Poldark series 3 episode 4 review: saintly Ross feeds the poor while Drake and Morwenna give in to their passion

It's melodrama time in Cornwall – an elemental battle between good and evil. But will Morwenna escape the clutches of the wicked Osborne Whitworth?

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It ended with a kiss – a melodramatic slow-motion run along the beach by Drake and Morwenna, the music sweeping in time with the scudding clouds and the raging sea.

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Yes, Poldark can do intense romanticism when it fancies and tonight it was called for. Morwenna had escaped Truro and been sent home to Trenwith, and back into the arms of Drake Carne, Demelza’s brother and the man she loves.

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Because those weren’t tears of pain she was emitting when she was given her marching orders and sent back.

What Elizabeth and George thought was her devastated response to their punishment for allowing Geoffrey-Charles to attend the Poldark christening, was actually her joyous laughter – a more than appropriate response to escaping the loathsome clutches of her suitor Osborne Whitworth.

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Of course, Osborne (Christian Brassington) – quite a repulsive character who in the 1970s version (played by Christopher Biggins) was said to have been the most detested man on TV – has other thoughts. He is sure he will land her as his bride.

In the meantime, Ross showed off his heroic credentials once more by landing a shipload of grain to feed the starving locals. It was a clever ruse orchestrated by Demelza and Caroline who extricated various sums from the local rich, and one in the eye for George who stumped up 50 guineas.

But the happiness did not last long after the spiteful Warleggan retaliated by closing Wheal Leisure – Ross’ old mine – leaving 70 men without a job.

“How do you sleep at night,” Ross had asked him earlier in the episode and for once George had a decent comeback: “Perhaps you should ask Elizabeth.”

Touché.

There was also a new addition to the Poldark household with the birth of a baby girl, brought into the world by Prudie after Demelza was struck down in the vegetable patch. As with young Valentine, the whelp came before its time but Demelza dun well and presented a blooming picture of happiness.

“Say good day to your daughter,” she beamed to her husband. It was a rather touching scene in an otherwise action-packed visit.

There was also a strange moment when Demelza lobbied against the Drake/Morwenna union by citing their different social standings and seeming to forget where she stood in society when she won the heart of Captain Ross.

Ross, meanwhile, paid a visit to Aunt Agatha who seemed to have been frozen into submission by George, while Elizabeth (below) was still on the tincture, the boozy concoction she takes to cope with the apparent guilt of fathering Ross’ child and the sheer awfulness of her husband.

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“I want that brat out of my house,” George said of Geoffrey Charles leaving us to only wonder what will happen when he finally sees Elizabeth’s son off to Harrow? She might turn to hard drugs.

And hard drugs are just what poor Doctor Enys needs, shacked up as he is in the French prison trying to tend to his men with nothing. When a French soldier shoots your patient in cold blood in order to settle a bet he had, then your luck really is up.

But cometh the hour cometh the Ross, with the episode five trailer showing Mr P and the boys off to France for another daring attempt to rescue Dwight Enys.

It’s time Dwight was relieved of his misery – seeing what is happening to him, you realise Elizabeth’s unhappiness is all rather relative. For the time being, anyway… 

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Poldark season three airs on Sundays, 9/8c, PBS Masterpiece