Poldark: A fan’s review by Sarah Vita-Younan
Another Sunday night has passed and so has another super episode of POLDARK. Each week we look forward to the next episode, but as each hour passes, the finish line towards the end of the second series draws ever closer. After six fantastic episodes, Sarah Vita-Younan (one of our lucky readers chosen to write a fan review of the series alongside Celia Fox) is back again to share her thoughts on Sunday night’s episode. Take a look at Sarah’s thoughts on episode seven below:
* Warning: spoilers. Do not read if you have not seen Poldark series 2 episode 7 *
After last week’s intense episode, this week’s opens merely 3 weeks later, and Mr. Trencromb has not yet taken the smuggled good he’s stored in Ross’s home. Besides that, Wheal Grace yields less and less profit by the day. In three weeks, they will have to shut down when their coal runs out. It seems the only good thing happening in is Ross’s financial state, as he no longer owes the Warleggans.
During his weekly visit to Elizabeth, which was set to be his last regular one, she expresses she slightly regrets the change in their business relationship, because he will no longer have reason to call. “I will always have reason to call,” Ross reassures. “If you wish it.” She says that she does.
Speaking of the Warleggans, apparently George is not one to give up. He goes about sending letters to Trenwith, warning Elizabeth of possible unrest with the war between England and France. This frightens her, and she writes to Ross for advice.
Upon Ross’s return from Trenwith, he walks in on none other than Jud, having returned and Prudie beating the life out of him with a broom. Demelza tries to stop them, and Ross finds all three of them on the ground.
Jud’s errand brought him to Nampara with a message from Mr. Trencromb. Mark Daniel’s been found. Ross is to go with Trencromb and his men to meet with him and discuss Wheal Grace.
While Ross plans to see Mark, Dwight Enys returns to his cottage to find Caroline Penevenen waiting for him. They are planning to elope, three days before she is to leave with her uncle to London. While Dwight wants nothing more than to marry her, he is worried that eloping in secret is the wrong way to do things. But she convinces him.
The next day, Ross sets off on his trip. It’s clear by their goodbye kiss that Demelza doesn’t want him to leave, but she understands his need to keep the mine going. Mark is their only hope now. When he returns, Ross will participate in the goods drop off at Nampara Cove.
After he leaves, Dwight calls to Nampara. He tells Demelza of his plans to leave with and marry Caroline. Both friends are obviously sad to see each other go. “I want you to know, and tell Ross, how much I owe it to you both,” he says with tears in his eyes. “Leaving like this… it’s a great sorrow to me.” Demelza encourages him and tells him it’s not the time for grief, and that he must begin a new life as if they never existed.
Nampara is very busy of late, as that very same day, Caroline Penevenen visits. She expresses her regrets on having never paid a call yet, and Demelza mentions that soon she will leave. Caroline confides in Demelza that she is worried Dwight will change his mind. “I think Dr. Enys is as like as any to remain steadfast,” Demelza encourages.
That night, Ross is at a tavern, drinking and signing with Captain Henshawe and Paul Daniel, Mark’s brother (We hear Aidan sing a single note! Yeah!!) They are interrupted by a man with long, shaggy hair, and a growing beard. Mark.
He’s a changed man since everyone last saw him. All through the conversation, he keeps reverting back to say something about Karen. Finally, he shows them where he found the copper. He points to a place on the map where there was none, and if there was any, it’s worthless. They leave with Ross disheartened.
The next morning, Dwight and Caroline meet at their secret spot. Plans have changed, and they have to leave that very night instead of the next day.
On her way to see if there’s any news from Ross, Demelza runs into Elizabeth, who has come to Nampara to see if Ross had received her note. Demelza is clearly annoyed to see her there, and Prudie lies saying she gave it directly to Mr. Ross.
“Then I expect he was too busy to reply,” Elizabeth says.
“Yes, I expect he was,” Demelza remarks back.
In Sawle, Demelza is giving food to some children, and sees Rosina Hoblin. The girl falls while running to Demelza, her knee injured again. When Demelza goes to fetch Dwight, he at first declines, in regards to his meeting Caroline tonight, but his conscience will not allow himself to turn away from a patient in need. He goes.
While tending to Rosina, it’s mentioned that Charlie, her fiancée, is sick in bed. Rosina was under the impression Dwight tended him already. He does not say otherwise, but Dwight did not. He and Demelza exchange knowing glances. The informer…
Dwight confronts him at his home. At first, Charlie denies it, but then he admits it, and to the ambush against the smugglers. He threatens Dwight if he does not leave. A fight breaks out. At first it seems that Charlie may kill him, but Dwight prevails and leaves to warn Ross.
At Nampara, Demelza draws her curtains and tells Prudie to watch Jeremy so she can go to the cove. She turns around to see Captain McNeil standing in her hallway. His trooper has been ordered to guard Nampara, and Demelza to stay indoors. McNeil accuses Demelza of not being as innocent as she looks, saying that even though he would pay anything to gain her favour, that he will not go neglect his duty.
After McNeil leaves, Dwight arrives at Nampara, but he sees that it’s guarded. He instead takes a lantern and goes to the cove to try and warn Ross. All this, while his beloved Caroline waits for him…
He gets to the cove, and lights a fire. Shortly into the run, Ross sees the flames… an ambush! The crew set about to relaunch the ship, taking everything they can back. Ross forces his friends back into the boat, but he himself stays.
The soldiers come upon them, with pistols and rifles. Ross manages to escape swinging, but is confronted by the officer Officer Hubert Verger, who recognizes him. Ross knocks him out with one left hook, and sets off for home.
Demelza, hearing the gunfire and immediately worrying for Ross, lies to the officer that she must tend to her son upstairs. Once there, she climbs out the back window. She soon runs right into Ross, relieved to find him alive.
She tells him the soldiers are guarding the house. His mind quickly tries to think of a plan. She sees his hand, bloodied from fighting, and thinks he’s suffered injury. Together, they run back to Nampara. He tells her to go back to the house, and he goes into the library through the side door, to hide in the cache.
During the commotion, other estates are warned of the unrest, including Trenwith. Elizabeth grows frightened, and wonders still why Ross has not answered her. “Has he no care for us at all?” She sets about asking help from elsewhere. (Extra points if you can guess who!)
Shortly after Demelza’s return, McNeil arrives again, with Dwight and a bloodied up Officer Verger. Everyone suspects Ross.
In the library, McNeil quickly discovers the cache. He opens it, guns ready. What do they find…? Nothing. It’s empty.
Demelza tries to hold her composure, but she looks as shocked as everyone else. Where’s Ross?
After the soldiers guard Nampara all night, waiting for Ross’s return, they, and Dwight, leave the next day. Dwight promises Demelza that he will never forget any of them.
He ride to Killawarren, to meet Caroline. He is instead met with a letter. She’s gone. He did not come for her last night, and so her heart is broken and she has gone. If only she knew the reasons behind his delay… if only she knew how deeply sorry he was, and how much he loved her.
Back at Trenwith… if you guessed that Elizabeth was to enlist the help of George Warleggan, you’d be right. He comes to see her, and tells her and Aunt Agatha about Ross’s involvement in the smuggling run.
After the run, the next day on the beach, Charlie’s body is found. Dead. Was he so ashamed of himself and what he’d done to his friends, or had he turned on one soul too many?
Late that day, Demelza is beside herself with worry. Ross still has not returned. She keeps thinking of the blood on his hand, afraid that he is bleeding to death somewhere.
As she sits waiting for him, a piece of the wall of the cache is pushed opened from the inside. Ross crawls out. He climbs out quietly, and goes to the window to make sure the coast is clear. He hears a familiar voice signing in the parlor…
I’d hold a finger to my tongue,
I’d hold a finger waitin’,
My heart is sore,
Until it joins in song,
Wi’ your heart matin’…
Demelza turns from the fire and sees him standing in the doorway. She quickly jumps into his arms, thankful he’s returned and that he’s alright. He holds her there for a time. It seems he now realizes just how much he’s risked.
Maybe he’s learned his lesson?
This episode… what can I say that won’t sound too fangirly? The smuggling run was my favorite part in book 4 (Warleggan) with Demelza and Dwight trying to warn Ross, and he hiding away for an entire day right under everyone’s nose. As always, this week did not disappoint, and Debbie’s beautiful scripts came through shining with Aidan, Eleanor, Luke, Heida, Gabriella, Jack, Prudie, and even Henry Garrett’s Captain McNeil! I was beyond satisfied, and my only regret is that we have only 3 episodes left in this better than ever second series.
Poldark continues on Sunday nights on BBC1 at 9pm