TURN: Washington’s Spies Nightmare Season 4 Episode 4 Recap – The previous episode of Turn: Washington’s Spies continued with the theme of Lt. Simcoe’s extreme malice as he orders his marauders to gun down everyone involved in the prisoner exchange. Abe and Caleb survive the violence and make it back to camp. Judge Woodhull takes a bullet and dies. In Washington’s camp, there are indications of a pending rebellion as the unequipped and unpaid colonial troops threaten to mutiny. Meanwhile, General Washington has yet to make good on his plan of capturing traitor Benedict Arnold making an example of him.
TURN: Washington’s Spies Nightmare Season 4 Episode 4 Recap
TURN: Washington’s Spies Nightmare Season 4 Episode 4 Recap images from amc.com
Abe Woodhull awakes from a nightmare. In his terrifying dream, his father is still alive and berating him for the trouble he’s caused by his rebellious spirit. When Abe awakes, his father’s dead body is beside him. On a happier note, Heather Lind is beside him as Anna Strong, attending to his wounds and bruises. With her arms about him, they share in mourning the death of Abe’s father, including burial according to the rituals of the day.
We find Caleb being sewed up from his wounds suffered in captivity at the hands of Lt. Simcoe. He’s in a field hospital with other wounded warriors, when he slips out, and goes to join Abe and Talmadge. In spite of his severe wounds, Caleb wants to tell Abe that Simcoe has identified him as the head of the Culper ring. Along with that bad news, there is more. Caleb reveals that the attackers at the Lyme grain mill were Simcoe’s Rangers. Everyone is in danger – Townsend included.
General Arnold Wants Volunteers
General Arnold meanwhile is still pressuring the British command to get the regiment he has been promised. He tells a British general that he will use all force and terror tactics to bring Washington down. The British general gives in to General Arnold, allowing him to raise his ‘American Legion’ with offers of uniform, housing, and good pay. He goes to Rivington’s newspaper office to advertise for volunteers.
The mutineers of Washington’s army have a legitimate gripe: “We’ve served for three years and now they’re asking us to wait until the rest of the war until we get paid.” A loyal sergeant tries to halt the rebellion and is shot and stabbed for his troubles. The mutiny is in full swing as the mutineers continue their protest march to Philadelphia where they intend to put their grievances before Congress.
Mad Anthony Wayne
Instead of meeting with Congress, however, they’re met by a full and well-equipped force commanded by General “Mad Anthony” Wayne. This puts an end to the rebellion. The generals show some mercy toward the followers but the leaders of the rebellion are marched to the firing squad. As we watch the executions, it’s fair to say that General “Mad Anthony” Wayne lives up to his name and reputation. He marches the firing squad up to within a rifle’s barrel range of the condemned men. Teary eyed and torn, the firing squad unleashes a killing volley. “Do not look away!” General Mad Anthony yells at the vomiting shooters.
As with any large action, the plot lines in “Turn: Washington’s Spies” occasionally get bottlenecked. Characters must explain the themes sometimes with long lines of exposition. But the costuming and set designs continue to amaze and the historical research is impressive throughout, though with some romantic enhancement.
For whatever faults there are in the series, they pale against the show’s talented actors and enlightening depiction of a most difficult time in American history. If there is no season five to follow season four of “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” I might suggest a spinoff series starring Sam Roukin as Attila the Hun. Maybe Anna Strong could portray his wife as a tempering influence. Heather Lind reflects the subtle emotional and human aspects of this difficult time, and also its vulnerability. But Simcoe’s icy eloquence, his Machiavellian schemes and machinations, are alone worth the price of admission.
Simcoe’s Up to Something
When Simcoe is introduced to Major Dundas, another commander of British regulars, he’s offered a cigar. Simcoe declines the offer in that high-pitched noble voice that audiences have come to love and hate: “Thank you sir but they don’t agree with me. The taste reminds me of Havana where I lost many dear friends, not to the Spaniards mind you, but to fever.” The purpose of the meeting is General Clinton’s treacherous plan to have Major Dundas and Simcoe operate in the background behind General Arnold. That’s the problem with switching sides – neither side trusts you. Simcoe is full of flattery for Arnold, essentially telling him that he will guard his back. Yes, before he puts a knife in it.
The Revolutionary Mind
The episode presented some rich analysis of contemporary thinking in that era. Rivington and Townsend share a teaching moment in the newspaper’s print room. Rivington is yet another troubled survivor of the revolutionary dichotomy. While his newspaper is now a biased Royalist propaganda sheet, he once ran it according to objective rules of journalism. In his eloquent and flowery conversations with Robert Townsend (who comically finds a misspelled word in the new edition), Rivington shows he is well versed in philosophy, language, politics, and in the highest standards of journalistic integrity. But what has happened to him that he now is editor of a British screed?
Propaganda or Journalism?
He amuses Townsend by telling him how he started with objective reporting. “I told both sides, both points of view, objectively,” he declaims. But then the Sons of Liberty burned him out. “ He tried objective reporting, presenting the views of both sides, but then the Sons of Liberty burned him out. Rivington describes the some elements of the American revolution, the Sons of Liberty specifically, as less tolerant of other viewpoints and behaviors than the British.
Abe’s Next Mission
The end of the episode keys up the next series and another daring mission for Abe. While Abe is obsessed with dispatching Simcoe, General Washington is obsessed with capturing the traitor General Benedict Arnold. There is a merging of interests in the plan developed by Talmadge. Abe is to enlist in the regiment General Arnold is enrolling to decisively defeat and destroy Washington’s forces.
Other Episodes of TURN Washington’s Spies reviewed on TV Eskimo:
TURN: Washington’s Spies Season 3
TURN: Washington’s Spies Nightmare Season 4 Episode 4 Recap characters and cast include:
Abraham Woodhull – Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer, King Kong, Jumper, The Adventures of Tintin, Billy Elliot)
Ben Talmadge – Seth Numrich (Private Romeo, Gravity, How to Kill a Mockingbird)
Caleb Brewster – Daniel Henshall (The Babadook, These Final Hours, The Snowtown Murders)
Mary Woodhull – Meegan Warner
Judge Richard Woodhull – Kevin McNally
Anna Strong – Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Demolition, Mistress America)
Lt. John Simcoe – Samuel Roukin
General George Washington – Ian Kahn (The Box, Homeland, Billions, The Unusuals, Bull, Secrets in the Walls)
Benedict Arnold – Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist, Troy, American Sniper)
Peggy Shippen – Ksenia Solo (Black Swan, Orphan Black, Lost Girl)
Robert Townsend – Nick Westrate (Ricki and the Flash, Care, Beach Pillows)
Alexander Hamilton – Sean Haggerty (Lincoln, John Adams)
James Rivington – John Carroll Lynch (Shutter Island, Zodiac, The Americans, Gran Torino, Manhattan)
General Henry Clinton – Ralph Brown (Alien 3, Wayne’s World 2, Genius, Legends, Agent Carter, Stoker)
Lt. Randall – Dillon Casey (The Vow, Nikita, Agents of SHIELD, Creature, Remedy)
General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne – Michael J. Burg (Vinyl, The Night Of, Gotham, Capote, Love Is Strange)
Parker – Joshua Brady (Ozark, Halt and Catch Fire, I Saw the Light, Project Almanac, Lost Colony)
Major Dundas – James Donadio (Fist Fight, The Blind Side, Gordy)