It was a pretty dark hour down in this part of Cornwall.
Poor Jim died in a fever-infested jail despite the best efforts of Aidan Turner’s Ross Poldark to rescue him. And as for Mark, well, things are not looking too good for him on the marriage front.
Signs that his blushing bride Keren (Sabrina Bartlett) was a bit of a wrong ‘un were very firmly realised this episode when she made not so much a bee-line as a guided missile swoop for Dr Dwight Enys. Hurricane Keren (below) has her sights so firmly set on the dashing doc she actually jumped off the roof in order to get him to tend her ankle.
“Of course sir, I’ll do anything you say sir,” she said coyly when he treated her, pushing up her bosom and staring deeply into his eyes with her best ‘I’m pretty good’ in the hay loft’ look. I fear the poor chap won’t be able to resist.
And to add to Mark’s woes he had to endure a marriage counselling session from super hunk Ross Poldark himself who, as we are always reminded, could have the pick of Cornwall’s ladies. And then Ross’s factotum, Phil Davis’s Jud, chipped in.
“Pick my liver!” exclaimed the dentally-challenged serving man to his boss, not even acknowledging the hapless Mark’s presence. “Best he can hope for is not to be cuckolded thrice a day by every man, dog and mule in the county.”
Yes, thanks for that Jud. Really helpful. Let’s not give up the day job, eh, whatever it is that you actually do…
Demelza did her best to try and remedy the situation. “’Tis said you have a roving eye,” she told Keren, thus winning at a stroke the Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal for synchronised understatement but failing to persuade saucy Keren to change her ways.
Ross had enough on his plate to do much for poor Mark, however. He took the death of Jim very badly (spending five days drinking to deal with the pain) and there is definitely trouble ahead for the mine-owner.
Not only did he break Jim out of jail, he also had a fallout with the nasty judge and (here’s the rub) man of the cloth Rev Halse (played by the original 1970s Ross, Robin Ellis). Nasty wig-botherer Halse has made it clear that he will not forget about our hero’s indiscretions.
Among the few scraps of real comfort was the chance of getting one over on the rapacious Warleggans with Ross’s smelting scheme (although the evil bankers are about to fight back).
And there was a scene in which Ross was forced – yes FORCED – to burn his clothes by the beach after his trip to the fever-infested jail, thus giving his legions of fans yet another chance to watch his rippling muscles against a beautiful seaside sunrise.
Doofus Francis continues to suffer, and was first seen in this episode cutting hay in the field. His fortunes really have fallen. And he couldn’t even perform this rudimentary act of rural labour act without complaining brattishly about his blistered hands (Ross would have stripped off, got on with it, and turned scything into a spectator sport).
So it was no surprise that said Doofus was in no mood to accept the changes on the Verity front. His cousin had been secretly seeing her love Blamey and chose quite the wrong time – the Warleggan ball – to attempt to bring Francis round to accepting the match.
Poor Blamey. Always getting the, er, blamey for everything.
Still, Ross managed to save things at the end when he caught Warleggan’s stooge out cheating at cards just as we thought our rippling hero was about to gamble away his mine. So things cheered up. Eventually.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.