Poldark: Here’s One for the Ladies

You’ll be shocked to hear this, but Morwenna’s marriage is not going well. I mean, none of us expected it to, but it’s going spectacularly poorly. However depressed you thought she’d be, go ahead and triple that. Poor girl is suffering.

Whitworth, of course, is both physically and sexually abusive, as well as just being a completely slimy creep. And to make matters worse, Morwenna’s now out-to-here pregnant, and she’s so clueless about biology and sex she can’t even tell Demelza when her baby is due.

It seems like maybe–maybe!–she might get a little support when Whitworth suggests bringing one of her sisters to live with them as a companion for her (it’s really just a way to make himself look richer than he is). The girl’s in the house all of about three minutes before she’s turning to Morwenna and saying, ‘Why the HELL did you marry this asshole?’ And what can Morwenna say but that she did it to save the man she loves?

At one point, though, her sister removes a shoe that’s pinching her, and Whitworth gets a look at her foot and is so hot and bothered he has to get up and leave the room. Ew. And no, I’m not judging him for having a foot fetish. Whatever makes you happy, I guess. I’m judging him for being all-around disgusting and checking out his wife’s sister. Ew, Whitworth. Ew.

Let’s turn to a happier couple, shall we? Enys is now all cured of his PTSD! How easy was that? Now he’s on the mend, it’s time for him and Caroline to get married publicly, which they’ve been putting off for a while now. But they’ve been living together since he got back from France, so I think the cat is out of that particular bag.

Anyway, they have a wedding, and everyone attends, even George and Elizabeth and Ross and Demelza and Morwenna and Whitworth (ugh!) and Sir Francis, the local superrich guy George is so desperate to be friends with. George is getting extra desperate these days because the local MP has died, and we all know George is gunning for that job. At the wedding, he overhears Enys and Sir Francis discussing the vacancy. Apparently it has, historically, been a toady of the burgesses who’s gotten the seat, but Sir Francis doesn’t think it’s right to have someone in the position who only has the interests of the local rich men at heart.

George takes this information and decides to pitch himself directly to Sir Francis. But Francis has other ideas and wants Ross in the role. To win him over, he invites Ross and Demelza over to his giant mansion for dinner and some indoor bowling. Armitage is there as well, and he puts the MOVES on Demelza. He even sketches her at the dinner table, though he makes her look more like Michelle Fairley than Eleanor Tomlinson. Not that it’s a bad thing to look like Michelle Fairley, mind.

Whilst the merry party is enjoying their meal and games, George turns up, unannounced, and is left to sit all alone in a reception room, listening to all the fun and pouting. Meanwhile, Sir Francis offers Ross his support in running for local MP. But Ross figures Sir Francis will expect a very significant say in whatever that MP does, in return for that support, and, being Ross, turns him down. I get where he’s coming from, but at the same time, ROSS! You could help so many people! And do you have no ability to anticipate next moves? Who do you think they’ll go to next? Who did they go to about the open JP position? Heavens, man!

Demelza is alarmed by this, and tells him she thinks this is the wrong choice, but it’s too late. Francis offers the gig to George. That, plus the fact his son is on the mend, thanks to Enys’s interventions, makes George’s day. Oh, and George’s life gets even better, because he gets to completely crush Aunt Agatha’s dreams!

See, Aunt A is getting ready to celebrate her 100th birthday. A hundred years old! Could you imagine living through basically the ENTIRE 18th CENTURY? Woah. She’s getting a new dress and everything! She’s so happy, even if most of the people she intended to invite are already dead.

But George, being about as worthwhile a human being as Whitworth, has the servants scour the house until they find the old family bible, and in it he discovers that she got her birth date wrong. She’s actually only turning 98, and that, apparently, counts for exactly nothing. He gleefully breaks the news to her (and denies her food, because he’s evil), and in her righteous rage she tells him that his son was definitely no premature baby. The look on George’s face, and the way he then goes and looks at Elizabeth, suggests he’d always suspected that was the case.

A little later, when Elizabeth goes to see Agatha, Agatha mutters that she probably shouldn’t have said what she did, but she doesn’t elaborate. She then dies. George (giggling happily, we can only assume) writes a letter to Nampara, informing them of the death and his expected elevation to MP. Ross turns up for the burial and discovers there’s to be no funeral, nothing. The coffin is simply dumped on the ground next to Tholly, who’s hanging around picking up odd jobs here and there. I find this a bit hard to believe. I mean, Agatha was very well known in the neighbourhood, and she probably would have been fairly well respected as well, for her age, if for nothing else. The locals and the local gentry would be absolutely shocked by this sort of treatment. No service? No mourners? It would not shed a good light on George, and I feel like he’d have the sense to realise this.

And where the hell is Elizabeth? She and Agatha may have had a tense relationship at times, but she seemed genuinely upset by the death. Would she really just sit back and not even go to the graveyard for the burial? Or point out to George that this is not going to advance their social standing? How checked out is she now?

Speaking of checking out: Ross and Demelza’s marriage has now hit the rocks, pretty much because the script/book says it has to. Demelza is flattered by Armitage’s attention but doesn’t seem to give it much credence until Ross turns down the MP post. Then, all of a sudden, she’s mad at him for not listening to her (even though they didn’t really discuss this matter. But I guess that’s all part of the problem.) and seems to be considering taking things with Armitage to another level. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s too good for Ross and he treats her pretty horribly at times, and if anyone deserves some happiness and genuine affection and attention, it’s her, but, I don’t know, this felt really forced and rushed. I’m sure it unfolds more organically in the books. Adaptations are tricky sometimes.

But while Demelza’s struggling with her marriage, there’s some good news for her brothers. The local blacksmith has died (lots of death in this area this week), so Ross gives Drake the smithy. Hurrah! Now he can make use of those blacksmithing skills we never even knew he had! And Samuel is trying really hard not to be attracted to Tholly’s brash daughter, but he’s failing. Can’t blame him: she’s kinda fun. Only two more episodes to go (really?!) so we’ll just have to see how it all pans out!



6 thoughts on “Poldark: Here’s One for the Ladies

  1. Once again I taxe exception to the treatment of the novels. At least Winston Graham saw to it that Aunt Agatha had a decent burial. And also, what is Ross so annoyed about. Of corse this could be a ploy for later doings…..

  2. Why in the hell didn’t Ross take responsibility for Agatha, after Elizabeth and George’s marriage? So that Agatha would be in a position to tell George the truth about Valentine’s birth? That seemed to be the only reason for this ridiculous plot twist. For once I blame Winston Graham.

  3. I have yet another problem….in the preview of next week’s episode, Ross tells Demelza that he loves Elizabeth, what’ that about…unless there is more to the conversation. If that is the end of the comment what a rat Ross is….he no sooner tells Demelza that she is is abiding love, has another child then betrays her. (Of course, this conversation never happened in the novel.)

  4. The whole Armitage subplot is a disaster, starting with the casting. They hired a Burberry model who can’t act. He’s supposed to be a poetic type who falls in love with Demelza, gives her the romantic wooing she never had with Ross and touches her heart. Instead, he comes across as a selfish ingrate who decides to seduce the wife of his ‘friend and savior’, because nothing says ‘Thanks for saving my life’ like cuckoldry. Meanwhile, Ross acts like a total jerk to push Demelza towards Armitage.

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