Well, yes. And very, very high on that list is that, after all that death and disaster, Francis is still alive.
Because Ross and Demelza don’t have enough problems already, what with Carnmore collapsing and George Warleggan chasing after Ross like a lovesick puppy, – dude, he doesn’t like you. Get over it – the dreaded putrid throat descends upon the county this week, taking out half the village and giving Dr Enys even more reason to look pained than he already has.
For a grimly satisfying few minutes, however, it looks like the putrid throat might not be the worst thing in the world if it does us all a favour and carries off Francis too, but no; Demelza’s selflessness takes her to Trenwith to save everybody – Francis, Elizabeth, Little Lord Fauntleroy, everybody – except the redoubtable Aunt Agatha, who doesn’t need saving because she’s made of iron rather than flesh and blood. (Maybe Carnmore should try and see what price she’d fetch at auction.)
Sadly, though, while Demelza’s heroics ensure everyone at Trenwith survives, everyone at Nampara isn’t as lucky and she and Ross have to pay a terrible price for her kindness: poor baby Julia! Poor Demelza! Poor me!
As an ashen-faced Ross carries that tiny, tragic coffin and the villagers and FRANCIS (oh yeah, now he wants to help) stand with him in silent solidarity, even George Warleggan has the grace to look mildly sorry about it. But, thanks to the sinking of the Queen Charlotte – I’m not proud of myself but I cheered at the sight of it going down – this temporary attack of human feeling doesn’t trouble him too long, and he and his cursed uncle are soon plotting revenge upon Capt Poldark again, because, really, these two need to get a hobby. Or another bugbear. And leave Ross alone.
While our man ensures equitable distribution of the Warleggan ship’s loot and saves a group of somewhat ungrateful survivors, however, every member of the by-now frantic viewing audience is desperately hoping Demelza, lost in putrid throat fever-dreams, won’t follow her daughter. And at least one of them is also hissing audibly at Elizabeth when she turns up to help, which is entirely unfair, but so is just about everything that happens in this episode so Mrs FRANCIS Poldark will just have to wear it. At least her presence means she gets to hear Ross tell Demelza tenderly (and swoonsomely) that Elizabeth will never take him from the love of his life – Awwwww – which seems to succeed where depressed Dr Enys has failed and break the fever. Hurrah! And of course. I mean, if you had Ross Poldark calling you “my love” and begging you to come back to him, you’d get up from your sickbed quick-smart too, wouldn’t you?
Our hero does try to delay telling his poor wife about Julia as long as he can, but it’s no good. The scene where he finally breaks the news is unbearably sad, with the residents of Casa Cregg joining those of Nampara in quiet sobs. And things don’t get any easier for any of us. Ross taking Demelza up onto the cliffs (one last HORSE! for old times’ sake) to say goodbye to their daughter is a beautiful, heartbreaking moment, interrupted by the army turning up to arrest him on Warleggan-brought charges because this couple just CANNOT CATCH A BREAK. Dear GOD.
And that, after eight weeks of us swooning and sighing with a little bit of affectionate smirking thrown in, is apparently where we leave things. What an ending! What a season! Aidan Turner has been gorgeous and fantastic. Eleanor Tomlinson has been lovely and amazing. Cornwall’s scenery has been stunning. And that horse has almost – almost, but even he can’t quite compete with the irresistible Capt Poldark and his awesome lady wife – stolen the show. Will Ross get out of jail? Will someone (please) punch George Warleggan in the face? And will anyone remember that there’s supposed to be copper in the old, deserted Poldark mine and GO AND GET IT? We’ll find out next year when “Poldark will return.” I don’t know about you guys, but I. Can’t. WAIT.