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Sons of Liberty: episode 1

Episode 1: A Dangerous Game

The British have put out an arrest warrant for Samuel Adams, tax collector, because he hasn't been collecting taxes.  That is, rather than put his friends out of their homes or businesses or throw them in jail when they can't afford to pay, he lets it slide.  And now the British want their money and have come to Sam to collect the debt.  Instead Sam leads his would be captors on a wild chase through the streets and over the roof tops of colonial Boston eventually eluding them when a mob of colonials chases the British regulars back to the governor's mansion.  The soldiers grab up the governor and skedaddle before the mob descends on the mansion.  And so begins Boston's ever escalating British problems.

Following the failed arrest of Sam Adams and the ensuing debacle that ended with the mob taking apart the governor's mansion, the governor decides to approach the Sam Adams problem from a different angle.  The governor reaches out to the very wealthy dandy, John Hancock and dispatches him to 'take care' of his (the governor's) Adams problem.  However, when this deal goes sideways and the governor sends word to London about his problems with these feisty colonials, the perhaps unintended result is escalation rather de-escalation of tensions when more British troops are dispatched to Boston, there's a crack down on import/customs tariffs, and whatever shady deal Hancock had with the governor regarding customs tariffs is terminated.

Hancock only cares about his bottom line and making money, so the termination of his shady deal forces him to engage Sam Adams and friends in a city wide smuggling/black market operation that operates right under the noses of the British authorities.  Tensions escalate as they do in situations like these, and snowball as they tend to do, when the governor and his forces discover the black market operation, break it wide open, put the participating store keepers out of business (in favor of known loyalist store owners), and then a confrontation between another colonial mob and a loyalist storekeeper ends in a tragedy that will have far reaching consequences for all those involved.  The episode ends with another confrontation between another colonial mob and a small group of British soldiers that ends in still more bloodshed.

My thoughts:

--This episode covers so much ground--five years and a lot of time jumping--that it can be hard to keep the time line straight.

--There were a lot of colonial mobs back in the day.

--Throughout the initial governor and Hancock discussion in which the governor enlists Hancock to rein in Adams, I can't help but think that the governor will underestimate Hancock, that Hancock will not deal with Adams the way the governor wants, and that this detente will lead to the governor making an enemy out of Hancock.

--Eventually Hancock is going to have to make a choice: make money or throw in with Adams' fight to end British tyranny.

--While all Hancock wants to do is (continue to) make money, Sam Adams' motives are slightly more altruistic with the added side benefit of sticking it to the British in the process.  Or maybe all Adams really wants to do is stick it to the British.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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