Intrigue at home and abroad this week, as Caroline pins her hopes for Doctor Dwight’s rescue on a French fleet she has somehow acquired (at least she seems to think so); Ross launches his own alternative rescue mission – a.k.a. Five Men and a Boat; and George takes the opportunity to indulge in a spot of anti-Poldark sabotage, because if Ross is doing something Ross-ish, the Warleggan Weasel just cannot leave it be.
If George is at his most George-like wafting around the ballrooms of the aristocracy with a sour face and an obsession with bouncy curls, though, he’s not the only one very much in tune with his inner self this week. Demelza is at her most steadfast and supportive. Ross is at his most brave, reckless and loyal. Caroline is at her most optimistic and naive. And Morwenna and Drake are at their most sweet and put-upon. All of which makes for a thoroughly entertaining episode, alternating between the excitement of Le Prison Break, the unshakeable (and entirely correct) feeling that somebody’s not going to make it back across the channel, and the irresistible urge to punch stupid, mean George in his stupid, mean face.
This latter pleasure is sadly not afforded to us but, unusually for once, it’s George’s scheme to climb another step up the social ladder which fails, while Ross’s completely demented plan works, to some extent, at least. On one view, Le Prison Break is a notable success, thanks to the broken-hearted Drake and the very pleasant Lt Armitage but, on another, it’s an awful tragedy, obvious as it is from the second poor, brave Captain Henshaw declares that “mining’s a risk, loving’s a risk, living’s a risk”, that he won’t be doing any of the three for much longer. Sob. Captain Henshaw is just the kind of steadfast, decent, down-to-earth character, a big, melodramatic romance like this show needs. And he was NICE, dammit. Why did he have to die? His funeral and all the singing is lovely, but it’s not like that makes up for it. Especially if Doctor Dwight is destroyed by whatever awful combination of survivor’s guilt and PTSD he’s about to put himself, Caroline and the audience through. Sigh. Still, at least we finally have Doctor Dwight back. And Lt Armitage by way of a bonus. And George looks like a total prat. Every cloud…..