Aiden Turner and Elinor Tomlinson in episode 4 of Poldark

Poldark: Family Time

Previously on Poldark: Francis and Ross buried the hatchet, Caroline started moving in on Enys, Demelza found out she was expecting, and George had Jud beaten almost to death.

I’m so glad we still get to see Verity! Poor Verity, though, is pretty bummed out that her brother won’t speak to her, and her stepchildren shun her. But, happily for her, things are moving in a positive direction on both fronts. Blamey runs into Ross and Francis in town, and Ross basically orders Francis to just get over it already and take a nice walk with himself and Blamey. And Francis does! (He’s in a good mood, for reasons we’ll get to a little later). So, while Francis is not exactly inviting his brother-in-law over for poker night, he’s at least on cordial speaking terms with him.

Blamey also gets some news that both his children plan to pay a visit. Verity is all a-flutter over it, even moreso when Blamey’s daughter shows up early and is your garden variety teenage brat. When Blamey returns home, Verity panics and tells him she can’t possibly meet his son, because his daughter already hates her, and oh, God, this is just a disaster, isn’t it? And then Blamey’s all, ‘Hey, have you met my son James? He’s awesome!’ And he is! James is totally sweet and super excited to meet his stepmom. He even good-naturedly scolds his sister for sulking and reminds her that this is their family now, so it’s time to suck it up. Yay! Things for Verity are looking up!

Meanwhile, a bored Caroline sends Enys a note, scolding him for not having come to give her a check-up in the three months that have passed since the fishbone incident (which happened at harvest time, remember, which means that they should all be in the dead of winter right now. And yet, no one wears a cloak or anything and they’re all hanging around in their lush, blooming rose gardens. Whatever. Time on this show is a mess.) Enys reluctantly shows up to examine her, taking time out of his busy schedule of trying to cure the locals’ scurvy, which is damn difficult when they can’t afford decent food. Caroline baits him, entertaining herself by basically becoming the worst possible human being and shrugging that they should just let the poor die off, because poor people are a hassle. Enys is horrified by her, but then she makes up for it by ordering large quantities of oranges to be distributed throughout the district. And then she takes herself off to London, because she knows you’ve gotta leave a guy wanting more.

[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Caroline entertains herself by basically becoming the worst possible human being and shrugging that they should just let the poor die off, because poor people are a hassle[/cryout-pullquote]

And now onto the meaty stories. Cornwall has something of a history with smuggling, and the law is starting to crack down. It turns out that Ross’s cove is pretty much the only one that isn’t staked out, so a smuggler neighbour comes to ask Ross for access to it. Ross will allow it in return for £200 per shipment, plus salt so the locals can preserve some of the fish they’re bringing in (Demelza being one of those locals). The man reluctantly agrees. Demelza, having just seen her husband barely escape being hanged, is not at all on board with this plan. She and Ross are already pissy with each other because she took the boat out and went fishing. Pregnant ladies can’t do that, you know! Except this pregnant lady is trying to keep body and soul together and knows they need to eat, and they definitely can’t eat the rock Ross is cleaving out of his mine.

Over at Wheal Leisure, Ross is thiiiiiiis close to hitting a lode of copper (he thinks) which lies between Wheal Leisure and a defunct (and apparently waterlogged) mine of his father’s, Wheal Grace. He asks his shareholders for yet another grace period so they can press on with the works, but Tankard leads a revolt amongst them, and they vote not to move forward. So now Ross is stuck.

Or is he? He strikes upon a plan that will screw over George and get him the money he needs to start working Wheal Grace: he sells half his shares in Wheal Leisure for a large sum of money, then goes to Francis and suggests they join forces (and finances) to work the mine together. Francis happily agrees and, in perhaps the smartest move anyone’s made in this entire story thus far, he puts all his shares in his son’s name, so they won’t be in danger from George (who’s being really creepy with Elizabeth these days, inviting her for a visit and then subjecting her to a bunch of threats).

[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Ross strikes upon a plan that will screw over George and get him the money he needs to start working Wheal Grace[/cryout-pullquote]

After all the papers are signed, Francis tries to tell Ross that the money he had set aside was payment from George for giving up the names of everyone in the Cairnmore Mining concern. Ross cuts him off before he can get the news out, but don’t worry, George is here to tell Ross everything in Francis’s place! And once he does, Ross finally just kicks his weaselly little ass, like we’ve all been hoping he would since, oh, the first episode or so.

Will this cause a permanent rift between Ross and Francis? Nah.

Demelza gives birth to a boy and the whole Trenwith crew, along with Verity and Blamey are invited to the christening. Afterwards they visit the new mine and look up at it proudly and Ross and Demelza have a cute moment which is just enough for her to put up with his crap for a little while longer. Man, though, I really feel like this girl deserves better, most of the time.

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