Poldark s1 ep 7

imageIt’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.

Hm.

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. 

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4 thoughts on “Poldark s1 ep 7

  1. Mink Carlyle (@themissingmink) April 23, 2015 / 8:17 am

    My favourite Poldark review as always. I love how you managed to make me laugh in a review of an episode which was so tense and intense, and had so many awful things happening in it (Francis needs to die in a fire. Now!).

    I particularly enjoyed: “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.” – LOL! Hilariously spot on.

    A bit of clarification on this: “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.” This was some bad direction/editing, because it was very confusing, and it looked like Mark’s brother had shot the soldier in the back just as he was about to shoot Ross, with a pistol we didn’t even know he had. But he didn’t. The actor who plays Mark’s brother actually clarified this on Twitter, and I could see it on re-watch. The brother actually clocked the soldier over the head with a log (or some kind of blunt instrument) he’d picked up on the beach; it just looked like he’d killed the soldier with the way it was edited. I think it’s actually fairly safe to assume he was only knocked out. Then of course Ross punched out the other soldier in the water, but his mates were coming, so probably safe to assume they dragged him out of the water to safety. So I don’t think we were meant to believe any soliders were killed during Mark’s escape. I’ve certainly seen confusion about it around and about on the web though. And this is the second week there was confusion due to the direction/editing (did Ross get his stuff back after the card game was last week’s). The director for the second set of 4 episodes has been different (Bazalgette 1-4, McGregor 5-8), and I’m not sure McGregor is much of a details man. I’ve definitely been confused more in the second set of eps than the first.

    With regard to this: “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.” I could not agree more. I could understand Ross’s anger towards Demelza for her deception and betrayal of his trust, but these words were rich beyond belief coming from Mr “Let There Be Trouble! I Welcome It Even Though I Have A Wife And Child Who Depend Upon Me”. But everyone who’s read the books keeps banging on about how Ross is a severely flawed hero (or not even actually a hero at all), so I guess they have to include some of that in the show, even though apparently they have softened/updated Ross considerably (apparently he was explosively angry and even physical in his anger towards Demelza in the book – Aidan’s portrayl was obviously much more restrained on that score, whilst still powerful and alarming).

    Anyway, great review. I think even you may find scant opportunity for comedy in the season finale though…

  2. CJ Cregg April 23, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    Aw thanks for the lovely kind words, Mink, bless you 🙂 And thank you for sorting out the dead/not dead soldier thing for me – I just could not understand how everybody (even Captain MacMoustache!) was so chilled out about what looked like the murder of a soldier but your explanation makes much more sense! I’ve put a wee note at the bottom of the review now to flag it up.

    Yes, I did find myself thinking “Dude, can you HEAR yourself?” when Ross was ranting at Demelza for essentially “doing a Ross” if you know what I mean. I suppose at least he calmed down a bit by the end – he will forgive her, won’t he? Won’t he? *worried face*

    I’m completely intrigued by what might await us in the season finale. Can’t believe that’s 8 eps already!

    • Mink Carlyle (@themissingmink) April 24, 2015 / 2:30 pm

      My best friend and I who both watch this show joke that your line, “Dude! You’re lucky you’re hot!” (from one of your previous reviews) must be Demelza’s (almost) constant internal dialogue. It would be ours. Strangely, though, we find we’re okay with that…

      He will definitely forgive her. I believe that isn’t what we actually need to be worried about this ep. I also believe it ends on a cliff-hanger, so THANK GOD! we have Season 2 confirmed.

      It is amazing how the 8 episodes have flown by, and how much has happened. I was watching the first episode the other day, and Demelza’s journey and change in particular has been extreme. Her accent has even changed (become less coarse/more refined) as time has passed, which is realistic of course given her experiences and change in circumstances, but since I understand they filmed the episodes (and scenes from various episodes, not just whole eps) somewhat out of order, I have no idea how Eleanor knew whether she was coming or going with all the changes her character was having to deal with, and she was having to portray OUT OF ORDER! Amazing job by her. And of course Aidan has been spectacular, in his acting as well as his looks.

      I’ll be reading the books over the summer as there’s no way I’ll be able to wait a year to find out what happens – I understand the first two books which were dramatised in this season were only the beginning and it’s all very Epic!

      • CJ Cregg April 26, 2015 / 2:45 pm

        Good point on Eleanor, Mink. I can understand why Aidan has had most of the press, but she’s been fantastic too. Really made Demelza the heart of the show. I hadn’t thought about the filming schedule either – totally agree that just makes her work all the more impressive!

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