Would it be shallow to jump right to the smouldering and the stockings?
We’ll get to it, I promise, but for now I suppose I should borrow the show’s trick of leaving the best bit to the end, or this entire post will just turn into a series of gasps, sighs and wide, starry eyes. Which, coincidentally, is also how one might describe the way Rosina not-Hoblin-anymore-since-he-fixed-her-leg (ba-dum-tish!) looks at Dr Enys, but Rosina has about as much chance with him as I do, since Caroline the talking calendar is back again to a) let the viewer know how much time has passed since Francis died (“Seven months away!” she announced; last week it was “(After) a year in London,”) and b) race horses along the beach with the dashing doc as some sort of eighteenth-century Cornish metaphor for really wanting to get it on.
Anyway, Uncle Bergerac might disapprove but Uncle Bergerac can go, er, race himself; Dwight and Caroline are completely adorable together, so here’s hoping they can make it work and her £6000 a year is enough to fund her two most important habits – riding, and making anonymous but exceptionally fortuitous charitable donations, as and when the plot requires. Thanks for the £1400, Caroline!
Not that Ross deserves it. As I’ve said before, dude is lucky he’s hot; there are times when, frankly, he has precious little else going for him. As is becoming all too common this season, he spends most of this episode behaving like an idiot, and, as usual, his two biggest weaknesses – Elizabeth and his pride – are at the centre of every insanely stupid, annoying thing he does.
While the grimly determined, quietly devoted Demelza does every job she can find (almost every scene she’s in, the poor girl is toiling away at something) to keep Nampara going, the perfectly-coiffed, purely-decorative Elizabeth floats about making limpid eyes and loaded remarks at Ross, who spends more time and money on his cousin’s widow than on everyone else in his life put together, never mind his long-suffering wife. My GOD, Ross and Elizabeth are maddening this week. She misses Francis because he balanced the books? He needs to focus on looking after Elizabeth because Demelza is “a miner’s daughter” and can look after herself?
WTF is wrong with these people?
It’s almost enough to make me wish he would just go to debtors’ prison, except he’s always so bloody keen on martyring himself, he’d probably enjoy it. And, as he doesn’t seem to understand, it would be Demelza and Jeremy who would suffer, not just him and his precious Ex.
As if Ross and Elizabeth flirting it up by the fire (and everywhere else) isn’t enough, we also have the odious George Warleggan sliming his way round there every five minutes, meaning that, were it not for the tremendous Aunt Agatha, every scene at Trenwith would have put my blameless but perilously proximate remote control in real danger of being thrown across the room. Not only does the redoubtable old lady know exactly what everyone’s up to but she’s not remotely shy in telling them, since the writers have clearly realised what a gem they have in Caroline Blakiston and are giving her lines to match: “Beware that man’s pitchfork and his tail!” HEE.
Awesome though she may be, though, it’s not Aunt Agatha who eventually sets Ross straight and saves the Poldark marriage (for now). Surprisingly, it’s Prudie, whose current Judless state has significantly improved both my opinion of her and her opinion of Demelza. With even Caroline noting that Mistress Poldark is “universally adored” and “the sort of woman all men desire except her husband,” it’s hardly surprising that, after an entire episode – or more like half a season – of him essentially ignoring her, poor, valiant Demelza begins to think her handsome husband doesn’t really love her any more. Neither Prudie nor the audience is having that, though; a word in the Master’s ear and the writers remember what an asset they have in Aidan Turner, Ross remembers what a wonder he has in his wife, and the audience remember why they fell in love with Captain Poldark in the first place, thanks to a sizzling final scene involving stockings, garters, and so much smouldering there are burn marks on my screen. Wow. The man may be aggravating, infuriating and downright exasperating, but… Wow. Merry Christmas, Demelza. And to all a good night.