RECAP: Poldark – Series 1 Episode 4

It’s life’s greatest treasure to love and be loved in return

Demelza is still adjusting to being Mistress of Nampara. She is painfully aware that she has no notion of how to behave in society circles and doesn’t want to give herself airs. Demelza might still be in some sort of “Cinderella denial”, but Ross has no intentions of keeping their marriage a secret. He starts by telling Francis, whose reaction is to point out that Ross won’t be invited to fancy parties. Ross is all “you mean I can live peacefully and in seclusion? Go marriage!”

What Ross didn’t take into account was that the doors to balls would not be the only ones closing. Many of WHEAL LEISURE’s investors reconsider their involvement with the mine since they consider Ross’s marriage a “spectacular lack of judgement”. [So whoring and gambling = acceptable indulgencies / marrying a decent woman from humble origins = business suicide]. Of course, the fact that they haven’t found any copper doesn’t help matters. While investors are openly abandoning Ross, GEORGE WARLEGGANS is secretly making a power play [masquerading as a good Samaritan]. George has been quietly acquiring stock to the mine in what he sees as a win-win situation. The mine prospers, he wins money. The mine fails, he has the satisfaction of having a front row seat to Ross’s demise [That guy needs a hobby].

But Ross is not the only Poldark facing a struggle. BACK at TRENWITH, Uncle Poldark is once again taken ill and this time he doesn’t get better. He has a few moments of candour before passing and his dying wish is for Francis to become a man [like Ross] and honour their family name.

After a few days [or weeks, little unclear on the timeline], Ross invites Verity to stay with them at Nampara. This makes Demelza extremely uncomfortable because she considers Verity “a great lady who will show Ross what a mistake he made by marrying her”. But Demelza misjudged Verity [she is one of the few nice people in that family] and they eventually become friends. This friendship starts when Verity tells Demelza that she is grateful she married Ross. Demelza lets Verity know that she loves Ross “beyond anything”; however she doesn’t expect him to ever return her love. And true enough, when asked by the local whore if he is in love with his wife, Ross simply says that “get on” [Not precisely the stuff that great romances are made of… but….wait for it, he’ll get there].

But common folk have problems too. They are not busy worrying about suitable marriages and funding, rather they have more basic concerns like… FOOD. People in Cornwall are worried because WINTER IS COMING [for real, not like in Westeros] and the pilchards haven’t arrived. They fear they would starve if they don’t stock up. Thankfully, pilchards arrive and the villagers are fed just in time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, Ross and Demelza are invited to Trenwith. Demelza is terrified of embarrassing herself in front of Elizabeth and the Poldark family. They receive a relatively warm welcome at Trenwith [if you ignore Aunt Agatha and her “let’s rate Ross’s girlfriends” game]. Elizabeth, in particular, is the embodiment of the perfect hostess and treats Demelza as her dearest friend. Francis accuses her of doing it just to show Ross what a great woman she is. I wouldn’t go that far, I do think Elizabeth is a good person; however, she did feel superior to Demelza and she makes it evident when she tells Ross that she feels the need to be nice to D because she looks like a “startled faun”. Elizabeth also confesses to Ross that her marriage is unhappy and that she is aware of Francis’s indiscretions [well… as bad as I feel for her, she did agree to marry him and his good name].

But the stress of Christmas Night is not over. The Poldarks get a group of party crashers: The Warleggans and Cornwall's resident Mean Girl, Ruth Teague [with her new husband]. They are forced to invite them to stay for dinner and endure Ruth’s offensive conversation. First she insults Demelza by making a quip about the hardships of retaining maids now that girls have “ideas above their station”. Then - as a bonus - Ruth shames Verity by saying that there is no hope for women who are unmarried after 23. Demelza elegantly replies to one of her remarks and basically calls her a frivolous gossiper. Ross absolutely loves it. Unfortunately, Ruth doesn’t take the hint.

Later, Ruth tries to shame Demelza [again] by asking her to play an instrument [which she clearly doesn’t know to do], but Ross saves her by mentioning that she can sing. Demelza proceeds to sing a beautiful heartfelt song about love captivating everyone, especially Ross who suddenly has eyes only for her. Elizabeth becomes painfully aware that she has lost Ross for good and that it is not Demelza who should be pitied [who’s the ‘startled faun’ now E?]. Even Francis makes a comment about how Ross probably envied him for marrying Elizabeth when it is him that found true love in the end.

And the Christmas joy doesn’t end there. After Ross finally realizes that he struck gold by marrying Demelza, Wheal Leisure’s miners strike “a monstrous load of copper!” So the mine is back in business and no-one is out of a job. Joy ensues. [Who knew mining could be so dramatic?]

There is only one thing left for Ross to do: Acknowledge his true feelings for Demelza. And this was so beautiful it deserves to be transcribed word by word:

“Why do you think I married you? To satisfy an appetite? To save myself from being alone? Because it was the right thing to do? I had few expectations… at best you’d be a distraction. A bandage to ease a wound. But I was mistaken. You’ve redeemed me. I am your humble servant and I love you” [I told you he would eventually get there]

Demelza chooses that moment to share the news that she is with child. Aw.


And if you haven't read this already do it now, I thought it was hilarious "The Ross Poldark Guide to Wooing Women"


“It delights you to thumb your nose at society because you consider yourself above the niceties by which it operates” – George to Ross

“It’s life’s greatest treasure to love and be loved in return” - Verity
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The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

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