Poldark: I’m Gonna Do My Own Thing

Ross and Tholly land in France and hole up in a small market town. There, they wait for word of the local prisoners while trying not to look too disgusted by the revolutionary insanity going on around them. Unfortunately, Ross isn’t quite good enough at hiding his feelings, and he attracts the attention of a particularly zealous barmaid. Before long, he’s being accused of spying and is tossed onto a ship back to England. But Ross, being Ross, has to do one of those suicidally stupid but noble things he does. He dives off the ship, swims back to shore, and goes right back to the inn where he and Tholly got caught earlier. Brilliant, Ross. He’s caught again, of course, but manages to fight his way out and escape, taking with him the names of the prisoners.

Enys is amongst them, but we already knew he was alive because we see a few shots of him tending to wounded British soldiers in prison, rocking a hipster beard.

Back in Cornwall, Sam Carne leads some of his followers in a singalong near the church, as the Trenwith crew arrive for the Sunday service. George twitches a bit and sends his right-hand thug to find out the names of the men behind this.

Demelza decides the guys need a safe place to do their preaching, so she shows them an old, disused chapel that Francis had gifted to the locals. I’m slightly confused, because I thought Ross was letting them use a cottage or something on his land, but apparently not. The guys get to work fixing the place up, but of course George finds out what they’re up to and shuts the whole thing down.

Because the agreement with Francis was only verbal, there’s not much anyone can do about this. Demelza, again coming to the rescue–what would any of these people do without her?–sends Sam and one of the better-known locals to plead with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth seems sympathetic, but when George comes home and she mentions this meeting, he tells her exactly who Sam is and insists this is Ross messing with them, by sending his brother-in-law to oppose everything the Trenwithians stand for. Elizabeth, probably fed up with everyone’s pointed remarks about how dark baby Valentine is, snaps, gets really angry, and agrees to up stakes and head to Truro with George. They’ll stay in their townhouse with the baby, leaving Geoffrey Charles behind. It seems a bit odd that Elizabeth’s suddenly so willing to just leave her firstborn at Trenwith, when she was so down about not getting to spend as much time with him anymore.

Geoffrey Charles has something of a project, though he doesn’t quite know it: he’s providing ample opportunities for Drake and Morwenna to meet up and give each other googly eyes across beaches and the like. Aww. But this is not going to end well, and we all know it.

George has taken up his seat as a magistrate and is doling out justice just as ably as you’d expect. He sentences one guy to be whipped for poaching a pheasant, but the worst is yet to come. On the day Elizabeth comes to watch her husband at work, he’s hearing the case of a maid who’s bringing assault charges against the nephew of a rich man. Naturally, the rich man not only gets off, but the maid is then charged with perjury and will have to stand trial herself. Elizabeth is so horrified she orders up some laudenam and begins hitting it and the sherry bottle hard. You reap what you sow, Elizabeth.

Demelza, meanwhile, is trying to 1) not freak out over how long her husband’s been gone, 2) comfort Caroline, who’s only barely holding it together, and 3) trying to sort out what her brothers can do, now every avenue for a new church seems closed to them. She finally fully goes, ‘oh, F it’ and gives them a large storage building on Ross’s land. They’re over the moon. They’ll get their church after all!

When Ross comes home, he’s none too pleased to hear she’s done this, but she points out that he keeps leaving her in charge with no indication of when or even whether he’ll be back, so she’s going to run things the way she sees fit. He backs down immediately, because if anyone is keenly aware of the awesomeness of Demelza, it’s Ross. And he also knows NOT TO MESS WITH THIS WOMAN. Man, I love her. She’s basically the reason I keep watching this show.

5 thoughts on “Poldark: I’m Gonna Do My Own Thing

  1. When I heard about Debbie Horsfield’s complaint that there weren’t enough Demelza scenes for the series’ adaptation of “The Black Moon”, I had no idea that she would change so much from the novel.

    I don’t recall Demelza (or Ross) being that interested in helping Sam Carne establish a Methodist church. I guess this was Ms. Horsfield’s way of putting Demelza on a bigger pedestal than she is already on at this point. I don’t recall Caroline Penenven and Dwight Enys getting married in “The Black Moon”. I recall them getting married in “The Four Swans” during a big wedding that included the Warleggans as guests.

    Naturally, the rich man not only gets off, but the maid is then charged with perjury and will have to stand trial herself. Elizabeth is so horrified she orders up some laudenam and begins hitting it and the sherry bottle hard. You reap what you sow, Elizabeth.

    She reaps what she sows? What exactly did Elizabeth sow? Marrying George in the first place? Is it really a crime to marry someone for money, especially when that person is aware that he or she has been chosen for their wealth? Especially in the late 18th century? Ross didn’t marry Demelza for love. I believe he married her as a middle-finger gesture to his upper-class neighbors. Demelza had seduced Ross in the first place so that he would have a reason to keep her at Nampara (as a kitchen maid and mistress) and she could avoid returning to her father’s home. Yet, neither of them have ever been condemned for their actions.

    As for Elizabeth’s situation regarding Valentine . . . that is Ross’ fault. Just because Elizabeth had agreed to marry George didn’t give Ross the right to break into her home and force himself on her. She never promised to marry him and he was married to someone else at the time. Why does Debbie Horsfield and the BBC expect us to be horrified by George allowing a rapist to evade justice, when they’ve been so busy trying to coerce the public into believing that Ross is not a rapist . . . when he clearly is?

    And could someone explain why Debbie Horsfield had decided to transform Elizabeth into a drug addict? And why on earth did she transform Elizabeth into a cold and distant mother? Elizabeth Chynoweth Poldark Warleggan a cold mother? What the hell? What was Horsfield trying to say? That Elizabeth is paying a price for marrying George? Why does she have to pay a price in the first place? Oh . . . that’s right. Because she married for money. How dare she? (eyeroll).

    It’s one thing to make the occasional changes while adapting a novel, play, etc. Debbie Horsfield is no longer making the occasional changes. She is obviously rewriting Winston Graham’s 1973 novel. I don’t know how long I can put up with this crap.

  2. Judging from the size of Demelza’s baby bump, the thickness of Dr Enys’ beard, and how big Ross Jr is getting, Ross must have been in France for about six months. If he spent the entire time sitting in that sleazy bar, no wonder the barmaid got suspicious ! When she came on to him, and Ross told her he was married, I was hoping he would add “And my wife will kill me if I give her an STD.”

  3. Elizabeth has been wilfulling blinding herself to just how horrible a person George is; she refused to believe that he tried every trick he could to get Ross hanged, for instance. But when he not only let the aristocratic rapist go, but prosecuted the innocent victim, even Elizabeth couldn’t pretend he has any human decency. Being Elizabeth, she doesn’t confront him, she just starts hitting the laudanum. Next thing you know, she’ll be an addict. Serve her right.

  4. Ross came riding up to Nampara atop Seamus. But, Ross left for France by boat, leaving Seamus at home in the stable. I can only assume that the two of them are psychically linked, and that the faithful steed galloped along the cliffs until he met up with Ross, who had just swum all the way from France.

  5. That seedy French tavern is called Le Coque Rouge, which one reviewer quipped is also the name of the disease you can catch from the barmaids ;-D .

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