RECAP: Poldark - Series 1 Episode 5

The End of a Mine Affair

There is a lot going on in this episode. But let’s start with the good parts:

The family line continues!

In case you haven’t noticed people spend a fair amount of time thinking about family [and family names] on this show. So, naturally, it is a joyful day when Ross and Demelza welcome a baby daughter, Julia, to the world! [I appreciate the fact that neither complained about her not being a boy]. It’s all happiness and pride for the new parents until Mr. Carne arrives to the christening party; and the man is just unable to be civil! He is rude to everybody, especially to Demelza, and shows no interest in his new-born granddaughter. But… I’ll say this about him: the fact that he basically called Ruth [formerly Teague] a slut made me like him a little bit.

Not long before, Ross welcomes an old friend into town: DOCTOR ENYS, who is the man responsible for mending his face after the war. He came to Cornwall to study mental illness [he picked the right place as everyone keeps telling him] and to have the joy of curing people or something noble along those lines. 

Some conversations belong “behind closed doors” 

Unfortunately, things are not going so smoothly on the business side of things [for neither Ross nor Francis]. The price of copper is very low and the mines are struggling. On top of that, George Warleggan continues to acquire shares for Ross’s mine, gaining more and more control over it.
Ross is kind enough to explain the economics of metal extraction for us: Smelting companies are basically a ring. They don’t bid against each other, which keeps the price of copper to the lowest. In other words:


Ross has a solution. All the miners could join forces and form their own smelting company. That way they would be in charge of the entire process. This is a brilliant plan that requires SECRECY. Not so brilliant… to discuss it in the middle of the pub!

“I’ll marry you if you give me a house”

While the men in power worry about new ventures and hostile takeovers, others have simpler concerns. MARK DANIEL, one of the miners, is in love. He falls for a flirty girl, KEREN, who came into town with a group of travelling performers. Mark seems like a really nice fellow and he decides to ask Keren to marry him. Keren agrees with one condition: Mark has to give her a house. If that is not a “gold-digger” alert I don’t know what is! Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t seem to see it that way. Ross decides to help him out and provides a decaying cottage which Mark restores to the best of his abilities. Keren marries him but she is not too impressed with her new dwellings, so she wastes NO time at all and starts flirting with Dr. Enys on the same day of her wedding! I don’t like this girl.

“I am with my boat now” 

Meanwhile, Demelza is determined to help Verity find love, so she decides to pay a visit to Captain Blamey. Initially, he tells her that he has moved on and is dedicated to a life at sea or something like that, but it was a complete lie. Soon after, he shows up at Nampara and begs Demelza to arrange a meeting with Verity, which she does. All seems to work out [for now], but I am really not sure what Blamey’s deal is. I still think Blamey is to blame for his wife’s death. I don’t trust him [no book spoilers please]

George Warleggan, Ruining lives one reckless nobleman at the time

Things seem to be looking up after Ross convinces a few of the miners to band together and form a smelting company, which he will direct. People banking with Pascoe are safe, but the ones who are funded by the Warleggans must remain a secret. Francis has to opt out of the project because he is broke. 

In order to avoid suspicions, Ross agrees to make an appearance at George’s gentlemen-only house party. The night takes a tragic turn when Francis loses his mine in a game of cards. This fool hardy act has terrible consequences for Elizabeth, Verity and all the workers at Francis’s mine. 

On his way to formally announce the closing of the mine, Francis decides to apologize to Elizabeth and assure her that he always loved her. Elizabeth is not having it. Too little, too late. How ironic… Elizabeth’s mother encouraged her to marry Francis because he could provide “stability”…  Even Demelza admits that she envied Elizabeth for so long, but now is saddened to see her fall in disgrace.

And just like that, one more mine is closed down for business. [Miners 0/ Warleggans 1]. 



“A month away and I’m already fatter than Prudie” – Demelza [about her pregnancy]
“They like me, they make allowances for you” – Ross to Demelza [jockingly]
“I am quite aware of my good fortune” – Ross
“Let Francis feel sorry for himself, I will not do so” – Elizabeth
“My life is more precious for being less certain and richer for being poorer”

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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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