tv review – AMC’s Turn, episode 1.4

While ‘Eternity How Long’ was a step up from last week’s terrible third episode, many of the show’s problems plagued it just the same. The episode was mainly about Major Hewlett’s decision to pull up gravestones to protect cannons, putting Richard Woodhull in a difficult position: would he let the British pick stones and risk unease because of their selection, or would he pick the gravestones himself to attempt to minimize the chances of a revolt? He chose the latter and thereby risked scapegoat status, something Abe warned him about. Of course Richard wouldn’t listen to his son, even though they had a nice talk together, in front of the fireplace. Abraham tried to make his father see reason, and for a moment there Abe seemed to get through to him. But then his father started talking about Abe’s brother again, undoubtedly his favorite son, and the next day he did exactly what the British wanted him to: he dug up his son’s gravestone and because of that sacrifice the townsfolk followed suit. While the idea had potential, the execution was severely lacking: Burn Gorman hammed it up as Major Hewlett, the leader of the townsfolk was a one-dimensional device instead of a character, and the townsfolk swiftly and smoothly changed their minds once Richard made his final decision known. From furious to A-ok in the blink of an eye. It felt extremely lazy and forced, and the lack of quality in the writing department makes the show a dull affair, because the story lines and the way they’re resolved aren’t compelling and very hard to buy into.

Meanwhile Abe’s spying isn’t really put to good use. While Ben and Caleb value their friend’s information, General Scott does not because of the anonymity of the information’s source. In an attempt to still put Abe’s intel to good use, Ben falsified a letter that contained the exact same information Abraham had dug up for them. That latter unfortunately wasn’t read: it ended up on George Washington’s massive pile of unopened letters, hardly a reassuring sight. The enemy camp seems to have a better grasp on the concept of espionage: John André tried to find out if one of his sources could be trusted by using an actress and some of his steely wit. Since we really have not seen much of the character though, it was hard to root for him or even remotely care about the plot strand. It doesn’t quite sit right with the overall narrative and it remains to be seen what the significance of his story will be.

Turn‘s fourth outing was quite dull as it went through the motions… again. The semblance of an interesting story idea and Kevin McNally’s fine performance made it watchable, but just barely. 5/10

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