Dude. You’re lucky you’re hot.
After last week’s “Surprise! You’re Mrs Poldark!” insta-wedding, young Demelza’s finding it a bit difficult to adjust to her sudden promotion from kitchen maid to wife of the handsomest man in the county, and said handsomest man isn’t helping much. He’s very obliging when it comes to taking off his shirt (bless him, does Aidan Turner never get cold?!), but is completely hopeless at rudimentary tasks like saying nice, reassuring things to his wife.
Or, y’know, not calling her fat.
While Jud and Prudie come round reasonably quickly to the change in Nampara hierarchy – after all, taking orders from Demelza’s “better than taking orders from some fudgy-faced baggage with drop-curls” – and Ross does try (when he remembers) to be kind, he’s finding it a bit difficult to adjust himself. Demelza may keep forgetting to call him “Ross” rather than “Sir” but, then again, him still giving her orders all the time might well have something to do with that.
The local gentry aren’t too welcoming either. Uncle Poldark might think it such a joke he laughs himself to death(!), but, as Cousin Francis points out (when he’s not too busy seething or staring angstily out to sea) Cornish society’s not going to look too kindly on Ross’s marriage, and Cousin Francis, for once, is right.
As she confides to a very supportive if somewhat embarrassed Verity, Demelza’s fairly confident she pleases her man abed (where did I put my smelling salts?), but isn’t too sure about anywhere else. The brusque, busy Captain has other things to worry about, in fairness, with lots of mine-related glowering and frowning to be done, but a girl needs more than just a manly chest to lie on sometimes, no matter how attractive that manly chest may be. And especially when that manly chest is spending so much of its manly time losing investors, wondering aloud if it was too hasty marrying its maid (DUDE!) and trying not to knock anyone down on the clifftops, what with half the county hanging out up there waiting for pilchards.
Of course, with everyone on Fish-Watch blocking his usual route for most of the episode, the Captain has to mix things up a bit by riding manfully across his front yard a couple of times instead. Since this isn’t as much fun, he eventually decides to let the poor horse take his well-deserved annual leave and walk to Trenwith for Christmas, for a change. I must confess to being a bit surprised by this – Who’s going to carry the luggage? – but I guess horses need holidays too.
No such luck for Demelza, though. She just swaps a job she knows for one she doesn’t as Ross rides/walks/snogs roughshod over all her fears and shyness and makes her present herself at the Trenwith “family party” so the entire viewing audience can hide behind their cushions and pray for the horse to come back and spirit the poor girl out of there.
But – hurrah! – the poor girl surprises everyone by managing brilliantly, horse-free. Whatever Elizabeth’s up to (Francis is an idiot, but he’s right about that too, isn’t he?), it’s disarmingly charming to see them becoming friends, and Demelza’s bond with Verity (good work bringing those two together, Captain) is lovely. Oddly, though, it’s the Warleggan posse randomly turning up to fling insults at the young Mrs Poldark which finally seals the deal between her and her restless husband. Turns out she’s a lover, a fighter and a singer, ending a tremendously funny but also very sweet episode with a positive avalanche of Christmas miracles – Copper! A baby on the way! And a big old snog. “You’ve redeemed me. I am your humble servant. And I love you.” Aw. And swoon. Maybe our hero’s not too bad at saying nice, reassuring things to his wife after all.