What does it mean to take vengeance? That’s a question with some variance, but on Turn: Washington’s Spies season 4 episode 4, it meant Abe burying the dead while looking for the best plan to move forward.
The Culper Ring has always been intent on using whatever tools necessarily in order to slow down the cogs of war. However, those cogs shifted and changed Saturday thanks largely to what we saw unfold with the funeral, and the new plan in place to track down Simcoe. For Abe, he has every reason to do this in the wake of what happened with Richard and the exchange / violence gone terribly wrong. He’s a character walking through quicksand now, trying to determine the proper way in which he can get out of a terrible mire. He’s in too deep with the Culper Ring in order to escape, and he’s also too known at this point to be able to completely hide. He’s compromised, but that is something that was bound to happen to various members of this spy organization.
In some cases, characters have already paid the piper for their roles in the group. Just look at Caleb, and all of the various bruises and pains that he is now feeling in the aftermath of the brutal torture that recently unfolded. We’re honestly shocked that he is even moving around as much as he is now.
The battles (at least intellectual ones) are starting to descend on New York, and in turn, Arnold is beginning to realize the difficult position that he himself his in. Either he turns out to be a tremendous hero, or one of the most notable traitors in the history of America if the forces unify into a country. (Well, we know how all of that turned out, don’t we?)
Creatively, the big issue that this episode had (beyond not enough Anna Strong) is simply that it served almost as the bridge between what happened and what is to come. We know that on the other side of this week is more of a showdown regarding Abe and Arnold, and some of these forces at play are going to start to collide. Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet in order for it to happen. It’s also hard for this episode coming off of a story with such a significant showdown — though you can argue that the executions here with visceral and powerful in their own way.
This wasn’t our favorite episode of the season, just because we wanted to see a little more of the major forces at play with each other. Nonetheless, it was a necessary one so that Abe could process more of what happened and the pieces could start to align on the chessboard. For example, Arnold is still somehow standing, and not as bad off as we would have thought coming off of the hissyfit that took place last week. Grade: B.
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