“Turn” dealt with its most relationship-focused episode yet in Season 1, episode 7 “Mercy Moment Murder Measure.”
Anna and Abe’s tryst on Christmas came to light in the worst way imaginable as virtually everyone in the town found out about their indiscretion. After being caught in the act by the British soldier staying with the Woodhulls, that man went on to tell Mary, Simcoe and ultimately Judge Woodhull and Major Hewlett. This got Abe into a world of trouble as he had to duel Simcoe (oh Simcoe, we missed you in Setauket) and have everyone know he’s a man who tried to cheat on his wife.
But the Anna/Abe storyline brought to light a more interesting and potentially hazardous plot coming forth in “Turn.” Though “Mercy Moment Murder Measure” didn’t have much to do with Abe’s spying storyline, Robert Rogers did make some headway on his spying front. He tracks down Samuel Tallmadge, Ben’s brother, only to find out that Samuel is dead from dysentery — but that Selah Strong has all the information he needs.
All roads, it seems, lead to Selah. Anna is trying to get her husband back so her property will stop being taken away, Mary wants Selah back so Anna stops being a temptation to Abe and Rogers wants Selah back in Setauket likely so he can use him as a spy. Considering the terrible conditions Selah was in when the audience was introduced to him again, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to think that he’d take a spying position.
But while Selah makes the rebel ties back to Setauket that much more obvious to Rogers, the death of Samuel adds a troublesome wrinkle to Ben’s plans. Rogers tricks Ben into thinking Samuel is still alive and being given back to the rebel army in a prisoner transfer, but instead of Ben coming to pick “Samuel” up like Rogers wants, Caleb journeys to get him instead. Then there’s the fact that Rogers now knows “Samuel” is an important name to Ben, so the identity “Samuel Culpeper” will be pretty suspicious if he stumbles upon it.
Abe’s relationship troubles with Anna are the main thing getting in his way of being a good spy. Chances are their journey to New York is just going to cause more problems than solutions, as tensions are high between the formerly engaged pair and they never had the chance to consummate them before.