The greatest war is the one fought within ourselves. This was one of the lines uttered near the end of the Turn: Washington’s Spies extended series finale.
We’ll admit that there were some moments of the finale that we felt like the show was starting to take a victory lap in the first forty minutes — that is what happens when you effectively end much of the bloodshed the week prior. Still, we saw the beginnings of America, the realization that the war ends differently in different parts of the country, and Abe Woodhull eventually getting to return home and start to plan out what he wants his future to be. There were moments of joy in those moments, as you could start to see for these characters that so much of their hard work eventually was worth it.
Then, you get to the final ten minutes with Abe Woodhull and the letter he wrote for his late child — if you’re not openly sobbing at this point, there’s a problem. The final minutes of the series finale has to be one of the most beautiful presentations we’ve ever seen in such an episode, with Jamie Bell’s excellent narration taking you through what transpired with so many of the characters following their time in the Culper Ring. Ben had a chance to make the world better in a more public way, Abigail found herself displaced, Anna was still beloved and missed, and Brewster had gone from a smuggler to someone out to protect the country. Their heroics had turned around the country, even if their names were not meant to be in the history books.
Just hearing the way that Abe described loss, and a hope to see his child in Heaven, was utterly heartbreaking. Having the show move forward to later in his life was the right way for him to have perspective; often, it is only in the years to come that you start to actually realize the true impact that you had during some of your most important years. We also do appreciate the way that the show touched on Simcoe’s time in Upper Canada, where he became known for ending slavery and doing far more good than he ever did during the war. It was a reminder that some people can change; not only that, but that this isn’t a black-and-white world filled with personalities that are stuck within a singular way of thinking.
This finale probably didn’t need to run for an hour and fifteen minutes, but when it was at its best, Turn has never been better at capturing the optimism of America, the power within its heroes, and also celebrating a realistic message of unity. It’s almost chilling hearing some of Abe’s words and realizing that even more than 200 years in the future, these events are still striking and relevant. A worthy end to a long-underrated series. Grade: A-.
What did you think about the Turn: Washington’s Spies series finale? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Meanwhile, you can head over to the link here in the event you do want more news on the series, including how it could live on in some form. (Photo: AMC.)