The episode opens on the green in Lexington with the shot heard round the world. Unfortunately, the redcoats pretty much roll right over the colonial militia men in what turns into a bloody massacre that is a short stop for the British as they march on toward Concord. The rebels' munitions stores at Concord needs to do some fancy footwork to hide all the guns from the redcoats. Paul Revere, Hancock, and Sam Adams (very) narrowly escape being taken captive (again). Revere and his band hide out in the woods (again narrowly avoiding the redcoats) as they watch the regulars tear the farm turned munitions stores apart in a futile attempt to find the rebels' guns. This time it is the rebels who run the British off rather than the other way around.
General Gage is none too happy when his troops slink back to Boston with their tails between their legs and licking their wounds. Meanwhile, the second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia and summons Sam Adams to answer for the fighting and bloodshed in Boston. When the congressional delegates turn against Sam Adams, blaming him for instigating all of Boston's British problems, John Adams and Hancock realize they need reinforcements. So the three men pay Ben Franklin, returned by this time to Philadelphia, a visit in hopes of winning him to their cause. Franklin summarizes the men's grievances and puts an even finer point on it by telling them that what they are talking about is a new nation because they won't get the rights they want from the British. And while Sam Adams is sure that a new nation is what he wants, Hancock sounds hesitant in his affirmation; however, Franklin agrees that a new nation is the only way to go.
Thus reinforced by Franklin and Franklin's friend, Jefferson's support, the men return to the congress determined to win over all the delegates because this thing won't work if even one of the colonies says nope. Back in Boston Gage works out a plan to crush the Boston militia encampments outside town while Revere and his men vow to hold the high ground on Bunker Hill. In the battle that ensues the rebels eventually send the redcoats into retreat only Gage is having none of it and sends in another wave of Royal Marines. Unfortunately, the rebels must eventually retreat and the British flag replaces the militia's flag flying over the hastily fortified high ground. George Washington and the local militias that he gathered between Philadelphia and Boston ride to Boston's rescue and then ride again to meet Gage's forces at New York. Luckily by this time the Continental Congress has finally decided to throw in with Boston as one united front and declare independence from Britain in a stirring scene in which Washington reads the declaration to his troops just as Gage's ships arrive in the harbor.
--Paul Revere is one lucky bastard.
--General Gage seems to be becoming increasingly unhinged in the face of Boston's refusal to kowtow to Britain. The producers/writers (in the DVD extras) try to say that Gage is the way he is because his wife doesn't love him, and all he really wants is to be loved. Um. That's not really how it reads on screen. Maybe he should try being a little nicer to his wife, and then maybe she wouldn't physically recoil from his touch.
--Ben Franklin is a womanizing dog.
--Gage calling the colonists savages is a little bit pot calling kettle, in my view.
--The rebels at Bunker Hill are undermanned and undersupplied, and Dr. Warren has realized just how screwed they really are, but he doesn't care because he's about to martyr himself for the cause.
--Has Mrs. Gage spent the whole episode locked up in her room?
--George Washington is a boss, and congress should have listened to him the first time and then maybe there wouldn't be this mess.
--WHAT. Way to end on a cliffhanger. (Okay, I realize we all know how the war ends, but the episode ends right after the declaration when Gage fires cannons on Washington and his troops, and I really hope Gage died a painful death in the war after what he did to Warren.)
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie