Poldark: Ross-n Hood

Drake actually thinks that this thing he has going on with Morwenna is going to end up well for everyone. Bless.

Now Elizabeth and George are gone, sweet Drake can openly visit Trenwith, ostensibly to spend time with his little buddy, Geoffrey Charles. But his real motives are so obvious that nobody bothers to point out it’s a bit creepy for a grown man to want to be BFFs with an eight-year-old. Aunt Agatha uses the situation to her advantage by passing on a, ‘you know, you haven’t visited me in a really long time,’ message to Ross.

Ross hears it and immediately invites her to the christening of his and Demelza’s newborn daughter. Demelza worries a bit, since Ross did promise to steer clear of Trenwith, but he points out that this is his aunt we’re talking about, and he’s damn well going to invite her. Unfortunately, she does not get the invitation. Later, Ross goes to visit her and realises she’s being kept in freezing cold rooms, doubtless in the hope she’ll fall ill and just die. Ross is, understandably, not happy about this.

Geoffrey and Morwenna attend the christening, and afterwards Demelza gets a full read on the situation between her brother and Morwenna and pulls the girl aside for a very gentle but very necessary, ‘you know this can’t happen, right?’ talk. Morwenna does, and agrees it’s best to break this thing off.

Caroline’s the baby’s godmother, with Enys godfather in absentia. Caroline’s hopeful that he’ll be ransomed soon, and trying to keep herself busy in the meantime. But the glimpses we get of Enys in that awful prison, trying his damnedest to ┬ákeep men alive with no medicines or clean water, when their jailers actually have it in their best financial interest to see them dead, suggest he’s stuck there for a while. And even if he isn’t, he’s not going to be the same man when he returns.

It’s Christmastime, so Geoffrey and Morwenna are summoned to Truro, where George soon learns of their christening escapade. Elizabeth insists that this is unacceptable and that Morwenna must be punished. George agrees, and his idea of punishing her seems to be to marry the poor girl off to the most odious man he knows: Reverend Whitworth. Whitworth is essentially what you’d get if you crossed Mr Collins with Nigel Farage and threw in a touch of Gollum, just for good measure. Even George thinks the man’s a reptile, which just goes to show how awful Whitworth is. After all, George’s response to the news of the new Poldark baby’s birth was, ‘let’s hope they’re more careful with this one.’ What sort of a reprehensible sociopath says something like that?

Once she’s told she’s about to be married off, Morwenna panics and does the whole, ‘but I don’t love him!’ thing. Elizabeth tells her that love doesn’t put food on the table, though it doesn’t sound like Whitworth puts food on the table either. The man’s in a huge amount of debt and clearly looking to this marriage as a way of clearing it. It may do just that, but it’s not going to fix the bigger problem. And I’d just like to point out that this man lost his wife only a week ago. Yeah, he’s a piece of work.

Back home, Ross and Demelza realise just how dire things are for many of the locals. The harvest failed, and people are starving. Ross gathers together his wealthiest and most reliable friends and sets out a plan to buy grain to distribute to those in need. They’re all like, ‘we’re so in!’

Demelza and Caroline doll themselves up and set out to raise funds from wealthy locals, playing on all their petty jealousies, ‘Oh, but so-and-so gave us 25 guineas! And we’re sure you’ll do better, right?’ and raising quite the sum. In a note that manages to be both playful and disturbing, these scenes are intercut with those of Whitworth and George bargaining over Morwenna’s dowry. So, we have two women flexing their muscles and exerting their power, and two men exerting their power over another woman. Steps forward, steps back.

The funds are collected, and the grain bought, but since there are so many desperate people about, the grain can only be moved late at night, and then stored in Samuel’s new church. Sam pouts about his church being used for this purpose, apparently forgetting that the building was originally a storage spot and also this is food meant to help starving people. I guess Sam’s Christian the way many in the Republican party are Christian: he’ll talk the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

George’s Head Thug sees the grain being moved and thinks this is smuggling at work. He immediately reports to George, who’s gleeful at the possibility of getting to arrest Ross and sit in judgment on him. Unfortunately, when the soldiers George sends arrive at the church, all they find is totally legally obtained grain being distributed to poor people. George, who’d gone along so he could be there personally to see Ross arrested, is so incensed at this humiliation he closes down his mine, throwing 70 men out of work and their families into poverty. Ross, of course, tries to mitigate the damage as much as he can by hiring 30 of them to explore a seam in his own mine. But even Ross can’t save everyone.

Morwenna’s not playing ball, so she and Geoffrey are dispatched home. George and Elizabeth think the tedium of Trenwith will set her straight, and Whitworth is so confident he starts ordering his wedding clothes. None of them know that pretty much the first thing Morwenna does when she gets back is to run to Drake across the beach and kiss him.

Oh dear. This will not end well.



7 thoughts on “Poldark: Ross-n Hood

  1. While once again the series deviates from the novels, I did enjoy the “liberties” taken. Happy too that I do not have to wait until October to get my Poldark “fix.”

  2. More crap from Debbie Horsfield. In the novel, George had contributed money to the purchase of the grain for the locals. Demelza and Morwenna had never exchanged a word with each other until the seventh novel. And this is supposed to be an adaptation of the fifth book. When Drake had requested Ross and Demelza’s help in his romance with Morwenna, the couple had made it clear that neither gave a rat’s ass in helping the younger couple. Apparently, Ms. Horsfield didn’t want to damage the precious couple’s reputation. Before this series is through, I suspect that both will end up walking on water.

    And this one is on Winston Graham’s head . . . why in the hell didn’t Ross take responsibility for Aunt Agatha like he was supposed to in the first place? She is his great aunt and he is the head of the Poldark clan. What the hell? I don’t care if Aunt Agatha is sentimental about Trenwith. Ross is not the estate’s owner or executor. Until Geoffrey Charles comes of age, George is controlling it. Ross should should have assumed responsibility and settle her at Nampara.

    1. The way George is being characterised is pretty heavy, handed–I’m totally with you there. You can have a ‘bad guy’ who isn’t cardboard flat!

      As for Aunt Agatha–yes, Ross really should have stepped up there. I’m assuming she didn’t want to leave Trenwith, which is her home. I know from experience just how difficult it can be to get elderly relatives to leave their home, even when it’s the best thing for them. And let’s face it, Agatha probably really enjoyed being around to get all those digs in at George…

  3. This is the most piss poorly written synopsis I’ve read so far on the net. Is there some reason people can’t learn to write about a series without putting their snarky, immature and evil comments in? Oh, well the internet is huge and I can find plenty of other sites to read without having to lower my intelligence to do so. Sheesh I guess the person that wrote this took five minutes off his job as a fry cook to slop this crap together.

    1. Hey, hey, let’s not go insulting fry cooks, please! They’re hardworking people and that job is a lot harder than you seem to give it credit for!

      Hope you were able to find a synopsis out there in the wide world of the internet that served your purpose and preserved your IQ. Sorry to hear you consider opinions to be evil. Not for everyone, I guess.

  4. Christmas at Nampara was a pleasant contrast to the year before, when there was nothing to eat but one scrawny chicken, and Ross read the newspaper at the table and ignored Demelza’s existence. This year the table is loaded with food and they are eating off fine china and singing Christmas carols. Everybody is happy except Sam, who sits there glumly, dressed in black. Apparently the version of God he worships considers anything enjoyable a sin. I’m surprised he even accepted the invitation to dinner. Hope the food didn’t stick in his throat.

  5. Some critics have accused Demelza of forgetting her own origins when she gave Morwenna the “it would never work” speech, but a woman takes her rank from her husband. Marriage to Ross raised Demelza into the gentry class, whereas if Morwenna married Drake, she would ‘lose caste’ and her family and former friends would almost certainly disown her. Plus she would take a severe drop in her standard of living. Most women couldn’t cope.

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