First off, Phil Davis’s Jud got so smashed on Ross’s brandy that he was overheard bad-mouthing him to Demelza and got his marching orders.
He’s now with his wife Prudie (Beatie Edney) somewhere on the Cornish roads, cradling just a trolley full of their belongings and spouting a few cussed words for pretty much everyone they meet. He’s not exactly a charmer is he, our Jud? Nor Prudie for that matter. But, I’ll miss their presence chez Ross. A drama like this needs a comedy yokel or two and Davis and Edney have risen to the task admirably.
Still, the departure of the bone-idle idiot servants was the least of Ross’s problems.
Poor Keren was killed by her husband Mark who then just about managed to evade capture by the rozzers (well, the Red Coats) by spiriting off to Ireland (or possibly France, he wasn’t quite sure in all the haste) on Ross’s boat.
I’m not sure which 18th century holiday destination is nicest at this time of year for a traumatised renegade wife-killer, but if I were him I’d plump for Brittany. The cheese is better, for one thing.
There was more bad news for Aidan Turner’s hero, who was betrayed by the Doofus, AKA Kyle Soller’s Francis.
His betrayal was prompted by Demelza’s (Eleanor Tomlinson’s) meddling in the Verity/Blamey love affair, which saw cousin V elope with her sailor love, leaving Doofus to blame Ross for once again encouraging the match.
“Damn Ross, damn this family, damn this entire pitiful existence,” screeched the Doofus.
Cheer up, mate.
It wasn’t a great time for the Doofus to get a visit from the leery, sneery George Warleggan who elicited from the angry fool the names of Ross’s coterie of investors so he could blackmail them with bankruptcy if they continued their ethical arrangement with Ross.
The Warleggan bank is not exactly the “listening” establishment of those 1980s Midland Bank adverts, is it? It’s a little bit more ‘sod you, we want all the money for ourselves and don’t care if you starve you 18th century peasants’ kind of firm.
By the time Demelza ‘fessed all to Doofus it was a bit late and she got a flea in her ear for the bargain. But still, the twisted desperation of Doofus’ logic was a marvel. When he realised Ross was blameless he still said he wouldn’t talk to his cousin because he questioned his judgment in marrying such an “ignorant troll” as the lovely Demelza.
Will Demelza win Ross back? The scene where she realised what she had done, and he in turn tried to overcome his anger by reminding himself of why she did it, was brilliantly realised by Debbie Horsfield’s skilful writing and two fine performances. Aidan Turner has put in a great turn this series, but I have been just as taken with Tomlinson who has radiated grace and humanity. She’ll go far that one.
The Keren Mark story was even more tragic and disturbing.
Mark’s wayward missus had already shown what a saucy hussy she was with the come hither look she gave Ross at the beginning of the episode when he rode past.
Unlike Ross, Doctor Enys (who had been giving Keren ad hoc chemistry lessons) was clearly unable to resist her charms, as she cradled a doorframe and told him “you have already made me whole again” and that she had a “thirst for more than learnin’”.
I think we knew where this was headed.
Cut to Mark discovering the liaison by waiting outside Enys’ house and accidentally murdering his wife when she got back by breaking her neck in a struggle. Inadvertent wife-killing is something of a “thing” in these parts it seems. Blamey did exactly the same thing, and he too was apparently Blamey-less (see what I did there?).
Here’s hoping things get a bit sunnier for next week’s finale. You never know, maybe Ross will do this again…
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.