Previously on Poldark: George started making moves on Elizabeth, Ross made extra money by helping out the local smugglers, and Enys fell for Caroline.
First things first: Enys is not dead. He is, however, single again, which is good news for those fans who lean more Dwight than Ross.
In one of the show’s more tightly plotted, tense episodes, we finally learned who our informant is (shockingly, they have no connection to George Warleggan). And Elizabeth pouts and acts like a bit of a brat, which makes me want to pull her aside and tell her, ‘Honey, you’re a strong, capable young woman, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Even though they’ve been telling you differently your whole life. You DO NOT need George or Ross to run your life. You can do this! Or, if you can’t, leave everything to Aunt Agatha. She seems to have it pretty well in hand.’
But one’s upbringing is a tough thing to escape.
Ok, on to the episode. Anxiety is thick in the air, for many reasons. In France, the king has been executed, which makes everyone in Britain with even the teensiest bit of privilege kinda nervous. Except George. I guess he figures his boxing lessons will protect him. He’s totally chill, but keeps sending Elizabeth dire messages, warning her of impending danger and getting her so worked up she sends for Ross.
When Ross fails to show up when summoned, she turns to George for assistance, which he happily gives. It was, after all, his plan all along to have her in his debt in an attempt to maneuvre her into marriage.
Ross isn’t around to receive that message, because he’s finally discovered the whereabouts of Mark, the husband/murderer of Enys’s late paramour, Keren. Mark, you remember, fled after telling Ross there’s copper in that there Wheal Grace mine. Once he has his info, Ross hitches a ride with the smugglers to go meet Mark and find out what he knows about the copper in Wheal Grace. And he knows…nothing. Apparently what he saw was quartz. Cue the sad trumpet music of failure.
[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Apparently what Mark saw in the mine was not copper, but quartz. Cue the sad trumpet music of failure.[/cryout-pullquote]
Ross turns homeward, unaware he’s about to sail right into an ambush. Luckily, he has Enys to save the day! Enys, along with Demelza, has sussed out the identity of the informant. And it’s one of the local men, Charlie.
Here’s how it happened: Charlie’s fiance, Rosina, has a trick knee and is a patient of Enys’s. When her knee gives out unexpectedly, Demelza goes to fetch Enys and finds him packing to elope with Caroline. The elopement is a move he’s not been too keen on, but Caroline insists it’s the only way. If the deed is already done, her uncle will have to accept it. And if he doesn’t, well, she’s prepared to be a country doctor’s wife, if that’s what it takes. Caroline is being pretty amazing, here.
Enys does the Mr Incredible, ‘I’ve still got time!’ thing and decides to swing by Rosina’s on his way to meet Caroline. He fixes her knee, and Rosina mentions that Charlie will be missing the smugglers’ drop that night, on account of an illness that’s kept him in bed. Doctor’s orders! Enys frowns and says he gave no such orders, then marches over to Charlie’s to check him out. Charlie isn’t ill at all, and Enys calls him out as the informant. He finds further proof at Charlie’s: a book he happens to know belongs to the local customs official’s son. It really does help to be the only competent doctor for miles, doesn’t it?
Enys races off to light a signal fire to warn Ross and the others. He manages it, but is caught by the local militia and marched off to jail. Caroline is left waiting in a carriage for ages before she finally gives up and takes Horace the Pug back home. Meanwhile, down on the beach, Ross is spotted by Jim Vercoe, of the local law enforcement, and punches the guy in the face in order to escape. Something tells me that won’t go well for him.
The militia descend on Ross’s place, keeping Prudie and Demelza trapped there so they can’t warn Ross. Demelza still manages to escape, using her kid as an excuse, and she finds Ross after he flees the cove and smuggles him into the library. He conceals himself behind a fake wall in the space under the floorboards where he’d previously been hiding the smugglers’ goods (which, thankfully, were removed just a few days before). When the soldiers find the hiding space, they fail to find Ross, who remains concealed behind the wall until well after they leave.
The following day, the fallout comes. Charlie is discovered dead on the beach, though whether it was murder or suicide is unclear (and nobody seems to care). Caroline has left for London with her uncle, leaving a surprisingly nice and fairly mature letter for Enys, telling him she basically harbours no ill feelings but figures he put his love of his patients above his infatuation with her. Awww, poor Enys and Caroline (she really grew on me!) Enys, get on that horse and get to London! You want this woman? Go fight for her!
And Ross: steer clear of smugglers for a little while, ok? Though, from the look of things, Ross is back in the dock again next week. Oh, Ross.
Dowager Countess’s Award for Splendid Late-Life Awesomeness goes to Aunt Agatha, who not only tried to talk sense into Elizabeth by reminding her that Ross has his own damn family to look after and maybe can’t be at her beck and call all the time, but also brandished a flintlock and declared herself ready for whatever comes. I desperately hope she still has it the next time George comes a-calling.