been largely antagonistic towards him, believing him guilty of the murder. Anna convinces Abe to help the colonists and even agrees to help him in any way she can. Meanwhile, Abe's wife Mary warns him to not do whatever it is that he is planning on doing, saying they can't afford to lose him.

Abe is able to get information about a planned ambush to the Colonial Army. He gets word to Anna and is forced to hide when Simcoe comes into the barn. She charms him out of the barn so Abe remains undiscovered. Abe encounters Caleb in the woods and learns that he is part of the Colonial Army. Caleb was the first "interview" that led to Abe's recruitment as a spy, with the first test being whether or not he would give up his name.

Abe then has to loudly and publicly declare his allegiance to loyalty before his father, while Anna, Mary, and the rest of the town stand around and watch. Ben and his men are able to ambush the Redcoats, who are swiftly gunned and/or knifed down. However, Simcoe is taken captive by the men in the hopes of gaining more information. Abe's father remains suspicious of him, knowing that he lied about his story. He tells him he doesn't know what he is hiding but he will tell him eventually because he won't have a choice. He says to Abe, "I'm done protecting you."

Turn airs on Sundays on AMC at 9PM.


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