Previously on Poldark: Ross went on trial and somehow managed to be found not guilty, despite trying his damnest to get a noose around his neck. Francis, too, decided it was time to shuffle off the mortal coil, but his gun misfired, so now he’s reconsidering. Demelza’s pregnant again, but hasn’t told Ross because he doesn’t want another child. George is now determined to take over Wheal Leisure purely so he can control Ross, the local heiress has set her sights on Dr Enys, and Jud and Prudie get their old jobs back.
Ross is back home, and back to being a total dick to his wife, ignoring her and very rudely abandoning her when they have a guest (McNeil, his old army buddy, who clearly has an interest in Demelza). Demelza gets tired of it and lets him have it, because it’s not like she doesn’t have enough to deal with just now. Ross gets mad for a while, but then they both apologise and he admits that the insane interest on the £1,000 loan he took out last year is due: all £400 of it. They only manage to rustle up the cash by basically selling everything, including the rugs they stand on and nearly all the livestock. In order to do the latter, Demelza has to go deal with the local lech, who gets very handsy with her and basically tells her he’ll only buy her cow if she sleeps with him. McNeil appears just when he’s needed, and promises to look out for Demelza in the future.
George, of course, knows that Ross is in financial trouble, and he’s hard at work taking the saddest boxing lessons and buying up shares in Wheal Leisure. He sends his oily front man, Tankard, to a meeting of the Wheal Leisure shareholders, during which Ross figures out exactly what George is up to.
George also sends his goons after Jud, for failing to commit perjury despite being paid the handsome sum of 15 guineas to do so. The guys get a little, shall we say, overly enthusiastic and end up beating Jud to death. He’s brought home and Prudie wails and wails and buys herself some widow’s weeds while his body is wrapped in a shroud and left on a table at Ross’s. About halfway through the wake, the body disappears, because of course Jud’s not dead at all (you can’t kill the irritating comic relief!).
Francis now has a whole new lease on life. He’s happy! He’s playing affectionately with his kid! He’s doing farm work and inviting all his tenants and workers to a harvest party! It’s so sweet and joyful, you just know the poor guy is doomed. Still, at least he and Ross finally make peace, with help from Elizabeth and Demelza. Francis and Ross finish off the last of the good liquor and talk. Francis tells him all about the falling out with George and admits he’s planning on doing some speculative digging on his land, hoping to create another mine.
After the harvest party, Ross has a bit of a moment with Elizabeth, which starts off seeming like two old friends reminiscing warmly, but turns super flirty by the end of it. Elizabeth shuts it all down, but not before Demelza overhears and gets really depressed.
She and Ross put up at Trenwith for the night, in the same room they occupied the night Demelza told Ross she was pregnant with Julia. After a bit of a chat, he finally realises that Demelza’s expecting again, and he’s not at all happy about it, but begrudgingly says that, well, if a kid’s on the way, a kid’s on the way and there’s not much to be done about that. Way to be supportive there, Ross. Now, nobody’s happy.
Except for Caroline, and maybe Enys. Caroline’s basically stalking him, insisting she has a sore throat, and it’s reeeeeally bothering her and oh, god, it’s not Putrid Throat, is it? He doubts it, and dismisses her, but then he’s summoned to her uncle’s the night of their harvest party. He checks her out and then yanks a fishbone out of her throat. Caroline is saved! Her dog will be so pleased. And Enys seems rather pleased as well.