1. Storm Clouds
Set in Baltimore in 1770, Samuel Oliphant is writing in his diary as he believes that revolution is about to occur. In the shop he owns, he has to deal with a customer who doesn't buy anything, as well as a woman with almost twenty children wrecking his egg display. With a number of people looking forward to war and freedom, Samuel however takes a more sceptical approach. Samuel's daughter Cora is also preparing to get married to Ezekiel Spriggs, though his attitude to his future son-in-law is frosty, as he disapproves of his marriage. Cora's sister Mary however insists they must continue to pretend they are happy for Cora. Samuel soon receives a visit from Sergeant Roy McGurk, Captain Walter Brimshaw and his heavily armed soldiers who are billeted onto his premises, though the threat of a retribution for refusing, has Samuel agreeing. Samuel's son Joshua also takes to enquiring about the whereabouts of his mother, who has mysteriously left the family home. On the wedding day, Samuel takes to hoping for a late cancellation, but ends up telling his daughter that he absolutely loathes her future husband.
2. More Storm Clouds
Mrs Arbuthnot arrives to stand in his shop but not buy anything, as usual. Cora's wedding has also been and gone, though Arbuthnot suggests it was the most embarrassing due to everyone getting drunk, despite her not being in attendance. Samuel recalls getting headbutted from Cora as he attempts one last time to talk her out of the marriage, and disparages Ezekiel. At the post-marriage gathering, Sergeant McGurk and Mr Snavely turn up looking for a printing press which is being used to distribute salacious material. When they attempt to manhandle Mary, Joshua starts a fight, resulting in Samuel having to step in to stop the soldiers shooting everyone. Calming everyone down, Samuel and McGurk get to talking while Cora cuddles a brandy bottle underneath a table. Getting to talking with Cora, he suggests she is running away from her feelings for another man. Ezekiel and Snavely get into a discussion about politics, in which Samuel suggests the Crown is being unreasonable, while Mary tries to get McGurk and the soldiers to revolt. Snavely's attempts to arrest Mary result in him getting beaten up by Joshua, as a fight breaks out between everyone.
3. Even More Storm Clouds
Spring has arrived, and Samuel is still putting up two red coats in his attic. Samuel's brother Dan has arrived from Philadelphia which leads to Samuel warning Joshua to stay away from him and his adventurous stories. McGurk and Brimshaw soon arrive, though McGurk takes to insulting Mrs Arbuthnot in an effort to get out of patrol duty. Samuel is also horrified to hear the discussion between McGurk and Brimshaw about daughter Mary, who McGurk has spied on through a hole in the floor. Cora meanwhile has taken to cooking masses of gingerbread, while Ezekiel is under strain after being married a month and still not having consummating their marriage. Dan meanwhile ropes Joshua into fighting for their cause against the Jimmy "The Cockney Monster" Sludge, while Samuel tries to talk him out of the event, which will see Dan make a large amount of money. Talking with McGurk, he discovers that the Jimmy is a formidable opponent and suggests murdering Dan instead to stop the fight. Hoping to stop the event, Samuel ends up getting into a fight with Dan, while Mrs Arbuthnot ends up with a date with Jimmy.
4. Tons of Storm Clouds
Mary is looking forward to Nathaniel Hopkins speaking at the Baltimore Corn Exchange with his message promising freedom. Brimshaw and McGurk arrive late for breakfast where the captain reveals they are to be keeping a close eye on Hopkins. Ezekiel and Cora also turn up, with Ezekiel complaining to Brimshaw about a pamphlet which has been distributed around the town which features a cartoon that is mocking him. Ezekiel takes to threatening to go above Brimshaw's head to General Venables if they fail to find 'Spartacus'. Alone with McGurk, Samuel broaches the subject of keeping Brimshaw and Mary apart. Mary meanwhile also becomes friendly with Hopkins and reveals herself to be Spartacus to him, but Hopkins ends up being a "tongue-thruster", which has her recoiling from his depravity. When Brimshaw finds out that she is claiming to be the pamphlet publisher, he sets about arresting her. However, some persuasion from McGurk instead leads him to hold off, though Joshua takes to beating Hopkins anyway for trying to force himself on Mary.
5. A Helluva Lot of Storm Clouds
Samuel wonders if his medical ailments are down to his daughters behaviour, while Joshua's lack of interest in the shop proves difficult to handle. Mary meanwhile is desperate to get the printing press removed before it is discovered by Brimshaw, and takes to asking Cora to have it moved into her cellar. Cora meanwhile has other problems when she comes to believe she is pregnant, despite still not having consummated her marriage. Back at the shop, McGurk and Brimshaw arrive in pursuit of Mary, while Ezekiel arrives with news that Cora has collapsed and is being seen to by quack doctor Rutledge. Eventually coming around, Cora admits to her father about an affair with Abraham Smith. Back at the shop, Samuel discovers that his shop has been trashed with a variety of wild animals having been through though dealt with by Joshua. He takes to drinking heavily with McGurk, who is trying to extract information from him about the location of the printing press, though his efforts fail when Samuel instead blacks out.
6. An Incredible Amount of Storm Clouds
Ezekiel arrives in the middle of the night with a drunk Doctor Rutledge who has come demanding money for "treating" Cora. Word also gets around that the printing press has been destroyed by the Red Coats, which has a mob of angry townspeople looking for who they have termed the Viper. Brimshaw soon turns up ordering the crowd to disperse who is followed by the feared British Commander General Venables, who takes to staying in Samuel's bed. Discussion turns to the destroyed printing press in Ezekiel's basement and Venables demands that he be executed. Brimshaw's attempts to defend Ezekiel also leads to him being locked up for mutiny. McGurk, Samuel and Cora attempt to come up with a plan to free the men. Cora and Mary take to arguing about whose fault it is that Ezekiel is in jail, which leads Samuel to take on Venables himself. Samuel claims to Venables that he is Spartacus, though events are interrupted by McGurk's lacing of his tea with arsenic, from which he soon dies. Brimshaw and Ezekiel are soon released by using forged documents. However, Mary is left upset at the news Samuel was behind revealing the location of the printing press.
1. Trying Times
Samuel is still stuck with the red coats staying above his shop, and has to put up with McGurk returning drunk from celebrating Tuesday. Meanwhile, McGurk tries to improve Samuel's morale with the thought of his grandchild coming along, as Cora goes into labour which leaves Ezekiel in a panic. Mary and Brimshaw's relationship appears to be going from strength to strength, though they are interrupted by McGurk and Samuel who have come to collect Mary. During birth, Cora begins to panic about whether she will survive as she questions whether God will punish her for her infidelity, though Samuel proves little help in providing comfort. While waiting outside, Samuel has a surprise when Elizabeth - his wife - turns up with "friend" Agnes. McGurk is left with Agnes, who he finds is a lesbian, while Samuel and Elizabeth head off to talk about their relationship, which is unlikely to feature any kind of reconciliation. Cora eventually gives birth to a baby who looks nothing like Ezekiel and the process of selecting a name begins.
2. Even More Trying Times
McGurk is at Isaac's Bathhouse having a wash for the first time in some time, as Samuel takes to blaming him for the lack of customers, though a nearby store is possibly more to blame. Elizabeth and Agnes arrive also looking for the opportunity to have a bath, and end up buying the bathhouse Isaac refuses. They also reveal that they own half the waterfront, after making their wealth in trading businesses. Cora meanwhile is feeling exceptionally tired due to looking after the baby, while Joshua is feeling restless, and Mary is aggravated at Brimshaw's lack of interest in her. Ezekiel meanwhile is found in a tree by McGurk, after being fired from his job, and has taken to worrying about what everyone might think about him. Samuel also finds out that Mary's friend are planning on attacking his rival's store, though requires McGurk to be made drunk to prevent interference while Mary sets about dealing with Brimshaw. The rebels end up incorrectly attacking Samuel's shop, whose bad day leads to Joshua being mothered by Elizabeth and wants to buy his shop.
3. Some More Trying Times
Samuel has taken to playing the banjo badly, much to McGurk's annoyance. He also contemplates his plan to go on a southward voyage playing his instrument, and his refusal to sell the shop to Elizabeth. Mary and Brimshaw have taking to spending time alone, though she wonders about his lack of gumption and passion, as he ignores her attempts to get him to play rough. Ezekiel meanwhile has taken to "measuring trees" though he reveals his recent firing, leading him to hide out in the woods. Cora is lamenting the situation of having to look after the baby without servants. Joshua has also taking to reading a medical textbook in the hope of learning about animals. Ezekiel eventually arrives back home where he finds Cora has forgiven his disappearing act. Brimshaw's straight-laced nature has left Mary to leave him for her rebel meeting, though the two are being spied on by McGurk, dressed as an elk, who is practising his skills. Elizabeth also returns to the shop to discuss reintroducing herself to the children, when Cora arrives to purchase groceries, which makes things awkward.
4. And Yet Even More Trying Times
Joshua is juggling chickens which is proving irritating to Samuel who is struggling with the shop accounts, with the store still doing badly. Mary arrives after spending time in the woods planning with the rebel militia, closely followed by Brimshaw and McGurk. Samuel also finds out that Obediah's store, his rival, is doing great business as the town has taken to shopping there. To make things worse, Ezekiel arrives, with news that Samuel's wealthy aunt Sybil has died. This leads Samuel struggling to concentrate on anything but riches. Heading to the will reading, Sybil has left her family seven thousand each though requires them each to stand in the town square to praise God in a week's time, otherwise none gets any money. While celebrating, Mary states that she won't declare a belief in God despite the effect it will have. Everyone begins to turn on Mary who believes she is free to choose her own path, as Samuel commands her to comply with Sybil's wishes. As the family come to terms with the loss of the money, which the lawyer has run off with, McGurk makes a surprising offer to Samuel.
5. A Bunch More Trying Times
Samuel is losing at chess to McGurk, who apparently hasn't played before, as the conversation turns to their attitudes towards life. Mary is also in a bad mood, which McGurk puts down to Brimshaw's lack of progress with regard to their relationship. When Brimshaw turns up, he introduces them to cavalry officer Captain Dashmount, who immediately takes an interest in Mary. Ezekiel returns home to Cora where she has discovered his secret of being fired. Dashmount has intentions towards Mary who he intends on taking riding, which leaves Brimshaw feeling threatened as Mary's honour is at risk. The situation results in Brimshaw challenging Dashmount to a duel, who happens to be a formidable opponent. As the duel approaches, Cora asks Samuel for advice as to Abraham Smith, the father of her baby, which leads Ezekiel to discover the truth about his supposed child. Brimshaw also prevails in the duel, unknowingly with some help from McGurk, while Joshua is in trouble for attending the event despite Samuel's insistence that he not do. McGurk resorts to another game of chess with Samuel to prevent blurting out Cora's secret at the local bar.
6. Still in Trying Times
Elizabeth turns up at the shop to find Samuel chastising an 'evil genius' rat, and continues to pursue the purchase of his business. Joshua also finds himself in a fight with some Red Coats, while Mary and Brimshaw discuss their relationship as they struggle to contain themselves from having sex. They are interrupted by Cora who is looking for Ezekiel, who has in turn gone off to find Abraham Smith. Mary also gets into trouble when the rebel alliance catches her with Brimshaw, who take the pair prisoner. Ezekiel meanwhile is challenged to a battle with weapons by Abraham, as Cora arrives having been captured. Samuel and McGurk continue their venture through the woods to find Joshua, and have to avoid both British and militia forces, before eventually ending up at the militia hideaway where they discover everyone else. McGurk attempts to defect as the rebels prepare to kill them, they are interrupted by Elizabeth who pays them off to secure their freedom. Back at the shop, Brimshaw questions Samuel's debt to his wife as McGurk is court-marshalled for desertion.
1. Young Love
Walter and Mary's relationship is now on course, when Brimshaw's father turns up looking for his son as he hasn't responded to his letter to return to England for an arranged marriage to his cousin, Emily. Joshua meanwhile encounters Emily who has been brought to America, who is immediately captivated by his size and ability to wrestle with a grizzly bear. Back at the shop, Walter's father is angry at Mary's vocal opinion and general disobedience, before Joshua and Emily return to ask whether they can be married. Senior Brimshaw tells Walter that he has just twenty-four hours to decide on his future, or else have his inheritance removed. Samuel also has to contend with offers of a large sum of money to break up the relationship from Walter's father, which he and McGurk gladly attempt, though ultimately fail at. McGurk's explanation to Emily that Joshua practices sodomy ends especially badly for Walter when he disinherits him for the rumour that he has been a lover of Joshua's, results in Walter and Mary growing closer, and Joshua losing his love.
2. A Kiss is Just a Kiss
Samuel takes to writing in his journal about his recent news which involves closing down the shop to reopen as "Sam's Place", a bar and brothel, who he is running in partnership with McGurk. Joshua meanwhile is running the bar badly, while McGurk is playing the piano. Brimshaw meanwhile is upset at Mary's continued rallying against King George, and the pair end up in a shouting match as Mary takes to slapping Brimshaw in the hopes he will get physical with her. McGurk throws out a German man who vomited in the porridge, which results in a stand-off, when Mary insults them. However, Brimshaw's attempts to bring them all together with song has McGurk resort to dishing out free coffees. Samuel is soon visited by Ingrid, an old flame, who needs help for her husband Gerard to return to France. Heading to the docks, Samuel, McGurk, Joshua, Ezekiel, Mary and Ingrid, set about smuggling Gerard out disguised as a goat. However, the group are caught by Brimshaw until McGurk hits him over the head with a frying pan. Ingrid suggests staying in America with Samuel, though he easily convinces her to leave with her husband.
3. The God-Given Talent
McGurk takes to imagining what he will do when back home, and imagines himself as a rich lord who has a large house and many women. He is however confronted by a descendant of Samuel who demands money from his estate after leaving America owing a large debt. Ezekiel meanwhile tries to convince Cora to submit to him, as she has taken to doing a large amount of writing, though Ezekiel is shocked at the content. Samuel is contemplating his failure as a father as McGurk sets about rigging a log chopping contest which features Joshua, so that he and Samuel can win a large amount of money. Mary is attending a rebel meeting when Brimshaw arrives, though continues to be ignorant of what is being plotted, and sets about seeking Ezekiel's help to broaden his mind. Cora's manuscript is shown to Samuel by Ezekiel, who wants Mary to be punished, believing that she is the creator of the manuscript. Samuel sets about trying to stop Cora from her writings for fear of her being ostracised, though Roy ends up finding a way to get it published. McGurk and Samuel end up losing big when an old Norwegian woman wins the log chopping competition.
4. Over the Rainbow
While trying to write in his journal, Samuel is being distracted by McGurk who is telling him about his dream fantasies. Samuel also believes the United States are tiltering on the brink of war as the Declaration of Independence is due to be signed. Mary also finds her pig, Miss Fatty, has been confiscated by British army Colonel Witcherley. Seeking help from her father, she ends up confronting Witcherley herself and stealing the pig back as a heavy storm arrives in Baltimore. Deciding to head to Philadelphia to speak with the Continental Congress, Mary encounters Ezekiel trying and failing to sell insurance policies, before resorting to seek shelter in a cave. She awakens to find Miss Fatty has vanished, and replaced with Brimshaw, who suggests that she is dreaming the events when talking gherkins appear. Continuing on the journey, McGurk turns up as a scarecrow, Joshua appears as a tin man and she encounters Samuel as a large elephant, though she insists on them joining her on her trip. Eventually, Mary awakens in her own bed and discovers that she suffered a hit to the head from a falling tree.
5. Them Thar Hills
Stuck talking to McGurk, Samuel contemplates the dullness of his life in opposition to McGurk's well-travelled adventures. The lack of customers in the shop is also leading to the feeling of despair and lack of excitement. Joshua announces that he has sold a cow to solve their money issues, while Brimshaw turns up demanding to know why McGurk hasn't been out on patrol, before a customer arrives looking to purchase tools to begin searching for gold, as well as prospective business partners. Setting about revealing a map, the man says he is known as "Mad Pete" and came across the map in the forest on the body of a prospector. Up on the mountain and heading towards the site marked on the map, Mad Pete reveals that he the body he found the map on, was shot by Indians with arrows. The group are soon attacked by an Indian tribe which leads to them planning on negotiating before running away. The group have to contend with hardships of travelling the mountain, dealing with Mad Pete who continually forgets to advise them of upcoming problems, as McGurk and Brimshaw both become obsessed with finding riches.
6. Secrets and Lies
Heading into McGurk's room for a chat, Samuel discusses the prospect of him leaving alongside Brimshaw after three years. Believing that war is drawing closer, Samuel hopes to get them out of the house to prevent having to fight them, as well as continuing to ward Brimshaw off marrying Mary. Ezekiel arrives home after some time to find that Cora is giving birth to her sixth child, though he finds a man, Stan Smith, pretending to be the mid-wife and has a distinct ginger hair colouring alongside his supposed newest baby. Mary meanwhile is angry at her father for trying to throw out Brimshaw and reveals to Samuel that she wants to move to England with him. Ezekiel discovers that Cora finds him repulsive and he married her for money. Joshua also reveals his intelligent self when he suggests that he has been behind efforts to get Mary and Brimshaw aboard a boat. Brimshaw and McGurk set about finding a house to stay in, and head to Elizabeth and Agnes to seek shelter where the Englishmen find that the women are holding onto some family secrets. With war due in a couple of days, everyone takes to enjoying the time that is left, though McGurk decides on retiring instead.
1. Ezekiel is Kidnapped
The year is now 1775 and Ezekiel has taken to chronicling the situation. Samuel meanwhile is concerned about the impact on the community and families, as well as the continued billeting of McGurk and Brimshaw which has drawn suspicion on himself. McGurk meanwhile is delighted that war has broken out with people beginning to shoot at him. Brimshaw meanwhile confronts Mary with the state of their relationship given the current situation, which ends in them arguing. Cora communicates with her father by letter to reveal news that Ezekiel has been kidnapped by rebels and put on trial, while out documenting the events, resulting her in asking Samuel to rescue him. Samuel arrives to negotiate with the rebels just in time, though the situation proves tricky when they recognise McGurk who has previously sold them weapons and offered consulting advice. Brimshaw and Mary also turn up, with Brimshaw attempting to arrest the rebels and McGurk for insubordination which proves a mistake until McGurk steps in.
2. McGurk Runs the Shop
Samuel is writing in his journal again about the events of the war, as business has been badly affected. He is also heading north, away from the upheaval, to his sisters Belle who lives in a country cottage in New Jersey. With little care for the shop, McGurk takes to running it while Samuel is away and decides to use his craftiness to improve the financial situation. Wondering whether he can use Joshua's pet bear in fights to earn money, McGurk discovers that Ezekiel has dressed himself in a bear costume, due to a bounty on his head. Meanwhile, Brimshaw considers propsing to Mary but to do so would require him becoming a turncoat. Just twenty miles out of Baltimore, Samuel encounters his sister in a bar and discovers the reason that they fell out many years ago. Back at the shop, Mary decides on accepting Brimshaw's proposal of marriage, who promptly withdraws it for for fear of further rejection. Samuel also returns to the shop with Belle, and niece Patience, and introduces her to everyone, which leads her to decide to head off to Mexico instead.
3. George Washington
Believing that he has died and gone to Hell, Samuel finds McGurk appearing as the devil. Eventually waking up to the shop having been torched, Brimshaw, Joshua and Mary attempt to escape from an upper floor while Samuel shows no sign of panic. Eventually they resort to jumping with a landing on Joshua. McGurk also makes it out safe having been drunk on the ground floor, and reveals that the shop was set on fire by both rebels and Redcoats. Brimshaw suggests heading north to speak to George Washington, though ends up riding off into the sunset alone. Believing that Brimshaw will face certain death, Samuel sets about going after him to finally commit to doing something, alongside Mary, Joshua, and McGurk. Brimshaw eventually arrives in Philadelphia to talk to Washington, and advises him to negotiate with the British to end the conflict. Samuel and the rest of the group also arrive to speak to Washington, who decides to capitulate after hearing everyones advice. However, a lack of quill leads Washington unable to sign the document announcing his submission.
Brimshaw and McGurk are awaiting a boat to return to England, with Brimshaw absent without leave and McGurk being hunted for crimes. Samuel, Mary and Joshua arrive at the dock, with Mary insisting on travelling with Brimshaw. An approaching Redcoat mob forces them all to travel, with hesitation, with the drunk Captain Svensson. On the boat, Samuel questions Mary's relationship with Brimshaw being doomed to no future, as McGurk recalls a former love who was eaten by a tiger. At dinner with the captain, they find themselves eating an albatross he has shot, and begin to question his experience. Things turn worse however when they are boarded by pirates and quickly tied up. The lead pirate, Captain Bloodbath, proves to be rather unstable and resorts to shooting and killing his own men for fun. Eleven days into their imprisonment, Joshua and Mary have quickly become accustomed to life as a pirates underling with Mary being made second-in-command, which results in the death of the remaining crew when they protest a woman being hired. When Svensson suggests shooting another albatross for food, Captain Bloothbath casts them adrift leading them to consider cannibalism of each other.
Samuel, Joshua, Mary, Brimshaw, and McGurk manage to land on an English beach alive, with Mary managing to get setup a campfire. The group soon find McGurk has been stashing a huge amount of money inside his wooden leg, with Brimshaw insistent they continue on with their task of convincing the king to end the war in America. McGurk and Samuel head to get changes of clothes to blend in, while Mary heads to a hairdressers with Brimshaw to consider the plan as he writes a letter to his father in Dorset to help arrange for him to see the king. The stylist takes a fancy to Joshua however when he turns up. Meeting back up as a group, they head to find lodgings in the area where McGurk grew up. Eventually arriving at his former home, his daughter, also named Mary, answers the door. His son, Joshua, also turns up with another uncanny resemblence with news that their sister Cora has headed off to marry a pompous idiot. Lord Brimshaw returns a letter to Walter refusing any help and leading him to work out a plan to see the king on his own.
6. The King
Dreaming that he has become the king of England, Samuel imagines that he has won the war over America, with Brimshaw serving as a lord while McGurk is treasurer. However, the situation leads Mary to lead a rebellion to dispose of him as king. Samuel eventually awakens to them travelling to stay with Brimshaw's aunt - the duchess of Montford. Discovering that she is holding a ball which the king will be attending, while McGurk thinks he may have a chance with the duchess. Mary also finds unwanted attention from some rich youngsters, as Samuel attempts to get her interested in the Prince of Wales. Brimshaw meanwhile tries to lobby Lord North to end the war in America, as competition in love increases for McGurk as Samuel contemplates chasing the duchess himself. Eventually getting to discuss the war with the king, who is somewhat insane, the rest of the group arrive to convince him to end the battle. However, Mary and Joshua revealing America's resources has him change his mind, and the news of deserters Brimshaw and McGurk lead them all to be held in the Tower of London. However, a surprise rescuer appears to help them escape.