It’s super-serious week on Poldark but, before we get to the seething and skulduggery, there’s time for a little Carry On Cornwall first as Demelza plays Postmistress Pat for Verity and Capt Blamey, Jud gets so drunk he thinks he looks good in a tricorn, and Keren continues to move in on the hapless Dr Enys.
Oh yes, it’s all fun and games till somebody loses a sister. Or a job. Or their neck.
The path of true love having taken a sharp turn off a nearby cliff, then, Verity runs off with Capt Blamey, taking the very odd step of leaving a note for Francis in Aunt Agatha’s shawl, while Aunt Agatha’s wearing it, when presumably leaving a note in Francis’s bedroom would have worked as well. I imagine (and hope, fervently) that Francis wanders into his bedroom a bit more frequently than he wanders between the layers of his elderly relatives’ clothing but, thankfully, we’re spared from ever finding out as, when Elizabeth and Francis return from their walk (with either their son or Little Lord Fauntleroy – the blue velvet suit makes it hard to tell), Aunt Agatha gives him the note, and Francis decides the best way to deal with Verity’s elopement is to shout a lot and sell the Carnmore Copper Company down the river for £1200.
Since his cousin is busy telling everyone except Ross that it’s all Ross’s fault, however, our hero remains blissfully ignorant of this particular disaster long enough to get a headstart on the other two messes brewing before he gets the full Francis treatment.
Just as well too, since, first, he has to come home and fire nitwit Jud, who, partly because of the drink but mainly because of the plot, suddenly decides to start talking even more vicious nonsense than usual. “I can’t think he meant it,” says a forgiving Demelza. “The liquor was upon him.” “My liquor was upon him!” says an indignant Ross, who has, in fairness, just been unjustly accused of killing Daddy Carter to cover up fathering Baby Carter. “He’s lucky it wasn’t my foot!” Well, quite.
But Jud getting his P45 turns out to be the mildest punishment meted out this week, with far worse consequences arising out of Keren’s determined, comedy-porn-like pursuit of Dr Enys. “I’ve a thirst for learning,” says Keren’s mouth. Of the carnal variety, says the rest of her face. Yes, the not-so-good Doctor pretends to resist, but not all that hard and, once she starts quoting Atomic Kitten, he’s obviously a goner – “You’ve already made ME whole again.” All together now: “Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa….”
Like all noughties girl bands, however, Keren and Dr Enys’ time together is short-lived. I did think they might make it through more than ten minutes of screen time, but both Keren and I reckoned without Mark a) being sent home early with a hand wound and b) deploying some impressive sleuthing skills. Before the night is through, there’s a confrontation and a killing and suddenly, Mark’s wanted for murder and Ross can count two “accidental” wife-killers among his friends and relations.
Everything gets very Jamaica Inntense from then on, of course, with the frown-of-renown back again as Ross ponders how to help Mark, and how, in the process, to hoodwink Capt
MacMoustache MacNeil; a man with an innovative attitude to the pronunciation of “murderer” but a fairly traditional one to the propriety of letting one go.
Aidan Turner smoulders away as usual and the suspense is nerve-jangling throughout, but the storyline itself’s a bit odd; smuggling even an accidental killer out of the country’s bad enough but Capt Poldark and his pals also seem uncommonly relaxed about killing a soldier in the process. Who calls that” a kind of justice,” Demelza?
Then again, all of this episode’s morals and priorities are as muddled as Jud’s head after a pint or two. Ross throwing “Your ignorance? Your arrogance? Your utter disregard for truth and consequence?” at Demelza for her well-intentioned part in the Verity affair sounds more than a little hypocritical from the man who broke a prisoner out of jail last week and helped a wanted man abscond this one. “You’ve married into a peculiar family,” is probably nearer the mark. And as for “Can you forgive me?” “I will try”? Aw, Ross. Poor Demelza was wrong to lie to you, but we’ve only got one episode left this year; don’t let the series set on your anger with her, will you? Save it for that feckwit Francis.
EDIT: Click on the comments below to see Mink’s explanation of what actually happened to the soldier. Looks like it was bad editing/direction rather than murder most foul! Thanks for clarifying, Mink.