‘TURN: Washington’s Spies’ recap: Mary’s a rebel -- and a markswoman

Meegan Warner, Jamie Bell

Meegan Warner and Jamie Bell in a scene from “TURN: Washington’s Spies.”

(Antony Platt / AMC)

True to her Tory upbringing, Mary Woodhull (Meegan Warner) supported the Redcoats when they invaded the American colonies.

And she initially opposed the clandestine activities of her husband, Abe (Jamie Bell), a cabbage farmer by day and spy for Gen. George Washington (Ian Kahn) by night.

But Mary is devoted to her family in Setauket, not the British monarchy in London. So when Abe refuses to abandon the rebel cause, Mary takes up arms and joins the fight on AMC’s “TURN: Washington’s Spies.”

In “Judgment” (Episode 307), Mary seeks to protect Abe and their son Thomas (Cabell and Ellis Chase) by targeting a villainous British officer. He is Capt. John Graves Simcoe (Samuel Roukin), commander of the Queen’s Rangers, who intends to execute Abe without benefit of a trial.


Simcoe suspects that Robert Rogers (Angus Macfadyen) heads Washington’s Culper spy ring and that Abe is in cahoots. Actually, Abe is the ringleader and Rogers is a mercenary, not a secret agent.

“Rogers is Culper,” Abe exclaims in a desperate attempt to stave off his execution. And the reason he didn’t alert the British, Abe contends, is that Rogers threatened to kill young Thomas.

“I thought I’d heard your last lie,” Simcoe sneers, “but that was quite impressive!”

“I have proof,” Abe insists. He opens his farm cellar, reveals an array of spy paraphernalia and alleges that it belongs to Rogers. “I am a dead man,” Abe tells Simcoe, “now that you’ve seen this place.”


Leaving Abe under guard at the farmhouse, Simcoe journeys to his residence with Mary in tow. That evening, Mary endeavors to save Abe by stealing a rifle, sneaking outside and shooting Simcoe through a window.

Simcoe falls to the floor, alive but bleeding profusely from one ear.

When Ranger Fitch (Graham Halstead) spots Mary, she pretends that Rogers fired the shot. Suddenly she grabs Fitch’s knife, stabs him in the chest and hurries back inside the house to hide her bloody dress.

Sinking into a bathtub, Mary sobs uncontrollably.

Observing these heroics from the woods is spy ring courier Lt. Caleb Brewster (Daniel Henshall). He reinforces the misperception that Rogers is the sniper by taking potshots at the Rangers.

Meanwhile, at Washington’s camp in New Jersey, Maj. Ben Tallmadge (Seth Numrich) reunites with Sarah Livingston (Elizabeth Blackmore), a widow who rescued him from the British. Now she’s under arrest for aiding the Tories.

To spare Sarah’s life, Ben pleads with her to spy for the patriots. But Sarah, whose husband was murdered by rebels, refuses.

“I was ready to die for my beliefs,” she says, “but I’m not ready to die for yours.”


Sadly, Sarah dies later that day when a guard’s pistol accidentally discharges. He offered special treatment in exchange for sexual favors and Sarah resisted.

Finally, patriot Gen. Benedict Arnold (Owain Yeoman) prevails at his court-martial after being accused of misappropriating property. To Arnold’s chagrin, however, exoneration doesn’t mean he’ll receive four years of back pay.

“This was about defending your honor,” Gen. Henry Knox (Brit Whittle) informs Arnold. “That, in the end, will hold more weight than coin.”

Arnold dejectedly returns to his fiancée Peggy Shippen (Ksenia Solo), who’s been encouraging him to commit treason.

But Peggy halts these manipulations after hearing that her true love, British Maj. John André (JJ Feild), is romantically linked with actress Philomena Cheer (Amy Gumenick).

“I don’t want to wait until March,” Peggy tearfully tells Arnold. “I want to be married now!”

“Nothing could make me happier,” he wearily replies, “but I need a respite.”

For Arnold’s war wounds ache. And his bitterness toward the Continental Army festers.


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