Well, count me surprised! You’ll never believe this, but ROSS DOESN’T WIN! This is truly a day to remember! I mean, I’m sure he’ll go right back to winning next week, but I’ll take the slight deviation from the norm here.
I probably shouldn’t be excited by this, because it’s kind of tragic, really. Nobody wins this week. Except for Drake and Morwenna, maybe. They are definitely having lots of sex and LOVING it, and that makes me happy, because they’re good people.
Drake’s so delighted by marriage he’s now advocating it all around. He tells Sam he should totally propose to Rosina, with whom Sam’s been having kind of a sweet flirtation/friendship (Rosina’s definitely got a thing for the Carne boys, eh?)
Of course, Tess has to screw that up because she’s simply a terrible person. What’s this girl’s deal, anyway? Why is she so hateful? I have no problem with villains, but I do have a problem with cartoonish ones, and she’s the cartooniest cartoon villain since Yosemite Sam.
So, anyway, for no reason at all, Tess decides to get in between Sam and Rosina by batting her eyes and asking Sam to convert her and he falls for it, despite knowing she’s terrible, and Rosina gets to be saddened by a Carne yet again.
As if that’s not enough, it looks like Rosina’s dad is involved in some ore theft from Ross’s mine. Great! Also, why is Jacka stealing from Ross? Ross is not only probably the best employer in the whole area, he also broke the law to save Jacka’s son’s life. This seems equal parts ungrateful and stupid.
So that’s what Demelza’s dealing with. And what about Ross? Well, he’s in London, arguing for Ned’s release before parliament (which seems a bit inappropriate and I’m sure Ross’s constituents would be rather annoyed that he’s focusing on something so personal instead of their interests, which is actually his job). He’s also complaining about Ned’s treatment in prison to Merceron. He still thinks Merceron’s a sympathetic ear, but in truth, Merceron is both governor of the very prison where Ned’s being held, and, of course, he’s engaging in a bit of jury tampering on Ned’s trial.
The trial, by the way, is such a kangaroo court proceeding that even Stalin’s like, ‘Guys, at least make it look like you’re trying to be a little fair!’
The prosecution grandstands that Ned’s alleged crimes are the most heinous he’s ever even begun to hear of, which suggests he’s either an idiot or very much given to exaggeration. I mean, really? Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the royal family and the entire government. That’s some pretty serious treason. The only crime they seem able to pin on Ned (and it’s a pretty poor pinning at that) is wanting to give Catholics the right to vote. Oh, and they’ve brought forth some doctored witnesses who claim Ned called for the King to be assassinated. Whatever. They didn’t even really need to bring fake witnesses, did they? Ned kept going around London screaming that the King was mad, which I’m sure must have been against some kind of law back then.
At some point, Ross leans forward and tells Ned’s defence attorney that he should, perhaps, consider defending? The guy rouses himself and objects but this whole thing is so obviously crooked I can see why he didn’t want to bother. I don’t even know why Ross and Ned are making much effort here, considering the fact that they know powerful forces are working against Ned. He was told to keep his head down and he didn’t. There are consequences.
Ross takes the stand and makes one of his Impassioned Speeches, but that doesn’t do the trick, for once. So, they do a Hail Mary and bring Enys onto the stand to claim that Ned’s brain has been addled by injury and illness, so he’s no longer responsible for his actions. But that doesn’t fly this time. The jury finds Ned guilty in under ten minutes, but they recommend mercy. The judge won’t have it and pronounces a traitor’s death: hanging, drawing, and quartering.
Let’s take a break from that to check in with the Warleggans and their folk. George is moving forward with his marriage to Cecily (and mentions it’s been two years since Elizabeth died, which perfectly fits in with this show’s tendency to have a completely messed up timeline. Two years? Since the start of this season? So, it’s 1803 now, and Geoffrey Charles is 18? How long was George crazy? Why haven’t any of the children aged? Oh, why do I bother?)
Cecily tries begging her father to let her off the hook but he just smirks his usual smirk and sends her on her way. So, she and G-C decide to elope. They get all the way to the carriage before her father’s men find them, beat up G-C, and drag the pair of them to the church so she can be married off. G-C tells George that his mother only married him for his money, which George refuses to believe. But he does believe Cecily when she lies and tells him that she slept with G-C. G-C chimes in that this means George will never know if his first child is his, or Geoffrey Charles’s, and we all know how George feels about uncertain paternity. The wedding is off. Cecily is confined to her bedroom pending removal to Honduras, and Geoffrey Charles is faced with figuring out his next move, now he’s been kicked out of the military academy.
Back to Ross! He, of course, thinks the logical next step is to stage a jailbreak. I mean, what the heck, it went well the last time, right?
Enys is not interested in joining this insanity, but Caroline volunteers him, since he was on the receiving end of a rescue himself. Yeah, but he didn’t ask for it, did he? He didn’t even want it! And having had a rescue foisted on you does not then put you on the hook for future insane rescue attempts of people you don’t even like. And finally, may I remind you, Caroline, that Enys’s rescue resulted in one of the rescuers getting killed?
Nevertheless, Enys goes along with it. He and Ross get into the prison, and they get Ned out of his cell and all the way to the sewer, ready to make their escape, and then Ned decides not to go.
I mean, ok, his reasoning is sound: if he escapes, the powers that be will come after Ross and his loved ones because of course they’ll know that Ross had something to do with it. But still. Could Ned have not said this back at his cell, or something?
Ned is marched to his execution and wow, there’s a HUGE CGI crowd gathered to witness it. Are they really all there for Ned, or just to see such a rare sentence carried out?
(History note! Apparently, it was actually to see him. Well, him and the six men he was executed with, in real life. Apparently a crowd of 20,000 turned out to witness the execution.)
As Ned’s preparing for his execution, a notice is presented to the executioner. Kitty hopes it’s a pardon, but it’s just the Prime Minister saying that Ned will only be hanged, not hanged, drawn, and quartered. Ned is, indeed, hanged. Farewell, Ned. I wish I could say I liked you, but I didn’t, so this isn’t as sad is it probably should be.
Nevertheless, Ross is very, very sad. And quite betrayed once Merceron shows his hand and reveals he’s a bad guy after all. Ross rushes home and straight into Demelza’s arms. She proves a sympathetic ear, of course, and gently urges him to set that toxic masculinity aside and just let his emotions be felt. She leaves him to it, and he weeps while looking out at the sea.
A little later, he hears someone approaching and thinks it’s Demelza. He turns to greet her and is instead knocked unconscious. When he wakes, he finds himself… in a cave? Some sort of well? Somewhere he’ll be hard to find, I imagine.
Good luck, search party!